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.

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.  

What are natural fertilizers?

In a previous post, www. allrescuedogs.com/pet-and-children-friendly-fertilizers/  I talked about dogs and toxic chemicals and fertilizers for our lawns. Now I am going to talk about natural fertilizers and homemade natural fertilizers for our yards and gardens.

What are natural fertilizers?

Natural and organic fertilizer differs from chemicals in that they feed your plants while building the soil. Soils with lots of organic material remain loose and airy, hold more moisture and nutrients, foster growth of soil organisms, and promote healthier plant root development. This helps prevent soil erosion. Natural fertilizer (a.k.an organic fertilizer) includes biodegradable compounds such as green manure, animal waste and compost. Natural fertilizers release chemicals slowly to the soil. That makes them very good for crops or plants like perennials that come back year after year. Natural fertilizers include more nutrients together. They minimize the negative environmental impacts. Natural fertilizers are cheaper than artificial fertilizer and have minimum health hazards.

Why do we need fertilizers?

As plants grow, their roots absorb nutrients from the soil and use them to produce leaves, flowers and fruit. Over time, a plant can exhaust the nutrients in its growing environment. Traditionally, the answer to that problem has been to provide fertilizers, which return essential nutrients to the soil. With growing concerns about the negative effects of fertilizer runoff, however, organic alternatives to fertilizers provide inexpensive, easy and sustainable options.

Compost

In nature, composting breaks down dead plant material and returns available nutrients to the soil for use by living plants. Home composting replicates that process, creating humus-rich soil that can be returned to gardens to restore soil nutrients. Home made or natural ingredients include grass clippings, vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and pulled garden weeds. Other ingredients include dead leaves, paper and straw. Add compost on top or mix it into the first few inches of soil for a fertilizer-free way to restore soil nutrients.

BANANA PEELS – Go ahead and dig your plant hole and add one or two peels in the hole before planting. You can also bury peels under mulch so they can compost naturally.

COFFEE GROUNDS – Acid-loving plants such as tomatoes, blueberries, roses and azaleas do well with coffee grounds added to the soil. Sprinkle coffee grounds on top of the ground before watering or pour a liquid version on top of the soil. If using as a soil drench, soak 6 cups of coffee grounds in a 5 gallon bucket of water. Let it sit for 2-3 days and then saturate the soil around your plants.

EGG SHELLS – Wash them first, then crush. Work the shell pieces into the soil near tomatoes and peppers. The calcium helps fend off blossom end rot. Eggshells are 93% calcium carbonate, the same ingredient as lime, a tried and true soil amendment!

SEAWEED – Both fresh and dried versions are considered excellent soil amendments. Seaweed contains trace elements and actually serves as a food source for soil microbes. Chop up a small bucket of seaweed and add it to 5 gallons of water. Let it sit for 2-3 weeks loosely covered. Use it to drench the soil and foliage. 2 cups work well for a small plant, 4 cups for a medium plants and 6 cups for a large plant.

WEEDS – You’ve got your own fertilizer growing under your feet! Nettles, comfrey, yellow dock, burdock, horsetail and chickweed make wonderful homemade fertilizer. There are several ways you can use them to make your own brew or to speed up your compost pile. If your weeds have not gone to flower you can dry them in the sun and chop them up to use as a mulch. They are high in nitrogen and won’t rob your plants of nutrients. Borage (star flower) is a herb. It has many of the same nutritional properties as comfrey.

MOLASSES – Using molasses in compost increases microbes and the beneficial bacteria that microbes feed on. If you want to start out with a simple recipe for molasses fertilizer, mix 1-3 tablespoons of molasses into a gallon of water. Water your plants with this concoction and watch them grow bigger and healthier.

HUMAN URINE – Sounds disgusting, but urine is considered sterile if the body it’s coming from is healthy and free of viruses and infection. High in nitrogen, urea contains more phosphorous and potassium than many of the fertilizers we buy at the store! If serving tomatoes that have been fertilized with pee gives you the “willies”, try it in the compost pile. A good ratio of urine to water would be 1:8. You can collect a cup of urine and pour it into 8 cups of water in a plastic bucket used outside for fertilizing plants. Pour 2 cups around the perimeter of each SMALL plant. For MEDIUM plants add 4 cups and LARGE plants deserve a good 6 cups of your personal home brew. Maybe we can put our animals to use by letting them relieve themselves by plants and then watering the yard!!

