The Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky



Siberian_Husky_with_Blue_Eyes              The Siberian Husky

              Image Credit: Wikipedia.Org


The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working breed that is energetic and light on his feet. His movements are graceful and quick in action. This breed belongs to the AKC, UKC, Working and Northern groups. This compact and handsome breed is an active, sporty dog that is outgoing and friendly. His brush tail suggests his Northern heritage.

The Siberian Husky is independent in nature, very alert, yet gentle in temperament. He is an extremely clean dog that is free of odor that is common amongst breeds that have dense coats. This breed is adaptable to many different kinds of living environments. The Siberian Husky enjoys having the freedom to roam around and explore. He is built for power, speed and endurance, and his body proportions reflect this. This is not an aggressive breed, so the Siberian Husky does not make for a good watchdog. Instead he loves being around his family and having fun.

The male should appear larger than the female, and should be 21 to 23 ½ inches at the withers. Females should be 20 to 22 inches at the withers. The male should weigh between 45-60 pounds, with the female weighing in at 35-50 pounds. Weight should always be in proportion to height. Siberian male huskies are masculine in confirmation, with the females being feminine, without any weakness in confirmation. The Siberian Husky should always have firm muscle tone, be well developed, and not carry any excess weight.

Before adopting or buying a Siberian Husky, it’s best to learn as much as possible about the breed. Each breed was bred for performing particular tasks like hunting, herding, sledding, and even being a companion.

The American Kennel Club

The United Kennel Club

Breeding History

 The Siberian Husky is thought to have originated from the Chukchi Indians in Siberia, more than 3000 years ago. This breed was first used as a sled dog and enjoyed pulling small loads. It was a breed that was kept free from interbreeding until the twentieth century. This is when the Alaskans started importing dogs to use for sled racing. With the Alaskan Husky demonstrating more speed, the use of the Siberian Husky for this sport diminished. This breed was also used during World War 2 as a sled dog with the U.S. military.

Physical Description

 The Siberian Husky ranges in coat coloring from black to pure white. There are also a variety of markings found on the head area, with many interesting patterns that are not found in other breeds. The Siberian Husky has a double coat that is medium in length, so that he looks well- furred. Yet, this breed never has an unkempt coat because the coat is always clean-cut. With an undercoat that is soft and thick, and that also supports the outer coat, the Siberian Husky always looks well- groomed. During shedding this breed loses his undercoat.

The Siberian Husky should be of moderate bone, well balanced in confirmation, have an easy and free gait, good disposition and appropriate coat. The eyes can be blue, brown or one of each color. Most interesting is this breed’s nose color, which will depend on his coat color, and can be either black, liver, flesh colored, or of a pink colored hue.


Modern Uses


Today the Siberian Husky is more of a companion dog. He has a high activity level and needs lots of room to exercise. Although still used for sledding, the Siberian Husky is best with an active family. This breed needs plenty of socialization and positive training.




The Siberian Husky is an enjoyable companion whether in the city or out in the countryside. These are “people” dogs that are intelligent, active, friendly and need a job like sledding or pulling. The best suited pet parent for this breed will keep him busy with dog sports like Frisbee, long walks and canicross. With his superior ability to race, this breed responds to stimulating environments like rugged terrains and snow. The Siberian Husky has plenty of endurance, and can travel for long distances. Easy to housetrain, they are a delight to have at home.


Is a Siberian Husky Right For You?

 The Siberian Husky is a working dog that needs plenty of exercise. Think before choosing this breed, as the focus should be on positive training, enriching environmental stimuli, off leash hikes, plenty of socialization and lots of love. The Siberian Husky is high energy and demands the right care and mental stimulation. Do not leave this breed alone all day. The Siberian Husky thrives when he’s allowed to participate in family activities, pet travel and plenty of outdoor fun. He also needs routine health checks.


The Siberian Husky is prone to cataracts, corneal dystrophy, hip dysplasia and PRA.



Diet needs to keep puppy growth steady and slow so that hip dysplasia is avoided. Dog food diets and formulas also need to be properly balanced with protein being kept around 21 to 25%, most especially during the puppy growth stages when puppies tend to grow rapidly. The key to success with nutrition is discussing your dog’s diet with your veterinarian. Keep your Siberian Husky on a diet that is free of additives, byproducts, pollutants and additives. Study all dog food ingredient labels, and understand what’s best for your pooch. Support your dog’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Probiotics, vitamins and additional supplements should be considered. Opt for the very best in dog foods to avoid long-term health problems.



The Siberian Husky benefits from regular exercise every day. Regardless of which dog sports you choose, long off leash hikes, Frisbee, flyball, agility or canicross, choose dog activities that are best suited to your dog’s breed, health and age. Also take into consideration the weather and where you live.


Common Signs of Illness

 Most Siberian Huskies are well past puppyhood when they get eye problems. All dogs need to be vaccinated during puppyhood. These vaccines should include distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, leptospirosis, rabies and parainfluenza. Siberian Huskies are also susceptible to parasites like roundworm, ticks and hookworm. Signs of illness will include:

  • Abnormal lumps
  • Foul breath
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Excessive head shaking
  • Increased water intake
  • Dandruff
  • Loss of hair
  • Change in behavior
  • Limping
  • Excessive scratching

Living with a furry best friend means providing your dog with good veterinary care. Provide your pooch with regular dental care to prevent periodontal disease. This is important for all dog breeds. Set your dog up for a lifetime of good health. Good nutrition is key for optimal canine health!

