10 Human Foods that are good for Dogs

30 Aug

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In the last blog post, we discussed about the human foods that are harmful for dogs. Not everything that we eat is safe for dogs, but that doesn’t mean that your pooch is destined to have only canned dog food. There are several food items that are as healthy and nutritious for our dogs as they are for us. So, here are 10 people foods that make for quick and healthy snacks for dogs

Apples

Loaded with fibre, phytonutrients, and vitamins, apples make for a tasty and nutritious treat for dogs. The apple seeds however contain cyanide which can harm your pooch when consumed regularly in large quantities. So it’s advisable to remove the seeds before feeding the fruit.

Carrots

A crunchy snack rich in potassium, beta carotene and fibre, dogs love to munch on this sweet and delicious veggie. Carrots also help prevent bad breath and maintain your dog’s dental health.

 Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is safe for dogs and our furry buddies just seem to just love this sticky and delicious food.  Always opt for the natural and unprocessed variety of peanut butter and the one that does not contain added salt, sugar and preservatives. Since it’s high in fat and calories, use this snack sparingly, especially if your pet is overweight.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and vitamin A. It’s easily digestible, low in calories, and helps relieve diarrhoea in dogs. It’s always better to go for fresh pumpkin. If you plan to get the canned one, make sure it’s free from sugar and preservatives.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins, zinc and potassium. When choosing yoghurt always opt for the fat-free version, and the one that does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Sweet Potato

Whether mashed or dehydrated, sweet potatoes are wonderful treats for dogs. They are rich in dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese.

Green Beans

Green beans are a great source of fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese.  Being low in calories, they are a great snack for overweight dogs.

Rice

Rice contains easily digestible carbohydrate, which makes it a great food for dogs, especially when they are having an upset stomach. There are different types of rice available in the market. Brown rice is considered healthier since it’s high in protein and low in fat content when compared to white rice.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber.  For dogs that are allergic to wheat, oatmeal can be a great alternative. It’s also beneficial for older dogs that have irregular bowel movements.

Watermelon

A great treat for summers, this juicy and delicious fruit is as good for our dogs as it is for us. Make sure you remove the seeds before feeding it to your pooch. Ingestion of seeds in large numbers can be dangerous for dogs, especially the smaller ones.

Image Source: Jokeroo.com

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10 Things that you should never feed your dog

23 Aug

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Most of us wouldn’t think twice before feeding our dogs a portion of our food. It’s tough to not fall for those big brown eyes staring at us longingly anticipating a reward. Your doggie definitely deserves a reward, a treat for loving you unconditionally and making your life so much more happier, but rewarding your pooch with human food is a complete no-no. Several foods that are perfectly safe for you can be downright dangerous to your dog. Take a look at some of the foods that you should never feed your dog.

Onion and Garlic:  Whether raw, cooked or in a powdered form, onion and garlic can cause anemia in dogs, especially when consumed in a large quantities at once or eaten in small amounts over a regular period of time. The symptoms of onion induced anemia in dogs include weakness, vomiting, dullness, lack of interest in food and breathlessness.

Chocolate:  Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant and diuretic that affects our dog’s cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. Eating chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death in dogs. Though, theobromine is present in all chocolates its level is higher in dark chocolates.

Coffee/Tea/Caffeine: When consumed in large quantities, caffeine can be fatal for dogs. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include rapid breathing, restlessness, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and bleeding.

Alcohol: Alcohol is unsafe for us and our dogs. But, it has more damaging effects on our dogs than us. Consumption of just a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulty, central nervous system depression, coma, even death. The smaller your dog, the greater the effect of the alcohol on him/her.

Avocados:  Eating the avocado flesh or peel can cause mild stomach upset in dogs and cats. But, the primary danger of avocados to dogs and cats concerns the possibility of them swallowing its large pit. Ingestion of the avocado pit can lead to the obstruction of oesophagus, stomach or intestinal tract, a situation that’s quite serious and requires immediate vet care.

Raisins and Grapes: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Signs of grape poisoning include repeated vomiting, lethargy and depression.

Milk and Milk Products: Do you often share your ice cream with your dog? Most of the dogs are lactose intolerant and consumption of milk products can cause diarrhea, nausea, and food allergies.

Raw Eggs: Raw eggs may cause food poisoning from bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Raw eggs also contain the enzyme avidin, which interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin in dogs. This can result in skin problems such as dermatitis and hair loss.

Raw Fish: Certain kinds of fish such as salmon, shad, or trout contain a parasite that causes food poisoning. The first signs of poisoning from eating raw fish are vomiting, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Feeding your dog cooked fish is therefore a better option.

Salt: It’s not a good idea to feed your dog chips and other salty foods. Eating too much salt can cause frequent urination, vomiting, diarrhea, elevated body temperature, and seizures in dogs.

Many other items found in our kitchen shelves such as spices and baking powder can harm our dogs. So, make sure you keep these food items out of your dogs’ reach. This would prevent your pooch from accidentally consuming any of these.

How to train Dogs and Cats to live together?

