LUV My dogs: eat

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label eat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eat. Show all posts

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everything about Canine Bloat

Everything about Canine Bloat
   Many well seasoned dog owners warn against the dangers of canine bloat and vets even give recommendations on how to prevent your dog from suffering from canine bloat but some dog owners have no idea what this illness is, how it occurs or how to prevent it. Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about canine bloat.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
  Canine bloat is the regularly used term for the illness but often times it is referred to by the scientific term Gastric Dilitation-Volvulus (GDV) of simply Gastric Dilation. Canine bloat as it will be referred to from here on out, is a particularly serious and often life threatening illness that strikes a good many dogs every year and the outcome of each dogs affliction depends on a variety of factors. The biggest factor in helping a dog to survive canine bloat is the speed with which treatment is administered to a dog suffering from bloat.

What Is Bloat?
  When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.
  People often use the word "bloat" to refer to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency.

Causes of bloat
  Veterinarians have no definitive data as to why canine bloat occurs and despite attempts to intentionally recreate canine bloat in laboratories they have been unsuccessful in doing so as of yet. There are, however, a variety of theories relating to factors that are believed to contribute to bloating.
  Theories about what causes GDV abound, including issues related to anatomy, environment, and care. There are certain factors and practices that appear to increase the risk of GDV, some of which fly in the face of conventional wisdom.
  The most widely recognized and accepted risk factor is anatomical – being a larger, deep-chested dog. When viewed from the side, these dogs have chest cavities that are significantly longer from spine to sternum, when compared to the width of the chest cavity viewed from the front.
   This body shape may increase the risk of bloat because of a change in the relationship between the esophagus and the stomach. In dogs with deeper abdomens, the stretching of the gastric ligaments over time may allow the stomach to descend relative to the esophagus, thus increasing the gastroesophageal angle, and this may promote bloat.
  All dog guardians should be familiar with the signs of bloat, and be ready to rush their dog to the vet if any of the symptoms are present.
  Likelihood of an incident of bloat seems to increase with age. Purdue reports that there is a 20 percent increase in risk for each year increase in age. This may be related to increased weakness, over time, in the ligaments holding the stomach in place.
  Another key risk factor is having a close relative that has experienced GDV. According to one of the Purdue studies that focused on nondietary risk factors for GDV, there is a 63 percent increase in risk associated with having a first degree relative (sibling, parent, or offspring) who experienced bloat.
Personality and stress also seem to play a role. Risk of GDV was increased by 257 percent in fearful dogs versus nonfearful dogs. Dogs described as having a happy personality bloated less frequently than other dogs.
Dogs who eat rapidly and are given just one large meal per day have an increased susceptibility to GDV than other dogs. The Purdue research found that for both large- and giant-breed dogs, the risk of GDV was highest for dogs fed a larger volume of food once daily.
  Dogs fed a dry food that included a fat source in the first four ingredients were 170 percent more likely to bloat than dogs who were fed food without fat in the first four ingredients. In addition, the risk of GDV increased 320 percent in dogs fed dry foods that contained citric acid and were moistened before feeding. On the other hand, a rendered meat meal that included bone among the first four ingredients lowered risk by 53 percent.
  It is often recommended that limiting exercise and water before and after eating will decrease the risk of bloat. 

Other Factors which Increase Risk of Bloat 
  Dog’s Breed—Large-breed dogs are most susceptible, although on occasion, small dogs may bloat too.
 Dogs that are “deep-chested.” This means the length of the chest from backbone to sternum is long and the width of the chest is narrower.
 Dogs that have ancestor-history of bloating. It’s thought to be hereditary.
 Underweight, or thin, dogs.
 Anxious or fearful temperament. These dogs should always eat in an environment made as peaceful as possible for them.
 Aggressive dogs. Numbers five and six indicate that “nerves” or emotions can play a role in triggering a bloat episode.
 Male dogs get it more than females.
 Dogs older than seven years of age are more at risk than those that are younger.

