What People Food Is Safe To Feed Your Dog? 0
When at the dinner table or enjoying a snack, you might find it hard to ignore those cute little puppy dog eyes begging for a bite. While many types of human foods may seem harmless, some foods can cause physical, behavioral and social problems in the long run.
People Food Dogs Can Eat
Liver is the most beneficial type of meat you can feed your dog. In fact, it contains 10 to 100 times more vitamin A and B, iron, protein, CoQ10 and other nutrients which are great for energy, the immune system and heart health.
Peanut butter is known for its high protein content, and it contains vitamin B and E, niacin and healthy fats. Because dogs love the taste, it is often made into dog treats or placed inside Kong toys.
Carrots, both raw and cooked, are good people foods because they are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene yet low in calories and fats. In addition to benefiting your dog's eyes and immune system, they also work wonders for keeping a dog's stools regular.
Quinoa, often called a superfood, contains many nutrients not found in other foods. From thiamin and riboflavin to calcium and iron, quinoa's healing properties protect your dog from heart disease, cancer and other ailments.
As a favorite snack of many households, you might wonder if popcorn is safe for dogs. Unsalted and unbuttered popcorn is a healthy source of fiber and minerals. Check for kernels to prevent choking.
Dogs like to eat apple slices as a treat. Apples contain vitamin K and C, calcium and fiber, which can help with hip dysplasia, heart problems and skin allergies.
In general, plain or wheat bread is safe for dogs as long as they contain no nuts, seeds, garlic or raisins. Bread is lacking in nutritional value, but it can sometimes help if your dog has ingested a foreign object or has an upset stomach.
People Food Dogs Cannot Eat
You may be in the habit of giving your ice cream without realizing that it contains lactose, a dairy sugar. Most dogs are lactose intolerant so feeding them ice cream will likely cause vomiting and diarrhea.
While cashews and peanuts tend to be okay, macadamia nuts are the most harmful to dogs. Their unknown mechanism of toxicity can cause your dog to vomit, become weak and feverish, and develop tremors.
Chocolate and other foods featuring caffeine contain toxic substances called methylxanthines, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, seizures and even death. The highest levels occur in dark chocolate and baking chocolate.
Grapes are one of those foods that you should never feed your dog. It's unclear why, but they can lead to severe illness and kidney failure. Raisins are unsafe as well.
Avocados tend to be more harmful to animals other than dogs because they contain persin. However, persin may cause your dog to have an upset stomach, or the pits could get stuck.
Although the fruity portions of peaches might not be harmful, the pits contain poisonous cyanide, which can cause many symptoms including abdominal pains, coma and cardiac arrest.
Raw eggs are a common ingredient of raw diets for dogs because they contain high levels of protein, amino acids and fatty acids. Although some pet owners swear by raw diets, uncooked eggs are often contaminated with bacteria that can cause food poisoning.While some foods are perfectly fine to feed your dog on occasion, others can make your dog deathly ill. If your dog has got its paws on food on the "do not eat" list, call your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center right away.
- Jennifer M
27 things you didn't know about dogs 0
Man's best friend is furry, fun, and fascinating. How so? Well, here are just a few things you might not know about your four-legged BFF.
1. Dogs like rolling in smelly things as a status symbol.
No one knows exactly why they do it, but it could be that dogs see marking themselves with strong odors as a way to impress other dogs and humans with their overpowering scent. (Source)
2. Corgis are Vikings.
These little dogs probably descended from spitz breeds Vikings brought with them when they settled in what is now the United Kingdom, meaning corgis are likely cousins of Swedish and Norwegian hounds. (Source)
3. Corgis have the most accurate name ever.
Their name derives from two Welsh words: "cor," meaning "dwarf," and "ci," meaning dog. Hence, corgi -- dwarf dog. (Source)
4. Dogs' noses are powerful and unique.
A dog's nose is as unique as a human fingerprint and can be used to identify it. Each one also has over 300 million smell receptors, whereas humans have only five million.(Source)
5. Dogs curl up when they sleep to protect their bellies.
It's an instinct left over from their wild ancestors, who slept curled up to protect their vital organs from predators who might attack them while they slept. (Source)
6. Dogs aren't actually colorblind.
Dogs don't see a wide range of colors, but they do see blue and yellow. (Source)
7. . . . which means you should choose blue and yellow toys.
