Friday, October 18, 2013

dental health for your dog

Natural Dental Prevention: Common Sense In The Mouth

Smiling Dog WebOne area of the dog and cat that gets a lot of attention in conventional veterinary circles is teeth. Owners are admonished to brush their animals teeth daily, teeth cleanings are advised regularly by veterinarians, and animals lose teeth to decay or root abscesses.
It’s not at all uncommon to smell bad breath from a dog or cat, and, on examining mouths, one often sees teeth in various states of discoloration or calculus build up. What is all this?
It’s called chronic disease, and it is entirely man-made.

Check Out The Cousins In The Real World

Who can we refer to in order to get an accurate picture of what oral health should be? Why, the wolf or bobcat, of course.
Do wolves die toothless? Or live with decayed teeth, tartar encrusted teeth, or yellow teeth?
Of course not. And guess who’s brushing their teeth for them? Obviously, no one!
How is this possible?
Perhaps more importantly the question should be: how did we come to believe all this hype about teeth brushing and dentistry? And what sorts of things have we foisted on the animals that has caused all this dental disease?

Animals Out Of Context

It can only be that this chronic disease, like other forms mentioned elsewhere in this site, has come from our deviating from the wild model, raising our pets in ways that are quite different from that of their ancestors and wild cousins, the wolf and bobcat.
Many of these differences are mentioned throughout this website, notably in Feed for Vitality, Vaccination:Safety, Drug Free Heartworm Prevention, and Non-Toxic Flea control, all areas of man’s intervention. When you read these areas and thoroughly understand who we have in our households for pets, this section will make all the more sense.

A Simple Secret

So, the best-kept secret for dental prevention is simply this: feeding raw bones.
Regularly. Ideally daily. Why? Because this is an important missing ingredient in the diets of your pets that would be a natural part of every wolf’s diet. Once the meat and organs and digestive contents are finished from the prey they have successfully killed, chewing the bones would occupy a fair amount of time for these wild canids.
And, as they gnaw away on raw bones, what does your dog or cat receive?
An excellent source of available calcium, for one thing. One that balances the high level of phosphorus that is present in the meat. And a whole host of other good things, including blood building nutrients from the marrow, other minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids, immune enhancing vitamins, and bulk to help the bowels stay clean and the anal glands empty.
But what they receive physically is the best toothbrush available in the world! All that gnawing is literally scraping the tooth surfaces with a tooth friendly similar substance, a semi-hard polisher of enamel, and is a great exercise for the jaws and gums.

Good for Body, Good for Mind

Ever notice how content an animal chewing a bone looks? Eyes half closed, purposefully, peacefully gnawing away at something too big to eat in a couple bites, these guys are in pure bliss.
I highly suspect that if we measured, we’d find gobs of endorphins coursing through the blood vessels of these lucky savages.
["Gobs" is Missouri-ese for lots. Forgive me, that's where I went to vet school]
And guess what would be the happiest distraction of all when you’re leaving in the morning for work, and your “pack member” has to stay home alone? You bet. That big raw bone!

Sniff, Sniff. Ahhhh.

You’ll see a wondrous thing when you look in the mouth of a dog or cat who eats raw bones. My patients who do this are, without exception, sweet in the breath and white in the tooth. And their gums are a healthy pink, not red, not receding from the teeth, but hugging them like they should be, and never bleeding. These are the hallmarks of an animal who will never need to see a dentist!

