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9 Fun Facts About Your Dog’s Ears

9 Fun Facts About Your Dog’s Ears

A dog’s sense of hearing is second only to his sense of smell in terms of superior ability and discernment.

Short, pointy, floppy, and folded, our fuzzy friends have ears that are quite different from our own. Not only do their ear shapes differ, so do their uses and abilities. You see them every day–and chances are, you give them a good scratch.

Even during the quiet of overnight hours the world is noisy to your dog, because he hears sounds you don’t even realise exist.

Unlike (most) human ears, your dog’s ears are a central feature of his head and face. Dog ears come in every imaginable shape and size. Some are long and floppy; others are short and erect. Some dogs’ ears are covered with hair inside and out, while others are dressed in only a fine layer of fuzz.

And of course, everyone knows dogs have excellent hearing, especially compared to humans. But there are many other unique and interesting characteristics of your dog’s ears you might not even be aware of.

Here are a few fun facts that you may not have known about your pup’s furry appendages.

 

1. Dogs have around 18 muscles in each ear.

The exact number depends on the breed. This is why they’re able to rotate, tilt, raise or lower their ears.  They can also move each ear independently.

 

2. They can hear about 4 times better than humans.

Since dogs have such sensitive ears, they can always hear something. They can hear electronic frequencies that are imperceptible to humans.  Even during the dead of night, the world is still a noisy place for your do as they can even hear the pulse emanating from your digital alarm clock!

In What Way Is Dog Hearing Better than Human Hearing?

Dogs hear a wider range of frequencies than humans.

  • Human hearing can detect sounds beginning at 20 hertz and ranging up to 12,000-20,000 hertz, depending on age.
  • However, dogs can hear in the range of 40-60,000 hertz, depending on breed and age.
  • Dogs and humans both lose some ability to hear higher frequencies as they get older. Higher frequencies equate to a higher-pitched noise. For example, a dog whistle produces sound between 16,000 and 22,000 hertz. This is out of range for the hearing of most humans but in the middle of the range of dog hearing.
  • According to scientists, dogs only discriminate resolutions of about one third of an octave.
  • Humans, on the other hand, can discriminate resolutions as fine as one-twelfth of an octave.

Dogs are very adept at filtering out some sounds, while remaining alert for others. Have you ever noticed how your dog can hear a car pulling into your driveway or garage over the sound of the TV, the kids playing, or other household noises?

 

 

3. When a dog tilts their head, it may have to do with their hearing.

While not fully understood, it’s theorised that dogs may tilt their heads to hear better or pinpoint where a sound is coming from.

Cocking his head may help your dog tune in sounds far off in the distance. (Or, it could be they know how completely irresistible when they are with their head cocked!)

 

4. Dog ears are not only used for hearing–they’re key elements of body language.

You can tell how much attention your dog is paying to you by watching her ears

  • Naturally held ears indicates being relaxed and comfortable
  • Raising ears shows alertness (and they’re usually directed toward source of interest)
  • Up and forward ears can indicate aggression
  • Pulled back ears are a sign of friendliness
  • Ears flattened to head show submission or fear
  • Ears are laid tightly back against their head, they are probably feeling fearful or shy
  • If they are erect and facing forward, then they are engaged in what you are saying

 

5. Dog’s ear canals are shaped like an “L.”

It’s vertical toward the jaw, then takes a 45-degree turn horizontally toward the ear drum. This structure is one of the reasons dogs are prone to a variety of ear infections and other issues. The shape by its nature stops dirt, debris, and sometimes bacteria and yeast before it reaches the eardrum. But it also means that sometimes those nasty irritants get trapped inside your pup’s ears without regular ear cleanings. It is generally recommended to clean your dog’s ears with ear wipes or an ear rinse at least once a week, or after each time they go swimming.

 

6. Puppies are born deaf.

Puppies are born deaf because their ear canals are still closed.  Most puppies’ ear canals will open by 10-14 days after birth. If a dog does not seem to hear by 3 weeks of age, he should be tested for deafness by a veterinarian.

Congenital (from birth) deafness has been reported in 85 breeds, for example, Dalmatians. Older dogs can develop hearing problems as well.

 

7.  Balance.

Another function of a dog’s ear is balance, and in fact, inner ear infections are a frequent cause for loss of balance.

 

8. There are about a dozen different dog ear shapes.

You knew that different dogs have different shaped ears, but did you know there were so many?

Some shapes include:

  • Pricked ears, like on Malamutes or German Shepherds
  • Blunt or round ears, like on French Bulldogs
  • Bat ears, like on Corgis
  • Drop or pendant ears, like on Basset Hounds
  • Cocked or semi-pricked ears like on Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Rose ears, like on Greyhounds

Tigger, a Bloodhound from St. Joseph, Illinois, holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for longest ears. Tigger’s right ear measures 12.75 inches, and his left measures 13.5 inches. Bloodhounds have such long ears to help direct scent to their sensitive noses.

Dogs with upright ears, such as terriers, tend to have superior hearing to dogs with floppy ears, such as hounds. It also means that dogs are much more sensitive to loud noises than are humans. Loud noises that are tolerated by humans may be scary or even painful to dogs.

 

9. Ear Infections Are The Top Reason That Dog Owners Visit a Veterinarian

Sadly, our pups get A LOT of ear infections. According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, ear infections were the top reason people visited a veterinarian in 2016. This painful condition could be alleviated if dog owners were more consistent about caring for their dog’s ears, such as frequent inspections, and weekly cleanings with a canine ear rinse or ear wipes.

