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by guest blogger Claire Stanton

Animals truly have so many fantastic qualities that humans actually strive to emulate. This may also be the reason why most super heroes try to be or demonstrate animalistic qualities which make them powerful, strong, and unique. Take for instance Batman. He’s a billionaire vigilante whose character is based on a bat. There’s also Spider-Man, and we all know that he got his super powers from a genetically modified spider. There’s Catwoman, Batgirl, Hawkman, and a host of other heroes and super villains which are either named after animals or have animal-like characteristics.

Angelic face of white dog

In reality, animals really are pretty fierce. There are beasts that can easily uproot trees, while some travel miles without food and water. Other creatures can last underwater for hours, and some carry their own arsenal of potent poisons that can kill a healthy, strapping person in just seconds or minutes. One animal, which also has lots of awesome qualities, is the dog. Yes, our cuddly, loyal companions actually possess many outstanding inherent qualities that benefit humankind in so many ways.

1. Able to Detect Cancer

In cancer, early prevention is vital as this gives a victim a better chance of surviving the disease. Dogs, with their heightened smelling abilities, can actually smell organic substances that are linked to certain types of cancer, like lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Some canines can also identify people who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), as well as type 1 diabetes. This is only the tip of the iceberg. With more intensive research, who knows what other cells or diseases dogs can smell and properly identify, right? Such characteristics greatly challenge the capability of supposedly high tech man-made gadgets.

2. Can Sense Epileptic Seizures

There are now so many dogs, regardless of breed or age, which are trained to sense human epileptic seizures. Such canines have the ability to sense oncoming epileptic seizures so that they will be able to warn their masters. By alerting their humans of impending seizures, people will be able to take safety precautions in order to reduce risks. These dogs are known as seizure alert dogs. There’s also a slightly different breed, which is the seizure response dog. Though this canine is not trained or capable of detecting a looming epileptic seizure, it can help its master during and after the epileptic episode.

3. Can Readily Identify Drugs and Bombs

Yes, dogs are valuable companions. But they are also awe-inspiring soldiers and law enforcement officers. Just ask anyone with a K-9, and he’ll tell you how police dogs work hard and how great they are at what they do; and they won’t even whine about their benefits or wages. Many dogs have been recognized and awarded because of their work in law enforcement. Dogs have been tasked to guard borders to help keep illegal drugs out of the country. In the modern-day battlefields, dogs are assigned to sniff for bombs in order to keep their human soldier companions safe.

4. Save Lives of Calamity Victims

Whatever the calamity, earthquakes, fires, floods, avalanche, or even bombings, dogs are there to “search and rescue” victims. Many dogs are faithful public servants that will go through dangerous underground mines, explore unstable crevices, get inside a fire-stricken structure, or sniff rubble to detect and help those who have been trapped. These creatures help human rescuers locate the lost and trapped. Such dogs have given thousands of people a second chance at life.

Citations:

  • Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Claire Stanton writes about Oakwood veterinary service, dog breeds, and how-to articles regarding dog care. She is a freelance blogger who also contributes to wildlife and pet sites.

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by guest blogger Susan Wright

Big dog

All our dogs start out as adorable – and tiny – puppies, but knowing how big he will be as a fully-grown adult canine is important. His size will affect everything from the dog food bills to your dwelling. Let’s face it, some dogs are just too big for an apartment lifestyle.

Look to the Parents

The easiest way to estimate a puppy’s future adult size is to look at the parents. Regardless of whether you are adopting a purebred or mutt, the parents’ height and weight are very revealing about their puppies’ future stature. The sex of the dog plays a factor, too. Male puppies will likely be larger and take after their daddy in size, and the females will take after their mommy.

Paw Prints

If you are eyeing an entire litter and trying to pick out future weight and height, take the paw and head size into consideration. Those puppies in the litter with the larger paws and head size will be on the higher end of the size range for the breed.

Determining the adult size of mixed breeds can be difficult. In addition, the more complex the mix, or an absence of parents can make the estimate that much harder, but asking Fido for a quick paw shake can be very telling. One day Fido will grow into those oversized, clumsy, cute puppy paws, and it will make for a big dog!

Loose Skin

Just like a puppy will grow into his paws, he will also grow into his skin. The more loose skin that you see on a dog, the greater room he has to grow into that skin, and the larger he is likely to become as an adult.

