a The Happy Puppers (Dog care, grooming, behavior and training): Disease
Showing posts with label Disease. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disease. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why do dogs lick their own urine? 11 Causes and 19 remedies

I cannot imagine how grossed out you must have felt when you saw your dog lick up his or her pee for the first time! Read the complete blog post to understand the causes behind such behavior and how to rectify it.

Dogs lapping up their own urine can either stem from a physical discomfort or a behavioral problem. First step is to rule out any possible medical conditions which may force your dog to dink his own urine. If their is no associated medical reason for this behavior, then it most likely is stemming from a behavioral issue. To address this problem, you must first understand the causes behind said behavior.

Causes behind dogs drinking their own urine:

As I mentioned earlier, drinking their own pee in dogs can be a result of an ongoing physical problem or a psychological issue. 

To diagnose any underlying medical issue, pay a visit to your veterinarian. If the licking of urine is indeed due to an underlying health problem, your dog will be checked and provided medications to rectify the underlying disease.

Let’s start with understanding the medical factors which contribute to this problem:


If your dog does not have enough supply of water and is suffering from dehydration, he or she will go to the closest source to receive hydration, even if that is their own urine. Dogs have not been observed to drink their own urine if they are adequately hydrated. 

A new puppy needs several reminders of the location of the water bowl before they remember. If they forget the location of their bowl, they may drink their own urine. Older dogs suffering from dementia may also drink urine if they forget the location of their water bowl. 

Cushing’s syndrome:

This is a rare disease observed in dogs. It is caused by the formation of a tumors in the pituitary gland of your dog, the primary symptoms of this disease are excessive urination and uncontrolled thirst. The need to urinate frequently will cause a buildup of pee in the house and the excessive thirst will cause your dog to lap up his or her own urine to overcome the thirst.

Why dogs drink urine?

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Suffering from UTI is a common occurance in dogs. The most common symptoms of this disease are blood in urine, fever, frequent urination and accidental urination indoors. If your dog is suffering from UTI, he or she will constantly feel thirsty and may drink his or her urine as they are suffering from peeing accidents and their is availability of urine in the house.

Urinary incontinence:

Licking up their own urine as well as urinary incontinence is a common behavior observed in dogs of advanced ages of both sexes especially neutered females. This problem can occur due to a wide variety of reasons, a few of them being: urinary tract problems. Urinary bladder infection etc. If these conditions are ignored or left untreated, thy will cause large amounts of urine to leak from the bladder when the dog lays down.

Other potential medical reasons:

If you pup is drinking his own urine due to being thirsty, increasing the water quantity should eliminate the problem. However, if your dog is excessively thirsty, veterinary attention may be needed. Excessive thirst or polydipsia may be caused due to underlying conditions like hepatic diseases, kidney malfunction as well as congenital diseases like diabetes. 

Other few potential medical issues behind uncontrolled thirst may be side effects of a medicine, deficiency of protein in your dog’s diet, or old age.  

Now that we have understood the physical or underlying medical causes behind such behavior, it it time to have a look at all behavioral issues which can give rise to this behavior:

No place to urinate: 

if your dog is housebroken, he or she is used to going outside to conduct their personal business. How we, if your dog is at home for long hours with no one available to take him or her out, he or she will pee wherever they choose. Since your dog is house trained, he or she will recognize this as unwanted behavior and may try to lick up the urine as a way to hide or get rid of the evidence.

Some dog guardians have a backyard which can be freely accessed by the dog. Under such conditions, the pup can go out when needed. Even in the presence of a doggy door, some dogs may feel uncomfortable using it to get out and may pee on the floor itself.

Your dog is not housebroken or is under training: 

It is common for pups to have accidents when they enter a new home. A few accidents must be expected by dog guardians during the initial training period. Your dog may feel embarrassed by peeing indoors and may try to eliminate the evidence by lapping it up. 

Raised in puppy mills: 

Puppy mills are the places where the dogs are bred for the purpose to selling their puppies. The living conditions in puppy mills are inhumane as the pups are often kept locked in small cages or boxes. The pups are fed inside their cages. They are not even led out to poop or pee. Thus, puppies may learn to eat their own poop or drink their own urine as no one taught them otherwise. Another cause might be the absence of adequate amount of water.

