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Can a dog eat cat food?

This is a question that people who own both a dog and a cat ask themselves, as each animal may be tempted to share its meal with its companion, or even to indulge in an act of pilfering when its little friend's back is turned. For a dog, eating cat food on an occasional basis will not affect its health. Things get more serious if the dog is a habitual eater, which happens quite often when the cat is a sharer and the dog is greedy. So what are the risks for the dog with cat food?

Dogs and cats: very different nutritional needs

It is logical to feed your dog and cat differently since they do not have the same needs. Cats should be fed foods that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, since their diet should be higher in energy than that of dogs.

On the other hand, it is important that the dog's diet contains a little starch, little fat (around 5 to 6%), and less protein than the cat's. In addition, the dog's body must have access to proteins of animal origin and proteins of vegetable origin, for a daily total of about 18% of the food ration. The dog also needs carbohydrates from which his body draws the energy it needs to function.

Cat food is therefore not at all intended for a dog, and vice versa.

Unsuitable food: what are the risks for the dog's health?

The general health of the dog is largely related to its diet. If the animal is used to eating cat food, it will not stay in good shape for very long. He may even develop health problems in the long run. Indeed, for him, risks of harmfulness really exist, which can lead to:
  • Digestion problems,
  • An attack on the pancreas such as pancreatitis: a very serious problem due to excess fat in the diet,
  • A preponderance of obesity caused by an excess of proteins,
  • An overload of the emunctory organs such as the kidneys and the liver which can lead to :
    • A renal insufficiency,
    • A hepatic insufficiency.
All these risks to which the dog is exposed are due to the fact that cat food is too fatty and too rich in proteins. They are elaborated to meet the essential needs of the cat but certainly not those of the dog. If the dog eats from his little feline friend's bowl every day, he can also suffer from serious nutrient deficiencies. Trace elements, minerals and vitamins should be dosed according to the needs of each individual.

How to avoid that the dog eats cat food?

It is really necessary to take all possible precautions to avoid that the dog and the cat share their respective bowls. To each his own dish! So to each his own meal corner. It is indeed fundamental to feed the dog and the cat in two different rooms. This is the best solution to avoid pilfering... and health problems in pets of different species that share the same living space.

As soon as the animals seem to have eaten enough but have not emptied their food bowls, it is necessary not to leave the food remains on the spot. The food bowls are therefore removed, except for those containing water, as they must remain freely accessible. This principle also allows pets to get used to eating at regular times.

Ideally, the owner of a greedy dog or a sharing cat can offer to each of his little companions an automatic kibble dispenser (or other food) that opens only if it recognizes the animal for which it is intended, thanks to a microchip. The must for a budget between 60 and 100 € per device. It's much less expensive than having to pay for veterinary fees and treatments if the dog gets sick from eating unsuitable food. And then the good balance of his little animal deserves a financial effort, no?

Lyme disease in dogs: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

This tick-borne infectious disease is caused by the bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi), which is why it is also called borreliosis. The symptoms that appear a few months after a tick bite are common to other diseases. A diagnosis is therefore necessary in order to consider a targeted treatment. But in order to protect your dog's health, it is essential to do everything possible to prevent Lyme disease because it can cause serious damage. Let's take stock of the situation.

Borreliosis or Lyme disease: symptoms in dogs

When a dog is bitten by a tick, a red area may be seen on the skin of the animal within a few hours after the bite, but this usually goes unnoticed because few owners inspect their dog's skin millimeter by millimeter each time they return from a walk. In any case, this sign disappears after a week or so.

On the other hand, various symptoms appear between two and six months after the dog has been infected by the dreaded tick mite. These symptoms can be associated with a variety of diseases, but none of them are specific to Lyme disease. For example, the dog may have:
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Fever, i.e. a body temperature above 39°C,
  • Vomiting,
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes,
  • A state of weakness more or less important,
  • Lameness,
  • Joint pain.
It is of course essential to consult a veterinarian when the dog presents one or more of these symptoms, some of which are related to an inflammatory reaction.

Lyme disease in dogs: diagnosis

Lyme disease is not the easiest disease to diagnose. The veterinarian must take into account the symptoms described by the dog's owner, of course, as well as their duration, intensity and frequency, but also the animal's lifestyle. This last point can put the practitioner on the track. A dog that spends a good part of its days in the woods or in the fields is much more exposed to the risk of being a victim of ticks than a sedentary dog. This does not mean that you should not walk your dog.

In order to make a reliable diagnosis, additional examinations are necessary such as a blood test for antibodies or a joint puncture.

An antibiotic is administered to the animal. If the dog's health improves - that is, if the symptoms subside - the diagnosis of Lyme disease is confirmed fairly quickly.

Lyme disease in dogs: treatment

The sooner the dog is treated with antibiotics, the better the chances of avoiding complications from Lyme disease. Indeed, the animal's health condition can worsen over time if not treated. Skin lesions, arthritis, polyarthritis or paralysis, nervous system disorders, kidney problems or respiratory problems are to be feared at an advanced stage of Lyme disease. In the most serious cases, the dog's life may be at risk.

However, it is important to be aware that the bacteria transmitted by a tick is not systematically eliminated by antibiotics. In the majority of cases, the dog continues to have regular arthritis attacks because it remains a carrier of the bacteria. As a result, it is likely to contaminate other ticks which will then transmit borreliosis to their next victims. This is a vicious circle that can wreak havoc within a pack, for example, or in a dog farm. This is why it is essential not to stop the antibiotic treatment too soon, as it must be continued until the veterinarian has decided to stop it.

Solutions to prevent Lyme disease

The best way to avoid the risk of Lyme disease is to inspect your dog after every outing. If a tick is found under the dog's coat, it should be removed immediately with a tick remover so that the mite does not have time to infect its host. The tick is a terrible vector of pathogens that can contaminate a dog in less than twelve hours.

You should not hesitate to use repellents such as antiparasitic collars and pipette products. For dogs that are highly exposed to the risk of tick bites because of their outdoor activities, such as hunting dogs, the veterinarian can be asked to vaccinate them. But this vaccine against Lyme disease has no effect on an animal that is already infected.

The Tamaskan, a dog with a wolf-like appearance

The Tamaskan is a breed that is still in its infancy. Still under construction, it was created with the objective of obtaining a dog with the appearance of a wolf, but adapted to family life. Get to know this animal like no other, to say the least.

Characteristics of the Tamaskan

The Tamaskan is admired for its athletic appearance, which is reminiscent of a wolf. The creation of this breed was precisely motivated by the objective of making it resemble its wild counterpart. This large dog measures between 61 and 84 cm and weighs between 25 and 50 kg depending on its sex. Its head, whose size is in harmony with the body, reveals a moderate stop and a slightly arched skull. Particular point: a V-shaped hollow is visible between the two eyes and constitutes the signature of the Tamaskan. The edges of the eyes, the lips and the nose must always be black. The Tamaskan is also recognizable by its narrow eyes in oblique position whose color can be brown, amber or yellow. Blue eyes are penalized. Of medium size, the ears are rectangular in shape and are erect and carried forward. The dog must always have a dense and thick coat. The winter coat is different from the summer coat. As for the coat, it can be wolf-gray, black-gray or red-gray.

History of the Tamaskan breed

The Tamaskan is a very recent breed. It appeared under the impulse of Finnish breeders from the 1980s and is being built. So far, there are only about 600 specimens worldwide. To obtain it, several breeds have been crossed like the German Shepherd, the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky and the Saarloos Wolfdog. Developed in Great Britain and the United States, the Tamaskan is a confidential breed in France. It is not recognized by the Société Centrale Canine nor by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Tamaskan

The Tamaskan resembles the wolf not only physically, but also from the point of view of its character. It is a very independent, strong and stubborn animal. It is clear that he does not like inexperienced owners. He needs someone who can channel him and give him the best education, without violence or aggression. The Tamaskan is an intelligent animal that learns very quickly. To be happy, it must evolve in the countryside and not in the city. It is a dog completely adapted for the various canine sports like the cani kart, the pulka or the canirando.

Diet and main health problems of the Tamaskan

As the breed is new, it is difficult to determine exactly what pathologies may affect it. One thing is certain: so far, it has proven to be particularly robust. The only thing to keep in mind is hip dysplasia, which is common in large dogs.

The Hokkaido Ken, dog of Japanese origin

Japanese dog breed, the Hokkaido Ken is an example of courage, phlegm and intelligence. This gentle animal is distinguished by its very athletic physique and its primitive character. It can make a very good family dog, but also a sled dog, defense or guard dog.

