Dog Bones – Delicious Treat or A Deadly Snack? 1 perfect solution!

Lets face it, dogs love bones, they always have and always will. But, could they spell disaster for your best friend?

Are bones a delicious treat or a deadly snack?There is a difference of opinion among canine experts as to whether bones should be given to a dog raw, cooked, hard, or soft, and even whether they should be given at all. On one point, however, there is total agreement, never give a dog splintering bones from chicken, pork, fowl, and rabbit, (although chicken bones that have been cooked in a pressure cooker until they are very soft can be quite nourishing and safe).

A marrow bone is the traditional symbol of a treat for a dog, and he obviously appreciates it. It may be too big and hard for small dogs. In fact, large breeds generally handle bones much better than small ones. Bones that are mostly cartilage, such as spinal and shoulder bones of veal, knuckle bones, and soft rib bones, are good chewing material that can be entirely consumed.

Serious concerns for dogs and their bones.

There are some serious concerns you need to watch for when giving your dog a bone.  A dog can break a tooth on a bone, thus, causing expensive surgery.  They can get a mouth injury, kind of like when we bite the sides of our tongue or insides of our mouth.  Believe it or not, a bone can get wrapped around a dog’s lower jaw.  I’ve had it happen to my daughter’s dog.  She became extremely scared but we got it off carefully.  She no longer gets the round bones.

Did you know a bone can get caught in a dog’s esophagus?  I’ve seen that happen to my neighbor’s dog.  He was trying to eat the bone too fast and just swallowed it.  The problem was, it was too long.  We actually had to gently pull it out!  It was scary for all of us!!  Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

The real danger with dogs and bones

The real danger is intestinal compaction, especially in small dogs, if the masticated bone has not been mixed with other residue in the dog’s stomach. A small amount should cause no trouble if it is given right after a meal. Chop and steak bones are more dangerous. Careful eaters simply clean off the meat and fat, but greedy gobblers run the risk of internal injury from jagged bone splinters. The same is true of a leg of lamb bone.  They may also get constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

Peritonitis is a nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen and is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian as peritonitis can kill your dog.

Are there any good reasons to give a dog a bone

There are some good things about giving bones to dogs though.  Dogs and bones have gone hand in hand (or paw in paw) together forever! They are a natural source of calcium, they help scrape away tartar and plaque build-up through chewing action, they contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and they are durable, flavorful, and long-lasting.

What is the best policy to follow with a dog of your own? A teething puppy between four and six months of age should always have a bone, real or imitation, to chew on. You might give an adult dog a suitable bone as on occasional treat – for example, once a week. It will give him enormous pleasure, will help to keep his teeth clean and free from tartar, and will occupy him for several hours. But a nylon bone offers the same advantages without the risk!

Cooked bones are a dangerous snack.

They become brittle and easily break into sharp shards that can do a lot of damage when they pass through the gastrointestinal tract. Never feed your dog cooked bones.  Raw bones are generally safer than cooked, If you want to give your dog a bone because chewing provides mental stimulation and can help keep the teeth clean, then I recommend picking a raw bone that is approximately the size of your dog’s head. Bones of this size will allow your dog to gnaw while helping to reduce the chances that your dog will break off and swallow a chunk of bone that can cause health problems.

Chew treats. You’ve probably given dozens of them to your dog and they love them. They clean their teeth and keep them occupied for hours. Its a perfectly harmless canine treat right? Wrong. Chew treats can harm or even kill your dog. If you are concerned about your dogs health read on.

Now let’s discuss chew treats

Why are chew treats dangerous?

The two most popular kind of edible chew treats are those made of rawhide and those made from compressed vegetable protein. When your dog chews these treats, they may swallow large pieces of them. These pieces of chew treat cannot be digested by your pet and they can become lodged in their intestines. Intestinal blockages can kill your dog in hours. They can cause a condition called intestinal strangulation which is when blood flow is cut off to the intestines. The intestinal tissue then begins to die and rot. My dogs sometimes swallow entire chunks at a time, and since they’re largely indigestible, these can get stuck in a dog’s throat (I’ve pulled many out) and intestinal track. My dog enjoyed rawhide chews until he had to pass a few sharp pieces. They passed right before he was due for a trip to the emergency vet and it was a painful process for him and terrifying for me.

How do I know if my dog has a blockage?

If your dog has a blockage, you may see some of the following symptoms. They may vomit, refuse to eat, regurgitate food, have diarrhea or abdominal pain. If your dog has any of these symptoms, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. If they get a blockage, it will not clear itself. They will require surgery.

Should I stop giving my dog chew treats?

You do not have to stop giving your dog chew treats altogether. You should however monitor the use of these treats. When you can not be around your pet, take the treats away. When your dog has worn the treats down into small pieces, replace them.

Remember, as a pet owner it is your responsibility to look after your dog’s health. We all love out pets and it would be a shame to lose them over something as simple as a chew treat. So keep a watchful eye on your pet and help them live a long and happy life.                                                                                                

My dog needs something to chew!!!

1-Carrots!  My dog loves carrots!  They are healthy, easy to chew and digestible!

2-frozen broccoli!  Another healthy, digestible favorite!

3-But neither of these give the same chew satisfaction as a bone.  So now I use Bully Sticks.  Some people believe that bully sticks are no better than rawhide chews, but I disagree. My dogs love these, and I buy them in bulk. They smell awful, even the ones that are “low odor” bully sticks.

Bully sticks can be expensive. We have discovered a great source of quality bully sticks;  Yep, they still smell, but for the price and the joy it gives our dogs (and the quiet time for the humans), the smell is worth it. My favorites are the Monster bully sticks:  You can buy them on amazon or chewy.  Read this review on bully sticks.  You can read more about bully sticks here.

Be safe with your dogs and monitor as they snack!  For another good read on dog aggression, click here to read another post.

5 Smart automatic wi-fi enabled pet feeders for your dog and cat

Smart pet feeders allow you to feed your dog and cat while you are busy with your life.

I am fortunate enough to work from home but I know most people don’t.  From working long hours at the office to traveling, it’s hard to be able to feed our pets on time every day.  We all know that we shouldn’t leave our pets, dogs especially, very long by themselves but we still may not be home when our pets need to be fed.  Smart automatic pet feeders are the answers to feed your dog and cat even if you can’t.

Fortunately, technology has hit our pet’s world to keep them safe and happy!  We now have Smart pet feeders!

What is a Smart Pet Feeder?