Make Sure to Take Care of Your Pup’s Ear on a Weekly Basis!

How to train a dog to lie down

How to train a dog to lie down

Once your dog has mastered “sit” it’s time to teach them to lie down.

This is a useful behaviour when you want your dog to settle on the floor, either at home or out and about.

Teaching your dog to lie down in six easy steps:

  1. With your dog in a sitting position and a treat in your hand, move your hand from your dog’s nose towards their chest then straight down towards the floor.
  2. Your dog should follow the treat into a lying down position. Praise and reward them with the treat immediately.
  3. Practice this a number of times in short but regular sessions.
  4. When your dog is easily following the treat into a down position you can start to say the word “down” just as your dog is getting into the down position.
  5. Practice this a number of times in short but regular sessions.
  6. While your dog is lying down give him treats – this will increase the time he spends lying down.

Extra tip:

Practice often and in different places – once your dog is happily lying down on command in your home, start to practice in more distracting environments like the garden or your local park.

Training tip courtesy of RSPCA

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Winter in northern climates presents a bevy of health hazards for pets. From antifreeze to snow blindness, the drop in mercury keeps pet owners on their toes.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Your Dog?

A common question this time of year is, “How cold is too cold for a dog?” The answer is a bit complicated, but thankfully, the good folks at Tufts University already developed a system for animal welfare officers to reference that we can utilise as a guide.

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE

Much like the handy colour coded chart that my son’s teachers reference before making a decision regarding playground time in the winter, it factors in the outdoor temperature and other variables and lays the answers out in a simple system.

Of course, there are some caveats when it comes to cold weather safety. You can see those on the right hand side of the chart. Wet weather and breed of dog can tip the scale one or more points in either direction. Acclimation to the cold is an important factor, too. For instance, dogs who are training for the Iditarod in Alaska are conditioned to be in the cold over time. If you took an average Husky and dropped it off on an icy tundra, he would likely perish. If your dog is acclimated to cold weather, like many hunting and working dogs, his number on the TACC scale is different than if he’s used to lying in a warm bed all winter like my dog.

 

Cold Weather And Hypothermia In Dogs

Remember: Sometimes it’s simply too cold for pets to be outside, regardless of their breed. Prolonged exposure to dangerously cold temperatures can put pets in danger of frostbite and hypothermia, which occurs when the body is no longer able to sustain normal temperature. Symptoms of hypothermia in dogs range from weakness and shivering to inaudible heartbeat and trouble breathing, depending on severity.

If you do come across a pet that appears to be suffering from hypothermia, call the vet and move the animal to a warm area, then cover the pet with warm water bottles, blankets or towels. Heating pads can burn your pet, so put several layers between your pet and an electric heat source. Transport the pet to medical care as soon as possible.

As always, use common sense and go with your gut. If it’s a “lime green” kind of day, but you still feel like your pet will be too cold, keep him in! Remember, you are your pet’s best advocate—when in doubt, follow your heart.

With cold temperatures and icy surfaces, winter can be a dangerous time for pets.

Snuggling a furry heat source can be the antidote to a frigid day, but when that’s not enough you need extra heat sources to keep your pack toasty. If your furnace doesn’t cut it, consider your pet’s safety before taking action. These heating solutions can be hazardous:

Space Heaters

Countless house fires are attributed to space heaters, so be sure yours comes equipped with safety features (like automatic shut-off when tipped over or in case of overheating). Heaters that use fuel pose a second threat: carbon monoxide poisoning. Use them in well-ventilated areas only.

 

Hand Warmers

They’re a convenient way to heat fingers when Jack Frost is nipping, but hand warmers can be deadly for pets. Many contain high concentrations of iron that can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy and abdominal pain if eaten. Severe cases can progress to show signs of cardiac involvement and liver failure. Vomiting may occur immediately after ingestion, but clinical symptoms can be delayed up to 12 hours. If your pet chows down on a hand warmer, don’t wait for symptoms to develop. Call your veterinarian or the pet poison hotline.

 

Heat Registers

If you have an older home with large heat registers built into the floor, never make the area home base for your pet! Crates set up near floor vents have the potential to get very hot, and pets can (and do) succumb to heat stroke on even the coldest winter day.

 

Fireplaces

Flickering flames can be too fascinating for furry friends to resist, but singed fur and skin burns can be the result. Be sure your fireplace is outfitted with a properly fitted safety screen.

 

Sweater Weather

Small breeds, short-haired dogs and those who have trouble keeping warm because of illness can benefit from wearing sweaters or coats in cold weather. But clothing can pose a hazard. Ensure a snug fit to avoid snagging on surroundings, and make sure the neck isn’t too tight. Clothing free from zippers and snaps is best, especially for dogs who are notorious chewers.

 

Blizzard Conditions

When the snowflakes start falling, it’s not unusual to see “flurries” in your pet’s fur. Forced air heating coupled with low humidity in your home can make for one flaky pet. If dry, itchy winter skin is making your pet uncomfortable, check out these tips:

 

Heal From The Inside Out

Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to overall skin health and are especially helpful at soothing dry skin. Supplements can be found in many forms, and some pet foods also contain these healthy fats. Not all supplements are created equally, though, so be sure to ask your vet which is her favourite.

 

Combat Dry Air

Using a humidifier in the rooms where your pet spends most of her time will add moisture to the air, keeping your pet’s skin (and yours!) from drying out.

 

Change Up Your Pet’s Grooming Schedule

Shampoos tend to dry out the skin, so consider cutting back (or cutting out) bathing for the winter. If you must bathe your pet, switch to a skin-calming shampoo, like one with colloidal oatmeal. In the winter, conditioners are a must. Choose a leave-on conditioner to hydrate the skin after shampooing and consider a leave-on spray conditioner for between bath times.

