Friday, September 27, 2013

Are You Prepared if Your Dog Suffers from Hearing Loss?

This week is Deaf Dog Awareness Week. As dogs start getting older, signs of their age tend to begin to show. One thing that a lot of dogs will face in their lifetime is a loss of hearing.  Most owners who have hearing dogs don’t fully realize that a good amount of their dogs will have hearing loss at some point in their lifetime. It’s best to prepare yourself and your dog in case anything were to happen to your dogs hearing.

Practice Hand Signals with your Pup
As your dog gets older it is best to start incorporating basic hand signals for common commands. Sit, down and come would be good commands to have hand signals for. As your dog begins to age, adding a hand signal in addition to the words would assure that if your dogs hearing did start to go, you would still have basic commands to use.

Have Patience
It can sometimes be difficult to realize your dogs hearing is going until it is almost gone, but remember to have patience with your pooch. You undoubtedly will have to teach your dog some new things in order to get their attention, for example since a recall is such a verbal command, a flashlight can be used during a recall with a deaf dog. Don’t lose your cool if you get frustrated easily; remember that your dog is going through a huge change as well.

Always Make your Presence Known
Your pooch will no longer be able to hear you when you enter the room, so it is important to make your presence known so you don’t startle them. A tap on their back or flicking on and off the light switch is a great way to let your dog know you have entered the room.

Reward your Dog with Food and Physical Affection
Since deaf dogs can’t hear you, it’s important to reward them with food and physical affection. When learning their new commands use food instead of verbal praise, this way your dog is actually being rewarded for what they are doing. As you continue through your training a nice belly rub or a rub behind the ears will do nicely for your pooch.

For dogs that live long lives, deafness can be inevitable for some of them. If you are prepared for it to happen, it can make the transition easier for you and your pooch. Be patient with your dog and remember that there are so many great resources out there if your dog is deaf, a trainer will be able to customize your training for your deaf dog. There are also many great internet sites and support groups, like, which is a great community of owners with deaf dogs, that provides great information about living with a deaf dog.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guess Lexi's Breed Contest.. The Results are In!

Guesses have been made and the results are in; it’s finally time to reveal Lexi’s mix of breeds! Over the past month, we have invited you to guess what breeds are mixed in the two-year-old rescue dog of Morris K9 Campus owner Joanne Morris. Through the DNA test Wisdom Panel, we received scientific results of her family history.

According to Wisdom Panel Lexi is, drum roll please…. a Great Pyrenees, Chow Chow Mix!

Did you guess her breeds correctly?  The test indicates that Lexi’s Great Grandparents, as well as one of her Grandparents were purebred Great Pyrenees, it also indicates that one of her Great Grandparents was a purebred Chow Chow. Besides those two breeds, Lexi only tested as a mixed breed dog, meaning there wasn’t enough in her DNA in order to put it on her family tree. However, the test does include breeds that came up just under the detection threshold. According to the Wisdom Panel, Lexi also has traces of Flat Coated Retriever, English Foxhound, Scottish Deerhound, Boxer, and Irish Setter. 

The test also includes other information relevant to your dog. According to Wisdom Panel, Lexi should be between 58 – 93 pounds, she is near the middle of that weighing in around 70 pounds! The test also looks at traits of both of Lexi’s breeds and is accurate when describing her personality. We would agree that Lexi is a loyal family dog like the Chow Chow, and that like both of her breeds she responds well to reward based training!

Since no one guessed both of Lexi’s breeds, our winning guess was the first person to correctly identify one of Lexis breeds. Our winning guess was Shirley Meo-Crane, she was the first person to guess that Lexi was a Great Pyrenees! Congratulations Shirley! Shirley is the lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate to Morris K9 Campus as well as a gift basket!

What do you think of the Wisdom Panel DNA, do you the test is accurate when it says Lexi is a Great Pyrenees/Chow Chow Mix?

Friday, September 13, 2013

It's National Preparedness Month - Do You Have a Plan for Your Dog?