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Woofs & Wags!

© Copyright 2015 Claudia Bensimoun


The Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard


Alternative Name: St. Barnhardshund. Alpine Mastiff. Bernhardiner



               The Saint Bernard

               Image Credit: Wikipedia.Org


Swiss monks first bred the Saint Bernard during the seventeenth century. This breed originated from Switzerland where these dogs were used for search and rescue, drafting and guarding. This breed belongs to the working, AKC and Mastiff group. Saint Bernard’s are well known for their search and rescue work, and for being courageous dogs. Their name can be traced to the Hospice of Saint Bernard, which was a refuge for all travelers endeavoring to cross the mountain passes between Switzerland and Italy. This breed had great path finding abilities and a keen sense of smell. It is one of the most celebrated breeds in history. They are reputed to possessing an uncanny sixth sense, which warns them of an approaching avalanche.

Thoroughly handsome and kind, the Saint Bernard is a wonderful family dog that enjoys being around children and other pets. This breed is calm, sensitive and intelligent. Powerfully bred with a large head and blunt muzzle, the Saint Bernard is an affectionate and playful dog. With huge paws and a long tail, the Saint Bernard looks powerful and strong. He is never ill-natured and enjoys having fun.

The Saint Bernard can be white with red or red with white in coat color. The red can be of many different shades; some with brindle patches and white markings. Red and brown-yellow should be of equal proportion on the Saint Bernard’s coat. All Saint Bernard’s should have a white chest, feet and tail tip of white coloring, noseband, collar or spot on the neck in white. These markings are very desirable. This breed should never be just one color or without the white trim. The dark mask on the head and ears are allowed and favored. Males stand at 27½ inches, with the female being 25½ inches. Saint Bernard’s weigh between 120-180 pounds.

Breeding History

 This breed is shrouded in mystery. Some believe that the Saint Bernard originated from the heavy Asian Molosser breed, brought to Switzerland by Roman armies during the first two centuries A.D., and then bred to native dogs, which were present during the Roman invasions. Later on, these dogs were often used in Alpine dairies for guarding and herding. By 1707, there was reference to this breed at the Saint Bernard Pass at the hospice. With the dogs being so isolated at the hospice, there was inbreeding of the original stock. Only the strongest dogs survived the adverse conditions, and soon monks and the Saint Bernard became a pair. They began working together to find travelers that had become lost during snow storms.

The Newfoundland was later crossed with the Saint Bernard, thus resulting in the longhaired Saint Bernard breed. Before 1830, all Saint Bernard’s were shorthaired. By 1810, the Saint Bernard was crossed with the Mastiff by the British, and these dogs were known as Sacred Dogs. It was not until 1865, that the Saint Bernard name definitely appeared.

American Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Modern Uses

 There is no other breed quite like the Saint Bernard-powerful, strong, muscular, brave, intelligent and loyal. Today this breed makes for a wonderful companion dog that is easy to have at home. This breed is friendly towards strangers, other pets and children. The Saint Bernard is not a guard dog, and prefers being around children. Saint Bernard’s must be kept away from heat, and should be kept indoors with cool temperatures.


 The Saint Bernard does best in a home with children and other pets. This is an intelligent and sensitive breed that can adapt to city life, but needs to have enough room to roam around and have fun. The Saint Bernard is easy to housetrain and are truly family dogs. They are brave, compassionate and kind.

Is a Saint Bernard Right For You?

 First and foremost, the Saint Bernard is a large breed that is very gentle. They are patient and obedient, and eager to make everyone in the household happy. Because this breed is easy to train, this does not mean that training should begin later on. Since this dog is a large breed, training should start early while the dog is still a controllable size. The Saint Bernard drools plenty, most often after eating or drinking. It’s important to socialize the Saint Bernard from an early age.

This breed needs regular veterinary care, plenty of fresh air and exercise. Be prepared! A dog of this size needs space to play and run around in. The Saint Bernard thrives on being around family members, and does not do well when left alone all day. Training is super easy during the puppyhood stage when the Saint Bernard puppy is eager to learn. Drooling may be a problem with this breed. This gentle giant is an absolute pleasure to have around the home with children, other pets and guests.


 The Saint Bernard is prone to many health problems such as heart, hip dysplasia, tumors, bloat, albinism, epilepsy, skin allergies and laryngeal paralysis. Since this breed is prone to bloat, it’s always best to feed a few small meals, and to consult with your veterinarian if you see any signs of bloat.


 Today there are so many different types of dog foods available. There are also many hypoallergenic and low calorie diets available. Because nutrition impacts your dog’s good health, it’s important that you select the very best nutrition for him. Adult diets are different from puppy diets, and each stage of your dog’s life will require different formulas. Consult with your veterinarian for the best advice, so that your pooch will have a well balanced diet that will meet his needs. In addition, be sure to add vitamins, minerals, fresh fruits and vegetables.


