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LUV My dogs

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Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Friday, April 25, 2014

Traveling With Your Dog

Traveling With Your Dog
  Bringing your dog on vacation with you just adds to the fun and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re on the road. You need to do your homework on dog travel though. Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination. By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make the vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your dog.
  The number of people who travel with their dogs is growing, and so too are the options for pets on the road. From "ruffing it" at campgrounds to enjoying fabulous four-star hotels, the time has never been better to pack up your pet and go.
  Traveling with dogs offers some challenges, but nearly all are surmountable with common sense and creativity. Here’s what you need to know when you’re on the road.

Talk With Your Vet
  While most dogs come to enjoy riding in the car, many need help getting to that stage. Just like some people, some pets get motion sickness, while in others the problem is anxiety. Some dogs vomit when experiencing motion sickness. Other pets may drool excessively, with copious amounts of saliva drenching the upholstery, or pant uncontrollably. Some pets may do all of these.
  Talk to your veterinarian about medications that can help address issues like anxiety and vomiting. For some pets – the anxious ones -- the medication may only be needed while your pet learns to become more comfortable in the car. For those pets with queasy tummies, anti-anxiety and anti-vomiting medication may always be needed when traveling. Your veterinarian can also advise you if medication is not the best option for your dog.

Safety First!
  • It’s a lot safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal can be distracting and dangerous—and should you have an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about the cab. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you use a seat belt, be sure to put your dog in the backseat. When riding in the front, dogs can be injured or even killed if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
  • Don’t forget to microchip your dog before leaving home, and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to his collar. If you’re traveling to multiple places during your trip and you don’t have a cell phone, you can buy inexpensive temporary ID tags to use along the way.
  • Never leave your dog in a hot or cold car unattended. Doing so isn’t just uncomfortable for your dog—it can be life threatening.
  • Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit during your trip. This is an especially important precaution if your dog is enjoying his golden years.
Crating your dog for travel
  It’s natural to feel bad about crating your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be crated. But don’t project your feelings onto your dog. They don’t mind the crate and some even feel safer in one.
  • The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog has been well exercised before he goes in the crate. If he’s burned off his excess energy, he’ll be more inclined to rest.
  • Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog. Leashes and loose collars are especially dangerous items that could present a strangling hazard.
  • Keep your energy positive. Don’t present the crate like it’s a prison. Show the dog the crate and open the door. Don’t shove the dog in the crate. Let him go into the crate on his own. When he’s inside and comfortable, you can close the door. Walk away with good energy and body language. If you affect a sad voice and say things like “Don’t be sad. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon,” your dog is going to think something’s wrong and get anxious.
  • Come back in 15 minutes. This will ease the dog’s separation anxiety next time you crate him. But don’t take him out of the crate. Remember that you’re not projecting that the crate is a bad thing. Just open the door and he can come out when he’s ready. See my training video on how to crate your dog for travel.
Identification
In the event that your dog gets away from you on your trip, you can increase the chances of recovery by making sure he can be properly identified:
  • Make sure your dog has a sturdy leash and collar. The collar should have identification tags with the dog's name, your name, and your home phone number, as well as proof of rabies shots.
  • Consider a permanent form of identification, such as a microchip (see AKC Reunite).
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog along with you.
Driving with your dog
   It’s usually a good idea to crate or harness your dog when riding in the car. You’ll be less distracted while driving which is safer for both of you. 

  • Get your dog used to the car by letting him sit in it with you without leaving the driveway, and then going for short rides.
  • Avoid car sickness by letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure he has plenty of water at all times.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air can flow into the crate.
  • Do not let your dog ride with his head sticking out of an open window. This can lead to eye injuries.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or death.
  • Stop frequently for exercise and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog.
  • Car rides are boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or annoy the dog in the car.
  • Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, particularly in the summer. See Summer Safety for Dogs for more information. If you must leave the car, designate a member of the family to stay with the dog.
Taking your dog on an airplane
  The first thing you need to do is check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel. Many require a health certificate and may have other rules you haven’t thought of that you don’t want to be surprised with at the airport. Your dog will almost certainly be traveling in a crate and it will probably make everyone’s lives easier if you crate your dog before you enter the chaos of the airport.
  As with car travel, it’s smart not to start the trip on a full stomach or bladder (dogs should fast for at least 6 hours before the trip) and to make a pit stop as close to the departure time as possible. However, make sure your dog has access to water—enough to keep hydrated but not full.
  If your dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t have a big goodbye scene. You’ll only upset your dog. If you’re calm, he’ll be calm.