Characteristics of the Hokkaido Ken

Being an Asian Spitz, the Hokkaido Ken develops the same physical characteristics as this canine category. It has an athletic, robust and well-proportioned body with marked muscles with pure lines and a solid bone structure. It measures between 45 and 51 cm for a weight going from 24 to 27 kg. This dog is distinguished by its very specific head. It reveals a flattened and imposing skull with strong jaws and a pointed muzzle topped by a black nose. This head highlights small triangular eyes well spaced between them and with a dark brown color. The ears are also small and triangular in shape. They are erect, carried straight on the head, while tilting slightly forward. The Hokkaido Ken has a rather short hair with a dress which can be black, red, sesame or white. It also has the particularity to have a tail rolled up in the back and densely hairy.

History of the breed Hokkaido Ken

The Hokkaido Ken comes from the eponymous island located in Japan. According to history, it is one of the oldest Japanese dog breeds. Its ancestors were brought back around the 12th century by emigrants coming from Honshu, another island of the country. This breed was mainly used in deer and bear hunting because of its highly developed sense of direction and its strong resistance. It then ended up being used as a companion dog. Its popularity is such that it was declared a "Natural Monument" in 1937 in its native country. In Europe, the Hokkaido Ken is still not very widespread.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Hokkaido Ken

To welcome a Hokkaido Ken is not intended for all. The Japanese races are famous to have character. For the neophytes in canine education, the roles are likely to be quickly reversed. When living with a Hokkaido Ken, you don't really know who is "the master" and who is "the dog". Very energetic, dignified and reserved, this dog is also alert, docile and courageous. He will make a wonderful companion for both young and old. It happens that he is a bit of a pooch. But that's simply because he sees your activity as lacking interest. So don't hesitate to constantly stimulate his intelligence.

Food and main health problems of the Hokkaido Ken

The Hokkaido Ken is considered as a real force of nature. To say that it is not prone to any health problem in particular. For its food, you can bet for a home-made food or industrial food. The most important rule is to divide its meals into two or three times a day and to avoid physical exercise after eating to prevent stomach twisting.

Dogs in the city: the ultimate list of good practices!

We sometimes hear people say that they can't stand or don't like dogs. If you look a little deeper, you'll see that what they really hate are the nuisances caused by the presence of large numbers of dogs in our cities. And this is quite legitimate. But is the animal the only one to blame? The responsibility lies with dog owners, who are not very aware of certain good practices that can be adopted or taught to their dogs so that everyone can live together in harmony. But in fact, what are these citizen attitudes that make the daily life of each of us softer?

Nuisances in urban areas

Untimely barking from the balcony below from morning to night, pestilential smell of urine under the porch that we love to use to go and drink our coffee in the bar that we like the most, dog not held on a leash that surprises joggers or follows children on the way to school and scares them... Public garden with splendid flowered spaces but littered with excrements that spoil everything...

Even the most beautiful of our cities is becoming an infamous place and the pleasure of living there is not really there anymore. However, it doesn't take much for everyone to learn to love their place of life again and not be exasperated by the presence of dogs.

Stop dog waste in the city!

There are solutions - put in place a long time ago and available to dog owners - that prevent the accumulation of dog waste on sidewalks, in streets, parks, at bus stops, under doorways and others. These include:
  • Free dog waste bag dispensers that are freely available day and night and can be found everywhere,
  • Collection bags that can be obtained free of charge from your veterinarian, dog grooming salon and, of course, from your local town hall. Dog owners no longer have any excuse even if the bag dispenser on the corner of their street is empty. Everyone must anticipate the daily walk and slip a few bags in his pocket.
  • Dedicated areas for dogs to relieve themselves. They have not been around as long as bag dispensers, but they are a good way to keep our cities cleaner. These canisites really promote the hygiene of our urban environments, especially since they are cleaned very regularly by the municipal services.
Note also that failure to pick up after your dog is punishable by a fine.

No more incessant barking that disturbs a neighborhood!

Welcoming a dog into your home is certainly a generous gesture, but it does not give you all the rights. In any case, not the right to spoil the peace of your neighbors by the incessant barking of your little companion. The master must do everything possible to ensure that his pet does not disturb the lives of others. Educating your dog is therefore essential to avoid neighborhood conflicts. But beyond the noise nuisance, shouldn't we wonder about the reasons for this barking? A dog that barks incessantly must have a problem that a behaviorist veterinarian can identify and treat.

Remember that for dogs weighing more than 3 kg, there is the anti-bark collar. No, it is not a torture element and it allows the animal to lose its bad habit rather quickly.

For your information, noise pollution is the cause of fines. Let's hear it...

Keep your dog on a leash in an urban environment

Respecting life in society also implies keeping your dog on a leash when you walk it in an urban area. It is very important to respect this good practice. It limits the risks of wandering, intrusion of the dog in a private space, bites, fights between dogs. It also simply avoids that the animal spreads panic (and anger) among passers-by, whether they are children or adults.

Keeping your dog on a leash is a rule in the vast majority of our communities and the law requires that a muzzle be worn in many cases. Honestly, it is hard to understand why this is a problem for many dog owners. Provocation? Incivism? Negligence? It is up to each citizen to find the answer that best suits him or her, but also the solution so that people are no longer afraid to get on a bus, a streetcar or a train where a dog, whether a big dog or not, is traveling...

The Penal Code punishes the guardian of a dog (owner or not) when the animal under his responsibility causes any kind of damage to a third party. It is the same if the dog escapes from his supervision, if he attacks a third party or simply pursues him. Similarly, different laws apply to category 1 and 2 dogs, i.e. attack dogs and defense dogs.

In order to put an end to the growing mistrust in our cities, dog owners and/or guardians really need to make an effort. It is essential that dogs be better managed, better educated, better integrated into the urban environment in order to reassure the population. Being responsible for your animal also means anticipating its reactions in order to avoid the worst and to be able to remain in control of your dog in all circumstances. It is time for these people to stop letting their dog walk them and to take the leash in hand.

Is the dog's look a means of communication? How to interpret it?

Dogs have this incredible ability to communicate with their owners by adopting various attitudes, yawning or emitting different sound signals in chosen tones. But there is another form of language which he has the secret, just as eloquent, but sometimes more difficult to decipher. It is the look that he always uses wisely. Let's see how to interpret it.

The dog expresses many feelings through his eyes

Dogs can express all kinds of emotions through their eyes. We can, for example, read social interest, aggressiveness, sexual interest, anger, submission, fear, incomprehension or even disinterest as the following examples show.

Attention: the gaze fixed on a person translates the strong interest that the dog has for him. This is one of the looks that a caring owner usually sees in his dog. If he wants to capture the attention of the animal so that it turns away from another person or a congener, it is necessary to impose to a dog that it fixes its gaze on his master, because they are both linked by an emotional feeling.

This is a technique widely used by dog trainers to whom owners entrust their animals with behavior problems.

  • Misunderstanding: the dog looks away to indicate that it does not understand the command that has just been given.
  • Appeasement: when a sideways glance is accompanied by a yawn, it means that the dog is appeased. Appeasement can also be expressed by a downward glance.
  • Dominance: A stare is a sign of dominance when it is particularly intimidating and when it is accompanied by other attitudes such as the curling of the lips and the bristling of the back hair, or the ears pressed back and the muzzle wrinkled.
  • Aggression: This state can also be expressed by a fixed look, especially if the eyes are wide open and the dog emits growls in the lowest tones. This is an attitude that many dogs - especially males - adopt in front of other dogs.
  • Submissiveness: A shifty look reveals a submissive attitude, whether it is towards a dominant fellow dog, its owner or a trainer.

How to learn the meaning of your dog's looks?

A dog's language skills deserve all the attention of a master who wants to understand his companion at all times and in all situations. It is a good solution to anticipate the dog's reactions in many cases and to solve certain behavioral problems.

If you feel you have a moderate ability to read your dog's eyes, it is highly beneficial to contact a behavioral veterinarian to learn more about the subject. You can also ask a dog trainer. This professional is used to dealing with dogs with behavioral problems, and for him, the look of each animal is a real means of communication. We can therefore finally deduce that the dog speaks (partly) with its eyes.

Why and how to brush your dog's teeth?

