5 PILLARS OF HEALTH FOR YOUR GERMAN SHEPHERD

As owners, we all should once in a while “take inventory” concerning our German Shepherds, to make sure we are providing him or her with the basic requirements for vibrant health and wellbeing.

I am basing this article on the book, Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats (See end of article for details). The term “5 Pillars of Health…” is mine, not the author’s; but these five areas of focus that he discusses at length, concern the key factors impacting the health and wellbeing of your German Shepherd. While we have covered these matters in detail elsewhere on the website, here I’ll review them from Dr Pitcairn’s perspective; one which I find entirely sound, and backed by extensive study and field practice throughout a long professional career.

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FOXTAILS & YOUR GERMAN SHEPHERD

Foxtail Grasses Explained

Foxtail grasses, which come in many varieties, are a potentially serious health risk to German Shepherds, and for that matter to any dog that may come into contact with them. Their effects on a dog range from external irritation to internal infection and organ damage. Untreated, such damage can be fatal. Foxtail grass is both common and widespread. It grows plentifully across the temperate and subtropical regions of Eurasia, northern Africa, and the Americas. It is also naturalized in Australia and New Zealand.

In the US, foxtail grass grows mainly west of the Mississippi, concentrating in the Great Plains – where wild bison feed on it. It is also abundant in California. Nevertheless, some varieties range into other parts including the mid-eastern regions.

The more common types of foxtail grasses include Cheatgrass, Foxtail Brome, Foxtail Barley, Foxtail Millet Needlegrass, Canada Wild Rye and Nimblewill.

In a moment we’ll get into some detail on the health risks to our dogs posed by foxtail grasses, and we’ll discuss both prevention and treatment. But first, let’s look at the nature of the foxtail grass itself, in order to better understand its hazards: Continue Reading

SHOULD YOU SHAVE YOUR GERMAN SHEPHERD?

Humorous, But Not Recommended
Humorous, But Not Recommended!

It’s been my observation that there are two trigger points that can get owners of German Shepherds, and other canines with substantial coats, to contemplate the merits of shaving their dog! The first is where an owner considers the solution to having a thick fur coat in warm weather is to take it off! The second trigger point can be exasperation at the amount of hair getting deposited all over a home during their dog’s shedding.

Other than the less-than-wonderful appearance resulting from a complete dog shave, you cannot blame well-intentioned owners in either situation. But well-intentioned is not enough, for we need also to be well-informed! Continue Reading

WELL-TRIMMED NAILS FOR GREAT LOOKS & HEALTH!

Today I’m bringing you simple guidance on a method for clipping your dog’s nails for great professional-looking results. Your dog will be happier and you’ll be proud of his or her well-manicured look.
Trimming nails, for the great majority of dogs, is not optional – the rare exceptions being those in rural areas that log enough foot-mileage to keep the nails worn down. Failing to maintain your dog’s nails can result in problems that range from mere discomfort to serious physical conditions. Overly long claws cause pain by pressing up into the foot or twisting to the side. Another negative result of excessively long nails in a dog may be less obvious but is just as real: Continue Reading