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The Schnauzer – Sturdy, Fun and Intellingent!

The Schnauzer is a sturdy, heavy-set dog, built with good muscle and plenty of bone; square-built in proportion of body length to height. His rugged build and dense harsh coat are accentuated by the hallmark of the breed, the arched eyebrows and the bristly mustache and whiskers. Schnauzers are sociable companions and vigilant watchdogs. They’re great family dogs, good with kids and protective of loved ones of all ages.  

Schnauzers are usually salt and pepper or black

Schnauzers may be either pepper and salt or pure black. The pepper and salt coloring is a combination of black and white hairs, and white hairs banded with black. Pepper and salt coloring can range from dark iron gray to silver gray.

Pepper and salt-colored Schnauzers should have a gray undercoat, but a tan or fawn-colored undercoat is also a variant. It's also desirable for the facial mask to be darker and to complement the coat color. Sometimes, the pepper and salt colorations fades out to a light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under the throat, across the chest, under the tail, and on the legs and belly.


Black Schnauzers have a dark, rich color that isn't discolored or mixed with any gray or tan hairs. The undercoat should also be black. As the dog ages or if he's exposed to sunlight a great deal, the black may fade and become a bit discolored. 

Miniature schnauzers are also very popular in the last few decades and look like the Standard, just a literal miniature version. Their wire coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus scissoring and shaping (clipping for pets and stripping for show dogs) every couple of months.

Schnauzers need their daily exercise

This energetic breed can have its exercise requirements met with a moderate walk on leash or a good game in the yard. Even though it can physically survive living outdoors in warm to temperate climates, it emotionally needs to share its life with its family inside the home. But, make sure they have their yard space or an outdoor daily activity to satisfy their daily needs.

Schnauzers have a strong personality

Schnauzers do have strong personalities and can be stubborn. They have an uncanny way of determining your weaknesses and will take advantage of you whenever possible. If you're not careful, they'll rule the household; this is a breed that requires consistent and firm guidance from owners.

Schanuzers are affectionate and protective of family members. He's territorial and will alert you to the presence of strangers with a deep bark. Once you welcome someone into your home, however, he'll accept them as well. He loves to be the center of attention.

As with every dog, Schnauzers need early socialization and exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences, especially when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Schnauzer puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.  Schnauzers aren't especially fond of unknown dogs and may be aggressive toward them, but they can get along well with dogs and cats they're raised with. Keep smaller pets like mice, rats, hamsters and similar pets safely away from your Schnauzer as  his instinct to be a rat-catcher is still strong!

Schnauzers get along well with children of all ages

Schnauzers generally get along well with children of all ages, playing gently and kindly with younger ones.  As always, teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how good-natured, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

Schnauzers aren't especially fond of unknown dogs and may be aggressive toward them, but they can get along well with dogs and cats they're raised with at home. Keep pet mice, rats, hamsters and similar pets safely away from him. His instinct to be a rat-catcher is still strong!

Schnauzers are healthy dogs

In general, Schnauzers should be sturdy and free of health problems. The incidence of hip dysplasia, which was once a major concern, has been brought under control by responsible owners through testing and selective breeding.  The miniature schnauzer can be susceptible to cataracts and inherited eye diseases, as well as to urinary tract infections and pancreatitis. If you are considering making a miniature schnauzer part of your life, you should research the health concerns associated with this breed and discuss potential problems with the breeder.

As always, even if you really want a Shnauzer, try your best to adopt one to bring into your home. You and your Schnauzer will be happy that you did!


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Hip Dysplasia in Dogs – Uncomfortable but Manageable

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases in dogs. Gender does not seem to be a factor, but some breeds are more likely to have the genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia than other breeds. Large breeds, such as the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador retriever and German Shepherd are most commonly affected.  It is rare for smaller breed dogs to have the condition.   Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition resulting from an improperly formed hip joint. Because the joint is loose, the dog's leg bone moves around too much, causing painful wear and tear.