A smart pet feeder allows you to schedule and manage feeding times, portion sizes, and food supply for your pets. Smart pet feeders are controllable on your smartphones and computers so you can still be able to feed your pet while you’re away or preoccupied. Most pet feeders come with a camera so you can visually check your pet too.  I think the camera component is very cool.  We can monitor our pets to see if they eat too fast or are snacking throughout the day.

Why You Need It to feed your dog and cat

Being a pet parent demands responsibility. Looking after your pet on top of work, personal errands, and family time is quite difficult. Smart Pet Feeders change the game. It allows pet owners to still check on their pets and feed them whenever they’re at work, out for a short vacation or running a long day of errands. A smart pet feeder also compliments a great smart pet toy as well.

Here is my take on the top 5 smart pet feeders on the market today.

PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Pet Feeder for iPhone & Android, 12-meal

Key features:

  • Wi-Fi-enabled feeder connects to your home’s wireless router and works with your Android or Apple smartphone, giving you the ability to feed your cat or dog no matter your location.
  • Use the app to customize and schedule up to 12 meals a day, with portions ranging from 1/8 cup to 4 cups to fit your pet’s feeding needs.
  • The Smart Feed is powered by an adaptor with an optional battery backup (batteries not included) and works with iPhone and iPod devices iOS 9 or later and most Android smartphones 5.0 or later.
  • Unique conveyor design dispenses most shapes and sizes of dry and semi-moist food and helps prevent jams while the pet-proof dispenser keeps prying paws from sneaking food. Yes…I have a dog that would do this!
  • Feed your pet no matter where you are

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Petnet SmartFeeder 2nd Generation White Automatic Pet Feeder, Medium

Key features:

  • Holds up to 2 Gallons, 25 Cups
  • SMARTPHONE CONTROLLED: Manage your pet’s daily meal schedule anytime, anywhere – using your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • CUSTOM MEALS: Use the Petnet App to personalize the time and portion of each meal, or feed from your phone if you’re running late
  • SMART ALERTS: Get phone notifications for successful feeds, low food warnings, food delivery updates and more!
  • NEW FEATURES: Pet-Proof Self Locking Lid, Removable Food Container, Food Container Lock, Food Level Sensors, Dishwasher Safe Metal Bowl, Durable Portion Wheel
  • SMART HOME ENABLED: Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Nest Cam so you can use voice commands to dispense food, get updates about when your pet was last fed, find out how much food is left, and even view snapshots of your pet eating
  • PET FOOD DELIVERY: Purchase includes FREE trial of SmartDelivery – Get your pet’s food delivered in the freshest bag size, based on how much they should eat each day. (Not all foods available. Currently shipping over 2,500 bag sizes and recipes.)

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RICHDOG Automatic Pet Feeder – Pet Feeding, 

  • Holds up to 6L of food
  • can schedule up to 4 automated feedings per day by using the built-in programmable timer. Program each meal time with a single click of the easy-to-use LED screen.
  • has 2 exchangeable food dispensers. 2 models are available – Model S: for the small and medium-size pets with 1 to 39 portions (5 g-195g); Model L: for medium and large size pet with 1 to 39 portions (10 g-390g).
  • Dual Power Supply (batteries not included).
  • Voice Record & Play at the Meal Time. This Auto pet Feeder can customize exclusive information to make pets excited about dining and enjoy mealtime! You can record less than 10 seconds of recording. Press and hold the microphone button for three seconds to start recording the information to be played each time the pets feed is assigned. Call your pet to eat at meal time. (e.g., here, Bobby! Come to eat, Good dog!) Even if you are not at home, your voice can be with your pet all the time.
  • Customer Service and Product Warranty RichDog Automatic Feeder offers you a 1-year warranty and repairs the defect without charge.

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OYTOOL Automatic Cat Feeder Pet Dog Food Dispenser Feeder For Small Medium Large Cat Dog-4 Meal Timer Programmable Voice Recorder Portion Control 

  • Time and Amount Programmable:  The feeding schedule and amount of food can be easily and precisely set in accordance with the user instruction up to 4 meals. 1-39 portions control and feeding schedule
  • Infrared Induction:  This automatic pet feeder comes with infrared detection technology ensure the machine automatically stops when there is a certain amount in the blow, which will prevent the food from spilling or getting stuck;
  • Voice Recorder&Speaker;: this cat feeder can record your voice for several seconds to call pets for meals, he/ she won`t feel lonely if hear the voice of their owner when have meal;
  • Power Supply:  the power adapter that comes with the feeder or batteries are both acceptable to deliver power to your automatic pet feeder.The pet food dispenser is also easy to disassemble and clean;
  • Great Helper for Feeding Pets:  this auto pet feeder can feed pet for more than 5 days.

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JUNSPOW Automatic Cat Feeder, Pet Feeder 6 Meal Trays Dry Wet Food, Auto Pet Food Dispenser Programmed Timer Voice Recording Function, 6 x 320ml 

  • CUSTOMIZABLE FEEDING SCHEDULE: Our pet feeder is very easy to setup and use! As you can see from our pictures there are 6 individual feeding compartments. Each one holds about 320 ml of DRY OR SEMI-WET food, . The tray itself is very easy to remove and clean!
  • FEEDING ON A REGULAR DIET TIME: This feeder helps you customize pet feeding schedule. You are able to set regular feeding time in advance and the auto feeder will dispense food for your pets on the right time. Multiple meals for multiple days and up to 6 meals per day.
  • VOICE MESSAGE CAPABILITY: Our research has shown that if your pet hears the same voice command before each meal, then he or she will begin to associate the two and will know it’s time to eat! The 10 second recording also allows your pet to hear your voice when you aren’t home, which can provide them some comfort from afar!
  • FLEXIBLE STANDBY MODE: We have installed a feature that will automatically set the feeder to “Standby” if there has been no operation for 25 seconds.
  • Ultra Low Power Consumption. Not need DC adapter Powered by 4 “C” batteries (not included). 4 alkaline batteries available for up to 300 days. prevent Pets may also gnaw on electrical cords

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These are all very interesting!  I love this concept!! I’m most intrigued with 

Petnet-because you can get smart alerts and it works with Alexa so you can use your voice to control the feeder.

Richdog-this one is also voice activated.

Oytool-this has Infrared Induction:  This automatic pet feeder comes with infrared detection technology to ensure the machine automatically stops when there is a certain amount in the bowl, which will prevent the food from spilling or getting stuck;

Junspow-only batteries, no DC so your sweet pet won’t chew on the cords.

I vote for Oytool because it has all the features plus infrared induction and is very reasonably priced.

Before you go, check out my review on the top rated dog foods.  Click here to read the review.

