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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 |

Exercise with your dog through indoor play on a rainy or cold day

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indoor dog exercise

indoor dog exercise

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.
  • Fetch
    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 |

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 |
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