Hip Dysplasia symptoms can go from mild to severe


Some cases of hip dysplasia are so mild there are no symptoms, but if your dog seems stiff or sore in the hips when getting up, if he seems hesitant to exercise, stand on his hind legs or climb stairs, or if he’s limping or bunny-hopping, a visit to the vet is in order.  Some of the more obvious symptoms are difficulty in getting up; your dog’s reluctance to run, jump, or climb stairs, and hobbling.


Dog hip replacement now


Hip Dysplasia can start as a puppy


Each case is different, depending on the dog. Hip dysplasia can begin to develop in puppies of five months old and worsen as they age or not show up at all until a dog has reached geriatric years. In many cases, though, the condition becomes visible in dogs in their middle or later years.


How to determine if your dog has hip dysplasia


If you notice any of the symptoms above, it is important to take your dog to your veterinarian for an x-ray.  Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your dog, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis. Inflammation due to joint disease is usually noted in the complete blood count.


As part of determining the physical symptoms, your veterinarian will also need a thorough history of your dog's health, onset of symptoms, and any possible incidents or injuries that might have contributed to your dog's symptoms. Any information you have on your dog's parentage will be helpful as well.


Treatment for hip dysplasia


Because hip dysplasia is caused by an inherited defect, there are no products that can prevent its development. There are several surgical options, including a complete hip replacement. However, a combination of healthy diet, maintaining a normal weight, exercise, massage, warm and dry sleeping areas, joint supplements, anti-inflammatories and pain-relieving medication can help

manage the condition. Your vet will help you with a daily pain-relieving program that is right for your dog.


Short, flat walks and mild exercise are usually the recommend for dogs with hip dysplasia


As always, you should consult your veterinarian about a good exercise program for your dog. Walking and moderate running can help strengthen the muscles around the joint. Your vet may recommend that you try a few short walks each day and be sure to let your dog set the pace. As a general rule, it’s smart to avoid jumping or running for long distances. If you can, consider letting your dog swim for exercise as swimming is excellent for the muscles surrounding his joints.


Hip Dysplasia can sometimes be treated without surgery


Your dog might be treated on an outpatient basis as long as he or she does not require surgery. The decision for whether your dog will undergo surgery will depend on your dog's size, age, and intended function (i.e., whether your dog is a working dog, as many large breeds tend to be). It will also depend on the severity of joint looseness, degree of osteoarthritis, your veterinarian's preference for treatment and your budget.


A total hip replacement is done in mature dogs that are not responding well to medical therapy and that are suffering from severe osteoarthritis. In this surgery the ball of the hip joint is removed, leaving muscles to act as the joint.


Weight control is extremely important in dogs with bad hips


Weight control is an important aspect of recovery and is recommended to decrease the pressure applied to the painful joint as the dog moves. You and your veterinarian will need to work together to minimize any weight gain associated with reduced exercise during recovery.  Further, special diets designed for rapidly growing large-breed dogs may decrease the severity of hip dysplasia.  It’s always important for dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia to keep their weight in a normal range to avoid undue pressure on their hips.



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How to Detect and Treat Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mites in cats are very common and can be treated and detected upon onset. Ear mites are microscopic parasites which can infect the ears of a cat. They like to live in the warm, dark environment of the cat’s ear canal where they feed on skin debris. The mites create irritation and itchiness, which cause the cat to scratch its ears which can then cause problems such as skin infections or a swollen ear flap, which need veterinary attention.

Catching and treating ear mites quickly can avoid problems later and ensure a healthy, happy cat.  Below are the most common symptoms of ear mites in your cat:


 1. Excessive scratching of the ears

 2. Fresh or dried blood inside of the ear canal which may resemble coffee grounds.


3. Small white or black dots which are the actual mites.


4. Excessive shaking of the head


5. Dizziness and loss of balance


6. Flattened ears and/or unpleasant odor



Check my ears A.S.A.P


Look out for excess wax in your cat’s ears


Ear mites cause the lining of the ear canal to produce excessive amounts of wax. This wax is typically a dark brown/ black color, and can sometimes look like waxy dirt in the ear.  A cat with healthy ears will have minimal earwax. If you see something that looks like coffee grounds or flecks of black dirt in the ear, this is a sign of a possible ear health problem.