It is essential to take care of your dog's oral hygiene because it helps to prevent many diseases. It is also essential to avoid pushing him away because of his pestilential breath, a sign that something is wrong. Let's take a look at the best way to brush your dog's teeth, the frequency to respect, and the risks incurred by the dog if his teeth are neglected.

Brushing your dog's teeth: what is the use?

The regular use of a soft toothbrush and a specific toothpaste or special dog toothpaste is very useful for the animal to have a good breath. We take advantage of this moment to inspect the state of his teeth and gums. Brushing also helps to remove food debris that gets between the teeth and to fight against dental plaque.

Plaque is a substance made up of toxins and bacterial residues. Plaque builds up insidiously, day after day, without brushing. And if we don't take care of it, it becomes mineralized and turns into tartar which eventually covers the dog's teeth. The problem is that it is impossible to remove this tartar with a simple toothbrush. Only the veterinarian can remove it during a scaling session.

That's why we recommend anticipating it with a perfect oral hygiene. Twice a week is a minimum, but ideally, the dog's teeth should be brushed once a day.

Poor oral hygiene in dogs: health risks

Poorly maintained teeth become yellow, which is not very aesthetic. Moreover, bad breath is another sign that should alert the owner. It is indeed necessary to know that it is following a lack of care that the periodontal disease settles. The signs are recognizable, namely:
  • Tartar on the teeth,
  • A nauseating breath,
  • An important salivation,
  • A retraction of the gums,
  • Swelling of the gums that become red,
  • Teeth that are loosening.
A dog presenting these signs is certainly affected by a periodontal disease whose consequences on its health can be serious. It is indeed an infectious disease whose origin is a proliferation of bacteria due to a bad oral hygiene. The supporting tissues of the teeth - the periodontium - are affected. This includes the gums, the alveolar ligaments as well as the alveolar bone, cementum, etc. The damage can be considerable on the teeth but not only.

Indeed, a dog suffering from periodontitis can present, following the migration of bacteria in his body:
  • An abscess,
  • A fracture of the jaw,
  • An infection of the ORL sphere,
  • A septicemia,
  • An infection at the level of a cardiac valve,
  • A joint disease.
Some serious health problems caused by periodontal disease are unfortunately irreversible.

The best way to brush your dog's teeth

In order for the dog to accept that his owner brushes his teeth without flinching, it is essential to get him used to this type of ritual as early as possible, i.e. when he is still a puppy. But it often happens that we adopt an adult dog who has never seen a toothbrush in his life. This can be a daunting task, and it's best to do it right to avoid getting bitten.

The safest method is to :
  • Place one hand firmly on the dog's muzzle and lift one whisker,
  • Brush the exposed teeth thoroughly with the brush and a dog-friendly toothpaste (never use human toothpaste),
  • Congratulate the dog,
  • Lift the other lip and repeat the operation.
  • Compliment the animal again when the session is over.
You can then give him special kibbles as a treat to prevent tartar from appearing. They are a complement to brushing.

It is important to note that toothpaste specially designed for dogs does not present any risk of toxicity. In other words, the dog can swallow it without any problem. In addition, tooth brushing can be complemented with special sticks or a buffalo skin dental stick that the animal can chew at leisure. While having fun, it eliminates part of the dental plaque.

In addition to brushing your dog's teeth very frequently, it is in your best interest to have your dog's teeth checked regularly by a specialist in animal dentistry. At the slightest suspicion of periodontal disease, the professional can perform an investigation by means of complementary examinations. This allows for an early diagnosis and therefore, to treat the dog before it is too late.

The Irish Terrier or Irish Terrier, very sporty dog

The Irish Terrier is an outstanding sportsman who loves, above all, to run. Full of energy, always alert! Beware, you may not be able to keep up with him if you are the sedentary type. Gentle, loyal, intelligent and attentive, it is also a charming dog, a bit feisty.

Characteristics of the Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is described as the oldest terrier breed in the world. The Irish Terrier owes its popularity to its racy and nervous appearance. Muscular and vigorous, it is clear that the Irish Terrier is addicted to sports. Its head, with a narrow and flat skull, is long and without wrinkles. It is covered with hairs. The face has a goatee which reminds that of a goat. The stop is almost absent, the jaws are muscular and the nose is obvious and black. The Irish Terrier has eyes that reveal a lot of intelligence and a lively expression. They are small and display a dark color. V-shaped, the ears are thin, also small and fall slightly to form a small fold on the skull. In general, they are of a darker color than the coat. Concerning the coat, it has a texture called "wire" and remains dense. The coat can be red, yellow red or red wheaten.

History of the Irish Terrier breed

According to history, the Irish Terrier would have appeared in Ireland since the Bronze Age, it is really an ancestral dog breed. At the beginning, this dog came in different colors. However, the situation has changed since the 20th century. Like most Irish dogs, it was developed to have a red coat identical to the hair color of the majority of Irish people. The breed was successful in England and was also imported to the United States. Used for hunting, it was an effective messenger during the First World War. The standard was established very early. From 1880 to be precise. But it will be necessary to wait until January 28, 1955 so that the race is recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI).

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is a symbol of vivacity and energy. It's simple. This dog won't leave you alone until he's had enough excitement. So get ready for hours of play and walks when you adopt one. He is a good-natured animal, always cheerful and gentle. It is devoid of aggressiveness and displays tenacity. It is also a very sympathetic dog and of a great fidelity. Considering its qualities, it is rather easy to educate. In addition, the Irish Terrier can brilliantly take on the role of guard dog.

Diet and main health problems of the Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is prone to certain diseases that are important to monitor closely. Among them is hereditary dystrophic myopathy, which causes muscle damage. He can also suffer from cataracts and hereditary hyperkeratosis, a skin condition. To stay in shape, this dog must have enough nutrients. Home-made food is recommended only if it is prepared with the help of a veterinarian, to avoid deficiencies.

The Barbet, a dog with a disheveled look

The Barbet's disheveled look is its charm. Beyond his atypical aspect, he also stands out by his attraction for water. It is simple, if it sees a pond or a marsh, it will not be able to prevent itself from making a small bathe. In family, it has an exemplary character, because it is an attentive, soft and faithful animal.

Characteristics of the Barbet

One thing is certain: wherever he goes, this dog does not go unnoticed. Its peculiar coat makes it recognizable among thousands. But before we talk about that, let's first talk about its general morphology. This breed is rather large since it measures between 53 and 65 cm for a weight oscillating between 20 and 25 kg. Rather long, its body being able to be inscribed in a triangle is stocky, but well proportioned. The Barbet has a head with a round aspect which is entirely covered with hair with a moustache and a long beard. In addition to the marked stop, the brown nose is large. The eyes are also dark brown and round. As for the ears, they are long, wide, flat and carried low. As mentioned above, the Barbet is distinguished by its curly and woolly hair forming strands. The coat being well furnished, it protects the dog against the fall of temperature. The coat can be of any color: white, black, brown, sand, fawn and shades of fawn and sand.

History of the Barbet breed

The true origins of the Barbet are not known exactly. Its history is still debated among dog lovers. It is said that it would come from North Africa towards the VIIth century and would have then put the paw in Europe in particular in the Iberian regions. It is there that he would have been crossed with water dogs. It arrived on French territory around 1860 and was present in farms. It is also said to be the ancestor of the Poodle, the Briard, the Griffon and many other breeds. Its recognition by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) dates back to 1954.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Barbet

The Barbet is the best dog you can dream of welcoming into your family. It is an active, sociable and gentle animal. At home, it is quiet and calm. It is also loyal to its owner and shows great affection. During your walks, do not be surprised if he starts to dive into a lake or a pond. This water dog is an outstanding swimmer. That's why he prefers life in the country where there are more water areas. Moreover, being athletic, it will take advantage of the great outdoors to let off steam.

Diet and main health problems of the Barbet

The Barbet is a rustic dog and especially of a robustness to any test. It is rarely a victim of diseases. However, it is advisable to watch the luxation of the patella, the dysplasia of the hip and the dental worries. Its coat should be maintained with care, as the hair can pick up bad smells.

As for food, this dog is not very demanding. You can give him good quality kibbles and pate.

Urine marking in dogs: explanations

Urine marking consists in the dog depositing a few drops of urine in different places in order to inform other dogs that he is passing by. It is a vital piece of information that other dogs perceive through their sense of smell and integrate perfectly. Each dog thus claims its need to assert itself and the marking can have other meanings. However, it sometimes happens that the animal abuses urine marking to the point of depositing a few drops of urine in every corner of the house. What does this behavior mean and how can we prevent it from continuing?

