a The Happy Puppers (Dog care, grooming, behavior and training)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Itching in dogs: 10 best home remedies

August 06, 2020 0

Home remedies to reduce itching (pruritus) in dogs:

As a dog guardian you must have noticed your dog scratching or it himself or herself. It is not an uncommon sight. However, if your dog scratches himself or herself too much, it can be a cause of concern. In this post, I will discuss the factors which contribute to itching and the home remedies you can use to reduce the same in your pup.

Why do dogs itch?

Pruritus or itching, as we commonly know it, is defined as an uncomfortable skin sensation which causes the dog to scratch himself or herself. Itching is just a symptom, it is not the disease or a diagnosis. The most common causes behind your dog itching himself or herself can be allergies, parasites or infection. It can either be confined to a specific area or it can be generalized throughout the body.

Common causes behind itching in dogs:
  • Mites or fleas infestation
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Allergy
  • Insect bite

If your dog’s itching reduces after an antibiotic course, in that case the itching occured due to a microbial infection. 

However, if the itching continues post antibiotic administration, then the most common reason could be allergy. Allergy can either be a food allergy or environmental allergy against environmental allergens like mold, pollen etc. 

If your dog’s itching does not reduce even after a course of antihistamines, such cases will need medical management for pruritus. The most commonly administered medications for treatment of such cases involve essential fatty acids, glucocorticoid, oclacitinib and cyclosporin.

When should you consult your vet?

Mild or occasional itching is not a sign of a serious health condition. However, if your dog shows other symptoms like restlessness depressed mood, loss of appetite or such serious itching that he or she breaks the skin, immediately set an appointment with your veterinarian.

If your dog’s itchiness is mild, then there are natural ways to treat the same at home.

Always consult your weight before starting any new skin care or diet regimen for your dog. Stop the treatment if the symptoms continue or worsen.

What are the causes behind itching in dogs?
What are the causes behind itching in dogs?

Home remedies which can reduce itching in dogs

Colloidal oatmeal baths:

Colloidal oatmeal baths can soothe your dog's itchy skin as it reduces inflammation and washes away the allergen that tends to get trapped in your dog’s fur. You can either buy pre-made colloidal oatmeal or grind sugar free plain oatmeal into a powder for use.

The anti-inflammatory properties of colloidal oatmeal can reduce the swelling and redness. It will also provide some cooling effect to your dog’s uncomfortable and hot skin. Since oatmeal is non-toxic, you don't have to worry about the symptoms worsening.

Apple cider vinegar

I cannot emphasize enough about the important properties of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for your dog. As I have previously mentioned in my blog posts, ACV is a pretty powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent. It can reduce your dog’s itchiness, provide soothing effect to the skin and prevent fleas infestation. Know the various wondrous benefits of this common kitchen ingredient and how to use it to benefit your dog.

NOTE: Never use ACV on raw or broken skin. It can worsen the symptoms and cause your dog a lot of pain.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of my favorite remedies for treating itching in dogs. Solidified coconut oil has been observed to soothe the discomfort caused by eczema, skin infections, insect bites as well as allergies when properly massaged into the coat and skin of your dog. When shopping for coconut oil, always go for the virgin or undefined or organic coconut oil. To enable coconut oil to heal your dog from inside out and a teaspoon full of the same to his or her diet. Know more about the amazing benefits of this super oil for your pup.

NOTE: Always consult your vet before changing your dog's diet. Initially, add a minimal amount and check your dog's response. In case you do not notice any benefit, or you notice a worsening of symptoms, stop administration of coconut oil immediately and consult your vet.

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10 brilliant remedies to reduce itching in dogs
10 brilliant remedies to reduce itching in dogs

Green tea and chamomile soaks

Green tea and chamomile are known for their anti-inflammatory and soothing effects in case of humans. However, they have shown to work just as well in case of dogs too. If your dog is suffering from itchy patches of skin, give your dog a bath in green tea or chamomile solution. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and allow several tea bags too steep in for at least 5 minutes. Remove the bags and let your dog soak in that water for five minutes. If you wish to provide your dog some immediate relief, steep the tea bag, allow it to cool completely and apply the tea directly onto the affected region.

