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Q&A with Veterinarian Dr. Charles L. Starr III – Pets and Weight Management

In Health and Beauty, Pets on January 20, 2013 at 8:06 am
Charles L. Starr III

Charles L. Starr III

Q: Charles L. Starr III, how do I know if my pet is overweight?

Charles L. Starr III: If you are not able to see your pet’s waistline, it may be in need of shedding a few pounds. Your veterinarian can weigh the pet on its next visit and let you know for certain.

Q: Are obese pets common?

Charles L. Starr III: Unfortunately, we are definitely seeing more and more pets with weight issues daily. This can interfere with a routine check up.

Q: Why do you think pet weight-gain is on the rise?

Charles L. Starr III: Animals throughout history stored fat during prosperous times in preparation for periods of famine. Today, pets ingest nutritional, high-calorie food daily, and many of them do not get enough exercise.

Q: What are pet owners doing wrong?

Charles L. Starr III: We love to give our pet food and treats. But calories add up quickly. Less-than-active lifestyles also contribute. Excess energy turns directly to fat.

Q: Why is weight management for my dogs important?

Charles L. Starr III: In addition to arthritis, diabetes, and breathing problems, excess weight may shorten a dog’s lifespan by up to two full years.

Q: I have a teacup poodle. How can pet owners tell if a tiny pet has a problem?

Charles L. Starr III: We can determine the amount of a pet’s body fat through a body condition score (BCS). This numbered report shows the amount of accumulated fat. Some systems use a five-point scale. A BCS count of one point shows a pet is too thin while high-end numbers indicate that a pet is overweight.

Q: Where do I begin in helping my pet lose weight?

Charles L. Starr III: First, understand that caloric intake versus spent energy is key to any weight loss program. Make a list of the items you currently feed your pet and visit your veterinarian. Pets need fewer calories, but not fewer nutrients. We offer low-calorie, nutritionally balanced pet foods.

Q: What kinds of exercise do you recommend for house pets that are cooped up all day long?

Charles L. Starr III: For cats, feather toys or laser pointers work well. Lengthen your dog’s walks each day and toss toys for retrieval.

Q: How much weight should my pet lose?

Charles L. Starr III: Pets should not lose more than 2% of their body weight each week.

A good BCS score and health improvement are the goal here, not pounds. Think healthy lifestyle management.

Charles L. Starr III practices in Colorado.

A Little Prevention Will Go a Long Way in Protecting Your Pets

In Pets on December 20, 2012 at 1:27 am

The lights. The tree. A table groaning under the weight of food. The toys. The candy. All of these can be a potential threat to Fido. But, it doesn’t have to be. With some simple steps, the holidays can be safely celebrated without harming a person’s best 4-legged friend. The key is just a little forethought.

Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia can be dangerous for dogs. Make sure that festive plants are kept well outside of a dog’s reach, to ensure that they don’t grab a bite.

When decorating the tree, make sure that there aren’t any lights on the lower branches. They can get hot and burn a dog. Also, be careful of the extra electrical cords. A dog may try to chew them, and can get badly shocked or electrocuted. It’s not a bad idea to tape cords down with duct tape against a wall.

If at all possible, avoid putting glass ornaments on the tree. They are fragile and can cut a dog’s feet or mouth. However if it’s important that glass ornaments are on the tree, place them high out of a dog’s reach to avoid temptation. It’s also not a bad idea to keep all ornaments from the very bottom of a tree. Even non-breakable ornaments can contain paint that may make a dog ill.

Don’t use homemade cranberry or popcorn string as garland. A dog may knock over the tree to get to a “treat.” Also, they could ingest the string, which can get stuck in their intestines. The same thing applies to tinsel: it’s dangerous for dogs because they could eat it.

Don’t leave lit candles unattended near dogs. And make sure they are well out of reach, because a dog can be curious and accidentally burn their whiskers. Also a dog’s wagging tail and a lit candle are a potentially hazardous combination.