What does urine marking in dogs mean?

Dogs do not urinate just to relieve their bladder when it is full. In fact, they always keep a little urine in reserve in order to deposit a few drops here and there to :
  • Leave a message for other dogs.
  • Identify an area that is not dangerous for itself,
  • Cover up another dog's urine mark,
Many owners think that their dog marks its territory. However, urine marking in dogs does not have the same meaning as in cats, who do mark their territory.

The dog can in any case "lift its paw" on any support (object, furniture, tree, fence, bicycle wheel, exterior or interior wall, parquet floor, terrace, etc.), which - in some cases - is totally unbearable.

Urine marking by a shameless dog during an outdoor walk is considered normal. But when it takes place in the house, the marking is abnormal. This may mean that the dog :
  • Has not properly integrated the concept of territory so that boundaries are confused,
  • Does not feel safe,
  • Has a behavioural problem related to low self-esteem,
  • Has not been trained.
It is of course very important to educate your dog so that it does not spend its time marking its territory by urinating three drops every twenty meters... or worse, in the house or apartment. And in these cases, the goal for the animal is not to empty its bladder! It is a question of urinary marking and not an accident.

A poorly trained dog is capable of urinating incessantly in any type of environment, inside or outside. It is therefore necessary to teach him as soon as possible the limits that should not be exceeded. This fundamental principle is as valid for females as for males. The management of urine marking is learned at the same time as cleanliness.

How do you potty train a dog?

Housebreaking should be done early. It consists of getting the dog used to urinating only outside and in specific places. Ideally, the dog should be taught to relieve itself in a gutter or in the same area of the garden so that it does not soil the whole lawn and flower beds.

In this regard, the owner must also impose good manners dictated by the respect of others by systematically picking up his dog's droppings and ensuring that his pet does not urinate under the window or in front of the neighbor's door.

To limit accidents inside the house and so that the dog understands what his owner expects of him, it is very important to respect the following points.
  • Take the dog out at regular times,
  • To forbid him in a firm way to urinate where it is not desirable, and always using the same vocabulary,
  • Anticipate by pulling him by the leash when he starts to sniff a bush, a car tire, etc.,
  • Congratulate him when he has relieved himself in the place authorized by his master in order to encourage him to do it again next time.
You must be attentive to your puppy's attitudes in order to spot the moment when the animal wants to urinate, and take it out without waiting. The master must therefore organize himself to be very available when he welcomes a new companion at home. But with a little diligence and regularity, the good habits should be acquired quite quickly. Once the dog has learned the basics, he will know how to ask for a walk by adopting an explicit behavior so that his owner understands that it is time to go out.

By adopting these educational principles, the dog will be perfectly clean and will no longer abuse urine marking.

Unwanted urine marking in dogs: education problem or disease?

It should be noted that an adult dog that has not been properly trained will require much more presence and patience from its owner to achieve a good result, i.e. to stop abusing urine marking everywhere. When these manias are linked to an education problem, they are certainly unpleasant, but they do not affect the animal's health.

However, be careful not to blame everything on bad training, because untimely urine marking in a dog, especially inside the house, can hide a pathology. It is therefore advisable to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible so that a health check-up can be carried out, especially if you notice that your dog has been lifting his paw for some time now, even though this was not his habit. This attitude can for example be due to :
  • A bladder infection,
  • A kidney problem,
  • A hormonal dysfunction,
  • Urinary incontinence.
In some cases, the veterinarian may advise sterilization for a female dog and castration for a male dog, which has the effect of inhibiting the impact of sex hormones on the animal's behavior. However, to obtain good results, the dog must be sterilized before the age of 12 months. Spaying or neutering is not going to change much in an older animal with ingrained bad habits.

The Continental Papillon Miniature Spaniel, a dog with a cute little face

Almost miniature in size, with a cute little face and a discreet, measured and gentle temperament, the continental butterfly spaniel is the ideal companion for the elderly as well as for children to whom he will show a lot of attention and affection.

Characteristics of the Continental Toy Spaniel Butterfly

First striking detail: its small size. The Continental Toy Spaniel Butterfly measures an average of 28 cm at the withers and weighs between 1.5 kg and 5 kg. These measurements make the dog portable. Wherever you go, you can take it with you. Apart from its size, its head is also small. Expressive and light, it reveals a relatively marked stop and a short muzzle. The almond-shaped eyes are fairly large, wide open and dark in color. The well-spaced ears are attached behind and carried straight. They have the particularity to open on the head, which reminds the wings of butterflies. Hence the name of this breed. The other variety of continental Toy Spaniel called "the moth" has drooping and thin ears, thus differentiating it from the butterfly. As for the coat, it is long, shiny, abundant and wavy. It is short on the muzzle, the face, under the hock and in front of the legs. The coat can be of various colors as long as the white background remains dominant.

History of the breed Continental Papillon Spaniel

The Continental Toy Spaniel is a very old breed that has been around since medieval times. It is the Phalene variety that was mainly known at the time. To conform to the standard sought by the royal courts and wealthy families, smaller spaniels were developed. It is thus towards the XIXth century that the Papillon makes its appearance. It will be so successful that it will be represented in the works of artists like Goya. The continental papillon spaniel was officially recognized in 1937.

Living conditions and behavior of the Continental Toy Spaniel

The Continental Toy Spaniel Butterfly has all the qualities you would expect in a pet. It is a fun and funny dog that is also endowed with a beautiful vivacity and an extraordinary joy of living. Very attached to its masters, it will be permanently in search of affection. When it is necessary, this dog knows how to be calm and discrete. We can count on him for the guard. He is also sociable even towards strangers. Its education is not difficult since it is obedient.

Diet and main health problems of the Continental Toy Spaniel

The continental butterfly spaniel shines for its robustness. He is prone to very few genetic diseases. One of the most important is retinal atrophy. The ears can also be affected by auricular affections.

As far as diet is concerned, he has a penchant for homemade food based on poultry, meat, fish, vegetables and grains. However, it is important to get advice from a veterinarian on the right food to give your dog to avoid deficiencies or, on the contrary, excesses leading to overweight.

The Affenpinscher, dog with a sulky expression

As one of the oldest toy dogs, the Affenpinscher is distinguished by its small size, but also its sulky expression that makes it look like a little monkey. Very good companion dog for both the elderly and children, it brings joy and dynamism in the home.

Characteristics of the Affenpinscher

Also known as the Mustachioed Imp or Monkey Terrier, the Affenpinscher is not a dog like the others and this is the least we can say. It is already distinguished by its small size. Measuring at the withers between 25 and 30 cm, it weighs barely 6 kg. This small dog develops a body inscribable in a square at the same time compact and robust. It remains rather strong for its small size. Another particularity of the Affenpinscher lies in its round face which reveals a simian expression as much by its grimacing aspect as by its shape. It owes its name to this resemblance with the monkey. In German, "Affen" means "monkey". The head is framed by a crown of shaggy hair giving rise to a full beard, dense whiskers and bushy eyebrows with a circle around the eyes. The Affenpinscher's portrait is completed by large, round, dark eyes and small, V-shaped ears that are set high. The dog has an all black long coat.

History of the Affenpinscher breed

The Affenpinscher is a very old dog breed whose origins date back to around the 15th century in Germany. At that time, artists such as Albrecht Dürer or Jean van Eyck have already represented this dog in their works. In the past, the Affenpinscher was used by merchants and farmers to hunt rodents. It is said that the Affenpinscher is a cross between the German Wirehaired Pinscher and the Pug. The black coat was more popular than the red, yellow, grey or grey-white coats. Exported to the United States, the Affenpinscher almost disappeared during the Second World War. Even in Germany, it is a breed that still remains confidential. The recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) will take place in 1955.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher develops different characteristics. First of all, it is a pleasant, calm, affectionate, gentle animal, very attached to its masters. He can't stand loneliness and can get into mischief if he is bored. It can become the faithful four-legged companion of the elderly but also of children, provided that the cohabitation is done in respect. The Affenpinscher is a bit of a rascal and needs a firm education. Sometimes, he shows himself exuberant. Regarding its lifestyle, as it is small, the dog can evolve very well in apartments. However, its energy and its vivacity make that it prefers the houses with garden to be released with its own free will.

Diet and major health problems of the Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher can be affected by a number of diseases such as heart defects, luxation of the kneecap or intestinal transit disorders. It is also necessary to watch for aseptic necrosis of the femoral head.

