The trees and flowers are blooming and your allergies are taking over. This could mean only one thing, it’s spring! While spring is a great time to get out in the yard and celebrate with your family, there are some potential hazards for your dog. Easter brings celebration but it also brings a lot of toxic dangers around for your dogs. Here’s a list to watch out for:
- Easter Grass – That colorful fake grass used to make your Easter basket so vibrant. Ingesting this “grass” can be lethal to your dogs and other pets because they can not digest it. The threads get stuck in their intestines causing damage.
- Plastic Eggs – Those shiny plastic eggs that contain goodies and sometimes, if you’re a really lucky kid, money. If chewed and swallowed the plastic can cause intestinal problems that may require surgery. Make sure you keep track of how many you put out and that they are all found by who should find them, not Fido days later.
- Chocolate – We all know that chocolate is dangerous to pets, but make sure your children know. Besides, puppies love bunnies, they just shouldn’t have chocolate ones.
- Easter Lillies – They are a sign that spring is a coming, brining new life out of winter. But, did you know that they are one of the most poisinous plants for pets? Especially cats. They can cause kidney failure in less than two days if untreated.
- Toys – Don’t forget those small and fun toy bunnies, chicks and others Easter basket stuffers that post a potential choking hazard for Fido.
Find more information about pet toxins and poisonous items for dogs and cats at the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelponline.com. The helpline is also open 24/7 at (800) 213-6680.
Have a happy and great Easter with your family!
March 16, 2019 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Spaying or neutering your newly adopted dog is one of the first steps in helping them live a long and healthy life. It’s a minimally invasive day surgery that benefits their health, your home life, and the community at large. Here’s a few of the reasons why:
- It reduces the risk of uterine infection and cancer (Breast cancer in female dogs and Testicular cancer in male dogs).
- It reduces the risk of straying from home in search of a mate, where running in the street and getting hit are a high risk.
- It reduces aggressive and territorial behavior, as well as annoying mating rituals such as spraying and trying to escape out the door every time it opens. Also, dominance behaviors with family members will be minimized with sterilization.
- It doesn’t hurt them, physically or emotionally. The surgery is done under general anaesthetic and is painless. The recovery consists of keeping them away from the stitches and from jumping or running (again to avoid disrupting the stitches). The only post-surgery requirements are to keep an eye on the stitches and monitor your dog’s activity level. As far as emotional “loss” of reproductive capability, these feelings are complete projections made by humans. When you bring a dog into your family, spaying or neutering allows them to focus on being a part of your established pack, instead of being driven by the urge to reproduce.
- It’s one way to help the pet overpopulation epidemic. It’s a fact that millions of dogs, of all ages and breeds, are euthanized every year due to pet overpopulation. Unplanned litters and unsterilized strays perpetuate the cycle that can be prevented by one simple medical procedure.
- The cost to spay or neuter is minimal and can even be free. Most cities offer low-cost spay/neuter programs and most shelters sterilize before they allow adoption, so the cost of adoption includes it. Also, it is much cheaper than medical bills related to straying from home, dominant behavior, injuries, or birthing a litter.
Your decision to spay or neuter your new canine family member is one of the best things that you can do for his/her life, as well as, the lives of thousands of other dogs who don’t get adopted. If you are still undecided or need financial help, call your local vet for free advice.
February 25, 2019 | DogGeek
Valentine’s day is this week and with all the human festivities, there are hidden dangers for your pets. Below are toxic items that you may give or receive on Valentine’s day to hide from your best friend.
- Chocolate – Ingestions of more than 0.1 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
- Roses – Although not really poisonous, the thorns can tear through a puppies throat and stomach.
- Lillies – Sometimes given instead of roses, lillies contain a toxin that is deadly to pets
- Macadamia nuts – Poisonous to dogs but no cats.
- Xylitol – The sugar substitute can cause drop in blood sugar as well as liver damage in dogs.
Stay safe this Valentine’s day!
February 4, 2019 | DogGeek
Everyone wants the best for their dog’s health. Keep these 16 foods away from them to help keep them safe.
