Archive for Dog Health

Every morning you wake up, drink in that first sweet gulp of air, and probably don’t give another thought to breathing for the rest of the day. Like most people, you take breathing for granted — until you have a stuffy nose or step out into a particularly smoggy city. Your pooch is probably the same way. The only difference? It’s much, much easier for him to feel the effects of poor air quality. The smaller the animal, the bigger the impact of pollution on him.

And it’s not just outdoors that your dog may have trouble taking a deep breath. Depending on what you’re doing indoors, he might be wheezing his way through your home, too. Have you ever wondered about the impact that your home’s air quality has on your beloved pup? If the answer is no, then it’s time to listen up.

Indoor Pollution

Many studies have shown the ill effects of air pollution on humans, including an increased risk for heart disease and respiratory problems, but only recently have scientists begun to study the impact of air pollution on pets. So far, the results have been disheartening, to say the least. Researchers have found that what you’re doing in your own home could be hurting your pet without you even realizing it.

For example, a study conducted in 2011 discovered that cats who lived with smokers (who smoked indoors) experienced poorer lung function than those who didn’t, a finding that could easily translate to canines. Another study found a link between certain types of cancer and cleaning products, as well as owners who smoked.

Outdoor Pollution

If you think that cracking a window is all you need to do to make the air in your home healthy, think again. “Fresh air” isn’t always so fresh. Industrial smog, car exhaust and other pollutants in the air can contribute to allergies in dogs and other respiratory problems, at best, and trigger seizures, at worst. A study conducted in Mexico City, one of the most polluted cities in the world, linked the subpar air quality to inflammation and increased plaques in the brain — similar to early-stage Alzheimer’s in humans.

Even if you don’t live in an industrialized area, your pup may encounter pollutants on your daily walk due to the presence of pesticides. The University of Massachusetts surveyed 700 dog owners and found that pooches that were exposed to certain pesticides had a 70 percent higher chance of developing lymphoma if their owner used pesticides in the yard.

Potential Solutions

With all of this ominous information at your fingertips, the next logical question is: what can I do about it? While you can’t really control the quality of the air outside, you can take control of the particles that float around within your home. First things first: ensure you have a proper ventilation system. When air doesn’t circulate correctly, particles can get trapped that may irritate your pup’s nose and throat. So install an air filtration system and be sure to perform routine maintenance (i.e., change the filter).

In addition to a traditional air filter, you may also want to try a few natural versions. You probably learned as a child that trees filter the air. Certain houseplants can do this on a smaller scale. Certain potted plants like the spider plant and Boston fern act as air purifiers that are able to keep indoor irritants at bay.

Of course, when it comes to the air circulating in your home, the best way to keep it pollutant-free is to not fill it with pollutants in the first place. Avoid smoking indoors and switch to green cleaning products that are free of toxic chemicals. Don’t forget that your pooch has a much smaller set of lungs than you do, so something that might cause minor respiratory irritation for you may trouble him for much longer.

 

You can’t remove industrial pollution from the air that swirls outside, but you’re more than capable of keeping the air in your home clean and healthy. So follow the previous tips in order to offer your pup a safe haven where the breathing is easy. That way, he’ll be able to recover quickly after facing any irritants that do lurk beyond your doorstep.

 

Bio:

 

 

 

 

 

Emily is an avid animal lover and pet and wildlife conservation blogger. She has also written for Continental Kennel Club and is a contributor to PetsBlogs. To read more of her articles, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

Dog Allergies at Home: 10 Common Things That Could Be Hurting Your Pet

Dog allergies are more common than many owners realize. Humans are all too aware of the effects allergies can have on us. What we often forget is that our pets are also susceptible to those same reactions. The causes may vary, but they can still have an adverse effect on your dog’s health and comfort. The following list discusses 10 allergens that are found in our homes.

  1. Flea & Flea Medication Allergy

No one wants fleas on their pet, but some dogs have a particularly difficult time with these annoying little parasites. Some canines experience extreme discomfort from flea saliva left behind by bites. They may itch far more than the number of fleas on their body would warrant.

Some dogs have an allergy to flea medication, which can complicate things if your pet develops a flea problem. Carefully monitor your pet when giving them a preventative treatment for the first time.

  1. Pollen Allergy

Pollen can make us sneeze and sniffle, and it can also cause a reaction in our dogs. To reduce the effects, keep your dog away from pollen-producing plants. Wash your pup’s feet before bringing him or her in the house and bathe regularly to reduce exposure.

  1. Bleach Allergy

There are several chemicals used in common cleaning products which can be harmful to dogs. We asked the professionals at Connect Cleaners and they said the most common which causes irritation is bleach. This common chemical contains sodium hypochlorite which can irritate your pet’s skin and paws. Keep this in mind when using bleach on any surface your dog may come in contact with, like the floor. Natural alternatives are available to keep your furry friend safe.

  1. Mold Allergy

Mold may be present in your home, and you may not know it. Some types, like black mold, can be extremely hazardous and lead to serious illness or even death in pets. Mold grows in humid environments, like bathrooms. It can also appear on window sills, in grout, and on shower curtains. Keep high-risk areas well-ventilated and clean to prevent mold growth.

  1. Fertilizer & Herbicide Allergy

Dogs love to run outdoors, and many homeowners like to keep a nice lawn. Be mindful of the landscaping products you use around your home. Fertilizers and herbicides can cause allergic reactions, especially on the skin, paws, and nose. Some products may be toxic to dogs and could cause damage to internal organs. A Journal of the National Cancer Institute study published in 1991 found that these allergens can increase your dog’s risk of developing lymphoma.

