Do Dogs Like To Swim

Trago Loved The Water
Trago was my swimming buddy.

I’m sure that just like not every person likes to swim, not every dog is a swimmer.  But yes, plenty of dogs do like to swim.

Over the years I have had plenty of experience with dogs that like to swim. My pit bull was the biggest swimmer of them all.

Born To Swim

Some dog breeds were actually bred for the water. Whether it be for hunting and retrieving or for rescue, these breeds love the water.

  • American Water Spaniel
  • Boykin Spaniel
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Chsapeake Bay Retriever
  • Curly-Coated Retriever
  • Flat-Coated Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • Barbet
  • English Setter
  • Lagotto Romagnolo
  • Newfoundland
  • Otterhound
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Standard Poodle

I’m sure there are probably more breeds that were bred for water activities. Just remember, even though these breeds were bred for water doesn’t mean that an individual dog is going to love the water.

Here are a couple of breeds not necessarily bred for water but might like it anyways. And again, I’m sure that there are more breeds that like water.

  • Miniature American Eskima
  • Boxers
  • Labradoodle
  • Pit bulls
  • Pug
  • Chihuahua

Not So Good Swimmers

Some dog breeds just were not built to swim. And some of them HATE the water. Here are a few dog breeds that probably won’t be your swimming buddy.

  • Papillion
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Dachshund
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Greyhound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Shih Tzu
  • Bull Dog
  • Maltese
  • Basset Hound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Pug
  • Chihuahua

Now, I know that I have Pug and Chihuahua on both lists. That is because I had both of these dogs. Because of their build, Pugs have a hard time swimming. But my little boy loved to play in the shallows. My Chihuahua girls would play in a kiddy pool or in the bathtub. Open waters like a lake or river would scare the crap out them.

Keeping Them Safe

Just like we take precautions to keep our children safe around water, we need to also make sure our pets are safe. Making sure your pool has a fence around it with a locked gate is a great first step to keeping everyone safe. Make sure that you have stairs or a ramp for your dog to easily get in and out of the pool. Always be in the water with your dog – dogs get tired quickly and may need help to get out.

We teach our kids to not go near the water without an adult, so train your dog to stay away from water. I know that is easier said than done. But, it can be done.

If you are swimming in fresh waters like a lake or river, be mindful of currents that could sweep your pup away. Swimming in the ocean can be dangerous too. Watch out that your dog doesn’t go out to far and get caught in waves.

We put floaties and life jackets on our kids. There are life jackets made just for dogs. You can find them most anywhere. Even if your dog is a great swimmer, I would recommend a life jacket.

Wherever you are swimming with your dog, make sure that you bring fresh water to drink and a towel. Dog’s can over heat easily and putting a wet towel on your pup’s tummy can help to cool him off.

Emergency

Dogs can panic in and around water. Kids screeching in fun, the sound of a boat passing by, the touch of a fish swimming by, and many other things could scare your dog. These things could cause your dog to panic and stop swimming, which would cause them to start to drown. How would you handle this situation? Do you know what to do?

The first thing is to stay calm. It’s hard I know, but staying calm will help you to get to your dog faster. Pull your dog out of the water and pick him up by his back legs to drain any water that is in the lungs. If your dog is not breathing check for a heart beat.

If there is no heart beat then you will have to start CPR. Continue CPR for a minute and check for a heart beat and breathing. If there is none continue CPR until you reach a veterinarian.

Even if you don’t have to do CPR on your pup, please bring him to the veterinarian right away. The poor thing could go into shock.

Conclusion

Yes, plenty of dogs like to swim. And swimming with our four-legged kids can be lots of fun. Take steps to make sure everyone is safe and stay vigilant.

If you are looking for a swimming buddy don’t get discouraged because you had your heart set on a Dachshund. I have seen Dachshunds swimming in pools – with life jackets on and loving it. Even though there are two different breeds lists, any individual dog could love to swim….or not.

 

 

 

 

 

A License For Your Dog

We all have a license or some type of picture ID, right?  So, why not get a license for your dog? No, I’m not talking about the license that you need from your town office. I’m talking about an actual picture ID just like yours.

Where do you get a license for your dog, you ask?