- Alcohol – Dog’s bodies are not made to break down alcohol like a human’s body. Although you’re getting those sad puppy eyes from your dog, they don’t need a drink of beer!
- Chocolate – Chocolate can caue seziures, comas and even death. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is and the more dangerous it becomes. An ounce of chocolate can poison a 30 lb dog. And we all know that chocolate is a go-to food for football ;-)
- Caffeine – Caffeine contains a substance called methylxanthines that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panding, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity and death. So keep the Red Bull’s out of reach!
- Onions – They destroy a dog’s red blood cells and can cause anemia, weakness and breathing difficulty.
- Garlic – Large amounts can cause the same issues as onions. This means garlic pizza too!
- Bread Dough/Raw Yeast – When ingested, the unbaked bread dough expands and can cause bloat. It can also cause alcohol poisoning and gas.
- Guacamole, Avocados and Pitted Fruits (ie Peache, Pears, etc…) – The pits are toxic to dogs. They can cause difficulty breathing, fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen, heart or pancreatitis.
- Macadamia Nuts – Can cause weakness, muscle and nervous-system issues and paralysis.
- Walnuts – Especially English Walnuts, can cause gastric intestinal upset and can cause obstruction in your dog’s body.
- Nuts – While most nuts are not poisonous to dogs, they can cause a very upset stomach as their bodies can not easily digest them.
Keep your dog healthy and call the emergency vet if needed.
January 28, 2019 | DogGeek
A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
We all need exercise to stay healthy, no matter what the weather forecast says, especially dogs! Here’s some indoor games you can play to get your pooch off the couch, get moving, and to keep him from being bored on dreary days.
- Hide and seek with favorite toys
This game may start with teaching your dog how to sit and stay. Start by having him sit and stay while you place a favorite toy (squeaky ones are a favorite in our house) where he can see it, but away from him (like across the room). Use your release word (ours is “OK”) and let him go fetch the toy, making sure to allow enough time to celebrate the reward of waiting patiently, by dancing around with his toy in his mouth. You can make this game more and more complicated, incrementally, by moving further and further away with the toy, around a corner, to another room, up a flight of stairs and eventually by hiding the toy in places where your dog could eventually find it. When hiding the toy, think about a child’s Easter egg hunt. Don’t make it too hard, you do want your dog to be successful, eventually!
- Keep Away
There are many variations on this game. With two people, you can simply toss a toy or ball back and forth to each other, letting your dog chase it in each direction. We’ve even gone as far as to use tennis rackets and a tennis ball in the garage, for greater distance. Be sure to “accidentally” drop the ball once in a while, to keep your dog a part of the game.
- Agility Training
You can get very creative at home with simple props, like a hula hoop. Start by using a piece of kibble to coax your dog to walk through the hoop, as it rests on the floor. Once your dog is used to walking through the hoop on ground level, lift it off the ground one inch at time. By the end of a very rainy week, you might have your pal leaping through the hoop a couple of feet off the ground!
- Puzzles and Toys
There are many treat-dispensing and puzzle toys on the market for dogs now. These toys are mentally challenging, requiring your dogs to ‘figure out’ how to get the treat out from it’s hiding spot. Look for sturdy toys that will withstand heavy chewing.
A hallway with doors closed makes for a perfect runway for a game of fetch. A straight stairwell does, too. Use a plush ball or toy to avoid the ball going in all directions and to get the most distance out of running to fetch.
Mental exercise, as well as physical exercise, is an important part of your dog’s health. It’s fun, relieves boredom, and can be extremely bonding for the both of you!
January 15, 2019 | DogGeek
All pets can get hypothermia in cold weather but short haired, young/old, skinny and diabetic dogs are more susceptible. Look for the following signs if you think your dog might be suffering.
- Shallow, slow breathing
- Excessive whining & shivering
- Dilated blood vessels
- Low body temperature
- Drop in pulse
- Drop in blood pressure
- Death occurs eventually
If your dog shows any of these signs get them to the veterinarian right away.
January 15, 2019 | DogGeek