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What are the main allergies of dogs?

In industrialized countries, the number of allergy sufferers has increased considerably over the last 20 years, to the point where it is estimated that 25 to 30% of the population is now affected by an allergy. This does not only concern humans, but also pets. Yes, a dog can be allergic! The idea may have occurred to you by observing your pet's behavior: it scratches, bites, licks itself excessively... So what are the main allergies that affect dogs?

Allergy to flea bites


Flea bites can trigger an allergy in dogs that are hypersensitive to the protein present in flea saliva. This allergy then causes dermatitis, which is the most common pruritic dermatitis in dogs. This exacerbated reaction to flea bites (one bite can be enough) results in severe itching in the animal.

The dermatitis is usually located near the bottom of the spine, on the back of the thighs and on the flanks. It produces mostly pink to red, slightly raised pimples, superficial abrasions and scabs due to the animal's intense scratching. Sometimes this can develop into painful, oozing sores.

The diagnosis of this allergy is not always easy. The appearance of the lesions and the particular locations can help but, depending on the density and length of the dog's hair, the presence of fleas is not always easy to identify.

The treatment consists first of all in the administration of an anti-pruritic product to manage the allergic itching. It is also necessary to remove the fleas that have settled on the animal's back. And this is more difficult than you might think.

The quality of the application of the flea control product is essential to ensure its effectiveness. Ideally, it takes two people to do it properly: one person holds the pet and spreads the hair while the second person applies the product to the skin. But the effectiveness of a perfectly applied product is only 99.5% initially, dropping to 95% afterwards: not enough to kill all the fleas at the times when they are most numerous. No current insecticide is therefore effective enough to prevent the first bite, the one that will trigger the allergy. The animal will have been bitten one too many times, even if the flea dies soon after.

Atopy


Atopy is a chronic skin disease that results from skin barrier abnormalities combined with an allergic reaction. The allergens can be dust mites or pollens. This allergy is rarely food or microbial.

It is favored by the animal's genetics and is more common in French and English bulldogs, West Highland white terriers, Bull terriers, Jack Russel terriers, Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Boxers.

This disease is characterized by itching or irritation of the face, extremities and anal region. Only a veterinarian can make the diagnosis because the response to corticosteroids is one of the elements to take into account. The disease can create complications such as superinfection of irritations by bacteria.

Tests are performed by the veterinarian to find out what is causing the allergy in the dog. Once the cause has been identified, treatment of the disease is not uniform because the skin barrier must be strengthened, superinfections must be controlled, and inflammation and itching must be reduced. Desensitization of the dog is possible but not effective in all dogs.

Food allergy


In dogs, a food allergy is triggered by a food that he does not tolerate: meat, cereal, etc. Most dogs are allergic to only one food, but in some animals, the allergy may involve several foods.

In addition to the appearance of pimples or patches on the dog's skin, as with the allergies previously discussed, diarrhea, excessive flatulence and increased daily droppings may indicate a food allergy. Vomiting is also possible.

Food allergies represent only 1% of skin disorders. No breed is more susceptible than another. The most complicated step will be to identify the food that is causing the problem for the animal. To do this, the veterinarian will set up an avoidance diet, which consists of feeding the dog food that it has never eaten. This diet is spread over a minimum of two months. It is followed by a challenge test to understand what food triggers the allergy. Obviously, once the food has been identified, the only effective treatment is to never offer it to the dog again. As dog treats are made with a large number of products, they should be removed from the dog's diet.

Contact allergy


Contact allergy is present in dogs whose skin is very sensitive to contact with certain substances. In order for there to be a reaction, the contact must be made with the skin or mucous membranes. This allergy manifests itself by irritation and skin lesions on areas such as the belly, the legs, the neck (where he wears his collar) or the chin.

The dog scratches everywhere, a discoloration of the skin and a strong smell are characteristic, as well as the loss of hair on the concerned area. Once the problem substances are identified, the dog should be prevented from coming into contact with them.

See a specialist if your dog has an allergy


Allergy is an abnormal and excessive reaction of the immune system to an allergen. This can be embarrassing for the dog and costly for the owner, as it can be a long and difficult process for the veterinarian.

