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Why Do Cats Purr?

Why Do Cats Purr

As a cat owner I have often wondered, “Why do cats purr?”

Felines are the only animals that display this behavior – and they all do it.

It’s not only the little domesticated cats that we all know and love – the big cats do it too – lions, tigers, etc.

Feeling Healthy and Content

Don’t you get the feeling that your cat is healthy and content when you hear her purring? I sure do.

It is like all her needs – food, shelter, comfort, security, and peace of mind are all being met. As a cat owner – it is a wonderful feeling.

Lap Kitties

When my cats are in my lap and I’m petting them – they seem to be in their most contented state. The purring is like a background rhythm or song to their grooming and then it lulls them off to sleep.

And, I have to admit – it makes me drowsy as well. It’s like they’re lulling me to sleep too.

Feeding Time

I notice that at times the purring is louder and more frantic. This is especially true at feeding time. When my cats see me grab a can of cat food or a bag of dry food their purring gets out of control.

It’s almost as if they are having trouble drawing in a regular breath of air – but they don’t seem to be struggling, they are ecstatic.

Times of Distress

I have a cat right now that purrs at all times – good and bad. Of course she purrs during times of comfort and contentment. But she also purrs when she’s sick, injured, or at the veterinarian.

She even purrs when the Vet is giving her a shot or taking her temperature. Now that’s pretty incredible.

This seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom that says – “Cats purr because they are happy or content.” This made me wonder even more why cats purr.

Reasons for Cat Purring

I did a little research and discovered that cats purr for a variety of reasons and scientists can only speculate why. I guess you could say that it is not yet an exact science.

It could be as a survival instinct when a kitten is newly born. The Mother kitty will purr to keep her blind and vulnerable newborn kittens from straying too far.

And newborn kittens purr to keep their Mother nearby. Who knows, maybe each individual purr is distinct to a Mother kitty – and she can keep track of every one of them at all times.

An interesting study found that a cat’s purring produces vibrations within a certain frequency that promotes bone strength and physical healing. This would explain why a cat purrs when they’re sick or injured. And it explains why we feel so comforted when holding a purring feline.

Others theorize that cats purr as a sign of peace or friendship in a threatening situation – human or other feline. It helps to put the other threatening creature at ease.

How Does a Cat Purr?

How a cat purrs is another thing that is not known 100% for sure either. But some scientists think that it has to do with a cat’s vocal folds and the vibrations they make when air is inhaled and exhaled.

Cats are Pretty Special Creatures

No matter how or why a cat purrs – it’s just one of the many things that makes cats such a special and one of a kind pet. Is there any other pet that can give you more comfort and peace when you’re holding it?

I know that after a stressful day, I can pick up my cat and it seems like all the stress just melts away as I’m taken captive by those soothing purrs.

Pet Insurance Plans – Coverage for Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets

Pet Insurance Plans

Pet insurance is very similar to human insurance. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you can take your animal to the doctor whenever he/she needs to go.

If there’s an accident, illness, or just the annual well-pet check-up and vaccinations – you can take your precious pet to the veterinarian without hesitation.

You’ll know you won’t have to bear the whole financial burden.

How Pet Insurance Plans Work

Here’s how it works. To get protection for your pet, you’ll pay a monthly or yearly fee – which varies according to the company and plan you choose.

Probably two of the biggest pet insurance companies are VPI and ASPCA – and they both offer a wide range of options to meet the needs of different pets and pet owners.

When shopping for pet insurance, you’ll find companies offering basic plans that start at $8 a month all the way up to deluxe plans that cost $100 a month.

These plans cover pretty much anything a veterinarian has to offer – annual exams, accidents, illnesses, spaying and neutering, vaccinations, dental cleanings, x-rays, hospital stays and more. It’s all according to what you want and what you can afford.

Here’s how the plans work. You take your pet to the vet, pay for the services out of your pocket and then submit a few forms and paperwork to the insurance provider and they’ll reimburse a percentage of your expenses after you meet a certain deductible. Most companies have a low $100 annual deductible.

Not Just Dog Insurance and Cat Insurance

You’ll find that many companies offer discounts if you have multiple pets. And it’s not just for dogs and cats. You can get coverage for your ferret, chinchilla, rabbit, iguana, chameleon, gecko, snake, pot-bellied pig or other exotic pet too.

With pet insurance you’ll rest a little easier knowing that if something happens to your dog, cat, parrot, snake or other precious creature – you can take him/her to the vet without having to worry too much about financial issues.

Dealing With Cat Behavior Problems

Usually when we talk about cat behavior problems we aren’t talking about bad cats.

We are talking about legitimate behaviors that are mis-directed. If you can find what is causing the problem, then you can find the solution in most cases.

Not Using the Litter Box

One category of problem cat behavior is house soiling. This is where your cat chooses to go to the bathroom (poop or urinate) in places other than his litter box.

Sometimes you’ll discover the accidents just outside the litterbox – like they just missed the mark. Other times you’ll find the accidents far away from the litter box.

What is the cause? There are quite a few possible reasons for this – and solutions to the problem. We’ll start with the easy ones first.

Feeling Threatened and Privacy Please

Some cats are particular about where they go to the bathroom. They may not like the litter box itself, or where you put it.

If it’s a covered litterbox and you have multiple cats – a particular cat could be scared that the other cats will sneak up on her while she is at her most vulnerable. Solution? An uncovered litterbox. It will give her vision on all sides while she’s doing her business.

Is the litter box in a high traffic area? Some cats value their privacy and don’t like being disturbed while they’re going about their business. Try moving the litterbox to another (more secluded) location and see if that helps.

Keep it Clean

Keep the litterboxes clean. Many cats will choose not to use a box that is overflowing with kitty waste. Imagine having to walk and do your business in a filthy bathroom – that’s what a cat is having to do. Try and clean it at least every other day – especially if more than one cat is using the box.

Many experts recommend having one litter box available for each cat in your household – plus one. For example – if you have 2 cats, you’ll need 3 litterboxes. If you have 3 cats, you’ll need 4 boxes.

Not all Kitty Litter is Created Equal

Some cats are particular about the type of litter they’ll use. If you’re using scented litter – switch to unscented. If you’re using large grains of litter, switch to a finer grain of litter.

You might even try switching brands of litter – there may be something about a particular brand’s ingredients that your finicky cat just doesn’t like.

Special Needs Cats

Elderly, overweight, or handicapped cats may have difficulty getting in and out of a deep litter box. Try a shallow pan instead. It doesn’t have to be made specifically for cats – any shallow plastic container will usually work. This could be a solution for little bitty kittens having problems too.

