Can dogs have mustard?
Q: Our two-year-old Jack Russell has been itching all over lately. When I scratch his skin, his hair comes up off his skin. He doesn't have fleas, lice or anything else. His hair is the color of a dark-brown horse's coat.
A: He's probably allergic to mustard. Dogs can have allergies to mustard. It is best to wait until the itching stops before you give the dog mustard for any reason. If it continues to itch, you can try a spot-on topical insect repellant, but you can't expect it to work against a dog's allergies. It's best to avoid giving him any more food until the itching stops.
Q: Can dogs have fish?
A: Dogs can have allergies to fish, too. There is no way to prevent or control allergies to fish, but you can avoid giving your dog fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. In many cases, when an allergy to fish develops, the allergies spread to other food allergies as well.
Q: My dog has been chewing on his flea collar. Is it a sign he's trying to bite off the part that's irritating him?
A: The chewing behavior sounds like an impulse to bite the part of the collar that is irritating him. If he has fleas or allergies to flea products, you should try to find a flea collar that does not bother him.
Q: I'm having trouble with the flea collar on my puppy. It makes him nervous and causes his legs to shake. When I try to stop him from chewing it, he starts to cry. Is there something I can do?
A: Puppies need to chew to exercise their jaws. If he starts to chew on the collar because he's irritated or frightened, you might want to consider finding a collar he likes. Or you can let him chew the collar, but not chew it to shreds, and don't get angry if he tears it. When he's grown, you can teach him to chew on your fingers without tearing them up.
Q: My dog has been chewing on a lot of things lately. Is this a sign of an illness?
A: There are many causes for chewing, and it's hard to make a blanket diagnosis based on a single episode. But most dogs show signs of pain when they chew. If your dog's behavior sounds like this, you might consider consulting your veterinarian for an examination.
Q: I've noticed that one of my puppies has been peeing in his crate. Is this a sign of a health problem?
A: Some dogs will pee in their crate for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are so uncomfortable that they simply urinate for relief.
You may have other problems if your puppy is urinating a lot, if his urine smells bad, or if the urine stains the crate.
Q: I bought a puppy to train, but I found out that she has been bitten in the past. What should I do?
A: The most important thing you can do is get an opinion from a veterinarian who is familiar with dogs and who knows about training. Puppies, like humans, need to learn how to behave and how to socialize with people.
A veterinarian who knows about dog training and who has experience with dogs can advise you about how to teach your puppy. The more time you spend together, the better.
Q: I bought a puppy with an older brother, and the previous owner said they came from a good home. I have no idea how to teach my puppy to be around him.
A: When a puppy is just a few days old, it is easiest to have a crate as the only place the two puppies can stay. Your puppy will learn that he must not approach the older puppy. If he does, he will most likely be injured, or worse, killed. If he learns this in the beginning, he will learn this in the future.
At first, you should keep the puppy away from the older one. As he grows up, you can teach him to tolerate the other dog. The older puppy should never be alone. You should take the other puppy to places where the older one cannot go.
If your puppy has an allergy to the other puppy, you should take that into account when you decide where to place the two dogs. If you keep them in different places or do not allow them to meet, they should not be around one another.
Q: How old should my puppy be before I can take him to a dog park?
A: Most dog parks will require a minimum age for entry. This is to protect both the dogs and the owners. It's a good idea to check with your local dog park before taking your puppy to one. You should ask if the owner will be there to supervise the dog park. You also need to find out about the other dogs and people in the park.
Q: My dog has a cough. Can I treat him?
A: Many medications can be used to treat canine cough. This is not something you can learn on your own, so consult your veterinarian or other experienced dog owner.
You should never treat a dog's cough yourself. The medication may be too strong for the dog, and there is a risk that you could make the cough worse.
Q: My dog has a runny nose. What should I do?
A: Your dog may have an infection, but he may also have allergies that are causing the symptoms. If your dog has allergies, make sure you are using a safe antihistamine and that you are treating the runny nose, not the underlying allergy.
Q: My dog has a cut on her back that keeps getting bigger. She's starting to get nervous and scared. What can I do?
A: Many dogs have cut their paws or feet in a manner that doesn't seem to bother them. But that doesn't mean that you should ignore this problem. If you