 

Brush ‘Em

Brushing your pet has so many positive benefits. Not only does it strengthen your bond, it distributes oils around your pet’s body, naturally soothing the skin.

 

By Petplan

Hearing Dogs

Hearing Dogs

There are many types of assistance dogs and here at Millie Paws HQ we sponsor a puppy for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People so we thought we would share with you what this charity does and how they transform lives.

https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk

Training hearing dogs who transform deaf people’s lives

There are lots of inspirational stories and photos on their website which you can explore at your leisure, but here are the 6 most important things you might like to know.

  1. Train clever dogs to help deaf people

In a nutshell – they train dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they would otherwise miss – simple sounds that many people take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference to deaf people’s lives.

 

  1. Help deaf people reconnect with life

But their clever canines do so much more than alert their recipient to sounds.

Deafness can be a very isolating disability. A hearing dog can give a deaf person a newfound sense of independence and confidence now they have a loyal companion and a true friend by their side.

 

  1. Dogs have even saved lives

As if this wasn’t enough – hearing dogs have saved countless lives in their important role; fire alarms sounding at the dead of night, alerting them to the shouts of a loved one who is in peril, even saving their recipients from potential car thieves!

Dogs are known for their loyalty and love – and we see these valuable traits in a hearing dog every day.

 

  1. Helped thousands of deaf people so far, and aim to help many more

Hearing Dogs have matched thousands of our adorable dogs with deaf recipients since their humble beginnings in 1982. At the moment, they have over 900 working hearing dog partnerships across the UK.

They make sure that, once a deaf person has been matched with a hearing dog, they are guaranteed a hearing dog for life. So when their first hearing dog retires at about the age of 11, they will be soon partnered with a new dog – and a lot of them keep their former hearing dogs as pets!

The cost to train and support each hearing dog throughout their lifetime is £40,000 – so they rely heavily on their amazing supporters to help them change lives. It really is all down to people like you, who give up time, effort and money to help us create many life-changing partnerships. But there are still so many deaf people whom we can help.

 

  1. Put a lot of time and thought into matching a hearing dog with a deaf person

A hearing dog and their deaf recipient need to be carefully matched to ensure the partnership will work well.

So many little things need to be taken into consideration – for example, they wouldn’t match a bouncy, bubbly Labrador with a 70-year-old lady with mobility problems. But that Labrador would make a great companion for a fit 35-year-old who loves going out jogging every morning.

They take these important lifestyle factors very seriously to ensure they make the right match.

 

  1. Staff and volunteers are really passionate

They are so passionate about training these amazing animals, and it’s a real team effort. And everyone in the Hearing Dogs family has an important part to play.

 

Free e-newsletter that we send to 14,000

Get to know them better by having a look around their website. Or they can send you the best stories, videos and photos to save you time. Their free monthly e-newsletter is received by over 14,000 Hearing Dogs friends. It would be great if you joined, too.

You will get updates on our puppies’ training, meet some of the deaf people their hearing dogs are helping and get exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and stories.

 

If you would like to get involved, here are three simple ways you can help.

Sponsor a Puppy                     Support them                        Volunteer for them

 

Deafness is an invisible disability

Being deaf can make many people feel totally invisible. It’s not an obvious disability as there are often no visible aids. And even if people know that someone is deaf, they don’t always know the best way to communicate with them.

 

 

How do hearing dogs help deaf people?

Imagine you are deaf. You can’t hear your alarm clock. You can’t hear your text messages. You miss out on social interactions. That’s what life is like for deaf people, and it can be very isolating. A hearing dog can make a big difference.

Hearing dogs alert deaf people to important sounds

A big part of a hearing dog’s job is to alert their deaf recipient to sounds they would otherwise miss. Simple sounds we take for granted like the doorbell, alarm clock and even danger signals like the fire alarm. Being aware of these – thanks to a hearing dog – makes a real difference in deaf people’s lives. Go to their website to watch short videos to see some of the sounds our hearing dogs alert to.

  • The doorbell
  • Alarm clock
  • Digital timer
  • Telephone alerts
  • The call
  • The smoke alarm

Have you ever stayed at home waiting for a delivery? Or waiting for someone to pop round? Imagine how frustrating it must be when you cannot hear the doorbell or a knock at your door.

They help deaf people leave loneliness behind

These clever hearing dogs don’t just alert their recipients to important sounds. Equally as importantly, they provide emotional support. Through the constant companionship of a fluffy friend, they give deaf people confidence to reconnect with their family, friends and community, and embrace the life they want to lead. Find out how much of a difference a hearing dog can make to someone’s life.