Holiday dinners are a huge temptation to dogs. But rich food and canines don’t mix, so make sure that guests don’t feed dogs. Feed pets their kibble or wet food at their regular time to avoid any undue temptation. And remember to keep dishes with onions away from dogs. Onions contain thiosulphate that can cause a dog to become anemic.

Finally, just keep a general eye on your pets when hosting holiday parties. Remember that pets can become over-stimulated and upset. And then, relax! With a little planning the holidays can be the “happiest time of the year” for both humans and pets.

Best Ways to Keep Pets Safe During the Summer

In Health and Beauty, Pets on July 9, 2012 at 11:06 am

Last summer was hot, but this summer temperatures have been even higher. As difficult as hot weather can be on a person, it can be equally challenging – if not worse – for pets. Here are some tips about how to keep your pets safe and happy when the temperature soars.

How do pets react in hot and humid conditions?

Panting is one way that dogs (and cats too) will often cool themselves. Also, they will “sweat” from the pads of their feet.

How can a person know if it is “too hot” for their pet?

Pet owners should pay careful attention to how their pet breathes when resting, as compared to light activity or heavy exercise. That way they will be more aware of signs when a pet gets too hot. For instance, if a pet is panting hard when laying inert on the floor, breathing with its mouth open, seeming listless, or suffering from a lack of appetite or diarrhea – these are clinical signs of when a pet is too hot. If your pet is suffering from those symptoms do not encourage them to do any vigorous exercise – it could be dangerous.

Are there some things that pet owners should never do when it’s hot?

Absolutely. It’s imperative that pet owners never leave their pet in the car on a warm or hot day, even with the windows down. And pet owners need to recalculate their idea of what “warm or hot” is. Sixty degrees might not feel that warm to a person who’s in and out of the car, but to a pet that’s stuck in that car in the sun it can quickly escalate from an uncomfortable temperature to a potentially fatal one.

Are there certain things that pet owners can do to help their pets in hot weather?

Yes, definitely. The first thing to realize is that pets need a lot of water all the time, but especially when temperatures spike. So, try to keep cool fresh water available to pets and if you are away from home during the day you might even consider getting a pet fountain that keeps a stream of cool water running into a bowl. They start at around fifty dollars, but they provide peace of mind during heat waves when your pet is home alone. Also, make sure that pets have access to shade or shelter and ensure that they aren’t kept in a confined area on a hot or humid day.

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers Require Experience

In Pets on June 15, 2010 at 3:51 am

The experts at Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers have been breeding award winning, sought after miniature schnauzers for 30 years. After three decades, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers has gained a unique perspective on the temperaments of these most beloved pets. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers says the furry friends are smart, engaging, high-energy companions. Some first time dog owners that consider a schnauzer, adds Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, soon learn that schnauzers take an experienced level of involvement and dedication on the dog owner’s part. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers says that this animal’s qualities are best cultivated by an experienced dog owner, one that is committed to persistent training.

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers describes miniature schnauzers as intelligent, energetic and loving pets with a wayward demeanor. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers explains that miniature schnauzers enjoy the company of humans and other dogs when they are correctly and deliberately socialized as little pups. Despite socialization training, adds Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, people who have pet rodents must not acquire a schnauzer. Likewise, says Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, miniature schnauzer owners should never get any pet rodents. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers explained that since their inception in Germany in the 16th century, miniature schnauzers have been bred for centuries as watchdogs, ratters, and vermin catchers. Because of this, continues Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, it is a schnauzer’s instinct to hunt and kill rodents.

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers says that miniature schnauzers are truly rewarding companions. They live long lives, says Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, and are exceedingly loyal to their owner. At the same time, the experts are Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers do not recommend a schnauzer for first time dog owners. Because of their precocious intelligence, adds Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, miniature schnauzers need firm training, lest they develop inconvenient habits of forcing their own way. When training is well implemented, continues Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, the little champs are so responsive that they end up making champion show ring appearances.