Pet DMV

Pet DMV can make your dog’s license look just like any of the 50 States IDs or those of Canada. Because the company is based here in the US, your pup’s ID will normally be shipped out with in 24 hours of placing the order. Oh, and it only takes about 5 minutes to design and place your order.

Plus, it’s cheaper than getting your own driver’s license! For only $19.99 you will receive an actual license size ID that fits in your wallet, plus 3 key chain IDs. And there is no shipping cost! How awesome is that?

Pet DMV has a 100% lifetime guarantee. And the best part?…. A portion of each sale goes back to pets in need! That’s what I call a win-win!

So, hey, go check them out and get a license for your dog!

 

Why Do Pit Bulls Frog Leg

 

Trago Frog Leg
Mr Frog Butt

Your pit bull laying like a frog is normal.  It’s rather common, in fact.

I think a pittie’s frog legs is very cute! Though the first time I saw my boy laying like a frog, I was very nervous. I had never seen a dog lay like that before. But then he did it again and again, so I figured it must not hurt him.

He laid like a frog so often that I started calling him Frog Butt. Though it is more commonly known as ‘splooting’.

3 Different Sploots

There is the Classic Sploot where one leg is kicked back while the other leg is tucked beneath the body.

Then there is the Side Sploot which can be on either side. This is where one leg is under the body and the other leg is kicked out to the side, and the dog is often laying with one hip on the ground.

Finally, there is the Full Sploot which I think is adorable. This is when your dog lays with both legs kicked out behind her body, showing a full body stretch.

It Can Be A Healthy Position

Here is one reason why pit bulls frog leg.  When your pit bull lays down with his frog legs, it relaxes his hips and legs. This position helps to stretch out the hip and leg muscles.

Plus laying flat out on a cold floor or out in the dirt in hot weather can help to keep your pup from over heating.

Younger dogs tend to sploot more then senior dogs due to the fact that they have better flexibility.

Splooting Due To Pain

Image result for pit bull splootsHere is another reason why pit bulls frog leg.   A dog may sploot to relieve pain in his/her joints.

Hip dysplasia, ataxia, arthritis, osteoarthritis, torn ligaments, and trauma caused by injury are some possible health reasons why your pit bull might sploot.

If so, then pay attention to the way he/she walks and if he/she shows signs of being in pain. If you think that your dog is frog legging for the wrong reasons then please call your veterinarian.

Though seeing cute little Frog Butts is entertaining, please make sure that your pup is healthy. Feel free to share pictures of your fur baby splooting!

I know that it’s not just pit bulls that lay like a frog.  It’s just that personally I have only seen pit bulls lay like this.  I’m sure that any dog can lay like this and be cute as heck.  I’ve even heard that cats like to frog leg….

What Is Pets For Patriots

Around 3million animals do not make it out of shelters alive each year. This is roughly equal to the population of the state of Iowa. 1 in 5 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans suffer from depression, and are high risk for suicide. Pets can help relieve depression by giving their unconditional love and acceptance. Pets give us a renewed sense of purpose in our lives. Pets for Patriots has helped with over 1,817 pet adoptions to the men and women of our military.

https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/animed/mwd/PublishingImages/100827-A-WT475-003[1]%20MWD%20Bodie%20with%20handler%20US%20Army%20Specialist%20Rivera.JPG

Their Vision

Pets For Patriots wants to end animal homelessness in the United States by giving our military and their families the extraordinary love of a companion pet. They can make this vision happen with the help of their nationwide shelter and veterinary networks, along with military and veteran organizations. Also, with the help of a public that values the lives of the most vulnerable and the most heroic among us.

Their Mission

  • To work with the animal welfare community.
  • Be a voice for animals in shelters.
  • Bring hope to the hopeless.
  • To help veterans to be able to afford a pet.
  • To share their love.

Pets for Patriots mission is to give the gifts of fidelity, joy and love to both veteran and pet through companion animal adoption.

How It Started

Beth Zimmerman grew up in a home that adopted dogs from the local shelter. She had a passion for animals and vowed that she would one day find a way to rescue them all. Beth believes that every shelter animal deserves to know the love of a forever family.