Breeds Most At-Risk for Bloat
  1. Afghan
  2. Akita
  3. Alaskan Malamute
  4. Bernese Mountain Dog
  5. Bloodhound
  6. Boxer
  7. Doberman
  8. Great Dane
  9. Great Pyrenees
  10. German Shepherd
  11. Golden Retriever
  12. Irish Setter
  13. Irish Wolfhound
  14. King Shepherd
  15. Kuvasz
  16. Labrador Retriever
  17. Newfoundland
  18. Rottweiler
  19. Shiloh Shepherd
  20. Standard Poodle
  21. St. Bernard
  22. Weimaraner
What Are the General Symptoms of Bloat/GDV in Dogs?
  • Distended abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • Retching without producing anything
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse
How do They Treat Bloat
  There are only two basic things that are done to the dog in the case of bloat. The first thing a vet may try is to insert a tube down the throat making a passage for the gas to escape. But if the stomach has twisted volvulus, surgery is the only solution. The vet will have to make an incision into the stomach and relieve the gas that way. While in there, he may decide to perform what is called gastropexy. This is where the stomach is actually stapled into its normal position, or anchored into place, so that it cannot blow up should there be another episode of bloat.
  Even if the dog has been relieved of the bloat with just a tube and not surgery, he should be surgically examined regardless, so that the vet may assess the damage done by the episode. Damaged parts of the stomach may need to be removed, or the patient’s owner may decide to allow gastroplexy since many dogs that experience bloat often go through it again at a later date. Sometimes only a day or two later, they may bloat again.
   It is a good idea to have on hand at home an over the counter drug such as Phazyme, Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta) or Gas-X. They contain simethicone which helps reduce gas. This may buy you a little more time to get to a vet.

How Can I Prevent Bloat/GDV?
   Because the theories and research on what causes bloat aren’t always in agreement, the ways to prevent GDV can conflict as well. One thing that everyone can agree on, though, is that feeding smaller meals several times a day is the best option for reducing the risk.
   Dogs who respond to nonsurgical treatment have a 70 percent chance of having another episode of bloat. Some of these episodes can be prevented by following these practices:
  • Divide the day’s ration into three equal meals, spaced well apart.
  • Do not feed your dog from a raised food bowl.
  • Avoid feeding dry dog food that has fat among the first four ingredients listed on the label.
  • Avoid foods that contain citric acid.
  • Restrict access to water for one hour before and after meals.
  • Never let your dog drink a large amount of water all at once.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise on a full stomach.



Read More

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Dogs Eat Grass? How To Train Them To Stop

Why Dogs Eat Grass? How To Train Them To Stop
  Our dogs often do things that we struggle to understand. One of those things is eating grass. While we may feed our dogs a perfectly well balanced diet and provide them with all the stimulation they need, they may still take to consuming grass. There are many theories behind just why our canine friends impersonate cows chewing cud, and we are going to take a shot at the reasoning behind them.
  The general consensus seems to be that grass eating is not something to worry about; however, there are a few provisos to that consensus. There are a few incidences where grass eating should not be allowed and there are incidences where grass eating can be deterred by making a few simple fixes.

It’s Tasty
  Your dog eats every last morsel he can find under your dinner table after a meal, so why stop there? As natural scavengers, canines are programmed to search for nutrition anywhere they can find it. It’s possible that your dog finds the flavor or texture of grass yummy. Or it could be filling a nutritional need that his normal food isn’t, especially fiber.


Prevention: Some people find that the behavior stops after they switch to a high-fiber dog food. If you think this might be the case for your pup, consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

He’s Bored
  In some cases, eating grass is just something to do to pass the time. He’s got the backyard to himself, but not much to do there. Are you providing regular exercise and mental challenges for your pup? Do you notice your dog eating more grass during times when you aren’t walking or playing with them as often?

Prevention: Sometimes the solution can be as simple as providing a chew toy as an alternative or dedicating yourself to providing a consistent exercise routine.

Stomach Distress
  Some experts believe that grass is a form of self-medication. When your dog has tummy troubles, he turns to grass for relief. This is more likely if the behavior starts suddenly or if your dog is very anxious about needing to eat the grass, often extending his neck and making swallowing motions, and then vomiting afterwards. But most studies have found that this is actually quite rare — less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass and only 10% showed signs of illness beforehand.