Perfect Fit Breed Chart

The Ultimate in Dog Walking Harness

  • Modular design allows and secure and snug fit for almost any size & shape of dog
  • Easy to clip around dog’s neck and NOT put over head
  • Adjustable in up to 5 different places
  • Each piece can be replaced as or when needed
  • Front piece comes with an additional D-ring as standard
  • Safe for amputee dogs (Tripawed!)
  • Difficult for escapologist dogs to get out of
  • Calming for excitable dogs

Perfect Fit Harness

Perfect Fit Harness Size Guide

  • Modular design allows and secure and snug fit for almost any size & shape of dog
  • Easy to clip around dog’s neck and NOT put over head
  • Adjustable in up to 5 different places
  • Each piece can be replaced as or when needed
  • Front piece comes with an additional D-ring as standard
  • Safe for amputee dogs (Tripawed!)
  • Difficult for escapologist dogs to get out of
  • Calming for excitable dog

 

Breed Puppy Small Medium Large
Affenpincher TY34 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xxs-xs
Afghan Hound 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 40 l-s-l 40 l-m-l
Airedale

Terrier

20 s-xs-s 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-s-l

Akita 40 l-s-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-xl 40 xl-l-xl
Alaskan Malamute 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-l 40 xl-m-xl 40 xxl-l-xxl
American Bulldog 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
American Cocker Spaniel 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
American Hairless Terrier TY34 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s
Anatolian Shepherd 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xl
Australian

Cattle Dog

20 s-xs-s

20 m-s-s

20 m-s-m 20 m-m-l 20 l-m-l
Australian Kelpie 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l
Australian

Shepherd

20 s-xs-s

20 m-s-s

20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l
Australian Silky Terrier TY34 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s
Australian Terrier TY34 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Barbet Contact us 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-m

40 l-m-l
Alaskan Malamute 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xxl
Basenji 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m
Basset Bleu de Gascogne 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Basset Griffon

Vendeen (Grand)

20 s-xs-s

20 m-s-s

20 m-s-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-s-m

Basset Griffon

Vendeen (Petit)

20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m
Basset

Hound

20 s-s-s

20 m-s-m

20 l-s-m 20 l-m-m 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-m

Bavarian Mountain Hound 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l
Beagle 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Bearded Collie 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl
Bearded Collie x Terrier 15 xs-xs-s 20 s-s-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Beauceron 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl
Bedlington

Terrier

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-xs-m

20 s-s-m
Belgian Shepherd Dog 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-m-l 40 l-s-l
Belgium X Lurcher Contact us 20 l-s-m 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Bergamasco Contact us 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Bernese Mountain Dog 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-xl 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xxl
Bichon Frisé TY34 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

Bloodhound 40 l-s-m 40 xl-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xl
Bolognese TY34 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Border

Collie

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m

20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l

40 l-s-l

Border Terrier Ty36

15 xxs-xxs-s
15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m
Borzoi 20 m-s-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl 40 xl-m-xl
Boston Terrier Ty36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s

20 s-s-s

20 s-s-m
Bouvier Des Flandres 20 m-s-m 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl
Boxer 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-s-m

40 l-m-l
Briard Contact us 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Brittany 20 s-xs-s 20 m-xs-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Bulldog 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-m 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l
Bull Mastiff 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-xl
Bull Terrier 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l
Bull Terrier

(Miniature)

20 s-s-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m

20 m-s-l

Bull Terrier X Bull Mastiff Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl
Cairn

Terrier

15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

20 s-s-m
Cats TY34 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s
Cavalier King

Charles Spaniel

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

Chesapeake Bay

Retriever

20 m-s-m

40 l-s-m

40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-l
Chihuahua TY12 TY14 TY36 15 xxs-xxs-s
Chihuahua Crosses TY34 TY36 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xxs-xxs-s
Chinese Crested TY34 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Chow Chow 20 l-s-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-l
Clumber Spaniel 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Cocker

(English)

15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Cocker

(Working)

TY36

15 xxs-xxs-xs

15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-xs-m
Cockerpoo 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 20 m-xs-m 20 m-s-m
Collie Crossbreed Contact us 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl
Collie

(Rough)

20 m-m-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Collie

(Smooth)

20 s-xs-m

20 s-s-m

20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l

20 l-m-xl

40 l-s-l
Corgi 20 s-s-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-m
Corgi X Collie Contact us 20 m-m-m 20 m-m-m 20 m-m-l
Coton De Tulear Contact us 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Curly-Coated Retreiver 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-l

40 xl-m-l
Dachshund (Miniature) TY34

15 xxs-xxs-xs

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xxs-xs-m
Dachshund (Standard) 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

20 s-s-m
Dandie Dinmont Terrier 20 s-s-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m
Dalmatian 20 m-s-m 20 m-m-l 20 l-m-l 40 l-s-l

40 l-m-l

Deerhound 40 l-s-l 40 l-m-xl 40 xl-m-xl 40 xl-l-xl
Dobermann

Pinscher

20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-s-l

40 l-m-xl
Dobermann X GSD Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl
Dogue de Bordeaux 40 l-m-m

40 l-m-l

40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl
English Mastiff 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-xl-xxl 40 xxl-xl-xxl
English Setter 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-l

English Springer Spaniel 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
English Toy Terrier TY36 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Estrela Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl
Eurasier 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl 40 l-m-l
Field

Spaniel

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

20 m-s-m
Finnish

Lapphund

Contact us 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l

20 l-m-xl

Finnish Spitz Contact us 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m
Flat Coated Retriever 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-l

40 l-m-l
Foxhound Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-l-xl
Fox Terrier 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-xs-s
Fox Terrier (Wirehaired) 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-xs-s
French Bulldog 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
German Pinscher 20 s-s-s 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l
German Shorthaired Pointer 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-l

German Shepherd 20 m-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-xl
German Shepherd X Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 l-l-l Contact us
German Spitz Contact us 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m
Goldendoodle 20 s-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-m

20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Golden

Retriever

20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

40 xl-m-l
Gordon Setter 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Contact us 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-l
Great Dane 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-xl 40 xl-l-xxl 40 xxl-l-xxl
Greyhound 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-xl

Griffon Bruxellois 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Hamiltonstovare Contact us 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Havanese TY34 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Hovawart 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-l
Hungarian Puli Contact us 20 m-s-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l
Hungarian