  1. Dye & Fragrance Allergy

Much like people, dogs can also have a bad reaction to fragrances and dyes used in many common household products. These are often found in laundry detergent and cleaners. If your dog starts itching more than usual, and no fleas are present, it could be a fragrance or dye allergy.

  1. Dairy Allergy

Some canines are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. These are two different conditions. Intolerance means that they have difficulty digesting lactose. The symptoms are focused on the digestive system and include diarrhea, flatulence, and vomiting. If your pet has a dairy allergy, then they may experience skin irritation and itchiness.

  1. Egg Allergy

Dogs can be allergic to egg yolks. When this happens, the body overacts and aggressively attacks the perceived threat. This usually appears as itchy and inflamed skin, flatulence, wheezing, paw biting, bald patches, vomiting, and ear infections. In rare cases, the dog may experience anaphylactic shock.

  1. Soy Allergy

Many people swear by the health benefits of switching to soy. That may work for humans, but it has a different effect on dogs. A soy allergy can manifest as itching, diarrhea, vomiting, obsessive licking, and skin infection. Studies have also found that ingesting soy can lead to other health issues in dogs, like growth and reproductive problems and thyroid or liver disease.

  1. Meat & Poultry Allergy

It may sound strange, but dogs can have food allergies to things like meat and poultry. Some dogs have trouble eating beef, lamb, and chicken. Intolerance can develop if the dog eats the same food for years. It can be a challenge to deal with since these ingredients are often found in commercially-made dog food and treats. Your vet may be able to recommend an alternative if your pet has an allergy to any of these common foods.

What Do I Do If My Dog Has An Allergic Reaction?

Watching your pet have an allergic reaction can be very scary. We often feel helpless because our dogs cannot tell us exactly what happened. The first step is to identify that your pet is experiencing problems and assess the severity of the reaction.

If your dog is having a mild reaction with non-life threatening symptoms, then you may not have to rush to the vet right away. Monitor your pet in case his or her condition worsens. Try to determine what caused the reaction and remove it from your dog (if possible) and his or her environment. If the symptoms do not go away within one to two weeks, see a vet.

If your dog experiences severe or potentially life threatening symptoms, contact a vet immediately. Serious symptoms may include difficulty breathing, swollen muzzle or eyes, and rapid vomiting and diarrhea.

5 Easy Dog Allergy Tips That Will Help Your Pet

Once you identify an allergy in your dog, you can adjust your routine to prevent contact. The following tips offer easy ways to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.

  • Wipe off paws after going on walks or spending time outdoors
  • Introduce an itch-suppressing supplement like omega-3 or biotin
  • Use hypoallergenic dog shampoo with evening primrose oil or aloe
  • Go for walks when the pollen count is lower and avoid tall grasses
  • Monitor pets when switching to new foods, pet products, or cleaners
  • Feed your dog a limited-ingredient diet

Dogs are family to their owners. That’s why we want the best for them. By being observant and responding quickly, we can keep our canines healthy and happy.

Being a pet-parent comes with a lot of responsibilities. Dogs suffer from a whole range of skin diseases that begin with common apparent symptoms of excessive scratching and licking of skin. Whether the habit of scratching suddenly developed or it has come along with the rescued adult dog, you should figure out the reasons and get your furry friend cured.

Common Skin Diseases:

Common dog skin diseases include:

  1. Allergies
  2. Dandruff
  3. Hot spots
  4. Tick and Fleas
  5. Mange (demodectic and sarcoptic)
  6. Skin Infections

 

Major Causes of Skin Diseases:

 

Whenever you find your dog getting troubled with a skin disease, the following causes should be looked into:

  1. Quality of dog food (Nutritional deficiencies)
  2. Environmental conditions (Pollution or toxic conditions in surroundings)
  3. Parasites/ Bacteria
  4. Allergic reactions to certain food, environment or things
  5. Type of Shampoo and Frequency of Bathing
  6. Skin type of dog
  7. Weather (Dryness and summer heat)
  8. Grooming Routine/ Lack of grooming
  9. Weak Immune system

 

Common Dog Skin Diseases: Causes, Symptoms, Preventions and Treatments

 

  1. Allergies:

Some dogs demonstrate allergic reactions to smoke, pollution, certain foods or contact with certain materials.

Environmental allergies are caused by inhaling smoke or pollens or by the skin coming in contact with grasses, molds or dust mites. It’s a tough job to identify such allergies and to avoid the causes as they are part of your surroundings. However, your vet will help you identify these types of allergies through tests. Medicated baths or anti-allergy like Benadryl can be the only effective treatments. Great trouble comes at an older age when the dog’s sensitivity doubles up.

Food allergies are caused when your dog is sensitive to certain foods like egg, milk, meat, grains etc. If anti-allergies aren’t effective on your dog, then try changing his food.

Allergies due to contact commonly include the sensitivity of a dog towards carpet cleaners, shampoos, specific plants, scent and perfumes, shampoos or bee-stings. It can be easily identified by figuring out the things your dog comes in contact with in daily routine. In case of bee-stings, treat the allergies by using antibiotics after consulting your vet. Symptoms of contact-allergies are breathing problems, cough, and swellings in certain skin areas.

  1. Dandruff:

Skin type of dogs is what matters here-dry skin types usually suffer from dandruff and, in consequence, excessive itching.

