Christmas Tree Dangers to Dogs

Christmas Tree Dangers to Dogs 300x300 Christmas Tree Dangers to Dogs

Your Christmas Tree looks lovely all decorated and lit up for the Holiday Season, but it can pose dangers to your dog.

Pine Needles – Although pine needles are not toxic to dogs, they can still cause vomiting, diarrhea and can also cause irritation in your dog’s mouth. To prevent these issues, vacuum often or use an artificial tree.

Salt Dough Ormanemts – These popular ornament made with salt, flour and water can be toxic to your dog if eaten. If you wish to display these, either display them on a shelf or hand them high on your tree where your dog can’t reach them.

Christmas Lights – If you have a young dog who likes to chew, make sure all strings of lights and extension cords are out of reach of your dog. Either put presents over the extensions cords or use portable fencing to keep your dog away from the tree.

Tinsel and Glass Ornaments – Tinsel can cause a an intestinal obstruction if your dog eats enough of it. Glass ornaments can cut your dog’s mouth, throat and intestines if your dog decides to eat one of them. Hang glass ornaments high on the tree, however if your dog does get a hold of an ornament, several spoons of pure pumpkin or a couple of slices of bread with help catch the glass fragments and help them pass through your dog’s intestinal tract. However, if your eats an ornament, you should always check with your veterinarian.

Tree Water – Tree stumps can contain fertilizer and bacteria that can be transferred to the tree water. This can be harmful to dogs who drink the tree water. To prevent this, keep your tree stand and water covered with a tree skirt or use an artificial tree.

How to Trim the Nails of a Nervous Dog

Honeycomb 300x300 How to Trim the Nails of a Nervous Dog

How to Trim the Nails of a Nervous Dog

Many dogs do not like to have their nails trimmed. Nervous dogs tend to be especially difficult to control when you are trimming their nails. There are several things you can do to help your dog feel comfortable getting their nails trimmed.

Pick a place where you will always trim your dog’s nails. A table or raised bench is best. Put a bath mat or other non-slip rug down on the table or bench so your dog doesn’t slip. With a nervous dog, it is very important to proceed very slowly.

The first session, simply put your dog up on the table or bench and give them a couple of treats. Give them lots of praise and then end the session for the day.

The next day, put the dog on the table or bench and have them lie down on their side and then give them a treat.

The next day, touch the dog’s foot with the clippers, but don’t clip the nails just yet. After doing this for a few days and when the dog is feeling comfortable, you can begin trimming a couple of your dog’s nails at a time. Continue to give your dog lots of treats and praise.

If you still don’t feel comfortable trying to trim your nervous dog’s nails, contact your local dog groomer or veterinarian for assistance.

Top 8 Fruits and Veggies to Add to Your Dog’s Natural Diet

IMG 0011 263x300 Top 8 Fruits and Veggies to Add to Your Dogs Natural Diet

Fruits and Veggies to Add to Your Dog’s Natural Diet

Although dogs are mainly carnivores, the addition of certain fruits and vegetable can enhance your dog’s diet. Fruits and vegetables can help improve your dog’s immune system, they can provide extra vitamins and minerals and some can even help your dog lose weight if they need to.

You can replace 10 to 20 percent of your dog’s regular diet with fruits and vegetables. Start out by adding a very small amount of fruits and veggies to your dog’s diet to avoid a digestive upset. Gradually increase the amount you give your dog over a two week period. Most vegetables and fruits are good for your dog, but there are a few that should be avoided.

Certain vegetables and fruits can be toxic to your dog. Never give your dog grapes, raisins, onions or garlic; they can be extremely harmful to your dog. Broccoli in large amounts can be toxic to dogs. Broccoli should comprise 10 percent or less of your dog’s diets.

Following is a list of vegetables and fruits that will make a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. Try out several of them to see which ones your dog likes.

Carrots
Carrots provide beta carotene to your dog. They are also high in vitamins K, C and A. They are also high in potassium and fiber. They help to prevent cancer and are rich in antioxidants. They can be steamed or boiled and added to your dog’s dry food or small pieces of raw carrot can be fed for a treat.

Green Beans
Green Beans are a great source of fiber and can help your dog to lose weight. Replace part of their dry dog food with green beans and you should see your dog slim down. They also provide your dog with vitamins K, A, C and manganese.

Peas
Peas are high in fiber and protein. They also provide your dog with several of the B vitamins, as well as manganese, fiber, folate and thiamin. You can give your dog canned peas, or fresh or frozen peas that have been cooked.

