The Top 5 Most Dangerous Foods For Your Dog

Every owner has had an instance of their dog suddenly becoming ill with GI upset. Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and more make your dog look and feel pitiful and make you feel guilty as an owner. While most cases of GI upset are minor from overeating too rich of foods, there are some cases where eating a particular food could be extremely dangerous. Read about the following top 5 foods to avoid feeding your dog and save yourself a trip to the emergency vet.

Chocolate

Chocolate is probably the most well-known toxic food to dogs. This is due to methylxanthines, a substance found in the cocoa plant. When eaten by dogs, the substance causes problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, changes in energy levels, tremors and more. As methylxanthine amount increases with higher cocoa content, darker chocolates are more toxic than lower cocoa products such as milk or white chocolate. However, chocolate should be avoided at all costs to be on the safe side.

Grapes

Grapes and raisins caused a big scare in the media a few years back, and for good reason. Grapes and raisins can cause devastating effects in dogs, leading to kidney damage and failure. Just one or two grapes can be enough to cause problems in extremely sensitive dogs. While it is still unknown just why this may be, it is best to avoid these foods completely.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sugar often found in sugar-free gums and other sugar-free products. Xylitol contains compounds in it that cause an overload of insulin dogs and can cause toxicity when ingested. In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, dogs may have other symptoms, such as seizures or tremors. Xylitol can cause liver damage that may be permanent or fatal, so keeping sugar-free products and gums out of reach is best.

Onions/Garlic

There are mixed results about whether or not onions and garlic are truly toxic, but they have been known to cause some serious side effects in dogs. Most dogs will only experience GI upset such as vomiting and diarrhea, however, in some dogs, there may be damage to the red blood cells (the ones that carry oxygen to different parts of your body) if enough garlic or onions are consumed. It is best to limit or avoid these foods.

Certain Nuts

Certain nuts such as macadamia nuts can cause tremors, depression, anxiety, vomiting, and diarrhea within hours of eating. While not outwardly toxic, other nuts can cause problems due to their high-fat content and high salt content when commercially prepared. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration easily, which can become a big problem.

Sticking to dog-safe foods is the best option, and if you really want to give your dog a special treat, a piece of boiled chicken or turkey is a great way to entice him or her without danger. Dogs have sensitive GI tracts, so sticking to a healthy, balanced, and safe diet will help minimize any digestive upset. If your dog does eat a potentially toxic substance, it is best to contact Animal Poison Control or your local veterinarian immediately.

The Top 5 Most Dangerous Foods For Your Dog

Perpetual Well Is Veterinarian Approved

I have been a practicing Veterinarian and practice owner for 27 years and I see thousands of clients per year. I’ve known Dave Dinger for 20 of those years and I can honestly say that I have never met anyone with as much drive for perfection in his work as Dave. This is why I’m excited and honored to endorse his revolutionary pet watering product, the Perpetual Well. This product is perfect for any home owner that has a pet cat or dog. Dave’s Perpetual Well fills a basic need of a pet owner to always have fresh clean water available for their family member 24 hours per day whether they are home or not and it achieves this through quality, thoughtful engineering and exacting craftsmanship. The Perpetual Well Is a high quality pet watering system that will look great in your home, will last a lifetime and you’ll wonder how you ever went without one so long.

David Mitzelfeldt DVM
LaCrosse Veterinary Clinic
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Vitamins, Supplements, Your Dog, And You

In a society where many people take vitamin and other supplements, it’s no surprise that people choose to give them to their dogs, too. Just as with humans, these supplements can be very helpful to dogs. Likewise, they are sometimes unnecessary and can even be dangerous if given too often. So what is the discerning dog owner to do? Let’s take a closer look at canine supplements.

Types of Supplements

A wide variety of supplements are available on the market today. Some of the more popular kinds include multivitamins, hip and joint health supplements, and digestive support supplements – and these are the tip of the iceberg. A dog owner might see dozens of kinds at the pet store and even more online. With so many choices, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here’s an examination of the two types that are most likely for pet owners to encounter.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins for dogs are like multivitamins for humans. They contain vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. From the outset, that sounds like a good thing. But it’s important to remember that there can absolutely be too much of a good thing – especially vitamins. Most dogs already eat a complete and balanced dog food which contains all the vitamins and minerals they need. Although some vitamins won’t harm a dog in excess, others could cause problems.

It may be necessary to feed vitamins to your dog if it is on a limited diet or has a digestive problem. However, this should be done on the advice of a veterinarian. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Supplements

Supplements are a concentrated dose of ingredients designed to help with specific aspects of a dog’s health. For example, there might be a supplement for healthy skin and coat, or one for joint pain. Are these types of supplements alright to give to a dog?

Opinions among veterinarians are mixed. Some veterinarians find that some of these supplements can certainly be helpful to a dog. Others find them to be of limited effectiveness. Unfortunately, this is an area where science hasn’t done a lot of testing yet, which is why opinions on supplements can be so up in the air.