For more information, contact Marian Harding at Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers:
4637 Blairwood Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37938
865-922-0522
865-207-6199

http://www.hardinhaus.com

Marian Harding Describes the World’s Best Pet

In Pets on June 15, 2010 at 3:42 am

Marian Harding has spent 30 years in the competitive dog-breeding world. In the span of her career, Marian Harding has bred, handled or cared for thousands of dogs. Of all breeds, Marian Harding’s favorite breed by far is the miniature schnauzer. Marian Harding describes miniature schnauzers as intelligent, loving, ideal companions. Miniature schnauzers, says Marian Harding, love to be with their masters or families as often as possible. Originally bred as watchdogs and vermin hunters, adds Marian Harding, mini schnauzers thrive from participating in the lives of their masters. Marian Harding notes that miniature schnauzers have been bred for centuries to guard and faithfully obey their humans. This devotional sensibility, says Marian Harding, coupled with the schnauzers’ natural energy make them excellent pets for active families.

Marian Harding offers some brief historical notes about mini schnauzers. Miniature schnauzers, says Marian Harding, originated in Germany and Bavaria in the 1500s. Marian Harding adds that because of their aforementioned desirable traits they became instantly popular with farming families and landed gentry alike. In the 1800s, continues Marian Harding, miniature schnauzers were introduced to North America. Since that time, notes Marian Harding, miniature schnauzers have been winning dog show competitions and the hearts of animal lovers across the continent.

A typical miniature schnauzer, describes Marian Harding, stands approximately 12 to 14 inches tall. Marian Harding adds that this small size allows them to live well in both the country and the city. In fact, adds Marian Harding, miniature schnauzers are adept apartment dogs. But their small size can be misleading, says Marian Harding, because these little wonders have a great deal of verve, personality and energy packed into their adorable frames. To properly care for a miniature schnauzer, continues Marian Harding, an owner must take them on at least two 20-minute walks each day. In addition to vigorous walks, points out Marian Harding, miniature schnauzers also require persistent and conscientious training.

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers | Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers

In Pets on October 3, 2009 at 8:58 am

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers Once Again Focused

Knoxville TN – October 3, 2009 — Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers once again focused. A local dog breeder’s influence is felt around the world. While Marian Harding of Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers does not directly show her prize miniature schnauzers, her breed is always of interest to dog owners around the world.

Marian Harding and Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers always follow the results of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held in New York City each year. Beginning in 1877, “The World’s Greatest Dog Show” is now in its 133rd year. “The show is best known because of its worldwide telecast,” says Marian Harding. There is however one particular portion of the event that hits close to home for her. “They have, for many years promoted dog breeders such as Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers,” says Marian. At some point in every show they make a very special announcement. Viewers worldwide will always hear, “If you are planning to add a dog to your life and have come to look over the best of the best, please note, no dog you have seen here came from a pet shop, or was the ‘product’ of a puppy mill. If you want a dog, go to the people who care – the dedicated specialty breeders who have made dogs like those you see here a lifetime effort. Talk dogs with dog people who care and understand.” For Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers this type of support is greatly appreciated.

Miniature Schnauzers are a highly sought after breed. Demand has been so strong that there has been a specialized kennel club for more than seventy years. The American Miniature Schnauzer Club, a member club of the American Kennel Club, was founded in 1933. It has over 600 members residing in nearly all 50 states, and in Canada and other foreign countries. The AMSC is the parent organization for some 25 local Miniature Schnauzer Specialty Clubs in the United States. In addition to breeding, these dogs are fierce competitors in shows around the country, and the Westminster show is no exception. Competing in the Terrier breed class, audiences always enjoy watching these master show dogs strut their stuff.