Beth also grew up with parents that taught her to respect our nation’s service members, military families, our veterans, and our nation’s history. So, with the respect of our military and love of animals, Beth founded Pets for Patriots in 2009.

In the fall of 2017, Beth adopted a senior pit bull/boxer mix named Benny. And to this day, Beth continues to dream of saving every animal in shelters across the United States.

 

Every 8 seconds a shelter animal is killed because no one adopted them. 20 veterans commit suicide every day. Saving lives is the goal for the people at Pets for Patriots. It should be a goal that we all strive for. The men and women of our military deserve to have a fury friend that would love them unconditionally, and could be the one thing that saves his/her life. And the deserted unwanted animals deserve to know a kind hand, and the love of a forever family.

Please, if you know a veteran or someone currently in the military and you think they could benefit from having a cat or dog around to love them, then please get in touch with Pets for Patriots. You could be helping to save lives…..

 

 

 

 

 

How To Boost Your Dog’s Mood

We all know that dogs (or any pet) can have a very positive effect on our mental health. Just seeing a dog makes me smile. Petting a dog helps to ease my anxiety. But, how do we know if we are making our dogs happy? Pay attention to your dog’s face, eyes, ears, and body. By knowing your pit bull’s expressions and body language, you will be able to tell when he’s happy and liking what’s going on.

Pit Bulls & Itty Pitties - FB

Doggie Mood Boosters

Make a puzzle toy: Pit bulls like to let you know how smart they are. Brainteasers are good for your dog on a regular basis. A puzzle will give your pup something fun to think about and keep her busy for a while. There are plenty of DIY dog puzzle toys out there. Though you might want to start your pit bull on an easy toy and work her up to more difficult ones. Easy toy: grab a muffin tin and add kibble or broken up treats in the holes. Cover some of the holes with tennis balls or other toys that will fit, so your dog can move the toys around and to find the goodies underneath.

Upbeat voice: When rewarding or praising your pit bull for good behavior make sure to use a happy, upbeat voice. (I used this kind of voice most of the time, unless my pit bull had been naughty, then I just used my regular voice.) By using a positive, upbeat voice, your dog will feel happy and motivated. Using positive reinforcements (happy voice) will help your pit bull want to willingly interact with you. Your happy voice = happy dog.

Get your dog moving: Exercise is good for the mind and the body. And not just yours. Your pit bull will benefit from exercise. There are plenty of activities to do with your dog to get him proper exercise. Walking, swimming, playing ball, jogging, are all wonderful things to with your four-legged best buddy. Dogs who get enough daily exercise also tend to get enough sleep. Dogs that get plenty of rest seem to be less anxious.

Petting: Our dogs love to get pet and cuddled. Though not every dog likes to be scratched on the top of the head, or have their tails touched. So, pay attention to how and where you are petting your dog and your dog’s reaction. If her ears go back, or if she looks away and there’s tension on her face, then your dog probably does not like the way that you are touching her. Try to pet her somewhere else.

I know that all of you dog parents will do anything to make your pups happy. Give these mood boosters a try. If you notice that your dog seems down and these tricks don’t work, then please call your veterinarian.

If you have any other ways on how to boost your dog’s mood, please share!

 

How To Exercise A Pit Bull

If you have a pit bull, than you know that these dogs are high energy. If their energy isn’t released in a healthy way than they can turn into little energy tornadoes. Let’s explore different ways on how to exercise a pit bull.

HikingHiking – My boy would get so excited when I told him we were going to the mountain. He knew that meant hours of new smells, mud holes to play in, and lots of climbing. He even enjoyed winter hiking. Usually once we off the mountain and in the car, my pit bull was fast asleep and stayed that way the rest of the day and night.

Running – If you are a runner than you are in luck, most pit bulls love to run. Make sure that your dog is properly leash trained or he will try to drag you along. Take it slow at first. Start off with short runs and work your pit bull up to longer runs. Pay attention to his behavior and you will know when he’s ready to run longer.

Long Walks – Walking isn’t as high intensity so your dog might need walks that are longer than 30 minutes. Try to change your walking routes regularly. Walking on flat ground is ok, but try to get some hills in there to make your pit bull’s work out a little harder. Gotta walk that energy out of her.