Treating or preventing dandruff is easy as you just need to change the dog’s shampoo. Anti-dandruff dog shampoos contain ingredients like salicylic acid, sulphur, and iodine. In case of excessive dandruff, you may bathe your pooch on alternate days for about a week. Later on, you may decrease the bathing rate till dandruff gets treated completely.

  1. Hotspots:

Hotspots are itchy skin disease caused by excessive itching, scratching and licking of wounds by the dog. Red inflamed sores are seen in the affected areas and can be easily identified. Hotspots or moist dermatitis occurs when excessive licking by the dog moistens the skin for bacterial growth in the area.

Treating mild-stage hotspots is easy. Just trim the dog’s hair from around the sore to let it get dry. Clean the sore wounds with antiseptic sprays based on water and dry out the area. Topical creams like hydrocortisone may be applied to sore after the vet’s prescription. Keep the dog from licking the sore by placing Elizabethan collar around the dog’s neck.

If the sore is in severe condition, consult the vet for treatment.

  1. Ticks and Fleas:

Ticks and fleas are gifts of neighbor’s dogs or stray dogs when they come to play with your dog. It’s hard to keep away every other dog from yours.

Dogs are extremely irritated by ticks and flea bites on their skin. The fleas search out for the warmest places of the dog’s body. The irritation can make your dog go crazy as the flea lays more and more eggs and spreads out its army in the dog’s fur.

Prevent fleas by getting a topical treatment for fleas every month. If it’s too late for your dog, you can try out medicated shampoo for fleas and bathe your dog twice or thrice a month till the problem is gone.

Prevent ticks by keeping the grass, shrubs, and trees regularly trimmed. Ticks should be removed as soon as possible after they invade your dog’s skin. Ticks cause tick paralysis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and encephalitis within 10 hours of their first feeding on dog’s blood. They can be removed using tweezers. They can be prevented by using topical treatments that are available.

Anti-allergies can help relieve the excessive itch caused by fleas and ticks.

  1. Mange (demodectic and sarcoptic)

Dogs with oily-skin types usually suffer from mange. The recommended shampoos for oily-skin type dogs should contain benzoyl peroxide, coal tar, and selenium sulphide.

Mites are the major cause of mange that is generally of two types: sarcoptic and demodectic.

Sarcoptic Mange is a mild form of skin problem without many consequences. It passes on from parent dog to its pups. Treatments include skin scrapes after 14 days, oral or topical injections, and shampoo treatment.

Demodectic Mange is a skin condition in which mites reproduce excessively in certain areas like dog’s face (localized Mange) or in the whole body (generalized Mange). It doesn’t require much treatment but in severe cases, consult your vet for injections and shampoo treatments.

  1. Skin Infections:

 

Skin infections vary among different dog breeds and commonly include bacterial infections and fungal infections.

Bacterial Infections is caused by excessive scratching of a particular skin area by your dog as in hot spot. If the infection develops around the area of ears, yellow discharge may be seen as a symptom. Sores and inflammation are other symptoms. They can be treated by keeping dry the sores and by using specific topical ointments. Antibiotics are recommended by vets in adverse conditions.

Fungal or yeast infection occurs in moist areas like armpits, feet, ear etc. It develops on the existing allergic areas of your dog that are damp, and encourage fungal growth. Dogs with floppy ears and layers of skin folds are more prone to developing fungal infections. For treatment, you need to consult the vet.

 

Author Bio:

James Shore is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant. He is a professional freelancer with years of experience in dog training. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times. His pet-passion led him to develop https://www.labradortraininghq.com/ to help people.

Now that winter is in full swing, you need to make some useful adjustments in the food-habit of your dog. There is an important connection between weather and appetite in the dogs and the changes in the weather play a vital role in altering their food intake. The seasonal change significantly impacts the health of a dog, that’s why you need to pay extra attention to the diet of your barker throughout these chilly months.

But winter not only comes with snow and sleet, it also comes with loads of misconception and mistaken beliefs among the dog owners such as:

 

  • Many pet parents think that because their pets have a coat of fur, they can easily deal with the cold better than humans and don’t require any extra attention especially to its dietary needs

 

  • Dogs are biologically capable of adjusting with the seasonal changes on their own

 

  • Some believe that extra calories will be required in the winter to keep their body temperature regulated

 

  • And there are some pet owners who believe that there is no need for extra calories as dogs do not burn them as often as they do in summer

 

Through this article, I will try to help you get rid of the common misconceptions regarding the food-habit of the dog and focus on how you can streamline the diet of your pet during the cold season.

 

(A) SELECT THE FOOD BASED ON THEIR BREED, AGE & SIZE

The selection of the food should be solely based on the breed, age and size of your dog. Large breed dogs like Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Dalmatians and others tend to suffer from bone related issues during winter. You need to add calcium enriched foods in their diet during winter. You could give them commercial dog foods include meats, grains, vegetables, and fruits. For large breed puppies, you can opt for natural dairy products such as milk and cheese. Large breed dogs can gain excessive weight quite rapidly during winter. Take particular care that you are not over-feeding them. Take them out for regular exercise as it will ease arthritis pain brought on by cold conditions. Keep in mind that, apart from exceptional cases, larger breed canines do not require extra calories in winter.