 Saint Bernard’s need regular exercise. With this breed, it’s important not to exercise him during intense heat on a summer’s day. It’s necessary to understand that safety comes first, so long walks and trips to the dog park or beach should be done during the early morning or late afternoon hours when it’s not too hot. Whether your new Saint Bernard is a puppy or fully grown dog, make sure that he has plenty of fun outdoor activities that will keep him mentally stimulated each and every day.

Common Signs of Illness

 All dogs will suffer from common illnesses the same way we do. Vaccinate your puppy against all diseases, and choose a veterinarian that is nearby your home. Bloat is a dangerous problem faced by large, deep- chested breeds like the Saint Bernard. That said; always wait an hour after exercising your dog before feeding. Elevate your food and water bowls, and know what to look out for when faced with the early stages of bloat. Combine holistic veterinary treatment with traditional treatments. Common signs of illness include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Pale gums
  • Distended stomach
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Increased urination linked to kidney problems
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling of being unwell

If your Saint Bernard demonstrates any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian. It’s important that your veterinarian diagnose the illness, and treat your dog as soon as possible. You will need to vaccinate your puppy, and to continue with vaccinations throughout your dog’s life. Many pet parents opt for titers to determine whether a booster shot is necessary. Check with your veterinarian. Keep your Saint Bernard healthy and happy with consistent veterinary care to prevent illness, and to ensure a long and healthy life!


Thanks for visiting my blog.

Woofs & Wags!


Copyright © 2015 Claudia Bensimoun

Kidney Disease in Dogs



photo 5

Image Credit: Claudia Bensimoun

Kidney Disease in Dogs

Your furry best friend has been diagnosed with kidney or renal failure by your veterinarian. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease is common in senior dogs. It is a condition that needs to be treated by your veterinarian as soon as possible. Kidney failure requires a strong commitment of time and money to keep your dog healthy after this diagnosis. Special “low-protein” diets have to be prepared in combination with veterinary treatments, daily supplements and holistic care. Pet insurance should always be considered when buying or adopting a furry best friend.

It’s sometimes difficult to even be aware that dogs are having kidney problems because of the remarkable capacity of the kidneys to compensate for loss of tissue. Age, infections, parasites, kidney trauma, and toxins may all contribute to kidney disease. There are two common types of kidney problems:


  • Chronic renal (kidney) failure
  • Kidney stones

Dogs that are on NSAIDs are also vulnerable to this disease. Also known as renal disease, it is most common among senior dogs age seven or older. If your dog has been diagnosed with kidney disease, it’s a warning that there are toxins in the body. With proper veterinary care, though, your dog can live comfortably for months or even many years. Conventional veterinarians recommend switching diets to a low-protein “kidney-diet” or “prescription-diet” food.

Treatment of kidney disease includes subcutaneous fluids, calcitriol if this disease is diagnosed in its early stages, phosphorus binders and erythropoietin.

In addition to these treatments, there are some natural treatments that will help. Chinese herbs and acupuncture help to stimulate the kidneys. Special herbal teas will also help to flush out the kidneys. Although these alone cannot be used to treat kidney disease, their primary benefit is to improve a dog’s quality of life.

Kidney disease can affect younger dogs as well. It can affect any dog breed, yet some breeds are more predisposed to kidney disease. Some of the breeds that are prone to kidney disease, and to abnormally developing kidneys include:


  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • Basenjis
  • Beagles
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Brittany Spaniel
  • Bull Terriers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Miniature Dachshund
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Samoyed
  • Shih Tzus
  • Standard Poodle
  • Standard Dachshund
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers

Polycystic kidney disease is congenital and puppies are born with this. Dogs will develop cysts on the kidneys. The amount of damage done to the kidneys will depend on how many cysts develop. Renal dysplasia is also inherited. This occurs when the tissue in the kidneys are malformed. Kidney deterioration often begins in young or middle aged dogs.

Keeping your dog as healthy as possible with regular veterinary care is the best prevention. Feed your dog a healthy diet, and prevent exposure to poisons like antifreeze, pesticides and other toxins. Combine holistic and traditional treatments to provide your dog with a better chance of having a prolonged lifespan, and to improve quality of life.

Prevention: Keeping Your Dog’s Immune System Strong

The immune system will protect your dog from illness. It also supports the repair of his body when he is ill or injured. Because the environment is filled with microscopic organisms that have the potential to infect a dog with numerous minor and life-threatening diseases, it’s important to keep your dog’s immune system in optimal condition. To do this your dog needs to eat a high-quality dog food, or balanced home cooked recipes. He will also need clean water, plenty of fresh air and exercise, and a good multi-vitamin-mineral supplement.

If your dog’s immune system is subjected to anything that could suppress it, he will need extra nutritional support to restore his immune system back to health. Consider a holistic veterinarian that can diagnose and treat your dog using blood work results. Avoid anything that will stress your pooch and weaken his immune system.