Aloe vera


You must be aware of the benefits of aloe vera. Aloe vera is not only a pretty powerful healing agent, it can also be used to reduce redness and provide coolness your dog’s skin. You can choose to apply aloe vera directly on the affected regions. Most of the drug and grocery stores sell natural aloe vera. You can also directly harvest it from an aloe vera plant.

NOTE: Do not use aloe vera which contains alcohol. It may worsen the symptoms and cause severe burning sensation to your dog.

Baking soda


Baking soda can also be used to reduce your dog itchiness along with baking. Baking soda can help drive out rashes on skin reduce itching as well as redness and inflammation. To use baking soda on your dog's skin, combine 50% of water and 50% of baking soda to make a paste. Apply the paste on your dog’s skin, leave it on the skin for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, rinse out the skin completely. If you wish to make the paste more moisturizing, add a bit of coconut oil to the mixture. In case your dog is suffering from a complete body itchiness, you can add some baking soda to his bath water as well.

Plain (sugar free) yoghurt

Sometimes your dog itchiness can stem from the existence of an unbalanced microflora in your dog's digestive system. Feeding your dog plain, unsweetened yoghurt can restore that gut microflora and reuse the itchiness. This remedy works for dogs who are suffering from hives, allergy or specific type of rashes.

For small breed dogs, add one teaspoon and for large breed dogs add two teaspoons of yoghurt to the diet once per week. This will considerably improve their gut flora and reduce the itching.
I personally favor coconut oil and omega 3 for reducing itching in dogs
I personally favor coconut oil and omega 3 for reducing itching in dogs

Thyme

Thyme is a natural ingredient which contains flavonoids possessing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thyme also has anti fungal and antiseptic properties which makes it an amazing home remedy for use in case of skin and yeast infections.

If you notice your dog chewing his/her paws, make an infusion of fresh or dried thyme and apply it to the affected region. Ensure that the thyme gets in between your dog’s toes as well.

Chickweed

Chickweed is an excellent home remedy for treatment of hot spots and itches as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Chickweed gel can be used for topical applications. It has a pleasant cooling effect which can be used to treat minor rashes, eczema or insect bites.

Fish oil

Fish oil have omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are extremely helpful in reducing the inflammatory reactions.  They also reduce the production of histamines (released from mast cells and basophils; are the major contributors to the symptoms of allergy viz. scratching and itching in dogs).

A proper balanced diet

Providing your dog, a proper balanced diet with healthy carbohydrates and a lot of omega 3 fatty acids can help soothe and heal the skin from inside out. A lot of dogs are allergic to the common ingredients found in the standard kibble (dry dog food) like turkey, chicken, beef, wheat or gluten. Switching towards fish-based food or food which contains sweet potatoes can reduce the symptoms associated with food allergies. Fatty fishes which are rich in Omega 3 content have shown to reduce information promote the skin health as well as aids in digestion. Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

Personal experience

Delta has environmental allergy. He also has a very thin fur coat.  Thus, too much scratching leads to the development of bald spots quickly.  For the past 8 months, I have been adding coconut oil and Omega 3 supplements to his diet. These have worked wonders in causing new hair growth and making his fur shiny and soft. 

Conclusion:

Even though all these remedies are not work perfectly for every dog. There is a high chance that most of these remedies would work on most of the dogs. If a specific solution is not effective on your pup, do not hesitate to move on to the next one. Consult your vet before starting any of the above-mentioned remedies. If you find the symptoms worsening, stop administering the remedy immediately and consult your vet.

Thank you for reading.

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10 amazing home therapy options to reduce itching in dogs
10 amazing home therapy options to reduce itching in dogs




Friday, July 31, 2020

Bleeding in dogs: Quick guide in case of an emergency

How to quickly and precisely reduce bleeding in dogs in case of an emergency?


Dogs play rough. I am yet to see a dog who prefers to sit and play with his siblings when healthy. Usually there is a lot of teeth and paws involved. Under such circumstances there are bound to be cut and bruises resulting in bleeding. The dog's legs and paws are vulnerable to injury from nails or other sharp objects, and they will heavily bleed if cut. Dog's ears also bleed heavily when injured because the skin over the ear is very thin. Bleeding in dogs can be fatal if not brought under control soon.