Prevention: In some cases, the stomach distress can be a sign of something more serious, like gastric reflux or inflammatory bowel disease, so it’s worth calling your veterinarian for advice.

How to Get a Dog to Stop Eating Grass? 
1. Give your dog chew toys and puzzle toys with peanut butter in them for play. Sometimes dogs eat grass outdoors because they need more playtime and can become bored by themselves during the day. Puzzle toys require lots of time and licking to get the wonderful peanut butter treat out of the center and will keep your four-legged friend busy.

2. Play tug-of-war with your fur buddy with a rope toy. Games that are interactive between you and your pet stimulate the senses and tire him out, so he may avoid eating his greenery outdoors.

3. Teach your dog the “leave it” command. Sit on the floor indoors with an ordinary piece of kibble in one hand. Show it to him and as he reaches for it, close your hand, and say, “leave it.” Quickly hand him a beefy dog treat with the other hand. Practice this command so that he realizes “leave it” and ignoring the item will secure him a high-quality reward.

4. Clip a leash onto your dog’s collar and go for a walk. When he shows interest in grazing on grass or leaves, say “leave it” and call him to you. Give him lots of praise, petting and a dog treat. Keep practicing this command and reward system until you can let him off leash in an area of containment, such as a backyard with a fence.

5. Go to a secure environment and practice the command if your furry friend starts to show interest in grass or leaves. Call him to you and reward him with treats.

6. Phase out the treats slowly, so that your dog will come when you call him and leave the greenery alone. Offer lots of petting and praise for coming when you call him. Positive reinforcement of acceptable behavior creates a strong bond between you and your pet.

Don't Worry
  If you’re worried that your dog eating grass is going to hurt them, stop worrying no need for concern here. The one possible downside is that he’ll irritate his throat or stomach lining, but this issue will only cause him irritation for a second or two at most: he’ll either cough the problem away, or will toss his cookies without further ado (which rarely bothers most dogs).
  Really, a dog-eating-grass is nothing to worry about – it’s a life-long habit with many dogs, and if yours does decide that it’s no longer in his best interests, he’ll simply stop eating it all by himself.
  You may need to keep an eye on him around recently treated lawns, or anywhere where pesticides, snail bait, and rat poison could be around, since most garden chemicals are highly toxic to dogs.

Warning!!!!!!
  Grass treatments, such as fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides are harmful to your pet if he eats them soon after the treatment. These items act as poison in your pet’s digestive system.   Teaching your pet to stop eating grass and leaves altogether can keep him safe when you are in another environment and don’t know if the grass has been treated.

Relax! 
  Many veterinarians consider grass eating a normal dog behavior. While dogs don’t gain anything of real nutritional value from grass, it also may not hurt them — as long as there are no dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used on the grass itself.
  You can help protect your grass eater by using only non-toxic products on your own lawn. When you’re out in public areas, keep an eye out for signs warning that chemicals have been used on the grass. You can also provide a safe alternative by growing a grass or herb garden specifically for him to snack on.

Read More

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What Are The Best Dog Toys?

What Are The Best Dog Toys?
  Dogs are just like us; they need to be kept busy, mentality stimulated and in tip-top health. There are a huge range of toys that can help. We’ve taken expert advice to find the best out there for canines of all breeds, ages and sizes. From the innovative alternative to potentially harmful wood, Safestix, to fun novelty-shaped squeakers like the Ruff and Tuff Mallard, there’s something to take all dogs’ – and their owners’ – fancy.

Importance of Dog Toys
  Exercise is the primary reason why many dog owners invest in toys. Having a ball to throw for a dog helps not only to keep exercise rigorous, but also makes it fun for both the dog and the owner. Exercise is a crucial part of having a healthy dog because without adequate exercise a dog will become obese and will fall prey to a number of illnesses. Obesity in dogs is a serious concern not only due to an increased risk for illnesses like diabetes, but also because it puts additional strain on their joints and their internal organs.

Intellectual Stimulation - All dogs require exercise not only to help to keep them at a healthy weight, but also to ensure that they stay stimulated. Despite being “domesticated,” dogs can easily become bored. There is a saying that a “tired dog is a good dog” and this is particularly true for working breeds such as border collies. Without adequate intellectual stimulation dogs can become destructive, disobedient and downright impossible to handle. With a combination of exercise and intellectual stimulation, however, it is possible for even the most high energy dog to relax.

