How to Talk Dog™ Birmingham

1555 Cooper Hill Road • Birmingham, AL 35210 • (205) 588-4709

1555 Cooper Hill Road • Birmingham, AL 35210 • (205) 588-4709

Talk Dog Blog

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Truth About Kennel Cough

Kennel cough (KC) is a common ailment in dogs equivalent to cold or flu in humans. It is caused by a bacteria that can live in the respiratory tract of infected dogs.  It is highly contagious and is spread via aerosol when infected animals cough or in their saliva.  Just as humans contract illnesses, kennel cough can be caught by being exposed to areas where infected dogs have been.

     - Dry, “non-productive” cough 
     - Coughing and gagging or retching
     - Abnormal bouts of coughing in repeated intervals 
     - Rapid breathing 
     - Lethargic 
     - Not eating 
     - Sneezing, runny nose and runny eyes

     Common Places For KC Exposure: 
     - Veterinarian Office 
     - Dog Daycare and Boarding Facilities 
     - Dog Parks
     - Pet Stores 
     - Walking trails where dogs frequent 
     - Homes and yards with an infected dog

The Facts:
- The potential for infection is there any time your dog is around an infected dog. 
- The incubation period for KC is 2-10 days meaning a dog could have the virus and infect other dogs while showing no signs of illness.  
- There are multiple strains of KC and the vaccination, not all are completely covered by the vaccine.
- Vaccination usually shortens the course of the disease and prevents more serious broncho-pneumonia.
- Dogs with weaker immune systems (puppies and older dogs) are more susceptible to the bacteria.
- Complete recovery can take up to 3 weeks. Proper treatment will prevent symptoms from getting worse and infecting other dogs.

What To Do When You Think Your Dog Has KC: 
1) Call the vet to set up a time for treatment and advise them you think it has kennel cough.  They may ask you to wait with the dog in the car until they are ready to see you to prevent exposure to the other animals in the waiting room.
2) Call any boarding/training/play care/grooming facility you have visited in the last week to let them know--this can help them keep other doggies healthy. 
3) Follow the doctor’s instructions and treatment plan to ensure a complete recovery.
4) As a courtesy to others, keep your dog away from boarding/training/play care/grooming facilities and dog parks until your dog is finished with ALL the medicine and cough free for at least 72 hours.

KC and We Talk Dog: 
We Talk Dog is an open facility where dogs interact in groups. Our facility, like any other common place listed above is at risk for an infected dog expose the virus to other dogs. By bringing your dog to WTD (or the common places listed above), they run the risk or catching KC.

WTD Cleaning Policy - WTD disinfects the entire building twice daily. All  bedding and suites for borders is disinfected each morning. WTD uses a product called ProVet Logic which we believe is the best product on the market.

While we maintain the cleanliness of our facility, we cannot guarantee another dog won’t bring an illness into it. The dogs are under constant observation and as soon as one exhibits any kind of abnormal symptoms, the dog is removed from the group and isolated. Owners are immediately called to pick up their dog and in certain cases, we will transport the dog to one of our local veterinarian partners.

Again, our veterinarian partners equivocate this to a common cold or flu. With proper education, the current WTD procedures and proper veterinary treatment of our dogs, we can reduce exposure as much as possible.

*Thank you to Dr. Michael Hoke and Dr. Jennifer Dexter of Hoke Animal Clinic and Dr. Michael Stowe of Montclair Animal Clinic for your counsel putting this information together.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trick or Treat!

Ok, so it’s time to torture ourselves with our best frien-emy ever…Halloween candy.  And our pups usually love it as much as we do!  While candy is ok for us in moderation, there are some foods and candies we love that can be lethal for dogs even in the smallest amounts.  Be sure to keep your furry family members safe this Halloween with some helpful tips on candies and how to help them make it through trick-or-treating!
Pet Poison Helpline’s Top Halloween Dangers for Dogs

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Four-Legged Halloween Costumes!

Your costume is taken care of, party plans are made, and candy is purchased; it’s time to take care of Fluffy!  Every pup wants to look cute (or handsome!) in their costume.  If you’ve waited til the last minute to think about it, we have the answer for you!  Check out these websites with some creative and crafty ideas for homemade costumes.  Once you’ve decided what your pooch will be dressed as, give We Talk Dog a call to get your pup on schedule for a cut and color (yep, Jeanette can do that)!  Remember that appointments will fill up quickly and call today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


For those of you who are not yet acquianted, we'd like to introduce you to dog-shaming today. This is possibly one of the best and funniest ways to brighten your day and waste some time. I think we have now all spent what would undoubtedly amount to HOURS of time sitting at our computers at night laughing until we cry at what some of these poor souls have been subjected to by their dogs (and thinking about some of the things our dogs have done over the years)! If you ask us, this website is worth its weight in gold and we want to share the wealth!  Let the shaming begin!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What Your Dog Can Do For You

Who doesn't love a cute, cuddly puppy?  I don't know what I would do without my big buddy curling up with me on the couch, playing outside, and going for a weekend run to Lowe's!  But aside from all the kisses and a great napping partner, there are many other reasons why having a furry-friend of your own is a great idea!  Check out the great health benefits that can come from being a dog-lover!

Check out the article!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What's That Smell?

As we all know, our pups have a much better "nose" for smells than we do. But just what are they smelling when they roam around with their noses pressed to the ground or raised in the air? Is it another furry friend? or perhaps some other creature? Don't you wish you knew a little more about what they are investigating when they come across some new scent that is completely undetectable by their human friends? Here is a very interesting article on what all goes on in their heads (and their noses) during a sniffing-spree!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crazy for Coconut!

We all love our dogs and want nothing more than to keep their happy, healthy tails wagging!  This not only means keeping them bathed and brushed, but keeping their bodies healthy as well.  Now you can use one product to help keep them in looking and feeling great!  Coconut oil has been shown to help with dogs' coats and skin when mixed with their food (it's quite tasty for our furry friends), but also can help with disinfecting cuts and rashes when used topically.  And, it's actually great for Fido's two-legged friends as well! 
Check out the article to find out more about the benefits of coconut oil!