As many other diseases can cause the symptoms described here, it is necessary to seek the services of a veterinarian to provide the appropriate care for the animal.

What are the 10 most common diseases in dogs?

If more and more dog owners take out an insurance policy with a mutual pet insurance company, it is to protect the health of their little companion at a lower cost. Some pathologies can indeed affect these animals, and in the most serious cases, engage the vital prognosis. In some cases, the treatment is long and very expensive. Here are the ten diseases frequently encountered in canines.

Hip dysplasia


This genetic disease causes lameness and rigidity in dogs. It can become disabling if left untreated. Hip dysplasia is very common in large dogs such as Danes and German Shepherds.

Distemper


This viral disease causes a lack of appetite, vomiting, high fever and a cough of varying severity. The distemper requires an emergency consultation. It is a very contagious dog disease that can be prevented by vaccination.

Infectious gastroenteritis


It is also called parvovirosis. This highly contagious viral disease is fatal, so it is an extreme emergency. Its symptoms are mainly hemorrhagic diarrhea, vomiting and a sudden state of lethargy. Puppies are the most exposed. It is important to have your dog vaccinated to protect him from the risk of contagion.

Lyme disease


Transmitted by ticks, this disease causes symptoms after a long incubation period such as great fatigue, inflammation of the joints, high fever and a drop in appetite. The prevention of this disease is always done by removing the parasites with a tick remover, vaccination and the use of a tick repellent. All breeds of dogs are affected by Lyme disease.

Dilatation-torsion of the stomach


This is an absolute emergency because the animal's life is in danger. Large dogs are more prone to this very serious pathology which causes very violent pain in its victim. The dog that suffers from a dilatation-torsion of the stomach can't vomit, drools, is agitated, and its stomach starts to swell. Always avoid feeding your dog a large meal before an outing, as this can promote this condition.

Piroplasmosis


It is a serious disease, frequent in dogs. It is transmitted by ticks. Piroplasmosis causes great fatigue, lack of appetite, depression, jaundice and red urine. It is necessary to consult urgently.

Cystitis


This inflammation of the bladder wall should be suspected when the dog urinates often but little at a time, the micturition is painful and the urine bloody. Cystitis, which most frequently affects females but males can also be affected, can be of bacterial origin. However, a tumor or stones are other possible causes.

Tetanus


Another emergency case, tetanus is a serious infection transmitted to the dog by a virus following a wound or a bite. If left untreated, it can lead to the death of the animal. It is responsible for intense pain, muscle spasms of the body and face, general weakness, high fever and respiratory problems that can lead to asphyxia. The dog can be saved if tetanus is diagnosed early enough.

Renal failure


The chronic form of this disease affects mostly older dogs, and the acute form can occur in dogs of any age. Symptoms that should be alerted include loss of appetite, bad breath (halitosis), pain when urinating, vomiting, diarrhea and severe fatigue. It is necessary to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible because kidney failure leads to the progressive destruction of the kidneys.

Rabies


Rabies is a zoonosis, which means that this disease is transmissible to humans. Although less frequent today, this viral encephalitis remains a concern in certain departments of the national territory and even more so in many countries of the world. In France, its declaration to the authorities is mandatory. It is a fatal pathology, in other words an absolute emergency. It is transmitted by bite. The rabies virus causes neurological symptoms because it reproduces in the brain of its victim. These symptoms can include itching, swallowing problems, paralysis and behavioral changes. Anti-rabies vaccination is mandatory for certain breeds of dogs and for any dog that has to travel.

The Briquet Griffon Vendéen, a dog with a strong character

The Briquet Griffon Vendéen excels in hunting activities. Because of its multiple talents, it is a breed that is very appreciated by hunters, but which has also found its place among families as a pet. Although it has a strong character, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen is affectionate and lively.

