BEAGLE RESOURCE PAGE
Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
In our hearts we know that pets enrich our lives, and in recent years scientific studies have begun to pin-point the ways that companion animals improve our minds and our bodies. Beyond walks and “fetch,” beyond lazy days in the sun and eager faces at the end of the day, pets provide documented health benefits. A 1993 report in the Harvard Health Letter explains that companion animals have more consistent behavior compared to our human companions and that they offer unconditional affection. The effect: lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety level for pet owners. We repay them with love and attention. In fact, more than 60 percent of pets receive “as much attention as children,” according to the 1994 American Animal Hospital Association pet owner survey. With so many attractive qualities, the beagle is one of the most popular breeds today. Medium in size, beagles love children, are friendly with people and animals, and adapt well to life in the city, suburb or country. Behaviors such as howling or digging can be prevented when training and socialization are started at an early age.
Every dog breed carries a distinct set of genetic advantages and health risk factors. The following are the most common diseases found in the Beagle breed. Hopefully, your beagle will not face these problems. However, early detection and preventive healthcare can make all the difference in helping your dog live a longer, happier life (see breed-related disease descriptions below).
Puppy (birth to 1 year)
* Excessive vocalization
Adult (1 to 6 years)
* Intervertebral disc disease
* Patella luxation
Senior (7 years and older)
* None listed
Breed-related disease descriptions
Listed in alphabetical order
Epilepsy. Recurrent convulsions (seizures) starting at a young age and without an identifiable cause. Usually presumed to be inherited. Signs include a sudden onset and short duration loss of consciousness, and falling over with paddling of the limbs, muscle twitching, loss of bladder and bowel control, drooling and jaw clamping.
Excessive vocalization. Vocalization includes barking, whining, yipping and howling. Protective vocalization is a valuable activity, and many breeds are bred to vocalize for protection, to identify their location or other reasons. When a human thinks the dog is excessively vocal, it might be because of exaggerated territoriality after hearing other dogs barking; out of pain, frustration, separation anxiety or for other reasons.
Hypothyroidism. Insufficient thyroid hormone production caused by disease of the thyroid glands. Symptoms include hair loss, obesity, lethargy, cold intolerance and skin infections.
Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Slipping of the discs in between the bones of the spine. Signs include back or neck pain with or without weakness and wobbliness, and sometimes paralysis of the back legs or both the front and back legs.
Patella luxation. Misalignment of the kneecaps resulting in intermittent dislocation, pain and lameness. Symptoms include reluctance to exercise and lameness of hind legs.
Help your dog live a longer, healthier life. Ask your veterinarian about a breed-related preventive health plan.
Show Your Pet How Much You Care
We love our pets more than ever. They are no longer just a diversion. In fact, they have become like children in the home for many of us. From the stories that Healthypet visitors share with us, it seems that you feel the same way. Pets entertain us, make us laugh, and love us unconditionally. What can we do to show them our thanks?
Following is a list of things you can do to show your pet how much you care:
* Spend quality time with them by going for a walk, hanging out in the back yard, playing games with their favorite toys, or snuggling with them as you watch TV.
* Always get them immediate veterinary care if you suspect that something is wrong. If you don’t have a solid relationship with your veterinarian, work on that for the sake of your pet. In this time of managed human health care, your pets often get better, more consistent, individualized care than we do. A respected veterinarian is your greatest ally.
* Feed them healthy food intended for their consumption, not potato chips, cookies, and other fatty human foods.
* Protect them from home hazards and from extremes of weather. They cannot protect themselves.
* Update your pet’s identification tags. Many of us move or change phone numbers but forget to update the tags. Perish the thought, but if your pet gets lost, it’s one of the best tools to ensure a safe return. On that note, fix that fence if it is a problem. And if you have a master escapee in your home, talk to your veterinarian or a noted trainer in your area regarding appropriate, humane behavior modification for your pet.
Anyone can train a Beagle.
Beware; the Beagle will try to train you first!
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