Underlying Medical Conditions

If you make the previous mentioned changes and they don’t work – then your cat may have an underlying medical condition that won’t allow her to do her business in the proper place.

There could be internal problems such as a urinary tract infection – look for bloody urine in the litter box and other places. One of my cats decided to pee his bloody urine in the bathtub – which let me know he had a problem and made it easy for me to clean up.

So don’t hesitate to take your kitty cat to the vet. If you notice bloody urine, bloody stools, diarrhea, or straining to urinate – it could be the sign of a real illness.

Cat Spraying

Cat spraying is another real problem for cat owners. That strong smell of urine is hard to get rid of and a hard habit for your cat to overcome, but there are solutions.

Spay and Neuter

First of all, you should get your cat fixed. A neutered male cat is much less likely to spray than an unneutered one. And, though less common, female cats can spray too.

Cats spray to mark their territory. An unfixed cat produces pretty powerful reproductive hormones that drive him to mark his territory. If any threat to his territory arises – from a cat within his household or even a cat that he smells outside the house – then he will feel the need to spray.

So fixing a cat (male or female) goes a long way towards solving the problem. But even fixed cats (especially if they were fixed later in life) can still spray. Although it’s much less frequent.

Cat Spray Prevention

How do you prevent a cat from spraying? You can spray Feliway in the areas where he/she has sprayed to hopefully prevent them from spraying there in the future.

You can also place cat repellent around the perimeter of your house to hopefully prevent the neighborhood cats from hanging out there.

Cleaning Cat Urine

Cleaning cat urine can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where the smell is coming from. Let’s face it – you’re not always around when your cat decides to spray.

In this situation, you can use a special light that will help you locate cat urine stains. When you find the culprit, use a good odor neutralizer cleanser such as Nature’s Miracle to get rid of the odor.

Cat Scratching

Cat Scratching is another problem that all cat owners have to deal with (unless you have a declawed cat). All cats have the need to stretch and exercise their paws and claws.

If they’re outside they will do it on trees, fences, and other similar surfaces. In addition, this also helps to mark their territory.

Provide Good Outlets for Their Behavior

So you need to provide your cat with a variety of surfaces to accomplish this task. Don’t just provide one sisal scratching post and expect the problem to disappear.

Sometimes cats like to scratch corrugated cardboard scratchers that lie flat so they can stand on top. Sometimes they like to lean into a nice, tall, sturdy sisal scratcher (it provides the same function as a tree). And other times they like to scratch into a carpeted surface.

You might try sprinkling a little catnip on these items for more of an attraction factor. Some cats like it; some don’t.

Protecting Your Furniture

Unfortunately, even if you do provide them with plenty of good scratching devices – they will still choose to scratch your prized possessions. Sofas, chairs, and carpets don’t stand a chance against a strong cat with sharp claws. But there is hope if you are persistent.

You need to break them of this habit. Spray your valued possessions every day with special cat deterrent spray (you can find these sprays in most department and pet stores). You can also buy double-sided tape to place on surfaces that your cat seems most drawn to.

Over time, hopefully, you will find that your cat will lose interest in your valued items – they smell bad (cat repellent spray) or have a tacky surface (double-side tape). And like I said earlier, at the same time you should provide them with plenty of alternative surfaces to scratch so they will have their legitimate scratching needs met.

German Shepherd Dog Names

German shepherd names

German shepherds are wonderful dogs. They are beautiful, smart, strong, and loyal – among other things.

And they deserve a great name that will do them justice.

The breed originated in Germany, where they are also known as Alsatians. They were bred as workers to guard and protect sheep – and they do their job extremely well. This ability also makes them excellent security and guard dogs.

The American Kennel Club classifies them in their Herding group and they represent a relatively large percentage of dog breeds registered.

This list of German shepherd dog names and meanings should give you plenty of ideas for naming your male or female puppy. They are names taken from the German language or they have some association with Germany.

Abelard – Noble and loyal. A good name for your pure-blooded German shepherd boy.
Achtung – “Attention please.”
Ada – Noble woman. Your pure-bred girl would love this name.
Adelaide – Of the nobility.
Adler – German word for Eagle. And excellent name for any watch or guard dog.
Adolf or Adolph – Noble wolf.
Alrich – All powerful leader.
Ansatz – Starting place.
Anselm, Anselma (Feminine) – Helmet of God.
Bach – Johann Sebastian Bach was a famous German composer.
Baldrich – Brave leader.
Beethoven – Ludwig van Beethoven was a famous German composer.
Berlin – A prominent and large German city.
Bernd – Bear. A good name for any brave German dog.
Bertha – Bright. This girl radiates intelligence.
Blitz or Blitzer – All out or lightning offensive or defensive.
Bruno – Brown-skinned.
Carl – Man
Carla – Feminine form of Man. Strong woman.
Conrad – Brave counselor or advisor.
Dieter – The people’s army or warrior.
Eberhard – Brave boar.
Einstein – Albert Einstein was a German born physicist who developed the theory of Relativity. An excellent name for your highly intelligent German Shepherd.
Ernst – Sincere or serious. This dog is all business.

Franz – German term for French.
Frau and Fräulein – Young woman or married woman.
Freda or Frieda – Serene or calming.
Geist – Spirit or mind.
Gertrude, Gert, Gertie – Strong spear or strength of a spear.
Gestalt – Shape or form. This dog is well-built.
Godfrey or Gottfried – God’s peace.
Gottlieb – God’s love. You feel blessed that this puppy came into your life.
Gummi Bear – Chewy candy.
Hartman – Strong Man.
Heinrich – Ruler and counselor.
Helmut – Brave protector.
Herr – Man or Mister.
Hilda – Battle or warrior maiden.
Junker – Young lord. A good name for a pure bred German Shepherd that comes from Champion lines.
Kaiser – Emperor. He’s a real Alpha-Male doggie.
Klaus – Victorious people.
Kobold – Little fairy or sprite in German folklore.
Lager – A type of German beer.
Ludwig – Renowned warrior.
Luther – Martin Luther helped begin the Protestant Reformation.
Meister – Master. Sometimes you feel like your dog is the real leader in your household.
Otto – Wealthy. This German Shepherd has chew toys to spare.
Panzer – A German tank. A name for any big, tough canine.
Porsche – A fine German sports car brand.
Rudolph or Rolf – German term for a famous wolf. Also a famous reindeer with a red nose.
Schnaps – A rather strong alcoholic beverage.
Schuss – Fast downhill skiing.
Siegfried – Peace through victory.
Steffi – Steffi Graf is considered one of the greatest female tennis players ever.
Trommel – Cylinder or drum used to separate materials.
Ulrich – Powerful ruler. He is definitely the alpha male.
Valda – Strong ruler. She could be called the alpha female.
Walzer – German form of Waltz (type of dance). This doggie is fairly graceful.
Wolfgang – The way of the wolf.

