Sheltie Planet

A Guide to Sheltie Health and Grooming

Our guide to Sheltie health offers advice on grooming, flea control, spaying, neutering and common genetic Sheltie health issues.

Shelties are generally a very healthy dog breed, although their genetic history does make them more prone to diseases of the skin, hip and eye. If you own a Shetland Sheepdog, make sure you are aware of all the common ailments - even though your dog has a good chance of never suffering any of these his whole life.

This section also talks about the pros and cons of neutering or spaying your Sheltie, which is essential to help prevent dog overpopulation. You'll also learn about how to groom a Sheltie so his coat is always shiny and healthy and how to get rid of fleas and ticks.

How to Groom a Shetland Sheepdog

Part of the attraction of Shetland Sheepdogs is their luxurious double coat. But that comes with the responsibility of weekly brushing sessions. Don't worry - my detailed step-by-step guide will teach you how to groom your Shetland Sheepdog so he's ready for action.

As a long-haired dog breed, your Sheltie will shed a lot. Frequent brushing will stop much of it ending up all over your living room couch. Male Shelties have a major moult once a year before summer, while female Shelties moult before summer and after every heat cycle (every 6-8 months if you don't have her spayed)... [continue reading How to Groom a Shetland Sheepdog]


The Pros and Cons of Neutering a Sheltie

Neutering your dog means to surgically remove the testicles. The procedure completely eradicates your dog's ability to impregnate females and reduces the risk of developing diseases of the reproductive organs. Neutering is a routine procedure for dogs and is considered the most responsible option for pet owners. Rescue shelters spay and neuter all dogs when they are re-homed. And with good reason.

According to The Humane Society, 3,000,000 unwanted dogs are put down in US shelters every year. That's about 1 dog every 10 seconds. Often, these animals are the unplanned offspring of cherished family pets. How can you help stop this tragedy? Neuter your Sheltie.

What's more, there are significant health benefits to neutering your Sheltie. Indeed, many vets recommend neutering as it can improve the quality of his life and even his life span... [continue reading The Pros and Cons of Neutering a Sheltie]


The Pros and Cons of Spaying a Sheltie

Spaying your dog means to surgically remove the reproductive organs: the ovaries, uterine horns and the body of the uterus. The procedure completely eradicates female heat cycles, prevents pregnancy and reduces the risk of developing diseases of the reproductive organs. Spaying is a routine procedure for female dogs and is considered the most responsible option for pet owners. Rescue shelters spay and neuter all dogs when they are re-homed. And with good reason.

According to The Humane Society, 3,000,000 unwanted dogs are put down in US shelters every year. That's about 1 dog every 10 seconds. Often, these animals are the unplanned offspring of cherished family pets. How can you help stop this tragedy? Spay your Sheltie.

What's more, there are significant health benefits to spaying your Sheltie. Indeed, many vets recommend spaying as it can improve the quality of her life and even her life span... [continue reading The Pros and Cons of Spaying a Sheltie]


6 Potential Genetic Health Problems in Shelties

With modern genetic testing available to screen any breeding pair, well-bred Sheltie puppies are not prone to inherited diseases like they used to be. Pre-screening by breeders allows them to rule out affected dogs, ensuring they only create litters of healthy puppies.

However, if you bought your Sheltie from a pet store or internet seller, you can bet the backyard breeder or puppy mill spared themselves the expense of DNA testing. In this case, these are the potential issues you should look out for in your Sheltie.

For around $60, you can also take a DNA cheek swab from your Sheltie and have it analyzed to identify his breed ancestry and inform his health outcomes. On a broader note, all dogs benefit from a good diet and a healthy weight maintenance. Proper good dental care will save him from painful cavities and tooth extractions, while annual vet check-ups will help detect disease early. Here's a breakdown of the six main genetic culprits of poor health in Shelties... [continue reading 6 Potential Genetic Health Problems in Shelties]


33 Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs

Have you ever fed your dog a grape as a treat? How about let him eat leftover meals containing onion, mushrooms or garlic? Does he get the odd tomato scrap when you're making a sandwich? Unfortunately, all these foods and more can be poisonous (and even fatal) to dogs.

To preserve your Sheltie's health and avoid scary and expensive trips to the vet, check out our list of 33 foods that are toxic to dogs. Make a note of all these foods and ensure you keep them out of your dog scraps. Share this list of foods with other dog owners because most people don't realize which human foods may poison a cherished pet. If, like many people, you have been inadvertently feeding these foods to your dog, don't beat yourself up about it. The best thing you can do is print out this list and remember not to feed these foods in future... [continue reading 33 Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs]


How to Kill Fleas and Ticks on Your Dog

Fleas can live happily in the Sheltie under coat, sucking blood through the skin which causes dreadful itching. Each flea can lay up to 4,000 eggs which perpetuates the havoc. Besides causing intense itching and discomfort, flea bites can produce skin problems, infection, anemia, and in extreme cases can transmit tapeworms to your dog. They can also spread to humans and cause itchy red spots which bleed.

What exactly do they look like? Fleas are flightless insects whose bodies are laterally flattened (from the sides). They are parasitic and can jump long distances relative to their size. If you're wily enough to catch one with your fingers, you can't simply squash it - but must decapitate it with your fingernails instead. However, catching fleas manually is difficult and you certainly can't eradicate their eggs this way... [continue reading How to Kills Fleas and Ticks on Your Dog]


Can Dogs Really Smell Cancer?

Astonishingly, it has been proven that dogs can pick up on the scent of cancer in humans. Now, certain breeds with the best sense of smell are being trained to detect cancer in patient samples with up to 95 per cent success.

Meet Daisy - a Labrador who detected breast cancer in her owner, Claire Guest, six years ago: "She kept staring at me and lunging into my chest. It led me to find a lump." Guest is now the CEO of Medical Detection Dogs in the UK. MDD is part of one of the largest clinical trials of dog cancer detection. So far they've had eight dogs sniff out 3,000 urine samples to see if they could detect the presence of cancer... [continue reading Can Dogs Really Smell Cancer?]


Author Bio

Becky Casale is a writer and science student. She has two Sheltie babies and two human babies who all smell like popcorn. See her Pet Owner's Guide to Shelties and her illustrated blog Science Me.


The Pet Owner's Guide to Shelties by Becky Casale