Calculating the Growth

Puppies are usually not ready to leave their mother until they are eight to 10 weeks old. At two and a half months old (10 weeks), a puppy is roughly 25 percent of his fully-grown adult weight. At four months old he is roughly 50 percent of his adult weight, and at six months old he is roughly 75 percent of his adult weight.

A dog’s height is measured from the floor to the top of his shoulder. When your puppy turns six months old, he will be approximately 75 percent of his adult height. While these weight and height calculations are only estimates, you may be able to see if you are in the ballpark of choosing a puppy that will grow into the dog of your dreams.

Rather than depending on any one category above, try taking all of the factors into consideration. If you still feel extremely unsure about your puppy’s adult size, ask an expert. Veterinarians see tons of puppies each year and they can give you a better indication of how big a dog will grow. They may even be able to offer some insight into the dog breed. Moreover, a vet is an excellent source for your numerous questions as a new puppy owner.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

by guest blogger Susan Wright

Dog barking through fence

How many times have you encountered a dog owner, explaining away their dog’s aggressive nature, by blaming it on the breed? The fact is, the owner is wrong; aggression is a learned behavior, not one that any breed is genetically predisposed to exhibit. There are some breeds that seem to appear in the news more often than others for attacking people. Most often, their aggressive attitude is due to the way they have been trained and punished by their owners.

The Advantage of Proper Training

When given the appropriate training and home atmosphere, even dogs known best for their aggressive personalities’ are teachable and can become people friendly and highly affectionate.

It is better a dog bark a warning for someone to keep away, than to have one that will bite first. Some of the warnings a dog might show, which tells you to stay clear of them are, growling, snarling, snapping and trying to attack while on a leash. There are precautions to take for your dog’s safety as well as for people while out for daily exercise. Typically, a muzzle or head harness assures the safety of everyone you may encounter.

Deliberate Aggression

There are owners that deliberately train their dogs to be aggressive. For some reason, it makes the owner feel strong and protected. All dogs will show aggression at some point, especially when they are startled, by something or someone coming at them out of nowhere.

Dogs will show aggression when they are taking a stand marking their territory, feeling vulnerable to attack by humans or other dogs, sick, guarding their toys or food, responding to discipline or while breeding.

Cause of Aggression

If you know what is causing your dog to be aggressive, you can then teach them how to respond in a gentler way, when the situation arises in the future. Punishment will only cause more aggression, use a gentle but firm and consistent training method to teach your dog how to become a more gentle and loving companion.

All breeds need to be taught, humans are the leaders of the pack. If there are children in the home, they need to be taught to handle their dog gently when playing with them. Children should also be taught to, teach the pet who the pack leader is. Some breeds are not recommended for the elderly or families with small children. Dog seekers should research breeds before bringing a new dog into their home.

Susan Wright provides care for family pets as a veterinarian, is a writer and dog owner that prefers to keep her dogs safe with wireless dog fences.

by guest blogger Hawkbacker

Depending on the type of coverage, auto insurance protects those who become injured as the result of a traffic accident. Insurance

Dog missing ear

claims are filed when injury occurs or if there is damage to personal property caused either by the owner or someone else. If a pet is riding in a vehicle and becomes injured as a result of a traffic accident, medical costs for the veterinary care of the animal may be covered under the policy.

For insurance purposes, pets are considered property, and pet owners are not entitled to damages for the mental anguish for a pet injury or death in an auto accident. If there is liability insurance, the pet owner is typically entitled to reimbursement for the expense of physical damages sustained or value of the pet.

Liability Insurance And Pets

Liability insurance is meant to restore a person’s health or property to its condition prior to a collision. If a person is injured in a traffic accident caused by another party, the at-fault driver is responsible for getting the injured person or persons back to where they were.

When it comes to pets, if the at-fault driver carries a liability policy that includes both coverage for bodily injury and personal property damage, an injured pet will be protected when a claim is filed. It is important to take a close look at any liability insurance purchased, because if the policyholder causes an accident with animal injury as a result, personal property damage must be included in order to avoid a possible lawsuit brought by the pet’s owner.