Hopefully you have just seen one or a few German Shepherd dog names that strike your fancy – or more importantly your dog’s fancy.

All About The Boston Terrier

care for boston terrier
care for boston terrier

The Boston Terrier has been nicknamed, and justly so “the American Gentleman.” And has earned its nick name due to its wonderful, gentle disposition. Not to mention its tuxedo like coat. The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds that is truly “made in the America,” ” American Kennel club rates the Boston Terrier as one of the most intelligent breeds”…

It is hard to believe that the gentle Boston Terrier that we see today was once bread for as a pit-fighting dog. It is very difficult to comprehend that these friendly little dogs were once fierce pit fighters. Boston Terriers resembles the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which possesses a strong fighting instinct. Today’s Boston Terriers in no way resemble the fighter it once was known to be.

This little gentleman of a dog that you will find today has evolved a long way from the pits of Boston. It is sad to think these wonderful dogs once were used to making money for their owners. Not only fighting in the pits, but as stud dogs, to produce more fighter. They were well prized, and highly valued for stud service.

In fact todays Boston Terrier is well known for its friendly disposition, intelligence, and lively personality. The breed has a wonderful disposition, and possesses good amount of intelligence, which makes the Boston Terrier a very desirable all around family pet. When choosing a Boston Terrier one should be educated on the breed. Along with some knowledge of just what to expect of the breed, and what qualities to look for when choosing your Boston Terrier. Your number one consideration should be to locate a good Boston Terrier breeder.

I have attempted to provided my readers with some useful history, and breed information. With hopes of aquatinting a perspective Boston Terrier owner with this wonderful breed of dog, the Boston Terrier.

The Boston Terriers origin was England. They bred Bull Terriers and Bulldogs, to produce a very powerful compact muscular bred. In the late 1800s some members of this hybrid stock were sent to America. In 1889, some dog fanciers in Boston organized the first American Bull Terrier Club.

Terrier breeders club members had great objections to this new breed, along with Bulldog fanciers objected that these crosses were not Terriers. In 1891 the name American Bull Terrier was changed to Boston Terrier Club of America. And standards for the Boston Terrier breed were written. They sought entrance to the AKC stud book, but were denied. By 1893, however, the breed was accepted and the first Boston Terrier was admitted To the AKC. The first Boston Terrier to be accepted as the standard of the breed was a dog by the title of Hector #28814, by Bixby’s Tony ex Dimple.

It took some time before the breed to catch on. It was not until 1915 that the breed had become the most popular breed in the country. The Boston Terrier was number one in registrations of the top twenty breeds. They again lead in registrations in 1920, and in 1930. The Boston’s terriers remained in the top ten position until 1960. Since then they have slipped in popularity.

Boston Terriers are extremely easy dogs to live with wanting only to please. Boston’s are extremely easy to train. Boston’s are strictly house dogs, they are not able to cope with extreme cold, nor can they deal with extreme heat. Boston’s can overheat very quickly due to the short muzzle and a slightly elongated palate.

Boston’s Terriers are high energy dogs, and need daily exercise. They are playful, and love all sorts of toys. Fetching, and, and playing with children is a favorite with this dog. It is always wise to teach a child how to play with a dog, and not to be overly aggressive with this breed. The Boston Terrier is a very intelligent dog, and prefers fetching, and finding a hidden toy, than wrestling…

Care of the Boston Terrier is easy, they being a short haired dog that sheds minimally. Weekly brushing is recommended, a rubber palm brush is what is recommended for their particular coat. The brushes I have found that work the best are: rubber palm brush and grooming mit. Work the palm brush in a circular motion, this aids in removing lose hair.

Due to the breeds elongated palate they may snore. It is normal in the Boston Terriers may show some degree of airway obstruction. Another problem in this breed, gas. A good diet, along with regular exercise, will keep this problem at bay.

Proper diet should always be considered a must with the Boston Terrier. To start as a puppy to adulthood, to old age. An improper diet as a rule will lead to gas, and intestinal problems for the Boston Terrier. While a puppy the diet must be healthy in order for the dog to form a good bone structure, and good muscle mass. Not to mention this is the time a dog will build a good immune system, to later ward off disease, and infections.

Health problems that the Boston Terrier has a predominance toward, juvenile cataracts, and hypothyroidism. As a rule juvenile cataracts can occur between 8 weeks and 12 months. If hypothyroid disease occurs, it can be controlled by medication.

The Boston Terrier is smooth coated, and short-headed, in general body is compact, with a short tail. The tail being short, All and all a very well proportioned, balanced dog. The head is in proportion to the size of the dog. The body is rather short and, due to this shortness of tail being so prominent, the dog may appears badly proportioned. The limbs strong and neatly turned.

The coat is short, smooth and bright with a fine texture. Color and markings, Desirable colors included, seal, black or brindle, with evenly marked white area’s. Brindle is the preferred. Seal appears black, with the except of a red cast that can be present when the dog is viewed in sun light. True black will appear black in any type of lighting.

Desirable markings to look for in a Boston Terrier include, white muzzle band, even white blaze between the eyes and over the head, white collar, white forechest, white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs below the hocks.

Weight is divided by classes as follows: Under 15 pounds; 15 pounds and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds. A Boston Terriers leg length should balance with the length of body to give its unique square appearance. The Boston Terrier is a sturdy dog and must not appear to be either spindly or coarse. The muscle and bone must be in proportion, as well as the dog’s weight and structure. If weight and structure are out of balance the dog will appear blocky or chunky in appearance. The thighs are strong with good muscle mass, bent at the stifles and set true. The hocks are short to the feet, turning neither in nor out, with a well defined hock joint. The feet are small very compact with short nails.