As your dog ages there will be a natural decline in the efficiency of his immune system. A healthy and well balanced diet will delay and minimize the inevitable decline in his immune system as he ages. Geriatric dogs will need extra nutrients in their diet, an increase in their multivitamin-mineral supplement, and extra key nutrients like garlic, beta-carotene, vitamin A, proteins like buckwheat and quinoa, vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, iron, manganese and selenium. Just as your dog will need more calories if he has an active life, your dog’s immune system will need additional nutritional support when it has to work harder.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

The most common symptoms of kidney failure are increased thirst and urination. If your dog has blood-tinged urine, urine that has no color or smell, or dilute urine, these are telltale signs of a kidney problem. Some other symptoms will include bad breath, breath with a chemical odor, sores in the mouth, and light-colored gums, which indicate anemia. Episodes of vomiting and diarrhea with nausea demonstrated with him licking his nose frequently, is also another sign of kidney problems. Some other symptoms are:

  • Decreased urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Unhealthy coat condition
  • Reluctance to move
  • Muscle weakness
  • Exercise intolerance

If your dog displays any of the above symptoms, it warrants a visit to the vet.

Function of the Kidneys

 Your dog has two kidneys which are located behind and below his rib cage. Their function is to form and excrete urine and the balance of water and electrolytes. The kidneys extract water, toxins, mineral salts, and other waste products from the blood and send them to the bladder for excretion. The kidneys then take the purified water, mix the perfect balance of electrolytes, which are sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, and then release it back into the bloodstream.

The kidneys are like a filter that funnel out filtered waste material. They need to filter waste freely, and not clog up. If they do clog up, this will result in kidney and urinary tract problems. Dog owners need to keep their dog’s immune system functioning properly by building and maintaining a healthy immune system, so that the kidneys are kept clean.

Causes of Kidney Disease

 Kidney disease is hardly ever diagnosed in dogs. This is because the loss of kidney function is usually not symptomatic until there is kidney failure.

Early detection of kidney disease in dogs can mean adding on years to your dog’s life, rather than months. With the E.R.D Health Screen Canine Urine Test, kidney dysfunction is detected much earlier on than with the usual blood test. The E.R.D test detects microscopic amounts of albumin in urine. When this is detected, it’s a clear indication that the kidneys’ are not functioning as they should, and that there’s damage to the kidneys’ filtration units. By using the E.R.D test to screen for kidney disease, veterinarians are able to modify a dog’s diet earlier. This makes a huge difference on the lifespan of the affected dog.

There are many causes of kidney disease such as:

  •  Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Congenital and inherited disorders
  • Toxic reaction to a medication or poison
  • Parasites
  • Age
  • Fungal, viral, or bacterial infections
  • Amyloidosis- abnormal deposits of a certain protein in the kidney
  • A diet that is high in acid, phosphorus, sodium, or protein
  • A diet that is low in potassium

Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure can affect both male and female dogs of all breeds. Sometimes young dogs are affected as well. Chronic kidney failure may be hereditary or may be the result of an inflammation, tick disease, progressive degeneration or unknown causes. Common causes of acute kidney failure include trauma injury, ingesting of poisons like antifreeze or household poisons, damage caused by certain medications, bacterial infections like leptospirosis, dehydration and fungal infections.

Chronic kidney disease is the result of a 65% or more loss of functional tissue in both kidneys. In the early stages of kidney disease there are very few signs. It is recommended that dog owners keep up with yearly testing so that veterinarians can keep a record of a dog’s condition, and to ensure that early treatment can begin before his kidneys get worse.

Rather than something causing chronic kidney disease, some young dogs are born with poorly functioning kidneys, and can succumb to kidney failure at a young age.

Chronic Nephritis Symptoms

  • Low-grade fever
  • Long-term inflammation of kidney tissue that usually results in permanent kidney damage to fragile renal tissue.

How Much Thirst Is Excessive?

If the weather is hot outside, it will only be natural for your dog to drink more fluids than usual. This will apply to exercising as well. Use your common sense and find out if increased thirst is not linked to weather or exercise. Another sign of future kidney problems may be frequent bladder infections called cystitis. Unfortunately treatment of cystitis with antibiotics and a special diet to acidify the urine does not slow down or end kidney disease. It only masks the symptoms.

How Can Pet Parents Detect Early Signs of Kidney Disease?

 Dog owners that are observant will be able to pick up kidney failure symptoms early. By doing so, you’ll be able to give your dog a better chance of having a longer life with a special diet and natural treatments. These natural treatments or natural/ herb formulas can provide effective treatments and relief for your pet. Don’t wait for an emergency. Visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

How is Kidney Disease Diagnosed?

 Kidney disease is diagnosed by doing regular blood and urine tests. Usually when the blood tests do show anything, at least two – thirds of the kidney has already been affected with kidney disease, so early urine screening is critical for ensuring the best care possible.

 During the physical examination, the veterinarian will look for:

  • Signs of dehydration
  • An enlarged abdomen that is caused from the accumulation of fluids – ascites
  • High blood pressure
  • Softening of the bones in young dogs with hereditary kidney disease
  • Swelling of the limbs that is caused from the accumulation of fluids –subcutaneous edema)
  • Bad breath that smells like ammonia or fish
  • Vomiting
  • Dull coat
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Signs of increased thirst
  • Signs of increased urination
  • High blood pressure

Complete blood work, a urine culture and a urinalysis are done. Imaging techniques can also help to determine what may be causing the kidney problem. These tests determine whether kidney disease is present, and whether it is an acute or short-term kidney problem, or a chronic, long-term one.