As for his diet, it depends on his age, his weight and his physical activities. No specific food is required for this breed, as long as it is of good quality.

How do I know if my dog has worms?

When a dog is infected with worms, he will adopt certain behaviors that can alert an attentive owner. Knowing how to spot these signs is fundamental to react as quickly as possible in order to rid the animal of this vermin that could represent a danger to its health. It is equally important to prevent the appearance of worms in dogs, especially since they can be transmitted to humans. Let's take stock of the situation.

Types of worms in dogs

There are two types of worms that can parasitize the colon or small intestine of a dog:
  • Nematodes: these are round worms that are more or less shaped like spaghetti, such as :
    • Trichurians,
    • Hookworms,
    • The ascarids.
  • Cestodes: these are whitish, flat worms that look like a ribbon, including tapeworms, some of which can reach a length of more or less 80 cm.
In the absence of deworming treatment, they represent a sanitary danger for the dog and its entourage because intestinal worms are easily transmitted between animals but also between the dog and man.

Diseases caused by worms in dogs

In the long term, a dog parasitized by worms can suffer from epileptic seizures and some of its organs can be seriously damaged. He is also particularly weakened because his immune system is weakened. Finally, if the parasites have contaminated a puppy still in its development period, they can be responsible for a growth delay.

If left untreated, a dog that is contaminated by worms can develop certain diseases such as :
  • Ascariasis, which can cause nervous disorders,
  • Hookworm disease which can cause severe anemia,
  • Spirocercosis which can be fatal,
  • Bothriocephalosis which is now called diphyllobothriosis with the same consequences as tapeworm,
  • Teniasis which, if not treated quickly, leads to the death of the dog.

How can the dog be contaminated?

The oral route is the most frequent way of contamination, whether it is when the dog ingests certain parasites, eats excrement containing parasites or drinks infested water.

The next most common route is through the skin, where the parasites in their larval form pass through the skin into the dog's digestive tract, where they complete their development.

In some cases, the embryo is contaminated transplacentally.

Finally, a puppy that is breastfed by its mother can be contaminated via the mother's milk.

Worms in dogs: symptoms that should alert you

Intestinal worms multiply rapidly so that in a short period of time a dog can be significantly parasitized. At first, this infestation does not always lead to any particularly visible manifestation. But in a second time, the dog's behavior starts to change because of lesions caused by the worms. The animal then shows some of the following signs:
  • A dull coat,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Vomiting,
  • A bloated belly,
  • A loss of weight,
  • An unquenchable appetite or a loss of appetite depending on the type of worm present in the dog's body,
  • Itching in the anal area that causes the dog to rub its hindquarters on the ground to relieve the discomfort (this is called the sled sign).
To identify the worms, the parasites are detected through complementary examinations such as coproscopy.

Hygiene gestures to respect on a daily basis

The people around a dog parasitized by intestinal worms of any kind must make sure to perform basic hygiene gestures several times a day. It is about :
  • Wash your hands every time you pet the dog,
  • Do not allow the dog to lick humans (adults and children),
  • Wearing gloves and using a specific bag and a dedicated shovel when picking up after a dog,
  • Clean all the places where the animal passes,
  • Change bedding and towels for all family members very frequently, and change clothes that have been worn daily.
Be careful when the dog is allowed to climb on beds, sofas, chairs and armchairs in the house. A suitable disinfectant should be used very often to sanitize this type of furniture, as well as floors, carpets, etc.

Solutions to eliminate worms in dogs and prevent their appearance

For curative purposes, deworming is absolutely mandatory. However, since the symptoms do not appear at the very beginning of an infestation, it is recommended to deworm your dog from the time he is very young until the end of his life at a rate of :
  • Every two or three months until the dog is 12 months old,
  • Twice a year for dogs over 1 year old.
It is very important to do everything possible to prevent worms from invading the dog because the risks of contamination are very high in animals that are not dewormed. By respecting certain principles of hygiene that we have listed above, and by regularly giving the animal a dewormer, we increase protection.

All these solutions (preventive and curative) are essential to protect the health of the animal but also that of humans who share the same environment as their little companion. Let's not forget that these worms are just as dangerous for human health, and even more so for children. For further advice, it is strongly recommended to consult a veterinarian.

The Boerboel or Boerbull, dog with a powerful musculature

The Boerbel also called Boerbull, forces the respect with its powerful musculature, its robustness and its imposing size. A guard dog par excellence, it can also be used as a pet. In spite of its classification in category 1 i.e. "dangerous dog", it reveals a calm and balanced character.

Characteristics of the Boerboel

Boerboels are very large dogs with a solid, robust body and powerful muscles. They measure between 58 and 66 cm at the withers and weigh between 70 and 90 kg. It is immediately recognizable by its massive, broad and very muscular head, with a short and dark muzzle, as are most molossoids. The very powerful jaw will make all the opponents of this unusual breed tremble. The Boerboel has small brown eyes with a determined look on a soft background. The hanging ears are triangular in shape and rounded at the tip. Their size remains relatively proportional to the head. This breed has a short, shiny, well furnished and dense coat. The coat can have all kinds of colors: red-brown, gray, brindle, piebald, brown... The presence of a black mask is tolerated by the standard. The chest can also reveal a small mark without being penalized by the standard.

History of the Boerboel breed

The Boerboel would come from South Africa. It is said to be the result of a hybridization between European breeds like the Bullmastiff and the English Bulldog as well as the Brabanter Bullenbijter brought by the Dutch settlers to the territory, but which is now extinct. The dog was mainly used as a farm guard. It was used to keep wild animals away and to watch over the livestock. The development of this breed was only really started in 1960. In France, the Boerboel is subject to a ban and is registered in category 1 of "dangerous" dogs. Therefore, it cannot be owned by just anyone.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Boerboel

The Boerboel is above all an exceptional guard dog. No intruder will be allowed to pass the territory he is supposed to guard, unless he is invited by his master. Beyond this strong protective instinct, the Boerboel remains a peaceful, calm and balanced animal. It makes an excellent pet for families, even for children. As it is an intelligent dog, its education will not pose too many problems. He likes to feel useful and will do anything to please his master. However, for best results, training must be done with respect, firmness, gentleness and consistency.

Diet and main health problems of the Boerboel

For your Boerboel, opt for a dry diet, i.e. kibbles that will more easily meet its nutrient needs while avoiding dental problems. Choose only "premium" kibbles to be sure of quality. On the health side, the Boerboel can be predisposed to certain diseases such as dysplasia, heart problems, vaginal hyperplasia, eye problems or Wobbler syndrome.

The Griffon Bruxellois, a small dog with a singular appearance

In the range of the small dogs with a singular aspect, you are not at the end of your surprises. Among those that stand out is the Griffon Bruxellois. It is distinguished by its face, often likened to that of a man. This lively and funny dog is a pleasant companion for the whole family.

Characteristics of the Griffon Bruxellois

All the particularity of the Griffon Bruxellois is based on its unconventional physique. One point to specify: it is a dog of small size, making between 23 and 27 cm at the withers for a weight of 3 to 6 kg. With an elegant look and a strong bone structure, the Griffon Bruxellois has a solid and powerful body that can be fitted into a square. Its head is recognizable among thousand, because it reminds the human expression. With a crushed face, it is voluminous compared to the rest of the body and provided with a ruffled and hard hair. The hair becomes denser and fuller on the chin and cheeks and forms a kind of thick mustache. The muzzle and the eyes are also covered with hair. Small, the ears are well spaced one of the other and attached high. The eyes are round, large, brown, preferably very dark. Elsewhere, the hair is semi-long and has slight waves. The dress is generally red with the presence of black on the head.

History of the Griffon Bruxellois breed

Coming from Belgium like its cousins the Petit Brabançon and the Griffon Belge, the Griffon Bruxellois is also a descendant of the Smousje which comes from the Brussels region. It was mainly used by the coachmen of Brussels to watch over the carts and horses or to eliminate the rats in the stables. In order to perfect his physique, the Griffon Bruxellois was mixed with other breeds such as the Pug and the King Charles Spaniel Ruby. From then on, it became a very popular pet that even won the heart of Queen Marie-Henriette who introduced it into the royal court.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Griffon Bruxellois

The Griffon Bruxellois has an exemplary temperament. It is cheerful, curious and has a fine intelligence. It develops a strong character and is funny, lively and expressive at the same time. With children, the hours of play are likely to be endless. In addition, this dog will never balk at the idea of a little walk even if he prefers to be pampered in the lap of his owners. As he is small, living in an apartment is not a problem for him. However, as it is a very dynamic animal, it will be necessary to leave it as regularly as possible.

