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Posts Tagged ‘cool’

postheadericon We like to take our pets on daily walks

We like to take our pets on daily walks. After all, we are concerned with their health and should want them to remain in good shape. But beware of the unseen health risks to your pet that can be associated with the summer heat.

Presently I have 4 dogs in our kennel that are being watched this month. They range in age and their general health conditions vary, and each must be considered when taking these dogs for their walks.

The current makeup consists of 2 puppies only 3-4 months of age, an 8 year old but overweight German shepherd, and a 13 year old mix breed.

A single walking session shows the effects that summer plays on each dog’s individual condition. The two puppies are young, vibrant and full of energy, and do not hesitate at the prospect of a 20 minute walk through the woods. The 8 year old shepherd and the 13 year old mixed are also looking forward to the same walk.

Within a few moments of walking into the woods, (the woods are about 100 yards from the kennel), you can notice a considerable change form the harsh daily sun to a much cooler shaded area of the woods. At this point each dog is holding their own on this simple and short walk.

At the halfway point, now 10 minutes of walking, we take a momentary rest, more for my sake then that of the dogs. Each dog is panting quite regularly at this stage. None of them look at all tired, and none have stopped to drink any water from my bottle.

Due to a recent rainstorm the night before, we have come across an occasional puddle or two for them to wade in. This has helped them stay a little refreshed.

As we head past the 3-quarter mark of this trail, there is a considerable difference in the overweight shepherd’s desire to lead the pack. At this point, the older 13 year old mixed dog, is actually keeping a stronger pace then the young puppies, even though the puppies have stopped a number of times to rest and take on water.

By the time we reach the stretch of trail back to the kennel area, the fours dogs are showing signs of being both tired and thirsty. The last 10 feet lead straight to a waiting pool filled with fresh cold water. The older dogs take a few moments to grab a quick drink while the puppies play and splash around happily. All four dogs are taking a well deserved rest.

By and far they all show some signs of being tired. But keep this in mind that they each have reacted differently to the same walk, under the same conditions. The puppies did tend to pull more on their leashes, which will cause them to put additional stress on their collars and breathing. The overweight 8 year old, while younger showed more signs of fatigue then the older 13 year old. The mixed dog is not carrying around a lot of excess body fat. The extra weight and fat is putting additional stress on the larger dog’s legs, chest and his heart.

Be careful of walking your pets in the hot summer months. Take then out during the early morning or later evenings when it is cooler. Make sure to take water with you, for the pets and yourself, if you’re going to be walking any kind of long distance. When they get back, give them fresh clean water from a hose or kiddies pool. They have thick fur coats and only cool down through their tongues so please let them relax in the shade and take a break during the walk to make sure they are not getting to overheated.

Be careful to avoid heat strokes or other conditions that can be avoided with a few simple steps. Bottom line is that you should not risk your pet’s health simply because it is the summertime and you went for a walk.

postheadericon People are not the only ones exposed to numerous health risks

People are not the only ones exposed to numerous health risks. Pets too are in danger of experiencing a variety of health problems. When pets are sick, they usually go through a lot of pain, leaving them stressed and even sleepless at night.  Resting is the most common way of recharging one’s self and doctors always advice patients to take a good rest.  The same advice is given by vets to pet owners. Studies also show that resting, specially sleeping brings a lot of relief and comfort for sick pets.

Since sleeping plays an important role in the pet’s fast recovery, owners must also give importance to their sleeping area.  The cold floor may not be suitable to their aching joints and may worsen their arthritis.  Giving them therapeutic pet beds can help them soothe their body ache as they lay on soft and comfortable mattresses.  There is a wide variety of dog beds and cat beds available today.  Pet supply manufacturers have developed temperature controlled beds that can either perform heating or cooling functions.  A correct body temperature is better for their health in cold or hot environments.  During the cold season, pets would surely love the warmth of heated dog beds and during the hot season, pets would enjoy the cooling effect of cooling dog beds.  Both these products have medicinal or therapeutic benefits to dogs of all ages.

