Frequently asked questions about your Dog on General Considerations

  • How do I train my dog to get used to my new partner?
  • Are dogs suffering from a deficiency if they eat grass? If yes, then which?
  • My dog’s nose is losing pigmentation. What can I do to stop this happening?
  • Despite castration, the male dog pulls on the lead when he smells a bitch in heat. What can be done to prevent the pulling on the lead?

How do I train my dog to get used to my new partner?

Question:
How do I train my dog (Border Collie, 3 years old) to get used to my new partner? Up to now, he was only living with me, my daughter and our cat.

Answer:
You should take care that your dog doesn’t feel left out when your partner is around. That means in the early stages you should pay as little attention as possible to your dog while you are alone in the house. When your partner arrives, an activity including your dog should start within 10 minutes (e.g. go for a walk, playtime, he is fed, etc.). You will see that it won’t take long before your dog is waiting to see the great guy who is always doing such fun things with him. If your dog accepts your partner, he will also like him even when there’s nothing special happening.

Are dogs suffering from a deficiency if they eat grass? If yes, then which?

Question:
I have a 3 year old Alsatian who always eats grass. Does his food lack anything?

Answer:
Eating grass is a completely normal behaviour pattern for dogs. The dog’s progenitor, the wolf, also eats grasses and berries in addition to its prey. However, if you give special attention to the dog eating grass, he will quickly establish that as a method to gain your attention. He will then eat more grass only to catch your attention. Therefore, pay no attention to this behaviour. If you are feeding high quality brand food, then you can be sure that your dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals he requires. However, if you’re feeding self-mixed food, you have to take care that the vitamin and mineral composition is balanced. Obtain advice on the best food supplements from your Maxi Zoo pet food store.

My dog’s nose is losing pigmentation. What can I do to stop this happening?

Question:
The central portion of the nose of our Golden Retriever (2 years old) has been turning pink for ca. 3 weeks. What causes the loss of pigmentation and is there anything I can do to stop it from happening?

Answer:
You could be describing so-called changing nose. There are dogs whose nose only turns black or brown with sufficient sunlight. In winter, this nose becomes more pink and then darker again in summer. Sun light therefore is the only way to prevent pigment loss, but only with the greatest care. These noses are also very susceptible to sunburn and a sun block should be applied to the dog’s nose during strong sunshine. If the nose displays other unusual signs in addition to the pigment loss, you should bring the dog to your vet.

Despite castration, the male dog pulls on the lead when he smells a bitch in heat. What can be done to prevent the pulling on the lead?

Question:
I had my dog (2 ¾ years old, half-breed) castrated about a year ago as he pulled so strongly on the lead when smelling a bitch in heat that he experienced loss of breath and choked. I had him castrated for that reason. There were no pre- or post-operative complications. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement. Can I still hold out hope or what would be a sensible alternative? I am afraid that this choking will cause injuries to the throat at some stage.

Answer:
Unfortunately, pulling on the lead is not only a “hormonal problem” but mainly a training problem. Your dog will no longer pull after bitches in heat due to the castration, but after everything else which he enjoys. You therefore should fit your dog with a chest harness instead of a collar to avoid real injuries to the larynx. The pressure is then distributed over the chest and many dogs can also be controlled more easily this way. In addition, you should attend a dog training school to learn how to motivate your dog to walk on the lead without pulling. A Master Control from Maxi Zoo could also be useful.

Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.