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DOG HEALTH: CARING FOR DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS

Dogs-and-Arthritis-Toronto-dog-wellness-2Aging is a part of any canine life, but sometimes with those precious golden years there also comes the challenge of coping with arthritis.

This condition, which is often referred to as degenerative joint disease, subjects a dog to pain and inflammation of the joints. Just like in humans, arthritis is defined as “the breaking down of smooth cartilage that protects the bones that make up a joint” (source). Once that healthy cartilage disappears or diminishes, a joint becomes aggravated, inflamed and generally painful from the constant friction of bone rubbing against bone.

Sometimes there are additional factors at play besides genetics that can cause arthritis to present in canines. These factors can include (but aren’t limited to) broken bones, dislocation, torn ligaments or preexisting medical conditions.

For a dog suffering from arthritis their mobility can be greatly limited. Sitting and even walking can become uncomfortable, which as you can imagine is no fun at all. However, there are a few things a pet parent can do to make a dog’s life with arthritis more comfortable.

GENTLE EXERCISE
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Dogs who suffer from arthritis will find movement a challenge, but they will still need to exercise in order to keep fit and keep their joints functioning. Two highly recommended low-impact therapies are hydrotherapy (aka supervised swimming) and canine massage, as both activities allow a dog to stretch, tone muscle and limit the risk of falling.

Depending upon the case, you may also consider short, slow walks. Just be sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t topple over.

SMART FOOD
Researchers have found that some human foods possess vitamins and minerals that can help soothe arthritis symptoms, such as celery, papaya and mango. Some experts believe that excessive grains in a diet can aggravate the condition, so you may want to consider removing such elements from your dog’s diet.

Eating smart and avoiding excess weight will also help alleviate some joint stress for dogs, as the more pounds they have to carry, the harder it may be to walk.

MEDICATION
Some cases of canine arthritis are so severe they may require medication and supplements from a certified vet to alleviate their symptoms.

PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE
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Of course, nobody can predict what conditions a senior dog may develop, but encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle can help to prevent the risk of developing arthritis; although avoiding this condition entirely cannot be guaranteed.

Make sure your dog exercises regularly to keep excess weight off and be mindful of their diet, especially as they age. Sometimes a dog’s food will need to be changed as they get older — and keep track of how many and what kind of treats you are spoiling them with.

(Note: Be sure to consult with your veterinarian when addressing arthritis in your dog.)

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This article was made possible by DogTrot Fitness — Canada’s exclusive distributor of the PetRun line of dog treadmills — the ideal solution if your dog doesn’t love dog parks.
dog-treadmills-dogtrot-fitness-pawsh-magazineAdequate exercise is equally important to your dog’s wellness as a healthy diet. Even if you can’t run WITH your dog, we can help you meet his exercise needs, regardless of weather. With running decks scaled to suit any stride, there’s a PetRun treadmill for every size of dog! WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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TORONTO PET PHOTOGRAPHY: FALL 2014 PET MINI SESSIONS!

Toronto-dog-photographer-september-mini-sessionDon’t hate me for thinking ahead. Where on earth did summer go? I know technically we have a few more weeks of the warm sunshine to soak up, but in the spirit of embracing the future I’m starting to plan our annual Fall Studio Pet Mini Sessions! Here’s what will be happening this year!

COST
$75 + HST (regular session price $150)

INCLUDES
– 30 minute studio photo session with carefully selected, fashion forward fall props
– your choice of background colour (blue, pink, white, black, grey, orange or brick)
– 10 proofs | 3 final hi-res edited images
– a $20 print credit to put towards any fine art print product
– one pet per session

WHEN
September 14th, 2014

WHERE
Toronto, ON in Pawsh’s downtown studio

BIG BONUS!
If you would prefer to have your dog photographed outside in the rich fall colours, a few outdoor sessions will be available for the above rate and scheduled on a per person basis, but outdoor sessions must take place between October 5th and 11th, 2014 and will be scheduled during that week.
Toronto-dog-photographer-september-mini-session-2THE CATCH
There are only a limited number of these spaces – both studio and outdoors – available. These sessions will be booked on a first come first served basis.

HOW TO BOOK YOUR SESSION
Simply email info@pawsh-magazine.com with “Fall Mini Session” in the subject line. Be sure to tell us the following in your email:
– if you would prefer a studio or an outdoor session
– the name of your dog
– the breed of your dog (in fact, feel free to attach a photo if you’d like!)
– if you would prefer a morning or an afternoon session

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IMPORTANT: People often think that their dog is ‘too hyper’ or ‘too all over the place’ to have their photograph professionally taken. I assure you, that is not the case. We have all sorts of temperaments and energy levels come into Pawsh Studio and we always come out with a great photograph. My lovely assistant, Sondra, and I make sure that the dogs have a lot of fun and are by no means stressed. Their well being is our number one priority.

If for whatever reason your dog does not like the studio and we can’t get ‘the shot,’ I’ll give you your money back. Yep, all of it. So please, don’t be afraid to book your pup in for a photo session. If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been hesitant due to the investment, now is the perfect opportunity to do so! Hope to see you there!

DOG BEHAVIOUR: WHAT SHOULD BE IN A DOG OWNER’S PURSE?

Dog-behaviour-dog-products-on-the-go-2The other day I was transferring my purse contents from an old bag to a newer model and I realized that as a pet parent there are certain must-have items that every purse should carry.

For starters, you want to be prepared for any pet situation. This means you more than likely want to have on hand some dog biscuits, a travel water bowl, a spare collar (or at least, I do!) But you also want to have some items for your own benefit, such as lip balm, sunglasses and tissues!
Dog-behaviour-dog-products-on-the-go-1So it got me thinking — what’s in your purse or bag? Here’s what emerged from my purse exploration!
– dog biscuits
– poo bags
– sunglasses
– a Nylabone (in case I am delayed somewhere and my pup needs some entertainment)
– lip balm
– a spare collar
– a small towel (for drying mucky paws)
– my iPod
– my phone
– candies (usually toffee)
– tissues
– a notebook
– a dog brush (for spontaneous grooming in the park)

I would love to know what’s in your purse or bag? Am I the only pet parent who carries all of these extra dog items? Is there an essential item that I’m missing in my daily outing arsenal?

(Illustrations by Deidre Wicks of Water In My Paint. Be sure to check out her links below for your very own custom watercolour pet portrait!)

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Water In My Paint Custom Pet PortraitsWithout question our pets are an essential part of our lives. They help us heal from heartbreak, comfort us when we’re sad, make us laugh uproariously and help us burn off that extra chocolate chip cookie. Why not immortalize your beloved pet in watercolour with a custom painted portrait? You can request accessories that illustrate your animal’s personality or choose a more traditional portrait. And they make the perfect gift!
WEBSITE | ETSY | FACEBOOK

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