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Dog Breeds

Chocolate Labs die earlier than yellow or black and have more diseases



chocolate labs die earlier than yellow or black and have

According to a study we co-published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, chocolate-colored Labrador Retrievers have an average of 10% shorter lives than black or yellow Labradors. Ear infections and skin diseases are also more common in chocolate Labs than in non-chocolate Labs.

We looked at the UK veterinary records of more than 33,320 Labrador Retrievers as part of the VetCompass program. We then extracted death and disease data from a random sample of 2,074 (6.2%) of these dogs.

Read more: Is Your Dog Happy? Ten common misconceptions about dog behavior

Some diseases were far more common in chocolate dogs. The prevalence of pyo-traumatic dermatitis (sometimes called wet eczema or hot spot) was 1.1% in black dogs and 1.6% in yellow dogs, but increased to 4% in chocolate dogs. Meanwhile, external otitis (ear infection) was found in 12.8% of the black dogs, 17.0% of the yellow dogs, and 23.4% of the chocolate dogs.

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Research in humans has suggested a link between inflammation and shorter life expectancy and quality of life. It is possible that, through a similar process, repeated inflammatory skin and ear infections in chocolate dogs pose an immunological burden that is effective in shortening their lives.

Breeding for color, not for health

Color may not seem associated with health at first glance, but some relationships between coat color and disease in dogs are well known. The Piebald or “S” gene variants can increase the amount of white in a dog’s coat and lighten its eyes blue, but can also cause a high level of deafness in one or both ears.

Read more: Do You Walk Your Dog Enough?

In another example, the merle or “M” gene variant gives dogs a pale speckled coat and often blue eyes, but has also been linked to high rates of blindness and deafness. Less common examples are cyclic neutropenia (“Gray Collie Syndrome”) and color thinning alopecia.

While the coat color genes themselves aren’t bad for dog health, problems can still arise if an unusual color becomes popular. The genes for some colors can be quite rare in the population or hidden in a parent of a different color, meaning breeders may be tempted to either show or hide dogs they know for sure.

Read more: Animal emotions stare us in the face – are our pets happy?

This is the case with our Chocolate Labs: Chocolate is a recessive trait, which means both parents must wear it. Breeding chocolate puppies from this shallower gene pool carries additional disease and disease risks.

And it’s not just physical health that has surprising connections to coat color – behavior has also been linked to coat color. For example, there appears to be a relationship between coat color and aggression in monochrome (gold and black as opposed to roan) Cocker Spaniels.

While it is not clear whether coat color affects the Labrador’s widely cherished personality, Chocolate Labradors have different retinas than their yellow and black counterparts, and it is believed that differences in retinas in various other breeds are responsible for some behavioral differences in other breeds ( z the hunting behavior of so-called greyhounds, such as whippets, greyhounds and Afghan hounds).

The power of preference

Surprisingly, even if Labradors’ color turns out to have no effect on their behavior around us, there is some evidence that it can affect how we behave towards them. One study found that people who looked at photos of yellow and black dogs rated the yellow dogs significantly higher for tolerance, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.

Similarly, one study found that pedestrians perceived pale dogs as friendlier than dark dogs. In fact, black dogs have been maligned by none other than Winston Churchill, who labeled his own depression a black dog. It’s even possible that breeders picked the brown eyebrows of breeds like Rottweilers and Kelpies because the contrast on their expressive eyebrows makes their faces more legible.

Read more: Do dogs have feelings?

But whatever our first impression of a dog in a photo, a dog on the street, or the new puppy we just brought home, any dog ​​owner can tell you that our relationships with our canine companions are far more important than that Look.

It is estimated that over 43,000 dogs are euthanized in animal shelters annually in Australia and there is evidence that 65% of owners give a behavioral reason for abandoning their dogs, often because the dogs have been poorly socialized, trained and managed. It’s safe to say that these dogs were not sent to shelters because of their color.

Read more: Animal emotions stare us in the face – are our pets happy?

There are only a certain number of steps that can be taken with each generation in a breeding program. Because breeders need to take into account the many detailed traits set out in breed standards, there are limited opportunities to also breed for traits that improve welfare and adaptability to urban environments.