15 Facts about dogs that will leave you breathless

Enjoy these 15 amusing dog facts that bring a variety of information about interesting ideas on dog breeds and much more.

As the famous saying goes, dogs are man’s best friend. Whether it’s a dependable worker, loyal companions or family pets, dogs are great domestic animals that offer a number of good qualities that are put to good use by humans.

Here are some interesting dog facts. See how much trivia you know about your best dog friend. …

1. It pays to be a lap dog. Three dogs (from First Class cabins!) survived the sinking of the Titanic – two Pomeranians and

one Pekingese.  

Source: Vet street

2. Is it a duck…or a dog? The Newfoundland breed has a water resistant coat and webbed feet. This dog was bred to help haul nets for fishermen and rescuing people at risk of drowning.

3. Wow, check out those choppers! Puppies have 28 teeth and normal adult dogs have 42.

Source: About.com

4. A Beatles hit. It’s rumored that, at the end of the Beatles song, “A Day in the Life,” Paul McCartney recorded an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, just for his Shetland sheepdog.

Source: PBS

5. Seeing spots? Or not… Dalmatian puppies are pure white when they are born and develop their spots as they grow older.

Source: Vet street                     

6. Chase that tail! Dogs chase their tails for a variety of reasons: curiosity, exercise, anxiety, and predatory instinct or, they might have fleas! If your dog is chasing his tail excessively, talk with your vet.

7. No night vision goggles needed! Dogs’ eyes contain a special membrane, called the tapetum lucidum, which allows them to see in the dark.

Source: Healthy Pet

8. Dogs do dream! Dogs and humans have the same type of slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) and during this REM stage dog can dream. The twitching and paw movements that occur during their sleep are signs that your pet is dreaming

Source: Healthy Pet

9. If your dog’s acting funny, get out the umbrella! According to a Petside.com/Associated Press poll, 72% of dog owners believe their dog can detect when stormy weather is on the way.

10. Pitter patter. A large breed dog’s resting heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute, and a small dog breed’s heart beats between 100-140. Comparatively, a resting human heart beats 60-100 times per minute.

Sources: About.com and Mayo Clinic

11. Is something wet? Unlike humans who sweat everywhere, dogs only sweat through the pads of their feet.

Source: Healthy Pet

12. It’s not a fever… A dog’s normal temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. How much do you know about dog health? Take our Doggy First Aid Quiz!

Source: Web MD

13. Americans love dogs! 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes

Source: American Pet Products Association

14. Here’s looking at you. Dogs have three eyelids, an upper lid, a lower lid and the third lid, called a nictitating membrane or “haw,” which helps keep the eye moist and protected.

Source: Whole Dog Journal

15. Move over, Rover! 45% of dogs sleep in their owner’s bed (we’re pretty sure a large percentage also hogs the blankets!)

Read more about dog facts in another one of my posts.  Click here to read it now.

Are you a catlover?  Go to barncatlady.com to read a post about the funny things cats do!  Click here to read the post now.

Do you have anymore dog facts that are interesting?  Please leave them in the comments below.

Source: American Pet Products Association

6 ways to prevent your dog from savagely biting.

One of the most common misconceptions people have is that their own dogs won’t bite. While everybody feels some level of respect for a big, growling dog, we are becoming too nonchalant about our own dogs. How confident are you that your dog will never bite anyone?  An ounce of prevention here, maybe the key to avoiding a dog bite.

Do the words – Wouldn’t hurt a fly come to mind? We all think that our own dogs are gentle natured until they prove us otherwise.

Dog owners often claim their dogs are completely comfortable with children. I myself was bitten as a child.  It happens often, and even usually mild mannered dogs can snap. Children are a little more vulnerable, and a little snap that wouldn’t injure an adult can have dire consequences for a well-meaning child.

Dogs can inflict potentially life threatening injuries. Luckily my injuries were only superficial. Some corrective surgery and a few years of healing and the physical evidence have all but gone. Many are not as fortunate.

Tragically for the most part, these kinds of bites are completely avoidable. Dogs don’t bite people without provocation right?

Not quite. It’s true it does take some provoking to get a usually mild mannered dog to bite.  Tthe triggers aren’t as obvious as you would think.

So why do dogs bite?

Experts still disagree as to whether dogs bite because of human provocation or breeding. While it is indisputable that certain breeds of dogs do bite more than others, it’s also hard to argue with thousands of year’s worth of domestication. People have been trying to breed the aggressive out of the dog for the most part anyway.

There are some human behaviors that can provoke even docile dogs:

-Fiddling with their food: don’t disturb your dog (or any dog) while they are eating.

-Sudden movements can upset dogs, if a strange dog is growling at you its best to back away slowly.

-The old saying let sleeping dogs lie is true. Don’t startle a dog that is sleeping.

-Dogs have a powerful sense of territory, and may become upset when someone unfamiliar threatens their space.

-Don’t try to disrupt a dog fight.

-Dogs have strong maternal instincts and if there are puppies, you should be careful not to startle the mother (or any adult dog the area).

-Dogs can be confused about the cause of their own illness or pain; they might think it was the owner who caused the pain and bite.

-Dogs become afraid just like humans.  Any dog can bite if it feels it is in danger.

-All dogs experience some form of possessiveness. Tread carefully if a dog is growling at you, chances are you’re on his turf.

-Looking a dog in the eyes is seen as a challenge of dominance. If a dog is growling at you, lower your eyes and back away slowly.

6 ways to prevent your dog from biting.

If you have a dog, you can reduce the risk that your dog might attack someone with some of these suggestions.

-Have your dog spayed or neutered. Not only does it prevent many kinds of health problems later in life, it drastically reduces the aggression levels in male and female dogs.

-Start socializing your puppy at a young age. Get your puppy used to being in  busy and unfamiliar environments as soon as he is vaccinated.

-Invest in some kind of formal training program. This will give you immense faith in your dog and strengthen the relationship between the two of you.

-Take your dog to the vet regularly and make sure all his vaccinations are always up to date. Get your dog licensed and keep up to date on all his paperwork.

-Never let your dog wander freely. Your dog should be contained on your property and you should be able to control his access to the street.

-Know your dog.  Never put him in a situation that you know makes him/her uncomfortable.  My Cinnamon, is terrified of the sound of bicycles riding past her.  When we are on walks and I see a bike rider coming near us, I walk us away from the rider and block her vision so she cannot see the bike.

-Cinnamon also does not like small children.  I never, ever leave her alone with children.  If we are going to have children over to the house, Cinnamon is outside while we are inside or vice versa.  If we happen to all be in the same room, I sit with Cinnamon and she has her harness on and I hold a firm grasp on her at all times.

