Dogs can digest most vegetables. Many veterinary surgeons agree that so long as a dog has plenty of exercises he can eat potatoes without deleterious effects being discernible.
Yet we must again emphasize that dogs are mixed feeders, and too much concentration on any particular food is not desirable. Variety in this case is the spice of life.
Where there is a family there are usually enough scraps to provide a substantial portion of the nutriment required.
In days of scarcity, a dog is so adaptable that he does not complain if he is reasonably fed on a mixed diet, so long as the transition is gradual and does not come as a shock.
How can I help my dog to lose weight?
This is a common question. Unfortunately, many people indulge their dogs incredibly and there are plenty of overweight dogs. Sweets and chocolates just add empty calories and may even lead to tooth decay. The dieting of dogs and cats is very similar to human dieting.
The main consideration is a reduction of total calorie intake, plus increased exercise. If the pet is not free to scavenge the owner is in a very good position to control its diet. We get owners to weigh their pets then we give them an objective - a reduction of a certain number of pounds in the pet's weight - and we work out a program for the animal which may last from six to eight weeks. Obesity in pets causes similar medical problems to those in humans.
How can I get my dog to obey me?
We see a tremendous number of dogs who are undisciplined. Briefly, pet-owner psychology should be this: Dogs are pack animals. They want to belong to a pack, they want to know where they stand in the pack and they want a leader to look up to and follow. To the pet dog, the pack is the family and if someone in the family doesn't exert dominance over the dog, the dog will become the pack leader. He is the unhappy dog, the dog who snaps at people, bites children, growls and won't let his bone be taken from him. He has had to assume the role of pack leader - a role he doesn't really want.
Disciplining a dog is in some ways like disciplining a child and there are occasions when dogs, like children, should be spanked.
How long can I expect my dog or cat to live?
In the case of dogs the bigger the breed the shorter the life and the smaller the breed the longer the life. Big dogs such as the Great Dane, the St. Bernard or the Dobermann have a very short life. Eight or 10 years may be old for them, whereas you can get a 20-year-old miniature fox or Jack Russell terrier, or Chihuahua. An average life span would be 8-12 years. Cats live a little longer, say 12-14 years.
What should I do if my cat or dog is run over?
Similar to human first-aid. Hemorrhaging should be stemmed, the animal should not be moved unduly, a blanket should be gently slipped under it and the animal carried, hammock-style, carefully to the vet. It&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;s most important to keep it warm &amp;amp;amp;amp;#8211; shock is the main killer. Internal loss of blood from ruptured spleen or liver is another, therefore warmth is essential.
Be very careful that you don&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;t get bitten. Dogs are unpredictable when they&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;re hurt. It often pays to gently muzzle the animal by tying a bandage around its mouth.
How can I get my dog or cat to take pills?
Dogs tend to be easier than cats, who can be very awkward. Tablets can be concealed in food except that cats, who are very picky eaters tend to detect the pill and leave it uneaten. The liquid types of medicine can be administered with a teaspoon or with a disposable syringe &amp;amp;amp;amp;#8211; you squirt it into the back of the animal&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;s mouth.
But for pills, hold the jaws wide open, slipping the lips of the upper jaw over the teeth so the dog or cat can&amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;t properly close its mouth. Forcing the jaws open like a V with the mouth pointing vertically upward, drop the tablet at the very root of the tongue and push it firmly down the throat. It is almost impossible, anatomically, to push it down the wrong way into the wind-pipe. If you just leave it at the root of the tongue or at the side of the mouth the animal will spit it out again.
When to euthanize a dog
Unfortunately, many people selfishly prolong their pet&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;s life. Rarely do we get a sensible pet owner saying. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8220;Look I think the old dog is coming to the end of the road. Before he starts to get into real trouble I&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;d rather he was put to sleep.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8221;
To me, this is a very sensible attitude, far better than keeping a dog until it suffers a massive heart attack after months of being crippled with arthritis or in discomfort from a lung condition or urinary trouble. But of course, the final decision always rests with the owners.
Putting an animal to sleep is completely painless and very quick. A massive overdose of barbiturate anesthetic is given and within seconds the animal&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;s life is terminated.
However, where we feel that putting a pet to sleep is a way out for the owner then we always discuss it and may be able to place the animal in a new home. People often selfishly think that their pet couldn&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;t possibly be happy with anyone else, whereas in fact, after two or three weeks in a new home with a loving owner the animal will usually have forgotten them and will be just as happy as before.
How long can I leave my pet alone if I go away?
Provided fresh food and water are available, and there is shelter, dogs and cats can usually manage quite well on their own over a weekend if a neighbor can keep an eye on them now and then. Longer than this is cruel, although cats survive much better than dogs, provided fresh food and water is available.
Reference: Best duvet cover for dog and cat hairs