Still, many dog owners swear by their favorite supplements. When it comes to selecting a supplement for your dog, the two best things to do are to talk to a veterinarian for their recommendation and do plenty of research on your own. Read reviews and carefully follow any instructions on the container to avoid an accidental overdose.

Human Supplements

It’s best to avoid giving vitamins and supplements made for humans to a dog. The nutritional requirements for humans and dogs are different, and some ingredients in human supplements can be dangerous to dogs. There are some human supplements that are alright to give to a dog, but always be sure to check with a qualified veterinarian before doing so.

Plenty of water

Make sure your dog is well hydrated while taking supplements. Using a Perpetual Well automatic dog waterer your pet will love being able to always find a reliable source of clean drinking water, allowing them to properly hydrate themselves whenever they need.

Vitamins and supplements can certainly be helpful to many dogs, but they might also be unnecessary. Remember, when it comes to the health of an animal companion, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Always talk to a veterinarian before starting an animal on a new supplement or multivitamin. Together with your vet, you can help your dog be as healthy and happy as it can be.

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Walking Your Senior Dog: Give Your Aging Pup the Stroll He Deserves

Just because your senior dog isn’t the same walking companion he once was doesn’t mean it’s time to look for a new partner. In fact, taking a daily walk with your older pup can be one of the best things you do for him. Walking will keep his muscles strong and flexible, plus it’ll give him improved cardiovascular health, help maintain his weight, and decrease age-related anxiety. Even better, walking your senior dog offers quality bonding time with you. But before you begin or continue a walking regimen with your four-legged friend, learn how to make it the safest and most useful stroll it can be.

Stretch Your Pet Before and After Walking

Weakening joints and muscles will benefit from gentle stretching before and after movement. Be sure to give your senior dog an adequate warm-up and cool-down period as part of your walking session. Recommended stretches include hip flexions, bicycling the back legs, shoulder extensions, and sit and stand drills. Always check with a veterinarian for the best way to prepare your pet for exercise. A vet will be able to demonstrate safe and effective stretching techniques to use.

Set the Pace Mindfully

Although you’re in charge of the walk, be mindful of your older pet’s mobility level and choose a pace that’s comfortable for him but still provides adequate exercise. If you’re just starting a walking routine, begin slowly. Take short strolls around the block and build up to longer walks at a faster clip. Challenge your pet safely, with his health status and age in mind. Remember, any kind of movement will benefit your senior dog, so tailor the walk to his unique ability.

Offer Your Senior Dog Variety

Do you sometimes get bored with the same old exercise? Dogs do too, so try to switch things up on your walk to keep your senior pup interested and energetic. Alter your route or drive to a new, safe location, like a nearby neighborhood or park. You might try walking on a different surface. The American Kennel Club recommends grass and sand over asphalt and gravel for senior dogs. Avoid walking on overly soft sand, though, which can be hard on an arthritic pet’s joints.

Interact While Walking

Friendly conversation with your senior dog helps him feel safe and connected to you, but he can benefit from any interaction with you while out walking together. Keep your aging pet thinking, behaving, and enjoying your companionship by engaging in short obedience refreshers. Ask him to sit and wait at a crosswalk or practice eye contact, heeling, and on-leash recalls. Bring treats along and be sure to praise and reward your dog for being a good listener and walking partner.

Give Your Senior Pet All of You

If you have multiple dogs, leave the others at home. Younger dogs typically have more energy and speed than older dogs, making it more challenging for you to concentrate on your senior. Likewise, a chatty friend can divert your attention and even cause jealousy in your pet. Give your senior what he craves: all of you. He’ll appreciate one-on-one time with his favorite person, and that alone can make your walk more fulfilling and rewarding for both of you.

Watch for Hazards

Hazards while walking come in all forms, even when your pet is leashed by your side. If you see other dogs approaching, consider turning around or crossing the street. Your senior may not have the confidence and agility to handle encounters with unfamiliar animals. Inclement weather, uneven roadways, and traffic are other potential hazards to be aware of and plan accordingly for. Stay alert while you’re out walking together so you can keep your pet safe and content.

Make Walking Your Senior Dog a Regular Habit

Many senior dogs suffer stiffness and joint discomfort, an important reason to make exercising your aging pet a regular habit. Get on a daily walking schedule if possible. You won’t just improve his pain and joint function; you’ll also help manage his weight and reduce stress and anxiety, all which contribute to better health and longevity. Finally, regular walking provides structure, which has been shown to boost confidence, security, and good behavior in dogs.

Keep Track of Time

Don’t overdo walking with a senior dog. Older pets tire quickly and can be highly susceptible to overheating and dehydration. Make sure your dog is well hydrated before and after the walk with Perpetual Well automatic dog waterer. A half-hour or less is plenty of time for your senior dog to be out walking. If it’s a warm day, cut the walk short. Avoid getting too far away from home or your car, in case you need to turn around quickly and carry water with you for hydration. Finally, wear a watch so you can always keep track of time.

Treating your senior dog to a walk is something he’ll surely lap up, but make it a stroll he deserves. You’ll improve his fitness and give him a happier, healthier, and longer life with you.

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