How to Prevent Coprophagia with Your Dog

By obcs|November 11, 2015|Uncategorized|0 comments

dog nose

This is a very hard topic to cover and to those who are not familiar with coprophagy, it is when a dog ingests his or her own feces. It’s a pretty gross practice which is observed in our animal hospital with many young puppies. It isn’t known why they do it, but it is something that should be stopped as soon as possible. What is known is that the mother must help induce defecation up until the puppies are around three weeks old. Voluntary defecation doesn’t happen until after this three week time period. The mother also often ingests their feces when they defecate near where they sleep. It is believed that the mother does this to ensure that the environment is clean and healthy to live in. This is normal behavior and shouldn’t be punished during this infancy stage.  Some Veterinarians believe that this is where some dogs may pick up this bad habit.

If your dog is doing this in their adult stages then this may be something you will want to discuss with your local Richmond veterinarian. Your four-legged loved one may be resorting to coprophagia in search of needed nutrients so the first place to investigate would be his or her diet. We want to make sure that the food we are feeding them supplies them with the necessary vitamins and minerals to satisfy their body’s needs. We are also checking their diet to make sure that the supplements or additives in their food are not making their stool seem like a tasty treat. Sometimes additives like MSG are released in their feces and may put off inviting scents. Make sure to give your dog a good quality brand of food from a pet supply store. Most foods at grocery stores are not a good source of nutrition.

greeeen lawn

If your dog is hungry, you may want to try feeding him or her a little bit more to see if that helps. Ask your local Richmond veterinarian what an appropriate amount of food is and if it meets their entire needed nutritional fulfillment. The vet can also check to see if there is a parasite infestation that could cause your four-legged friend to feel as though they are hungry. Sometimes these parasites can feed off of all of their nutrients from their food making them feel as though they need to eat more.

Another option is to use remote punishment or implement using a spray collar. You can watch from a distance and if your canine friend decides to dip into their chocolate bar, then you can use a citronella scented spray collar to stop him or her from further indulging.

Others have also found food additives that can help deter them from coprophagia. One example is to use pumpkin puree, which tastes great going in but disgusting when exiting. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian at your local Richmond VA animal hospital before introducing any new foods.

One sure fire way to stop your family pet from eating their own poop is to remove it once they go to the bathroom. By immediately removing the feces you lower  the risk of tapeworms and other parasites from getting a chance to spawn. You also prevent the run off of fecal matter into the watershed, which in high concentrations, can make anyone sick.

If you still can’t stop your dog from partaking in coprophagia then visit the well-qualified team at Wellesley Animal Hospital. There certified veterinarians can help resolve all your K-9



Why Kids Should Have Pets

By obcs|September 25, 2015|Uncategorized|0 comments

black-labFor months now, my daughter has been bugging me to get her a puppy.  Over and over again I tried to explain to her that puppies require a lot of work and responsibility.  I wanted her to be sure she knew how much work it would take.

After more and more begging, I finally gave in.  One Friday evening, I picked her up from her Lithia daycare and we drove to our local pet shop.  There we got to see all the puppies running around in the back and she was able to play with a few.  After an hour of playing, she finally picked out the one she wanted to take home.  It was a little dachshund puppy.  She named him Elmo.

There are many reasons I decided to break down and get her the pet.  Below are the top reasons to let your child have a pet.

Health Benefits

Studies have shown that children who grow up with pets, such as dogs and cats, in the home are less likely to develop allergies and asthma later on in life.  Pets are also known for helping to relieve stress due to homework, friends, or other activities.

Children with dogs are especially inclined to take them out for walks and play with them in the yard.  This helps to ensure that your child stays active on a daily basis.

They Learn Responsibility

Children who have pets are taught how to be responsible.  They must learn to take care of their pet by feeding it, refilling the water bowl, and letting it out in the yard to potty.  Learning these lessons early in life can set your child up to be a good parent in the future.

For dogs, your child can help train them.  Giving simple commands such as sit and stay can help teach your child to have confidence.

Having a pet in the home can set up your child to succeed in life.  There are many benefits to having a pet for your child to take care of, so don’t just opt for the word “No” when they ask.  Spend some time really thinking about the decision and all of its benefits.

Senior Pets for Seniors

By obcs|September 23, 2015|Uncategorized|0 comments

senior dogMany seniors who are recently retired often find themselves with too much time on their hands. After decades of spending 40 hours each week at work, there’s no longer much reason to set the alarm clock at night and jump out of bed early in the morning. Because it can be difficult adjusting to the sudden lack of structure to the day and establishing a new routine, it’s not uncommon for retirees to feel lonely and bored. And as many realize that their career comprised the bulk of their day, they have previously had little time to engage in hobbies and cultivate other interests before now.

One common remedy for the post-retirement blues is adopting a pet — specifically a dog. Dogs are known as excellent companion animals, and will love absolutely anyone who gives them food and attention. Many retirees have grown children who have already moved out and started families of their own in a different town, and some live alone due to divorce or death of a spouse. Coupled with the lack of personal interaction that had been readily available in the office, retirement can sometimes be a lonely experience. Adopting a dog would provide an instant source of companionship, and being a member of the dog owner community opens the door to new friendships as well.