Pets with joint ailments like old and arthritic dogs can take advantage of therapeutic or orthopaedic pet beds. These will save them from excessive moisture, heat, cold and pests. They provide comfort and support to the pressure points like the spine, hips, and shoulders.  Any pet will surely enjoy these cozy and soft foams that perfectly match their weight and shape.

postheadericon What is the single most significant ancillary item in household aquariums

What is the single most significant ancillary item in household aquariums? You guessed it right – it is a water chiller! The natural environment for fish is water and just like any living being, fish is susceptible to changes in this environment. A constant temperature bath where the temperature depends on the variety of the fish is a must in any aquarium, lest the fish may not survive too long. A water chiller is therefore imperative for “climatic control” most suitable to the species of fish. This may vary for different kinds of marine life but we shall only discuss the most common techniques of temperature control.

Type of water chiller available in the market

There are three prime kinds of water chiller available for fish aquariums. They are based on the thermoelectric, or inline chillers, or drop-in chiller systems. When finalizing on this system one must take into account the space available and the plumbing requirements, without which the temperature control will not be effective. The aquarium parts like stirrer, lighting, pumps give out a lot of heat that can easily raise the temperature of the water to unbearable levels for the delicate fish. An aquarium owner is always aware of the drastic effect of changing temperatures on the health of his pets and therefore great care must be taken to choose the best system available at the pet stores. Do not ever compromise on water chiller quality and wide duty rating since extreme climates such as in the US can cause a lot of distress to the pet owners.

Let us now see what the salient features of the water chiller and where a specific type should be used.

– Thermoelectric Chillers – If you have a small freshwater or salt water fish tank then thermoelectric type of water chiller is best and a fine example is the IceProbe chiller. These types of chillers are only suitable for tanks with a capacity lower than 55 gallons. For larger aquariums one needs to use the in-line type of chillers.
– Drop-in water chiller – This type of chiller is most suitable for fast water flow requirements and large tanks. Reef aquariums are particularly using drop-in chillers. Constrained space warrants a compact system and this type of chillers perfectly fit into the requirements of the aquarium and its inmates.
– In-line water chiller – This water chiller may not be totally suitable for home aquariums unless it is for a mansion or a large villa or a ranch in Texas! It requires in-line filtered water and intensive plumbing etc. Therefore it may be more suitable for larger commercial spaces.

How should one choose a water chiller?

As mentioned earlier, a water chiller is very important for the health of your fish and it should be chosen with care and by considering the size of the aquarium, what kind of fish is being kept inside the tank, temperature generation level tolerated by the fish, and overall setup of the aquarium assembly. The main purpose of cooling and maintaining the temperature of the water must always be kept in mind and the setup so chosen that the circulating water, aeration to provide oxygen to the fish and other relevant factors are satisfied. A water chiller is an integral part of the aquarium assembly that must be planned earlier to the purchase or breeding of your fish.

postheadericon Summer is when dogs are most at risk of being affected by heatstroke

Summer is when dogs are most at risk of being affected by heatstroke. A dog’s normal body temperature is 100°F to 102.5°F but, unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands throughout their skin.  Their only methods for cooling include limited sweat glands on the pads of their feet and nose, and panting. Both of which are inefficient at cooling their body temperature in extreme situations. If a dog cannot effectively dissipate heat, their internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog’s temperature exceeds 104° damage to their body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible. With heatstroke the cells literally cook.

Have you ever said to yourself “I’m just going to run into the store for a minute, my dog will be fine in the car?”  Well, including the time to walk to the store from your car, shopping, and checkout, a minute is never just a minute. A study by the Animal Protection Institute showed that even moderately warm outside temperatures can quickly lead to deadly temperatures inside a closed car. In just a few minutes the internal temperature of a car can easily reach 40° higher than the outside temperature even if parked in the shade with the windows cracked open. Being left in a car is the number one cause of heatstroke in dogs.

Although exercise is essential for a happy and healthy dog, be sure to choose a time of day, during hot months, that is safe for heavy activity and pay close attention to how your dog is responding. Owners with breeds such as Pugs, English Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers need to be especially attentive to their pet’s needs, as they are less tolerant of heat. When you are playing and exercising outside, always make sure your dog has plenty of fresh cool water and access to a shaded area at all times.  Be sure to take frequent breaks and allow your dog to cool down before resuming activity. If you take walks, try to go in the early morning or in the evening and remember to take water with you.