Breeders could focus more on selecting for good temperament and health, but only if less attention was paid to superficial traits. After all, a dog can never be the “wrong” color.

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Dog Breeds

Vet Recommended: Best Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs



vet recommended: best natural flea and tick prevention for dogs

Summer usually brings lots of fun and outdoor adventures that most of us look forward to, but with it comes a greater amount of pesky insects and parasites that can affect our pets’ wellbeing.

We try to avoid the use of toxins in our pets (and in our own environment), but in some cases we may have to choose our fights based on how difficult the flea / tick problem is. Fortunately, in many geographic regions, the use of pharmaceutical flea and tick products can be avoided for much of the year and reduced to a few times of use during the summer season.

There is significant concern about the number of side effects seen with the newer flea and tick medications (prescription pills). There are increasing reports of dogs with neurological reactions, tremors, seizures, behavior changes, liver damage, and GI disorders. In fact, these prescription flea products contain chemical pesticide ingredients that act as neurotoxins to kill the parasites (via effects on the insect’s nervous system). Originally it was suggested that the products were reasonably safe for dogs as the active ingredients were believed to be selective for arthropods (insects). But it is now apparent that these neurotoxins can affect our pets as well. In fact, many of the pharmaceutical companies had to adjust their warnings on the label to mention the side effects.

Some of the topical spot-on products don’t contain the same types of pesticides, but obviously still contain chemicals that can be toxic. In addition, new studies report that chemical pesticides from topical flea and tick products are measured in alarming amounts in our bodies of water, rivers and sewers. Hence, we see that the growing popularity of using spot-on pesticides on our pets is now also adding to environmental toxicity.

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So how can we avoid the use of chemicals and keep our pets free of fleas and ticks?

Looking for a solution in nature

To best support the health and wellbeing of our pets, we’re looking at natural, non-toxic options for flea and tick prevention. In fact, the best protection begins with a healthy, species-appropriate fresh or raw food diet with a low carbohydrate content. Simply put, a healthy dog ​​will attract fewer fleas than a dog with a compromised immune system or chronic illness.

Food to fight fleas and ticks

Some simple foods can be added to your dog’s diet to provide additional immune system support and to make parasites more resilient. This includes foods like fresh garlic and raw honey.

  • Fresh garlic has natural anti-parasite and immune support properties and is quite safe for dogs in small, reasonable amounts. Add ¼ teaspoon of freshly chopped garlic for every 15 pounds. the dog’s body weight is a great daily routine during the flea and tick season (or all year round). Note: Garlic in powder or capsule supplements does not have the same effects as freshly chopped garlic.
  • Raw honey is a wonderful (and delicious) immune system booster. Add about ½ tsp for every 15 pounds. Body weight of the dog per day. The benefits are greater with locally produced honey as it offers immune support properties that fight allergens in your specific area.

Food supplement to protect against parasites

In addition to nutrition, we can proactively support the immune system of our pets with specific natural nutritional supplements.

  • Bovine liposomal colostrum is an excellent immune support dietary supplement. This is the first milking from a cattle (cow) source. All mammals produce colostrum for their newborns at birth, which provides antibodies and immune factors, growth and repair peptides for improved gut, immune and other body systems health. I recommend Super Pet Nutrition, which is better absorbed and therefore has increased potency.
  • Milk thistle and dandelion A routine or seasonal detox can go a long way in supporting your pet’s resilience and overall health. These are safe and gentle detox options to protect your liver and kidneys.
  • Daily defense (I recommend Glacier Peak Holistic to my patients) is an excellent choice for seasonal or year-round use. This dietary supplement can be added to the feed once a day and contains nutrients that support the function of the immune system, resistance to parasites and also specific detoxification benefits.

Natural flea and tick prevention options

Natural possibilities for flea and tick repellants for direct use on pets or in their vicinity are also an effective preventive measure. Natural products require more frequent application and use to match the effectiveness of chemical products and prescription drugs. Fleas are generally easier to fight off or kill than ticks, which are more resilient and usually require stronger active ingredients. When it comes to ticks, nothing can replace careful control of your dog’s ticks after he’s been outdoors. Using a flea comb with fine teeth can also be an effective way to find ticks or fleas, and a tick removal tool can also come in very handy. Remember that fleas live more in the area than they do on the pet. So if you do find them in your pet, make sure to include your home environment as well.