 

Foods for large breed dogs in winter:

 

  • Bones
  • Vegetables & Legumes Such as Broccoli, Spinach, & Beans
  • Tuna Fish & Fish Oil
  • Milk & Eggs
  • Kidney Beans
  • Calcium Supplements

 

Chihuahua, Poodle, Beagle, Pomeranian and other smaller breed dogs are different in many ways from their larger counterparts. In spite of their tiny size, their metabolic rates become higher during cold months and they require more calories. Appropriate winter diet can help to relieve dry and flaky skin of smaller dogs.

 

Foods for small breed dogs in winter:

 

  • Chicken Meat
  • Buffalo Meat
  • Salmon
  • Brown Rice
  • Egg
  • Whole-Wheat Bread
  • Cheese And Milk

 

Age and size are other important factors while deciding the menu for your dog. For relatively old dogs, irrespective of large or small size, it is suggested to offer them branded dog food as they often find it hard to digest cooked or natural foods. Indigestion is a common problem for the senior dogs during winter. So be very careful about what he is eating at this season and you can also ask for recommendations from your veterinarian. For younger canines, it will be good if you can offer them freshly cooked and hot meals in winter. It will keep them energetic and they can digest it rather quickly.

 

(B) FOOD ITEMS YOU SHOULD NOT OFFER TO YOUR DOG DURING WINTER-

Knowing the food items you should not offer to your furry-friend during cold season is as important as knowing the items you should offer. There are so many food products that experts suggest not to provide to your dog. You should also stop others from giving your dog the following food items during winter:

 

  • Salt and Salty Snack Foods
  • Undercooked & Stale Foods
  • Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine
  • Candy, Gum & Carbonated Drinks
  • Sugary Food, Ice-Cream & Chips
  • Foods that contain xylitol

 

(C) KEEP YOUR DOG REHYDRATED-

Same as in case of human beings, water intake by dogs gets reduced during cold months. Insufficient water consumption could lead to different types of health complications. Keep the water bowl of your canine full all the time and lovingly encourage him to drink water. There are few things you can do to persuade your dog to drink water:

 

  • Add water to your dog’s food
  • Keep several bowls of water in the different places of the house
  • Make the water easily accessible and maintain its temperature
  • Give him a treat every time he finishes a bowl

 

(D) MAKE YOUR DOG EXERCISE IN WINTER-

It becomes quite difficult to make your dog exercise during winter because of the harsh weather conditions outside. You simply can’t afford to let your dog lie lazily on the couch as it may aggravate excessive weight gain, obesity, digestive problems, appetite loss and arthritis. But regular exercise is important for your canine in order to keep him healthy, fit and well-behaved. Workout also helps proper digestion. When uninviting winter months prevent you from taking your dog outside, here are few ways you can follow to make him exercise inside the house:

 

  • Indulge in indoor games-

Getting involved in the indoor games is perhaps the most convenient and easy way to keep your canine energetic and fit during cold months.

  • Play fetch and retrieve-

Play fetch using a long hallway or open basement. Start the game by throwing his favorite toy and race with him to get it. Your engagement will motivate him more.

  • Hide & Seek-

Hide his meal in a box and let him discover it on his own. It will help him to burn extra calories and reduce the fear of getting overweight.

  • Treadmill training-

Get him on the treadmill. While he is on the treadmill, slowly increase the speed in order to make it more challenging. This will really give him a good workout inside the house.

Winter is not the best season to workout your canine outdoors. But all these indoor exercises will help your dog to remain immensely fit as they significantly improve blood circulation, help to produce more efficient bowel movements and offer much-needed mental simulation.

 

Final Thoughts

Accurate meal-plan is essential to ensure your puppy gets the finest nutrition possible in the trying cold season. You should select food items according to the health conditions of your barker. If your dog is going through some sort of treatment or suffering from a particular disease, make sure you are seeking proper advice from your veterinarian before planning his diet. Stay away from switching his food abruptly as it may lead to diarrhea or vomiting. It is better to gradually introduce him with the new diet.

 

Author Bio: Sabby Brown is an online blogger and an avid pet lover. She likes to write on various topics related to pets especially dogs and is a regular contributor to the blog section of Apex Pet Gear.

We all love our fur babies and include them in our holiday festivities. To keep our babies safe, we need to take the time to do some Petproofing, including decoration checks, setting up quiet retreat spaces, and helping them get used to new people.

A significant part of Petproofing for spending the holidays at home (or someone else’s home) means focusing on your dog’s nutritional safety. You probably know to make sure you have enough of your dog’s regular food and snacks, and to keep them on the same feeding routine. Most importantly you need to review the foods and items your dog should not have. Many pet parents already know what is on the no-no food and ingredient list, but it is necessary that others in the house know what is on the list too. Also, new items are added each year. Please use this list to share with friends and relatives who will be around your fur baby!

Alcohol – Never let your dog have access to alcohol. During the holidays, fancy concoctions are everywhere, and it can be easy for your canine friend to sneak a couple of laps before you even realize it. Depending on how much they drink, dogs can become intoxicated, uncoordinated, have vomiting and diarrhea, and trouble breathing. If a larger amount is consumed, dogs can potentially get severe alcohol poisoning that can cause coma or even death. Even if your dog has only had a few laps, you should watch him carefully. If your dog has consumed more than that, or if you are unsure of the amount, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Apple Seeds the apple seed casing is a chemical called amygdlin. When digested, amygdlin releases cyanide. It would take many seeds to reach a toxic amount, but better safe than sorry of course. Apples are still a great snack for dogs if you make sure to get rid of the core and seeds.