In the case of a disaster, do you have a plan for your dog?  September is National Preparedness Month, so we want to make sure you and your pooch would be ready in case tragedy struck.  Preparing for a disaster is easy, but needs to be done beforehand to make sure you are ready for any situation.

Make an Emergency Pack.
                It’s important to have a bag packed for your dog in case you need to leave home right away. The bag should contain the essentials that your dog needs in order to survive. The bag should include:
  • A week’s worth of food
  • A week’s worth of  water for the dog
  • Food and water bowls
  • Any medication your dog is taking
  • A favorite toy
  • A bed or blanket to lie on
  • Extra collar and leash
  • Medical Records including vaccinations
  • Recent photo of your dog (In case your pet gets lost and you need to post missing flyers)

Make an Emergency Plan.
                When planning for an emergency  for your family, make sure you plan for your dog as well. This would include a dog friendly house or place to stay if you weren’t able to say in your own place. You can also see if your local animal shelters or pet care facilities have an emergency plan to take in pets during emergency situations. Our sister company Morris Animal Inn is a five-star boarding facility that has full generator back up in case of power failure and remains open to help people find a safe place for their pets during emergencies like Superstorm Sandy last year.

Make sure your dog has the proper ID.
                To prepare for an emergency situation make sure that your dog has the proper identification on them, that includes tags and making sure your dog is microchipped and up-to-date. If the worst case scenario happens and your dog gets lost, it’s important to make sure they are properly identified so you and the dog can be reunited.

It’s important to make sure you are your pooch are prepared for any situation, you never know when disaster will strike.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy – Do You Know the Difference?

Morris K9 Campus is all about training, daycare and agility, but we decided to take a slight detour to discuss a common topic that has come up a lot recently – food tolerance vs. food allergy. 

If you notice that your dog’s skin is itchy and that they have been losing hair, this could be a reaction to their diet. Although a food allergy is a possibility, this type of reaction could also be caused by a food intolerance. Like us, dogs can experience a variety of different reactions from certain types of foods. But how do you know if your dog has an allergy to a certain type of food, or if it is a food intolerance? What exactly is the difference?  

According to Dr. Jean Dodds, a renowned veterinarian specializing in nutrition, knowing whether your dog has a food allergy or food intolerance is very important. A food allergy is an immediate reaction, meaning your dog is experiences issues from it right away. Food allergies, although they may be more widely understood, are actually quite rare in dogs. 

“Food intolerance is the third most common sensitivity condition in dogs and cats,” says Dr. Dodds on her website. A food intolerance is a delayed reaction that deals with digestion issues and, according to Dr. Dodds, can begin anywhere from 2-72 hours after the dog consumes whatever food is the issue. The remedy, she says, is often as simple as a change in their diet.

Simplifying and changing your dog’s diet can be important to address the food insensitivity issues, but be sure to consult your veterinarian before you change what you feed your dog. A general suggestion from Dr. Dodds is to move the dog from a common protein diet, such as beef or chicken, and introduce them to a less-used protein such as turkey or fish. This is because dogs tend to develop an intolerance after eating the same type of food for awhile. 

Skin issues are one of the main signs of food intolerance, which can manifest and appear as different types of skin conditions. Even if your dog has tested negative for food allergies, they could test positive for food intolerance. There is a simple cheek swab that can determine the sensitivities your dog has, which could help steer you on the path to getting your dog’s food-related skin irritations under control. NutriScan is a test invented by Dr. Jean Dodds that can determine if your dog has any food intolerances.

There is no breed, age or sex that makes your dog more susceptible to food intolerance. Discuss with your vet about whether your dog could have a food allergy or intolerance, and what steps you could take in order to help solve it. Providing your dog the proper nutrition is the key in order to have a well-balanced, healthy dog.

Keep an eye on our blog as we continue our food discussion and put Dr. Jean Dodds' Nutriscan swab system to the test.