Chemistry Panel

Blood Urea Nitrogen (Serum Urea Nitrogen): BUN

Dogs consume proteins, which are large molecules. When they are broken down during digestion and used by the body, the by-product result is a nitrogen-containing urea compound. The body has no use for this, and the kidneys excrete it. If the kidneys don’t function properly and don’t filter these waste products, they will accumulate in the dog’s blood. Before your dog takes this test he should fast for 12 hours, so as to prevent the BUN level from rising after consuming protein.


This is used to measure how well the kidneys are filtering waste. Since the kidneys are the only organs that excrete creatinine, the level of creatinine will indicate whether the kidneys are functioning well. If the creatinine levels are high, it is a sign of decreased kidney function. This is known as azotemia. Uremia is defined as azotemia with all the added clinical symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, anemia and polyuria-polydipsia.


Azotemia is when there is an increase in the BUN or creatinine. Uremia is azotemia with renal failure and includes anemia, polyuria-polydipsia, vomiting or weight loss. Azotemia can be divided into three categories.

  • Prerenal
  • Renal
  • Postrenal

Prerenal Azotemia is the result of other causes and not actual kidney malfunction. These will decrease the blood flow to the kidney and include dehydration, Addison’s disease, or heart disease.

Renal Azotemia is when the kidney is actually damaged. This may include chronic or acute renal disease or failure when 75% of the kidney is not functioning properly.

Postrenal Azotemia will occur when there is pressure in the urinary tract system. This can happen where there is a blockage.


 Calcium and phosphorus levels are kept normal when there is an interaction of three hormones on three organs. Phosphorus levels increase when kidney disease is present because the kidney excretes less into the urine.


 Many tests are performed on a urine sample. These tests will determine if kidney disease is present. These tests include:

  • Urine specific gravity
  • Protein
  • Sediment
  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • Imaging techniques

How is Kidney Disease Treated?

 Treatment for kidney disease is fluids and medication combined with a special diet. Vitamins and blood pressure meds are also prescribed. Today holistic treatments are used together with traditional methods.

Once a kidney condition has been diagnosed, the strategy is to avoid any further deterioration, and to aid kidney function. This is done by homeopathic, herbal and nutritional treatments, and by reducing or eliminating the toxic load on the kidneys.

Eliminating Toxicity

Everything that is in the dog’s food or environment, which cannot be used by the body, must be eliminated. This includes the following:

  • Food preservatives
  • Food coloring
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides
  • Pollutants
  • Dog food ingredients that may be toxic

Dogs displaying symptoms of mouth ulcers, anemia, skin irritations, frequent vomiting, complete loss of appetite, inflammation of the mouth, low energy and foul breath, which are symptoms of blood poisoning need to be treated with emergency intravenous fluids. Sometimes as much as sixty to seventy percent of the kidney tissue has been destroyed. This cannot be regained. When this happens the fluids are pushed through up to twenty times faster, losing essential salts, water and other nutrients.


The main goal with nutrition is to reduce the load of metabolic wastes like excess phosphorus, sodium and protein on the kidneys. Most of the waste comes from protein, so it’s important to feed a pet a minimal level of protein of maximal usable quality. Choose a well-assimilated form of calcium lactate, calcium gluconate or chelated calcium. If these are unavailable, opt for calcium carbonate or eggshell powder. It’s recommended that all calcium supplements containing phosphorus be avoided.

Home-cooked meals are also recommended to help with recovery. Recipes include liver, which is easy to digest, small portions of other meats, eggs, cheese, with plenty of grains and fresh organic vegetables and fruits. Dandelion and parsley are recommended which help to flush the kidneys. Other foods recommended are:


  • Home-made chicken broth
  • Clam broth
  • Water from tuna fish
  • Melted ice cream (this is high in fat and does not have a lot of protein. It is also high in carbohydrates and sugar, which provides energy.)

Divide up your dog’s meals into two or three rations instead of one. Use herbs and remedies that will help to strengthen your dog’s kidney tissue. Always have fresh water available.

Dog Vitamins

Vitamins are necessary to ensure adequate amounts of essential nutrients, which could be low in the “low-protein” diet. Special kidney diets are low in ash, which makes them perfect for pets that are prone to kidney stones and urinary obstruction. Kidney supplements that are recommended are:


  • Raw kidney
  • High doses of the B-complex vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • An essential fatty acid supplement

Therapeutic Measures For Canine Kidney Patients

Avoid chlorinated or chemicalized water, commercial foods and spoiled foods, excessive heat and unnecessary exposure to chemical products, car fumes and polluted environments. Groom your dog daily and give him a weekly bath. It’s important to also allow for daily calming exercise like a slow and short walk. Your dog needs to be able to go outdoors easily, and to enjoy sunshine and fresh air.

Your veterinarian best handles any severe kidney crisis. Most times only intravenous fluid administration will help. It’s critical to survival because anything given by the mouth is vomited. Your veterinarian will show you how to give daily fluid injections. There are also additional supportive treatments adapted from herbalist Juliette de Bairacli-Levy.

Cool Parsley Tea:

 Steep a tablespoon of fresh parsley in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Give 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons 3 times a day.

Recipe credit: Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli-Levy

Barley Water:

 Pour 3 cups of boiling water over a cup of whole barley. Cover and let seep overnight. In the morning strain and squeeze out the liquid through a cloth or muslin. Add 2 teaspoons each of honey and pure lemon juice. Feed your animal ¼ to 2 cups of this liquid twice daily.