Collision Insurance And Pets

If a driver causes an accident that injures his or her own pet, coverage may or may not extend to the payment of medical treatment. If a driver crashes his or her automobile while the pet is riding in it, insurance companies may honor a claim for the vehicle damage but not the injuries sustained by the pet. Many insurance companies do not even offer this extended protection.

Insurance providers call this an exclusion. Exclusions for pets are actually the norm in the insurance industry. Those shopping for car insurance are encouraged to ask an agent whether the provider being considered includes pets in the collision coverage.

Coverage Limits For Pets

The insurance providers that do include pet injuries as property damage on a collision protection policy usually don’t charge extra. The coverage limits generally range from between $500-$1000 per accident, regardless of how many pets are injured. Pet owners should also remember that regular pet insurance will not cover injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Pets Killed In Car Accidents

As pets may be considered property under a policy, courts often recognize the so-called market value of the pet as a special consideration when making a judgment on pet’s death.

If a pet is killed as a result of an accident caused by someone else, insurance companies will only pay for the market value of the animal. If the insurance company refuses to pay what pet owners feel is a reasonable amount, going to court may result in a greater compensation amount. It is up to the pet owner to decide if the court costs are worth taking legal action. These types of matters can typically be addressed in small claim’s court if there is a dispute.

Protect Your Pet

Pet owners can take precautions to minimize the severity of a pet’s injuries should an automobile accident occur. Keeping dogs in the rear seating area of the vehicle, not having them sit on a person’s lap, and not letting them roam the neighborhood will decrease the chances of an injury. There are also harnesses that pet owners can buy to better protect their pets and their overall driving safety.

If you have a pet, be sure to review the current insurance policy to make sure the pet is covered by property damage insurance. Pet owners may also want to consider whether pet insurance can provide protection for their beloved animals.

DiscountCarInsuranceQuotes.net, a leading provider of free car insurance quotes, contributed this article. Looking to save insurance? They help drivers protect their investments while providing them the opportunity to cut their insurance rates.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

by guest author Claire Waltham

Home security is vital, especially today when robberies and home invasions are still on the rise despite police efforts. People employ

German Shepherd guard dog

several means to beef up their security. They install surveillance cameras, door and window alarms, heat sensors, and other gadgets that can improve their safety. Many also opt to use guard dogs. Some of these animals are trained by professionals. Still, the average dog can help in protecting a home as it is innate in canines to be protective of their space.

One concern of many dog owners is regarding dog biting accidents. Many take precautions, which often include dog training and socialization. They expose their animals to all sorts of circumstances so that their canines will get used to people and especially children. When animals are well-trained and balanced, biting incidents are greatly reduced. But what should a dog owner do if his pet bites an intruder? Can the intruder sue him? Is the injury the dog’s or the homeowner’s fault? When a guard dog or a pet bites a person who trespassed on a property, there are certain elements that must be established first. It is better for a property owner to call an injury attorney who can help him make sense of the situation. But generally, a dog owner can avoid legal responsibility based on the following elements:

  • The dog was provoked.

When a dog senses an intruder, its first reaction is to growl or bark. This alerts the homeowners of the situation. But a burglar or prowler may react differently. Instead of running away from an already tense dog, he could provoke the animal by trying to beat or frighten it so that it will shut up. People should remember that dogs are loyal animals, and they tend to listen only to their masters. An intruder who tries to silence a dog by force can find himself in a dangerous situation. Instead of silencing the dog, he could get bitten or get mauled.

A dog owner can avoid liability if he is able to prove that his animal was provoked. Provocation includes teasing, hitting, slapping, attacking, or throwing things at a dog. Nevertheless, each dog bite incident is different. In some cases, dog owners must also prove that their dogs are not abused. They are also required to state whether or not their animals have been involved in previous biting incidents.

  • The intruder was aware of the dangers of injury from the dog.

A trespasser who forcibly enters a property which is known to be guarded by canines will most likely get bitten. When a biting accident happens, the homeowner will most likely avoid accountability if he is able to prove that the intruder was well aware that there were dogs in the area. Therefore, it is important for people with guard dogs to post warning signs, like “Beware of Dog” or “Warning: Guard Dogs.” People who ignore such signs will have a weaker case if they decide to sue animal owners.

  • The person was breaking the law or trespassing.