Bonding - Dogs are pack animals by nature and they have a need to bond with other members of their pack and feel accepted. A great way to bond with your dog is to engage in play time that involves their favorite toys. Not only does your dog benefit from the time you spend together bonding, but researchers have found a proven link between better health and dog owners!
Toys are also a great way to encourage bonding in multiple-dog households. If you have more than one dog, toys can encourage interactive playing and help dogs to bond with each other as well as understand their place in the hierarchy of the home.

Dental Health - Dental health is a difficult concern for many dog owners. It is crucial to a dog’s overall health to have clean teeth. Poor dental hygiene can lead to malnutrition as well as infections, absences and bad breath. Brushing a dog’s teeth can be particularly difficult, especially with dogs that don’t like to have their teeth cleaned. Surgical cleanings can be particularly difficult as well since they involve a significant financial burden and putting your dog under anesthesia. A great way to improve dental health and reduce the need for surgical cleanings, however, is to invest in toys that are designed to clean teeth as your dog plays. These toys encourage chewing which stimulates saliva and helps to diminish plaque and reduce its occurrence.

Top Dog Toys

KONG Chew Toy
  The granddaddy of all work-to-eat toys, the Kong is a chew toy made of nearly indestructible rubber. It was originally based on a part of a Volkswagen bus' suspension device that the creator's German Shepherd found particularly irresistible. Kongs can be stuffed with a wide variety of yummies. Kong sells especially shaped treats and different things you can squeeze inside, but you can stuff it with whatever your dogs' weakness might be: cream cheese, Cheez Whiz, wet dog food, peanut butter, liverwurst, frozen blueberries, hamburger meat. Yummers.
  There used to be a great product that operated on a timer and dispensed Kongs at intervals, so you could stuff four of them and then leave for the day and your dog would get them doled out at neat intervals. The product was discontinued a few years ago, but you can occasionally find a used one on Ebay, and they're well worth the $100 or so that they usually sell for. Search the ‘Bay for Dogopolis KongTime Automatic Dog Toy Dispenser.

"It's a super-durable chew toy, but its true value is its ability to occupy your dog for hours on end."- Kathy Santo

Wainwright’s Ruff and Tuff Mallard
  This fun squeaker toy from the pet specialists is designed to be tougher than your average canine plaything. With its added rope, this one’s good for a dog’s dental health – when they chew, it acts almost like dental floss.

The Bob-a-Lot
 This genius little Bob-a-Lot is weighted on the bottom, so it wobbles all around like those inflatable "bop bags" we had as kids. It comes in a few different sizes. The yellow part at the top screws off, allowing you to put kibble inside, or any kind of small and fairly hard treats. If you feed your dog kibble, you can put his entire meal in this thing. It makes mealtime last ten times as long, which is a good thing for reasons both behavioral and healthful.
Kong makes a similar to, the Wobbler, which is just as good except that there are no doors or flaps, so the levels can't be changed.

 Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy For Dogs
  The Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy is a glowing ball that makes fetch fun and easy even in the dark! So if you prefer to get out and about early or after you get home from work, fetch no longer has to wait because this ball can be seen anywhere. The Powzer ball comes in four different colors including pink, green, yellow and orange as well as two different sizes: large which is 3.25” and small or junior which is 2.25”. Benefits include high visibility, dental health and two sizes of balls for play.
The Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy is made from rubber by the Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. Company. This is an American made product.
The Sergeant’s Powzer Glow Ball Toy makes a great fetch toy no matter the time of day but it is important to remove the ball after playing since it can be damaged by rough play.

The Tricky Treat Ball
 The Tricky Treat Ball is similar to the Bob-A-Lot. There's a single hole in which you put in kibble or treats and they fall out as the dog pushes it. Much enjoyment will ensue. Your dog will continue to play with the ball after all the treats are gone–he'll be holding out hope that maybe there's still one lodged in there somewhere. He'll also keep playing with it because, like so many humans, dogs like balls.

Orbee Tuff Woof Ball
  
Dogs can gnaw on this ball to their heart’s content, it’s mint-scented, bouncy and will float. It’ll keep even the most persistent chewers busy.



Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs
  Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs are another great toy idea from Nylabone and they come in three shapes – Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex. These chew toys are naturally flavor-enhanced to encourage chewing and small nubs make great dental cleaners as the clean teeth and massage your dog’s gums. Benefits to the Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs include dental health, healthy chewing activity and better breath for your dog!
Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs are made from nylon as are other popular Nylabone products.
Always be sure to keep an eye on the condition of your dogs Nylabone Dental Dinosaurs toy and as the toy wears down replace it with a new one.

The Tug-a-Jug
  Here, the human puts dry food (kibble, treats, Cheerios, whatever) into the Tug-a-Jug , which unscrews at the bottom. The food comes out of a narrow hole at the top, which has a rope sticking into it. As the dog pulls on the rope, some food gets dragged out. Your pup will have crazy amounts of fun swinging this around and tugging at it. It comes in several sizes to accommodate different size dog mouths. I find that the rope usually doesn't last too long, but Premier does sell replacements–and sticking an old knotted sock halfway in pretty much does the same job. 

Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble Feed Ball
  A good one for medium and large dogs (think Labradors rather than Jack Russells), you put the dried food in the middle and it dispenses as they play. It has rubber bumpers, so it won’t damage the furniture or make too much of a racket when it’s used inside.




The Waggle
Stuff dry food into the sides of the barbell-shaped Waggle and the bits will fall out intermittently as your dog holds the middle part in his mouth and shakes it. Well, that's supposed to be how it works, at least–my dog prefers to just kind of roll it around with his paws until the treats come out. That works too. There are rubber teeth in the holes on the sides that can be snipped out in order to reduce the level of difficulty. Premier also makes the Chuckle, which is similar but a little sturdier and has a squeaker inside.

Safestix
  Wooden sticks can cause injury to dogs’ teeth, gums and mouths, yet they love to play with them. Available in three sizes, these are a safer alternative. They’re durable, comfortable to hold and will float – just the thing for a game of fetch on the beach.


Home of Paws Rotator Ball and Rope

This ball-on-a-rope toy is made from recyclable resin which the makers say is stronger, lighter and longer-lasting than rubber or plastic. The rope helps condition teeth, too. Available in two sizes of ball, 10 per cent of the cost goes to the Dogs Trust. 



The Dog Casino
  The Dog Casino is a one of the many fine toys by Nina Ottosson, a genius Swedish pioneer in the world of interactive dog puzzle toys. Her offerings come in a variety of levels of difficulty and in both plastic and wood. 


Mungo and Maud Pull My Leg Monkey Toy



  Dogs love to pull playthings apart. This toy from the luxury pet accessories store is designed with that instinct in mind. The fleece monkey’s limbs are attached with velcro, so will come off when tussled with, and it squeaks when squeezed. It’s not cheap, so this is one for pampered pooches.




Aerobie Dogobie disc
  Many dogs love a game of Frisbee, but plastic flyers often have hard rims which can damage teeth. This softer rubber alternative from the (mostly human) sports toy specialists is easy to throw and flexible, but durable enough to last many a game of fetch. It’s tear and puncture resistant but try to stop your dog chewing on it.

Good Boy Rubber Ball

  If you struggle throwing a ball or stick far, this good-value toy will make it easier to lob a decent distance and the rubber ball will stand up to some serious gnawing. Use for fetch or for tugging games. 




Pet Brands Rubba Guma Dental Dog Toy
  Dogs need to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy. This innovative toy’s on hand to help; they chew and it helps with teeth cleaning, plaque removal and the spearmint flavour helps freshen breath. Available in three sizes.




  While your dog would likely choose every one of these toys as their favorite, choosing the right one is up to you. Only you know your dog’s likes and dislikes as well as their destructive tendencies. For example if you have a dog who loves to play ball then a Nylabone isn’t going to do the trick. If, however, you have a dog that adores plush toys but can get a little carried away then the SPOT Skinneeez Stuffing Free Plush Fox Dog Toy might be the right choice for you. If you keep your dog’s preferences in mind you won’t go wrong with any of these dog toy choices.
Read More

Monday, March 31, 2014

Your dog is overweight?