How do you know if your dog may have heatstroke? Some of the symptoms include:

–          A rectal temperature over 104 ° F (needs immediate veterinary attention)

–          A rectal temperature of 106 °F or greater (dire emergency)

–          Excessive panting

–          Bright red gums and tongue

–          Gums feel dry to the touch

–          Thick saliva

–          Excessive shaking

–          Staggering

–          Lying down and refusing or unable to get back up

What to do if you suspect your dog may be affected by heatstroke:

–          Remove your dog from the hot environment

–          Immediately get a rectal temperature if possible

–          DO NOT Submerge or saturate your dog with cold water or ice!! (This may make internal damage more severe).

–          Place cool, wet rags or washcloths on major blood vessels such as the jugular vein (along the neck) and the femoral artery (inside the rear leg). Replace often.

Slightly dampen your dog with lukewarm water and place directly in front of a fan to safely wick away heat- Do not soak!

–          Offer your dog cool water to drink but do not force water into the mouth

–          Most effective treatment is with IV fluids and medications administered by your veterinarian!

–          Call or visit your vet right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary (and further testing may be recommended).

Some dogs can fully recover from heatstroke if it is caught and treated early by a veterinarian. Prognosis of treatment for heatstroke is significantly affected by how high the body temperature reaches, and the length of time the dog was exposed to dangerous levels. A delay in treatment for two hours may result in a 70% chance of death. Sadly, many dogs affected by heatstroke do not survive. Prevention is the key to keeping your dog safe during the warm weather.

postheadericon Small in stature, chihuahuas are relatively fragile dogs

Small in stature, Chihuahuas are relatively fragile dogs. It is thus, important for owners of Chihuahuas to be equipped with proper knowledge and tips for caring for their Chihuahua pups. Care for Chihuahua pups covers many aspects and includes socialization, safety, nutrition and health. Responsible Chihuahua owners make a checklist on these aspects in order to ensure the overall well being of their Chihuahua pups.

As lively animals, Chihuahuas tend to come into constant contact with their owners, family members as well as other pets that its owner might have. It is necessary for Chihuahua owners to start socialization with their Chihuahua pups before they turn full grown. This is to ensure less aggressive behavior in the future when the Chihuahua pup turns into a full grown Chihuahua. Chihuahua owners should spend time familiarizing their Chihuahua pups to the surroundings and their living environments by letting the pup roam freely around the house and facilitating interaction with the family as well as other pets in the house. This would allow the Chihuahua puppy to adapt easily into its new living environment, preventing aggressive behavior in future.

Safety issues are a necessary area for Chihuahua owners to look into. Appliances around the home such as electrical outlets, cables and vases can present potential dangers to Chihuahua pups. Electrical outlets should be switched off and covered with plastic guards when not in use to prevent Chihuahua puppies from licking these dangerous areas. Cables should be shortened if possible, and kept when not in use to prevent the Chihuahua puppy from tripping over them. This is to prevent objects such as radios from crashing onto the puppy should it trip over such wires. In general, unstable objects should not be placed around the house to prevent death and injuries.

Chihuahua puppies should be given adequate nutrition with two meals a day. Dried dog food is preferable as it prefers tartar and plaque from accumulating in the young puppy’s teeth. Plenty of water should be given to ensure sufficient hydration and unfinished food should be disposed off after each meal to prefer the growth of bacteria and germs which might potentially cause illness to the Chihuahua pup. Sufficient nutrition is necessary in order to prevent illnesses and ensure healthy gum, skin and coat. Never ever feed your Chihuahua puppy with chocolate. Chocolates are harmful to Chihuahuas in any amount and may prove fatal if given in large amounts. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting and excessive thirst. Do not hesitate to bring your Chihuahua puppy to the vet if such symptoms are observed.

Chihuahua owners who have a personal preference to feed their Chihuahua puppies with home cooked food should keep in mind that all food has to be cooked and should consist of a meat protein, carbohydrates and a vegetable. All food should be fully cooked and cooled before feeding. Popular meat choices include beef, lamb, chicken and pork while vegetables include carrot and peas. Grain choices vary according to culture. Popular choices include potatoes or rice.

Chihuahua puppies should be taken to regular visits to the vet. This is to ensure that the puppies are in good health, receiving adequate nutrition as well as for vaccination against illnesses such as Parvo. Relatively inexperienced Chihuahua owners should also get advice from the vet with regards to their Chihuahua pups well being. Regular walks are also necessary to ensure healthy development of the puppy’s limbs as well as to prevent obesity.

Raising a Chihuahua requires effort and commitment. While not an easy task, the process of doing so would definitely result in wonderful memories in time to come.