Vizsla

20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l

20 l-s-l

20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Ibizan

Hound

20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-s-l

40 l-m-l

20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Irish Red

Setter

20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-s-l

Irish Red & White Setter 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l
Irish Terrier 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-xs-m

20 s-s-m
Irish Water Spaniel 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 40 l-s-l
Irish Wolfhound 40 l-s-l 40 xl-m-xl 40 xl-l-xxl 40 xxl-xl-xxl
Italian Greyhound TY36 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xxs-xs-m
Italian

Spinone

40 l-s-m 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l

40 xl-m-l

Jack Russel

Terrier

15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s

20 s-xs-s

15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

Japanese

Chin

TY34 15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Japanese

Shiba Inu

20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Japanese Spitz Contact us 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m
Keeshund Contact us 20 m-s-l 20 m-s-l 20 l-m-l
Kerry Blue

Terrier

20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

Komondor Contact us 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Kooikerhondje 15 xs-xxs-s

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Kune Kune Pig Contact us 20 m-m-m Contact us Contact us
Labrador 20mm S-XS-S

20 m-s-m

20 l-s-l

40 l-s-m

20 l-m-l

40 l-m-l

40 l-m-xl
Labradoodle 20 s-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Labrador X Collie Contact us 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-m 40 l-m-l
Lakeland

Terrier

15 xxs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-s-s

20 s-s-m

Lancashire Heeler TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xxs-xs-s 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m
Leonberger 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xl
Lhasa Apso TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m

20 m-s-m

Lowchen 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s

20 s-s-s

20 s-s-m

20 m-s-m

Lurcher

(Whippet type)

15 xs-xs-m 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Lurcher

(Greyhound Type)

20 s-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-xl 40 l-m-l
Maltese TY34 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Manchester Terrier 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-xs-m
Maremma Sheepdog Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl
Mastiff Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl
Miniature Pinscher TY14

TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m 
Munsterlander (large) 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-s-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Neopolitan Mastiff 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xxl 40 xxl-xl-xxl
Newfoundland 40 l-m-m 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-xl-xxl 40 xxl-xl-xxl
Newfoundland x Rottweiler Contact us Contact us 40 l-m-l Contact us
Norfolk

Terrier

TY36

15 xxs-xxs-xs

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-s
Northern Inuit 20 m-s-m
40 l-s-l
40 l-s-l
40 l-m-l
Norwegeian Buhund 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Norwegian Elkhound 20 m-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl
Norwich

Terrier

TY36

15 xxs-xxs-xs

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-s
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 20 s-s-s 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l

40 l-s-m

Old English Sheepdog 20 m-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl
Otterhound 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xl-l-xl
Papillon TY34 TY36 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s
Patterdale

Terrier

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m
Parson Russel

Terrier

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m
Pekingese 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Pharaoh Hound 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l
Pointer

(English)

20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-s-xl

40 l-s-l

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Contact us 20 m-s-l 20 m-m-l 20 m-m-l
Pomeranian TY34 TY36 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s
Poodle (Toy) TY36 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Poodle (Miniature) TY34 TY36 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s
Poodle

(Standard)

20 s-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l 40 l-s-l
Portuguese Podengo (Medio) Contact us 20 m-s-l 20 m-m-l 20 l-m-l
Portuguese

Water Dog

Contact us 20 l-m-l

40 l-m-m

40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Pug TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

20 m-s-m
Prenean Mountain Dog 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-xl 40 xxl-l-xl 40 xxl-xl-xxl
Pyrenean Sheepdog 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-s-m
Rhodesian Ridgeback 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl
Rottweiler 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l

40 xl-m-l

40 xl-m-xl
Rottweiler X Staffie Contact us 20 m-m-l 20 m-m-xl 20 m-m-xl
Russian Black Terrier 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl
St Bernard 40 l-m-m 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xl 40 xxl-xl-xxl
Saluki 15 xs-xxs-s 20 m-xs-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-s-l

20 l-s-xl

Samoyed 20 m-m-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl

40 l-m-l

Schipperke TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Schnauzer

(Miniature)

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-xs-s

20 s-s-m

Schnauzer (Standard) 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Schnauzer (Giant) 40 l-s-m 40 l-s-l 40 l-m-l 40 xl-m-xl
Scottish Terrier 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Sealyham Terrier 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Shar Pei 20 s-s-s 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-m-l
Shetland

Sheepdog

15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-s-m
Shihpoo 15 xs-xxs-xs 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

20 s-s-s
Shih

Tzu

TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-s

15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-m

20 m-s-m

Siberian

Husky

20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 20 l-s-l

40 l-s-m

40 l-s-l
Sicillian Mastiff Contact us 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-m 20 l-s-l
Spanish Water Dog 20 m-s-s 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Staffordshire

Bull Terrier

20 s-s-s 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l

20 m-m-l

40 l-m-m
Swedish Lapphund 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-m 20 l-m-l 20 l-m-xl
Swedish Vallhund 15 xxs-xxs-s 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m
Terrier

Crossbreeds

TY34

15 xs-xxs-xs

15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 s-s-s

20 m-s-m
Tibetan Mastiff 40 l-s-m 40 l-m-l 40 xl-l-xl 40 xxl-l-xl
Tibetan Spaniel 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s 15 xs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m
Tibetan Terrier 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-l
Trailhound 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l 20 l-m-l 40 l-m-l
Weimaraner 20 m-s-m 20 l-s-l 40 l-s-l 40 l-m-l

40 l-m-xl

Welsh Springer Spaniel 20 s-xs-s 20 s-s-m 20 m-s-m 20 m-s-l
Welsh Terrier 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-xs-m
West Highland Terrier 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m 20 s-s-m
Whippet TY36

15 xxs-xxs-s

15 xxs-xs-s 15 xs-xs-m

20 m-xs-m

20 m-s-m
Yorkshire Terrier TY34 TY36 15 xxs-xxs-s 15 xs-xxs-s
Beginners guide to Canicross

Beginners guide to Canicross

Canicross is a fun, energetic and exciting new discipline within the canine world. This activity brings together both dogs and their owners from all over the country to become not only fitter but also healthier. The human participant will wear a waist-belt which attaches via a 2 metre bungee line to the dog’s harness. Both you and your dog will then run, with the dog taking the front spot from the start line to the finish.

