Water intoxication is a life threatening condition, leading to death in many cases. Some dogs do survive with intensive treatment but many suffer brain damage and have neurological impairmentafterward. This condition is much easier to prevent then to cure, since by the time symptoms are noticed it may be too late for treatment.
Water intoxication describes a condition where more water is taken in than the kidneys can process. The excess water dilutes or lowers sodium levels, and is then taken up by the cells in the body to try to maintain a normal sodium level. This leads to swelling of the cells throughout the body, including brain cells. While there is room for swelling in most organs, the brain is incased in the skull. Any swelling of brain cells damages those cells, and can lead very quickly to death.
Water intoxication in dogs is most likely to happen while swimming or playing in the water. Diving for toys or swimming to retrieve a toy causes the dog to swallow water. If the play goes on long enough the dog will swallow more water than the kidneys can process. This doesn't mean your dog can never play in the water, just that the water play intervals are short enough and dry land breaks are long enough that the kidneys can keep up with the water being swallowed. Choosing a flat toy for your dog to retrieve rather than a ball helps keeps the mouth closed while swimming, limiting the water that is swallowed. Keep an eye on your dog during play, and make sure they are urinating during breaks.
Your dog is also at risk if he or she likes to bite water coming out of a hose or sprinkler, or biting at waves on the beach. When dogs do this they are swallowing some of the water, and you need to make sure they aren't swallowing too much. Again, make sure the "dry" breaks are long enough for the kidneys to keep up with the water.
Another risk for the wave biters is sand bloat. If the waves are stirring up sand on the beach, your dog is also swallowing sand. This can lead to a condition called sand bloat, another life threatening condition. The sand actually causes a blockage in the stomach or intestine, requiring surgery. It is never a good idea to let your dog bite at waves, or to throw a toy where they are retrieving in the surf line.
Dogs that were bred for water retrieving like labs and goldens tend to swim with their heads held high out of the water. This helps to limit the water they swallow while swimming. If your dog loves to swim, observe how they hold their head. Is it high or at water level? Is your dog so obsessed with swimming they don't stop unless you make them? These dogs are at higher risk and need more and longer breaks. Toy breeds and any dog with a very low body fat level are also at higher risk for water intoxication. The little ones have less body mass and the lean dogs don't have fat cells to store the excess water in.
Water play is great exercise for your dog, especially in the summer when it's too hot for other forms of play. Just be careful and make sure the dry land breaks are long enough.
We carry Whole Dog Journal in our store! Stop by and pick one up to read up on healthy care for your pet!
Understanding Dog Body Language and Verbal Clues
Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger?
Dogs speak to us, but in a different language.Unfortunately, there's no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn "dog talk." So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.
The best way to start is to look to the dog's ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.
Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can't string them together.
Thus, the need for short commands such as "Sit!" and "Come!" Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you're uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak "dog."
Dog Body Language/Facial "Expressions"
Confident and Relaxed
· Stance - erect
· Tail - wagging slowly
· Ears - pricked up but with a relaxed look
· Eyes - small pupils
· Mouth - closed or slight parting of lips
Fearful or Anxious
· Stance - lowered
· Tail - tucked under
· Ears - down
· Eyes - a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
· Mouth - panting
· Stance - rigid
· Tail - straight up or out behind, very rigid
· Ears - pricked up
· Eyes - intense, focused stare
· Mouth - lips are pulled back and some teeth show
· Hackles - this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders.
It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.
· Stance - dog is pulled into himself
· Tail - tucked completely under
· Ears - lying down
· Eyes - wide-eyed and trouble focusing
· Mouth - lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting
· Stance - lying down or standing without any alertness
· Tail - up and wagging or lying naturally
· Ears - at their normal state, depending on the breed
(A Terrier's would be up but relaxed, a Hound's would be down)
· Eyes - normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
· Mouth - open and lightly panting or closed
Dog Verbal Cues
This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street.
When you leave for work, it's very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in - it's sort of like a conference call.
This means "back off." You'll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn't like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It's actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.
The Grunt or Mutter
This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It's an interesting sound because it's almost manipulative - your dog knows if he barks, he'll get into trouble but the more subtle "grunt" might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.
Dogs whimper when they're anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.
This indicates frustration. They are in a sense "complaining" about something.
There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they're happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a "problem" that you can't see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor's cat hiding in the tree outside the window.
Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs' language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn't going crazy when he's muttering to himself all the time.
Sunday, May 25th
Linda McKenna of Pet Kneads will be at the bakery to provide your pup a relaxing massage! Massage is a wonderful tool to help keep your dog healthy. It helps relieve the pain of arthritis or muscle strain, it improves circulation to promote healing and it helps your dog to relax. So whether your dog is older and losing mobility to arthritis or young and active, massage can be a great benefit to their health.
$15 for 15 minutes or $25 for 30 minutes. Please call 440-353-1990 for an appointment.
We are very fortunate to have Sue Olsen as our decorator here at the Bakery. Did you know she is not only a cake and treat decorator but an artist?
Sue graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in Fine Arts, and she shares her talents several times a year by giving Zentangle and Pet Portrait classes at the Bakery. Sue can also do a custom Zentangle portrait or silhouette of your pet, as a gift for remembrance or any special occasion.
$45 for an 8 X 8 matted portrait.
Please call Sue at 440-506-8612 for more information.
Designer Doggies is at the bakery for spa day! Bring your pup for nail trims, eye & ear cleaning and tooth brushing. $5 each service or all three services for $12. No appointment needed.
Make sure to check our events page
for the latest goings-on at the bakery!
New Treats for your Senior Pup in store and online!
With good nutrition and vet care, dogs are living longer.
Ark Naturals has come out with a line of treats for senior dogs to help them live healthier and happier in their senior years. These treats are designed to support heart health, brain function and joint health!
Made in the USA of all natural ingredients, these treats will help keep your senior dog's tail wagging!
Discover the Ridge Tour
Saturday, May 17th
A family friendly scavenger hunt through the unique businesses and places in North Ridgeville! Pick up a map and clues at South Central Park, then go to as many of the 24 participating locations as you can. Many of the businesses on the tour will be offering sales and specials and there will also be drawings for cash prizes. Learn what makes North Ridgeville such a special place to live and shop!
Not only is the Discover the Ridge going on, but our very own Susan Olsen, head decorator, will be displaying many of her artistic creations available for purchase!
You may want to buy a unique pet gift for your friend or yourself! Visit Sue's art blog to see what other great creative endeavors she is working on! http://www.suzenart.blogspot.com
We are rescheduling the Pack Walk and Brunch from May 18th to June 1st. Maybe Bradley Woods will be dry by then!
Seasons are changing, start thinking about flea prevention!
While Spring has been slow in coming, there is still time to get started on the all-natural flea repellents for your dog or cat.
We have safe alternatives to chemical repellents, so ask us what would work best for your pet. We have Healthy Dogma, Earth Animal and Alzoo in stock now for dogs and cats.