FrisbeeFetch – Fetch is great if your pup needs a work out but you don’t. Some pit bulls like to play fetch with a ball and others prefer a Frisbee. They like the chase of a moving object. They also like to catch the object out of the air. There are some pit bulls that do awesome tricks with their human and a Frisbee.

Agility – I recently saw a video of a pit bull going through an agility course. The pup was fast. Agility courses make your dog use his brain and body to get through the challenges. It does take training, but once your pit bull knows what you want him to do, he will be happy to run the course for you.

Dog ParkDog Park/Play Date – If your pit bull is well-trained and socialized than a few hours at the dog park would be a great way for her to get some energy out. Dogs love to play with other dogs because they can play rougher than they can with their humans. If you don’t have a dog park near you than try a play date with another dog that your dog has had positive experiences with. Along with the energy release, this helps to keep the pups socialized.

Play With You – Your pit bull would love a play session with you. You can play chase or tug of war. A gentle game of wrestling would be fun for your pup. Be mindful of your pit bull’s behavior. You don’t want him to get rough, nipping could start to happen.

Sometimes I would just open the door and let my pit bull out in the yard to do zoomies. After a few minutes of running around like a crazy dog, he would ask to come back in and he would be relaxed the rest of the day. Other days he would need several zoomie sessions.

Trago Zoomies

Do you and your pit bull have a special energy busting activity that you do together? Let us know!

If you have any questions or concerns about your pit bull’s health or ability to do any of these activities, please contact your veterinarian.


Countries That Ban Pit Bulls

There are places all over the world that have banned or put restrictions on pit bulls and other wonderful dogs. Some restrictions have been in place for years, others are more recent.

Countries That Have Restrictions

  • Poland – Since 1997 pit bulls can only be kept if you follow thorough and effective precautions.
  • Denmark – Since 2011 you are not allowed to import, cultivate or sell pit bulls.
  • Finland – In 1999 there were restrictions put on the ownership of dangerous dog breeds.
  • Spain – In 2002 there were restrictions put on dangerous dogs. You have to have a license to house a pit bull. In order to get a license the owner must be of legal age, have no criminal background, he/she must be mentally and physically healthy, and you must get liability insurance for no less than 120,000 euros. ( which is $147,231.60 US Dollars)
  • Great Britain – Since 1997 there has been a ban on the purchase, sale,  Muzzleexchange of pit bulls. In order to own one, the dog must be leashed and muzzled while out in public. The dog must be registered, spayed/neutered, stamped and have a chip/ There must be insurance for the pit bull.
  • Ireland – In 1998 there were restrictions put in place for the ownership of dangerous dog breeds. The pit bull must be on a short leash and be muzzled in public. The dog must be licensed. Nobody under the age of 16 years old can walk the dog.
  • Italy – In 2003 there was a list of 92 dog breeds that were prohibited from being owned. In 2007 the list was shortened to include the dangerous dog breeds. Then, in 2009 the entire list was wiped away. Now, the law requires that ALL dog owners walk their dogs on a leash and muzzle them.
  • Romania – A restriction on the possession of dangerous dogs was put in place in 2002. In order to own a pit bull you must be 18 years old or older, and have a certificate from a psychiatrist and judicial resolution. Importing pit bulls is illegal.
  • Singapore – Since 1991 in order to own a pit bull, the dog must be Short Leashspayed/neutered and have a microchip. You must have insurance for no less than 100 00$. While out in public, the dog must be on a short leash and have a muzzle on.
  • Belarus – Since 2012, it has been required to keep pit bulls in such a place that they can’t get out, keep the dog on a leash or within a secured fenced area with a warning. The dog must wear a muzzle and a hard leash and collar. In order to walk a pit bull you must be at least 18 years old, and have a certificate of training courses on maintenance, breeding and caring for dogs.
  • New Zealand – Since 2003, pit bulls and other dangerous dog breeds have to be spayed/neutered and have mandatory microchipping. They must be muzzled and walked on a short leash.
  • Russia – A federal law was passed in 2011. Restrictions were placed on pit bulls. Disabled people can not home or walk a pit bull. Minors or people without a certificate of going through a special education are not allowed to house or walk the dogs. The dogs must be registered.
  • Ukraine – There has been restrictive laws on dangerous breeds (including pit bulls) since 1998. Now the list has more than 80 dogs on it. It is mandatory to have insurance on the dog. Muzzles, short leashes and microchipping are all a must.