Recipe credit: Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli-Levy

Parsnip Balls:

You’ll need to combine raw, grated parsnips with thick honey. Parsnips help to detoxify the kidney. Honey is your energy source. Roll into balls and give as desired. This recipe is more likely to be accepted by dogs than cats.

Recipe credit: Herbalist Juliette de Bairacli-Levy

Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine offers many other options, which are effective when combined with traditional medications and on their own. Holistic nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics and B vitamins can help to prolong your pet’s life, and improve his appetite and energy level. Herbal supplements, either Western or Chinese that contain certain herbs are frequently used for this condition. Consult with your veterinarian to get more information.

The key to preventing kidney failure is to keep your dog healthy with regular exercise, a healthy diet and good veterinary care. If your dog has been exposed to pesticides in his environment, his kidneys will have to work harder to detoxify the blood. If you have a dog that is predisposed to kidney problems, it is important to help him build up a strong immune system. Early detection combined with traditional and holistic veterinary care is key to providing your dog with a prolonged lifespan, and to improving his quality of life.


Thanks for visiting my blog!

Woofs & Wags!

Claudia Bensimoun



Copyright © 2014 Claudia Bensimoun


Canine Fun! Why Dogs Should Play?



photo 3photo 2photo 4                                       Dog Images © Copyright 2015 Claudia Bensimoun


Thanks for visiting my blog!

Woofs & Wags!


Copyright © 2015 Claudia Bensimoun


Preventing Hip Dysplasia. Environmental factors can affect the incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs!

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New Study Finds Environmental Factors Can Affect The Incidence of Hip Dysplasia.


Studies show that puppies walking on stairs from birth to three months of age had an increased risk of developing hip dysplasia. The factors associated with a decreased risk of developing HD included off-leash exercise from birth to three months of age, birth during the spring and summer, and birth on a farm. The results indicated that significant clustering of dogs with HD was detected within litters. The housing and exercise- risk related factors associated with the development of hip dysplasia were determined by radiographic evaluation of Newfoundlands, Labrador Retrievers, Leonbergers, and Irish Wolfhounds in Norway. The study concluded that puppies less than three months of age, should not be allowed access to stairs, but should be allowed outdoor exercise on soft ground in moderately rough terrain to decrease the risk for developing radiographically detectable HD.

Hip dysplasia (HD) in dogs is affected to a larger degree than previously believed by the environment in which puppies grow up. It is particularly during the period from birth to three months that various environmental factors appear to influence the development of this disease. During the puppy stage, preventive measures can therefore be recommended with a view to giving dogs disposed to the condition a better quality of life.

There’s probably no better subject on evidence-based dog health care than the benefits and risks of early-age preventive measures for hip dysplasia. Because hip dysplasia is a hereditary developmental disease in which the hip joint fails to develop properly, determining both the genetic and environmental factors would help eliminate the disease through informed breeding and training practices.

Although hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition, a recent doctoral research study by Randi Krontveit at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science examined the role that environmental factors played in its development. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that occurs in other species. Dogs are not born with hip dysplasia, nonetheless some genetically predisposed puppies can develop varying degrees of hip dysplasia .The severity of hip dysplasia has an effect on when the dogs show symptoms of this disease and on how long they tend to live for.


  • Any dog can develop hip dysplasia, but the condition is most common in large dogs
  • such as the Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards and
  • German Shepherd dogs. Previous studies have indicated that rapid growth in a
  • puppy and a high body weight were factors that increased the likelihood of
  • Developing hip dysplasia.


Another factor that may influence the development of hip dysplasia in dogs is exercise. Many breeders will advise against exercising a pup to prevent the development of orthopedic conditions. Nonetheless, veterinarians believe that gentle low impact exercise can be beneficial for pups, but that all forced exercise beyond what a puppy would normally do should be avoided. Veterinarians maintain that running should be avoided until a puppy is physically mature, and that puppies should stay away from high impact sports such as jumping/agility. Both of these activities are believed to be traumatic on a puppy’s immature joints.

It turns out that Randi Krontveit’s research indicates that rapid growth and high body weight in the first year of the pup’s life did not result in an increased risk of hip dysplasia. The study finds that the breed with the slowest growth rate-the Newfoundland-had the highest incidence of hip dysplasia.(36%)The Irish Wolfhound had the lowest incidence of hip dysplasia(10%), yet the highest growth rate.

Puppies live together with their mother at the breeder’s for the first eight weeks of their life.Dr.Krontveit found several factors related to the living conditions at the breeder’s were shown to have an influence on the incidence of hip dysplasia. The study suggests that puppies born in the spring or summer and at breeders, who lived on a farm or small holding, had a lower risk of developing hip dysplasia.. Then, after about eight weeks, the puppies began a new life with their owners. Through observations, Krontveit confirmed that the opportunity to exercise daily in parks up until the age of three months reduced the risk of hip dysplasia. Whereas the daily use of steps during the same period increased the risk of hip dysplasia. The study reveals that daily exercise outdoors in gently undulating terrain up until the age of three months gives a good prognosis when it comes to preventing hip dysplasia.