What do you do in such a situation? A blood loss of even two teaspoons per pound of body weight can cause your dog to go into shock. The primary signs of shock are:
  1. white or pale gums
  2. rapid breathing or rapid heartbeat. 

If the bleeding is not stopped soon enough, it may even cause death. Thus, it is imperative for every dog guardian to know how to stop or at least get the bleeding under control for a time long enough to get your dog to the vet.

Bleeding can be internal or external. For internal bleeding, professional help will be required. However, you can bring the external bleeding under control because it usually happens from a skin wound.

In this blog post, I will discuss how to stop external bleeding until you can get to your vet.

 
How to stop bleeding in dogs
Bleeding in dogs can be controlled until you get to your vet

Initial steps to stop the wound from bleeding

Apply a direct and gentle pressure on the wound

The first step to stop a bleeding is to apply direct pressure on the wound. For this purpose, place a clean cloth or gauze directly on your dog's wound and apply firm yet gentle pressure allowing the blood to clot. Once the blood has clotted, do not disturb the clot.

If you observe blood soaking through the compress, do not remove the compress. Place a fresh compress or gauze on top of the old compress and proceed to apply pressure. If there is over one injury, tie the compress with bandages. If you do not have a compress at your home, use your hand or finger and apply gentle pressure until the clot forms.

You must wash your hands before you tend to your dog and after handling body fluids like pus or blood. It is preferable to use gloves if available.


Elevation

In case the wound is on a foot, paw or the leg is bleeding severely, make sure the leg is elevated and the positioned at an angle above the heart. Doing this will allow gravity to minimize the flow of the blood near the wound which will reduce the bleeding and allow clot formation. This method of elevation works best in case of big dogs with longer legs because there is more distance between the injury and the heart.

Once you have elevated your dog's leg, make sure you are applying direct pressure and compress on the wound for maximum effectiveness.

Precautions you must take before you start to help your dog

There are certain precautions which must be followed before and while taking care of your dog.

  • Wash and sanitize your hands before you start to tend to the wounds of your dog.
  • Muzzle your dog to protect yourself. Your dog might have the sweetest temperament but when injured your pup is likely scared and in a lot of pain. There is a high chance that he or she might lash out. You cannot help your dog if you yourself are bitten. Thus, muzzling is important.
  • Talk to your dog gently in a reassuring voice and if possible restrain him or her so that there is as little movement as possible.
  • Again wash and sanitize your hands after you have tended to the wound of your dog.
Always take necessary precautions before you tend to the bleeding of your dog
Always take necessary precautions before you tend to the bleeding of your dog

Protocol to be followed to restrict bleeding from different parts of the dog

Procedure to stop bleeding from dog's paws

Wrap the injured paw in a towel or a gauze and apply constant pressure. The bleeding should stop within 5 to 10 minutes. If the bleeding is occurring due to a broken nail, you can apply a silver nitrate steak or some cauterizing powder on the nail. In case silver nitrate or cauterizing powder is not available at your home, use baking powder or flour and cover up the injured nail with either of these. Make sure to keep the food wrapped in a towel until you can get to your veterinarian.

In case the foot is bleeding due to a torn foot pad or a deep cut, thoroughly check the foot for any kind of foreign object or debris. If you find a foreign object lodged in the foot, grasp the object with a pair of tweezers and very gently remove it from the foot. Keeping the paw under running water can also help remove small fragments lodged in the pad.

To stop the bleeding, apply pressure on the wound with a clean towel or gauze. Small cuts will stop bleeding soon. However, if you cannot stop the bleeding within 15 minutes, take your dog to the emergency vet clinic as soon as possible.

Procedure to stop the bleeding from dog's leg

In case, the cut is minor, check the leg for the presence of any foreign body lodged in them. Remove the fragment if it is reachable. Flush the wound with water, remove the small debris and cover the wound with a clean gauze or towel. Preferably tape the gauze around the leg until you can reach your vet’s office.