How to Feed Bones

(I’ll mostly speak of dogs here, but cats can and should eat raw bones as well, just smaller ones, so keep reading if you are a cat caretaker.) If your dog is brand new to the idea of eating raw bones, it’s best to start gradually. The excitement of something so new and tasty can lead to over consumption and resulting constipation at first.
So, a great way to begin is with pieces of raw chicken neck. Start with a half of a neck for the average lab-sized dog, and an inch or two for a chihuahua. Feed this daily, ideally when your dog is between meals or prior to a meal, so those digestive juices are running high.
After a daily dose like this and seeing that the stools are not too hard, graduate to bigger pieces. That lab could have a whole neck or a drumstick next, meat and bone together, which could replace part of a meal.
By that I mean you can feed less of the food you normally offer to offset this well-balanced offering. The smaller mouthed dogs do well with chicken wings. And venture out into other kinds of bone, including turkey, pork, lamb, even beef, but always, always raw.
The closer you get to daily feeding, the healthier your pet will be, and the fresher the breath and cleaner the teeth. But even several days a week is a gracious plenty. [Okay, that slipped in from a Mississippian clinician who taught me large animal medicine in Missouri. But it has a nice ring to it, don't you think?]

Old Family Tales

Did you grow up hearing that, of all things to never do, you should never, ever, I mean not at all, feed chicken bones to your pet? That they would splinter and break and poke holes in the gut and necessitate surgery and maybe result in death? I did.
Our dogs got a few steak bones here and there, but never, never chicken bones. And they never had great teeth, though dentistry wasn’t such a big thing as it is now.
And I preached this no poultry bones idea faithfully to my clients, even after I began holistic practice in the early ’90s.
Preached it until I heard repeatedly from people that they had fed poultry bones to generations of dogs without problems.

Really? No Perforated Intestines?

It took a while to sink in, but I finally had to take my mind back to the drawing board. I asked myself, “Would a wolf eat a wild turkey?” Absolutely.
And, in eating that bird, would he eat the bones, too? Of course.
And did I ever hear of wolves dying of perforated intestines from this practice? No, never.
Could it be, then, that they were “built” to handle this, that nature designed these scavengers with digestive systems that could process poultry bones? It had to be the case.
So, I evolved to preach only that cooked poultry bones were a no-no, but encouraged raw. (And I’ve recently heard from another client that they’ve fed the cooked ones successfully for a long while… You decide. I wouldn’t harbor a great fear of this practice.)

Germ Theory

Have qualms about bacteria on the raw bones? Here’s an important page to read, Food Safety and Raw Meat.

Broken Teeth?

Concerned about breaking teeth? Perhaps you have a dog who’s already lost or broken some teeth? This is a problem in some unhealthy animals. Due to poor nutrition and vaccinations, they don’t have strong teeth. “Neck lesions,” aka FORLs, decay where the gum meets the tooth, are known to be caused by vaccines.
In these cases, you may never be able to graduate to the harder, larger bones, but chicken necks will still be a very usable bone for these animals. Beef bones are generally from older animals and are naturally harder, so they can be avoided in any animals you are unsure of as to dental strength.
But there are many, many dogs who thrive on these “all day suckers!” And what a great occupation when there’s nothing else happening in their world. I suspect that if you offered your dog a toothbrushing session or a bone, it’d be no contest!
Dog SmileSo, toss that toothbrush, chuck that enzymatic cleaner, and say goodbye to dental bills. Get those dogs and cats in the household on raw bones, and watch their mouths clean up. You’ll eliminate the anesthetic risk that goes with every cleaning. And you’ll be much happier getting face to face with that sweet-breathed friend of yours.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

more info from the book" Before you get your puppy" by Ian Dunbar

HOUSEHOLD ETIQUETTE - from the very first day your puppy comes home. Housetraining, chewtoy-training, and teaching your dog alternatives to recreational barking are by far the most pressing items on your puppy's educational agenda. From day one, employ errorless management teaching programs, comprising confinement schedules plus the liberal use of chewtoys (Kongs, Biscuit Balls, Squirrel Dudes, and sterilized longbones) stuffed with treats. Simple behavior problems are so easily preventable, yet they are the most common reasons for people's dissatisfaction with their dogs and the most common reasons for dog euthanasia. Without a doubt, behavior problems are the #1 terminal illness for domestic dogs. Teaching household manners should be your number one priority the first day your puppy comes home. #1 Urgency Rating — Household etiquette is by far the most pressing item on your new puppy's educational agenda. If you want to avoid annoying behavior problems, training must begin the very first day your puppy comes home. #3 Importance Rating — Teaching household etiquette is extremely important. Puppies quickly become unwelcome when their owners allow them to develop housesoiling, chewing, barking, digging, and escaping problems.

