How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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If your dog has loose stools, he may benefit by adding carrots to his diet. The added fiber may help to add some bulk to his stools. “You`ll want to be cautious when adding them to their diet in large amounts too quickly —start slow.
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If you do decide to switch your dog’s food, it should be done so gradually to avoid digestive upset. A routine of 9 days is best for switching over. This involves 3 days of 25% new/75% old, 3 days of 50/50 and 3 days of 25%old/75% new before finally feeding only the new food. Also be advised that depending on the ingredient changes, foods that have different grains or fewer grains in them may slightly change the consistency and size of your dog’s stool.
When it comes to nipping there are a few things you can do. First, you should yelp as soon as the teeth touch your skin, stand up, cross your arms, and ignore the puppy until he is ignoring you. Once he is off doing his own thing, swoop down and calmly reward him by playing with him WITH A TOY so he doesn’t nip your hands. Whenever you pet him, or interact with him, you should always have a toy on-hand so you can give it to him. This toy should be a soft braided rope toy that YOU own. This means, your puppy is never allowed to have this toy on the floor, and your pup can never “win” tug games with this toy. This is YOUR toy that disappears when you’re finished playing, and reappears when you want to play. If you keep this up, in a weeks time, your puppy will be so excited to see that toy, that as soon as you bring it out, he stops nipping you because he wants to play with the toy. Another thing you can do is have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/soft toys/squeaky toys/etc. After one week, Bag#1 disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys as Bag#1, and it only stays out for one week. This keeps the toys feeling like new to your pup!
If your dog has done well on the product, you may be able to just switch over to a variety that is geared more to your dog’s needs such as a large breed senior formulation. Senior formulations often have added supplements to help with joint pain and arthritis later in life. However, if your dog has been experiencing problems with the food product, switching to a higher quality food such as one without grains may help. Higher quality foods will often have alternate grain sources to prevent digestive upset as well as higher quality meat cuts listed on the top of the ingredient list.
if you do decide to switch foods, the process should be done gradually over 7-9 days. For the first 2-3 days 25% new/ 75% old should be given, then 3 days of 50/50, and 2-3 days of 75% new / 25% old before finally switching over. This will help minimize any stomach upset from changing to a different food too quickly and allow the intestinal bacteria to adjust.
Diet problems can also play a factor in loose stool as well as chronic illness. Dogs can be allergic to many different ingredients in the diet, however grains such as corn, wheat and soy products can be the most problematic. Adding a probiotic supplement can sometimes help such as a scoop of plain yogurt ever meal, or commercial product from your vet.
Illnesses and metabolic disorders may also cause chronic loose stools. German Shepherds are prone to a disease called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency which is a problem with the pancreas (the same organ that dysfunctions in diabetes- however that is ENDOCRINE function in that case) producing enough digestive enzymes. This causes stools that may be loose, discolored grey or yellow and appear very fatty in color. Shepherds can also be prone to chronic small intestine infections that cause loose stool as well. Luckily, treatment for these conditions often just involves adding a daily digestive enzyme supplement to the food, or daily anti-biotic designed specifically for chronic bowel issues.