To treat a major cut, apply firm pressure on the same with a clean towel. Keep the leg elevated, preferably above the level of the heart to slow down the blood flow to the leg. As mentioned above, if the towel becomes soaked, do not remove the towel. Just place another clean towel on top of the soaked one.
Different protocols must be followed to control the bleeding from different parts of your dog
Different protocols must be followed to control the bleeding from different parts of your dog

Procedure to stop the bleeding from dog's torso

In case the cut happens on the torso (abdominal wall or chest), it will be difficult to keep the towel in place. Under such circumstances, you may need to tape the towel to keep in place. For this, wrap the towel with 3 to 4 layers of tape. Make sure to not tape the towel too tightly as it can restrict breathing, Use a hand towel, if your dog is of a small breed and a bath towel, if you have a large breed dog.

In case you hear your dog make sucking noises while breathing, keep the towel in place and immediately proceed to the emergency clinic. Some chest injuries may involve the lungs and can be potentially fatal. In case you notice an object protruding from the chest or abdomen, do not try to remove it. Instead, wrap the towel around the foreign object without disturbing it and immediately proceed to your vet.

Procedure to stop the bleeding from dog's ears

Ears tend to bleed heavily as there are a lot of blood vessels on the ear flap. Also, the habit of vigorous head shaking in dogs makes this situation a lot worse. Thus, even in case of a minor wound you may find profuse bleeding from your dog's ear.

Put a small towel or gauze on your dogs ear. Following this, fold the ear in top of your dogs head. Secure the towel in place by wrapping it with a tape. Make sure that there is a space of two fingers in between the neck and the bandage so that your pup’s breathing does not become restricted in any manner.

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What to do in case your dog is bleeding internally?

External bleeding can easily be detected while internal bleeding is not as easy. Internal bleeding can happen if your dog suffered an injury to one of his vital organs. However, there are ways in which you can detect if your dog has any internal bleeding.

  • Paleness in gums or eyelids
  • Coolness in the tail, legs or ears
  • Your dogs shows signs of extreme excitedness or is unusually quiet.
If your dog shows any of the above signs, take him or to the vet without delay. Every second counts in such situations Your prompt action can save your pup from a lot of discomfort.

Conclusion

Buy and store the following things at your home so that you can take immediate care of your pup in emergency situations:

  • Stack of gauze
  • Fresh towels
  • Antiseptic solution for dogs.
  • Tape for securing purposes.
Have you ever had to face such a situation? What did you do under such circumstances? Do you have any tips on stopping dog blood loss? If yes, kindly put it in the comments for all dog guardians to know.

Thank you for reading my post. I would be grateful if you can share this information with other dog guardians. Every dog guardian must be aware of emergency first aid procedures to be followed in case of bleeding in dogs.

See you in my next post.

Shruti






Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Excessive shedding in dogs: causes, treatment, home remedies

Is your dog shedding all over the house? Here are 14 solutions to reduce excessive shedding in dogs

Are you a dog guardian/parent? If yes, then you must have experience with dog hair lining almost every part of your household, be it the bed, sofa or floors. However, if your dog is shedding more than normal limits, it can be a cause of concern. Read on to find out the causes behind excessive shedding and how to reduce the same.

Dogs belonging to certain breeds like Newfoundlands, Golden retrievers , German Shepard’s, Pekingese etc. tend to shed a lot. On the other hand, breeds like Border Terriers, Dachshunds, Poodles, Basenji shed negligibly.

Different breeds of dogs shed in different manner. Some breeds shed all year round while others shed seasonally. The shedding tendency depends on the type of fur coat your dog has been endowed with. For example, a Golden retriever has a thick double coated fur, as a result of which these dogs shed all year round.
14 solutions to reduce excessive shedding in dogs
Delta has a single fur coat, thus he tends to shed less. Click here to know the story of Delta

Why does shedding happen?

Shedding is a natural process by which dogs lose their old and damaged hair. The amount and frequency of shedding depends on the health of your dog and his/her breed types. Breeds which are known to shed seasonally mostly shed during spring and fall. During spring time, the coat of your dog will become lighter. This happens in preparation of the warmer weather. Similarly during winters, again a higher incidence of shedding can be noticed.