Characteristics of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen


A medium-sized hound, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen has a harmonious morphology, with a stocky yet athletic appearance. Its size is rather average and generally oscillates between 50 and 55 cm if it is a male and 48 to 53 cm for the opposite sex. The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has a relatively light skull. Not very wide, the skull is a bit rounded and has a pronounced stop. The nose is black, but it displays a brown color if the coat is orange or white. The lively and expressive eyes are large and reveal a beautiful dark tone. The eyebrows are very thick because of the density of the coat, but according to the standard, they should not hide the eye excessively, especially to avoid the appearance of conjunctivitis. The thin and flexible ears are set low. The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has a long bushy coat that is not necessarily soft to the touch. It can have various coats: fawn charcoal, black and white or fawn, with sandy markings, etc.

History of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen breed


The Briquet Griffon Vendéen is a smaller size than its ancestor the Grand Griffon Vendéen. This race exists since the XVIth century in the eponymous region. It appeared under the impulse of the Count of Elva to whom the creation of the initial lines is attributed. After the Second World War, which led to the virtual disappearance of the breed, breeding programs were accelerated in Fontenay le Comte. This dog is very popular with big game hunters, as it has all the strength needed to attack this type of prey. However, it is a rare and confidential breed.

Living conditions and behavior of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen


According to the standard, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen shows endurance and initiative especially in hunting activities. It is passionate about this activity and puts all its ardor to achieve its goals. Intelligent and determined animal, it can be duly converted into a pet dog. It is affectionate without being invasive and has energy to spare, which allows it to participate in all the playful or sporting activities in family. Beware, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen is not made for a city life in an apartment. He needs a house with a garden to feel good. Physical exercise must also be scheduled on a regular basis.

Diet and main health problems of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen


The Briquet Griffon Vendéen is not demanding in its diet. As long as it meets its energy needs and contains all the essential nutrients, it is sufficient. As far as health is concerned, this breed is not prone to any disease.

The Braque Saint-Germain, sociable dog

Specialized in hunting with feathers and excellent in hunting with fur, the Braque Saint-Germain is a hit for its versatility. At home, it is an outstanding pet that distinguishes itself by its sociability and its nobility. Even the youngest children can count on him.

Characteristics of the Braque Saint-Germain


The Saint-Germain Pointer shows its authenticity by its elegant and powerful physique. This medium-sized dog has a well-developed bone structure and musculature. It is relatively medium in size and is between 54 and 62 cm. It weighs between 18 and 26 kg but it depends on the sex and the age. The Braque Saint-Germain gives off nobility accentuated by its head with a slightly rounded skull, a slightly marked stop and a developed occiput. The pink truffle as well as the lips are wide while the jaws are powerful. The round eyes are large and reveal an expression of sweetness and frankness. Their golden yellow shade makes their particularity. The dog has ears of intermediate size with round tips. The Braque Saint-Germain has a short coat revealing a beautiful white dress punctuated by fawn touches.

History of the Braque Saint-Germain breed


The Braque Saint-Germain is a French breed created by Jean Charles Nicolas de Larminat. It appeared in the XIXth century in the forest of Compiègne and would be resulting from a crossing between French braques and English pointers. The existence of the breed is mentioned since the time of Charles X who was an avid hunter. Moreover, the Braque Saint-Germain saw its popularity increase tenfold at the beginning of the 20th century among hunting enthusiasts. It was so successful that in 1913, a club in its honor was created. Like many dog breeds, it was close to extinction during the First World War. Its official recognition by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) dates from 1954.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Braque Saint-Germain


The Braque Saint-Germain excels in hunting activities. Indeed, it develops an exceptional sense of smell which enables it to track game in different terrains. As a pet, it is the dog that we would all dream of having. It is sociable, affectionate and sensitive. It is also recognized balance and docility. He is obedient, which makes his education more or less easy. But be careful, the Braque Saint-Germain does not tolerate violence and brutality. No question of mistreating him. It is necessary to be patient and gentle in order to obtain quicker results. As far as his lifestyle is concerned, the Braque Saint-Germain prefers houses with a garden. An evolution in apartments is possible only if regular outings are organized.

Food and main health problems of the Braque Saint-Germain


It is imperative to provide the Braque Saint-Germain with a quality diet to ensure its longevity. It is possible to choose between industrial food, homemade food or even a BARF diet. As far as his health is concerned, it is recommended to watch for the appearance of hip dysplasia, stomach torsion, ear infections or skin diseases.

