Last year, the VioVet blog covered some of the hottest topics in the dog world – everything from buying puppies responsibly, diabetes awareness and deaf dogs, to separation anxiety, brushing teeth and dogs with cancer. The success of some of these articles in terms of their received interest was forever surprising, with ‘How To..?’ guides coming up trumps and others (that were perhaps expected to do well), lagging somewhat behind in the interest stakes.

Because it’s hard to know what every dog owner wants to read about, we are always trying to cover the broadest range of topics possible, while continuing to focus on matters of health and life quality for the benefit of dogs everywhere. We hope you found last year’s articles helpful and informative and that this year we continue to deliver!

If you have any ideas/suggestions for future blog posts, or, if there is anything particular you need advice on, please get in touch! Feel free to email me directly with your ideas: [email protected].

Top 5 dog blogs of 2014:

#1 Choosing the right commercial diet for your dog (approx: 3,416 views)

With so many dog foods on the market nowadays, deciding which one is right for your dog can be a confusing process. Yes, variety is a good thing, but too much of it can make the decision more difficult. Dry or wet food? Commercial kibble or home-cooked? Leading brand or supermarket own? Breed or life stage specific? When it comes to dog food, navigating our options is a bit of a minefield.

Not everyone favours the commercial diet but there are plenty that do. While some are passionate about the benefits of alternative diets i.e. home-cooked or raw, others are incredibly satisfied with the standard of commercial diets out there and choose to feed them as a staple diet. If you fall into the latter category, hopefully this article will guide you through the sea of choice that is commercial dog food and encourage you towards opting for quality over price. In fact, switching to a more expensive diet might actually be more economical for you in the long-run...(Read on)

#2 How to brush your dog's teeth (approx: 3,249 views)

Brushing our teeth is part and parcel of our everyday routine and most of us wouldn't consider going a day without doing them. Why then should we expect our pets to be comfortable going days on end without having their teeth cleaned? Every day our mouths are subjected to millions of different germs, whether it’s from eating food or chewing pen ends and fingernails, and this is really no different for dogs whose days are also spent eating and chewing.

They might not be able to tell us if their mouths are hurting, but by checking regularly we should be able to detect inflammation for ourselves. Observing good oral hygiene is not just about preventing yellow teeth and bad breath, but avoiding more serious health implications such as heart, liver and kidney disease, which both humans and dogs can develop. Mouth cysts and tumours can also appear where oral hygiene is poor and these can be extremely uncomfortable and can make eating difficult...(Read on)

#3 How much exercise does my dog need? (approx: 3,123 views)

Several factors can influence the exercise needs of your dog, including its age, breed and state of health. The quality and quantity of exercise needed will vary as your dog ages or experiences periods of weight change or convalescence, so it is important to bear in mind that the exercise needs of your companion are subject to change.

Puppies of any breed require far less exercise than their adult counterparts. First-time owners have a tendency to over-exercise their puppies, which can be detrimental to the health of developing joints. If a puppy is over-exercised it will tire quickly and may be susceptible to early-onset arthritis. The Kennel Club suggests a suitable ratio of five minutes exercise for every month of age, for example, ten minutes for a puppy that is two months old, fifteen for a puppy that is three months old etc.

Observing this basic principle will ensure your dog remains at an optimum state of fitness and health throughout its early stages when it is most vulnerable...(Read on)

#4 Bloat and Gastric Torsion (approx: 2,130 views)

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a condition all dog owners know about and fear. Otherwise known as bloat or gastric/stomach torsion, the condition onsets quickly and can be fatal if left untreated. While it can affect any dog, it is far more prevalent in deep-chested, large breed dogs.

Full blown gastric dilatation-volvulus begins with bloat (dilatation) whereby the stomach swells with gas, fluid or food and develops into painful twisting and rotating of the stomach (volvulus), which is far more serious and difficult to treat. If bloat is detected early, the catastrophic effects of gastric dilatation-volvulus can be prevented...(Read on)

#5 Sergeant Stubby (approx: 1,756 views)

A century on from the Great War and here we take a look at one of its most decorated heroes. You may have heard of Sergeant Stubby – the Pit Bull/Boston Terrier mix that started out life as a stray and became the first and only dog to achieve the rank of sergeant during the First World War.

Named for the chopped appearance of his tail, Stubby spent his early life roaming the streets of Connecticut, USA without home or purpose. After wandering through an army training session at Yale University in 1917, Stubby was befriended by the soldiers and taken under the wing of one Corporal Robert Conroy. Such was their friendship that when the time came for the men to deploy to the Western Front, Corporal Conroy smuggled Stubby onboard the SS Minnesota in a coal bin, breaking a number of rules in doing so...(Read on)

Written by: Hannah