Great for Fitness with Your Dog!

 Reasons Why You Should Take Up Canicross

 If you love being outdoors with your dog – then you will love Canicross!

  • Both you and your dog are able to become fitter and healthier.
  • Develop a special bond with your dog.
  • Make new friends for both you and your dog.
  • You do not have to have experience in running to take part.
  • Your dog does not need to be a pedigree – everyone is welcome to join in!

Suitable for both Pedigree and Crossbreed Dogs

 

 All You Need To Know

  • Your dog must be registered with the Kennel Club (on either the Breed Register or the Activity Register).
  • Competitors taking part in any Kennel Club licensed event must familiarise themselves with the Kennel Club Rules and Regulations beforehand. The Canicross Regulations are available to download from the Kennel Club Website.
  • Dogs can start competing at 12 months of age.
  • There is a range of categories to compete in depending upon your age and gender.
  • No previous experience is necessary, so request a list of Canicross Clubs today!
  • Make sure you buy a Canicross Record Book in which to record all your competition times.

 

Starting Out In Canicross

Training Classes

 Your first step when competing in Canicross is to join a local training class. From there you will be able to make friends and do a number of trial runs before you decide to take part in a competition. A list of Canicross training classes can be found on the Kennel Club website.

Participating

When taking part in a competition, competitors may only compete in any race with one dog, except that where approved by the competition organiser(s) and stated in the competition schedule, competitors aged 18 or over may race with a maximum of two dogs. Human competitors also need to be at least 8 years of age on the first day of the competition

Class Categories

Canicross has a number of categories depending upon age and gender.

Competitors must be aged at least 8 years on the day of the competition to take part in a Canicross race.

Competitors below 14 years of age on the day of the competition are not eligible to enter races of more than 5km (3miles) in length, and must be accompanied throughout the race by a responsible adult (who may run or use a bicycle).

Competitors below 17 years of age on the day of the competition are not eligible to enter races of more than 8km (5 miles) in length.

Competitors below 18 years of age on the day of the competition are not eligible to enter races of more than 21km (13 miles) in length.

Competitors entering a race of more than 16km (10 miles) must have successfully completed at least one race of at least 10km (6 miles) with the same dog in the six months prior to the day of the race.  Proof will be required.

Are You Ready For Your First Canicross?

Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/canicross or email canicross@thekennelclub.org.uk to find all you need to know about taking part in Canicross!

Get started today! To find a list of clubs or training classes near you visit www.findadogclub.org.uk

Register your dog on the Activity Register by downloading and completing form 5 from www.thekennelclub.org.uk/form5

Handling Your Dog

Attending your first Canicross competition may cause your dog to behave differently than it does in training.  Young dogs in particular can be bothered by crowds and if this is the case you can move a little way from other competitors and officials.   Just remember it is a new experience for you and your dog and should you have any concerns there are always Stewards/Officials available to speak to.

 

How to train a dog to sit

How to train a dog to sit

Teaching your dog to sit is a great place to start with your training. It can be a really valuable behaviour for them to learn.

For example, teaching your dog to sit at kerbs can make crossing roads safer and asking your dog to sit when greeting people means they’re less likely to jump up.

Teach your dog to sit in six steps:

  1. With your dog in a standing position, hold a tasty treat near their nose.
  2. Keeping the treat near your dog’s nose, move your hand in an arc over his head. As the dog raises his head to follow the treat, his bottom will go on the floor. The instant he sits, praise him and give him the treat.
  3. Practice this a number of times in short but regular sessions.
  4. As the dog always gets a treat for sitting you’ll soon find he sits for longer. You can now add the cue word “sit” as he goes to sit. Be careful not to say it before your dog moves into position or they may associate it with the wrong movement.
  5. Practice this a number of times in short but regular sessions.
  6. Give an “okay” cue to let your dog know when their training has ended.
Antifreeze and dogs

Antifreeze and dogs

During cold snaps, antifreeze poisonings become increasingly common. These typically occur when ethylene glycol, one of the main ingredients in antifreeze, leaks from car radiators or screen wash containers. This chemical is extremely toxic to dogs and, to exacerbate the problem, it’s also very sweet so they like the taste.

How much antifreeze will kill a dog?

Any amount is dangerous, even if it’s found in contaminated water such as puddles, but just a tablespoonful is potentially fatal. If you suspect your dog has drunk antifreeze then you should call your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic, straight away. If your dog is treated immediately after exposure they will have a far better chance of survival. Your dog may well need intensive treatment, but be warned, the survival rate for antifreeze poisoning is low if the kidneys have been badly damaged.

 Ethylene glycol can also be found in:

  • windscreen de-icer
  • brake fluid
  • liquid rust inhibitors
  • hydraulic fluids
  • ornamental fountains
  • decorative snow globes
  • some solvents and paints

Antifreeze poisoning symptoms

Once drunk ethylene glycol is rapidly absorbed into the body. Within hours it can cause severe kidney damage which is very difficult to treat.