The cat's ear produces this wax as a defense against the impact of the infestation.  You can sometimes also detect a foul smell coming from your cat’s ear.


If you suspect your cat has ear mites, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately


Ear mites are not just found in cat’s ears but this yucky parasite can travel all over the cat's body. Without treatment, your cat's ear mite infestation can spread to other cats or dogs in your home. All family pets have to be treated if mites are found on just one animal. That's why a trip to your veterinarian should be scheduled if you suspect ear mites.

Ear mites are extremely tiny and not always visible to the naked eye, so a vet will have to examine your cat's ears with a special instrument known as an otoscope.  A secondary infection can result if the ear mite infestation is not treated. The sooner you bring your cat to the vet, the better.

Treatment and prevention of ear mites

First you must treat the ears. Clean your cat's ears, then apply ear mite drops to the ear canal for seven days. Ear mite medications are safe and can even be applied to kittens. Your vet will probably begin the treatment after diagnosis and then have you continue applying the drops from home over the next week.

Because mites can be located outside the ear area, the entire body of the cat should also be treated. Your cat should be bathed with an anti-parasite shampoo. These products are available everywhere - pet stores, on-line or from your vet.

One of the most effective treatments for ear mites in your cat is prevention.  There are different topical solutions on the market that your vet can recommend which prevent ear mites.  If you apply an ointment to your cat’s ears’ monthly, it is unlikely that he or she will ever get ear mites.

The duration of ear mites in your cats

The ear mite life cycle from eggs to adult takes about 21 days. From the time your cat becomes infected to the time the ear mites reach maturity, your cat might be infested with hundreds or thousands of mites.   But, again, this can be treated.

Make sure to check all your pets for ear mites

If you have more than one pet and suspect one of them has ear mites, check all their ears. Ear mites spread easily between animals if they sleep together or groom each other.  If you only treat the affected animal, it might be that other pets harbor the parasite but don't show signs, and can act as a reservoir for re-infection.

 If one pet has ear mites, it is more than likely that you will need to treat all the pets in the house to get rid of the infection.

 If you check your pets’ ears regularly and make sure they are clean, you are likely to beat ear mites before they get to your cat.



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 Marks July as Lost Pet Prevention Month!

Petpav is partnering with PetHub to get the word out as they mark July, 2015 as “Lost Pet Prevention” month.  Summer is here in full force and we pet owners are much more inclined to be outdoors with our pets, either walking them, playing with them or at outdoor festivities.  When we aren’t outdoors, our cats and dogs love to run outside to enjoy the warm temperatures.  It is vital that this month (and always) that your pet has the proper identification in case your pet gets lost or runs outdoor.

Below are some tips to help prevent your pet from getting lost:

Make sure your pet ALWAYS is wearing identification


Every cat or dog needs to have some sort of identification on them at all times.  Even if your pet is microchipped, it does not necessarily mean that your cat or dog can be found that easily.  Not all rescues and/or vets have a way to easily scan your pet’s information and a physical id is much easier to read.  If someone finds your lost pet and see a physical identification tag, they can just call you immediately with very little effort involved.


Take a look at this great infographic showing the benefits of physical ID Tags.



petpav picture of chart



Always have your pets’ medical records handy and/or stored digitally


PetHub offers not only physical identification tags but they have a way to store your pets’ medical records digitally.  

This is such a lifesaver as you don’t have to call your veterinarian immediately if your pet gets out and/or has special needs. It’s always nice to have a digital way to get to your cat or dog’s medical history as opposed to hard copies.

Secure your home’s surrounding to make a ‘pet escape’ difficult


With summer here and your dog outdoors much more than normal, make sure to check your home inside and out so your dog can’t escape.  Secure your gate if you have a home.  If a neighbor drops by, make sure that you don’t leave the door open long enough for your pet to escape.  If you open a screen door and/or have a patio, watch your pets while they relax outside in the sun.