By Train, Bus and Boat
  If you plan to travel by train or bus, you may be disappointed. Dogs are not permitted on Amtrak trains or on buses operated by Greyhound and other interstate bus companies. (Service dogs are permitted.) Local rail and bus companies have their own policies.
  You may fare better if you're taking a cruise. The QE2 luxury cruiser, which sails from New York to England/France, provides special lodging and free meals for your dog. However, you should check the policies of the cruise line or ship you will be traveling on before making plans to take your dog on a cruise with you.


Staying in a hotel with your dog
  As with flying, a little preemptive research is in order. Does the hotel you’re considering even allow pets? Better to find out before you arrive. Pet-welcoming hotels like Best Western will be prepared for your visit, and can even recommend parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities. At other hotels, the only thing fit for a dog is the Continental breakfast. It can also be embarrassing if your dog barks or howls in the new room. Don’t inadvertently encourage the barking with affection. Stay calm and assertive and take him out for some exercise to calm him.
  • Keep your dog as quiet as possible.
  • Do not leave the dog unattended. Many dogs will bark or destroy property if left alone in a strange place.
  • Ask the management where you should walk your dog, and pick up after him. Do not leave any mess behind.
  • Remember that one bad experience with a dog guest may prompt the hotel management to refuse to allow any dogs. Be considerate of others and leave your room and the grounds in good condition.
Exploring a new place
   You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and potential food items for your dog. Make sure you’re vigilant wherever you go about what’s around, especially in the area of things your dogs could ingest. Also, especially around the holidays, there may be a lot of lights, decorations, and snout-level treats that can be distracting or dangerous for your pooch. Keep an eye on him and the new place.

 Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
   Walk your pet well before you hit the road to give her a chance to relieve herself. Once you’re en route, schedule potty breaks at least every few hours. Offer water at these breaks, and keep your pet’s feeding schedule as close to normal as possible. If your pet is on medication for nausea or anxiety, ask your veterinarian when to give the pills – with meals, on an empty stomach, an hour before you leave and so on.
   Even if your dog knows to come when called in your own neighborhood, keep your pet on leash when traveling. Many pets get confused in new places and situations and may not be reliable off-leash, even where it’s allowed. And be responsible: Not only should you pick up after your pet but you should also prevent your pet from bothering others, whether by barking in a hotel room or running up to people who may not like dogs.
  And most important: Remember that even on a day that’s merely “warm” the temperature in a car can reach dangerous levels within minutes – well over 100°F – even if the windows are partially opened.
  Traveling with a dog has never been more popular, and never have there been so many products to help you and hotels to welcome you. Take advantage of dog-friendly America and you’ll both be happier.




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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is There Such Thing As Dog Life Insurance?

Is There Such Thing As Dog Life Insurance?
  Twenty years ago, if you suggested getting a pet health insurance policy, most pet owners would have taken it as a joke.
  Not anymore. As veterinary treatments have gotten more advanced and sophisticated -- and vet bills for serious conditions can quickly add up to thousands of dollars -- buying pet health insurance is something to consider.
   Just like people, canine companions suffer from unexpected illnesses, accidents and death.     For these unexpected occasions, you cover yourself with health and life insurance. Policies exist to cover the same for your pet. Not all insurances are the same and not every dog owner needs a life insurance policy.
  Dogs are considered a valuable member of the family and dog life insurance was created to answer for the needs of a bereaved family when the beloved dog dies.
  For one, it enables the family to immediately buy a replacement, especially when the children find it hard to deal with the loss of a pet.