Your dog is overweight?
  Obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined by an excess of body fat. Dogs that are over nourished, lack the ability to exercise, or that have a tendency to retain weight are the most at risk for becoming obese. Obesity can result in serious adverse health effects, such as reducing the lifespan, even if your dog is only moderately obese. Multiple areas of the body are affected by excess body fat, including the bones and joints, the digestive organs, and the organs responsible for breathing capacity.
   Obesity is common in dogs of all ages, but it usually occurs in middle-aged dogs, and generally in those that are between the ages of 5 and 10. Neutered and indoor dogs also tend to have a higher risk of becoming obese.
With 35 million or 45 percent of American dogs overweight or obese, putting your pooch on a diet might just be on the cards. Do you know if your dog needs to lose weight or are you still calling it "puppy fat"? While owners are busy spoiling their canine friends with treats, extra food, and cookies as a show of love, the reality is that an overweight dog is neither happy nor healthy, and if your dog falls into this category, it's time to fix it, immediately. 

How To Know If Your Dog Is Obese?
  If you’re not sure, pat your hands along your dog’s sides from head to tail. In a healthy-weight dog, you should be able to just feel the ribs. Also, take a look at your dog from the side. Most dogs should have a slightly “tucked up” profile. If all you feel are fat pads on your dog’s sides, or if his side profile is more sausage-like than sleek, chances are your friend may need to shed a few.
  The first thing you should do is get your vet involved. Take your dog for a checkup as there are underlying conditions that can contribute to obesity, including diabetes, Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism. Have your veterinarian determine your dog’s current and ideal body weight and then tell you how many calories your dog can eat each day in order to reach that ideal weight. Your goal should be to work toward that ideal weight over a several-month period.


Symptoms
  •  Weight gain
  • Excess body fat
  • The inability (or unwillingness) to exercise
  • An above-ideal score in a body condition assessment.
Causes

  There are several causes of obesity. It is mosty commonly caused by an imbalance between the energy intake and its usage -- eating more than the dog can possibly expend. Obesity also becomes more common in old age because of the normal decrease in a dog's ability to exercise. Unhealthy eating habits, such as high-calorie foods, an alternating diet, and frequent treats can also bring on this condition.


How To Feed For Good Health
  Dogs should not be fed “free choice” as they tend to eat when bored instead of when hungry -- which contributes to ever-expanding canine waistlines. Dogs should be fed two to four times each day, and all food portions should be measured exactly with a standard measuring cup.
  Dog food label recommendations must be used cautiously. These guidelines are generic and most likely represent overfeeding for many U.S. dogs. Dogs must be fed according to their ideal body weight -- not their current weight if they are obese. If your dog is even mildly overweight, feeding according to the recommendations found on the food bag will result in continued weight gains.
  Increasing your dog's physical activity level is vital for successful treatment. The most common suggestions for dogs are leash walking for at least 15 minutes, twice a day, and playing games such as fetch.

Living and Management
  The follow-up treatment for obesity includes communicating regularly with your veterinarian about the weight reduction program, monthly monitoring of your dog's weight, and establishing a life-time weight maintenance program once your dog's ideal body condition score has been achieved. With a firm commitment to your dog's health and weight, you will feel confident that your dog is eating healthy and feeling its best.
  Eating right and being physically active aren’t just a “diet” for your dog -- they are keys to a healthy lifestyle and will reduce your dog’s risk of chronic disease and increase his chance for a longer life.

                               Warnings!
  • Too much strenuous exercise can be a hazard for your dog. Talk with your vet about how much exercise your dog should be getting.
  • If you make exercising the dog a task for your kids, make sure that they know how to properly walk a dog, help her when she is hurt, etc. Make sure they bring water for the dog. Also, if you have a young child, always have an adult accompany them on walks to avoid danger.
  • Always research foods before giving them as treats to your dogs. For example, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and onions can be very toxic to dogs.
  • Never restrict access to water; it should always be clean and freely available unless a vet requires otherwise.
  • A dog that is left outside during winter needs double the usual amount of high quality dog food. Talk to your vet about any issues this might cause if you have an overweight outside dog.
Read More

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.
Read More