Train your dog or cat that running outside (without you) is unacceptable


If you train your dog and/or cat from an early age that running out the front door is not allowed, your pets are more apt to stay inside. And, when outside, make sure that your dog has the proper leash and training so that he or she doesn’t run away from you if he sees something enticing.


If your pet does get out, start the search for your pet immediately.


If your pet does get out, start searching for your pet right away as he or she will have not traveled as far. Thoroughly search your surrounding property and continue in the direction that your pet was last seen. Go door-to-door, starting close by initially, moving further out later.


Bring a flashlight and check EVERYWHERE: in closets, cupboards, and all accessible spaces inside your home; behind the cars, inside pipes and culverts, in heavy brush, sheds, basement crawl spaces, open garages, under decks. Your pet may be stuck somewhere, extremely frightened, or injured and lying low. For lost cats and other climbing critters, check trees, roofs, and attics.


Leave food or a favorite toy outside your door


If you leave food out, hopefully your dog or cat will smell it and come running back if they haven’t ventured too far. This is especially true of cats who seem to come out of hiding if there is food involved or if they are just merely frightened.

Help us spread the word about declaring July as “Lost Pet Prevention Month”!  Make sure your pets are protected by having the proper protection.  You can get a pet identification tag directly form and find great articles and more detailed information about protecting your pet!


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How to Keep Your Pets’ Safe and Happy on the 4th of July

While we pet owners love the 4th of July and usually partake in the festivities, it can be a very scary time for pets.  It is fair to say that most dogs and cats are afraid of the fireworks and/or just even the loud sounds that they might hear outside.  And if you decide to take your dog with you to an outdoor event, you need to keep an eye on your dogs at all times.  The 4th of July is also a time when a lot of pets try to escape and/or get lost so it is important for pet owners to remember their responsibilities. 

Below are some safety reminders for you and your pets for the 4th of July holiday:

  • Make sure all pets, even indoor cats, are wearing a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and telephone number. A microchip is also a good idea. Terrified animals may end up miles from home or deep under a neighbor’s porch. This simple precaution will save a lot of anguish, time, and energy if your cat or dog gets out of the house.

  • Walk your dogs in the early evening, right before fireworks begin to prevent stress from noises and to tire them out so they can sleep the night away.  The calmer and more tired they are during the night will help minimize their stress.

Happy 4th of July Pets

Are the fireworks over?

  • During neighborhood firework displays, keep all cats and dogs safely inside. Dogs and cats who are scared of noises should be put into a bathroom or other room with a secure door no windows. A screen door will not keep a nervous dog inside. It is better not take a dog to watch a large commercial firework display as it only increases the chances of him or her becoming lost in an unfamiliar area.

  • It is safer to keep your pets at home during Fourth of July celebrations instead of bringing him to your neighbor's party. Keep your pets inside your home and not in your yard. Your pets will be a lot happier indoors, and not tempted to leap over a fence to find you.

  • Dogs can be startled by the loud noise of fireworks. Once the festivities begin, keep your dog or cat in a safe room where he can feel comfortable. If your dog is crate trained put your dog in his crate covered with a blanket to make him feel secure.  Make sure all your pets shave a go-to spot where they can feel secure aka their safe haven.

  • Try to block the outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television. Play soothing music in the background to counteract the noise of the fireworks.  Put the air conditioning or fan on to help drown out the noise.

  • If your dog or cat seems overly anxious, spend some time with your beloved, speaking soothingly to help your dog or cat to relax. There are also some natural calming solutions on the market that you can give to your pet (but no sedatives)!

  • Make sure to keep all the sparklers, candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach.  If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets and you will need to take your pet to the vet immediately.

  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.  Another reason to keep your pets inside.

As much as you want to be with your pet(s) on the fourth of July, remember crowded fireworks displays are no fun for cats or dogs, so it’s best not to take them along to your 4th of July festivities.  Keep your beloved cats and dogs safe at home in a quiet, sheltered area where your cat or dog can’t escape.  They will be fine if you just make sure they have a safe place to reside during the short-lived firework celebration and a place to hide where they feel comfortable.


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