Because dogs can only distinguish blue and yellow, you can help your pup out by choosing toys in those colors. A yellow tennis ball stands out sharply to them; a bright red ball doesn't. (Source)
8. French poodles aren't actually French.
In fact, they're German. The word "poodle" derives from the German "pudelhund," meaning "splashing dog." (Source)
9. Dogs kick backwards after using the bathroom to mark their territory.
They use the scent glands in their paws to mark the territory as theirs. (Source)
10. Dogs are among the only animals to show voluntary, unselfish kindness.
One study shows that dogs voluntarily display kindness to others, even strangers, without the promise of reward. However, they're much more likely to help out their human and dog friends first. (Source)
11. A German shepherd named Orient guided a blind man across the Appalachian Trail.
Bill Irwin, the first blind man to navigate the 2,100-mile hike, spent eight months in 1990 making the trek with his faithful seeing eye dog, Orient. (Source)
12. Dogs' noses are wet to help absorb scents.
The wetness is a thin layer of mucus that aids in absorbing scent chemicals. Dogs then lick their noses to taste the chemicals. (Source)
13. Dogs' noses also help regulate temperature.
Dogs don't have sweat glands like we do, so they sweat from their nose and the pads of their feet. That's why your dog's nose is often cool and wet during warm weather. (Source)
14. A dry nose doesn't mean a sick dog.
And finally, many people believe a healthy dog always has a cold, wet nose, but that isn't always the case. That could just be normal for that dog. It's more important to know what is and isn't normal for your dog. (Source)
15. A Russian dog was the first live mammal to orbit space.
Laika, a stray dog, went up in the Soviet Sputnik in 1957. She died during her journey, but in an unexpected twist, her daughter Pushnika mated with President Kennedy's terrier, Charlie, and had four puppies. (Source)
16. Disney's 101 Dalmatians lied to us.
Dalmatian puppies aren't born with spots. They're born completely white and develop their spots as they grow. (Source)
17. Your dogs can have stinky sweat, too.
Just like your underarms stink when you sweat, your dogs' paws can smell too. They have sweat glands in their paws, and their natural sweat odor just happens to smell like corn chips. (Source)
18. The U.S. has the highest pet dog population.
Other countries have more wild and stray dogs, but the U.S. has the largest population of pet dogs, with approximately 70 million. Brazil comes in a distant second at about 36 million. (Source)
19. The "dog days of summer" is a Greco-Roman phrase.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used this term to refer to the hottest Mediterranean summer days, which usually occur when Sirius, the "dog star," rises. (Source)
20. You and your dog can make each other yawn.
You already knows yawns are contagious, but did you know you and your dog can trigger that response when you see each other yawn? (Source)
21. Dogs hike their legs when urinating to fake being taller.
They'll try to aim as high as possible on the tree or other vertical surface to tell other dogs that someone tall and intimidating was there. In Africa, some wild dogs even try to run up trees in an effort to urinate higher up and appear much taller than they are. (Source)
22. Kirsch, a service dog, got a degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2013.
The golden retriever attended all of his owner's classes in the university's mental health counseling program. When Carlos Mora graduated, his faithful friend was awarded an honorary master's degree as well. (Source)
23. Greyhounds are ancient . . .
The first bones belonging to an identifiable breed were those of an early greyhound from 9,000 BC. Greyhounds were probably used as hunting dogs. (Source)
24. . . .and also misnamed.
