Medical Monday,Medicine versus Mom

How Important is it for You to Understand Your Dog’s Hormones?

Hormones! This is a word we often hear blamed for adolescent, or immature behavior for humans, but rarely do we stop to realize that hormones play a major role in our pet’s lives as well. Understanding your dog’s hormones is a critical aspect of caring for their health.

When I was completing my Animal Science degree, the endocrine system was a topic we studied in almost every class. Hormones are so significantly related to our health and the health of our pets, yet they are often not discussed.

Therefore, Carol from Fidose of Reality and myself, are here to discuss with you the importance of hormones to your dog’s health and what you as a pet parent can do to help them maintain ideal levels.

Firstly, let’s clarify some terminology:

Horomones: “Hormones are chemical messengers that have many different functions. The effects of hormones in the body are wide-ranging and varied.” – The Merck Manual

Endocrine System: “The endocrine system consists of a group of tissues that release hormones into the bloodstream for travel to other parts of the body. Most endocrine tissues are glands (such as the thyroid gland) that release hormones directly into small blood vessels within and around the tissue.” – The Merck Manual

Basically, throughout the post, when we refer to a hormone we are referring to a specific hormone with a specific function, but the term endocrine system will refer to how the tissues and hormones work together. Some hormones affect only one tissue in the body, where other hormones actually affect many different systems in the body.

The Problem Children

In my veterinary experience, there were some hormones (or lack there of) that cause many patients a variety of health problems, and can lead to an endocrine system disease. Some of the most common endocrine-related diseases that I saw were:


According to Dr. Karen Becker, there are two ways that your dog can develop hypothyroidism. Either your dog’s body simply stops producing the normal amount of thyroid hormone, or your dog has an auto-immune response where their body is attacking their thyroid gland and depleting the body of the thyroid hormone.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include: Lethargy, Depression, Weight-gain, Dry skin or Hair Loss, or Chronic infections

Breeds Most Commonly Affected: Airedale Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dobermans, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Greyhounds, and Irish setters.


According to Pets.WebMD, diabetes can develop due to a lack of insulin production or a lack of response to insulin in the body. Most dogs with diabetes experience a lack of insulin production and need regular insulin injections. While the disease is manageable, it is important to be urgent and diligent about treatment and management of this disease.

Symptoms of Diabetes include: Increased Water Consumption, Increased Urination, Weight Loss, Change in Appetite, or Lethargy.

Breeds Most Commonly Affected: Australian Terriers, Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds, Poodles, Keeshonds and Samoyeds.

Cushing’s Disease

According to PetMD, Cushing’s disease is a disease associated with a benign tumor of the pituitary gland (occasionally on the adrenal gland) that causes hyperadrenocorticism. Hyperadrenocorticism describes a condition where there are excess levels of cortisone in the bloodstream, which interferes with the body’s metabolism and causes stomach upset and hypertension.

Symptoms of Cushing’s include: Lethargy, Increased water consumption, Obesity, Pot-bellied abdomen, Loss of hair & more

Breeds Most Commonly Affected: Poodle, Dachshund, German Shepherd, Terriers such as Yorkies and Dandie Dinmonts.

What Can You Do As a Pet Parent to Protect Your Dog’s Hormones?

1. Understand that many endocrine system diseases are treatable and manageable. Work with your veterinarian and their staff to come up with the best possible plan and solution for you and your pet.

2. Know what endocrine system diseases, if any, are common for your dog’s breed.

3. Understand the symptoms associated with the most common endocrine system diseases.

4. Don’t skip your dog’s annual exam! Because some endocrine system diseases affect the entire body, it is crucial to catch these diseases early.

5. Opt for the bloodwork. Pet’s can’t tell their veterinarian that their leg falls asleep every day, or that their experiencing some stomach pain. For this reason, bloodwork can be so important to assessing your dog’s health during an annual exam.

Just understanding the effect that hormone imbalances can have on your dog’s health is the first step to protecting them from endocrine system diseases.  

For Carol’s Mom perspective on this topic please visit her post at Fidose of Reality.

medicine versus mom

Daily Life with Pets,Health

How to Enrich Your Dog’s Life: PAW5 Rock N Bowl

I think that every pet parent wants to make sure that their dog’s life is as enriched as possible!

That’s why I want pet parents to know about PAW5.

PAW5 is dedicated to improving the life of every dog by providing the right amount of stimulation and enrichment for your dog’s life. Therefore, PAW5 has created thoughtful products that engage your dog’s mind and provide them with the necessary exercise to avoid boredom.