Avocados – Contained within the avocado skin and leaves is a toxin called persin. If enough persin is ingested, your dog can have vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing and even heart problems. The good news is that persin is limited to the skin, stem, and leaves. The bad news is that your dog could still get choked on the avocado pit. However, the edible part of the avocado is good for dogs and is now often an ingredient in dog foods.

Bacon – While not toxic, bacon contains too much salt and fat for your dog, and you should really refrain giving it at all. Too much fat in any food can cause a dog to get pancreatitis.

Baby Food – Although baby food seems harmless, certain varieties can be toxic to dogs. Some foods contain onion powder which is toxic to dogs.

Bread Dough – The yeast in bread dough can rise and expand blocking the airway and cause your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by-product causing your dog to become intoxicated. You should seek medical attention if your dog ingests bread dough.

Caffeine – Caffeine is toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA, caffeine is a powerful stimulant. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness and an increased heart rate” in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Capsaicin – Capsaicin is found in many spices such as paprika, chili powder and most peppers. It can cause your dog sever stomach irritation.

Cat Food – Many dogs love to chow down on a bowl of cat food if given the chance. However, cat food contains too much protein and fat for your dog. Though not toxic, it is not healthy for your dog to eat any food that is really meant for a cat.

Cherry Pits – Like many other fruits, the danger of cherries is in the, stems, leaves, and pits. They contain cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. The pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.

Chewing Gum and other candy – Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be fatal to dogs. Never give your dog candy or gum, and beware of chewed gum on the ground when you are walking your dog.

Chocolate (and cocoa powder) – You’ve heard this before, but chocolate is one of the single most toxic foods for your dog. It’s not just about the caffeine content. It contains two substances, theobromine and theophylline, that are toxic to your dog. If chocolate is ingested, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, damage to your dog’s heart and nervous systems, and death can occur.

Citrus Fruits – The fruit, seeds, peels, stems, and leaves of any citrus fruit contain citric acid. When small amounts are ingested, your dog may experience vomiting and diarrhea. However, a large amount can serious problems with the central nervous system. So, if you catch your dog eating part of an orange, there is no need to panic – but you may have a mess to clean up later.

Coconut – The coconut and its milk can cause your dog to have stomach irritation, including vomiting and diarrhea. Also, coconut water has too much potassium for dogs, so do not give it to yours.

Coffee – Coffee can be very toxic to dogs, due to the caffeine content. As mentioned above, ingestion of caffeine can cause diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate in pets. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Cooked Bones – Contrary to what many people believe, you should never give your dog cooked bones. The bone can easily break apart and splinter when your dog begins to chew, causing serious and sometimes fatal stomach and intestinal problems.

Corn – Corn is hard on your dog’s digestive system, so do not feed them too much. However, corn on the cob can be hazardous. If your dog ingests a corncob, his intestines can become blocked, and it can even become fatal if it is not removed.

Dairy Products – Dogs are naturally lactose intolerant and don’t digest dairy products well. Although not toxic, dairy products can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system. There’s no need to give them cheese knowing it will make them miserable later.

Energy Drinks – Letting your dog have access to an energy drink is a certain dangerous situation, especially due to the amount of caffeine found in most of them. If you think your dog has ingested even part of an energy drink, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Egg Whites – Raw egg can deplete your dog of biotin. This can lead to hair loss, general weakness, and growth issues.

Fat – Any amount of fat pieces can cause your dog intestinal and digestive problems, and can even lead to pancreatitis.

Fish – Certain fish can be especially fatal to dogs if eaten raw. Salmon, for instance can be infected with a parasite. The parasite isn’t dangerous to dogs, but it is often infected with bacteria called Neorickettsia helminthoeca, which can be fatal to them. Also, Thiamine deficiency can result if too much raw fish is consumed on a regular basis. This can cause loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.

Garlic – Garlic is in the onion family, which is toxic for dogs. Just avoid it.

Grapes and Raisins – Grapes contain a toxin that is especially harmful to dogs. Although the exact toxin has not been pinpointed, even a small amount can cause severe liver damage, kidney failure, and death.

Liver – In small amounts liver is harmless and even thought to be beneficial to dogs. However, eating too much liver can result in too much Vitamin A. Too much Vitamin A can cause your dog to have bone and muscle issues.

Marijuana – Like other drugs, marijuana can prove harmful to dogs. It can affect your dog’s heart rate, nervous system, vomiting, and diarrhea. You should seek medical attention if you think your dog has ingested marijuana.

Meat and Eggs – This is currently a controversial issue. However, the ASPCA still says that raw or undercooked meat can be dangerous to your dog. Both can contain bacteria including Salmonella and E.coli that is harmful to your dog. Raw eggs also contain avidin which is an enzyme that decreases absorption of biotin. This can lead problems with your dog’s coat and skin.

Mold – Never give your dog moldy or spoiled food. Moldy food can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause muscle tremors, convulsions, and worse. Beware of fruit that has fallen off trees and become moldy.

Mushrooms – Never give you dog food with mushrooms. Also, watch for wild mushrooms when outside with your dog. Certain mushrooms contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, liver and kidney damage, coma, and death.

Mustard Seeds – Though not toxic, your dog will certainly have an upset stomach if he has eaten mustard seeds.

Nuts – Never give nuts of any kind to your dog. Certain varieties of nuts, like macadamia and walnuts, contain an unknown toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and nervous and digestive system issues. Even nuts that do not contain this toxin still contain a high concentration of fat that can lead to pancreatitis.