Bad habit:

Just like humans, dogs can also pick up bad habits. A few of these are barking at mailman, chasing cars, barking at other people etc. However, these behavior may also include peeing indoors. If your dog is exhibiting such behavior, do not scold him or her. Scolding your dog for bad habits only want them to hide the said habit from your eyes leading to the exhibiting the behavior but learning to hide the evidence. Thus, for peeing indoors, consider retaining your dog with positive reinforcement. 

Why dogs drink urine?


This reason may seem highly bizarre to a lot of dog guardians. However, some puppies have been observed to actually enjoy the taste of urine and thus prefer to drink urine over fresh water even when the later is available. 

To understand the opposite sex:

Some male dogs may taste the during to female dogs to decipher if the later is in heat. 

Now that we have uncovered all potential causes behind dogs licking their own urine, its time to know and understand how this behavior can be corrected.


 A few considerations which can be taken into account by a dog guardian facing the pee drinking problem are as follows:

  • Provide enough water to your dog
  • Redo house training with your dog 
  • Reinforce good behavior with ample rewards 
  • Say a stern NO when the inappropriate behaviour is exhibited
  • Provide your dog with an easy access to the backyard through a doggy door so that your dog can easily pee outside
  • Get a complete wellness check done for your dog to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

If your dog is a puppy mill survivor, chances are he or she picked up the bad habit from the unfortunate environment of the mill. You may also face some difficulty in house training your pup. The key ingredient needed to train your pup will be patience. No dog is untrainable. It’s the humans who may lose patience before time. So give yourself and your dog time to learn the new behavior. Never use any form of negative reinforcement on your pup. A ton of positive reinforcement and patience will bring your dog on the right track. 

Another tip which may come in very handy is is to always clean up the accident as soon as it occurs. Do not leave the urine to dry out and do not use white vinegar or bleach to clean the urine. Firstly, bleach or vinegar may cause carpet or hardwood floor discoloration. Secondly, the smell of ammonia will lure your dog back to the spot as the smell is similar to your dog’s urine.

To clean up your dog’s urine, it is preferable to use enzyme based cleaners. These types of cleaners work by breaking down the Uris acid and protease in your dog’s urine. They also disinfect the floor of any bacterial contamination. Other options for floor cleaning are using a mixture of hydrogens peroxide and baking soda or water which is great at neutralising odours. 

Give your pup more ME time:

Take your pup out more frequently so that all the urination happen outside the house rather than inside. If you cannot afford to take out dog out, you can hire a dog walker. They will only come to take your dog out to pee and poop. This is a great option if you work long hours daily. 

Why dogs drink urine?

Some final tips:

  • You can have a designated spot covered with puppy pads and train your dog to go there if the option to go out is not available. 
  • You can also train your dog to use talking buttons so they can relay to you their reason for wanting to go out.
  • You can teach your dog to use the pee and poo bell. Teach them to ring the bell when they need to pee or poop. Always take them out once before retiring for the night. This increases the chance of your pup not peeing or pooping in the house during sleep time. 
  • If your dog is exhibiting such behaviour out of boredom, then your dog is in need of mental stimulation. Check out this post on how to make homemade dog toys to stimulate your pup mentally and keep them busy for a long time. 
  • If you are going to be out for long, hire a dog sitter, so that your dog can maintain his or her routine of going out at the right time.
  • If your dog had an accident in the house, do not scold him or her. Instead take him or her out as son as possible.
  • Treat your dog like a world famous celebrity when they exhibit good behavior. 
  • Monitor the color of your dogs pee. A dark urine is a sure sign of dehydration in dogs. 
  • Make sure your dogs know where the water bowls are located in the house.
  • If your dog suffers from urinary incontinence, you can make him or her wear a diaper or belly bands. 
  • Last but not the least, understand the underlying cause of this behavior before you try to correct it. 