Dogs who mostly stay indoors are observed to undergo lesser fluctuations in the coat thickness and shed equally all year.

Factors behind excessive shedding

Lack of proper nutrition:

Lack of proper nutrition is one of the major causes of shedding in dogs. Absence of essential elements like fish oil, vitamins and minerals can have a harmful effect on the dog’s fur.

Sex:

Females shed more when they give birth. The process from pregnancy to lactation (the birth process) uses up a lot of minerals, calcium and energy thus, leading to a post-partum condition wherein the female sheds heavily.

Spaying and neutering :

Neutering and spaying promotes changes in the fur coat of your dog. If you notice your dog's coat to have bald patches or sparse fur post neutering or spaying, your dog might be suffering from a health issue as a result of the procedure. Thus, make an appointment with your vet at the earliest.

Hormones:

Various hormones can cause excessive shedding in dogs. Low or high levels of any of the following hormones viz. estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, progesterone , thyroid and growth hormone can lead to excessive shedding

Stress and anxiety:

Stress and anxiety have similar effects on humans and dogs. Dogs tend to shed more if they are experiencing stress. A few symptoms of your dog being under stress are:

  • Yawning
  • Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Aggression
  • Ears pinned back
  • Avoidance
  • Destructive behavior

Get that shedding under control:

Even though we love our dogs more than words can possibly convey, we would be so much happier if our floors can be devoid of the tufts of dog fur. However, their might be times when your dog is shedding more than his/her normal limits. This can lead to development of bald patches on your dog's body if the excessive shedding is not brought under control in time. If the shedding causes the skin to look abnormal or irritated , you must fix an appointment with your vet at the earliest.

There are a few preventive measures which you can take to keep a control on your pup’s excessive shedding tendencies.

Regular brushing:

Brushing at regular intervals, daily or every 2-3 days (depending on the breed of your dog) with a type of brush which suits the fur type of your dog can remove the dead and loose fur in a controlled manner. Regular brushing will also stimulate the hair follicles of your dog, thus keeping his/her coat shiny, smooth and matte free.

While brushing, be gentle and take your time. Brushing is also a good opportunity to check your dog’s skin for anything unusual. During brushing, you can check for hidden cuts, wounds, lumps or bumps. Lumps or bumps are mostly related to tumor. In case you notice anything abnormal, make an appointment with your vet.

Control fleas and allergies:

Allergies and fleas tend to cause a lot of itchiness. Regular scratching can cause more hair shedding than is observed normally. It is also a sign that your pup could be suffering from some allergic condition. In case the excessive scratching is due to flea or ticks, make sure that you are bathing your pup with an anti flea and tick shampoo. If you notice any abrasions on the skin or redness, consult your vet as soon as possible

Use the right kind of shampoo:

Shampoos and conditioners which are specific for de-shedding not only clean the coot, they also remove the dead hair which might be stuck to the skin. De-shedding shampoos and conditioners contain omega fatty acids and moisturizers which hydrate the skin and fur, allowing the hair follicles to grow strong and healthy.

Oatmeal shampoos reduce excessive shedding. Bathe your dog with oatmeal shampoo once every week or once every fortnight depending on the breed of your dog. Keeping the coat regularly brushed and healthy will reduce excessive shedding.

After drying, use a grooming brush or a de-shedding tool to remove the remaining dead hair.

Proper well balanced diet:

Diet plays a major role in keeping the fur coat healthy and shiny. A dog who regularly eats a well balanced diet will get all the necessary nutrients and vitamins he/she needs for a proper growth of hair follicles and keep them resistant to breakage.

Most of the currently available commercial cost effective dog foods contain fillers like grains, cereals, corns and various plant derived fibers. These fillers provide a tough time to the digestive system of dogs and also comprise of miniscule or no nutritional content. Meat must be there primary source of food on account of them being facultative or scavenging carnivores, even though they are capable of surviving on plant diet.

Then, the recommended meal for all dogs is always enriched with meat. The only drawback of high quality meat food is its expensiveness but its metabolic benefits far outweighs the price factor.