The Head, the skull of a Boston Terries is square, flat on top, and smooth void of any wrinkles. Its cheeks flat, brow abrupt and well defined. The eyes are wide apart, set square in the skull, outside corners are in line with the cheeks. The Boston Terriers eyes are round, with large shocketts, dark in color, with a trace of dark blue. The ears are small, and erect. It is desirable that the ears are situated as near to the corners of the skull as possible. May need to be cropped to obtain the proper stature.

boston terrier
boston terrier

A Boston Terriers muzzle should be short, square, wide and deep, wrinkle free, and well proportioned to the dogs head. The muzzle is shorter in length than in width or depth. Not exceeding in length one-third of the length of the skull. The muzzle from stop to end of the nose is parallel to the top of the skull. The nose is black and wide, with a well defined line between the nostrils. The jaw is broad and square, teeth are short and regular in appearance. The bite is even or sufficiently undershot to square the muzzle. The chops are of good depth, but not completely covering the teeth when the mouth is closed. The Boston Terriers _expression as a rule, portrays pure intelligence’s along with great determination.

Neck, The length of neck must display balance to the total dog. It is a bit arched, carrying the head with grace, and sitting neatly into the shoulders. The back is just short, this give rise to the Boston Terrier Square appearance. The top-line is level, the rump curves slightly to the set-of the tail. The chest is wide and deep. The body should appear short. The tail is set on low, short. The preferred tail does not exceed in length more than one-quarter the distance from set-on to hock.

The Boston Terrier is a friendly and lively dog. The breed has an excellent disposition and a high degree of intelligence, which makes the Boston Terrier an incomparable companion. Not to mention they are very easy to train. They catch on quickly, and remember what they learn.

When buying a Boston Terrier take in to consideration. Will the dog be integrated with children? If your children are young, it is recommand an older puppy or grown dog. A dog that can hold its own, when having to flee an over active child. Will the pet be coming into a home with an elderly person?An older dog is recommended. A dog that will require less activity, and will be less likely to get under foot. Make sure to take in account how much time you have to spend with your new dog? A puppy deserves an owner that will have time to train, and play with them. An older mature dog requires much less play time, and as a rule should be trained by the breeder. Are you willing to take the time to house train? Are your positive you are ready to handle the responsibility for a pet?

You have made up your mind, and are ready to make a long time commitment to caring for a pet. Where do you start to find just the right dog?

Start by asking your local Veterinarian for referrals on breeders. You can also contacting breeding clubs, most have referral lists of breeders. When you find a breeder, make an appointment to visit, and look over the kennels, and dogs on the premises. Is all in good order? Do the dogs look healthy? Do the dogs have a good rapport with the breeder? Does the breeder appear interested in placing the dog in the right home or are they just ready to sell to the first buyer? Ask the breeder if they sell to pet stores. Remember, a reputable breeder will never sell her dogs to a pet store. A good breeder is very discriminative on who their dogs will be sold to. A good breeder will interview a perspective buyer, with hopes of placing their dogs with just the right owner.

Once you feel comfortable that you have located just the right breeder. I suggest you do some research on bringing home a puppy. It is smart to be well educated in training techniques, what you will need in regard to supplies. Also the best suggestions to make your new little family member feel at home. Its a good idea to read up on the actual breed you have decided to buy. Breeds differ in many ways. Its good to know up front any and all tendency a given breed may exhibit.

You have made up your mind to purchase a Boston Terrier. You have found a good breeder, and are ready to head out and pick that pup… Here are the general traits you should look for when choosing a Boston Terrier. Keep in mind, you may just fall in love with a bum of the breed, that’s good too… They all need good homes, and will bring lots of love into your home. You see, the prize or the runt of the litter, don’t realize they are different from one another. They both have a great capacity to give friendship, and love to their family.

How To Care For Your Saltwater Aquarium

Saltwater Aquarium
Saltwater Aquarium

Saltwater Aquarium Care – How to Maintain the Health of Your Saltwater Aquarium Plants

Good saltwater aquarium care means taking care of the fish and water quality in your tank but it also means taking care of your aquarium plants. Not only do your aquarium plants create an interesting home and shelter for your fish, they are also essential for the health of your fish, water quality and the tank as a whole. Proper, saltwater aquarium care, therefore, must always take into account the health of your marine plants.

Some marine plants are hardy and easy to care for while others need quite a bit of practice and experience. If you are a novice aquarist it is a good idea to start with hardy plants, as these are easier to care for. Once you have a bit more practice in correct saltwater aquarium care you can move on to fussier varieties.

The first thing to do is to decide what you want to achieve with your marine plants. You should do this even before you buy your tank. If you want big, healthy plants make sure you know what equipment you need, what sort of saltwater aquarium care is required and how much time it will take you to achieve these results.

If you are more concerned with the fish in your tank than plant life then it might be a good idea to invest in one or two plastic plants instead. Responsible saltwater aquarium care means knowing what you want and getting the balance right.

While most marine plants do grow into lush, healthy plants they all need good lighting. This is so that they have enough energy for making their own food by means of photosynthesis. Without sufficient light for photosynthetic activity your plants will remain stunted or die. So part of correct saltwater aquarium care involves making sure that your aquarium provides sufficient lighting for plant growth.

To make sure that your plants are getting enough light keep the following rule of thumb in mind: For each gallon of water in a tank you will require 3 to 5 watts of light. Most aquarium lighting systems are below that level, however so you may need to shop around to find adequate lighting to make sure you are providing the proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants.

In the natural aquarium the fish and plant populations are perfectly balanced and compliment each other. Marine plants create shelter, shade, and even food for your fish! Plants that are well lit will give off oxygen and this creates a good environment for your fish. So proper saltwater aquarium care makes your tank healthy and provides optimum conditions for plants and fish alike.

saltwater aquarium care
saltwater aquarium care

The fish will, in turn, feed off the carbon dioxide released by the fish. Plants also feed off the waste that fish produce. This helps to absorb some of the waste that might become toxic to your fish. So as you can see proper saltwater aquarium care means maintaining a healthy balance for all the life in your tank.

To provide proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants and fish you need to make sure that conditions in your tank are optimal. Plant growth needs water which is at the correct ph levels. It also needs the water to be at the correct temperature for growth and survival.

Unfortunately this might not fit in with the temperature requirements of the fish species you want to keep. So you might have to decide between plants and fish in some cases. Again, good saltwater aquarium care is always about finding the happy medium.

Fish also eat or tear away sections of plants and this might actually ruin the aesthetic appeal of your tank. Plants may be uprooted by the foraging activity of your fish. So plant care can be a bit tricky and does require some patience. One of the most frustrating aspects of saltwater aquarium care is the occurrence of marine algae.

Algae can really be a problem for the marine aquarist. Sometimes despite the best saltwater aquarium care – lights, substrate additives, fertilizers and CO2 systems – instead of lush plant growth you are confronted with algal growth. Algae can be very difficult to get rid of once it has taken root and it can really limit the growth of other plants.