By following these very few and common sense steps you can reduce an attack or bites by a wide margin. Be a responsible owner and start working with your puppy or dog today.  To read more about aggressive dogs click here.  

A health guide to a dog’s Golden Years

A dog’s golden years is a time to take care of them in a special way.

Our dog’s golden years are a time to take special care of all of their health needs.

This guide is to educate pet owners on the care of senior dogs. Advice to give about quality of life.With appropriate care most dogs live complete and happy lives. Unfortunately, an adored pet never seems to live long enough. Each breed has different life spans. While taking care of your aging dog you need to adapt his environment for his comfort. As dogs get older, they develop aches, joint pain, generalized weakness and an almost definite increase in medical problems.

What are some of the things to expect as your dog enters their golden years?

Your dog may develop arthritis or other degenerative diseases that cause him to slow down. He may not be able to walk as far or play as long. He may tire more easily. He may have difficulty getting up or finding a comfortable position to sleep in. He may become reluctant to go up and down stairs or have difficulty getting into and out of the car.

Without proper care, dental disease can pose a problem, particularly for older pets. They are more likely to develop gum problems and disease. You may be surprised to learn that veterinarians find evidence of dental disease in many pets as early as 2-3 years of age. If nothing is done to care for your dog’s mouth, by the time your dog is a senior, he may even have lost some teeth. Complete dental cleaning should be performed by your vet every six months which does require anesthesia. Make sure complete bloodwork is performed. Dental disease can be painful, causing your dog to avoid or have difficulty eating his meals. This may result in weight loss and an unkempt hair coat.

Here are some specific symptoms/behaviors to watch out for:

  • Breathing – Labored breathing, exercise intolerance, noisy breathing, coughing (Note that coughing in cats can be mistaken for an attempt to expel a hairball. If you are unsure, ask your veterinarian).
  • Appetite/thirst – Disinterest in food, increased thirst, vomiting.
    Urination – Straining to urinate, excessive urination, frequent but unproductive attempts to urinate, no urination, discolored urine, smelly urine, urination in the house or outside the litter box.
  • Defecation – Straining, blood in the stools, diarrhea, house soiling.
    Urination and defecation issues can be frustrating, and you might be tempted to chastise your pet for “forgetting” his training. But because these issues can point to a medical condition, get your veterinarian involved! It’s always best to rule out health concerns before looking for other causes.
  • Sensory Perception-Older pets can experience degraded sight and hearing, just like older humans. Accommodating your pet in this situation involves increased awareness on your part. Older dogs can experience hearing loss and declining eyesight. Accommodate for his safety.

Furniture – Changing the arrangement of furniture in your home can be stressful for your pet. If they know their bed is 10 steps from your bed or that the doggie door is in a straight line from the living room couch – and then suddenly it’s not, you can imagine how disquieting that might be!

Leashes – Trusting your pet outside unattended or off-leash might be risky because your pet does not necessarily know that his senses are impaired and won’t compensate. So, you need to compensate for him.

Sounds – Pets who are losing their hearing might seem extra sensitive to the sounds they can hear. Once you identify what your pet reacts badly to, try to limit their exposure to those things.

Body Language – Use hand signals and other kinds of body language to communicate with a pet with hearing loss. Try stomping on the ground to get their attention – they can often feel the vibration.
Although hearing aids for pets are not unheard of, they are not a mainstream treatment yet due to their expense and the difficulty pets have in accepting them. But if you are interested in exploring hearing aids, talk to your veterinarian.

Adjust his surroundings to minimize discomfort. Protect him from excessive heat and cold. Older dogs are unable to regulate body temperature as a younger dog.

Try to give your dog regular exercise. Make sure your dogs health matches his exercise routine. If your dog exhibits signs of heavy panting or opposes exercise you need to change his routine.

Adapt his diet and feeding schedule to his needs. As dogs age they are less active and need fewer calories. Prescription diets are available. Discuss special diets with your veterinarian.  Click here to read more about what dog is right for you and how they age.

Mental Confusion that affect a dog in their golden years

You might notice behavior changes in your older pet that your veterinarian cannot attribute to an underlying medical condition such as cancer or diabetes.
If your pet seems confused or anxious or seems to forget things he knew very well, he might be experiencing cognitive dysfunction. Canine or feline cognitive dysfunction is a state of mental confusion caused by changes in the brain – something akin to dementia or Alzheimer’s in humans.

The acronym DISHA is widely used to characterize the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction:
D = Disorientation – The pet might become confused in familiar surroundings and seem lost.
I = Interactions – There might be changes in the way the pet interacts with her human family or with other pets in the household.
S = Sleep – Sometimes pets are restless when they would normally have been sleeping or are asleep when they would normally have been awake.
H = House soiling – Cats might forget what a litter box is for. Dogs might soil in the house without letting someone know they need to go outside.
A = Activity – Changes in activity can be symptoms. Some pets lose interest in play. Some wander aimlessly and can’t seem to relax. Others develop repetitive behaviors that can result in self-injury.

Be sure to report your observations to your veterinarian so he or she can rule out other possible causes of the behaviors you are seeing, and so they can advise you as to treatment options.

For example, your veterinarian might suggest selegiline, a drug used to support brain function in dogs experiencing cognitive dysfunction. There are also special diets and dietary supplements available that can help. This is another area where early detection is important. These treatments are most effective when started early in the mental decline.

Older dogs need extra bathing and grooming. Dry skin can be a normal part of aging or it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. They also require more frequent nail trimming.

Take into consideration his age in human years. If he is 13 in dog years, he may suffer the same aging ailments as a 75 year old human.

Continue with bi-annual vet exams. Senior dogs need extra care with their aging problems.

Terminal Conditions and Quality of Life in a dog’s golden years

Watching a loved dog or cat become a geriatric with a terminal condition often raises the question of how much the pet is suffering. It’s difficult for pet owners to be objective on this issue, but there are some tools, such as the HHHHHMM scale, available to help with the assessment.
The HHHHHMM Scale was developed by veterinary oncologist Alice Villalobos to aid caregivers and veterinary teams in determining whether their efforts on behalf of an ailing pet are resulting in an acceptable quality of life. The scale assesses the degree of comfort/suffering in these areas:
Hurt
Hunger
Hydration
Hygiene
Happiness
Mobility
More good days than bad

Each item in the scale is assigned a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. Scores of 5 or lower warrant reflection. Can anything else be done to support the pet in that area? If not, is it okay to prolong the pet’s life with that degree of suffering? You and your veterinarian can do this assessment together, on a regular schedule so you can see and consider changes.
Many people feel that the decision to euthanize a suffering pet is an act of love and responsible commitment. Your Vet’s Here doctors and staff are here to help you weigh and balance your options, provide in-home euthanasia if that is your wish, and to point you to resources for coping with grief.