Oils – In addition to cooking oils, there are also natural oils many people keep around the house for allergies, massage, and to make other homeopathic remedies. These oils are extremely concentrated and can be fatal to your dog. Seek medical attention immediately if your dog has come in contact with these.

Onions – Onions, leeks, and chives are very toxic for dogs, regardless of what form – raw, cooked, dried, powdered, or as an ingredient in other foods. Onions contain disulfides and sulfoxides that can cause dogs to have stomach irritation, anemia, and damage red blood cells which can cause organ damage and even death.

Peach, Persimmon, and Plum Pits –  Like many other fruits, the danger of the peach pit contains cyanide, which is highly toxic to dogs if enough is consumed. These pits can also become lodged and cause intestinal blockage, resulting in serious problems.
Potatoes – Unripe potatoes as well as their plant contain a toxin called solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems, weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Rhubarb – Rhubarb contains oxalates. When consumed, dogs can have digestive and nervous system problems.

Salt – Excessive salt intake can cause sodium ion poisoning which may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death. Just skip sharing your salty snacks with your dog.

Sugar – It seems that sugar is in most of the food we eat. Too much sugar for your dog on a regular basis can cause obesity, dental problems, and eventually diabetes. This includes corn syrup too.

Tea – Just as coffee, teas that contain caffeine can be very toxic for your dog. Diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, and an increased heart rate may occur. If enough is consumed, tremors, seizures, and even death can occur. If your dog ingests a food or drink with caffeine, you should seek prompt medical attention.

Tobacco– Tobacco contains nicotine, which is a major toxin for dogs. Nicotine can increase a dog’s heart rate, affect the nervous and respiratory system, and even result in death. Seek proper medical attention.
Tomatoes – Only green, unripe tomatoes as well as the leaves and stems are the problem. Like unripe potatoes, they contain solanine, which can cause your dog stomach problems including weakness, lethargy, and confusion.
Xylitol – Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in candy, gum, baked treats, now some peanut butters, and many other foods. Even small amounts can cause vomiting, lethargy, seizures, liver failure, and even death.

Yeast – Yeast can cause several problems for your dog. The yeast can rise and expand causing your dog to become extremely bloated. If left unattended, their stomach and intestines can even rupture. Another problem is that the yeast produces ethanol as a by- product, causing your dog to become intoxicated.

Again, please share this list or even post it on the refrigerator for all to see!

Be on the lookout for parts two and three about Petproofing the entire house for the holidays, and foods and tasty treats you can give your dog during the Holiday Season!

Excess food, cold temperatures outside, and central heating inside call all lead to problems with our health, and it’s no different for our canine friends either. That is why you need to know how to keep your pooch as a healthy as possible during the colder months. Luckily, below you will find some winter wonder tips to help you do just that, so read on to find out more.

 

No outside living

 

Keeping your dogs outside can be something of a controversial topic as dogster.com states, but in the winter it can be a real issue of contention. After all, dogs will feel the cold, even if they have thick coats and keeping them outside where the temperature can drop below zero really is not on.

 

That means it’s vital that you bring your pooches inside for the winter season. To do this, it can be useful to create a bedding area for them in a section of the house that is a little quieter. A place like the utility room can work well, as then they will be at relaxed and home even if they aren’t used to being around people all the time.

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You will also need to provide some warm and conformable winter bedding to keep them at the right temperature, as well as freshwater too. If you don’t want them roaming the rest of the house all the time you can use a baby gate in the doorway so they can still see what everyone is doing and yet be limited to their special space.

 

Use vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy

 

Next, it’s a good idea to up your dog’s vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy during the colder weather, just like you do with the rest of the family. Luckily, you can go to sites like topdogvitamins.com now and get the lowdown on which types of supplements are best for you dog. There you can find advice about what more senior dogs need, as well as some info on the advantage of probiotics and fish oil supplements. The latter being something that can really help with itchy skin that is often the result of going from the warm indoors to the cold outdoors and back again, during the winter months.

 

Avoid Christmas tidbits

 

Anyone that has seen their dogs long, sad face when their owner is eating a delicious Christmas treat will know how hard it is to resists giving them just a bite. However, it can actually be in their interest to not give them a tidbit, even if they are desperately begging for it.

Even if they make this face, don’t feed them Christmas human treats. Picture source

 

This is because many items of human food are delicious to dogs but can cause them serious health problems. Unfortunately, these types of food seem to be around in abundance over the Christmas period, making it harder to keep them away from Fido.

 

To help you stand firm in this, it can help to know what awful reaction common Holiday foods can cause in your pet. Chocolate, for example, is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. While cheese, another Christmas favorite is known to contain high levels of lactose, something that many canines cannot stomach. Nuts also popular during the holidays can also be dangerous, with some dogs having allergies similar to humans, so are best avoided. Find out more about this at mom.me. Although there are some items such as cooked and deboned turkey with a little gravy that they can eat in small amounts.

 

It can also be helpful to remember to get your pup some specially made dog treats for the Christmas period. Then when they are after what you are snacking on you can give them one of those instead of caving in and feeding them something you know they shouldn’t have.

 

Extra precautions when walking

Taking extra precautions while walking your dog in the winter. Picture source

 

Even though it’s cold outside Fido still needs to be walked twice a day, and that means taking some extra precautions when you do take them outside. In particular, be careful about the weather when you take them out. Try and walk them when it’s sunny so the ice and frost is melted from the paths and it doesn’t hurt their pads. Although dog shoes can also help create a protective barrier for this issue.