Food and main health problems of the Griffon Bruxellois

The Griffon Bruxellois can be subject to a number of diseases. Its crushed face can lead to an obstructive syndrome that manifests itself by regurgitation, snoring and even breathing problems. This dog can also be a victim of patella luxation or elbow dysplasia. Other diseases include skin diseases with allergies. Otherwise, the Griffon Bruxellois may suffer from hydrocephalus.

Which dog breeds for an elderly person? How to choose?

Owning a dog is very important for seniors, whether they are alone or not, in the city or in the country, and whether they live in a house with a garden or in an apartment. Some breeds of dogs are particularly suited to the elderly, both in terms of character and needs. Let's see how to choose the ideal companion and what are the criteria of choice that count the most.

Why does the presence of a dog improve the daily life of seniors?

The dog is a pet capable of improving the daily life of its owner. He is not stingy with affection, likes to share his games and his walks with the members of the family, is also protective and perhaps even more so when his master is alone or fragile. The dog is able to decipher the feelings of a person just by the expressions of his face. It is therefore the ideal companion for elderly people who suffer from loneliness.

It is scientifically proven that having a dog with whom one shares daily outings helps preserve one's cardiovascular system, physical condition and cognitive faculties. In addition, the fact that the senior feels responsible for his little four-legged friend is very important because it gives a purpose to each of his days. Regaining this sense of duty is fundamental to regain a taste for life when the children have long since left the nest, when one no longer has any professional responsibilities and when one lives alone.

Every day, the elderly person must brush and feed their dog, take it out, talk to it, and pet it. Regularly, she must also go to the veterinarian so that the animal benefits from surveillance and follow-up to ensure its good health. All these tasks are very important.

Finally, by his presence, the dog reassures the person who lives alone, especially when his house is a little isolated.

Having a dog: a whim or a real desire?

Before deciding on a particular breed of dog, the senior citizen should take the time to think about the following points:
  • The cost in terms of veterinary care, food, equipment (basket, kennel, collar, leash, toys, bowls, brush and comb, etc.).
  • Availability: Some seniors are still very active. They have a very busy schedule and are only home in the evenings.
  • Care solutions in case of need (vacations, hospitalization).
Motivation: you have to be sure that you will want to take care of your dog in the long term.
Taking in a dog is not a trivial act and is not done on a whim that you will regret after a month or two. It is therefore important to make sure that you really want it and that you are able to give it the care and attention it needs.

How to choose the ideal dog for an elderly person?

The criteria for choosing a dog breed are defined according to the possibilities of the owner.

Unless the senior citizen is a great sportsman and still jogs or cycles every day, or simply goes for long walks in nature, it is better to avoid taking in a hunting dog or a working dog. These animals need to exercise every day. Living with an owner who is very sedentary or who cannot accompany his dog on walks for health reasons may not be suitable for the animal. A pet dog is therefore preferable and represents the ideal pet for an elderly person.

In the vast majority of cases, we recommend :
  • A dog that is already trained: a well-trained adult animal requires less energy than a puppy that has everything to learn.
  • A dog of a reasonable size, as a large dog can be unsuitable for the physical abilities of some seniors, especially if it constantly pulls on its leash. Let's not forget that large breed dogs or giants can weigh up to 80 kg, sometimes more, and are endowed with an incredible strength.
  • A breed reputed for its docility and its phlegm: it is however necessary to take into account that a dog is a unique being, and that within the same breed, certain canines can be much less calm than others. They are therefore less suited to share the daily life of a relatively sedentary or tired elderly person.
Finally, the dog you choose should be able to play alone and not disturb the restful moments that are essential to its owner.

Dog breeds suitable for seniors

Far from being THE list to follow to the letter - because let's remember that the choice of the animal depends on the physical capacities of the master - here are some dog breeds widely appreciated by seniors.
  • The Maltese : this adorable little dog is very intelligent and calm. Gentle, it is very affectionate and likes to show its great attachment to its master. It is better not to be away all day because it hates solitude.
  • The Poodle: intelligent and curious, this lively dog is perfectly suited to an active senior who does not hesitate to share daily walks with his little companion.
  • The Continental Toy Spaniel: hyper active when young, this faithful dog that follows its master everywhere becomes calmer and calmer over the years to the point where it loves to share the sofa sessions. It is therefore best to choose a dog that is at least 5 years old.
  • The Skye terrier: lively, he needs his little daily outings so that he can exercise. It is better to have a garden if you do not want to accompany him on every walk. But it is a dog which gives a lot of affection to its master to whom it is very attached. Intelligent, it is extremely easy to educate.
  • The dwarf Spitz or Loulou de Poméranie: although quite active by nature, it is very obedient. He likes the countryside as well as the city. Affectionate, he is very attached to his master.
  • The West Highland White Terrier: affectionate and independent, he likes to be surrounded. It is however a small active dog with a lively and mischievous character who loves to play. He has an extraordinary capacity of adaptation to his new place of life and to his new owner. He likes to live in a house or an apartment.
Other breeds are well adapted to the elderly because of their small size such as the Pug, the Pekingese, the Shih Tzu and the French Bulldog for example. But these are brachycephalic dogs. They are prone to many diseases because of the various manipulations and crossbreeding tending to exaggerate their physical characteristics (large head, crushed nose, etc.). They need a lot of veterinary care. In order not to encourage the sale of brachycephalic dogs, it is preferable to sound the alarm and to turn to other dog breeds that do not suffer from this syndrome.

Brachycephalic dog, explanations, breeds concerned, health

Brachycephaly is an aspect of the morphology obtained through crossbreeding and other manipulations in order to reach a hypertype. Let's discover the main characteristics of the brachycephalic dog, the breeds concerned, and what the aesthetic deviations desired by the amateurs of the kind have as consequences on the health of these pets.

Characteristics of the brachycephalic dog

Brachycephaly in dogs is characterized by :
  • A short skull, that is, wider than long,
  • A flat face
  • Bulging eyes.
These physical aspects are not natural. They have been obtained through genetic selection. To meet the expectations of many people seeking to welcome in their home a dog with an original physique, we did not hesitate to accentuate its anatomical characteristics. The hypertype is so pronounced today, that dogs of brachycephalic breeds are very exposed to health problems.

Brachycephaly: what are the health risks for dogs?

Brachycephalic syndrome is due to the anatomical malformations that these genetic selections have caused. The dogs are victims of :
  • Tracheal obstruction due to eversion of the ventricles of the larynx,
  • Edema of the larynx, or even its paralysis,
  • Hypoplasia of the trachea,
  • Respiratory problems due to a narrowing of the nasal cavity or stenosis of the nostrils,
  • An overdevelopment of the soft palate or hypertrophy of the soft palate,
  • Esophagitis, a chronic inflammation of the esophageal wall,
  • Gastritis, a chronic inflammation of the stomach wall.
The consequences on the health of the brachycephalic dog are the following:
  • Intolerance to effort,
  • Frequent regurgitation,
  • Vomiting,
  • Snoring,
  • Breathing difficulties.
As soon as environmental temperatures rise, these symptoms become more pronounced.

The heart of a brachycephalic dog is put to the test because of the constant breathing difficulties it has to compensate for in order to supply the organs with oxygen. For this reason, breeds affected by brachycephaly frequently develop secondary heart failure. As a result, the life expectancy of these canines is greatly shortened.

A brachycephalic dog with one or more of the symptoms described above should be followed by a veterinarian. In order to make a diagnosis, the animal health professional must perform different examinations, such as
  • An endoscopy to examine the larynx,
  • A thoracic X-ray to measure the extent of the damage to the heart, lungs and trachea.
To try to relieve these animals, veterinarians can opt for surgical interventions to open the nostrils (rhinoplasty) or to reduce the soft palate (palatoplasty). These operations can be performed on puppies and adult dogs. Sometimes, instead of surgery, the specialist opts for a laser intervention. This solution is necessary for an older dog, for example, because it causes less bleeding and limits the risk of post-operative inflammation.

Dog breeds affected by brachycephaly

The breeds of dogs with brachycephaly are the following:
  • The French Bulldog,
  • The English Bulldog,
  • The Boxer,
  • The Pug,
  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
  • The Shih tzu,
  • The Boston Terrier,
  • The Shar pei,
  • The Pekingese,
  • The Cavalier King Charles spaniel,
  • The Lhasa apso.

