Facts About Dogs With Autism

Although therapy dogs are known to help people with autism, dogs can have autism themselves. The process of diagnosing autism in a dog is complex, and because the condition is so rare, some medical experts doubt that dogs can have autism at all. In addition, autism may be confused with other disorders, including anxiety and/or physical pain. 

Diagnosing autism in dogs is difficult because comparing typical and atypical behavior in a canine is a tricky process. For instance, how do we know whether a dog is chasing its tail like a normal dog or like a dog with autism? 

What is Dog Autism?

Veterinarians first started talking about dog autism in the mid 1960s. More recently, behaviors such as repetitive tail-chasing in certain breeds have caused a resurgence in the investigations. The studies focused on DNA and the following findings: 

  • autism is more prevalent in males.
  • the dog acts as though in a trance.
  • the dog shows explosive aggression.
  • the dog has phobias.
  • the dog repeatedly chases its tail.

Dog autism is a condition, not a disease. And while these particular dogs may seem aloof, they will still reap the benefits of love and affection from you. If you find you’re having a difficult time managing your dog’s condition, we recommend visiting a pet counselor. Yes, they exist! 

According to petmd.com, there is no current cure for dog autism. However, research is always advancing and offers hope. Every day, we are becoming more familiar with dog autism, and how to manage life with our afflicted fur babies. In addition, we know that canines have similar experiences and reactions to the world around them, which helps us become more aware of odd behaviors and notice when a dog does have autism. 

What Causes Canine Autism?

Experts who believe in canine autism claim it can be caused by the deficit of mirroring neurons. Dog autism is more often than not a genetic condition, inherited from a relative, but it can also occur suddenly with no real reason. However, the lack of mirroring neurons is hereditary, so that means the dog was born with autism. Some studies posit that dogs 
born with autism may have come from parents exposed to unnecessary vaccinations and toxins.

What Symptoms Should I Watch For?

Unfortunately, canine autism may show no symptoms or symptoms so subtle they may go unnoticed. However, when a dog does show symptoms, they may manifest themselves in the following ways: 

  • poor interactions with the owner and, often, other dogs.
  • unwillingness to perform a range of games or moves.
  • sticking to one routine, showing repetitive behavior.
  • aloof behavior, apathy, trouble communicating emotions, including fear or joy.
  • lethargic behavior, especially with a energetic breed.

Although this may sound unbelievable, some dog owners with autistic dogs claim their pets organize their toys according to shape, size, and color. Symptoms of dog autism tend to appear when the dogs are still puppies, and can include poor interactions with parents or siblings or a simple lack of interest in anything. 

How Do I Handle Having a Dog with Autism?

As mentioned, some dogs with autism may not show any odd behavior, making it difficult to diagnose. Of course, if you do notice your dog showing any of the symptoms we mentioned, please visit your vet and see how you might be able to help. 

Similar to humans with autism, dogs with autism need time and patience, so they can better adapt to new situations. Keeping a stable home, regular schedule, and a private familiar space, i.e., dog crate or bed, will help your dog feel comfortable and calm. 

When you have a dog that might have autism, keep a close eye on his or her behavior. Note the “triggers” that cause negative reactions and try to avoid those. For example, if your dog becomes fearful and aggressive while walking with you on a noisy street, take her for walks on a secluded trail instead. 

If your dog has an overabundance of nervous energy, give him a job, such as pulling a wagon or toting a backpack. Also, pet stores sell special items like harnesses and wraps that ease anxiety in canines. Lavender oil sprayed on a handkerchief and tied around your dog’s neck can also be calming. 

Where is Canine Autism Research Headed?

According to petmd.com the following organizations are working together on a study focusing on children and dogs with autism: the American Humane Association, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

For now, the study will focus on Bull Terriers, Dobermans, and Jack Russell Terriers. Researchers hope to gain a better understanding when analyzing atypical behaviors in canines. Consequently, advances in this type of research should help in the diagnoses of autism in dogs.

Why Do Dogs’ Teeth Chatter?