The name "greyhound" comes from a mistranslation of the German word "greishund," meaning "ancient dog." Greyhounds actually come in a variety of colors, not just gray. (Source)
25. Dogs can be left- or right-handed, er, pawed.
Unlike humans, who tend to use one hand over the other, dogs are equally skilled at using both front paws. However, they usually show a preference for either their left or right paw. (Source)
26. The Irish wolfhound is the tallest dog in the world.
Irish wolfhounds reach at least 32 inches tall at the shoulder. When standing on their hind legs, they can reach seven feet tall. (Source)
27. The largest dog on record was an English mastiff.
Zorba weighed 343 pounds and measured 8 feet, 3 inches from nose to tail. (Source)
- Jennifer M
How to Maintain a Healthy Gut for Your Mutt 0
How to Maintain a Healthy Gut for Your Mutt
When it comes to the overall health of a dog, you might not consider the digestive system to be as significant as it is. The gut is connected to the entire body and plays a huge role in a dog's quality of life. Understanding how the gastrointestinal tract works and what happens when things go wrong are the first steps towards knowing how to maintain a healthy gut in your dog.
The Inner Workings of the Canine Gut
The gastrointestinal tract marks the path that food must travel from your dog's mouth all the way to its anus. Digestion begins as soon as your dog puts food in its mouth. A dog's saliva contains digestive enzymes that chemically break down the food. As the dog swallows, muscles in the esophagus push the food down toward the stomach. When food reaches the stomach, it is broken down even more by stomach acids. Now the nutrients, vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by the intestines, which is where beneficial bacteria is found and the balance of salts and fluid is maintained. Waste passes through the rectum and is eliminated as feces.
Beneficial Gut Bacteria
Naturally occurring bacteria in the intestines of dogs help to maintain a healthy balance in the digestive system. Five strains have been found to be most effective in dogs:
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus -- Eliminates disease-causing bacteria and facilitates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
- Lactobacillus Plantarum -- Removes toxins that can cause diarrhea and irritate sensitive stomachs, and it helps strengthen the immune system.
- Lactobacillus Brevis -- Supports absorption of vitamins and nutrients in the digestive tract.
- Lactobacillus Fermentum -- Stops the growth of harmful bacteria that cause urinary tract, bladder and yeast infections.
- Lactobacillus Lactis -- Prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria and provides support for the roles the other beneficial bacteria must perform.
Most Common Disorders of the Gut
When the microorganisms in the gut get out of balance, your dog may show typical symptoms of digestive disorders. This disruption in gut health can allow harmful bacteria to grow and cause intestinal infections and associated diarrhea, irritation and vomiting. Bleeding, bloating and constipation can result from issues with the intestines, as well as the stomach and rectum. Viruses can also be culprits of severe infections, including kennel cough, parvovirus and canine hepatitis. While some dogs may merely have sensitive stomachs, others may require more drastic measures to fight illness.
Connections Between the Gut and Entire Body
It's not that obvious, but a dog's gut is connected to their entire body, from the immune system to their mind. You'll probably be surprised to learn that 80 percent of the immune system resides in the gut. The bacteria that live in the intestinal tract significantly impact your dog and its ability to fight infection. Poor gut health can make your dog miserable both physically and mentally. Maintaining the good bacteria in your dog's gut and keeping harmful bacteria at bay is vital to a dog's overall well-being.
Best Dog Supplements for a Healthy Gut
There are many supplements on the market designed to improve canine gut health. The most effective dog probiotics are those that contain the relevant strains of Lactobacillus, along with pea flour, garbanzo flour, flaxseed meal, lecithin, duck, egg powder, cod liver oil, salmon oil, glycerin, carrot, celery, beet, watercress, spinach, triglycerides and crystalline cellulose. The combination of ingredients not only helps to treat digestive disorders and relieve associated symptoms but also boosts the immune system, prevents infection, minimizes allergies, supports dental health, and improves the appearance of the skin and coat.