GRASS CLIPPINGS – Rich in nitrogen, grass breaks down over time and enhances the soil. Fill a 5 gallon bucket full of grass clippings. You can even add weeds! Weeds soak up nutrients from the soil just as much as grass. Add water to the top of the bucket and let sit for a day or two.

MANURE – With a little effort, you’ll find folks that are giving away composted chicken, horse or cow manure for free. Composted and aged manure is best. Add the composted manure to a small permeable bag made from recycled cloth, e.g., a t-shirt or old towel. Let it steep in the shade for a few days and apply it to your soil to condition it before planting. Bury or discard the used bag. Some people use manure tea to soak bare root roses!

CAT AND DOG FOOD – Depending on the dog food you recycle, this soil amendment may not be organic. However, even the cheap stuff contains protein and micro-nutrients that benefit the soil. To prepare a garden plot for planting, sprinkle dry pet food on the bed, turn the soil and water. Let it decay naturally. To discourage wildlife from visiting for a snack, cover with cardboard until the food decomposes. The cardboard will also trap moisture and discourage weeds. Make sure the cardboard gets wet all the way through and cover with mulch. Water thoroughly every week for four weeks. Soybean meal and alfalfa pellets from the grain store work great too. Sometimes grain stores will sell for cheap or give away spoiled grains. Check the feed for salt content and try not to add pet or animal food considered high in sodium. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) recommends dry dog food contain a minimum of 3% sodium to support normal growth and development.

WORM CASTINGS or Vermicomposting – As an earthworm feeds on organic matter, it creates castings–small granular droppings–that are rich with nutrients plants need to thrive. A single earthworm produces its weight in castings each day. Kept indoors in a cool, dark place, a worm bin turns discarded kitchen scraps into castings that return essential nutrients to the soil.

Neem-The tropical tree called neem is an effective natural fertilizer. Boil a few leaves of neem in a water pot. Let the boiled water cool down, and then pour it into a spray bottle. Spray evenly on your garden once a week. It will nourish the soil and fight harmful insects, too.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is an ancient practice in which a specific plot is planted with successive different crops in order to replenish the nutrients of the soil. Some plants require more of a particular nutrient than others, while other plants return certain nutrients to the soil. Planting many successive crops of a single plant in a single location tends to result in depletion of specific nutrients in that plot of soil. By introducing plants with different needs into the area, depletion are not as severe, giving soil time to recover nutrients needed for healthy plant growth. In a simple crop rotation plan, nitrogen-loving plants, such as tomatoes, should be planted the year after legumes that return nitrogen to the soil. Plants that don’t consume many nutrients, like herbs and root vegetables, grow well when planted after “heavy feeders” like lettuces, according to “Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.”

Cover Crops

Similar to crop rotation, planting cover crops–also called green manures–involves planting crops that will restore nutrients to the soil. Cover crops are planted during off-seasons, such as the winter or early spring, to return nutrients needed for spring and summer food crops and prevent nutrients from leaching from the soil. Legumes, like clover, are popular choices for winter cover crops up north, as they restore nutrients while also preventing soil erosion. Peas and beans may also be suitable winter cover crops in warmer places. Green mulches are another type of cover crop that are planted in the summer among the vegetable crop. In addition to keeping soil nutrients in balance, green mulches also suppress the growth of weeds.

Conclusion

I think it comes down to what are your concerns and how much time do you have? We use chemical fertilizers because we don’t have the time needed to put into making a homemade compost. Even though it’s rather easy to make a homemade compost, it still takes more time that going to the store to buy chemical fertilizer. Do you have animals and children on your grass or feeding off of your garden? Then the natural fertilizers are your way to go.  When it comes to taking care of your lawn check out www.ourpsgardenwhisperers.com web site and consider hiring them for their yard services.

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