Most people are familiar with the concept of teeth chattering. As humans, our teeth tend to chatter when we are cold. But there are several reasons why a dog’s teeth might chatter.

1. Your dog is probably cold. 

The first and most obvious reason a dog’s teeth might chatter is the same reason a person’s chatter. Your dog might be cold. Pay attention to see if your dog is also shivering, or if he is more prone to crawl in your lap or seeks out unusual ways to get warm. 

2. Your dog may be excited or nervous. 

When a dog’s teeth chatter, it can be an involuntary expression of nerves or emotion. Some dogs’ teeth chatter when they are anticipated something fun-like going for a walk or something delicious, like the crusts from the pizza you just had delivered.

Pay attention to when your dog’s teeth chatter. If there seems to be a pattern like one of the above examples, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. This is simply your dog’s way of expressing himself. 

3. Your dog may be having seizures. 

Focal motor seizures, also known as partial seizures, which can cause the teeth to chatter, occur when a dog has experienced an injury to the head or has an underlining undiagnosed condition. 

Partial seizures usually only effect one part of the body. This is why you will notice your dog’s teeth chattering. Your dog may also appear to be snapping the air as if trying to catch flies. 

Other signs of seizures may include: hiding for no apparent reason, erratically running around, behavioral or routine changes, confusion or stress, sight problems and muscle contractions. 

4. Your dog may be in distress. 

Your dog’s teeth may chatter if he is experiencing distress or anxiety. This can be caused by a new person in the home, loud noises like fireworks or any number of other factors. 

5. Your dog may be experiencing nerve pain. 

Some other symptoms to watch for that can indicate a serious nerve problem: uncontrolled shaking, facial paralysis, drooping eyelids, muscle weakness in the neck and eyes rolling. 

Solutions And Treatments 

1. If the cause is body temperature. 

If your dog is cold, try giving him a warmer bed, sleep with him for body warmth or turn up your thermostat. If he continues to be cold, you should take him to a vet to see if he is ill. 

2. If the cause is excitement. 

If the cause of your dog’s teeth chattering is excitement or anticipation, there’s not really any need to do anything unless the excitement also causes other problems. Sometimes dogs get so excited that they won’t stop jumping or barking. Sometimes they can be destructive too. 

The best solution is not to punish your dog. Your dog is simply expressing emotions and may not know how to do so in a more tempered manner. Usually you can train your own dog to calm down by giving him a treat or a pat on the head for good behavior. 

Remember that rewarding good behavior is more effective than punishing bad behavior. If you can’t train your dog to remain calm on such occasions, obedience school may be the best option. 

3. If the cause is seizures. 

If the cause of your dog’s teeth chattering is a seizure, seek medical treatment immediately. There are many things that cause seizures in dogs including: ingesting poison, trauma to the head, kidney disease, stroke, liver disease and cancer. 

Some conditions that cause seizures can be treated with medications. Corticosteroid medications, anti-epileptic and anti-convulsant drugs may reduce the number of seizures your dog experiences. Sometimes surgery may be required to remove tumors that may be causing the seizures. 

4. If the cause is distress. 

Try to remove the cause of stress from your dog’s environment. If you cannot remove the cause, try to gradually acclimate your dog. You may also consider treating your dog for anxiety. A vet may recommend a medication or CBD oil. 

5. If the cause is nerve pain. 

If the cause of your dog’s teeth chattering is nerve pain you should seek medical attention immediately. Nerve pain can be a sign of serious neurological problems related to brain atrophy, brain hemorrhaging, Parkinson’s disease, increased beta amyloid plaques or toxic poisoning. 

Breeds Prone To Seizures 

There are many conditions that may cause seizures and some dogs are more prone than others to the conditions. 

The following breeds are statistically more likely to be born with or to develop conditions that cause seizures, however this is not an all inclusive list: beagles, greyhounds, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, Belgian Tervuren, Shetland sheepdogs, Irish wolf hounds and Irish springer spaniels. 