Dogs are an especially great option for seniors in need of motivation to get up in the morning and go out for a healthy walk around the neighborhood. It can be difficult for retirees to find a sense of purpose and structure in post-career life. Caring for an adorable canine can encourage seniors to continue to get up early in the morning, get dressed, and help the dog begin his day. And as some find getting adequate, regular exercise to be a challenge, the necessity of walking and exercising the dog also motivates the owner to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle.

As animal shelters in the country recognize the variety of benefits that dogs can offer seniors, many advertise discounts in vaccination and adoption fees for seniors adopting older dogs. Older dogs tend to be a great match for seniors who may not be able to keep up with the high energy and extensive training needs of puppies. Additionally, as dogs age, their temperaments also tend to mellow, making them calm, complacent companion animals. Unfortunately, because most people are more interested in adopting puppies, senior dogs are often the first to be euthanized when an animal shelter becomes overcrowded.

For seniors combatting feelings of boredom, emptiness, or loneliness after retirement, adopting a dog can be a valuable experience. Retirees get to reap the rewards of companionship, motivation to exercise, and getting back into a daily routine. If you’re a recent retiree, or if you know someone who is, consider adopting a senior dog. You’ll be able to enrich your own life, and potentially save the life of another living being. If you’re more interested in human companionship instead, check out this Rowlett senior care service in Texas that specialized in providing friendship and care for seniors in their own home.

My New Pup

By obcs|September 11, 2015|Uncategorized|0 comments

a cute chihuahua pug mix puppy (chug) looking at the camera with a head tilt in front of a fenced in pool in a backyard during summer toned with a retro vintage instagram filter app or action effect

Last month I decided I wanted a puppy to keep me company in my lonely apartment.  I had never owned a dog before, but I figured I thought to myself, how hard could it be?

One Saturday, I went down to the local pet store and watched as all of the young pups played in the fenced in field behind the building.  They all looked super cute, and I knew I could only take one home with me.

After the puppies went back inside the store after their playtime, I noticed a little one that I knew I just needed to have.  She was a pug – beagle mix, a puggle, and she was the tiniest thing I’d ever seen.  As small as she was, she was quite scrappy.  I noticed her taking on some of the bigger pups while they were outside playing.

The lady at the store let me take her out to play for a little bit.  After about 20 minutes of playing and getting to know her, I decided she was the one.  I decided to get her.  While checking out, the lady at the registered asked me if I was going to get anything for her before I left.  That’s when it occurred to me that I have no idea what a puppy needs.

I admitted that to the lady and with a small laugh and a grin helped me pick out some items to take home with me.  I got a small crate, a food and water bowl, a small assortment of toys, some floor pads (for accidents around the house), a leash and collar, a package of puppy chow, and a small bed for her to lay in.  I never would have guessed that I needed all of this stuff.

Our first month together has been hasn’t been the easiest, but I sure don’t regret getting her.  We’ve had to make several trips to the vet lately and for the past week, she’s been sick, so we’ve been up almost every our every night so that she can go outside.  It’s been a little stressful, so I think I’ll treat myself to a massage this weekend to help ease my stress.  Through it all, however, I think her and I are going to be pretty good pals.

Dangers of Pet Waste in Communities

By obcs|September 4, 2015|Uncategorized|0 comments

If you’re a pet owner living in a housing community, you know how frustrating it is when other dog owners don’t pick up after them.  If you’re a responsible dog owner, stepping in another dog’s poop while taking yours out on a walk can really put a damper on your day.

Many communities are beginning to see and understand the risks of pet waste in the community and are investing in dog poop bag stations for their residents to use.  This leaves no excuse for residents to not pick up their pet’s waste.

Not a Fertilizer

Besides being a burden on residents, dog poop that’s left on the ground can have a harmful impact on communities.  Many people believe that dog waste is easily compostable and serves as great fertilizer for lawns and yards.  This is far from the truth, however.  Because of their carnivorous diet, dog poop is improper for composting.  Additionally, any dog waste that makes its way into vegetable gardens can easily spread whatever bacteria is may have to the vegetables you’re growing, putting you and your family at risk for disease.

Carries Bacteria

Dog poop is dangerous for communities, mostly because of the bacteria it carries.  Dog’s intestines can harbor dangerous bacteria that get passed along into the waste they leave behind.  After a few weeks, the waste will appear to be gone, but what’s really happened is that it has broken down into tiny particles that still carry the bacteria.  These bacteria can easily spread during rainstorms, working its way into local water systems.  This causes a threat not only to local residents, but also to organisms in the lakes and rivers.

Attracts Rats

Because it’s a primary food source, rats and other rodents tend to hang around and breed where there is available pet waste.  Dog owners who don’t pick up after their companion are putting the entire community at risk for having a rat infestation.  If you’ve noticed rats in your community, it may be because of pet waste that’s spread throughout the grounds.


If you notice a dog owner in your community who neglects to pick up their pet’s waste, then you should notify your property manager and inform them about the negative side effects dog waste can have on communities.