Generally, when trespassers get bitten by guard dogs, the animals’ owners are not liable. However, situations vary, and each state has their own regulations about this. Dog owners can protect themselves from liability if they post visible warning signs. If a person expects visitors in his property, it is also important o contain or restrain a dog to prevent accidents.

Citations:

  • Photo courtesy of Maggie Smith at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Claire Waltham is a freelance writer who specializes in personal injury issues. She regularly blogs for several known and successful lawyers, such as Bob Cohen’s attorneys.

I’m not the type of person to visit the doctor every time my nose runs, I’m comfortable with trying a few home remedies or let whatever ails me run its course. I know my body well enough to know when it’s time to consult an expert.

Papion with toy

When it comes to my dog, I’m not always sure if I’m meeting her needs the best I can.  Keeping in line with an all-natural, conservative approach as much as possible. I do consult with my veterinarian more often because I want to know that I am doing the right things to help my dog live a long, comfortable life.

At a recent visit to my veterinarian, Sadie Maybach, DVM, for Kaycee‘s shots, I asked Dr. Maybach about giving my dog a supplement to help her joints. As Kaycee gets older I notice slight changes in her energy level and overall mobility. An old injury to her leg occasionally flares up when we are out and about, so I wanted to see if there was something natural that I could do for her to ease the discomfort in her joints and limbs. Dr. Maybach was very helpful and suggested a supplement of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate. I take glucosamine supplements myself, but I didn’t know if they were safe to give my dog. Turns out they are safe for dogs and cats and there are a lot of high quality brands out there for animals including, Nutramax and Myristol.

One thing Dr. Maybach did caution me on was whether the product contained any Vitamin D. Vitamin D is toxic to dogs, so be sure to examine the label carefully before you make a purchase.

It’s easy to make the assumption that if something is safe for humans, then it must be fine for our pets as well. However, this is not always the case and a quick call to your veterinarian could prevent a very tragic and unnecessary consequence to that assumption.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

by guest blogger VetDepot

Vomiting in dogs has many possible causes, some of which are temporary and not major health concerns. Other causes are potentially life threatening and require emergency veterinary attention. Knowing which symptoms could indicate a serious problem is key to promptly getting your canine companion proper treatment.

Causes of Sudden Vomiting

Sudden, or acute, vomiting develops rapidly and may be severe. Your dog may vomit multiple times in a row and have great difficulty

Cute Poodle

holding down water and other fluids. Acute vomiting is usually caused by a bacterial infection of the digestive tract, car sickness, viral infections, food intolerances, or a foreign body (such as a chew toy or bone) trapped in the digestive tract. Causes that are more serious include pancreatitis, acute kidney failure, heatstroke, toxins, liver failure, gallbladder inflammation, or medication overdose. Unless you know the cause of acute vomiting, take your dog to the veterinarian right away.

Causes of Chronic Vomiting

Chronic vomiting may occur off and on over a period of weeks or months. It is often due to severe constipation, food intolerance, or intestinal inflammation. Potentially fatal causes of chronic vomiting include liver disease, cancer, and kidney disease. If dietary changes do not help your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays may be necessary to determine the underlying cause. In the meantime, make sure your dog stays hydrated by providing plenty of clean drinking water.

Danger Signs

Even mild vomiting can become serious quickly. If your dog is vomiting and has any of the following symptoms, seek veterinary attention right away: diarrhea, bloody vomit or stool, reduced appetite, increased thirst, lethargy, weight loss, dehydration, and/or weakness. Also, if your dog is unable to have a bowel movement, appears to be in pain, or vomits for longer than one day, he should be seen by your vet.

Treating Vomiting at Home

If your veterinarian determines your dog’s symptoms are innocent, you can safely manage stomach upset at home with fluid therapy, dietary changes, rest, and medication. Offer your dog bland foods, such as boiled potatoes, skinless chicken, and plain rice. Offer fluids at least once per hour, and make sure a fresh supply of drinking water is available at all times. Check for dehydration regularly and report any change in symptoms or behavior to your veterinarian.

Encourage your dog to rest as much as possible and keep him away from other pets and children during recovery. While some animals remain friendly while feeling ill, others can become cranky or aggressive. Your dog may pose a danger to small children and animals during this time. Plus, the noise and activity associated with small children may be stressful for your recovering dog.

This helpful information was provided by VetDepot.com, a discount retailer of pet medications.

Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com

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