A Good Rule To Live By 

Because there are many reasons why your dog’s teeth may be chattering, if you are at all unsure of the cause it is always best to seek an expert’s opinion. Make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

What Exactly Is a Runt Of a Litter?

By the vague definition, a “runt” simply means the smallest or weakest in a group. When looking for a new furry pal to bring into the family, most people tend to look at a litter of puppies and ignore the cute little runt of the litter. This is usually because they assume the puppy, being smaller and weaker, is less playful and more susceptible to sickness.

In reality, there is no universal definition of what constitutes the runt of the litter. Although a runt is usually physically smaller in size than the rest of their siblings, this does not necessarily mean they are weaker or sicker at the start of life. Also, a puppy being smaller than the rest of his/her brothers and sisters doesn’t necessarily mean they are the runt. This is where the catch comes in. We’ll get to that later. 

Why Does a Runt in the Litter Occur?

Runts are born because of the fact that mama dogs, like most animals, have a Y-shaped uterus. By luck, the puppies in utero who are closest to the blood are able to obtain higher levels of nutrients, while the babies in the mid-section of the uterus receive less. This is why all the puppies in a litter differ in size, at least by a little bit, with the puppy who probably received the least amount of sustenance being the runt. There has never been a recorded case of there being more than one runt in a single litter.

Is Getting a Runt a Good Idea?

Now back to the catch; Because runts are indeed tinier than their puppy siblings, they are unlucky in that they have to live with certain disadvantages. To start, at the beginning of their life, runts struggle to compete with their siblings for milk from mom, due to their small size. This can be dangerous, as the most important time frame for a newborn puppy to drink mama’s milk is within the first 48 hours when colostrum, (the antibody-rich milk for immune strength) content is high.

If the runt fails to get enough, or any colostrum in these first two days, they will have much weaker immune systems and definitely be more susceptible to sickness, or death. Due to this, the caregiver will need to provide the pup with a natural puppy formula that contains naturally occurring microbes. 

Secondly, the runt of the litter is sadly sometimes ignored by the mama dog for natural selection reasons. In other words, she decides that the healthy pups are more important to sustain, as they are more likely to survive. All of this means that runt puppies, being so fragile and more prone to sickness, need extra tender loving care, especially if they do end up coming down with a mild to severe illness. 

Deciding to take a runt of the litter home is not a bad idea if the right steps are taken to ensure they stay healthy. In fact, there are a lot of stories of people bringing home a runt puppy, only to see them thrive later in life and in some instances grow to be huge!

Raising a Runt Puppy

The first step that should be taken when a runt is born is to help them get milk from mom. Since they will have more trouble getting to the milk than the other puppies will, you may need to assist them. In addition, being weaker, once on the nipple, they may not be able to get as much milk out as their siblings. You can help them with this by allowing one of the bigger pups to nurse first, getting the milk to flow, and then gently taking them off to let the runt nurse with ease. Another tip is to place the runt at the lowest teats, closest to the mama dog’s tail, as these produce the most milk.

Secondly, it is important to get the runt a checkup with a veterinarian to make sure they do not have a genetic abnormality or congenital defect that may be preventing them from growing. If all is well, and your little runt is simply underweight, it is crucial to weigh them daily to be sure they are catching up on weight gain. Sometimes, a veterinarian may recommend a supplement to help them along. 

All puppies, especially runts, require lots of warmth during the first weeks of life. It is a good idea to place a warming lamp above their whelping box, which keeps the area situated at around 85 to 90 degrees Farenheight. (Try to look for one that does not emit radiation). Your runt puppy may need serious medical intervention from a vet if they are failing to gain weight or if they feel cool to the touch, even with all warmth provided. 

Lastly, if you keep the runt together with the rest of his puppy family, it is vital to keep a close eye on their interactions, as the bigger, chunkier puppies can easily hurt the smaller runt when playing or roughhousing.

How To Take Care Of Your 6 Month Old Puppy

Easy. The most important thing to remember is to feed your new friend and give them plenty of water. Enjoy! Just kidding, let’s dig deeper into owning and taking care of your new addition to the family.