There are three stages of antifreeze poisoning. The first sign you’ll see, within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion, is likely to be wobbliness or falling over as if drunk. The back and kidney area can also be very painful, there may be vomiting and your dog may be thirsty. They may also urinate frequently.

Between 12 and 24 hours after ingestion, your dog may appear to recover from the immediate symptoms, only to worsen again as the ethylene glycol works its way through his body. After 36 hours severe acute kidney failure occurs. Symptoms of this include lack of appetite, diarrhoea, drooling, halitosis, seizures and collapse.

The length of time it takes for all of these symptoms to appear can vary depending on how much your dog has drunk.

Antifreeze poisoning treatment

There is an antidote for ethylene glycol poisoning called fomepizole (also known as 4-MP). It’s expensive but effective when administered to dogs within the first 8-12 hours of ingestion. If your dog is not unconscious, struggling to breathe, or showing signs of serious distress or shock, your vet may also induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal to absorb the toxins.

If you’re worried your dog has swallowed antifreeze, please contact your vet as soon as possible, or find your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic or Vets Now 24/7 hospital.

How can I protect my dog from antifreeze poisoning?

With such a lethal product, prevention is key. If you are using antifreeze or any product containing ethylene glycol be very careful where you store it and if you spill any clear it up immediately. You should also keep a close eye on your car radiator.

If you have an ornamental garden pond don’t add antifreeze in the winter time. It may keep your fountains running in a cold snap, but could risk the lives of dogs and cats coming into contact with it.

Is there an alternative to antifreeze?

Antifreeze is one of the most life-threatening poisonings that vets see, but there is some hope as there is a safer alternative. While propylene glycol antifreeze is more expensive, it’s safe for pets and other wildlife, so please consider using this instead.

Why do dogs Lick?

Why do dogs Lick?

  • Dogs are born with the instinctive behaviour to lick
  • Female dogs lick their puppies to clean and comfort them
  • Licking can indicate a variety of things, such as affection, an irritation/wound or a way of gaining more information about another dog

We sometimes associate dogs licking us as a kiss, one that – depending on how your dog’s breath is fairing that day – we like receiving.

But what does your dog actually mean when they lick?

Where does dog licking begin?

Dog licking is an instinctive behaviour that dogs are born with. Female dogs naturally lick their puppies as a means of cleaning them and as a form of comfort. Licking also helps to stimulate blood flow in the puppies when they are first born and helps them go to the toilet.

You may see young puppies licking their mother’s mouth enthusiastically, and this is to encourage her to regurgitate food for them to eat. Not all pet dogs will regurgitate food for their puppies, but this is an important part of the weaning process for the dog’s ancestors, the wolf.

As puppies grow older they begin to groom themselves and their littermates, which increases their bond. However, as dogs grow into adults, they rarely lick each other. Although you may still see puppies licking adult dogs as a way of greeting them.

Why does my dog lick?

Licking, like many other behaviour traits, can indicate various different things from attention seeking, to simply cleaning themselves.

Cleaning

Dogs lick themselves to clean their fur because their tongue offers some antibacterial properties, though it’s a myth that dogs have antiseptic tongues. Dog’s mouths also contain harmful bacteria which live alongside the good bacteria.

Your dog using its tongue to clean their fur is more about it being the most useful tool at their disposal.

Tasting their surroundings

Your dog will be able to pick up on a lot more information using their nose and mouth than humans can. Because of their heightened senses, dogs will sometimes lick another dog’s urine as a way of understanding the information that they smell in greater detail.

This may seem gross to us, but it allows your pet to understand whether the dog is male or female, neutered or unneutered, and even stressed all from their wee!

Attention seeking

It’s very normal for puppies to lick both humans and other dogs when they are saying ‘hello’. This is usually accompanied by lots of sociable and excitable tail wagging and body wiggling.

As puppies get older they tend to do this less, but if the licking receives lots of attention (which it often does) then it’s likely to remain a big part of their greeting behaviour.

Dogs also learn that it’s a great way to get attention at other times – if we smile and stroke them when they lick us, then we easily reinforce this behaviour.

We are also pretty tasty to our dogs, especially with our post-workout salty skin!

Health

As dogs don’t have hands like humans, they will often use their tongue to lick an area of irritation or a wound to comfort themselves. Depending on how much the irritation is bothering them, your dog will alter how often they lick the area.

Obsessive licking of a particular area should be closely monitored and, if it persists, you should speak to your vet to see what could be causing this.

Affection

Of course, as we all want to hear, licking can absolutely be a sign of affection too. As much as dogs will lick their owners for attention, they are seeking attention from you because they want to interact with you.

Pancreatitis in dogs

Pancreatitis in dogs

Overview

The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen (tummy) that sits close to the stomach. It produces special chemicals known as enzymes (types of proteins) which help digest food.

The pancreas also releases important hormones (such as insulin) into the bloodstream.

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes very inflamed (tender and swollen) causing pain and vomiting. Pancreatitis can range from being mild to very severe.  In most cases pancreatitis occurs for no apparent underlying reason.

Pancreatitis most commonly affects middle aged to older dogs, but in addition, dogs of certain breeds (e.g. Cocker Spaniels and Terrier breeds) are more prone to developing the condition but it can affect any breed of dog.

There is no specific treatment for pancreatitis – most dogs require nursing, pain relief and anti-sickness medication.