Kieselguhr (DE)

Diatomaceous earth offers a safe and natural option that can be used in your home, directly on pets, and also outdoors in the garden. DE is a silky fine powder that acts as a desiccant or desiccant to effectively kill fleas and their larvae. Use a high quality food grade DE (not industrial grade) that can be sprinkled on your pet’s bedding, as well as on carpets, furniture, and anywhere else your pet spends a lot of time. Let the DE dust sit for about 24 hours and then vacuum it up. You can also apply DE directly to your pet’s hair, fur, and skin, but avoid the face, eyes, nose, and mouth entirely. Bathing your pet about 24 hours later can also be ideal, as DE can potentially dry out the skin as well.


Beneficial nematodes (Steinernema Carpocapsae) are a great option for natural parasite control in your garden or outdoors. Nematodes are used to protect gardens and plants from ants and caterpillars, but they are also effective prevention against fleas and ticks because they feed on the larval stages of these insects while they are still in the ground. Check your local garden center for these nematodes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits and can also be used to ward off fleas. Mixed with equal parts (50/50) of the solution, ACV can be aerosolized or applied to your dog before going outdoors.

Take oil

Neem is a tree native to India and is highly valued for its diverse medicinal properties offered by the bark, flowers, and the oil made from its seeds. One of the many health benefits of neem oil is its natural insecticidal properties. Neem is used in organic farming to protect plants from insects and is also very safe and effective for pets and humans.

Essential oils

Many essential oils (EOs) have flea and tick repellent properties. It’s important to only use high quality therapeutic oils or trustworthy products with pet-safe formulas like AnimalEO, which are available in the form of sprays or newer flea and tick wipes. Common EOs used for pest control include cedar, peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, catnip, eucalyptus, and geranium. I recommend Wondercide

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Dog Breeds

A little French named “Sergio”



a little french named "sergio"

If you’ve never heard of Sergio, the little Chihuahua who lives in Westchester, now you are. This little guy, very fit at 6 pounds, was rescued by Jeanmarie Daly a few years ago. Of course, everyone thinks their dogs, especially Chihuahua owners, are the absolute best breeds, but Sergio has something very special and special about them.

He takes French courses. “Oui” you read that right, French lessons!

Sergio’s neighbor, who lives in the same house, is a 12 year old French teacher at Ardsley Middle School for 7th grade students. However, all of that changed during the pandemic when classes went virtual. Obviously, Monsieur was talking to his students about this particular little pooch, and the students were writing stories about Sergio, who had become a legend in their minds. Well, the best surprise, or should I say, Surprendre was the day Sergio actually came into class on his laptop and looked at the students. Sergio was fascinated and sat quietly to watch all the excited faces.

After Sergio’s first appearance, he was repeatedly asked to take part. Monsieur was only too happy to allow Sergio to attend class as all the students smiled and were especially happy to see their new classmates. It was evident that Sergio the little Chihuahua had become the class mascot and one of the best things that happened to that class during the pandemic. It seems that Sergio can tell the time too, knowing exactly when to scratch his door in order to run down the hall to Monsieur’s apartment. Sergio is never late for class!

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At the end of the year, the students bought Sergio a donut squeak toy that he loves. When the school was back up and the students returned to the classrooms, Sergio took a sabbatical. He’s sure to pay a visit in the fall when the students hear about this special little French guy next year!

As Sergio would say, “Goodbye” !!

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Dog Breeds

Meet Riley | The boat



meet riley | the boat

Name and age of the dog: Riley, 1 year

Nicknames: Rileypup

Adoption history: We adopted Riley from humane society when he was ten weeks old. She had a mild cold and needed some medication when we brought her home, but we couldn’t be happier! When choosing her name, we wanted something Irish because we adopted her on St. Patrick’s Day and we thought Riley would be a good fit.

At home, Riley loves to cuddle, but at the dog park loves to zoom around everywhere. Riley is a one-of-a-kind dog; She likes to run around, do her own thing, and march to her own beat. Every time we come home, she gives us that gorgeous smile with her majestic beard!

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