Dog Health Issues – Important Questions Answered

Dog Health Issues – We all have health issues with our dogs that need to be solved.  This is especially true for new dogs in our household. 

There are 2 health issues that this post deals with today.  The first issue relates to a dog that pulls at its leash when taken for a walk.  This issue can be very annoying and, at times, dangerous to us and our pets. 

I read an interesting article that discusses this dog health issue.  It is entitled “Van Veen: A dog that walks nicely is a joy to take out.”  The author, Yvette Van Veen, does a good job of providing good advice on this subject.  Here is her answer to this first issue:

Q We recently welcomed an adult Boxer into our home. We signed him up for obedience classes and know that with practice he’ll understand what is expected of him. However, he pulls badly when walking on leash. With our old dog, we used a head halter. That’s not possible for Boxers because head halters don’t fit dogs with short muzzles. We’re not getting any younger and are concerned we’ll get yanked off our feet. What can we do in the meantime to make walks a little easier?

A: Teaching loose leash walking is not always easy. When owners are at risk of sustaining an injury because the dog is too strong, it’s safer to use a product that limits pulling.

Head halters are one such product. They fit around the dog’s neck and across its muzzle. These areas have very little muscle mass — making it difficult for the dog to pull with gusto. But many product lines don’t fit short-nosed dogs.

Alternatives are available. Black Dog is an Australian company that makes custom-fit head halters. They are designed specifically for breeds that are hard to fit ( www.blackdog.net.au).

No-pull body harnesses are another option. Products such as the Easy Walk or SENSE-ation harnesses work against a dog’s opposition reflex. In other words, dogs brace against tension on the leash. Since the leash attaches at the animal’s chest, dogs that pull ahead will move back toward the owner, slacking the leash. ( www.softouchconcepts.com and www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs/products/collars/easywalk/description)

Whatever tool you choose, remember it’s no substitute for training. A dog that walks nicely is a joy to take out.

The entire article can be found here.

In the second part of the article, Ms. Van Veen addresses the second dog health issue.  In this situation, a puppy refuses to do its business on its walk.  It holds it until it gets back inside and then has an accident.

This is obviously not a good thing.  Ms. Van Veen has an answer to the problem.  I feel it is a good answer to the question being asked.

Have you had problems similar to these?  I welcome your comments.

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