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Paws To Run

Important Facts and Tips

  • Deep chested larger breed dogs ( Labradors, Golden retrievers, Weimaraners, German shepherds, Great Danes, Dobermans) are prone to stomach torsions (bloat), a potentially fatal conditon usually brought on by running right after a meal. It is vital that the dog NOT be fed before exercising, or to be fed 2 hours before. It is also preferable to wait 30 minutes after exercising before feeding so the stomach can settle. After vigorous exercise, allow a cool down period, such as a gentle walk for about 10 minutes.
  • My adult dogs have always been fed twice a day. This avoids the tendency to "wolf" down their food. Also, they are fed before the family, thus ensuring quiet and satieted dogs who do not beg at the dinner table! Where meals are concerned, I have never relied on the "Alpha" principle of training (consisting of eating before and in front of your pet, to make sure he understands who is the boss). I am sufficiently the "Alpha" leader during my walks!
  • Fresh water should always be available, especially important if your dog eats dry food. If the water has been sitting a while, my labrador will look at me, signifying that I must fill his bowl with cool fresh water!
  • Speaking of dry food, I moisten it with a bit of hot water to create a gravy. This also helps to prevent bloat because the food is pre-moistened rather than the dog eating his food then intaking large amounts of water afterwards which can result in a sudden bulkening in the stomach, inducive of bloat.
  • Whilst on the subject of food and digestion, it is not unusual for dogs to have a bowel movement several times a day or even during one walk, provided the walk is long enough. So, it would be wrong to assume that after one poo, the dog is set for the day.
  • Never, ever leave a dog in a car in the sun, even with windows partially open. He can die within 20 minutes. A dog can also get heat stroke even whilst the car is being driven. If you suspect heat stroke, and until you get to veterinarian, moisten the dog's inner thighs to bring down temperature. If near home, place dog in bath of cool water.
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