Usually the aquarist employs various methods of saltwater aquarium care for combating this scourge. These might include using algicides, bleach dips, antibiotics (for cyanobacteria), manual removal or fish or invertebrates that feed on algae.

During an algal attack the amount of food and light is decreased and different amounts of fertilizer are tried – sometimes with success. Correct saltwater aquarium care results in some sort of balance being reached.

The best form of saltwater aquarium care and algae treatment is to provide the tank with a water change. In fact if you could change the tank water daily it would be ideal but this is obviously not very practical. You should change 25% of the water at least twice weekly, however. If you can stick to this schedule the amount of algae in the tank will be reduced and your fish and plants will be healthier. A water change should form a part of routine saltwater aquarium care whether you have an algal problem or not.

So what kinds of plants can you grow in a saltwater aquarium? A variety of plants are suitable for a saltwater aquarium. Choose from grape algae (Caulerpa racemosa), Halimeda Halimeda sp, shaving brush algae (Penicillus capitus), fan algae (Udotea flabellum), corralline bush algae (Galaxaura sp.), sea grass, red gracilaria (which your fish can eat) and many others. Proper saltwater aquarium care means making sure that your plants and fish co-exist in perfect harmony.

Proper saltwater aquarium care means really getting to know your marine tank. Do as much research as possible to ensure that your marine plants and fish have everything they need to grow, stay healthy and be happy. If you get it right, your aquarium will provide you with many hours of entertainment, fun and pleasure. Good luck and enjoy your aquarium!

Puppies : Choosing a Reputable Breeder


It’s easy to find people with puppies to sell. However, there are some things you can’t tell just by looking at a puppy. If you want to be sure about the character and health of your dog your best bet is to choose a reputable breeder. They will be able to provide a guarantee and you can be sure about what kind of dog you are getting. If you are serious about finding a good purebred dog then here are some tips for choosing a good breeder.

Reputable breeders know a lot about the breed they specialize in. If you are really serious about choosing the best breeder then the best thing to do is ask various people. Ask veterinarians, groomers and other people directly involved with dogs on a daily basis. They will have some good suggestions for you.

If you want a reputable dealer its best not pick one out of the classifieds. As with everything, if the breeder really is top quality then they will have no reason to be advertising in the classifieds. Some breeders have puppies booked years in advance. Another reason you don’t want to find someone in the newspaper is they offer no guarantees. Usually forty-eight hours is all you get and if something happens to that puppy six months from now most will just say it’s not their problem. Most reputable breeders will not only give you a year guarantee or more but they will also give you lifetime support.

Another sign of a good breeder is they involved in some rescue of the type they breed. Breeders will usually look to help their breed. Also notice if they will take a puppy back if for some reason the buyer can’t take care of it. Most will not refund any money but at least they care enough about the puppy they’ve bred and will always have a home to come to.

The most obvious clues about the quality of the breeder is by looking at the puppies themselves. Puppies are a product of their upbringing and a healthy puppy will have a pleasant temperament as well as a healthy look. This means no runny noses, clear eyes and, of course a wagging tail. If you are buying over the internet see if the breeder can send you a video of your puppy.

The environment in which the puppies are kept will also tell you a lot about the standard of the breeder. If the environment is clean and the puppies have space then it is more likely that the breeder is a good one.

It’s a good idea to talk and find out about your intended breeder before seeing the puppies. See if they have children and are involve in social activities. Most Puppy millers wouldn’t have time for this. Often once you see them you can be much easier to convince – because you have been convinced by those big eyes! Ask to see the dog’s parents and try to assess their demeanor. Stay away from dogs that seem unusually fearful or aggressive.

You should already know quite a bit about the breed you are interested in. Ask your breeder any questions you might have left. Don’t forget to ask about chronic conditions and special care. After all, this is their passion and many have spent years learning about their chosen breed and living with them! If a breeder is good then they will be just as concerned about figuring out if you are going to be a good dog owner. A good breeder cares a great deal about the puppies and the homes they are sent out into.

For most good breeders, the main goal is not to make money. In recent years however finding a puppy on the internet has become popular. It’s a little harder to find a good breeder on the internet but every tip I have given here will still help you. You may not personally be able to go to see where the dogs are raised however you can tell a lot by a conversation. Just by talking to people you can tell if they are educated or not and they still should be able to tell you about the breed (s) they breed.

Now that you know what to look for there are some things you should avoid at all costs.
Any puppy that comes from a backyard or puppy mill can be a dangerous buy. A backyard breeder will know little about the breed standards. Often they don’t maintain puppy’s health properly. Backyard breeders and puppy millers will sell the puppies often at six weeks of age because they have just got too many; having to move them out for the next litter.

Puppy mills produce large amounts of puppies often in horrible conditions. There isn’t appropriate medical care and more often than not, the puppies are not fed well. Puppy mills often sell directly to pet stores. For this reason it is best to avoid puppies bought from pet stores. Often the puppies are separated from their parents at much too young an age, often as early as 4-5 weeks old as well as the other problems of lack of healthcare, love and attention.

When choosing a breeder look find out how many breeds they breed. Usually two or three different breed types is what seems to be the standard. However this is not the case any longer. If a breeder breeds more then this most likely the person started out with one. Find out when they started out with that one and you can find out a lot by how it progressed. Judging by the conversation on the phone with them you can usually tell their level of knowledge. If it’s just a puppy and they don’t know anything then that’s a clear sign to move on.

Most reputable breeders will not let there puppies go before they turn eight weeks of age or more depending on the breed. Most puppies are not completely weaned and self sufficient any younger then that. This varies among the breeds. Most breeders will talk about the there age, when they let them go and also about the transition from one home to the next before selling the puppy.

There is so much more that could be said about choosing a good breeder however the space here does not permit it. If you will just follow these few simple steps you will have already beat the odds of finding a good puppy. It goes both ways, not only do you the buyer wants a happy puppy but the breeder also wants you to have a happy and healthy puppy for the years to come.

Why dog’s bark

Thousands of years ago, humans began the process of domesticating the dog and shaping what “being a dog” really means. Through careful selection and breeding, an astonishing variety of dog breeds have been created. Desirable traits have been selected for in various breeds that are of a benefit to humans. There are some traits, however, that quickly become undesirable when expressed too frequently. Barking is an example of a natural behaviour that is encouraged in terms of guarding behaviour, but becomes a problem when the behaviour is produced in excess. A recent health insurance investigation revealed that the sound of a continually barking dog was cited as the most disruptive and stress inducing noise for humans.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Barking, in addition to whining, howling and growling, is a dog’s natural means of communication. Barking is characterized by a series of short, sharp sounds, that tend to vary little in tone or pitch. A dog’s bark can signify territorial protection, exertion of dominance, or expression of some need. Typically, barking is “a means of communication triggered by a state of excitement.” Being a natural trait, barking is not considered a behavioural problem, until it is produced in excess.