- during the first few days and weeks your puppy is at home. Sadly, the maddening pace of present-day domestic dogdom necessitates teaching your puppy how to enjoy spending time at home alone — not only to ensure your pup adheres to established household etiquette when unsupervised, but more importantly to prevent your puppy from becoming anxious in your absence. Normally, these go hand in hand because when puppies become anxious, they tend to bark, chew, dig, and urinate more frequently. From the outset, and especially during his first few days and weeks in your home, your puppy needs to be taught how to entertain himself quietly, calmly, and confidently. Otherwise he most certainly will become severely stressed when left at home alone. #2 Urgency Rating — Teaching your pup to confidently enjoy his own company is the second most urgent item on his educational agenda. It would be unfair to smother your puppy with attention and affection during his first days or weeks at home, only to subject the pup to solitary confinement when adults go back to work and children go back to school. During the first few days and weeks when you are around to monitor your puppy's behavior, teach him to enjoy quiet moments confined to his puppy playroom or doggy den. Especially be sure to provide some form of occupational therapy (stuffed chewtoys) for your puppy to busy himself and enjoyably pass the time while you are away. #4 Importance Rating — Preparing your puppy for time alone is extremely important both for your peace of mind (i.e., preventing housesoiling, chewing, and barking problems), and especially for your puppy's peace of mind. It is absolutely no fun for a pup to be over-dependent, stressed, and anxious.

- especially before twelve weeks of age but forever thereafter. Many puppy training programs focus on teaching your puppy to enjoy the company and actions of people. Well-socialized dogs are confident and friendly, rather than fearful and aggressive. Show all family members, visitors, and strangers how to get your puppy to come, sit, lie down, roll over, and enjoy being handled for pieces of kibble. Living with an undersocialized dog can be frustrating, difficult, and potentially dangerous. For undersocialized dogs, life is unbearably stressful. #3 Urgency Rating — Many people think that puppy classes are for socializing puppies with people. Not strictly true. Certainly puppy classes provide a convenient venue for socialized puppies to continue socializing with people. However, puppies must be well socialized toward people before they attend classes at twelve weeks of age. The time-window for socialization closes at three months of age, and so there is some urgency to adequately socialize your puppy to people. During your pup's first month at home, he needs to meet and interact positively with at least one hundred different people! #2 Importance Rating — Socializing your puppy to enjoy people is vital — second only in importance to your pup learning to inhibit the force of his bite and develop a soft mouth. Socialization must never end. Remember, your adolescent dog will begin to de-socialize unless he continues to meet unfamiliar people every day. Walk your dog or expand your own social life at home.

- between three months and eighteen weeks of age to establish reliable bite inhibition and forever after to maintain friendliness to other dogs. As soon as your puppy turns three months old, it is time to play catch up vis-a-vis dog-dog socialization, time for puppy classes, long walks, and visits to dog parks. Well-socialized dogs would rather play than bite or fight. And well-socialized dogs usually bite more gently, if ever they should bite or fight.#4 Urgency Rating — If you would like to have an adult dog who enjoys the company of other dogs, puppy classes and walks are essential, especially since many puppies have been sequestered indoors until they have been immunized against parvovirus and other serious doggy diseases (by the very earliest at three months of age).#6 Importance Rating — It is hard to rate the importance of dog-dog socialization. Depending on the lifestyle of the owners, dog-friendliness may be an unnecessary or an essential quality. If you would like to enjoy walks with your adult dog, early socialization in puppy classes and dog parks is essential. Surprisingly, though, very few people walk their dogs. Whereas large dogs and urban dogs tend to be walked quite frequently, small dogs and suburban dogs are seldom walked. Regardless of the desired sociability of your adult dog, dog-dog play and especially play-fighting and play-biting during puppyhood are absolutely essential for the development of bite inhibition and a soft mouth. For this reason alone, puppy classes and trips to the dog park are the top priority at three months of age.

