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Why does my dog cock her head?

why dogs tilt their headhead I love it when my dog cocks her head. She hears something or looking at something and turns her head to the side. It is adorable. But why does she do this?

It can be so your dog can hear better and try to make sense of what you are saying. Some experts believe they do this if they think you are trying to communicate something important to them. It could be your dog concentrating on the words she understands, or your inflection.


Dogs are able to use hearing to determine the distance of the sound. Even slight movements in their head can help them focus on a sound and more accurately determine its location.

You can also encourage this behavior through reinforcement. If you get happy and praise your dog for doing this, she will be more likely to do this more often in the future.

Dogs with floppy ears are more likely to tilt their head than ones with pointed ears. This is likely to improve their hearing. Dogs with socialization problems are less likely to cock their head. This follows with them not engaging with their human’s, and not being interested in what you are saying.

Most of the time a head tilt is just a head tilt. But sometimes it can be a symptom of something medically wrong. If you notice your dog tilting their head frequently and without a trigger (aka. a noise), then you should bring them to your Albuquerque vet at Vetco on Menaul. This could be a sign of infection, brain disease, inflammation or cancer.

Long and short, it is mainly a cute behavior that can help them hear better. If you like it, praise her for doing it and she will likely reward you with doing it more often.

Be careful with your Inhaler

dog bites inhalerInhalers save lives for people but can be deadly for dogs. With Spring’s arrival many people have increased allergies. Asthma may be acting up which means that your inhaler might be laying around more than usual.

Dog love to chew on their owners inhalers. But when they bite into the inhaler they get both an inhaled dose and an oral dose. This is a highly concentrated amount of the medicine. The type of inhaler, meaning the type of medication inside it, can cause different medical effects in your dog. Make sure you know what kind of inhaler it is, so you can communicate that to your vet in case he bites into your inhaler.

Corticosteroid Inhaler

These work by decreasing inflammation in the airways. In an overdose situation they can cause:

  • thirst that can last for days
  • urination that can last for days

These are not life threatening and you will see the symptoms in a few hours after ingestion. Though not life threatening you should call your vet and let them know in case they want you to do something to help ease your dogs symptoms.

Bronchodilator Inhaler

These kinds of inhalers open up the airway to increase the ease of breathing. In an overdose situation, this kind of inhaler can be life threatening to your dog. Symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate.
  • Potassium imbalance, which can affect the heart.
  • Agitation
  • Pacing
  • Lethargic
  • Weak
  • Inability to stand

If you dog bit into your bronchodilator inhaler, call your vet immediately. Without immediate treatment your dog could die of cardiovascular collapse. Your vet will likely treat your dog with IV medication to reduce his heart rate and normalize his electrolytes.

Inhalers are also kept under pressure, this is why they “puff” when you use them. This can also cause frostbite on your pets lips. These frostbite lesions may cause sores that could require pain medication or antibiotics.

Regardless of your kind of inhaler, always call your vet. Your Albuquerque vet may want you to bring your dog in for treatment.



Doggie Beef Stew Recipe

homemade dog food beef stewThis is a great homemade recipe as an alternative to store bought dog food. After it has been made it can stay in your fridge for a week. This recipe makes about 4 cups.
1 lb of beef stew meat
1 small sweet potato
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1/2 cup of diced green beans
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of water or organic vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying

Boil the diced sweet potatoes for about 4-6 minutes. They should be firm but tender, not mushy. Hold the carrots and green beans for later. Cut the stew meat into smaller pieces. When you buy stewing beef the pieces are often quite big, so you need to cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier for your dog to chew. Do not add any spices to the beef, just cook it in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. The meat should be well done. Keep the drippings for later.  Add flower and water into the drippings. Whisk constantly to create a thick gravy. You can add a little bit of water to the flower first before adding it to the drippings to reduce clumping. Once you have the gravy, add the meat, sweet potato, carrots and green beans. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Let the dish cool before serving.

Store up to 5 days in the fridge. You can freeze this as well.

This is a great and simple recipe you can make for your dog. Always make sure to check with your local Albuquerque veterinarian before starting your dog on any new diet. The vet may give you some tips of things to add, or remove, from your recipe plan.

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8200 Menaul Blvd NE #R Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 292-3030

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.