Countries That Ban Pit Bulls

  • Germany – In 2001, pit bulls were officially prohibited.
  • Norway – In 2004, pit bulls were banned.
  • Switzerland – Banned pit bulls in 2010.
  • Israel – Since 2004 pit bulls have been banned from entering the country.
  • Turkey – Pit bulls and their mixes have not been allowed for sale, purchase, advertising, and exchange since 2004. Pit Bulls Prohibited
  • Canada – Ontario and Manitoba have a ban on owning pit bulls. (There is no nationwide ban on dangerous dogs.)
  • Bermuda Islands – There was an official ban on pit bulls in 2003.
  • Portugal – Ownership of pit bulls is banned.
  • Venezuela – Pit bulls and their mixes were banned in 2014 for import, sale, and breeding.
  • Puerto Rico – Since 1998 it has been prohibited to import, sell, be in possession of, and breed pit bulls.
  • Ecuador – Pit bulls have been prohibited since 2009.
  • Australia – It is prohibited to import pit bulls and other dangerous breeds into the country,

Note: There Are Other Dogs Banned

Just want to be clear that there are other dog breeds banned or have restrictions in the above countries. Here is a list of the most common restricted/banned dogs. These “dangerous dogs” are the most common throughout all of these countries.

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog A, B, C : American Bulldog, Alabai, Akita Inu, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Australian Dingo, Anatolian Karabash, Airedale Terrier, Alaskan Malamute, Bull Mastiff, Boerboel, Bandog, Bernese Sennenhund, Berger Picard, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, Cane Corso, Chowchow.

Doberman Pinscher D, E, F : Dogo Argentino, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo Canario, Dogue de Bordeaux, Danish Broholmer, Dalmatian, English Bull Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Fox Terrier.

 

 

 

 

German Boxer G, I, J : German Shepherd Dog, Great Dane, German Boxer, Gorski Hunting Dog, Irish Wolfhound, Japanese Mastiff.

 

 

 

 

Leonberger K, L, M : Karelian Bear Dog, Karst Shepherd, Kangal, Leonberger, Labrador Retriever, Mastino Neopolitano, Majorca Mastiff, Mittelschnauzer.

 

 

 

 

Rottweiler N, P, R : Newfoundland, Portuguese Sheep Dog, Portuguese Mastiff, Portuguese Mountain Dog, Rottweiler, Rhodesian Ridgeback.

 

 

Welsh Terrier S, T, W, Y : South Russian Shepherd, South African Boerboel, St Bernard, Siberian Husky, Tosa Inu, Tibetan Mastiff, Welsh Terrier, Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog.

 

Some of these dogs I have never heard of. There are some dogs on this list that I have had personal interactions with and they were wonderful.  I must stress that I don’t believe any breed of dog to be dangerous.  Dogs are not born dangerous, they are taught to be that way.

Conclusion

When I had the idea for this post, I was hoping that I wouldn’t find so many places around the world with pit bull bans/restrictions. I’m not even sure if I have all of the countries with bans/restrictions. I know that there are many other breeds that are in the same boat. It makes me sad to think about all of the discrimination that’s happening around the globe.

If I’m missing information that you think should be here, please let me know!

 

 

 

 

Pictures of Pit Bulls

There is so much negativity surrounding the pit bull breeds. We all see tons of pictures today that show pit bulls as loving family pets. Yet, there are still the naysayers. I want to show you all pictures of pit bulls from the past.

Old Pictures of Pit Bulls

I just love old photos!  Some of these photos have a smidgen of history with them.  If by any chance you might know something about any of these photos, please let us know!

This photo is from the 1907 – 1908 school year. The pit bull in the picture was the school’s mascot.
Old Pic Police Dog

 

Wow, I had no Idea that pit bulls were used as police dogs in the late 1800’s! That is just awesome!

 


Just a beautiful old photo of a child and their pit bull. It is said that pictures speak a thousand words. This picture speaks volumes!