Keeping your dog's gut healthy is easy once you have a basic understanding of the digestive tract. Choosing the right supplements can make all the difference when it comes to your pet's happiness.
- Jennifer M
Best Ways to Care for Your Aging Dog 0
Caring for Your Aging Dog
In many ways, dogs are just like people. We care for them as we would any family member, supporting their changing health needs as they age. Like people, every dog is different, with a distinct personality, temperament, and favorite activities.
The steps you take to keep them well into their later years also depends on their size, breed and existing health concerns. But despite those differences, there are some general things to keep in mind as your loved one grows older.
Is Your Dog a Senior?
Most large-breed dogs age more quickly than small breeds. On average, small-breed dogs are seniors at about age 7, while large breeds reach that milestone at about 5 to 6 years of age. A small or medium-sized dog weighing under 50 lbs. at adulthood is approximately 44 to 47 human years old by the time he's seven. A large dog over 50 lbs. is about 50-56. Since canines age faster than people, your 10-year-old pooch may be about 56-60 or 66-78 in human years.
Of course, these numbers are just estimates to give you an idea of the general phase of your loved one's aging. The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that dogs of all breeds can remain healthy and active well into later life, with good care from their guardians.
What to Expect as Your Dog Ages
Because canines age more quickly than people, the senior years can sneak up on guardians. It may seem like all of a sudden their companion is moving more slowly or doesn't seem to see or hear as well as he once did.
As he gets older, your dog is experiencing changes on both the inside and outside. As his joints and hips don't work as well and his coat becomes more grey, his organs are also declining and immune system is less effective. While it's always important to keep up with veterinary visits to monitor your dog's health to rule out chronic illnesses or ailments, here are some common signs of old age:
How to Support Your Older Dog
As a guardian, there are many steps you can take to keep your dog happy and content as his needs evolve and change. Because it may be challenging for him to get up and down stairs, you may want to create a space for him to sleep that does not put pressure on his joints. You may want to put in a ramp, raise feeding bowls to make it easier for your dog to eat, or buy an orthopedic bed.
Your dog may become more of a indoor canine, with fewer sprints or vigorous ball-chasing sessions. Exercise is still vitally important in order to maintain mobility. Daily walks, taken at a slower pace than in the past, help your canine to stay active. If your pooch seems sore to the touch or has great difficulty moving, he may have arthritis, a condition you should discuss with your veterinarian.
A proper diet, suitable for older dogs, is crucial to your dog's overall health. As the immune system becomes weaker, it is harder for dogs to fight off infections. For that reason, the AVMA recommends parasite control. As well, maintaining a healthy weight reduces some of the pressure on aging joints, hips and bones. To improve the immune system and overall physical health, some guardians choose to provide a diet that supports a healthy gut.
Some guardians notice their beloved canine has some cognitive decline as he gets older. You can discuss these changes with your veterinarian, and support your pet's mental acuity with interactive attention.
Should You Give Supplements?
Like people, many pets may benefit from foods and supplements that support their changing health needs as they grow older. Specifically, many guardians are turning to probiotics to support a healthy immune system and joint supplements to promote physical well-being in their canine companions.
In 2015, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences reported that several studies showed that certain strains of probiotic bacteria held the potential to improve canine health. Specifically, the bacteria may be promising in preventing stress diarrhea and may promote anti-inflammatory properties.
In 2017, the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University reported that veterinary diets designed to reduce joint pain had some documented success. These diets typically contained such ingredients as glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids.
In consultation with their veterinarian, who can assess the potential role for supplements in a senior dog's health plan, many guardians may, therefore, opt to try these ingredients to support their loved one's well-being.
Working with Your Dog
As your dog ages, his needs with change. As his guardian, you probably know and understand him better than anyone else. Working with a veterinary professional, you can introduce concrete measures to help your canine have a comfortable, happy old age, making your years with him as joyful as possible.
- Jennifer M