Category Archives: dog care

Companion Animals in New Zealand 2016

The 2011 study into companion animals in this country has been updated and the 2016 report is now available from the NZ Companion Animal Council.  Download it here.

 

Companion Animals in New Zealand 2016

There are lots of facts, figures and data quoted in the report.

Things I noticed in my first reading include:

  • 13% of dog owners prepare homemade food specifically for their animals (yes!)
  • The vast majority of people who have companion animals view them as members of the family.  As such, many trends seen in human wellness and wellbeing are mirrored in pet care.
  • The gender and age profiles of the veterinary profession are changing.  Younger veterinarians are more likely to be female than male.
  • Visits to the vet represent one of the most significant areas of expenditure for households with companion animals (that’s probably not a surprise to most of you).
  • Expenditure on pet insurance has increased by 133% from 2011.

If you are interested in the care of your animals, then this report is well worth downloading.  See how you stack up in terms of the statistics and trends.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Fighting Fractures

Sometimes, I come across resources on the internet that just have to be shared.  Here’s one of them.  It’s a fact sheet by Dr Brett Beckman, a veterinary dentist, about fractured teeth, how to prevent them, and the treatments available.

Fighting Fractures

You can download a .pdf of this fact sheet from www.dentalvets.co.uk

Recommended reading for all dog parents…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Foreign bodies

I’ve heard some people describe their dog as “A Guts” – but this list takes it to a whole new level.  Pet insurer Petplan has published a list of all the foreign bodies taken from pets insured by them.  (It’s a pretty impressive list)

Dog ate scisscorsDog ate cellphone

  • Acorns
  • Balloons
  • Batteries
  • Blanket
  • Carpeting
  • Chicken bones
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Clam shells
  • Copper wire
  • Corn cobs
  • Diapers
  • Dimes
  • Fish hook and sinker
  • Football
  • Fruit pits
  • Gloves
  • Grass
  • Hair ties
  • Hairbrush
  • Insulation
  • Leash
  • Metal skewers
  • Most of a loveseat
  • Sewing needles
  • Oven mitt
  • Pacifiers
  • Part of a book
  • Plastic hanger
  • Razor blades
  • Rocks
  • Rubber bands
  • Part of a rubber mat
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Staples
  • Sticks
  • String
  • Tea lights
  • Tennis balls
  • Toothpicks
  • TV remove
  • Underwear
  • Wedding rings
  • Wooden checkers

If you don’t have pet insurance and your dog is A Guts, then this list may change your mind about getting some.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

August deadline for pet relief areas

All airports in the United States that service over 10,000 passengers per year must have a pet relief area in every terminal by this August, according to federal regulation.

This is great news for the traveling public.

Initially, pet relief areas were focused on providing areas for service animals.  But interest and need has grown particularly in providing pet relief areas after passengers pass through airport security (not just in an outdoor area).

 

Pet relief area LAX

An outdoor pet relief area at LAX

I’ve blogged about pet relief areas before.  Here are the links.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

All dogs matter

 

All dogs matter

I often get asked ‘what type of dog benefits most from massage and laser?’

People think that a certain breed or size of dog has the most problems.  While it is true that some breeds have a higher likelihood of problems due to genetics – obesity or hip dysplasia in Labradors, for example – the reality is that all dogs benefit from touch therapies.  That’s purebreds and mixed breeds, toy dogs, medium and large dogs and extra-large dogs.

People also think that you only massage a dog once they are elderly and showing signs of discomfort.  While of course you should seek help in these instances, you can keep your dog more flexible in the joints and with good blood flow to the muscles by instituting a regular wellness program that includes massage.

And by regular, I only see some of my clients six- or eight-weekly, because we have their dog responding well to their treatments.  They move more freely and comfortably now and only need a ‘top up’ to keep in good shape.

So the other message I have in this post is that your dog’s massage therapy doesn’t have to break your budget.  If you get your dog into a regular massage program, you can easily plan for this expense and accommodate it.   This is so much better than trying to fund the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ approach.

I practice on a mobile basis, and so with lower overheads (no clinic to rent, heat and insure), I pass on these savings to my customers.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

Teefs

Greyhounds, it seems, like to sleep with their mouths open.   And their owners like to take photos of their hounds showing off their ‘teefs’ – photos that are shared on Facebook groups involving greyhounds (I follow several)…

Greyhound front teeth by Elizabeth Anne Dodd

A sleeping greyhound shows off their front teefs (Photo by Elizabeth Anne Dodd)

So I’ve used these photos as an inspiration.  How much do you know about your dog’s teeth?

greyhound front teeth upside down by Gill Vernon

An upside down sleeping Greyhound, again showing off the front teefs (Photo by Gill Vernon)

Let’s look at a diagram of an adult dog’s teeth:

 

Adult dog teeth diagram

An adult dog’s teeth (diagram courtesy of the Merck Vet Manual)

The dog has 6 incisors on the upper and lower jaws that are used for grasping.

Of the famous “canine teeth” there are only 2 each on the upper and lower jaws.  Their main function is tearing.

There are 8 premolars on the upper and lower jaw and their main function is grinding.  There are 4 molars in the upper jaw and 6 on the lower jaw.  These teeth also have a grinding function.

The best way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy is to feed a nutritious diet.

I am a big support of regular teeth brushing, too. (see my blog post on Brushing your dog’s teeth)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Homemade dog tag

I think every dog should have a name tag attached to its collar.  It’s useful for people to know your dog’s name, particularly if it gets lost.

And I also love recycling or re-using items for another purpose when I can.  It’s a case of waste not, want not. (see,  for example, my blog on how I re-used a pill bottle for my dog’s emergency kit)

So, when this homemade dog tag came across my Facebook feed, I wanted to share it.

It’s made from an old teaspoon that has been flattened, with the handle cut off.  I’d never have thought of that!

Home made dog tag from a teaspoon

Homemade dog tag by Rhys Agnew, Canterbury, New Zealand

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand