Pet Knowledge Base

Go Pets America is committed to the health and welfare of all pets because we believe that pet ownership provides us with an immeasurable enrichment of our souls. This pet Knowledge Base is a resource of information developed, partially, in response to pet owners who write us with genuine concerns about the health, training and behavior of their precious pets. We would appreciate your comments on any article in our Knowledge Base.

Children - Service dogs for families who have children with autism

Q: I was at my local austism society meeting and they spoke of how you can train dogs for people with autism. Our son is 13 years old, we are very anxious to know more about this. We live in Chicago, IL. Please tell me more!!! Thank you.

A: In 1996, Heather and Chris Fowler partnered with Danielle Forbes to open the National Service Dogs Training Centre Inc (www.nsd.on.ca). The non-profit registered charity is the only facility in North America that focuses on providing service dogs to families who have children with autism. The organization's primary objective is to improve the quality of life for families living with autism and special needs, while enhancing a child's independence. The breeding program is where it all begins. More information about service dogs trained for families who have children with autism can be found on Cambridge Times (www.cambridgetimes.ca)

Dog Training - Puppy nipping and biting

Q: I would like to know if anyone has any tips on training havanese. I have a 2 months havanese and she seems to be getting more aggressive in biting peopel's arms, hands, fingers and feet. I would like to know if there's anything I can do to help her go through the teething process without developing aggressive biting habits. Thanks.

A: We hope that the information below will help you train your Havanese puppy: Puppy Nipping and Biting

Dog Behavior - Puppy eating dirt, rocks, non-food materials

Q: My German Shepherd puppy has a very bad habit of eating mud and dirt. Can some one suggest me how to get rid of this habit of hers.

A: If your German Shepherd puppy eats non-food materials, it may indicate an underlying health condition or a behavioral problem. For additional information, please read the article on our website at: Eating Dirt, Rocks, Non-Food Materials, Pica. We recommend that you consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health disorders in your puppy: some of them can be serious.

Dog Behavior - Yorkie from hell

Q: My Yorkie is a troubled little fellow that loves to pee everywhere but outside. He barks at any little sound in the house (Like a footstep!). He doesn't eat dog food unless we bring it to him behind the sofa. He hates going outside. I bought 4 books on training this pup but there is no hope. Can you help me??


A:Firm, consistent training accompanied with large doses of patience usually works pretty well. The Yorkshire Terrier has an independent and lively spirit, which combined with its endless energy may require extra special patience when training. For additional information, please read the articles on our website at: Yorkie from hell

Dog Health - Lump on a dog's head

Q: WE are looking to buy this beautiful female yellow lab but she has a bump on the top of her head. It causes her no pain and the breeder said it could be a saline cyst or a split bone. Do you think it would be a problem? It is getting smaller since she was born. She is now about 10 months old but no one wants her because of the bump. It is not huge either. Thanks for your advice.

A: There are lots of explanations for a lump on a dog's head. Some are harmless such as a calcium deposit and others are more serious such as a cancerous tumor. Whatever the possibilities are you must have this dog checked by a veterinarian. No sense speculating when it might be serious. For additional information, please read the article on our website at: A Lump on a Dog's Head

Dog Health - Pekingese coughing and gagging

Q: My 7 month old Pekingese Sandy seems to have something caught in her throat. Not all of the time, but twice now since we have had her. She will start making this terrible coughing/gagging noise like she can't breathe, it sounds really dry and hollow like a kid with whooping cough. What could this be? Dehydration? PLEASE HELP I LOVE HER!!!!

A: Coughing and gagging is sometimes caused by a blockage of the airway. Open your puppy's mouth and look inside. Give it some liquid to drink. Stroke her neck and throat to feel if there are any lumps which might be causing a blockage. For additional information, please read the article on our website at: Pekingese puppy coughing and gagging.

Dog Health - Pekingese sudden death

Q: My puppy of 8mos months just died suddenly. We were playing last week and he ran to the other room and yelped, as I ran into the room I picked up my little boy as he was on his last breath of life. The Vet claimed he was totally healthy. He had fainted on me at 5 mos of age, the vet said he was a little anemic, his right lung lobe was collapsing and he had a bit of pneumonia. The follow up x-ray was fine. At 8mos old, for a healthy puppy to die is just devastating to me. I didn't want an autopsy performed on his as I felt that his little life was always at the vet being poked at and needles here and there. Has this happened to anyone out there? I'm heartbroken.

A:There does not appear to be any genetic problems with young Pekingese dogs and sudden death health problems. In fact, the average lifespan for the Pekingese dog is 9-15 years. Older Pekingese dogs may suffer from a heart valve disease called "Mitral Valve Regurgitation." This condition causes a malfunction in the valve on the left side of the heart. Because of the leaky valve, the heart is less efficient at pumping blood to the body. This disease is a leading cause of heart failure in small dogs but it usually doesn't become a problem until the dog is about 6 years old. For additional information, please read the articles on our website at: Pekingese sudden death and Sudden death in dogs - causes and prevention

Dog Training - Pomeranian potty training

Q: I just got myself a Pomeranian. She is 5months old. I am house breaking her to use potty training pads but lately she has been pulling it and tearing it apart what can I do to stop her from doing that?

A:If your Pom's natural instinct to shred the potty pads exhausts your disciplinary patience, there are several commercial products that are made to keep the potty pads in place and deter dogs from moving or chewing them. These products are made of durable construction materials, and weighted to resist movement. Some claim to be easy to clean. For additional information, please read the articles on our website at: Pomeranian potty training problems and Puppy Housetraining - What Really Works