What are the water needs of dogs? Our advice

It is very important to make sure that your dog drinks enough throughout the day and do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you notice that he is not drinking enough. Be aware that a dog's water needs vary depending on the weather conditions and many other factors. A dog that drinks too much may be sick. But what are the risks for a dog that drinks too little or not at all, and how can this be explained? What is the best water for your dog and how can you encourage him to drink if he is not thirsty? Let's find out.

Dogs: varying water needs


We consider that a dog in normal time must drink between 5 and 7 cl of water per kilo, that is to say for example :
  • From 30 to 42 cl for a 6 kg dog,
  • From 50 to 70 cl for a dog of 10 kg,
  • From 75 cl to 1 L for a dog of 15 kg,
  • From 1,5 to 2,10 L for a dog of 30 kg,
  • 3 to 4.2 L for a dog weighing 60 kg,
  • 5 L and more for a dog weighing 80 kg.
These quantities vary according to the following factors:

  • Environmental temperatures: the needs increase in case of strong heat,
  • Breastfeeding in the bitch: a nursing bitch that does not drink enough milk produces less milk. It should be noted that during the reproductive period the bitch drinks up to 3 times more than usual,
  • Diet: dry food such as kibble requires the dog to drink at least the quantities specified above, and if the food is rich in water (wet food such as homemade preparations or dog food), it is normal for him to drink much less,
  • Growth: young dogs need twice as much water as adult dogs,
  • Body temperature: a dog with a fever tends to drink more than usual,
  • Health conditions: some diseases increase the sensation of thirst in dogs, so they consume more water. Excessive thirst is a symptom called polydipsia. Examples of these diseases include:
    • Gastroenteritis,
    • Diabetes,
    • Kidney failure,
    • Liver failure,
    • Potomania (in this case, it is more of a ritual found in dogs with hyperactivity),
    • Pyometra (bitch),
    • Hypercorticism,
    • Cushing's syndrome,
    • Certain malignant tumors.
The more active a dog's metabolism is, the more water it needs without being considered abnormal. Part of this water is evacuated through urine, feces, respiration, perspiration, and another part allows the proper functioning of the organs.

But under normal conditions, if a dog drinks more than necessary, it is essential to consult the veterinarian without delay in order to identify the cause. On the other hand, it is also necessary to consult urgently because there is a real danger when a dog drinks insufficiently. He risks dehydration, which means that his body is cruelly lacking water. After a few days, if the dog is still not drinking, it will die.

What is the best water for my dog?


The best drink to give your dog is water. You might as well give him the one he prefers. Tap water is fine, but if it has a yellowish color or a strong bleach taste, it is possible to give your dog bottled spring water. Some dogs have a fine palate and do not appreciate the taste of certain waters. The main thing is that he drinks regularly and sufficiently, so don't hesitate to buy the one that suits him best. It's the same for the choice of the container: if he prefers to drink in a transparent pot rather than an opaque one, don't worry about it.

The owner must make sure that his dog has free access to his water bowl at all times so that he can drink as soon as he feels the need. Water is the only essential drink for life. It must always be fresh and clean. So don't hesitate to empty the bowl during the day or just before bedtime to clean it thoroughly each day and renew the water.

How to encourage your dog to drink water?


A dog that does not drink enough water should be encouraged by his owner to drink more water or to rehydrate in another way. This is very important for the health of the animal, whatever its age. Different solutions work well.

Prepare your dog's meals yourself, for example with cooked zucchini, as these are very water-rich vegetables. If your dog likes the taste, you can also offer him watermelon cubes, provided they have been seeded beforehand.

Buy ready-to-use gel water, a product designed for people with swallowing problems, but which is very suitable for canines.

Use a pipette to drop small amounts of water directly into the dog's mouth throughout the day and night.

Place a few of his favorite treats around (and as close as possible to) his water bowl so that he will come close to it. It shouldn't take long for him to give the water a few licks, as it's cool as well as beneficial.

Put ice cubes in a new container. The surprise effect may encourage the dog to lick the ice cubes, and the freshness of the ice cubes is likely to encourage him to return.

