Being a dog parent comes with responsibilities to keep our pets safe, happy, and healthy. We’ve probably all heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but there are so many other things that we need to be aware of. We’ve created a helpful and interesting hub of information so you can remain confident that your dog is being looked after.

Are dogs colour blind?
Technically, yes – but this doesn’t mean that dogs see in black and white. Humans have three receptors (also known as cones) which means we can identify three colours, red, blue, and green. Combinations of these three primary colours produce all other colours. Dogs only have two, and research has suggested that these cones pick up yellow and blue. Because of this, they can see variations of blues and yellows well, but not reds and greens. It is thought that reds and greens may look like browns and greys.

Why is my dog shaking?
If your dog is shaking, this could be due to a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons for shaking is old age, excitement, pain, feeling cold, attention-seeking, or illness. If your dog is shaking, be aware of other possible symptoms like diarrhoea or vomiting, in which case, you should take them to the vet.

Do dogs have periods?
Yes, just like humans, dogs have their periods if they haven’t been spayed (the removal of the ovaries). Although dogs don’t menstruate as humans do, they have their own cycle and behaviours.

Puppies can start their period when they’re around six months old, but this can vary with breed. When dogs are in heat, which is when their ovaries release eggs, this can last for around two to four weeks. This happens every six months, however, it can take time for your dog to get into a regular estrus cycle (the dog equivalent of a menstrual cycle).

Why do dogs eat their own poop?
You’re definitely not the first person to wonder this. Given that they clean themselves with a regular body lick, why would they put something so unhygienic in their mouths?

There are many reasons why a dog might eat poop – while it is considered normal for dogs to eat poop from other animals, eating their own poop or that of another dog’s isn’t very common. Reasons why dogs eat their own poop include:

• They think it is a game and are trying to get your attention. If you chase them and tell them to drop it, they probably think you’re playing catch.
• A sign of illness. If your dog never ate poop before but has suddenly started to do so, you should take your dog to the vet. This could be a sign of disease, parasites, or nutritional deficiencies.
• They’re feeling anxious. Environmental stressors and triggers can result in this behavioural change.

Why is my dog drinking so much water?
As a general rule of thumb, your dog should be drinking around an ounce of water per pound of bodyweight a day. If your dog is drinking excessive amounts of water, this could be a sign of dehydration.

Dehydration can be dangerous in dogs, so it's important that you take your dog to the vet rather than let your dog try to hydrate by drinking lots of water. If they drink too much when dehydrated, this can cause them to vomit, which causes further dehydration.

Can dog fleas live on humans?
No, but while they don't live on us, dog fleas can bite humans. Fleas don't live on us because it is difficult for fleas to reproduce on our skin without being able to bury in the protection of fur or feathers. When fleas do burrow into furry or feathered animals, they lay eggs, which can cause a flea infestation that must be treated. You can get dog flea treatment such as Advantage Flea Treatment or Flea Bomb.

Why does my dog keep gagging but not throwing up?
If your dog is gagging, this could be a sign of kennel cough, a respiratory infection. Gagging can also be a sign of laryngeal paralysis, which is where the larynx doesn't close properly. In extreme cases, gagging could be pneumonia.

Gagging occasionally when swallowing something the wrong way or following a few coughs isn't a cause for concern, but if it lasts for a few days, you should take your dog to the vet. If they seem distressed or are having trouble breathing, seek help immediately.

Why does my dog have black spots on his/her skin?
While we wouldn't usually notice our dog's skin because of their fur, dogs don’t have simply white or black skin. These spots of dark pigmentation can appear anywhere on the body. They can usually occur in areas of friction and can be normal with age or due to allergies. If they seem to be troubling your pet, it might be a good idea to let your vet have a look so that your dog isn't in any discomfort.

Why does my dog hiccup so much?
Just like humans, hiccups in dogs aren’t anything to worry about. Hiccups are more common in puppies due to their excitement, energetic play, or eating and drinking too quickly and consequently swallowing air.

If your dog is having aggressive hiccups, avoid giving them anything solid to eat, as this could result in choking. Massage their chest or take them for light exercise to distract or change their breathing pattern. In rare cases, if hiccups persist for a few hours, you might want to seek advice from your vet.

Written by: Laura