Having a puppy for the first time can be extremely daunting. Between the responsibility of another life, and the difference between them and actual babies, it’s easy to get confused and a bit lost. Luckily, this guide is going to teach you everything from vets to playtime to make sure your little buddy is happy and healthy for a long time to come.

Pomeranian Cutie Patootie

Find a Vet

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your puppy is physically fit and completely free from any diseases. Ensure that there are no congenital disabilities. If you fail to find a reliable vet, seek help or support from friends or dog groomers.

Finding a good vet is extremely important. As much as you can do to assure your puppies health yourself, most things are best left to a professional.

Your first visit is going to be an important one, and there are a whole lot of things you’re going to need to discuss with them!

Husky Pupper Getting Examined by a Vet

First, you’re going to want to set up a vaccination plan. Vaccines are the safest bet to keep your puppy protected from many diseases and illnesses that can affect them. Getting them sorted out sooner rather than later will save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.

Discuss options for controlling any parasites. Dogs can get anything from fleas to worms, all of which can be awful at best and catastrophic at worst. Make sure you know what to look out for and how to prevent them.

Another thing to look out for is signs of illness such as lack of appetite, swollen and painful abdomen, or nasal discharge. Your vet will be able to tell you a whole lot more about what to look out for and how to address it, so make sure to ask them.

Don’t forget to ask about spaying or neutering your pet! Six months is usually when it can be done, but there are a few cases when you should wait and it’s best to talk it over with your vet.

Food

Puppies need a different sort of food than adult dogs. Puppy chow usually has more calories and protein to make sure your puppy grows up strong and healthy. Though the biggest decision you’ll have to make is: Dry, canned, homemade, or raw?

The all have their pros and cons, and in the end it’s going to be up to you and your own situation. The least I can do here is give you the info you need to make an informed decision.

Dry Food

On the pro side, dry food is a lot more affordable than other options. The nutrition is pretty balanced and it’s better for their teeth than soft foods. Not only that, but it’s easy to store and travel with as well as clean up if your puppy makes a mess of it – which is almost a guarantee.

Dry Dog Food

Unfortunately, lower quality dry food can incorporate chemicals and by products. They can also have fillers that irritate more sensitive digestive tracts and can cause dehydration due to the low moisture content.

Canned Food

Canned food is really tasty for dogs! Even the pickiest aren’t above scarfing down a can with no problem. It’s easy to digest for dogs getting over an illness, and easy on dogs with sore mouths or missing teeth. It also has long shelf life, so you can stock up and keep it stored for a while.

On the downside, it’s a lot more expensive and messy, not to mention that it has a lower calorie count than others. It’s prone to contamination, and must be used quickly after opening or stored away in your fridge. It can also cause your pup to have to use the bathroom more often with how much more moisture it has.

Homemade Puppy Food

Due to the nature of it, it can be pretty fresh which helps with the ingredients maintaining their nutrition. It’s definitely a plus for dogs with any food allergies, and it gets rid of any dyes and hormones since you’re making it yourself!

This option is rather expensive too, as well as being a bit harder to store. It’s also very hard to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients your dog needs without proper recipes, so nutritional deficiencies are common with homemade chow.

Raw Food

Raw food tends to be the most natural. Dogs are, at their most basic, carnivores, so this option is more likely to give them healthier skin and cleaner teeth as wells as improved digestion. Raw food is a good option for the picky eaters too.

However, this one is usually the most expensive option. Raw meat can also be nutritionally lacking for your dog, and have harmful bacteria for humans!

Even with all of this information, it can be a bit tricky to pick which one is right for your puppy. Your best bet is to keep a close eye on them whenever you’re trying out a new food.

Different dogs, and dog breeds in general, have different nutritional needs. Make sure to work with your vet and your pup to figure out what’s right for them.

Hygiene

Good hygiene is another important step for keeping your puppy happy and healthy! There’s quite a bit to cover, so bear with me.

First is to make sure your dog has clean bedding! Make sure to wash it regularly, preferably with a gentle, fragrance free soap. You don’t want anything irritating their skin or nose!