- begin anytime you would like your puppydog to listen to you. If you teach your dog just a couple of commands, they would have to be Sit and Settle Down. Just think of all the mischievous things your puppydog cannot do when he is sitting. #5 Urgency Rating - Unlike socialization and bite inhibition which must occur during puppyhood, you may teach your dog to sit and settle down at any age, so there is no great urgency. However, because it is so easy and so much fun to teach young puppies, why not start teaching basic manners the very first day you bring your puppy home, or as early as four or five weeks if you are raising the litter? The only urgency to teach these simple and effective control commands would be if ever your puppy's antics or activity level begin to irritate you. Sit or Settle Down will solve most problems.#5 Importance Rating - It is difficult to rate the importance of basic manners. Personally, I like dogs that can enjoy being dogs without being a bother to other people. On the other hand, many people happily live with dogs without any formal training whatsoever. If you consider your dog to be perfect for you, make your own choice. But if you or other people find your dog's behavior to be annoying, why not teach him how to behave? Indeed, a simple sit prevents the majority of annoying behavior problems, including jumping-up, dashing through doorways, running away, bothering people, chasing his tail, chasing the cat, etc., etc. The list is long! It is so much easier to teach your dog how to act appropriately from the outset, i.e., to teach the one right way (e.g., to sit), rather than trying to punish the dog for the many things that you think he does wrong. Regardless, it would be unfair to get on your dog's case for bad manners if he is only breaking your rules that he didn't even know existed.

- by eighteen weeks of age. A soft mouth is the single most important quality for any dog. Hopefully, your dog will never bite or fight, but if he does, well-established bite inhibition ensures that your dog causes little if any damage. Socialization is an ongoing process of ever-widening experience and confidence building that helps your pup to comfortably handle the challenges and changes of everyday adult life. However, it is impossible to prepare your puppy for every possible eventuality, and on those rare occasions when adult dogs are badly hurt, frightened, scared, or upset, they seldom call a lawyer or write letters of complaint. Instead, dogs customarily growl and bite, whereupon the level of bite-inhibition-training from puppyhood predetermines the seriousness of the damage. Adult dogs with poor bite inhibition rarely mouth and seldom bite, but when they do, the bites almost always break the skin. Adult dogs with well-established bite inhibition often mouth during play, and should they bite, the bites almost never break the skin because during puppyhood the dog learned how to register a complaint without inflicting any damage.Bite inhibition is one of the most misunderstood aspects of behavioral development in dogs (and other animals). Many owners make the catastrophic mistake of stopping their puppy from mouthing altogether. If a puppy is not allowed to play-bite, he cannot develop reliable bite inhibition. Pups are born virtual biting machines with needle sharp teeth for one reason only — so that they learn their bites hurt before they develop the jaw strength to cause appreciable harm. However, they cannot learn to inhibit the force of their bites if they are never allowed to play-bite and play-fight. Bite inhibition training comprises first teaching the puppy to progressively inhibit the force of his bites until painful puppy play-biting is toned down and transformed into gentle puppy mouthing, and then, and only then, teaching him to progressively inhibit the incidence of his mouthing. Thus the puppy learns that any pressured bite is absolutely unacceptable and that mouthing is by and large inappropriate.#6 Urgency Rating - You have until your puppy is four and a half months old, so take your time to ensure your puppy masters this most important item in his educational curriculum. The more times your puppy bites in play, the safer his jaws will be as an adult since he has had more opportunities to learn that biting hurts. If you are at all worried about your puppy's biting behavior, seek further advice from a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) and enroll in a puppy class immediately, so that your puppy may redirect many of his bites towards other puppies during play sessions and so develop stellar bite inhibition.#1 Importance Rating - Bite inhibition is of crucial importance and by far the single most important quality of any dog, or any animal. Living with a dog that does not have reliable bite inhibition is unpleasant and dangerous. Bite inhibition must be acquired during puppyhood. You must fully understand how to teach your puppy bite inhibition. Attempting to teach bite inhibition to an adolescent or adult dog is often extremely difficult, dangerous, and time-consuming.