Does your dog drink his or her urine? If yes, how did you make him or her get rid or such behavior? If you wish for your story to be featured on my blog, subscribe to the blog newsletter and drop me an email. I’d love to put up your story/anecdote on my blog.

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

Herbal remedies for cataracts in dogs

Cataract is one of the worst nightmare for any dog guardian. Read the complete blog post to know all the herbal remedies for cataracts in dogs

Have you noticed that your dog’s eyes are starting to cloud up with a whitish tinge? This is generally indicative towards the fact that your dog is probably developing cataract. Just like humans, dogs can also get affected by cataract. It causes a white haze to form in front of the lens of the eye and impedes your dog’s vision.   

If you are worried about your dog developing this heinous disease and losing his or her version, read the full blog post to know the home remedies you can use to prevent cataract as well as to heal your dog if he or she is suffering from cataract.

Do you know why cataracts occur in dogs and what are the normal preventive measures available for the same? I invite you to check out my blog post on cataract: cataracts in dogs the causes symptoms and treatment options. When dogs develop cataract, the crystalline lens in the eye looses its transparency and light from outside can no longer reach the retina. This leads to a vision disorder. Depending on the age and previous health conditions of your dog, cataract can either develop slowly or it may develop before you realise.

If you are still reading, then you know what is cataract in case of dogs, its causes, symptoms as well as treatment options available. Let’s focus on the natural remedies which are available for cataracts. Most natural remedies will not be able to heal your dog of the cataract, however, they will ensure that the cataract does not progress any further. Let’s look at the natural cataract remedies for dogs

Herbal remedies for cataract in dogs

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to be an antioxidant by virtue of which it prevents cells from ageing fast. It has also been known to improve vision. You can use the following dose of vitamin C as a supplement to keep your dog from developing cataract and also to keep your dog young and healthy:

250 mg every day for dogs belonging to small breeds

500 mg every day for dogs belonging to medium-sized breeds

Up to 1000 mg every day for dogs belonging to the large dog breeds.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A has proven that it can act as a shield of good health. It is known to be the best supplement for eye care. It has also shown to protect the integrity of the epithelium of the eye. This epithelium primarily covers the eyeball. If you wish to administer vitamin A to your dog as a supplement, kindly check out the following doses

1500 IU every day for dogs belonging to small treats

3000 IU every day for dogs belonging to medium-sized dog breeds

5000 to 7000 IU daily for dogs belonging to the large breeds.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another natural antioxidant. It has been known to heal the oxidative damage which occurs in tissues as and when ageing happens. To administer vitamin E as a regular supplement to your dog, check out the following doses:

100 IU every day for dogs belonging to small dog breeds

200 IU daily for dogs belong to medium-sized dog breeds

400 IU daily for dogs belonging to large breeds

Coenzyme Q 10

Coenzyme Q 10 is another natural antioxidant. It is commonly taken by humans as well as dogs. This antioxidant is known to stop the progression of cataracts and has been known in some cases, to reverse the effects of cataract as well. It has been observed to strengthen and protect the eye. The following doses of coenzyme Q 10 should be administered to dogs:

15 mg every day for dogs belonging to small breeds

22 mg every day for dogs belonging to medium-sized breeds

30 mg every day for dogs belonging to the large dog breeds

The Dosage of coenzyme Q 10 as well as vitamins can be divided into half and the portions can be administered once in the morning and once in the evening.

Bilberry extract: 

Certain herbal remedies have been observed to reduce the rate of cataract advancement. Among these, Bilberry extract has been observed to be pretty effective. Bilberry contains an antioxidant which has the ability to fight I diseases. It is for this reason that Bilberry is also sometimes referred to as the vision herb.

Other herbal remedies

Other herbs which may be used to counteract and reduce cataract progression are rosemary, meadow sweet, grape seed extract, turmeric as well as burdock. The eye washes which are made with eye bright tea and greater calendine tea have been observed to reduce the progression of canine cataracts.


Remember when your mother told you that carrots must be eaten since they are good for your eyes? Not only was she right about your eye, she was also right about your dog’s eye. The reason behind this is the presence of beta carotene carotenoid in carrots. Lutein, another carotenoid  which is found in leafy greens can also help reduce the progression of canine cataracts and protect the eye from any further damage.