Brushing your dog depends entirely on what kind of breed they are, but it’s always sure to keep their skin healthy and coat glossy!

If they’re of the long hair variety, a quick brush once a day will prevent tangles and knots and clear any debris that might be caught in it.

Short haired dogs need to be brushed too, though only about once or twice per week. Always make sure to brush with the grain (not against) to make sure you don’t cause them any pain or discomfort.

It’s always a good idea to keep their nails clipped short. This can be very tricky if you don’t know how to do it, and cutting them to short can lead to bleeding and even an infection. Luckily, most groomers and vets will do it for a small fee!

Finally, bathing your dog is vital to their well being! It can be rather daunting though, especially if your dog is nearly as big as you are! Here’s a quick rundown on how to do it.

1. Prep your bathing area

While bigger dogs can use a bathtub, it tends to be better to wash the smaller ones in a sink or basin. The bottom is going to get slippery, so put down a towel or rubber mat to make sure they can keep their footing and stay safe!

2. Prep your pup

Give them a quick brush to get out any tangles or debris and take off their collar. After that, take a couple of cotton balls and place them in their ears – but not too deep! When water gets into their ear canals, it can cause an infection. You just need to keep those dry.

3. Give them a good wash!

This part is rather simple. Just wet them down, lather them up, and rinse them off! Make sure to avoid their face or ears in the process. If your dog’s face is dirty, simply wipe it down with a damp washcloth.

Lab Taking a Bath

4. Dry them off

Pat them down with a towel. Be careful not rub the towel over their fur – this can cause a lot of matting in long hair breeds. If you want to save time, a microfiber towel will get the job done a lot quicker but a regular one will do just fine.

Some people like to blow dry their dogs. If you plan on going this route, make sure to keep the heat setting on low or cool and never point a hair dryer at your dogs face.

If you’re still unsure, you can find a more in depth guide here!

Training

Training is often overlooked for puppies, but it sets up good habits for the rest of their life! At six months, it’s good to stick to basic obedience training, the classic sit, lay down, and stay. This will make sure that you can keep them under control in a potentially dangerous situation.

Other than that, it’s good to socialize them! Take them to the dog park, let them meet other people and dogs while keeping a close eye on them. This can keep them from feeling scared and lashing out in unfamiliar situations.

Puppies are very energetic, that’s no secret! Make sure that you play with them and give them some safe toys to play with and chew on!

Like I said before, getting a dog for the first time can be pretty stressful. Hopefully, now that you know how to take care of your puppy and keep them in tip top shape, you’ll be able to focus on all the good things that come along with having a little buddy!

Is Chicken Broth Good for Dogs?

In a word, the answer to this question is a resounding YES.

We know very well that chicken soup is good for humans. At least, as it is written, it is good for the soul. The reason is because of the broth. We also know that dogs, like humans, are omnivores, meaning we can eat the same animal and plant food stuffs, but a question remains: Can dogs drink Gatorade?

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Gatorade for Your Dog – Get the Facts

Gatorade has been used for medicinal purposes almost since it first came out on the market. It’s a great way to ensure your body stays hydrated if you’re sick or just active during the hot summer months. It’s very effective to humans, but a question often asked is “Can dogs drink Gatorade?”. Get all facts below.

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Everything You Need To Know About Getting Your Dog An X-Ray

Your dog is an important part of the family, so taking care of their health is just as crucial as taking care of your own! That means getting regular check-ups at the vet and making sure their health is up on the up and up! Unfortunately, our furry friends can’t speak English and tell us what’s going on in their bodies, so we have to make some educated guesses to get to the bottom of what ails them.

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Do Dogs Fart? The Answer You’ve Been Looking For

Yes, it’s OK to blame the baby… or the dog in this case.

Ask any parent if they ever blamed their baby for a smelly or noisy fart. If their answer is no, I can guarantee they are lying! Same thing applies to dog owners. Sometimes having a dog can get us out of awkward moments we can get ourselves into, however, it can also do the opposite.

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