Adapted from BEFORE You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar

Before you get your puppy

Adapted from BEFORE You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar

If you have your heart set on raising and training a puppy, do make sure you train yourself beforehand. Remember, it takes only a few days to ruin an otherwise perfect puppy. Without a doubt, the most important developmental deadline comes before you even think of getting your puppy — your education about puppy education!

Many first-time puppy owners are surprised when they discover their new companion bites, barks, chews, digs, and marks the house with urine and feces. Yet these are all perfectly normal, natural, and necessary doggy behaviors.

Your canine newcomer is just itching to learn human house manners. He wants to please, but he needs to be taught how to please. It's no good keeping house rules a secret. Somebody has to tell the puppy. And that somebody is you.

Puppy Pointers

Whether selecting your prospective pup from a professional breeder or from a family breeding a litter for the very first time, the criteria are the same. Look for puppies raised indoors around human companionship and influence — specifically around people who have devoted lots of time to the puppies' education.

Your puppy needs to be prepared for the clamor of everyday domestic living — the noise of the vacuum cleaner, pots and pans dropping in the kitchen, football games screaming on the television, children crying, and adults arguing. Exposure to such stimuli while his eyes and ears are still developing allows the puppy (with his blurred vision and muffled hearing) to gradually become accustomed to sights and sounds that might otherwise frighten him when older.

Avoid pups that have been raised in an outdoor run or kennel. Remember, you want a puppy to share your home, so look for a puppy that has been raised in a home. Basement- and kennel-raised puppies are certainly not pet-quality dogs. They are "livestock" on par with veal calves and battery hens. They are neither housetrained nor socialized, and they do not make good companions. Look for litters that have been born and raised in a kitchen or living room.

Choosing a breed is a very personal choice — your choice. But you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary problems and heartbreak if your choice is an informed and educated one. Choose the breed you like, investigate breed-specific qualities and problems, and then research the best way to raise and train your pup. Make sure you test-drive several adult dogs of your selected breed or type before you make your final choice. Test-driving adult dogs will quickly teach you everything you need to know about a specific breed. Test-driving adult dogs will also pinpoint gaps in your education about dog behavior and training.

Regardless of your choice, please do not kid yourself that you will get a "perfect" adult dog simply by selecting the "perfect" breed and the "perfect" individual puppy. Any puppy can become a marvelous companion if appropriately socialized and trained. And, no matter what the breed or breeding, any puppy can also become a doggy delinquent if not properly socialized and trained. Please make an intelligent, researched choice when selecting your puppy, but remember: appropriate socialization and training is the single biggest factor determining how closely the dog will approach your view of perfection in adulthood.

No matter your eventual choice — success or failure is entirely in your hands. Your puppy's behavior and temperament now depend completely on good husbandry and training.

Your puppy's living quarters need to be designed so that housetraining and chewtoy-training are errorless. Each mistake is a potential disaster, since it heralds many more to come.

Long-term confinement prevents your puppy from learning to make mistakes around the house, and allows your puppy to teach himself to use an appropriate toilet, to settle down quietly and calmly, and to want to chew appropriate chewtoys. Confinement with chewtoys stuffed with treats teaches your puppy to enjoy his own company and prepares him for those times when he might be left at home alone.

Short-term close confinement also prevents your puppy from learning to make mistakes around the house, while allowing your puppy to teach himself to settle down quietly and calmly, and to want to chew appropriate chewtoys. Additionally, short-term confinement enables you to accurately predict when your puppy needs to relieve herself, so that you may take your puppy to an appropriate toilet area and reward her for using it. The knack of successful housetraining focuses on being able to predict when your puppy "wants to go."

Without a doubt the most important developmental deadline comes before you even begin your search for a puppy: namely, your education about puppy education. Just as you would learn how to drive before setting off in a car, you should learn how to raise and train a puppy before you get one.