Remember to love your dog each day and cherish each memory!  To read more about senior dogs please click here.

Dog Grooming is scientifically proven to help Promote Good Dog Health

Does your dog have a shiny coat? A shiny coat on a dog means more than just looks and good dog grooming, although it begins with that.

Just like a shiny head of hair means good health for us humans, a shiny coat of fur on a dog means your dog is in good health. In fact, a nice, lustrous coat of fur is one of the strongest indicators that your pooch is enjoying good dog health. Proper dog grooming is important in promoting good dog health.

A Shiny Coat with Dog Grooming

As mentioned above, it all starts with good dog grooming. If you want your dog to have a healthy coat of fur, you should groom him everyday. You do not have to bathe him everyday. Just once a week will do, or once every two days if your dog is the type that has long or thick fur.

Bathing a dog can be a tedious dog grooming process that will get you ending up wet along with your dog, but it can be quite fun once you get the hang of it. If your dog belongs to a small breed type, you can safely give him his bath in your kitchen sink. However, if your dog is the big type, you would have to use your tub or set up a place out of doors where you can bathe him properly.

How to Bathe Your Dog

When you bathe your dog, use a hose or a detachable shower head and wet him thoroughly. Afterwards, apply dog shampoo and work up a lather, starting from his chest to the top of his head, down his back and tail and then to his legs. Be careful not to get any of that shampoo in his eyes or ears.

Also, use a dog shampoo for your dog rather than your own shampoo. Shampoo for human hair only works on human hair; it is actually harsh and irritating to doggie skin. Dog shampoo, on the other hand, is specifically formulated for dog grooming, designed to suit the sensitivity of the skin and fur of dogs. For an added sheen and softness to your dog’s fur, a dog conditioner also works wonders.

Rinse your dog thoroughly after shampooing and conditioning his fur. Make sure that there are no leftover soap suds on your dog’s skin, or else the soap may cause some irritations. He might also end up licking at the leftover soap on his skin, and that is always a cause of concern that merits a vet’s attention if it does happen.

After the Bath

Once you are done bathing your dog, dry him thoroughly by patting all the excess water out of his fur using a towel. If your dog has short hair, you can leave him to air-dry his fur out completely. But if your dog is the type that has thick or long fur, you may need to dry his fur out with the use of a hair dryer. He may not find the hair dryer comfortable, but it is better than letting your dog stink up again because his fur was not dried out completely.

Dog grooming does not end with bathing, however. To give your pooch the full dog grooming home-style treatment, you need to make a ritual out of combing or brushing his fur once it is completely dry. Brushing your dog’s fur will remove the snags and tangles in it if your dog has long hair. Not only that, it will get rid of whatever burs, ticks and fleas are making their home in your dog’s fur. Do this every day, even on days when you are not giving your dog a bath.

If you can afford it and if you do not think you are capable of doing this dog grooming by yourself, go ahead and give your dog some delicious pampering at a dog grooming salon.

A Shiny Coat beyond Dog Grooming

Remember that a shiny coat is not just for the sake of aesthetics on a dog. A shiny coat for a dog is a strong indicator of a good dog health. As much as good dog grooming can do the job, it is not enough.

Good nutrition also plays a large role towards promoting good dog health. If a dog gets all the nutrients that his body needs, then definitely he will get a shiny coat. If you love your dog, you will not skimp on the cost of dog food. True enough, there are some cheap dog food brands out there, but they are made up of cheap and low-quality ingredients. So you can be sure that your dog is eating good food, do not skimp on quality dog food. Or, you can cook up your own dog food to feed your pooch.  Click here to read more about dog’s and their food.

If after regular dog grooming and regular feeding of high-quality food and your dog still does not display a shiny coat, it means that there is something else that is wrong with his system. Your dog may not be as in high a level of good health than you may have guessed. In this case, it is time to go to the vet.  Read this post about clipping your dog’s nails.

Dog grooming-Caring for the ears! 5 symptoms of an ear infection

Dogs ears are prone to infection as you might already have noticed if you have a dog with problem ears. If your dog keeps getting infections here is some information that might help you deal with chronic ear infections.

Learn how to care for your dogs ears.  It is an important part of dog grooming. Dog ear infections are usually called Otits Externa; this means an infection in the outer ear. (Otis Interna means an infection of the inner ear). Outer ear infections account for 90% of the infections in dogs; making ear infection the most common infection for a dog to be treated for. Ear mites can often accompany ear infections.

Dogs with allergies may experience more ear infections than other dogs. It can be caused by wax build up inside the ear. It can also be caused by long hair blocking the passage of air and creating a buildup of not only wax but also dirt and debris.

Regular ear cleaning will also get the pet used to having his ears handled which will make it easier to administer treatment.

You can prevent these infections by cleaning your dogs ears well and as part of your regular grooming regime. Cleaning your dog’s ears is simple and you only need a soft cloth and some ear cleanser. Lift the ears and massage some cleanser into the ear this should loosen the dirt.

Regualr ear cleaning is a powerful preventative measure; particularly if you have a dog who is at a high risk for ear infections. Ear infections are more common in dogs that swim often for example. Water inside the ears can be a problem for dogs who are essentially not designed for water.

You can spot an ear infection on your dog when grooming by looking for the following tell tale signs:

-smelly ears

-discharge

-excessive head shaking

-swelling

-redness in the ears

If your dog seems uncomfortable or is excessively scratching their ears it’s probably causing a great deal of distress. If you pet is scratching too hard this can even break blood vessels and cause swelling and bleeding.

You can try cleaning your dogs ears with white vinegar to remove dirt from the ear and promote the growth of good bacteria. Use the vinegar in the same way as the ear cleanser – pour it on and wipe gently inside the ear with the cloth or cotton. This might help ease the infection or even clear it up if the problem was not too severe to start. If the infection is serious its time to call the vet. It can be cleared up easily. Most often the dog will need some antibiotics to help clear the problem. The Anatomy of a Dog’s Ear

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your dog’s anatomy for grooming care like this. This can help you prevent any damage and get a better understanding of what you’re looking at while cleaning. A dog’s ear is a fairly complex structure:

The visible outside flap of the ear is called the pinna. This pinna will flop in some dogs while in others it stands up straight. Floppy ears may allow less airflow to the ear canal, making some floppy-eared dogs more prone to ear infections.