Alerting public opinion to the dangers of brachycephaly

It is high time to alert public opinion on the dangers to which brachycephalic dogs are exposed because few of their owners are aware of the risks incurred by their little companions. But it is clear that some are in total denial. A general awareness could reduce the popularity of these dogs with flat faces and bulging eyes: unnatural characteristics that please their owners so much but make the animals suffer. Clearly, by burying their heads in the sand, they are unlikely to investigate why their dogs are at such serious health risk.

If fewer brachycephalic dogs were sold, there would be a better chance of eliminating the problem and eventually stopping the abuse. Let's not forget that there are more and more uncertified breeders who make a lot of money selling brachycephalic dogs.

The Borzoi or Russian Greyhound, a dog with a noble look

The Russian Borzoi or Sighthound has risen rapidly in Russia due to its noble appearance. It is considered one of the most spectacular breeds of sighthounds. It is a great hunter, but it can also be a calm and devoted pet.

Characteristics of the Borzoi

Possessing a certain elegance, the Borzoi has a slender body and an aristocratic air that recalls its links with the greyhound. It also has an imposing size harmoniously combined with a gesture full of finesse and balanced proportions. It can measure up to 85 cm and weigh up to 45 kg. The Borzoi is immediately recognizable by its particularly fine and narrow head with an almost absent stop and a muzzle longer than the skull. It reveals an expression of intelligence and gentleness by its wide-set, almond-shaped eyes. They can be arranged obliquely and have a dark brown or dark hazel color. As for the ears, they are carried high and are also fine and small, so as not to stand out from the rest of the body. This dog has a short, shiny and silky coat. The coat can be of different colors: plain white, white-brushed, white-fawn or white-black. It can also go in shades of gray or gold. Only brown and blue are forbidden.

History of the Borzoi breed

The origins of the Borzoi remain relatively unclear. However, it is said that this breed has existed for 900 years. It is said to be the result of a cross between the Laika and the Tazi or the Sloughi which are Asian sighthounds. This breed is an integral part of Russian culture. It was very appreciated by poets such as Tourgueniev and Pushkin and by some tsars who shaped the history of the country, such as Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible or Nicolas II. Unfortunately, because of the Russian revolution, the race almost disappeared. Fortunately, it was exported to England, Western Europe and the United States, which allowed it to be saved and developed. The official recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) took place in 1956.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Borzoi

The Borzoi reveals two personalities. On the one hand, it can be reserved and quiet. However, behind this "sleeping water" hides a fiery character that reveals ardor and dynamism. Cohabiting with this breed will reserve you many surprises. Because of its highly developed hunting instinct, living with small animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits or cats may be a little complicated. It will be necessary to push its socialization to calm it. In addition, this dog is not always ready to submit to the whims of children. Children must treat him with respect. Besides, it is a sporty animal that needs to let off steam as much as possible.

Food and main health problems of the Borzoi

Like large dogs, the Borzoi is susceptible to stomach torsion problems. To avoid this, it is advisable to divide the meals of the day in several times. This breed can also be prone to Borzoi retinopathy which affects many greyhounds. Skin problems are also to be monitored.

The Great Blue of Gascony, a very old breed of dog

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is one of the oldest French dog breeds. This little known dog seems to come from elsewhere with its bluish coat. Excellent in hunting activities, it is also fully involved as a pet. Its joy of living and its sweetness are among its main qualities.

Characteristics of the Great Blue of Gascony

Nobility and tranquility, these are the qualifiers that best describe the appearance of the Great Blue of Gascony. This dog has a strong musculature and a powerful body. It is also large since it measures between 62 and 72 cm at the withers and weighs up to 35 kg, depending on the sex. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has a slightly domed skull, a full forehead and a moderately marked stop. Its head is recognizable by the two black spots present on both sides and reaching the eyes, the ears and the cheeks.

Brown in color, the eyes always seem sad because of the slight slackening of the eyelid. The fine, drooping and long ears are in papillotes and end with a tip in the shape of point. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has a short, dense and thick coat speckled with a beautiful duo of black and white. The presence of bluish slate effect on the coat is one of the particularities of this breed. The lips, cheeks, limbs, inner part of the ear and under the tail may also have tan markings.

History of the breed Grand Bleu de Gascogne

The origins of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne go back a long way, more precisely to the 14th century. At that time, its existence in the region of Gascony is reported. This breed is said to be the result of a hybridization between hounds and the Saint-Hubert dog. It excelled in hunting large game such as wild boar, bear, wolf and many others. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is best known in the south and southwest of France. Its reputation has difficulty to exceed the French borders. In order to conform to modern needs, selective crossbreeding has been carried out and has resulted in the Petit Bleu de Gascogne, which is smaller in size.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Greater Biscayan Blue

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a dog essentially used in hunting activities. It is a very courageous animal with an indisputable stamina that allows it to chase prey more easily. It also has a very developed sense of smell and expresses very particular barks assimilated to howls. However, the Great Blue of Gascony can also live with families looking for a calm, docile and friendly companion. But it will be necessary to be careful if other animals are present in the house like cats or NAC, because its instinct of hunter can take the top and it will start to chase them.

Diet and main health problems of the Great Blue Biscay

The health of the Great Blue Biscay is rather good. Nevertheless, there are specific pathologies that need to be properly monitored, such as ectropion which concerns the eyelids. Over the years, this dog can also be a victim of arthritis. Finally, because of its large ears, it may develop ear infections. As for his diet, there is nothing specific. It is enough that it adapts to its physical activities and its appetite.

Anaplasmosis in dogs: symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention

Anaplasmosis in dogs can be extremely serious and even fatal if left untreated. It is one of the diseases transmitted by certain ticks. It is very important to consult a veterinarian if the dog is not eating well and is generally unwell. Let's take a look at anaplasmosis in dogs, its symptoms, its exact cause, its treatment, and let's see if it is possible to prevent this disease.

Anaplasmosis in dogs: symptoms

Dog anaplasmosis or granulocytic anaplasmosis can cause some of the following symptoms.
  • Fever (body temperature over 39°C)
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia),
  • Increased thirst (the dog drinks more than before),
  • Weight loss,
  • Water retention leading to edema of some subcutaneous tissues,
  • Anemia,
  • Discoloration of the mucous membranes,
  • Inflammation of the uvea (uveitis),
  • Coughing,
  • State of depression,
  • Lethargy,
  • Petechiae (subcutaneous hemorrhages),
  • Lameness of unknown cause,
  • Joint pain,
  • Polyarthritis,
  • Swollen lymph nodes,
  • Neurological signs (e.g. poor coordination of movements).
It is essential to consult a veterinarian if you notice that your dog's health is declining and that one or more of the symptoms listed above are present. It is very likely that he was bitten by a tick several weeks or months ago. In addition, in many cases, the dog may develop Lyme disease in addition to anaplasmosis. This is called co-infection.

Causes of anaplasmosis in canines

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a bacterium transmitted to the dog by certain ticks. The animal then develops a serious infection: anaplasmosis. After the bite of a tick carrying pathogens, the disease develops insidiously and the first symptoms can be felt by the dog only after several months. This is the reason why a veterinarian may have some difficulty in spontaneously diagnosing this disease.

This serious pathology causes the destruction of certain white blood cells. These are neutrophil granulocytes or neutrophil polynuclear cells that are produced in the bone marrow.

Dog anaplasmosis is not transmissible to humans. However, there is a form of human anaplasmosis, also caused by ticks.

How should a dog with anaplasmosis be treated?

To confirm the diagnosis of anaplasmosis in dogs, the veterinarian cannot simply perform an auscultation. He or she needs to study the results of additional tests such as a blood test and serology to verify the number of platelets, the number and composition of leukocytes, among other things. A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is also essential to positively identify anaplasmosis.

Treatment of anaplasmosis in dogs is based on the prescription of antibiotics, and the dosage is adapted on a case-by-case basis. The veterinarian must take into account the test results, the age of the animal, its sex and weight. This type of treatment is really very effective since the symptoms disappear, depending on how long they have been present, between 48 and 72 hours. After two weeks, new tests must be done to verify that the bacteria in question has completely disappeared.

It is very important that the dog be treated as soon as possible because if left untreated, anaplasmosis can be fatal.

Can anaplasmosis be prevented in dogs?