Blueberries
Blueberries will provide your dog with numerous antioxidants. They can help to reduce tear staining in dogs. They can be served fresh, canned or frozen.

Cranberries
Cranberries can help to prevent or control urinary tract infections in dogs. They help to lower the pH of your dog’s urine. They are also high in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. They can be served fresh or frozen, but do not feed you dog cranberry sauce, it is very in sugar.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is another food that can help your dog lose weight. It is high in fiber and will help your dog to feel full. Replace a small amount of your dog’s dry food with an equal amount of pumpkin to help your dog slim down. Pumpkin can also help to ease stomach upset and to control diarrhea in dogs. Pumpkin will provide your dog with lots of antioxidants and vitamin A.

Apples
Most dogs love apples and they can be used as a treat for your dog. They are high in fiber and vitamin A and C. Apples can also help with your dog’s digestive health. Apples can be fed raw, cooked or as applesauce.

Bananas
Bananas can provide a quick burst of energy for your dog. They are full of natural sugars that will give your dog quick energy. They also contain vitamins B6 and C and lots of potassium and other minerals.

Most dogs will love the addition of fruits and vegetables to their diet. Start out with small amounts of one fruit or vegetable. See how well your dog tolerates that one fruit or vegetable before adding more. Once you know which fruits and vegetables your dog likes and tolerates well, you can rotate them so your dog does not get tired of any one fruit or veggie.

Best Natural Power Foods for your Active Dog

IMG 0010 300x200 Best Natural Power Foods for your Active Dog

Best Natural Power Foods for your Active Dog

Your dog works and plays hard all day. They need to have energy to be able to run and play. The following power foods can help keep your dog active.

The most important thing you can do for your dog is to feed them a high quality dog food. Make sure that the food has a high level of protein. That protein should come from chicken, fish or meat meal, not animal byproducts. Avoid foods that contain chemical preservatives and look for a food that is preserved with Vitamin E or Vitamin C. Following are several things you can add to your dog’s food to give them extra power and energy.

Salmon oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are good for your dog’s coat, heart, joints and brain. Salmon oil may also help boost your dog’s immune system.

Yogurt is another great additive to put in your dog’s food. It is a good source of protein and calcium and will help soothe your dog’s digestive system.

Eggs are also a great addition to your dog’s food. Only feed your dog cooked eggs, as raw egg whites are harmful to dogs.. Eggs will provide protein and selenium for your dog.

Good nutrition will ensure that your dog has all the power he needs to do run and play all day long.

Arthritis Pain Relief for Dogs

IMG 0009 300x200 Arthritis Pain Relief for Dogs

Arthritis Pain Relief for Dogs

Do you notice your dog taking longer and longer to get up and get going in the morning? Is he having trouble going up and down the stairs? Your dog could be suffering with arthritis. Arthritis can cause pain in swelling in your dog’s joints, but there are many products on the market that can offer arthritis pain relief for dogs.

What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an often crippling disease that can affect dogs. It is a degenerative disease that affects the dog’s joints. It can affect many joints in a dog’s body such as their hips, knees and even their spine.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
Dogs with arthritis will often experience joint pain, constant or intermittent lameness and stiffness of varying degrees. Pain and stiffness will often be more pronounced after a period of rest. Weather can affect dogs with arthritis. When they are in a cold, damp environment, their arthritis may worsen.

Treatment of Arthritis
Treatments for arthritis include pain relievers, corticosteroids and physical therapy. Acupuncture also has shown good results when used on arthritic dogs. Glucosamine is a supplement that can be added to the dog’s food. This supplement will help to repair the cartilage in the dog’s joints.

Diet and Lifestyle Treatments
Feed your dog a good quality dog food with an adequate protein level. Try to keep your dog’s weight down. When your dog is kept at its correct weight, there will be less stress on its joints. Develop a regular exercise program for your dog to try and keep their joints as flexible as possible. Walking, swimming or jogging are all good exercises for a dog with arthritis.

Diagnosis and Prognosis for Dogs with Arthritis
Diagnosis of arthritis in dogs is most often made by x-rays. Bone spurs are often seen on the x-rays of dogs with arthritis and there will most likely be narrowing or the spaces between the joints. There is no cure for arthritis in dogs, but most dogs can be made quite comfortable with the right treatment

Flea and Tick Protection for your Dog – Is Natural Better?

IMG 0014 300x269 Flea and Tick Protection for your Dog – Is Natural Better?