Increase your dog’s water intake:

It is tricky to understand how much water your dog needs. However, if you notice that your boy/girl is shedding moon than normal, you may way to keep checking his/her water intake. As per the general rule, a dog should drink one ounce of water per body weight (in pounds) every day. If your dog is drinking less water, it can lead to dehydration of the skin. Dehydrated skin tend to shed more hair.

If you are facing problems in making your dog drink adequate amount of water, try the following tips:
  • Add flavoring agents like bone broth or chicken to the water.
  • Always make sure that the bowl and the water is clean.
  • Provide ice critics as treats.
  • Keep multiple bowls of water scattered all around the house. 

If you have an otherwise healthy pup, who is only shedding excessively, try out the following supplements after consulting your vet.

Oils:

Excessive shedding can also be caused by a absent of fat component in your dog’s diet. Thus, adding certain dietary oils to your pup’s food might help reduce shedding.

Omega 3 fatty acid:

It helps to lubricate the skin and causes reduction in itchy and scaly skin. Omega 3 fatty aids include gamma-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, linoleic acid and dihomogamma linolenic acid. Omega 3 fatty acids are most abundant in fishes like salmon and tuna. These two can be added to your dog's diet if you give him/her home-cooked meals.

Omega 6 fatty acid:

Omega 6 fatty acids iodide ecosapentanoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and alpha linolenic acid. It helps in retaining the moisture in dull and dry coats.

Minerals:

Zinc:

Promotes development of a healthy coat and supports the immune system.

Vitamins:

Vitamins A and D


Boosts the quality of coat and skin.

Vitamin E:

It is an antioxidant which helps to reduce free radicals, thus keeps the skin looking healthy and young. There are 3 ways to use vitamin E for your pup:

  • Apply directly to your dogs skin
  • Add vitamin E to water and bathe your dog.
  • Administer vitamin E pill orally.

In case you decide to administer the pill orally, consult your vet regarding the dosage.

Home remedies to reduce excessive shedding in dogs

Add olive oil to your dogs food:

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the meal of your dog. Olive oil contain omega 3 fatty aids which will condition your dog fur coat from the inside.

Yoghurt:

A small amount of plain yoghurt given as a snack or administration of acidophilus pills can help prevent yeast from infesting the skin of your dog and reduce excessive shedding.

Add molasses to diet:

Give one teaspoon of molasses per 10 pounds body weight. Molasses are known to help reduce shedding. Molasses contain vitamin B16 which has essential roles in the digestion of fat, synthesis of haemoglobin and is responsible for the metabolization of amino acids present in proteins.

Coconut oil:

Coconut oil is a superfood for dogs. The plethora of benefits of coconut oil include reduction in allergic reactions, improvement in the fur coat, better digestion and so much more. Click here to know the complete benefits of this super oil for your pups. Start with ¼ teaspoon everyday for small dogs and I teaspoon per 10 pounds body weight for larger dogs.

Flaxseed oil:

Flaxseed oil is one of the prominaret sources of omega 3 fatty acids. It usually contains linolenic acid which can viperous the eye, skin ailments and provide lustre to the fur coat. Thus, it is a great addition to the diet of your pup.

Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is a readily available home remedy for the treatment of ringworm fungus which are known to cause over shedding in dogs.

There are 2 methods in which ACV can be used to reduce shedding
  • Add a small amount of ACV to your dogs drinking water. You will notice the improvements within a month.
  • Make a solution of ACV and water. Rinse your dog’s coat with this solution after bath and allow the coat to air dry.
For more information about the amazing benefits of ACV, click here.

When to visit the vet?

Certain medical conditions can also cause your dog to shed excessively like:
  • Parasitic infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Sunburn
  • Emotional/physical stress
  • Hormonal issues
  • Skin allergies
Excessive shedding in dogs: causes, treatment, home remedies
Excessive shedding in dogs: causes, treatment, home remedies

If your dog is exhibiting hair loss leading to patchy baldness or exceptionally high hair loss, take him/ her to the vet soon.

Conclusion:

It is not possible to solve the problem of shedding all at once but you can definitely work towards reducing it. Sometimes excessive shedding can be the cause behind diseases like Cushing’s disease which affects dogs of senior dogs. If your dog sheds excessively despite of all your efforts, then it is time to pay a visit to your veterinarian.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Your dog's age in human years

What is your dog's age in human years?