Causes of Problem Barking

Problem barking has a variety of origins. Genetics does influence a dog’s tendency to bark. Certain breeds belonging to the terrier family are prone to more frequent barking than breeds such as Greyhounds or Basenjis. Generally, however, excess barking can exist in any breed of dog. The key to solving the problem of inappropriate barking is to determine what external stimulus is triggering the behaviour. Improper confinement can be a major cause of problem barkers.

Improper confinement can include leaving a dog alone in a locked room, or in a dog crate (a tool used for housebreaking and other behavioural modifications). Other improper confinements can include restricted tethering outdoors, or even an enclosed yard without proper shelter from the elements. Such confinement can cause frustration in a dog and cause it to bark excessively. Closely associated with improper confinement is lack of exercise as a cause of excess barking. When a dog is not provided with adequate exercise, pent-up energy is released through barking.

Environmental sounds can also trigger barking. These sounds include such things as the barking of other dogs, the sound of passing cars, strange voices, thunder, and mechanical noises such as the ringing of the phone. Noises can initiate barking at different times of the day. A dog may not bark at accustomed sounds during the day, but at night may be incited to a volley of barking, much to the chagrin of the neighbours, by the slightest of noises. Other causes of problem barking can include separation anxiety, or the temperament of the dog: an over-aggressive animal may bark at the smallest provocation. A strongly territorial dog may bark at any stranger, invited or uninvited, entering your property.

Solutions to Excess Barking

Excess barking can be a serious behavioural problem and can mean the termination of the relationship with your dog or the dog itself if left untreated. The following text includes information on how to solve your dog’s problem barking as recommended by the veterinary profession.

The first step in solving problem barking, is to determine if your dog is barking in response to inadequate shelter or improper confinement. If this is the case, the dog must be provided with a comfortable amount of space or supplied with a doghouse if outdoor shelter is inadequate. Increasing the amount of exercise given to your dog may also help.

In the event your dog is barking in response to environmental noises, or the barking is simply due to its temperament, behavioural modification methods should be used. These methods can include reconditioning using a verbal reprimand such as “No!”, and leash correction. It should be noted however, that you should never yell at your dog, as loud noises may encourage your pet to bark more. Also keep in mind the punishment should be applied while the barking is occurring, in order for your dog to associate the unwanted behaviour with the punishment. Also remember to reward your dog when it stops barking.

Indirect intervention methods can also be applied. These techniques can range from spraying your dog with water while it is barking, to using noise producing devices such as “Dog Stop” or “Barker Breaker,” which emit loud or high frequency sounds that interrupt and deter barking. These devices can be controlled by the owner, or triggered by the dog’s barking. In the event your dog is resistant to these behavioural modifications, more drastic action can be taken in the form of bark activated shock collars. This device is particularly effective when barking occurs in the owner’s absence. Shock collars, however, are recommended only after other control measures have failed. A final resort, when all other behavioural modification methods have been tried, and particularly when the dog’s life is in question, is a vocal cordectomy (debarking). This surgical procedure involves removal of all or part of the vocal cords.

The key to solving the problem of excess barking in your dog begins with an understanding of what is causing this behaviour. Once you have determined a cause, you have a greater chance of choosing the most effective solution (e.g., more exercise) or behavioural modification. Modifying such an instinctive and natural behaviour as barking can be difficult, and may require considerable patience, time, and hard work. Solutions, however, are possible, and worth the effort.

Rottweiler FAQs

Is a Rottweiler good with kids?

Short answer, yes! Rottweilers are great dogs for kids because they are loyal and protective. A properly bred Rottweiler who receives adequate socialization and training will get along excellent with children, but tolerance will vary from dog to dog.

He must be taught early on what is acceptable behavior and what is not, as should the child. Because of their large size and inherent desire to “herd”, Rottweilers should always be supervised around children. A minor “bump” can cause serious injury to a small child. Also, some Rottweilers have a high degree of “prey” drive (the instinct to chase moving objects), therefore should never be left alone with children, who naturally will want to run and play.

Some breeders recommend waiting until the children are at least school age before introducing a Rottweiler into the home. The amount of space in your home, the age of your children and the amount of time the dog will be in contact with the children should be part of your decision.

Is the Rottweiler the right dog for me?

The Rottweiler is the current “fad” guard/macho dog of the moment. For four years running, it has been the second most-popular AKC registered breed. Don’t be swept up by the hype, or the fact that you neighbor, aunt, sister, or best friend has one. The Rottweiler is a large, powerful dog and along with ownership comes much responsibility. Rottweilers require extensive socialization from an early age. Are you willing to carry your puppy for several months, (he shouldn’t be walking in public places until he is fully immunized at around 16-20 weeks), exposing him to the sights, sounds and people he will encounter as an adult? Because of their size and strength, obedience training for your Rottweiler is a must. Weekly group classes for 6 to 12 months is generally considered a minimum. Rottweilers are “people” dogs.

They want to be with their masters. As a working breed, the Rottweiler requires daily exercise, a good romp twice a day at least. Left alone or with inadequate exercise for long periods they may become unruly and destructive.

Rottweilers are great dogs

Are they vicious?

A properly bred, socialized and trained Rottweiler is not inherently vicious. The rapid rise in popularity of the breed has attracted many irresponsible breeders who are only interested in making a profit, and don’t care what damage is done to the breed in the process.

Are they good with other pets?

Problems should be minimal when a Rottweiler is raised from puppyhood with other pets. Introducing a new pet when there is an adult Rottweiler in the household should be done slowly and with care. Dog to dog aggression is influenced by the early socialization of puppies, their bloodlines and sex; males are less tolerant of other males than they are of females. Bitches may also be intolerant of other dogs. The Rottweiler is highly intelligent and trainable, and with perserverence, should be able to learn to co-exist peacefully with any pet you wish to introduce.

What kind of training do they require?