Simply replace the water bowl with one that is completely different in shape, size and material, especially if the dog seems afraid to go near it. Some animals are afraid of their water bowl, because they have tipped it over several times, for example. Placing a mat under the bowl prevents the dog from pushing the bowl out of the way when he laps up the water, and this may be enough to reassure him.

Finally, it is important to know that if the dog refuses to drink, it may be that he is suffering from :
  • A behavioral problem. This is serious enough to justify an emergency consultation because none of the solutions listed above will encourage this type of profile to drink regularly.
  • Sensory deprivation syndrome which requires a real follow-up by a veterinary behaviorist. This is the case for :
    • Adipsia, i.e. a lack of thirst, a problem that may be related to a dysfunction of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus,
    • Hypodipsia, a term used to describe the loss of the sensation of thirst.
It can be seen that there are many causes that can prevent a dog from drinking enough. We cannot encourage the owner enough to do everything possible to identify the cause. The veterinarian will diagnose the problem and then find the right treatment or other solution for the dog.

What is a dog club? What is the interest for the dog and his owner ?

Many dog owners tend to think that a dog trainer has the same functions as a dog club. This is far from the case. A dog club is a place where you can practice sports with your dog, learn the basics of dog training and education, but it is certainly not the place to rehabilitate dogs with behavioral problems. Nevertheless, there is a real interest in attending a good dog club. Let's take a look at it.

The main missions of a dog club


A dog club is a structure that welcomes owners and their dogs in order to allow them :
  • The practice of some dog sports: depending on the club it can be canicross, caniVTT, ring, etc.,
  • To work on an Agility course,
  • To learn the educational rudiments such as
  • Positions (standing, lying down, sitting),
  • Tracking,
  • Walking on foot without a leash,
  • Walking on a leash,
  • Responding to a recall from a distance,
  • Refusing any type of bait from a third party other than the master...
  • To receive general advice on the dog's sociability with other dogs, with other animals and of course with humans.
The objectives of a dog club are not :
  • To rehabilitate a difficult dog,
  • To solve behavioral problems.

Clubs for dogs without problems


In general, the exercises are supervised by volunteer instructors or facilitators. The work is based on the immersion of the dog and his owner in a group. A dog club is only suitable for the human-dog pair, provided that the animal is neither timid nor aggressive and does not pose any behavioral problems. In most dog clubs, the objectives and advice are common but not personalized (unless otherwise stated) and the exercises are addressed to all members present at the session.

The rudiments of dog training are always carried out in the form of a game. Thus, dog training is positive. No punishment is given to the animal if it refuses to participate or fails to complete an exercise. On the other hand, the dog is always praised when its owner is satisfied. At a serious dog club, the owner learns to be consistent in his request and to take into account the personality of his pet.

In order for the exercises learned in a dog club to be perfectly assimilated by the dog and for the dog to progress, it is highly recommended that the owners repeat them on a daily basis with their pet, outside the club.

Membership in a dog club : the documents to be produced


Theoretically, a dog club requires the production of supporting documents (copies) at the time of any application for membership, namely
  • The certificate of civil liability insurance (RC insurance),
  • The certificate of declaration to the town hall if the dog to be registered is in the 1st category (attack dogs) or the 2nd category (guard and defense dogs),
  • The vaccination booklet up to date,
  • The anti-rabies certificate.
The file must also contain two stamped envelopes with the name and address of the dog owner.

Choosing an affiliated dog club


Before registering, it is important to find out how the sessions are run and the status and training of the instructors. It can also be very useful to know the opinions of the members of the different clubs in the region on the way they operate, because this allows you to compare and choose the structure that will best meet your expectations and the needs of your dog.

Joining a serious dog club, which has an excellent reputation, is a good solution to learn to better understand the behavior of his little companion, his mode of communication, his needs. It is in any case very favorable to the master as well as to the dog who will gradually get to know each other and share time together. You may want to opt for a dog club affiliated to the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) or at least get information from this society to obtain the desired information.

Be careful not to confuse a dog club with a dog trainer, whose roles are quite different. It is not recommended to contact a dog club to learn how to solve behavioral problems in your dog for example. In this case, it is essential to turn to a specialized professional such as a canine behaviorist.