What services does dog health insurance cover?
  Dog life insurance usually pays you the cost (based on the determined market value) of the dog when it dies. There are also dog life insurance products that pay for the original purchase price. In addition, dog life insurance also provide for end-of-life expenses, which includes:
  • burial or cremation expenses
  • euthanasia for your dog because of a major injury or a terminal illness
  • expenses for the funeral service
  • bereavement counseling
  • Dog life insurance may also cover for medical and veterinarian expenses needed to treat your dog because of an accident, an emergency or a terminal illness. Illnesses that are usually covered include digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, as well as cancer.
  Some benefits of dog life insurance also involve co-payments and deductibles that you will have to shoulder. There are also hereditary and pre-existing conditions that may be excluded. The insurance company may also look into the dog's behavior and age to help them decide whether to provide life insurance coverage to your dog or not. Premiums are computed based on your dog's breed and health condition. It will also look at your dog's expected lifespan.
  Some dog life insurance policies are bundled with other dog insurance coverage, such as dog health insurance and dog bite insurance.


It's a Dog's Life (Insurance)
  It will take some digging and research, but it is possible to find life insurance for your dog. Traditional insurance companies, like the one your life or homeowner's policy is through, usually don't carry policies on dogs, even if they're purebred. There are companies that specialize in pet insurance, however, and they're the ones that can provide the coverage you're looking for.

Things to Consider
  Life insurance for dogs doesn't work exactly like life insurance for humans. You'll have to shop around and find out what different policies cover and how they determine the payout. Some policies are written for accidental death only, and some will pay for costs like final veterinary expenses, euthanasia, cremation or burial. One insurance company might calculate the payout based on the market value of the dog at the time of his death, while another will base it on the price you paid for your dog. Ask about age cut-offs, too. Some insurance companies won't insure dogs over a certain age and will even drop insurance once a dog reaches 10 or 11 years.

Other Dog Insurance
  If life insurance on your pooch isn't practical, consider getting help with healthcare to improve the quality of his life and possibly extend it. If you haven't looked into it before, you might be surprised at the number of companies that offer health insurance for pets. Like your own health insurance, there are usually different levels of coverage ranging from wellness plans to accident coverage. It may not insure the life of your dog, but it can help defray the costs of medical treatment -- which may end up literally being a life and death issue.

Do You Need Life Insurance?
  If you have health insurance for your dog, determine if the policy covers burial or cremation. If it does, you may not need a life insurance policy unless you are looking to recover a financial loss from the death of your dog. This is a common thought for breeders, owners of top show dogs and owners of service dogs. In these cases, the loss of your dog may cause a financial loss as well. For example, service dogs who provide assistance to those with disabilities undergo expensive training. When a service dog passes, the owner must replace this dog to continue to receive support. Having a life insurance policy will help cover this replacement cost.

How much does dog health insurance cost?
  Costs vary. Typically the fees are paid monthly and there may also be an annual fee.
  Online quotes are easily accessible. For instance, an ASPCA basic plan for a one-year-old mixed Beagle puppy living in Los Angeles would cost $8.99 a month with an annual issuance fee of $10.50. It's a level 1 plan, which is basic accident coverage. Boosting coverage to accident and illness would increase the premium to $26.64 a month. A plan that adds wellness care would be $43.23 a month. The premiere plan, with the most extensive coverage, is $72.01 per month.

How much does pet health insurance pay?
  Pet health insurance plans range from basic to deluxe, and the coverage varies from plan to plan. Typically, pet insurance plans are set up with a deductible that ranges from $100 to much higher. Then, Sullivan says, much like the human "fee-for-service" or indemnity model, the plans provide an 80% reimbursement for covered expenses.
  Plans are likely not to pay for "cosmetic" procedures. For instance, ear crops, often performed on show dogs, won't likely be covered unless they are medically necessary.


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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dangerous Foods That Dogs Should Never Eat

Dangerous Foods That Dogs Should Never Eat
  Who can resist those big brown eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there's a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it's not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs - and some of these common foods may surprise you.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Just because humans like it, doesn't mean dogs will
  Foods that are perfectly suitable for human consumption, as well as other animals, may be toxic and even poisonous to your dog, posing a serious threat to it’s health and well-being. Why? Because all animals have very different rates of metabolism. Metabolism is basically the process of breaking down food and turning it into energy.
  Please note that while we’re attempting to add every food we can find that is potentially unsafe for dogs, there are certain foods that we may miss, so don’t consider a food safe to feed to our dog just because it’s not on this list. Do your research if you are uncertain and let us know by adding a comment below with your new information so that we can keep this list updated. If you are worried about something your pet consumed, please call your vet promptly.