Boredom in dogs can be one of the number one reasons for behavioral problems and can strain your relationship with your dog. PAW5 keeps in mind that many pet parents work full-time and lead very busy lives. That’s why they created the #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge!

By using PAW5’s products (in addition to DIY and other activities) to learn, think and play with your dog, you can improve their mental, physical and emotional health.

“Dogs need enrichment, plain and simple. They need to interact with their environment, their humans, and other dogs in a number of different ways in order for them to grow and lead fulfilling lives. Presenting them with new challenges, toys, adventures, and opportunities is the key to having a happy and healthy dog, and we’re hoping our Enriched Life Challenge will show people how realistic and easy it can be.” –  PAW5TM Co-Founder, Dennis O’Donnell

PAW5’s Challenge shows pet parents that enriching a dog’s life is about more than just walks and exercise and every interaction with your dog is an opportunity to improve.

The #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge includes 6 different categories of enrichment so that pet parents can discover which one’s work the best for their pet.

1. Sensory

“This includes anything and everything that stimulates your dog’s senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. This is where playing in the grass, rolling in the dirt and splashing in water come in. You can also support this through TV programming, music and scent work.”

2. Feeding

“This is how you can make feeding time challenging, engaging and fun. It’s about putting hunting and foraging skills to use, employing the power of their nose and their brains to get to the good stuff!”

Check out Rooney using the PAW5 Rock N Bowl for dinner!

PAW5 Rock N Bowl from Rachel Sheppard on Vimeo.

3. Toys+Puzzles

“These products encourage your dog to engage and manipulate them to get the desired results…normally treats. But it also includes plush, rubber, rope and fetch toys, and the regular rotation of these so that your pup continues to engage with them.”

4. Environmental

“Adding something new to your dog’s environment can peak curiosity and sometimes increase physical activity. Build a ramp in the backyard, place a mirror in the living room, go play on a playground, go for a hike in the woods.”

5. Social Interaction

“Social Interaction with other people and other dogs builds trust and with other people and other dogs builds trust and self-confidence. Whether you are going to the dog park, to the pet store, in car, or to a friend’s house, engagement with new environments, new people and new dogs will help keep your pup well socialized.”

6. Training

“Training is an incredible time to bond with your dog, building trust, rapport, and some much needed listening skills. Whether you are training the basics or have moved on to trick training, the time spent doing this has great benefits for your dog and your relationship.”

Now that you know the 6 different ways that you can enrich your pet’s life, you can participate in the #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge!

Below is a schedule that you can use to complete the challenge for this week! Each day is designed to provide your dog with all 6 categories of enrichment throughout the day. For those of use who work full-time and aren’t home mid-day, move these times to adjust to your schedule and try as many as you can!

If you have social media, feel free to post videos and photos with the #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge on your social channels. However, please feel free to post updates in the comments, or send me an email with videos and photos to share at!






Challenge Prep

Now that you know all about how the challenge is going to work, you just need to do a little prep work!

Here are the items you will need in order to increase enrichment:

Supplies you’ll need from around the house:

  • An old tupperware or food container with lid
  • Peanut butter
  • A large tupperware or food container, no lid
  • Chicken broth
  • Cardboard box
  • Blanket and two chairs or a pop-up tunnel
  • Muffin Tin
  • Empty paper towel roll
  • Pillow case or dish towel
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper grocery bag

Supplies you may need to purchase:

  • Seven tennis balls
  • Rock ’N Bowl or any other food puzzle
  • Kong or any other treat toy
  • PVC pipe with holes

For DogTV and Mood Music:

Whether or not you participate in the challenge, PAW5 wants to give you the opportunity to make mealtime more fun and enriching with their Rock N Bowl!

Therefore, it’s GIVEAWAY time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for DogTV, so I may financially benefit from a paid subscription. Additionally, I received a PAW5 Rock N Bowl to try, but I shared it with my readers because I feel that it is a very good product. 

Daily Life with Pets

Can You Relate to Wanting to Bring Your Dog Everywhere? The Dog Parker Solution

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly looking for an excuse to bring Rooney with me everywhere I go. Mostly because my husband and I both work full-time so I want as much of my down time to include Rooney-friendly activities as possible.

While we all know that bringing your dog with you and leaving them in the car as you run errands is a non-option in almost every weather condition, tying your dog up outside a store in an urban area can be just as dangerous. However, the call of the urban dog parent is being heard by a New York company called Dog Parker.