Herbal remedies for cataract in dogs

Topical treatment

Succus cineraria with artificial tears in a 50:50 ratio has been observed to improve vision in some dog suffering from cataracts. Other topical treatments which have shown mixed results in case of canine cataracts are cysteine ascorbate, riboflavin, glutathione and l-taurine. 

Now that you know the natural supplements which can prevent as well as reduce cataract in your dog, what about the efficacy of the same?

The primary thing to remember here for all the guardians is that supplements are not miracle workers. Thus, no one should expect instant results. Currently there is a growing support towards the administration and usage of the natural remedies for canine cataract. Supplements for canine cataracts have shown that they can be an effective preventive measure as well as a great option as treatment for the same. However, these treatments have shown no permanent effect so far. 

Another promising remedy: eyedrops with lanosterol

Lanosterol is an organic compound which has recently been discovered as one that can improve vision by just dissolving the clumped proteins which form cataracts. Three dogs who were suffering from natural cataracts observed a complete clearance of vision within six weeks of treatment with these eyedrops. These results have cleared up a path towards a new nonsurgical treatment for cataracts.

Balance lifetime diet

A balance lifetime diet can help prevent the occurrence of cataract in your dog. Obesity is one of the factor which contributes to the risk of diabetes and cataracts. So keep an eye on your dog’s weight always. Provide your dog food items which are rich in amino acids like cysteine, glycine, glutamic acid, bioflavonoids, zinc, manganese, selenium and finally vitamin A, C, E.

If your dog is already suffering from cataract, avoid giving him or her any kind of processed meat, dairy products or saturated fats. 


Nutraceuticals like wheat grass sprouts have shown a great promise as natural treatment for canine cataracts. You can either feed your dog fresh sprouts or you can purchase high-quality wheat grass powder supplement for your pup.

Algae/ seaweed

Algae/seaweed posesses the minerals, vitamins, liver detoxifier and antioxidants which have detoxifying properties which can act as natural canine cataract remedy. 

Whole krill

Krill is an amazing source of carotenoid, astaxanthin and other great antioxidants which are recommended to keep your dog’s eye safe and sound. 

Herbal remedies for cataract in dogs

Have you ever tried using natural remedies for canine cataracts? Please share your experiences in the comment section below. If you have a story or anecdote about your pup that you wish to share on my blog, please contact me on one of my social media channels.

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Please check out this super cute video from our YouTube channel, Shruti and Delta. If you like the content, please don’t forget to like, subscribe as well as share it with your friends and family.

See you in my next blog post


Monday, February 8, 2021

Kennel cough in dogs: causes and symptoms

February 08, 2021 0

Does your dog show symptoms of hacking away or is constantly making noises which sounds like he/she is choking on something?? If yes, then your pup maybe suffering from canine infectious trachealbronchitis or kennel cough.


Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dogs normally contract kennel cough via places where there are large amounts of dog congregates like daycare or boarding facilities, training groups, dog shows, and dog parks. Kennel cough can be spread to other dogs by either a direct contact like touching noses, droplets, or by use of contaminated surfaces like food, water, or water bowl. Even though kennel cough sounds like a dreadful disease, it is fairly treatable. However, if the disease affects immunocompromised dogs or young puppies (younger than six months) it can present in a severe manner and is difficult to treat.

Understand the symptoms of kennel cough in dogs

What causes kennel cough in dogs?

Kennel cough can be caused by many types of viruses and bacteria. Sometimes, this can be caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses. The most common bacterial strain which causes Kennel cough is the Bordetella bronchiseptica. This is the reason, Kennel cough is sometimes referred to as Bordetella. Most of the time, it has been observed that dogs are more susceptible to a Bordetella infection if their immune system has been detained by a previous infection. A few viruses which have been known to make dogs susceptible to kennel cough are canine distemper virus, canine herpes virus, canine adenovirus, canine reovirus, and parainfluenza virus.

How can your dog get infected by Kennel cough?