Despite the breed’s popularity, many people are not familiar with where this breed originates from. The Miniature Schnauzer, cousin to the larger Standard Schnauzer, did not originate in England as many other terriers did, but in Germany, according to Marian Harding. They are small dogs but in no way are they delicate. They make an excellent companion because they are obedient, quick to learn, devoted to their owner, spunky and fearless. With the experiences gained since 1980 when Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers was established, Marian Harding is aware that this breed’s deepest need is to live as part of a family, going where they go and doing what they do. They don’t shed, but do need to be groomed every six weeks or so. They come in three colors: salt and pepper, black and silver, and solid black.

Every year you will see excellent representations of this breed in dog shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club show competing for the “Best Of Breed” category. Marian Harding is always focused and always interested. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers always benefit from shows like this. Located in east Tennessee, as one of only a handful of breeders in this part of the country, makes the kennel a destination point for dog lovers.

Contact Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers :
Marian Harding
Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers
4637 Blairwood Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37938
Telephone: 865-922-0522 or 865-207-6199
Website: http://www.hardinhaus.com

Marian Harding | Summer & Schnauzers Great Combination | Marian Harding

In Pets on July 25, 2009 at 11:52 am

Summer and Schnauzers Can Make a Wonderful Combination – By Marian Harding

Summer is a time for both you and your dog to enjoy the great outdoors. Along with the sunshine and fun, “the season also creates the potential to endanger your pet,” says Marian Harding, owner of Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers. Pro-actively planning ahead, you will reduce the chance that an accident will happen. Marian Harding offers these tips.

Closed vehicles and animals don’t mix.

One of the great joys of summer is taking your dog with you; they enjoy it as much as you do say Marian Harding. This enjoyment can be cut short by a forgetful moment. During summer weather, the inside of your vehicle can reach 100+ degrees in a matter of minutes, even if you’re parked in the shade. This creates a crisis quickly for your four legged companion.

Dogs don’t perspire and can only dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. According to Marian Harding Pets left in a hot vehicle, even briefly, can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage, and even die. Don’t think that just because you’ll be gone “just a minute” that your pet will be safe while you’re gone; even an air-conditioned car with the motor off isn’t healthy for your pet. “Treat your dog as you would a baby,” cautions Marian Harding. “You can never be too careful.”

To avoid any chance that your pet will succumb to the heat of a car this summer, you may decide to play it safe by leaving your dog cool and refreshed at home while you travel. While miniature schnauzers love to travel they are just as comfortable resting at home. Marian Harding advice if you do happen to see a dog in a vehicle alone during the hot summer months, notify the management of the store where the car is parked. If the owner does not return quickly, call local animal control or the police department immediately.

About Marian Harding

Marian Harding and Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers have provided breeding quality Schnauzers since 1980. Puppies come with health and temperament guarantee. Services offered include puppies, stud service and adult dogs. Marian Harding has been a Member of AMSC (American Miniature Schnauzer Club) since 1990.

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers | Trucks Can’t Help Hot Dogs | Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers

In Pets on July 18, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Trucks Can’t Help Hot Dogs Says Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers - By Marian Harding

Every summer we see dogs at Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers that arrive in the back of pickup trucks. “While these aren’t the world class prize-winning show dogs we are known for, it concerns us none the less,” says Marian Harding, owner of Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers.

It’s very dangerous, and in some states even illegal, to drive with a dog in the back of a pickup truck. People always seem to think that the dog will enjoy the ride and that it cools a hot dog off. That is simply not true and is especially dangerous for small dogs like miniature schnauzers.  Not only can flying debris cause serious injury, but a dog may be unintentionally thrown into traffic if the driver suddenly hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car. According to Hardinhaus.com dogs should ride either in the cab or in a secured crate in the bed of the truck. Dogs and trucks make great companions as long as safety is the first consideration.

About Hardinhaus.com

Marian Harding and Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers have provided breeding quality Schnauzers since 1980. Puppies come with health and temperament guarantee. Services offered include puppies, stud service and adult dogs. Hardinhaus has been a Member of AMSC (American Miniature Schnauzer Club) since 1990.

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