According to the Wall Street Journal, New York is home to 1.1 million pets, which makes the Big Apple the perfect test market for a new urban pet parent solution. The Dog Parker is a collective of smart dog houses that are outside storefronts in NYC that focus on safety and comfort for your dog while you are inside.

When I first saw this device, I had many questions:

How do they keep it clean to avoid diseases and infections?

How do they regulate the temperature?

How do I know others won’t try to take my dog?

Turns out, the Dog Parker was designed with many of these same concerns in mind.

Dog Parker

How does it work?

Let’s say for example that you want to take your dog to the dog park, but on your way home, you need to pick up a few things at Whole Foods. You would then locate an available Dog Parker via the map on the app. Reserve a Dog Parker up to 15 minutes before you arrive, and unlock it with your cell phone. Then you can monitor the temperature, and view your pet via the webcam, while you are in the store.

Obviously, there are plenty more questions to be answered:

What if there is a power outage?

How does the Dog Parker lock? Can someone come and manipulate the lock?

Can someone break the glass?

However, I am excited to see that solutions are arising to allow people to spend more time with their pets while they get to be safe from dangerous temperatures.

Can you relate to wanting to bring your dog everywhere?

Would you adopt a solution like the Dog Parker?

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for a brief review of this product. My Kid Has Paws only shares products and services that we believe our readers want to know about. 

Daily Life with Pets

Dog-friendly Bay Area Pumpkin Patches

I don’t know about you, but I am looking for any excuse to bring Rooney with us to pick up pumpkins this year, but there aren’t many options in the Bay Area and many of the websites don’t indicate whether or not they are pet-friendly.

Therefore, I thought it would be nice to share with my fellow Bay Area readers the dog-friendly pumpkin patches in the Bay Area:

Best for Small Dogs

Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch, San Francisco: This adorable pumpkin patch is located in the Forest Knolls district in San Francisco. Pets are welcome, but they must be in your arms while on the lot.

For All Pets

Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm, Half Moon Bay: Farmer John’s site doesn’t explicitly say they are dog-friendly (at least I couldn’t find anything), so I sent them a Facebook message to find out for myself. Not only are they dog-friendly, but I was informed that are very pet-friendly:

We even have a few people bring their cats…and a couple parrot owners too!

So no matter what kind of animal you have, you can bring the whole family to visit Farmer John!

For the Dogs

Moore’s Pumpkin Patch & Christmas Trees, Dublin: This pumpkin patch has been in operation for over 30 years! They offer complimentary use of their wagons for picking out pumpkins and they offer free parking! On-leash, family-friendly dogs are welcome!

If You Want to Drive Outside the Bay Area

Cool Patch Pumpkins, Dixon: I went to school in nearby Davis. Although I never had an opportunity to visit this pumpkin patch, it was very well-known in the area. This awesome pumpkin patch is outside the Bay Area (close to Sacramento), but welcomes on-leash dogs to help pick out your pumpkins!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any more. I called several and Facebook messaged a few. Because many of these locations sell produce, they are limited to the animals they can invite on their farms.

If you live in the Bay Area, do you know of other dog-friendly pumpkin patches?

Daily Life with Pets,Products

Can You Relate: To The Fall Fever?

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the FALL!

Since I went to school for so long (7 years and 2 degrees after high school), the fall season always symbolizes a fresh start. Not to mention the beautiful colors of the leaves changing, the imminent feel of the holiday season, and football (which I love).

Do you love the Fall season as I do?

If so, you might like this list of 4 products I have my eyes on this season:

Unleash the Hounds Bandanas:

These beautiful bandanas just became my new favorite product! The new fall inspired bandanas are just too cute. Currently, I am loving the “Bears Bandana“, the “Adventure Awaits Bandana” and the “Autumn Bandana“. Additionally, if you love beautiful photography, I would take the time to follow unleash the hounds on Instagram.

P.L.A.Y (Pet Lifestyle and You) Outdoor Collection:

Their collection of outdoor dog beds and dog tents makes me want to plan a last minute Fall camping trip!

Outward Hound’s Hiking Gear:

Something about the Fall makes me want to go hiking. I just love being out in nature while the trees show off their ability to change colors and the air is light and crisp! When on long hikes, it’s nice to have compartments for both you and your dog. Outward Hound makes a great doggy hiking backpack, which allows you to bring all of your hiking essentials.

Give A Fluff Halloween Stickers:

I love Halloween and I love the designs from Give a Fluff. How cute is her adaptation of candy corn?

What Fall items are you loving right now?

Disclaimer: I am a P.L.A.Y affiliate. However, My Kid Has Paws only shares information we feel our readers would appreciate.