 

Pancreatitis in dogs

Your dog’s pancreas is an organ that sits close to their stomach

Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs

Symptoms of pancreatitis often start suddenly and commonly include:

  • Vomiting
  • Eating less (or not eating at all), loss of appetite
  • Painful tummy – you may notice your dog stretching into a prayer position because their abdomen is painful (see picture).  Abdominal pain (highlighted by restlessness and discomfort)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy

Pancreatitis can range from being mild to severe. Not all dogs will have every symptom listed, some will only have one or two.

Pancreatitis can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from relatively mild signs (e.g. a reduced appetite) to very severe illness (e.g. multiple organ failure).

 

Pancreatitis in dogs

A dog in the ‘prayer position’, which is a sign they have a painful stomach

When to contact your vet

Contact your vet if your dog has any of the symptoms above or if you think your dog may have pancreatitis, especially if they have had the condition previously.

Pancreatitis can cause severe illness and even death if left untreated.

You know your dog best. If they don’t have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned it’s always best to contact your vet.

Causes of pancreatitis in dogs

You dog may be more likely to develop pancreatitis due to the following factors:

  • Being overweight
  • Being otherwise unwell
  • Surgery
  • High fat foods (e.g. pork, cheese, butter).

  

Treatment

Diagnosis

After a full examination, your vet might want to run some tests if they suspect your dog has pancreatitis. Because many other diseases can cause these symptoms, both blood tests and an ultrasound scan of the abdomen are necessary to rule out other conditions and to reach a diagnosis of pancreatitis.

Although routine blood tests can lead to a suspicion of pancreatitis, a specific blood test (called ‘canine pancreatic lipase’) needs to be performed to more fully support the diagnosis. An ultrasound scan is very important in making a diagnosis of pancreatitis. In addition, an ultrasound scan can also reveal some potential complications associated with pancreatitis (e.g. blockage of the bile duct from the liver as it runs through the pancreas).

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound scan.
Pancreatitis in dogs
The normal canine pancreas. It is a similar shade of grey to the surrounding fat.

 

Pancreatitis in dogs
A dog with pancreatitis. The pancreas is darker than normal and enlarged. The surrounding fat is brighter than normal and the intestine (seen in cross section) is also thickened.

 

Treatment depends on how severe the pancreatitis is.

There is no specific cure for pancreatitis, but fortunately most dogs recover with appropriate supportive treatment. Supportive measures include giving an intravenous drip (to provide the body with necessary fluid and salts) and the use of medications which combat nausea and pain. Most dogs with pancreatitis need to be hospitalised to provide treatment and to undertake necessary monitoring, but patients can sometimes be managed with medication at home if the signs are not particularly severe. At the other extreme, dogs that are very severely affected by pancreatitis need to be given intensive care, ideally in an intensive care unit.

Mild pancreatitis 

  • Anti-sickness medicine
  • Strong pain relief
  • Tempting them to eat small, low fat meals given throughout the day
  • Rest.

Severe pancreatitis

  • Staying a few days in a veterinary hospital
  • A drip to give lifesaving fluids
  • Nursing care
  • Careful feeding (if they aren’t eating on their own, it’s sometimes necessary to place a stomach tube).

One of the most important aspects of treating pancreatitis is to ensure that the patient receives sufficient appropriate nutrition while the condition is brought under control. This can be very difficult, because pancreatitis causes a loss of appetite. In this situation it may be necessary to place a feeding tube which is passed into the stomach, and through which nutrition can be provided. If a dog with pancreatitis is not eating and will not tolerate a feeding tube (e.g. due to vomiting), intravenous feeding (using a drip to supply specially formulated nutrients straight into the bloodstream) may be necessary.

 

Will my dog develop pancreatitis again?

Most dogs with pancreatitis make a full recovery after treatment from a vet but unfortunately, some dogs suffer with pancreatitis several times throughout their life. In some instances, dogs can suffer repeated bouts of the condition (called ‘chronic pancreatitis’) and this may require long term management with dietary manipulation and other approaches which a specialist will discuss with you in detail, as required.

If your dog is suffering from recurrent pancreatitis see the below information about ongoing care.

Very rarely pancreatitis can lead on to cause diabetes.

Ongoing care

If your dog has had pancreatitis in the past, they may be at risk of developing it again in the future. Actions you can take to lower the risk of pancreatitis include:

  • Feed a low fat food. This usually needs to be a prescription diet from your vet because low fat dog foods sold in shops may still contain too much fat.
  • Low fat treats. Only give your dog low fat treats. Pieces of chicken breast or small bits of carrot are perfect. Avoid high fat treats like cheese or pork.
  • Keep your dog slim and fit. Staying slim and fit is vitally important for good health.

Dietary management and prevention

Getting the diet right is absolutely crucial for managing chronic pancreatitis and preventing future acute episodes. Please note that these guidelines are meant for adult maintenance only, not for puppies or females who are pregnant or nursing, as their requirements are different.

The aim should be to reduce the workload on the pancreas as much as possible so you should aim for a diet that is…

  • Low in fat(between 5% and 10% dry matter)
  • Highly digestible(good quality and free from any potentially problematic ingredients)

And, as an added precaution, we also recommend looking for…

  • Moderate protein(between 20% and 30% dry matter)
  • Not too starchy(avoid foods with large amounts of starchy ingredients like maize, white potato, white rice, tapioca, pea starch etc)
  • No added sugars

Additional Reading:

https://www.willows.uk.net/specialist-services/pet-health-information/internal-medicine/pancreatitis-in-dogs

https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/articles/feeding-dogs-with-pancreatitis

 

 

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