Five hundred privately owned dogs participated in this study. The four breeds included were the Newfoundland, the Labrador Retriever, the Leonberger and the Irish Wolfhound. The dogs involved in the research were registered by means of questionnaires that were completed by the breeder and the new owner, as well as by examinations filled out by the veterinarians.

For this study, Krontveit researchers followed up on the dogs until they reached 10 years of age. Researchers found that dogs that were seriously affected with hip dysplasia were euthanized earlier than dogs that had a milder form of hip dysplasia. Newfoundlands and Leonbergers tended to suffer from the more serious forms of hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia did not have such a large effect on the longevity of Labrador Retrievers or Irish Wolfhounds. Krontveit found that serious and moderate degrees of hip dysplasia increased the risk of all hip dysplasia symptoms such as limping and hip pain and that these symptoms occurred the earliest in the Newfoundlands.Labrador Retrievers was the breed in which symptoms appeared much later on in life.

Through observations, Krontveit confirmed that varied exercise had a positive effect and dogs that exercised on a daily basis on a leash, as well as running free in different types of terrain were free of symptoms longer than the dogs that were less active.

She adds that canine hip dysplasia in its most serious forms can be prevented, and that the life quality of dogs improves if preventative measures related to early canine life is introduced.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Woofs & Wags!






Copyright © 2015 Claudia Bensimoun



The American German Shepherd verses East/ West German Shepherd Lines!


Claudia Bensimoun


The Differences Between East/ West German Shepherd Lines & The American Breeding Lines.

You might be wondering if there’s any difference? Start thinking temperament, confirmation, coloring and movement! So if you’re undecided on which line of pups is best for you and your family, ask yourself first if you want a working dog, family or show dog.

Temperaments differ greatly! Start off by making a list of all the qualities you’re wanting in your Shepherd. Pink papered imported pups from Germany are free of hip dysplasia, and come from generations of parents that are also free of hip dysplasia, and that have Schutzhund titles.

photo 1 copy                                     Image Credit: Claudia Bensimoun

History of the Western and Eastern Shepherd

From 1949 until 1990, Germany was divided into the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) in the East, and the Federal Republic of Germany in the West. The DDR, being a communist state under influence from the USSR, was kept wholly separate from West Germany. This separation is what caused the split in German shepherd bloodlines that persists to this day.

  • The working lines in Czech were bred to have a high pain tolerance, so that they could endure the hardships of protection work and border patrol. They are mostly black and tan, all black, and sometimes sable in color.
  • Breeders focus mainly on good movement and looks.
  • These shepherds are larger, heavier, but have a lighter bone structure.Temperament plays a huge factor here as Shepherds from the US were not bred for working or herding dog purposes, but for show purposes. In Germany both parents must have working titles, Schutzhund and are hip certified, before they are allowed to breed.

Schutzhund is about accountability, whereas in the US and Canada, breeders do not need any of these things except pedigree.
German shepherds in the US are primarily judged by their looks.
To German shepherd breeders, their dogs working ability was most important, and then came the outstanding looks.

The West German show lines are the most popular worldwide. These dogs are mostly black and red and exhibit a fluid, ground-eating trot.

The Czech lines were originally bred in Communist Czech as state working dogs.

Large blocky head with big bone structure and much leaner in build. These shepherds have straighter backs and fewer problems with hip dysplasia. However, they are high-energy dogs.
Czech line German Shepherds and East German DDR German Shepherds are essentially the same bloodline.

The bloodlines in West Germany were split between working line dogs and show line dogs.

It is important to recognize that the working line and show line German Shepherds from West Germany are vastly different.

  • Show line dogs are bred to be physically attractive, but lack the courage and strong nerves of a true protection dog.
  • Accepting that West German show line dogs are unfit for protection work, the true comparison is between the West German working line (often stated simply as German working line), and the DDR/Czech line. There has been much debate over which is superior, and this debate may continue for years to come.

Some people consider the West German lines to be superior, arguing that the DDR/Czech lines were developed before the split between working and show lines, and are not extraordinary in either discipline.

Both lines were recovered from the original German bloodlines after WWII, and both have been continuously built up and bred for working qualities over the past 60 years. The bottom line is that they are both working line dogs.

  • Show lines are a better choice for homes with children and working lines for protection work.
  • The American shepherds are calmer in temperament, and have a lower energy drive. The North American shepherd relies on physical ability to move quickly and turns on the blink of an eye.

Many breeders have attempted to combine the East and West or American shepherds to achieve a lower incidence of hip dysplasia, and to achieve a strong work instinct and more refined show lines. New research by Dr. Randi Krontveit has demonstrated that hip dysplasia (HD) is certainly affected to a much larger degree than previously thought by the environment in which pups grow up. Krontveit found that it is during the period from birth to 3 months that various environmental factors appear to influence the development of hip dysplasia in dogs. She suggests that it’s best to take preventative measures during the puppy stage, so as to give pups that are disposed to this condition, a better chance.(via Science Daily.


Thanks for visiting my blog.

Woofs & Wags!

Claudia Bensimoun

Copyright © 2015 by Claudia Bensimoun


Top Dog Sports Camps. Where Fido Can Be The Camp Champ!