List of Foods Not to Feed Your Dog
Avocado
No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It's harmless for humans who aren't allergic. But large amounts might be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.

Alcohol
Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol - none of it's good for your dog. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.

Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic in all forms - powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated - can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.


Cat food 
Not that they would want this anyway, but cat food contains proteins and fats that are targeted at the diet of a cat, not a dog. The protein and fat levels in cat food are too high for your dog, and not healthy.

Cooked Bones 
When it comes to bones, he danger that cooked bones can easily splinter when chewed by your dog. Raw (uncooked) bones, however, are appropriate and good for both your dog’s nutritional and teeth.

Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine
Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds -- caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.

Chocolate 
You’ve probably heard this before, but chocolate is a definite no no for your pup. And it’s not just about caffeine, which is enough to harm your dog by itself, but theobromine and theophylline, which can be toxic, cause panting, vomiting, and diarrhea, and damage your dog’s heart and nervous systems

Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach..

Milk and Other Dairy Products
On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).

Baby food 
Baby food by itself isn’t terrible, just make sure it doesn’t contain any onion powder. Baby food also doesn’t contain all the nutrients a dog relies on for a healthy, well maintained diet.

Candy and chewing gum 
Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains Xylitol, which can lead to the over-release of insulin, kidney failure, and worse.

Macadamia Nuts
Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.

Citrus oil extracts – Can cause vomiting.

Fat Trimmings and Bones
Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag.

Corn on the cob
This is a sure way to get your dog’s intestine blocked. The corn is digested, but the cob gets lodged in the small intestine, and if it’s not removed surgically, can prove fatal to your dog. Additionally, too much corn kernels can upset the digestive tract as well so be cautious to not feed to much.

Fish 
The primary fish that you need to be careful about are salmon and trout. Raw salmon can be fatal to dogs if the fish is infected with a certain parasite, Nanophyetus salmincola. The parasite itself isn’t dangerous to dogs, but is often infected with a bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which in many cases is fatal to dogs if not treated properly. If diagnosis occurs early on, the dog has a great chance of recovering. Cooked salmon is fine as it kills the parasite.

Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don't.

Hops 
An ingredient in beer that can be toxic to your dog. The consumption of hops by your dog can cause panting, an increased heart rate, fever, seizures, and even death.

Marijuana
Not that you would pass the bong to your dog, but if you do, you should know that it can adversely affect your pup’s nervous system and heart rate, and induce vomiting.

Raw Eggs
There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.

Salt
It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

Yeast Dough
Before it's baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that's exactly what it would do in your dog's stomach if your dog ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the dog's abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Your Medicine
Reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Just as you would do for your children, keep all medicines out of your dog's reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And, they can be deadly for your dog.

Liver 
In small amounts, liver is great but avoid feeding too much liver to your dog. Liver contains quite a bit of Vitamin A, which can adversely affect your pup’s muscles and bones.

Mushrooms
Just as the wrong mushroom can be fatal to humans, the same applies to dogs. Don't mess with them.

Old food 
You don’t like old and moldy food, so what makes you think your dog will? The bacteria in spoiled food contains all sorts of toxins that can be damaging to your dog’s health. Feed them the freshest and best, dog-approved food only!

Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed
Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your dog. For instance, baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices. Keeping food items high enough to be out of your dog's reach and keeping pantry doors closed will help protect your dog from serious food-related illness.

Tobacco 
A major toxic hazard for dogs (and humans). The effects nicotine has on dogs are far worse than on humans. Nicotine can damage your pup’s digestive and nervous systems, increase their heart rate, make them pass out, and ultimately result in death.


  While there are certainly some human foods that are safe to feed your dog there are many which are unsafe and potentially poisonous when ingested by your dog. As a general rule of thumb, it is far better to be safe than sorry so avoid feeding your dog any human food unless recommended by your vet. Dogs that are not given human food or table scraps are generally better behaved than dogs who do receive people food anyway, they do not beg because they know they won’t receive any scraps and they also tend to drool less and bother visitors to your home less because they understand that human food is for humans and not for them.
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