The name of kennel cough is mainly derived from the word Kendall or shelter which is the primary region from where dogs acquire the infection. Not many get infected by being around other dogs who are suffering from kennel cough. There are a few factors that have been known to exacerbate the likelihood that your dog might get infected.

These factors are:

  • ·       Staying with dogs who are suffering from kennel cough
  • ·       Dogs were living in crowded conditions
  • ·       Poor ventilation availability
  • ·       Exposure to cigarette or dust smoke
  • ·       Stress-induced due to traveling
  • ·       Living in cold conditions


What are the primary symptoms of kennel cough?

If your dog is suffering from kennel cough, your dog might display a few or multiple of the following symptoms:

  • A strong coughing sound often accompanying the dry sound of honking, this is the most obvious Kennel cough symptom.
  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • Runny nose or eye discharge


The sound of kennel cough can be as if your dog has something stuck in his or her throat. The noises your dog makes does not sound like a reverse sneeze or sneeze. However, the noises can be dry and hoarse or there can be mucus production associated with it, which your dog may try to swallow. Besides the above-mentioned symptoms, your dog should not fall ill and have a normal appetite.

How does kennel cough spread from one dog to the other?

As previously mentioned, kennel cough is a highly contagious disease and can easily spread from one dog to another. The most likely transmission method is when dogs cough, the viruses, and bacteria become airborne and can quickly enter into the respiratory tract of other animals. Kennel cough can also be transmitted via dog toys, shared dog food bowls for other shared items.

If you are speculating that your dog might be suffering from kennel cough, keep your dog isolated from all the other animals in the house to limit the spread of infection.


What is the incubation period of kennel cough?

Usually, the incubation period of this disease ranges from 2 to 14 days. During this time your dog is likely to spread the infection, thus, it is advised to keep your dog away from other dogs. However, it has been observed that in some cases, dogs can stay as carriers for several months without exhibiting the symptoms of kennel cough.

How long does the disease last?

It has been observed that kennel cough usually clears up within a span of two to three weeks. At times, it can take up to six weeks to clear up. This is mostly observed in the case of older dogs or dogs who are suffering from pre-existing medical conditions.

In extremely rare and severe cases, the illness can progress to become pneumonia. Thus, keep an eye on your dog and immediately contact your veterinarian if your dog’s condition is not improving.

What is the treatment of kennel cough?

Kennel cough has been observed to usually go away on its own. In most cases, it clears up within a span of three weeks and does not require any treatment. While suffering from kennel cough, if your dog is otherwise eating well and displays his or her normal behavior, then you have nothing to worry about. You can use home remedies to keep your dog more comfortable and reduce the discomfort of kennel cough. This includes keeping your dog in a humid area and avoid using the collar on your dog

If you want to pay your vet a visit, it is advised to call your vet beforehand so that when you take your dog in, the contact of your dog with other animals at the vet clinic can be strictly avoided. The vet might prescribe antibiotics to target the Bordetella. They can also prescribe an anti-inflammatory or an anti-cough medicine to soothe your dog’s sore throat.

Is there a vaccine available for kennel cough?

Generally, puppy and booster vaccinations include antibodies against some of the viruses which can cause kennel cough. These viruses mostly include canine distemper, canine adenovirus, canine parainfluenza virus, and canine influenza virus. There are vaccines available which are specific against Bordetella. These vaccines are generally administered as either as an injection or a nasal spray. However, since Kennel cough includes a wide range of bacterial strains, one vaccine against kennel cough cannot guarantee complete protection for your dog.


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Symptoms of kennel cough in dogs

Can kennel cough be transmitted to humans?

Even though most of the canine viruses do not get transmitted to humans, Bordetella bronchiseptica has the ability to infect humans. However, this is rarely observed and mainly infects people who have a weakened immune system. Such cases have been observed to be very few and should not be a concern for most of the dog guardians.

Has your or your acquaintance's dog ever suffered from kennel cough? Is there any advice you have for other dog guardians about the same? Please share your experiences in the comment section below. If you wish to share your stories as part of my blog post, make sure to contact me on one of my social media channels and subscribe to this blog

Thank you

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