 

 

 

Petey

 

 

Of course, we all know Petey from the Little Rascals! He had a wonderful career in TV. Petey was loved by everybody.

 

 

 

This picture was taken in the 1880’s. It is Little Irene Myers with her pit bull.

Below is Laural and Hardy in 1930. They were lovers of the pit bull breeds. Laural and Hardy

 

 

 

 

 

 


Seen here are members of the Colorado Air National Guard, with their mascot Jeff. Jeff has on a parachute. He made several jumps with the guardsmen. Jeff was died on August 16th, 1924. His parachute failed to open. What a brave dog!

Pit bulls have history not only in America. Left: Picture was taken in India in 1890. Below: Picture was taken in Norwich, UK in 1910.

Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are only a few of the many, many pictures of pit bulls in our history. They were wonderful family and companion dogs in the 1800s and early 1900’s. To this day they are still wonderful dogs to have in your home.

I know that a picture doesn’t tell the entire story.  But I’m pretty sure that these pictures of pit bulls tell a pretty good story.

I’m not sure exactly why or when pit bulls became such ‘horrible’ dogs.  I think that people as a whole need to really stop and consider why suddenly these dogs are so bad.

Products To Have On Hand When You Have A Dog

I realized real fast that no matter what breed of dog that you have, there are a few things that you will need all the time. I was cleaning the floors several times a day. No matter how well-trained a dog is, they still have potty accidents. It seemed to me the bigger the dog the more messes that were made.  So, I stock piled some products!

I DONT ALWAYS MAKE A MESS  BUT WHEN I DO I SIT LIKE A BOSS WHILE YOU CLEAN IT UP.  -photo credit to the owner #dogs #cats

Here is a list of products to have on hand when you have a dog:

Paper Towels – I went through so many paper towels. My pit bull didn’t seem to know or care where his wagging tail was, or what his big head was about to knock over. So many cups of coffee and dishes of food ended up on the floor thanks to his wiggly butt. I definitely needed a taller coffee table!

 

Swifter Wet Jet – With all of the dirty paw prints from the dogs running in and out all day, I invested in the Wet Jet. It made cleaning the floors easier on my back. Clean up was faster too.

 

Potty Pads – Sometimes I just didn’t make it home in time to let the dogs out. The little ones had a harder time holding it in. So potty pads came in real handy whenever I left the house without the pups!

 

Window Cleaner – Dogs love to leave nose prints on the windows. Sometimes they even like to lick the windows. Silly pups. Washing the windows was almost a daily activity.

 

These are the products that I made sure to have plenty of.  Do you have certain products that you keep on hand?  Or any suggestions to make clean up easier?

Bad Doggy Breath

Just like humans, dogs can have bad breath. My pit bull had the worst breath ever. Does your pit bull have bad doggy breath? Let’s find out why and what can be done about it!

What is the cause of bad doggy breath?

Gum DiseaseThe most common cause of doggy bad breath is usually dental or gum disease. However, there are other medical problems that can cause bad breath. There could be bigger medical issues in the mouth, or in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, or internal organs. Diabetes can also cause bad breath. If your dog’s bad breath is persistent, please bring him to the veterinarian for a checkup!

What can be done about bad doggy breath?

Take your pit bull to your veterinarian for teeth cleanings once or twice a year. Regular dental check ups and cleaning will help to keep your pup’s breath fresh. It will also help to prevent abscesses, infections, tooth decay, and any eating and behavioral issues caused by tooth pain. A doggy dental cleaning is very similar to a cleaning that we get when we go to the dentist.

Brushing TeethThis next one was very hard for me to do with my pit bull. He would lick all the paste off of the tooth brush and then steal the brush and play with it. Hope you have much better luck then I did! Brush your pit bull’s teeth everyday. It will take practice and patience, but an everyday brushing will help to keep bad breath away. Remember to reward your pit bull with a treat after to help let him know that brushing is a good thing.

Chew ToyMake sure that you give your pit bull plenty of things to chew on. A thick bone or a strong chew toy will help to keep her teeth strong and to break away calcified bacteria that causes tooth decay.

If you have any concerns about your pit bull’s breath, please call or visit your veterinarian.