The Rottweiler has been developed for its working ability and often blooms when given a chance to work with its master, although there are occasional exceptions. It is very necessary to establish your control of the animal and obedience training is often the easiest and most rewarding way to do so. Your breeder should be able to provide you with guidance in the selection of a training class, however, avoid the very rough trainer, no matter how highly recommended. Rottweilers can often be controlled using verbal reprimands alone, and while they occasionally require strong physical corrections, some trainers tend to be much rougher on Rottweilers than is necessary. Women have been very successful with the dogs in obedience training. Physical mastery of the dog is generally less important than sensitive, patient and positive training methods. Patience is an important factor in training a Rottweiler.

What about discipline?

The Rottweiler is a sensitive, intelligent and loyal animal and usually wants to please its owner. Occasionally, it can be quite stubborn though, and requires more attention. It is imperative that discipline is consistent and firm without being overly rough. A harsh word will often suffice, although sharper corrections are sometimes necessary. Ownership isn’t for the timid or very busy person who cannot or is not inclined towards careful supervision of his/her pet.

Do they require much exercise?

The Rottweiler is a working breed. He is generally not happy sitting around doing nothing all day. A large yard with a six-foot high fence is ideal, but adult Rottweilers have been kept successfully in large apartments. The yard is essential if a puppy or young dog is being acquired; it will help to keep the dog exercised and reduce boredom which in turn may prevent destructive behavior. If you don’t have the space, consider a smaller or less active breed. Personal commitment on the part of the owner is the most important thing. People willing to walk their dog on a regular basis will find a more personal and bonding relationship developing than just letting them run by themselves in the yard. Your Rottweiler will require a minimum of two good walks each day (10 to 20 minutes each). Adequate exercise is necessary to maintain the good health of your Rottweiler, as they have a tendency to gain weight without proper exercise.

Do they shed?

The Rottweiler is a double-coated breed, with a medium length outer coat and a soft downy undercoat. They do shed, more than one would think by looking at their appearance. The amount of shedding will vary with climatic conditions. They generally tend to “blow out” their undercoats twice a year, in spring and fall.

Are they noisy?

Rottweilers will bark to announce the arrival of people on the property, and at animals and birds in the yard, but they generally don’t bark without reason.

Which sex makes the best pet?

Opinions vary on this topic. Most breeders would generally recommend a female, especially for first-time owners. Females are smaller and easier to control, somewhat less dominant and usually more affectionate. Males are stronger, more powerful and dominant, and therefore somewhat harder to train and control.

Where should I buy my Rottweiler puppy?

There are various places where you may acquire a Rottweiler puppy, but only ONE place where you should – from a responsible breeder. Pet shops acquire their puppies from puppy mills, brokers and back-yard breeders. Their puppies are separated from their dams and litters at too early and age, they are not properly socialized and may well develop serious health problems.

Puppy mills, brokers and back-yard breeders have only one priority – to make a profit. They are not interested in the welfare of the puppies they breed. Beware of petshops that advertise “we get our puppies from private breeders.” No responsible breeder would ever broker puppies to a pet shop. Don’t perpetuate the puppy mill problem – steer clear of pet shops.

What is a “Responsible” breeder?

This is a difficult category to define, but there are certain minimum standards that are accepted as “responsible” by most who are active in the dog fancy. Following are some of the things a responsible breeder will be doing:

  1. All breeding stock will be certified free of Hip Dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Elbows may also be certified as free of Elbow Dysplasia; this is a relatively new trend and some older dogs/bitches may not be certified. The breeder will be willing to supply you with copies of the OFA certificates. No bitch or dog will be bred before the age of two, (the minimum age for OFA certification). OFA does issue preliminary evaluations of hips and elbows, but actual certification will not be done before two years.
  2. Breeding stock will be certified free of inherited eye disease annually by a Board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist; the certificate is issued by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).
  3. Bitches and dogs used for breeding will have achieved certain competitive titles such as AKC Champion or an advanced obedience title (CDX, UD). Responsible breeders will usually not breed dogs and bitches whose quality has not been proven in competition, although under certain circumstances (injuries which prevent competition) they may.
  4. The Breeder will belong to one or more Rottweiler Clubs which require adherence to a “Code of Ethics” from all members (adherence to a certain level of responsibility in ownership and breeding). The largest of these clubs include the American Rottweiler Club, The Colonial Rottweiler Club, The Medallion Rottweiler Club and the Gold Coast Rottweiler Club. There are numerous local Rottweiler clubs, some are “Code” clubs and some are not – ask. Code of Ethics clubs do not permit members to advertise puppy prices.
  5. The Breeder will be active in the sport of dogs, competing in conformation, obedience, tracking or herding events.
  6. A responsible breeder will not give you a “hard-sell” routine when you call to inquire about his/her dogs. Usually he/she will be trying everything they can to discourage you from buying a Rottweiler. A reputable breeder’s number one concern is that his/her puppies are placed in responsible homes where they will receive the same kind of care and training he/she gives his/her own dogs. Expect to be interviewed at length as to why you want to own a Rottweiler, and what your family and lifestyle is like. The reputable breeder will ask more questions of you than you will of him/her.
  7. A responsible breeder will try to steer you clear of rushing to buy a puppy this week or this month, but he/she will also not expect you to wait an unreasonable amount of time to buy one of his/her puppies. If he has no puppies available and has no breeding planned in the near future, he will recommend other breeders whose standards are as high as his own.
  8. A responsible breeder will be happy to have you meet the parents of the litter (at least the dam; frequently the sire will not belong to the breeder), as well as his/her other dogs. The dogs and puppies will be kept in a clean and healthy environment.
  9. A responsible breeder will only sell puppies with a signed, written contract. He/she will pass on accurate health, breeding and registration records and pedigree records of at least three generations. They will require that any puppy not purchased as show and breeding stock be made incapable of reproducing, and require that limited registration “blue slips” be provided, or that registration papers be withheld until a veterinarians certificate is received as proof of sterilization.

What is the difference between pet and show quality?

“Show Quality” is a term that is often misunderstood and misused. It can mean something as simple as a puppy with no disqualifying faults (as listed in the breed standard) at the time of sale. The serious buyer looking for a potential winner or breeding stock had best spend time going to dog shows and talking to exhibitors as well as studying the standard for the breed. Serious and disqualifying faults to avoid include overshot or undershot bites, missing teeth, long or curly coats, light eyes, hip dysplasia and unstable temperaments. All lines carry one or more of these traits, and a responsible breeder will be able to give you a candid description of what is in your animal’s genetic background. Be aware that the nicest puppy in the litter can mature into a very mediocre adult. Be prepared to critically evaluate your dog, because even if you paid a good price you may still end up with a pet.