Flea and Tick Protection for your Dog – Is Natural Better?

Fleas and Ticks can cause big problems for your dog. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as well as other diseases. Fleas can cause your dog to become anemic. And then there’s the constant itching and scratching. When your dog’s suffering, you just want to find them some relief.

If you have a heavy infestation of fleas, you may need to use a chemical Flea & Tick Product to rid your dog and home of fleas and ticks. Frontline is very popular and very effective against Fleas. A newer product, Bravecta is also very effective against fleas and ticks and 1 pill lasts for 3 months. As always ask your veterinarian what product they recommend for your dog.

While chemical Flea & Tick products will rid your dog of Fleas and Ticks, they may have some serious side effects. According to the website www.vetinfo.com the popular flea medication, Frontline, can cause skin itching and redness at the site of application on certain dogs. It is also not recommended to treat puppies under 10 weeks of age or pregnant or lactating females with Frontline.

So, how can you rid your dogs of fleas and ticks without using harsh chemicals? If you only have a couple of fleas or ticks on your dog, you may be able to get rid of them with a flea comb and a thorough vacuuming of your entire house. But if you have more than a few fleas, you need some other ideas.

Diatomaceous Earth has proven very effective at killing fleas. Make sure that you purchase food grade quality Diatomaceous Earth. It comes in a powder form and can be rubbed directly on your dog to kill fleas and ticks. Just take care not to get it in your dog’s eyes and take care that neither your or your dog breath it in. You can also sprinkle the powder on your upholstered furniture and carpeting. Let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes and then vacuum the powder and dead fleas up.

Another thing you can try to repel fleas is a tea tree oil solution. Take an empty spray bottle and put about 3 drops of tea tree oil in in and then fill the bottle up with water. They spray the mixture on your dog and dog’s bedding, taking care not to spray it in your dog’s face. Never apply straight tea tree oil to your dog, always dilute it with water.

How to Raise a Puppy the Whole Family Will Love

IMG 0031 300x200 How to Raise a Puppy the Whole Family Will Love

How to Raise a Puppy the Whole Family Will Love

A new puppy can bring lots of joy into your home, but a young puppy can also wreck havoc on your home. They can chew on your shoes, piddle on your floor and get into all kinds of trouble if they are not raised right. So how can you avoid the pitfalls of puppyhood?

Before you even bring your puppy home, you should prepare your home. Walk around your entire house and look for hazards that are at puppy level. Tuck extension cords away so your puppy doesn’t chew on them and possibly electrocute themselves. Pick up shoes and any other items you don’t want your puppy to chew up. Check lower shelves of any bookcases or entertainment centers and remove any objects that could be harmful to your puppy.

Once your home is puppy proofed, it’s time to go shopping for puppy supplies. Now’s the time to pick out a cute collar and leash, just make sure that it has a sturdy buckle and snap so your puppy is safe. It’s also a good idea to get an adjustable collar so your puppy doesn’t outgrow their collar right away. Pick up some toys for your puppy to play with and also pick them up some bones or rawhide so they have something to chew on. Buy a Kong for your puppy and you can stuff it with kibble and peanut butter and it should keep your puppy amused for hours.

Once you’ve picked up your little bundle of joy, your next stop should be your Veterinarian. Your Vet will check over your puppy’s heart, lungs, eyes, ears and limbs. They will make sure that there are no congenital or hereditary problems. They will recommend a vaccination and worming schedule and may recommend flea and tick and heartworm preventive medications.

Now that your puppy has a clean bill of health, it’s time to head home. Most puppies naturally have lots of energy. It’s important for your puppy to have some exercise and play time several times a day. You can take your puppy for a walk, take them swimming or throw a toy or ball for them. A tired puppy will cause lots fewer problems than a puppy that’s full of energy

Puppies will have accidents, that’s just a fact of life. But there are plenty of things you can do to minimize those accidents. The first thing to do is take your puppy outside very often. Young puppies have a very small bladder and can only hold themselves for a few hours. Take your puppy out when you first get up in the morning, after every meal, after they wake up from a nap and right before bed. Also when you’re not directly supervising your puppy, it’s best to confine them to a crate, ex-pen or a room with a tile floor to minimize damage to your carpeting.

A crate can be a useful tool for raising your puppy. If you have to be away from home, your puppy will be safe till you get home. You’ll know there not chewing up your shoes, chewing on an electrical cord or worse. Introduce your puppy to a crate by placing a few treats inside the crate and leaving the door open and let your puppy walk in and out of the crate. Once they’re comfortable with that, place a rawhide or stuffed Kong inside the crate and shut the door for a short time. Gradually lengthen the time your puppy stays in the crate.