The prevention of anaplasmosis requires the protection of the dog against ticks. There are various natural solutions that act as a preventive or curative measure. Moreover, after each walk in the nature, it is essential to check if ticks have not settled on the animal's body. If so, don't wait to remove them by simply using a tick remover or by asking the veterinarian to do it.

Vigilance is fundamental: every dog owner must lead a merciless fight against pathogens because they transmit diseases whose gravity is recognized. Protecting your dog from ticks can help prevent many health problems.

What to feed your puppy?

The puppy needs a diet adapted to his age to develop harmoniously and remain in good health. Feeding your puppy well is essential to increase his life expectancy. You must therefore make sure to give him excellent quality growth food that provides all the nutrients he needs as he grows.

What does a puppy need?

As long as he is fed by his mother, she transmits the immunity that protects him. Once weaned, i.e. as soon as he reaches the age of 6 to 8 weeks, the young dog must continue to be protected by his immune system.

The owner should therefore choose a diet adapted to the age of his little companion, of course, but also to his weight, his activity and his breed. It is out of the question to overfeed your puppy because it exposes him to the risk of obesity. On the other hand, it is essential that the food meet his nutritional needs.

Since the puppy's body is still fragile and his digestive system is immature, the animal must be given a personalized diet. This must allow for the mineralization of its bones and teeth while providing the puppy with the energy it needs on a daily basis, i.e. twice as much as an adult dog.

The intake of vitamin D, iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium and proteins must be sufficient, while it is recommended to avoid carbohydrates in puppies because they increase the risk of
  • Of cardiovascular problems,
  • Overweight,
  • Diabetes,
  • Kidney failure.
We choose a perfectly dosed and balanced industrial food, designed for young dogs, and in relation to the animal's growth rate. In a large breed puppy, the adult size is reached only at the age of 2 years while in a small breed puppy, the growth is completed around 10 months.

Finally, it is preferable not to vary the puppy's diet. If you don't respect this dietary rule, you risk damaging his intestinal microbiota and causing diarrhea, abdominal pain and, in some cases, skin problems.

Feeding your puppy well: forbidden foods

The puppy is a greedy and voracious animal. He is therefore capable of eating just about anything. That's why his owner must be very vigilant, especially when the family includes young children, who are ready to share their snacks with their little companion. However, many food products intended for humans can represent a real danger for animals, some of them being even toxic for canines.

Here are some examples of foods that are not allowed for puppies:
  • Avocado,
  • Milk,
  • Sweets,
  • Salty products,
  • Chocolate.
More generally, you should avoid giving your puppy the leftovers of family meals.

As for meat, it should always be cooked. This limits the risks of contamination by bacteria.

Puppy's daily diet

Feeding your puppy well doesn't mean stuffing him so he doesn't miss anything! On the contrary, you should give him a little at a time, but more often than if he were an adult dog. It is important to respect the number of meals recommended by the veterinarians on a daily basis:
  • From 2 to 3 months: 4 rations,
  • Between 4 and 6 months: 2 to 3 rations,
  • From the age of 2 months: 2 rations only.
As for the ideal quantity for each ration, it is clearly indicated on the packaging of the food and must be respected. It's best to moisten dry kibble and then partially crush it, at least until the puppy is 10 weeks old. Kibble helps the animal keep its teeth healthy because it is a crunchy food.

It is recommended to always be aware of the ingredients in the kibble you are giving your puppy and to only choose high quality products. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian for advice.

Fresh, clean water

Water is part of a puppy's diet. The animal should never lack water. A bowl of fresh water should be provided, and renewed during the day so that it is always clean. The puppy should be able to come and drink at any time. However, it's best to leave only a moderate amount of water in the bowl because the puppy may be tempted to drink a lot too quickly, which is not desirable. Ideally, he should drink frequently, but not much at a time.

Regularly check your puppy's weight

In order to verify that the puppy's growth is harmonious and that he is not getting fat too fast, it is essential to check his weight by weighing him regularly. This will allow you to compare your puppy's growth curve with the one that corresponds to the breed's standards based on the puppy's sex and age.

Making sure your dog doesn't become obese means taking care of his health for his entire life. Let's not forget that, as in humans, excess weight in dogs considerably increases health problems. Weight control should be done regularly in puppies but also in adult dogs.

Why are spikelets dangerous for dogs? What precautions should be taken?

The spikelet is an inflorescence that can easily be seen in nature from spring to fall. A real threat to the health of dogs, it not only clings to their coat but penetrates the body through any natural orifice of the animals or through their epidermis and even their pads. The consequences can be extremely serious if left untreated. At the slightest doubt, it is therefore necessary to consult a veterinarian urgently. Let's discover the particularities of this wild oat, the symptoms it causes in dogs, the health risks and the precautions to take to protect your little friend.

What are spikelets?

A spikelet is a small spike with florets. It is the inflorescence of certain plants such as those belonging to the grass family (Poaceae).

When it reaches maturity, the spikelet dries and then detaches from its stem and clings to the clothes of walkers as well as to the fur of dogs, cats and other animals. Under its harmless appearance, the spikelet represents a real danger for the health of our small companions, and particularly our dogs.

Spikelets: travelling spikes

Once the spikelet or spigaou clings to the dog's paw pads or hair, it can inexorably penetrate deep into the epidermis and pierce it. It then continues its journey into the animal's organs or tissues. The tip of the spikelet being very sharp, the spike progresses very quickly, always in the same direction. This is why it is called the "traveler".

The spikelet can also enter the dog's body through the eyes and any orifice: the ear canal, nostrils, anus, genital tract, etc. It can then cause damage and the dog can die. In this case, it causes damage and the animal can suffer serious complications.

Spiracles in dogs: what are the health risks?

Depending on its location, and therefore the way it enters the body, the spikelet can cause, for example, in a dog or female dog

  • An abscess,
  • An ulceration,
  • An alteration of the cornea,
  • A respiratory problem,
  • A vaginitis,
  • A perforation of the tympanum,
  • Inflammation of the ear canal.

Symptoms that should alert you

Once the spikelet has penetrated the tissues or organs, which only takes a few days, the dog may present certain symptoms, namely
  • An abscess on the skin,
  • A high temperature, i.e. higher than 39°C,
  • A lameness,
  • A watery, red and swollen eye.
  • Frequent sneezing,
  • A nosebleed.
In some cases, the dog shakes its head strangely as if something is bothering it, and this attitude is repeated regularly. It may also lick itself locally with insistence.

Do not hesitate to take your dog to a veterinarian if you suspect that a spikelet has entered a pad, the skin or any orifice. Only a professional can remove the spike completely and check for any damage it may have caused. Of course, the sooner a veterinarian is consulted, the more likely it is that complications will be limited.

Let's not forget that the symptoms described above can lead us to suspect the presence of a spikelet, but they can also find their origin in different pathologies. The animal must therefore be treated.

Additional examinations are often necessary to identify the origin of the dog's symptoms and to locate the spikelet or identify an underlying disease.

Spikelets in dogs: what solutions?

Once it is completely buried in the tissues, the spikelet becomes invisible from the outside and since it leaves little or no trace on the epidermis, its localization is problematic, especially since it moves rapidly.

The earliest possible consultation facilitates the removal of the spikelet. But if it has completely penetrated, the dog must be anesthetized so that the veterinarian can remove the spigaou. The veterinarian will then administer the appropriate treatment, as the spikelet - as we have seen - can cause various health problems in the animal.

Spikelets: what not to do

The owner should never try to remove a spikelet embedded in the skin of his dog because the slightest residual fragment will continue its progression in the tissues or towards an organ and will cause havoc. Similarly, it is recommended not to apply any disinfectant or lotion because the local friction may encourage the penetration of the spikelet or one of its fragments.

To limit the risks of seeing your dog's health deteriorate, it is essential to inspect it after a walk in the country or simply when it has been frolicking in the lawn. Spikelets are also very present in gardens where the grass is quite high. You should check the coat, the pads and all the openings of your pet, being particularly vigilant when inspecting the ear canals of a dog with floppy ears.

As a preventive measure, you should brush your dog's coat regularly, especially if it is a long-haired or curly-haired breed such as the Afghan Greyhound and the Poodle. When appropriate, a groomer can be called in to cut the dog's hair short, at least during the spike season.

At the same time, if you have a lawn or a meadow, it is essential to regularly devote some time to its maintenance. Mowing and raking will remove as many spikelets as possible and protect the health of your pets.