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5 common Valentine’s Day toxins for pets

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Valentine's day

Valentine's day

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.

  1. Chocolate – Ingestions of more than 0.1 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
  2. Roses – Although not really poisonous, the thorns can tear through a puppies throat and stomach.
  3. Lillies – Sometimes given instead of roses, lillies contain a toxin that is deadly to pets
  4. Macadamia nuts – Poisonous to dogs but no cats.
  5. 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 |

10 Dangerous Foods for Pets Served on Game Day

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game day foods

Everyone wants the best for their dog’s health. Keep these 16 foods away from them to help keep them safe.

Feb 04

  • 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 |

Signs of Hypothermia in Dogs

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Signs of Hypothermia in Dogs

Signs of Hypothermia in Dogs

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.

  • Sluggishness
  • Shallow, slow breathing
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Excessive whining & shivering
  • Anxiousness
  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Low body temperature
  • Drop in pulse
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death occurs eventually

If your dog shows any of these signs get them to the veterinarian right away.

January 15, 2019 |

How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

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dog ear cleaning

A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker

dog ear cleaningKeeping your dog’s ears free from moisture and bacteria is an important step in your regular grooming schedule. During hot summer months, and swimming season, you might be checking and cleaning your dog’s ears weekly or even daily. Think of your dog’s ears as a hot and moist petri dish for bacteria to flourish and grow. Think that’s gross? Try taking a whiff of the waxy brown stuff that you clean out. Yuck!

Here’s a few tips to keeping your dog’s ears clean.

  1. Check Them Daily
    This is the most important aspect of keeping your dog’s ears clean and healthy. It doesn’t take long (a few days) for a little moisture to grow into a full blown problem. Your dog might scratch at his ears, causing infection and another problem to add to the list.
  2. Keep Them Dry
    Moisture is usually the culprit. Simply swabbing inside of your dog’s ears with a cotton ball daily can help absorb anything moisture that crept in. It will also indicate if there is a need to clean deeper.
  3. Trim Hair Growing into the Ear.
    Especially important for harrier breeds, poodles and terriers. Hair can trap moisture and result in helping the petri dish environment flourish.
  4. Use a Soft Cloth Wrapped Over Your Index Finger as a Swabber
    Gently wipe inside of your dog’s ears. Diluted tea tree oil applied to the cloth is a wonderful antibacterial that will help prevent future build up.

Shaking of the head and scratching of the ears is NOT normal for dogs. If you see your dog exhibiting this kind of behavior, inspect thoroughly, as ear infections are extremely uncomfortable and can eventually lead to deafness. Also, remember, the more often you clean and check your dog’s ears, the less gross the job is!

January 2, 2019 |

Simple at-home grooming tips to keep your dog healthy

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grooming tips

grooming tips

A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker

In order to be healthy, whether human or canine, one must do regular grooming. Dogs, not unlike teenagers, may need a little gentle coaxing, but will benefit greatly from simple at-home regular grooming. The more often you groom, the more conditioned they get to the treatment (literally and figuratively!), so start early and lather, rinse and repeat often.

  1. Brush your dog’s fur.
    This seems like a simple step, but it’s important. Many dogs simply love the attention that regular gentle brushing gives them. Dogs with undercoats benefit greatly by regular brushing, especially in the spring and summer when they are shedding their winter fur. Brushing a dog is not unlike brushing your own head, in that it helps spread natural oils and loosens up dirt or debris. This is also a great time to check for fleas/ticks and to see if your dog has any tender areas that may need to be checked out by a vet.
  2. Bathe them regularly.
    Scrub-a-dub-dub and get the dog in the tub! Dogs roll in the grass and dirt, play in the bushes, dig in the mud and lay on the ground. All that dirty play has an effect on your dog’s coat. Fur is like a sponge and regular bathing can keep dirt from building up, which might lead to irritated skin and excessive scratching. Make sure the water is lukewarm and always use a gentle hypo-allergenic natural dog wash. Dogs have varying levels of enthusiasm for bath time, so you might want to do tip #3 (trim your dog’s nails) before hopping into the tub.
  3. Trim your dog’s nails.
    Long nails on dogs can cause them unnecessary pain. A good pair of nail trimmers with a safety guard can help you feel confident that you won’t accidentally cut into their quick (a vein that runs partially into the nail) and regular leg massages will keep them relaxed when you handle their feet. If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s nails, have your vet show you the safe and easy way, because your gentle confidence will make the experience smooth and fast for your dog as well.
  4. Brush your dog’s teeth.
    Yuck mouth doesn’t just stink, it’s unhealthy! You can use a gentle children’s toothbrush or a special brush designed for a dog. Brushing at least 2 times a week will keep periodontal disease at bay, which in turn will keep your dog around longer. Just don’t try to achieve that Colgate smile and avoid using human toothpaste. There are many affordable dog dental products on the market that are safe to swallow, and taste good too!
  5. Clean your dog’s ears.
    Ears are a fantastic environment for bacteria to breed. They are cavernous, dark and often moist. It’s important to check your dog’s ears regularly to see that they are dry and clean and not irritated. After bathing or swimming, gently but thoroughly dry the inside of your dog’s ears to make sure no moisture is left. Diluted apple cider vinegar applied to a cotton ball is an easy weekly maintenance cleaning and works as a natural antiseptic. Dogs with big floppy ears are especially prone to ear mites and bacteria growth, so be sure to check them out frequently.

Grooming your dog at home is a great way to bond with your pooch. They love the personal attention and adding one or two things a week will take you no time at all. A clean dog is a healthy dog and is much more likely to get hugs and kisses than a stinky dog. If all else fails, there are plenty of professionals who groom dogs for a living and you can find one at: https://www.doggeek.com/dog-groomers/ where you can make regular spa appointments if you need a little help. Remember, cleanliness is next to Dogliness!

Find a dog groomer near you >>

January 2, 2019 |
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