“Pet Quality”: many time breeders will offer puppies with serious faults for lower prices than show quality. These faults are generally cosmetic (bad bites, white spots on the chest or belly, missing teeth, etc.) and will not affect the health or temperament of the dog. These animals are not for breeding because these are serious genetic faults. A responsible breeder will require that the animal be spayed, neutered or vasectomized before releasing the AKC registration papers. Breeders may now sell their puppies on the new AKC Limited Registration Certificate, which allows the dog AKC privileges of obedience activities but will not allow showing in the conformation ring or use for breeding purposes. These dogs make good companions and often their faults are not detectable to any but the most experienced eyes.

How much can I expect to pay for a Rottweiler puppy?

Show quality puppies will generally sell for $1,000 to $2,000, with pet prices approximately half the show price.

An Introduction to Canine Hip Dysplasia

What is Hip Dysplasia?

The hip joint consists of a “ball” on the femoral bone, and a “socket” on the hip bone.
Canine hip dysplasia simply defined is when a dog’s hips do not develop normally and the ball does not fit snugly into the socket.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia?

While there is no “conclusive proof” of the cause of hip dysplasia, there are 2 general schools of thought about its cause – 1) genetic or 2) environmental

These two differing viewpoints often place the dog breeders at odds with the dog owners, causing each to blame the other for the problem.
Genetic: The puppy is born with the problem
Environmental: The puppy is too heavy resulting in excessive growth and/or over or under exercising a puppy during its growth phase resulting in developmental problems.

The most common theory is that hip dysplasia is indeed genetic. Most breeders have their breeding dogs’ hips rated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (Penn-HIP), or various other international orthopedic groups.

We could discuss the merits of both theories, but it doesn’t change the facts. If your dog has hip dysplasia, you need to deal with it. You may be deciding what to do next, or you may have already decided, and want to know what to expect.

When Does a Dog Get Hip Dysplasia?

If you subscribe to the theory that it is genetic, they are born with it. Dogs that have severe hip dysplasia often begin to have problems as puppies. Sometimes, the hip dysplasia does not cause pain for the dog, so they do not show signs of it until they develop arthritis in their hip joints. Some dogs that are not as severe can live out their entire lives with few, if any symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia?

There are a number of symptoms of hip dysplasia. Some dog owners only say that their dog didn’t walk right. Others will say they saw no symptoms at all, or just that their dog began to limp. Following is a list of common symptoms, of which your dog may have a couple and not have hip dysplasia.

Bunny Hopping: The dog tends to use both hind legs together, rather than one at a time. This occurs when the dog is running, or going up stairs.

Side Sit: Also called lazy sit, slouch or frog sit. When the dog sits, its legs are not positioned bent and close to the body. They can be loose and off to one side, or one or both legs may be straight out in front.

Sway Walk: Also called a loose walk. When the dog is walking, the back end sways back and forth because the hips are loose.

Unusual Laying Position: Legs are straight out and off to the side when the dog is laying on its stomach or legs are straight out behind the dog. (All dogs lay with their legs behind them on occasion, many dogs with hip dysplasia lay like this all the time.)

Limping: The dog may favor one hind leg or the other, and may alternate legs that it is favoring.

Quiet Puppy: Puppies who are already in pain from hip dysplasia tend to be very good puppies. They do not rough house the way that normal puppies do. They also tend to sleep for a long time after playing or going for a walk. Some owners describe their puppy with hip dysplasia as the best puppy they’ve ever had.

Dog Doesn’t Jump: Not only do they not jump on you, they seem to pull themselves up by their front end onto furniture as opposed to jumping up.

Underdeveloped Hind Quarters and Overdeveloped Chest: This is caused by the failure to use the hind legs normally and jump. The dog also may actually be shifting weight forward.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia

The only way to diagnose hip dysplasia is with x-rays. However, I must note here that you should treat the dog and not the x-rays. Some dogs with seemingly mild hip dysplasia are in a lot of pain, while other dogs with apparent severe hip dysplasia do not display symptoms.

What Can Be Done for My Dog?

If you have had x-rays taken of your dog’s hips at your regular vet, you may have been referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon is going to recommend various surgical options for your dog. I am going to give you a very brief overview of these surgeries. You will need to discuss your dog’s options with the surgeon. They will provide the details of each surgical option. Some people are able to treat their dog with nutritional supplements and avoid surgery. Ultimately, it will be your decision to determine the best treatment for your dog.

Surgical Options:

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) – This surgery is performed on puppies under 20 weeks of age, generally when the puppy is neutered or spayed. It shows great promise as a preventive measure, by altering the pelvic growth. This surgery has a short recovery period, but is generally done before a puppy can be diagnosed. However, once you’ve lived with hip dysplasia, it may prove to be worthwhile for a puppy considered at risk for developing hip dysplasia.

Dorsal Acetabular Rim (DAR) – This surgery consists of bone grafts being taken from other areas of the pelvis to build up the rim on the hip socket (cup). The idea is for the femoral head to have a deeper socket to fit into. It’s relatively new, so there is some question as to how a dog will do into old age – there aren’t many older dogs that have had it done.

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO) – This surgery involves cutting the bone around the hip socket and repositioning the socket for a better fit with the femoral head. The bones are plated back together so they heal in the correct alignment. This surgery is performed on young dogs before they have finished growing.

Total Hip Replacement (THR) – This surgery consists of replacing the hip joint similar to a human hip replacement. A new cup is usually attached to the hip bone, and the femoral head is cut off the leg bone and an implant is inserted into the leg bone. This surgery is done on more mature dogs that have finished growing. Due to the size of the implants, this surgery is done on larger dogs. Previously, all artificial hip components were cemented in place. More recently, cementless hip replacements are being performed.

Femoral Head & Neck Ostectomy (FHO) – This surgery consists of removing the femoral head of the leg bone to eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia. The dog’s body will then develop scar tissue to create an artificial hip joint. Long considered only appropriate for smaller dogs or as a salvage operation for a failed THR, it has become increasingly popular for larger dogs.

Non-Surgical or Conservative Management Option
Many people choose to have surgery performed on their dog only as a last resort. Some are able to manage their dog’s hip dysplasia with supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic care, exercise and weight management. Sometimes, the puppy will show signs of pain from hip dysplasia, and once it is done growing and the muscles are fully developed, they seem to “go into remission”, developing signs of hip problems again as the dog ages. Surgical options are still available to you if the conservative path is unsuccessful.

For additional information on hip dysplasia, please visit
The American Kennel Club

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