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight 300x300 How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Is your dog getting a little pudgy? Has your vet suggested that Fluffy is getting a little too fluffy? Just like humans, dogs must consume fewer calories and burn off more calories through exercise to lose weight.

Many dogs today can be classified as either obese or overweight. The excess weight that they are carrying can cause many health problems including: heart disease, diabetes, breathing disorders, arthritis, spinal problems and increased chances of some cancers. In addition, overweight dogs may have a shorter life span than their thinner counterparts.

So how can you tell if your dog is overweight? The first method is to run your hands over your dog’s sides and see if you can feel their ribs. You should just barely be able to feel their ribs if they are at their optimum weight. The other method you can use is to stand next to your dog and look down at them. Can you see their waist? If they’re at their ideal weight, you should be able to see the indentation of their waist between their last rib and their hips.

So if you or your vet have determined that your dog needs to lose a little weight, how do you go about it? The first thing you need to do is determine your dog’s current weight. You can either have him weighed at your vet’s office or you can weigh him at home. Then you need to find out what the ideal weight is for your dog. Your vet can advise you on this or you can go to the American Kennel Club website at akc.org and look at the breed standard for your breed. This should contain a suggested weight range for your breed of dog.

Next you should look at the bag of dog food that you’re currently feeding your dog. Look for the information that tells you how many calories per cup the food has. This information should be on the bag, but if you can’t find it or don’t have the bag, check the manufacturer’s website. Now it’s time to head to the pet food store for some new food for your dog. There are many low calorie options available, but make sure that the calories per cup are lower than the food you are presently feeding. To avoid any stomach upsets, replace just a little of the new food with the old and increase the amount of new food each day until they are eating just the new food. If your dog still seems hungry, you can add a spoonful of no salt added green beans or pure pumpkin puree. Also remember that the guidelines on the dog food bag that tell you how much to feed your dog apply to the average dog, if your dog has a slow metabolism, they may need less food. It’s also important to either weigh or measure your dog’s food each day to ensure that you are feeding them a consistent amount.

If your dog is overweight, it’s better to feed them once or twice a day. Free choice feeding makes it easier for your dog to overeat and makes it harder for you to know exactly how much they are eating each day.

If you give your dogs a lot of treats throughout the day, these can really add lots of calories to your dog’s diet. Try replacing some or all of your dog’s treats with lower calorie options. Many dog’s love carrots and apples and may enjoy other fruits and vegetables. Cheerios are also a good low calorie treat options, just watch the quantity.

Exercise can also help your dog lose weight. Add in some extra walks each week to help them burn calories. Swimming is also great for building muscle and losing weight.

If despite your best efforts, your dog is still not losing weight, consult your veterinarian. It’s possible your dog could have an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism. Your veterinarian may have other things you can try and may even suggest a prescription low calorie die

How Many Vaccines Does Your Dog Really Need?

IMG 0040 300x280 How Many Vaccines Does Your Dog Really Need?

How Many Vaccines Does Your Dog Really Need?

You may be wondering if your dog really needs annual vaccinations for distemper, parvo and adenovirus. According to the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccination Task Force, yearly vaccines are no longer recommended. The updated guidelines now recommend vaccinating your dog for these three diseases every three years instead of annually. The task force also stated that the vaccines for parvo and distemper provide immunity for your dog for 5 years or more and the vaccine for adenovirus provides immunity for at least 7 years.

A prominent veterinary immunologist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, recommends that dogs should not be vaccinated for any diseases before they reach the age of six weeks. Puppies younger than six weeks are protected by antibodies they receive from their mother’s milk. Subsequent vaccinations should be given every three to 4 weeks until the dog reaches 16 weeks of age. Then per the AAHA, the adult dog should receive boosters at one year of age and then every 3 years for the rest of their life.
What about rabies vaccinations? These must be given in accordance with your state laws, unless your state allows a medical exception and your veterinarian concurs that your dog should receive a medical exception.

Does the breed of dog matter? In this instance, yes. Certain breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Greyhounds may be poor responders to vaccines and may need additional vaccinations to be adequately protected from disease.

It’s still important to take your dog in to your veterinarian for regular health checkups. If you want to be certain that your dog is still protected against distemper or parvo, your veterinarian can draw a blood sample and run a titer test to see if your dog is still protected against these diseases.