Some owners want heaven and earth from their pups; others only demand magic and miracles. Owners want the puppy to be perfectly well-behaved and to amuse herself when left at home alone for hours on end. And they assume the pup will magically grow up to act this way without guidance.
It is simply not fair to keep house rules a secret from your puppy, only to moan and groan when she predictably finds doggy ways to entertain herself and break rules she didn't even know existed. If you have house rules, somebody needs to teach them to the puppy. And that somebody is you.

Luckily, dogs have their natural activity peaks at dawn and dusk, so many are quite happy to settle down and snooze the day away. However, some dogs are not. Some dogs are simply more active than others, and when left at home alone become exceedingly stressed and may destroy the house and garden in the space of a day.

Puppy owners are often surprised when their new puppy bites, barks, chews, digs, and decorates the floors with urine and feces. Yet this is what dogs do. How did you expect your dog to communicate? To moo? To meow? And what did you expect your dog to do to pass the time of day? Housework? To mop and clean floors and dust the furniture? Or to amuse herself reading books, watching television, or doing crosswords?

Many owners appear to be at a further loss when confronted by utterly predictable problems, such as jumping up, pulling on-leash, and expressing the boundless energy and exuberance accompanying doggy adolescence. Additionally, owners are incredulous if their adolescent or adult dog bites or fights. When dogs are undersocialized, harassed, abused, frightened, or otherwise upset, what do we expect them to do? Call a lawyer? Of course they bite! Biting is as normal an ingredient of canine behavior as wagging the tail or burying a bone.

Before inviting a puppy to share your life, surely it is only wise and fair to find out beforehand what you might expect from a normal developing puppy, which behaviors and traits you might consider unacceptable, and how to modify the pup's inappropriate behavior and temperament accordingly. Specifically, owners need to know how to teach the youngster when to bark, what to chew, where to dig, where to perform his toilet duties, to sit when greeting people, to walk calmly on-leash, to settle down and shush when requested, to inhibit his otherwise normal biting behavior, and to thoroughly enjoy the company of other dogs and of people, especially men, strangers, and children.

Adapted from BEFORE You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar

Puppy Supply List

Puppy Paraphernalia

Many training books, pet stores, and dog catalogs display an awesome and confusing array of doggy products and training equipment. Consequently, I have listed a number of essentials with personal preferences in parentheses.

1. Slicker brush and greyhound comb.
I like the Lawrence tender slicker brush. It is hard to find.
2. Dog crate (Vari Kennel size intermediate), and an exercise pen or large wire crate.
3. Dremel for nails.( I like the cordless one)
4. Grooming table ( makes is much easier to brush when they are up off the floor).
5. Water & Food bowl. I prefer Stainless Steel.
6. Dog food (Volhard NDF2) I will supply a week supply. You can also buy a bag when you pick up your puppy.
7. Freeze-dried liver treats for men, strangers, and children to win your puppy's confidence and as rewards for housetraining
8. Safe stuff to chew on. I use bully sticks and antlers.
9. Kongs and other toys that can be stuffed with treats or other goodies.
10. Plush (squeaky) Toys
11. Leash, when you pick up your puppy I will supply the puppies first collar.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vari Kennel Ultra Fashion - Revival Animal Health

Vari Kennel Ultra Fashion - Revival Animal Health

here is the link to the Varikennel, I love the black and white one. But I am partially to black & white.

Highly recommend book

I highly recommend the book
"Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog" by Wendy Volhard.
It is the book where I first learned how I could help my dogs live a healthy and longer life.

If you go to you can pick up a copy quite reasonably. They sell gently used copies of many great books. It explains the diet I feed my dogs. The puppies are all weaned on to a raw diet as described in the book.

crate for your new puppy

The crate we recommend for car travel is the Varikennel Intermediate size 32X22.5x24

It is commonly refered to as a 300 size crate. It is good for air travel and fits in most vehicles.

For the house you are going to want to get a large wire crate or have an area to confine the puppy in when you cant watch her.