 

Also, watch out for deep snow, although your dog will probably love it, it can be dangerous as it covers things over and you have no idea what hazards lay underneath. Be very careful of exposing your dog to long walks in very low temperatures as well, as they are just as susceptible to frostbite as us humans are. That means keep outings short and sweet if the thermometer reads low and educate yourself in the subtle sign of frostbite, just in case the worse does happen.

 

Increase meals

 

Something that can help your pup cope with the colder temperature in the winter is as petmd.com suggests to increase their food allowance. This is because dogs gain their energy to move about and stay warm from their food, and by giving them more you make it easier for them to keep their body at a constant temperature, no matter what the weather outside.

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Of course, it is a delicate balance between increasing what they have on a normal day and overfeeding. That means it is a good idea to check the packets of dog food for advice on portions or even ask your vet if you have a dog with a medical issue that could be affected by increasing their meals.

 

It’s also a good idea to offer your dog more meals through the day rather than just making their two normal feeding times bigger. This is because it can help them to digest their food better and ensure their energy levels stay constantly topped up. Something that will make it easier for them to keep warm no matter what time of day it is.

 

Doggy clothes

 

Lastly, whatever your feelings on doggy fashions, providing a jumper or jacket for your pooch, as barkpost.com suggests can make a massive difference in keeping them warm. Something especially relevant if they are a short-haired breed.

 

There are even dog goggles on the market now that you can buy too, that act as sunglasses. Something that can be very useful if you are taking them out in the snow to prevent the glare getting in their eyes.

 

Image via Pixabay

 

 

Everyone wants to pamper their dog and show them the love and respect they deserve for their faithful companionship.

 

Alas, not all forms of pampering are created equal, and it’s even possible that you could do your canine companion an injury by choosing the wrong way to show your affection.

 

Here’s a look at some healthy ways to pamper your dog.

 

Why pampering your dog the wrong way is dangerous

 

You might think that the very idea of pampering your dog “wrong” is silly. After all, if you’re showing affection, and Fido’s enjoying himself, what’s the harm, right?

 

Unfortunately, many of the ways that people commonly pamper their animals can be extremely detrimental to the health of the pet. Feeding a dog human snacks like chocolate can result in toxicity and lead to conditions such as diabetes, making the dog sick and frail over time.

 

In some cases, things which please humans can even prove fatal to dogs.

 

While pet insurance via a company like petsinsurance.co is a good policy for dealing with potential health issues, it should always be seen as a last resort.

 

 

Feed your dog meat and veg

 

Dogs evolved from carnivorous wolves, and despite whatever the pet food industry might want you to believe, kibble is generally a poor substitute for a dog’s naturally evolved ancestral diet.

 

If you want to make your dog bark with sheer joy and get the twinkle back in their eye and the shine in their coat, start feeding them meat mixed some green veg in place of kibble. This will ensure they’re getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals and digesting them properly.

 

Yep, it’s more expensive. And sure, it may take more preparation time. But if you’re serious about your dog’s health, it’s the only way to go.

 

 

Give your dog an approved dental bone to chew

 

Everyone knows the old cliché that dogs love to chew on bones, and we all have memories of seeing someone scraping the bones off their plate for their dog to pounce on.

 

This is a bad idea, and all pet health experts would advise against it. Cooked bones are more brittle than raw ones, and also smaller to begin with. This creates a recipe for disaster where your dog can easily damage their mouth or insides due to splintered bone shards. At worst, the results can be fatal.

 

But Rover still loves chewing, so why not invest in a vet-approved dental “bone” for your dog to chew? His gums will improve and he’ll be a very happy pup to boot.

 

 

Take your dog on long walks or runs

 

Exercise may not seem like much of a treat to the average human, but things tend to work differently for our canine companions.

 

A walk is when a dog truly gets to explore the world, mark their territory, stretch their legs, meet other dogs, and feel the primal pangs of their wolf ancestors tugging at their heartstrings.

 

For the more athletic breeds, a walk by itself won’t cut it. If you want to treat them right, keep them happy, and maintain their fitness, they’ll need to go on regular long runs.

 

It should come as no surprise that breeds like huskies — which were bred to run across vast distances on a daily basis — thrive on intense physical activity.

5 Tips For Taking Care Of A Blind Dog

A dog can become blind at any age for a variety of reasons. A genetic defect can cause a dog to be born blind. Injuries or accidents can cause blindness in dogs of all ages. Senior dogs commonly lose partial or full eyesight in their late life years. Blindness for dogs doesn’t mean they can’t live a quality life. It just means you should be knowledgeable and equipped to handle taking care of a blind dog.

When taking care of a blind dog there are a few things to keep in mind to best help your blind dog adapt. The dog may not be able to see but his other senses can be used to their advantage. Their sense may even be heightened or appear that way.

Give Your Blind Dog Space

This can be a corner of the living room or under the kitchen table. Have a safe place for your blind dog to retreat and rest. Keep its food and bedding in the same area and the dog will start to understand this is its personal area.

Create Noise for Your Blind Dog

Your voice and the tone you use will give the blind dog information on what you want it to do. It gives the blind dog a general direction your voice is coming from. You can also teach blind dog directional commands by voice and redirection. Teach the dog “left”, “right”, “wait” and it can quickly navigate with your direction. Using a whistle, clicker or clapping could also be used to teach the blind dog to map out its living area.