Just inside the visible ear opening is the external canal. This canal travels down the side of the head (vertical canal), then takes a turn inward (horizontal canal). The canal is skin-covered and contains cartilage that creates ridges and creases on the surface. The external canal also contains glands that secrete wax and oils (sebum) into the ear.

The external canal ends at the eardrum (tympanic membrane). This is a thin piece of tissue that vibrates in response to sound waves and assists in hearing. The tympanic membrane also protects the middle and inner ear.
Beyond the eardrum is the middle ear followed by the inner ear. These areas contain the delicate structures associated with hearing and balance. Damage to the inner or middle ear can cause significant harm to a dog’s hearing and balance. In some cases, the damage is even permanent.

Preparing to Clean Your Dog’s Ears when dog grooming

The best place to clean your dog’s ears is in the tub or outside. This is a great thing to do just before a bath. Keep in mind that when the dog shakes its head, that ear debris and cleaner has to go somewhere, and that includes your walls and you, so beware. You may wish to wrap a towel around your dog or place one under it to keep it clean and dry. You may also want a towel to keep you dry

Before cleaning the ears, inspect them.

This gives you an idea of how dirty they are and lets you check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, it may need to be plucked. You can do this with your fingers, tweezers, or hemostats. A special ear powder made for dogs may be helpful in gripping the hair. Talk to your groomer or vet’s office about how to properly pluck the ears without hurting your dog.

Add Ear Cleaner

Begin by holding the ear flap up and squirting a few drops of ear cleaner on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. Next, gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give it a gentle squeeze.

Massage the Ear

Before the dog can shake its head, begin massaging the base of the ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a smacking sound.

By massaging, you are helping the cleanser fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds (more for very dirty ears) you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.

Wipe the Ear Canal

Once your dog has a good shake, lightly moisten cotton or gauze with ear cleaner. Use the cotton or gauze with your finger to wipe out the ear canal. You can put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it.

You may wish to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris out of the ridges of your dog’s ear.

If the ear still seems dirty, repeat the process. Stop if your dog’s ear begins to get red or bleed or your dog seems to be in pain.

Move on to the other ear and repeat all the steps. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog’s head off. Make sure to offer a treat reward and plenty of praise.

If your dog has recurring ear infections the vet might suggest that you clip the hair around the ear or the vet might clip the hair around the ear. This often helps. If the problem is more extreme than that the vet might suggest surgery to allow for easier drainage of the ear canal.

Some breeds are more prone to chronic ear infections than others any breed of dog with large ears or particularly small ears will get ear infections easier than some other breeds. Now that you know what to look for you should be able to detect ear infections before they become a serious problem.  Read this post to find out more about the different breeds that are prone to ear infections.  Read this post to find out more about cleaning your dog’s ears.

3 Quick And Easy Ways To Rid Your Dog Of Fleas

Fleas are difficult to control, but, left unchecked, they can cause your dog very serious health problems. Read these 3 quick and easy ways to rid your dog of fleas.

Simple facts about dog fleas:

Fleas are probably the most successful creatures on the planet in terms of reproduction. There are over 2,400 species and they are difficult to control for a variety of reasons: One female flea will produce 25,000 offspring in one month. An unfed adult can live for several months. The chemicals used to eradicate adult dog fleas have no effect on the eggs. Fleas are very good at mutating to resist new pesticides.

Fleas are a menace to dogs! Dogs often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the surrounding environment onto the host. (Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly.) They cause allergic dermatitis, tapeworms, and anemia. Most of the eggs are not laid on the dog but in the dog’s bedding, in the rug, and on the furniture. It is extremely difficult to eradicate fleas completely. The most you can hope for is to control them and to keep your dog reasonably comfortable during the warm, moist flea season.

The best way to control dog fleas is to remove the fleas from your dog and your house.

Take him to a groomer for the day and have him bathed with veterinarian-approved flea shampoo. Spraying or dipping him with a residual pesticide has little or no lasting effect. While he is out of the house, hire a company that uses a non-toxic product to spray the carpets and the furniture. These companies usually guarantee a flea-free home for one year.

Some dogs are bothered more by the use of pesticides than they are by fleas.

Flea collars, sprays, powders, and shampoos are all loaded with pesticides. Beware! If your dog is into serious scratching, your veterinarian can prescribe medication for the itching.

It is also very important that you discus with your veterinarian which products you should use on your pet to rid him (or her) of dog fleas. There are a lot of products on the market that claim to get rid of fleas; not all of them work and some could be harmful to your dog.

From this point on, it is important for you to vacuum the carpets, furniture, and your dog’s bedding everyday. Place the cut-off end of a flea collar, or a moth crystal, into your vacuum cleaner bag to kill any vacuumed adult fleas. Vacuum the dog if he will let you! Groom him daily with a flea comb. Do not be surprised if you occasionally find a flea on him. He will bring them in from outside. Remember, you cannot get rid of them, only control them.

Can I stop worrying about fleas and ticks once it starts getting cold?

Flea and tick prevention should be provided all year round. In the winter fleas thrive in warm centrally heated houses and although ticks are more commonly picked up in warm weather, they are also prevalent in spring and autumn.

To read more about getting rid of dog fleas, click here.

Clipping your dogs nails doesn’t have to be frightening

Do you dread clipping your dog’s nails? Don’t worry you are not alone.. Even though it’s not much fun most dog owners will have to make nail clipping part of their regular grooming.

Overgrown nails or neglected nails can end up curving and growing into your dog’s paw pad. Overgrown nails and claws can also easily tear or split. Not only is it painful, but tears in the nail can also cause infection. For example, dew claws (AKA the thumb nail) are more susceptible to this type of breakage. Severe cases of overgrown nails may need to be treated by a veterinarian.

Clipping your dogs nails will need some basic equipment that you can pick up at any good pet supply store. Don’t try to make do with human clippers. Special dog nail clippers have a different shape and are specially designed to make the clipping as fast and painless as possible. There are other items you can buy to make it easier to trim your dog’s nails too – various products that encourage the blood clotting process are very useful in case of messy clipping accidents.

Here are some things to keep in mind before purchasing or using dog nail trimmers:

“Scissor” dog nail clippers are the best and easiest to use.
Small dog nail clippers are best for maintaining control over how long or short you cut your dog’s nails.
Large dog nail clippers should be reserved only for giant breeds.
Use a nail file after nail clipping to avoid leaving hang nails or jagged edges.
Keep your tools sharp and charged (if you use an electric or battery-operated nail grinder).
Replace nail grinder bits and tips and sharpen nail clippers regularly.
Consider using a Dremel as a dog nail grinder.