The topic that I am writing this article on is something that has intrigued me a lot over the years. I have always loved dogs and wished that they lived as long as humans . Sadly, we don't always get what we wish for. Delta is currently one and a half years old. Even though I always refer to him as my baby boy, deep down I know he is anything but a baby. So how do I find out your dog's age in human years?


The old calculation for finding out your dogs age in human years:

As per the old theory, one year of your dog equals to 7 human years. Thus, if your dog is 1 year old, he/she is 7 years old in human age. If your dog is 5 years old, he/she is 35 years old in human age.

So every time you wish to calculate the human age equivalent for any dog, multiply your dog's age with 7.

As per current research, the above mentioned formula does not hold true for calculating a dogs age in human age.

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Epigenetic study to understand the ageing process in dogs:

Calculate your dog's age in human years
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According to a 2019 study conducted by the researchers of the University of California, San Diego , a new calculation method has been put forth for calculating dog's age in human years .

This method of calculation has its basis in the changes which accumulate in the DNA of dog's as well as humans over time. In case of both species, methyl groups are added to the DNA stand throughout the aging process. This addition alters the activity of DNA without actually altering the sequence of the DNA stand. Due to these DNA modifications, the DNA methylation has been focused on by scientists for the purpose of studying the ageing process in both humans and animals via the EPIGENETIC CLOCK.

For this particular study, 104 Labrador Retrievers were recruited spanning over a 16 year range of age. Targeted DNA sequencing was performed on the blood of these dogs to understand the change in the pattern of DNA methylation with ageing process and find how it related to human ageing.

They have proposed the following formula for calculating the dogs age in human years:

Multiply the natural logarithm of the dog's age by 16 and add 31 to it.
Human age of your dog = 16In(dog age)+31

The size and breed of the dog may also have a role in their ageing process. Thus, the above mentioned study cannot be considered as an all breeds inclusive one. Small sized dogs have been observed to lead a longer life than their larger sized counterparts. Small sized dogs also tend to reach maturity faster. Larger dogs need more time to attain maturity. Furthermore, this new epigenetic modification related formula has definitely put an end to the "multiply by 7 to know your dog's age myth".

You have a new dog and you don't know his dog age...
What to do?

In case you rescue or adopt a dog, it is difficult to know immediately what age the dog might be. However, on the basis of the following cues, you can still make a rough guess of the dog's age.

The teeth of dog's say a lot about their life and age in general. The following guidelines to help determine your dog's approximate age may vary from dog to dog and may not be conclusive if your companion has had dental care on any occasion.
By 8 weeks all teeth become visible in pups
By 8 weeks all teeth become visible in pups

By the period of 8 weeks: All the baby teeth should be visible.

Around 7 months of age: All the permanent teeth have come and are completely white in color.

By 1-2 years of age: The color of the teeth becomes dull . The teeth at the back may start to show some yellowness.

By 3-5 years of age: Almost all teeth begin to show the development of tartar. Some wearing of the tooth may also be noticed.

By 5-10 years of age: The teeth starts to show more wear and tear. Some signs of disease may start to become visible.

By 8-10 years of age: The teeth will appear worn and a heavy tarter build up is likely to be observed.

The best person to make a calculated guess of your dog's age is your veterinarian. He/she may conduct a thorough physical examination or medical test which focus on the health of the joints , internal organs, bones and muscles.


Some specific signs of aging in senior dogs is as follows :

  • Loose skin
  • Stiffness in the legs
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Presence of gray hair around the muzzle and spreading from there to other areas of the body, face and head.
The above mentioned signs will definitely give you a fair idea of your dog's age range. Now you also have the method to find out your dogs human age. As per the formula, a dog of age 2 years will be equivalent to a human of age 42 years. However, after this, the again process slows. A dog of age 5 years will be equivalent to a human of age 56.75 years while a dog of 10 years age will be equivalent to a 67.8 year old human. These results may become more intriguing once more breeds of different sizes are studied.


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Calculate your dog's age in human years
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Thursday, July 2, 2020