Block Hazards

Blind dogs can’t see the danger of a flight of stairs, walking out the front door or wandering around an unattended pool. Keep your blind dog safe by fencing in pool areas, entryways or stairways that it could exit through or tumble down.

Encourage Your Blind Dog to Explore

Using treats, sounds and smells can help coax a blind dog to explore past its normal comfort zone. Rewarding him and cheering it on can boost the blind dogs self-esteem. Squeaky toys are a great way to get a blind dogs attention. A ball with a bell inside allows a blind dog to follow the sound and fetch the balls.

Keep a Great Attitude

The more “normal” you keep things while taking care of a blind dog the better. If you are sad for the dog it will become sad and depressed. Continue the dogs normal routine of regular walks and trips to the dog park. Speak to the dog lovingly and taking care of a blind dog becomes a breeze.

 

Many dogs go blind at some point in their lifetime. Stay prepared for taking care of a blind dog by following these 5 tips.

Ensuring The Safety Of An Epileptic Dog

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Epilepsy in dogs can be traumatic for both dog and owner. While it’s uncertain why this condition occurs, it’s thought to be a genetic trait. An epileptic pooch will be a happy, bubbly pup the majority of the time. But, when seizures strike, the may take you both by surprise. The extreme physical exertion on your dog’s body can be tough for them. Not to mention that seeing your beloved pet have a seizure can be traumatic.

The good news is, an epileptic dog can live a long and healthy life. This may be an extra worry which you didn’t bank on when you brought your pup home. But, there’s no reason you can’t get a decent handle on this long-term condition. To help you get off on the right footing, we’re going to look at how you can ensure your dog suffers as little as possible.

Manage Medication

Though no tablets can cure the condition as such, they at least offer a chance to control it. The most common drugs prescribed are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Both attempt to prevent seizures. The chances are, your dog will need to take one of these throughout their life. So, you need to learn how to manage their medication.

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Getting dogs to take tablets is never an easy task. That doesn’t change when their medication is long-term. To make matters worse, phenobarbital causes weight gain, which worsens if given with food. So, try your hardest to get your dog to take their pills as they are. There are many methods to try, including massaging their throat or putting the pill far back If all else fails, you could turn to something like these pill treats for dogs. Though your dog will still be eating, this is better than crushing their medication into a whole meal.

 

Know The Warning Signs

 

Even when they’re on medication, your dog may have seizures. As an epileptic dog owner, it’s your responsibility to recognize the signs so that you can protect your pooch. Over time, you’ll come to know your dog’s distinct warning signs, but for the most part, pre-seizure dogs enter what’s called an ‘aura.’. During this time, they may become distressed, dazed, or have an accident. As soon as you spot these signs, make sure to keep a close eye out.

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Secure Your Dog During Seizures

When people have seizures, we clear the way and make sure they don’t hurt themselves. Your dog is no different. Acting the right way during their seizure is sure to lessen their distress. Though your first instinct may be to call them out of it, it’s important to let a seizure run its course. All you need to do is place down some towels to protect your pup, and also soak any accidents they have. Give them time, and they’ll come round when they’re ready.

When leaving the dog home alone, remove their collar, and cover anything hard so that you know they’ll be okay if a seizure strikes.

 

Our pooches are important, they are loyal, faithful, and loving, and our part of the bargain is that we love them back and look after and care for them to the best of our abilities. A part of this is ensuring their diet is in the best it can be. So to find out what this looks like for your pupper, read on.

 

Chocolate can be fatal

 

One thing that every dog owner needs to know is that feeding their pup chocolate isn’t a treat, in fact, it can be fatal. This is because chocolate has methylxanthines in it. Specifically theobromine and caffeine, which is a big no-no for our doggie pals.

 

So no matter how much they look at you with those big brown eyes, make sure that the only chocolate treats you give them are ones that are designated safe for dogs that you buy from the pet store.

 

Yes to cold pressed foods

 

Something else that is important for dog owners to know is that a lot of mass produced kibble isn’t as healthy as you would think. Yes,  kibble is great because it’s easy to serve, as it takes no preparation and it claims to have all the nutrients your dog’s need for a balanced diet. However, what you probably don’t know is that most of it is mass produced at high temperatures. Something that makes it difficult for your dog to digest and prevents them from getting the nutrients that they need.

 

That is why it’s better to pick healthy dog food that is cold pressed. As these can be broken down by your dog’s digestive system way better. Reducing stomach issues and giving them access to the nutrients the need for a long and healthy life.

 

Scraps are a bad idea

 

The next thing you need to sort is you want to get your dog’s diet in order are table scraps. Table scraps are probably one of the most tempting things for your pooch. After all, you’re eating them, so they must be good right?

 

However, feeding the dog from the table is bad for their behavior and bad for their health. Behaviorally, it can cause issues because the dog will continue to bother you until they get the food that they are looking for. This can seem cute the first few times, but when it continues at every meal for the rest of their life, it can become a real pain.

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Healthwise, table scraps are bad for dogs for a number of reasons. The first is that it’s very easy for them to go over their recommended calorie allowance every day, making weight gain a problem.

 

The second is that it’s harder to monitor what your dog is consuming and being given by guests and other members of the family. Something that can put your dog’s life and well-being in danger with things like small bones that can cause choking, or if the dishes they are being fed from coat things such as nuts. As these can cause seizures in dogs.