Tips on clipping your dog’s nails:

There are many variations on the best way to clip your dogs nails. In general you will want to start with prolonged desensitization of your dogs feet. This will allow your dog to get used to having his paws handled regularly and will make it easier to have a calm clipping session.

When clipping your dogs nails for the first time its important to ask someone who knows how to do it to show you. You can get many instructions and even some excellent illustrated instructions on how to clip your dogs nails but watching someone else clip your dogs nails will gie you a chance to ask any questions you might have. If your dog has dark nails (as many do) you will want to watch to get an idea of where your dogs “quick” is located. Most veternarians will clip your dogs nails for you and this is obviously the best way to learn.

Starting young increases the chances of having a dog who doesn’t mind having his nails trimmed. Puppies generally won’t need to have their nails clipped but even if you only bring the clippers up to his paws and “play clip then” he will learn that it’s just a normal part of life.

Clipping your dog’s nails shouldn’t be done until you are completely sure what you are doing.

Not only will your dog pick up on your anxiousness but he will most probably make things difficult for you.

  • Hold your dog’s paw firmly, but gently.
    Place clippers around the tip of your dog’s nail – below the quick at a 45º angle.
  • Double check that the clippers aren’t on top of the quick.
    If you’re in the clear, snip off the tip of the nail.
    If your dog’s nail starts bleeding that means you hit the quick. If this happens, immediately press some styptic powder on the tip. The styptic powder will help the quick clot.
    Don’t forget to cut the dewclaws (if your dog has them).
    Lightly file your pup’s nails to eliminate any sharp edges.
    Reward your pooch with treats and affection!

Many people find that one of the best ways to ensure a calm and easy nail clipping session is by walking the dog before you start with the clipping. Tire your dog out well and he might not be able to make as much of a fuss as he’d like.

Some people resort to using tranquilizers to make nail clipping easier for their dogs nd them. This really shouldn’t be necessary with some foresight. Even the simple act of massaging your dogs paws for a few minutes every day to desensitize your dog to being touched there.

Of course the most important thing you can do to make nail clipping easier is to use treats liberally.

Oops!  You clipped too short!

It happens to the best of us at one time or another–the dog moves, or we underestimate where the “quick” ends and accidentally trim the nail too short.
Dog nails can bleed and bleed and bleed! Forget about what you learned in an elementary first aid class. You won’t be able to stop the bleeding with pressure.

You won’t be able to stop the steady stream of blood with a bandage. You need to have something on hand that will stop the bleeding:
Styptic Powder: Sprinkle some of the powder on a cotton ball, gauze pad, or tissue. Wipe away the blood on the nail with a clean gauze pad or tissue. Place the cut nail on the gauze pad covered in powder for a few seconds. Release and watch for any additional bleeding. Repeat if necessary. All bleeding should be stopped before releasing the dog.  Read more by clicking here.

HINT: When clipping dog nails, to remove blood stains from dog hair, dab with Hydrogen Peroxide.

Click here to read more about dog grooming.

Beyond Washing The Dog. 3 painless things to check.

Keeping your dog clean is an important responsibility for every dog owner. Fido depends on you for general hygiene. Beyond washing the dog reveals how important clean ears, teeth and a coat free from fleas and ticks are all the conditions you check for in a healthy pet. Bath time is a great time to bond with your dog as well as check his well-being.

A healthy dogs actually don’t need to be washed all that often, but humans prefer to bathe them so that they smell fresh and clean and not like…well…dog. Although most do…

Keeping your dog clean is an important responsibility for every dog owner. Fido depends on you for general hygiene. Clean ears, teeth and a coat free from fleas and ticks are all the conditions you check for a healthy pet. Bath time is a great time to bond with your dog as well as check his well-being.

A healthy dogs actually don’t need to be washed all that often, but humans prefer to bathe them so that they smell fresh and clean and not like…well…dog. Although most dogs don’t like to be washed, they will appreciate the contact and attention that they receive from their owners during a bath. It is also a good time to perform some other necessary “dog maintenance” such as cleaning the ears, checking for ticks and fleas, and brushing the teeth. Since many dogs do not like to sit still for any of these activities, it can be a good idea to do them all at once.

Beyond washing the dog:  Brushing your Dogs’ Teeth

Brushing your dogs’ teeth is just good dental hygiene. Most vets recommend that it be done at least twice a week to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. If you’ve have been doing this, it’s never too late to start. The dog should have its own toothbrush and special toothpaste designed for dogs. You pick up everything you need at your favorite pet supply store.

Make sure you brush the back teeth in small circles, the same way you would your own, and brush up and down the length of the “pointy” canine teeth. Dog toothpaste is made to have a pleasing taste, to dogs that is, and this should help make your dog willing to let you perform this activity. If you cannot brush his teeth, the next best thing would be to give him teeth cleaning dog biscuits but brushing is definitely preferred.

Beyond washing the dog:  Checking for Ticks & Fleas

Ticks are nasty little arachnids (they’re eight-legged creatures like spiders, and therefore are not insects) that will latch onto your dog’s skin and feed on his blood supply. They are most common in wooded areas, but your dog should be checked for them regularly because they can carry a number of diseases. The best place to look for these bugs in under the collar or on the dog’s underbelly, buried in the fur. If you find a tick, be sure to use tweezers and remove the tick by its head.

Fleas can be found in the same places, under the fur. The presence of fleas can be betrayed by the sight of their droppings on the dog’s coat. They look like flecks of pepper. The fleas themselves can vary in size, from tiny infants to larger adults, which are about an eighth of an inch long. They can’t simply be picked off the dog like ticks can, they will jump before you can catch them. If you do find a flea or their droppings, you know it’s time to start the dog on a program to control and eliminate these pests.

Beyond washing the dog:  Cleaning his Ears

Pet supply stores sell special solutions for cleansing a dog’s ears. Dogs can easily get ear mites. These small insects live in the ears and feed of the waxy secretions there. Over time, the bodies of these short-lived creatures build up and form a black, dirty substance. Using a cotton swab dipped in a bit of this solution, gently clean the inner ear. It may be difficult to hold the dog still for this procedure, but it doesn’t take long. The result will be clean ears and the avoidance of potential infection and earaches for your dog.

So you see, the quality time you spend bathing your dog will not only make him smell great to you but it will make him FEEL great.  Read more by clicking here.  