Top Dog Sports Camps—Where Fido can be the camp champ

“Dogs need a vacation from the human world, a place where they can be free from the leash and be their “dog selves,”socialize with other dogs in nature, and get lots of fresh air and exercise.People need a safe place in nature where they can take a vacation that is fun for both of them and their dog” Camp Unleashed.Annie Brody,Founder & Chief Woof Officer via Fido Friendly, Summer 2014.

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For dog lovers dreaming of their own perfect pet vacay with Fido,canine camps are guaranteed to capture every dog lover’s quest for adventure.With so many stimulating canine camps to choose from, you can work up a thirst hiking and participating in your favorite dog-related sports. Canine sports camps are committed to not only the perfection of all dog sports, but to giving back the fun that all pet parents should have with their dogs ,in a way that is making a real difference.When you sign up for dog camp with your best friend, you’re both in for a fun time.


Image Credit: Camp Unleashed

Hikes, agility, dock diving,nosework, herding, clicker training and plenty of other exciting activities for both you and Fido have been especially crafted so that no matter your energy level, everyone can enjoy their experience.Depending on both you and Fido’s level of fitness, age and health, you can choose to sign up for less strenuous activities, or just hang out and enjoy the beauty of the Montana landscape where Yellowstone Dog Sports is located.

Located near Red Lodge, Montana, Yellowstone Dog Camp offers canine massage, agility, swimming, dock diving and even nosework.Pet-lovers know that they can try out new activities ,or deal with common canine problems when signing up at the Yellowstone Dog Camp.The only dog camp to offer overnight camps during three seasons-Winter,Spring/Summer and Fall, and offers unique on-site accommodation with an indoor canine event center close to the Yellowstone Park.

It may offer delicious, freshly- prepared food with all can eat and vegetarian options, but don’t be fooled- Summer Camp Gone To The Dogs takes place on 250-acres of Marlboro College and offers herding, dock diving, breed handling, teaching obedience classes the positive way, and the Wellington Touch.There are 40 to 50 activities per day. Fall camps take place at the Mountaineer Inn, Vermont, on 8 grassy and shaded acres bordered by a brook, where you can choose a 5-mile walking path, take Fido along for a Gondola ride, or go horseback riding.Fall camp offers 25-30 activities per day.

Located on the shores of Lake Wenatchee,nestled in the Wenatchee National Forest, Washington.Maian Meadows Dog Camp is the perfect choice for dog lovers looking to enjoy a special getaway with Fido in a relaxed, rustic atmosphere under tall trees alongside a lake.Not only does this camp provide hiking, swimming, boating,games and contests, this off-leash weekend getaway is for those that truly want to relax.Sans the agility and competitive obedience classes,Maian Meadows Dog Camp is guaranteed to make you smile.


Image Credit: Camp Dogwood

Sign-up at Camp Dogwood in Lake Delton,Wisconsin,adjacent to Wisconsin Dells with 700 plus acres, this dog camp provides hotel like accommodation.With host facilities in Lake Delton,Wisconsin and offering cabin and lodge accommodation options, private bathrooms and patios with picturesque lake or ravine views this camp focuses on your relationship with Fido.Camp Dogwood welcomes your pet with private fenced- in sign up time ,or the dual beaches on their lakefront for groups of friends who want their dogs to play in a safe, enclosed environment.

This is not just a resort that ‘allows’ dogs.It is the ultimate canine learning vacation.The Canine Country Getaway at Glen Highland Farm redefines ‘pet-friendly’- setting a new standard for a vacation with your canine friend.The Getaway is located in a spectacular rural setting in upstate NY with all the creature comforts for you and a doggie paradise for the canines.You and your dog can explore 175-acres-wander the meadows, go on trail walks, swim in Butternut Creek, play agility and fetch to your heart’s content.

Register Fido at Camp Unleashed, North Carolina and in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts while you take our dog on a 4-day weekend retreat to the beautiful countryside. Dedicated to honoring and respecting the spirit of dogs,Camp Unleashed’s team of devoted dog professionals leads workshops and activities.This three-day retreat in nature offers participants the opportunity to escape to the county, and allows for dogs to be safely off leash and enjoy a reenergizing retreat in the beautiful mountains of Western Massachusetts and Western North Carolina.Activities include agility,tricks, canoeing, canine water sports,agility, behavior clinics, canine massage, natural nutrition and holistic canine health care.

The Benefits of Canine Retreats

All canine camps should be a retreat for both you and Fido. It should be a way to connect and further our bond with our dogs.Retreats teach us how to listen to and understand our dogs while enjoying fun activities.These retreats are especially designed to:

1.Retreats help dog-lovers see the world through their dog’s eyes, and explore and deepen their relationship with their dogs.

2.All dogs and people need vacation time together without the stresses of everyday life.

3.Retreats are a place where your dogs can be free in a safe place in nature where they can have fun.

4.All activities at retreats are non-competitive and led by dog professionals that are keen to engage your dogs’ senses, instincts, and cognitive abilities.

5.Some sports camps for dogs may include canine massage, natural nutrition,behavior clinics,canine water sports and other fun activities that the two of you may enjoy together.

6.Take additional time to inquire about activity schedules ahead of time to make sure that your camp’s a good fit for both of you.Keep a list of nearby veterinarians that are available upon request.

For more on this article, visit: FIDO FRIENDLY

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Woofs & Wags!


Copyright © 2014 Claudia Bensimoun