You can also click here.

odorless bully sticks in review

I didn’t even know what a bully stick was until I got Cinnamon. Is it a stick to beat a bully with? Is it a stick that a bully beats with? With my past dogs, bully sticks were not a common chew stick. Raw hide was the favorite treat. Raw hide is out and bully sticks are in.

What is a bully stick and what is it made of?

Well, it’s made of a bull’s penis. Yep….there you go. It’s 100% beef,  does not contain any additives, chemicals, preservatives or coloring. They are also a great source of protein and contain taurine, which is an amino acid that moves important nutrients to and from cells.  These treats are easily digestible, unlike rawhide, which can be hard on your dog’s stomach. Bully sticks break down easily and also do not splinter like many other treats that are on the market so you do not have to worry about broken pieces causing internal injuries. Bully sticks are very good at maintaining good dental health for dogs, and can help prevent tooth decay by stopping the buildup of plaque on the teeth.

Are there any health concerns?

Only for us humans. If you buy a 100% natural ingredient bully stick, it won’t hurt your dog, but during testing, some bully sticks have been found to contain a wide range of bacteria such as Clostridium difficile, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli. Dog’s stomachs are different from human digestive systems. They are better able to tolerate bacteria that can cause serious illness in humans. Just make sure you wash your hands carefully after handling them and we won’t get sick either.

Many sizes to fit all sizes

There are many sizes and kinds of bully sticks to fit your dog. Even if your dog is not a chew monster, it will still keep them  busy!!!

These are just several of the different shapes and kinds that are out there.

Now that you know of the perfect treat for your dog…where do you buy them?

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buy bully sticks at chewy. for $36.99

buy www.mybullysticks.com‘>bully sticks here. There are all sorts of bully sticks at All-natural dog treats and chews.

Happy, safe chewing!!!

Dogs and yard fertilization, how concerned should we be?

I take my dog for a walk twice a day, everyday, all year long. There are so many things to be concerned about when walking my dog. In the winter, it’s the salt that people put on their sidewalks to melt the ice and snow.  In the summer, it’s the fertilizer that is put on the yard.  It’s not just my neighbors that do it, I do too!  I fertilizer my yard two times per summer. How dangerous is this and how concerned should we be?

Beautiful lush lawns vs safety for our dogs

When we bought a house, we found out very quickly that just watering the lawn wasn’t going to keep it lush, green and weed free.  We needed to fertilize it.  Fertilizers used in our gardens to enhance the beauty and growth of our plants can be very toxic to our pets when ingested or exposed to the skin and mucus membranes. Our dogs walk into the grass and they sniff it in, lick it off the grass or walk on it and later lick it off their paws.  Quite often, the fertilizers that we use are mixed with substances that are more harmful than the fertilizers themselves.

To have both a beautiful lawn and a healthy pup, what can we do?

The dilemma with the application of lawn fertilizer is that it goes exactly where your dog wants to put his nose. Dogs by nature have their noses on the ground, sniffing everything. They like to smell the ground and poke their nose into holes. Trouble is, that is where the fertilizer goes until it is absorbed into the ground for the roots of your lawn to convert to food for the grass.  Some fertilizer residues can stay in toxic form for days to weeks.

Lawn fertilizers carry nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, all of which cause irritation to a dog’s stomach when ingested. Some of the additives that may be present in fertilizer are: Iron Disulfoton (responsible for seizures and pancreatitis) Copper Zinc Phosphorous and Ammonium (irritates skin and lungs).

Fertilizer and symptoms of ingestion

Ingestion of insecticides and herbicides can cause bladder cancer in our dogs. A case of mild exposure to fertilizer can result in burns on the pads of the feet (if your pet walked through or rolled in your fertilizer application) or irritation to the mouth or eyes. Lawn fertilizers can cause skin irritation in dogs. While it’s unlikely an ingestion of these elements will cause death, they were never intended to be in your dog’s digestive system. They will most likely cause him a moderate to severe stomachache and bring on vomiting and diarrhea. A dog ingesting larger amounts of phosphorus and potassium commonly reacts by being lethargic.

Tell me more!!!

When our furry family members come in contact with fertilizer products, the effects can range from mild to severe. Depending on the length of time of contact and how the fertilizer poisoning occurred, complications may include oral burns and stomach irritation. The accidental ingestion of fertilizer by your dog means that he has eaten a product that can possibly contain harmful substances (herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides) in addition to the compounds (phosphorous, iron, nitrogen) which are toxic when consumed in large amounts. In addition to vomiting and breathing difficulties, fertilizers can cause ulceration in the gastrointestinal tract and burns on the skin. If you suspect that your dog has eaten fertilizer, or of you have recently used the product in your garden and he is acting ill, a visit to the clinic is warranted without delay.

We want both worlds!!

Since pet owners want both worlds — a lush lawn and a protected dog, several manufacturers of lawn care products now produce fertilizers that are considered organic or “more safe” for lawns frequented by our pups. Even when marketed as “safe,” some of these lawn applications may still contain elements that could be harmful to our dogs. Thoroughly check the labels to determine the safety of a product. It can take a bit of searching to find a truly pet-safe lawn fertilizer, according to Gardening Central. Some fertilizers are clearly marked as “not safe” while others have no declaration either way.

Keep Off The Grass

The Dog Owner’s Guide suggests keeping pets off treated grass for 24 hours, as nitrogen can burn the pads of a dog’s foot. The guide also recommends keeping pets indoors during application to prevent an airborne inhalation or skin contact.

In the case of liquid fertilizer, the SFGate states that dogs should be kept off of lawns until the grass is visibly dry. For granular fertilizer, keeping dogs away from grass for 24 hours allows enough time for the soil to absorb the pellets.

What to do if you suspect your dog has come in contact with fertilizer.

Bring him to the veterinarian to determine the level of toxicosis. In the case of a basic fertilizer, the symptoms are mostly gastrointestinal and often will resolve within a day or two. It’s best to have your pet checked and be sure to bring along the container or product leaflet so the veterinarian can verify the ingredients of the product. If the fertilizer contains herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides the situation may become more urgent because the toxic effects of fertilizer containing these additives are much harsher. The veterinarian will base the diagnosis on clinical signs (vomiting, dermal ulcers) and may want to do additional urinalysis and blood testing (to check toxicity levels or to look for signs of secondary illness like pancreatitis), depending on the type of fertilizer.

Treatment will vary depending on factors such as the type of fertilizer exposure or ingestion, how much of the product was eaten, and how long the fertilizer was on the skin. Treatment for fertilizer poisoning in the case of additional herbicides and pesticides will vary due to the product.

Be safe this summer with our pups