15 Aug

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The perception that dogs and cats don’t get along well isn’t always true. It is possible for canines and felines to live together peacefully under one roof.  But, rather than being impulsive about the decision of bringing home a new pet cat, it’s important to give this idea some thought. Here are few tips to help you decide whether or not you should bring home a new cat and how you can train your canine and feline companions to live together harmoniously.

Early Socialization

Dogs when they are exposed to cats, during their early years of growing up, are more likely to be comfortable in the company of a cat in their adult life. So, if you don’t have any pets already but plan to bring home a dog and a cat, it’s always better to adopt them together, when they are still young. Growing up together they will develop a bond and be more comfortable in each other’s presence.

Finding the Right Match

Does your dog act aggressive towards other animals? If your dog  picks up fight with other animals or has injured a smaller animal in the past, then getting home a cat is perhaps not the best option for you. If you don’t have a dog already and have plans of adopting both cats and dogs, then it’s better to go for a cat-friendly and less aggressive breed. This post by Animal Planet about the Top 10 Cat-friendly Dog Breeds. can help you decide the breed that you can go for.

If you have a cat-friendly pooch, then it’s time to search for a perfect feline companion.  Like dogs, cats that have been exposed to dogs, when they are 1-2 months old and in the early socialization phase are more likely to fit into a household with dogs. Whether you are getting a kitten or an older cat, look for dog-friendly traits. The cat should remain calm and confident around dogs, and not run away out of fear and encourage a chase.

Introducing the Two

Introducing dogs and cats takes time. So, it’s important to be patient, and not force the two to be together. Do not ignore your existing pet while your try to accommodate the new one into your life. Here are few things that you can do to ensure that the introduction process goes smoothly.

  • Set up a dog-free zone for your kitty, preferably a room with a small door or gate that your dog cannot enter. Place the food and water bowls, the litter box and your cat’s bed and toys  in this room. Your cat is less likely to feel stressed and scared  if she has a secure place that she can retreat to away from the dog’s reach.
  • Let the two animals meet each other for brief periods initially and gradually increase the exposure, For instance, you can keep the cat confined to a room with a closed door and let your dog get used to the scent of the cat. When they are settled with that, you can allow the two to see each other through a barrier. Then, allow them to meet each other in a neutral room, keeping your dog on leash and keeping your cat away from the dog’s biting range. Keep repeating this for several days or weeks, until the two get comfortable being in the room together.

Dogs and cats are different each with their own personality quirks, likes and dislikes. By giving them personal space and by creating a comfortable and friendly environment where they feel loved and taken care of, you can help nurture a friendly relationship between the two.

Image Source: http://nhe.net/dogscatsparasites/

PUPCAKE – The Droolicious new barkery in town!!

14 Jun

UPDATE: Manu & Terry – you win the Pupcake Giveaway!!

Banana Biscotti, Apple Cinnamon Cookies, or maybe a slice of sinful Red Velvet cake….what are you in the mood for today? Er sorry actually what’s your pooch in the mood for today?!!

Founded by Chinthana Gopinath in 2012, Pupcake – the new bakery in Bangalore- makes yummy cakes for doggie birthdays and special occasions and home made fresh cookies and treats in tons of droolicious flavors. We caught up with Chinthana to find out more about this doggie business 😉

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So what inspired you to start Pupcake…..

I have always worked in the food industry, even had my own restaurant for three years. I love to cook! I have grown up with dogs and have had them around my entire life. When it was time to start a new chapter in my life, I didn’t have to look too far for any inspiration. Combining my passion for food and dogs, Pupcake was born!

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Chinthana with Sasha

A typical day at Pupcake……

I research recipes, ingredients, bake, sometimes do delivery of the goodies too. I am the only human member of my company! Calvin, a 3 year old beagle boy, is the chief taster. Sasha, a 4 year old beagle girl, (rescued by CUPA from a lifetime of testing in a pharma lab) is the PR girl….she is very popular! Both of them also supervise the baking process by keeping a keen eye on me when I’m working in the kitchen. They sometimes also accompany me to deliver the goodies.

Goodies  available at Pupcake…..

We have treats, cookies, cakes, pupcakes and meatloaves. If somebody wants us to create something new and special for their furry children, we do that too!

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Fresh baked Pupcake goodies.

What’s so special about Pupcake products?

They do not contain a single ingredient that is harmful to dogs… no sugar, no butter, no salt, no artificial colouring or flavour etc. Only whole wheat flour is used, no maida. We use a lot of healthy ingredients like oats, flax seeds, wheatgerm, ragi, canola oil, etc.
They look great, so the humans are happy. They smell and taste great, so the doggies are happy too.

Most pawpular cake/treat….

Among the treats, the chicken liver ones are the most popular. The Bacon Cake is a hot favourite because everything is better with bacon!! I’m yet to meet a dog that has not fallen in drooly love with the meatloaves.

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Pupcake’s pawpular Bacon Birthday Cake!

Best part about making cakes for dogs instead of humans….

The look on a doggy’s face when they are given treats and cakes that they enjoy, humans will never be able to match that! In a world where dogs are being abandoned and ill-treated so much, it is a matter of great joy to be a part of families that celebrate their dogs – the birthdays, the welcome home paw-rties, Christamas, Valentine’s Day etc.

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Well all this talk about cakes and cookies has sure made me hungry. And it doesn’t help that the goodies from Chinthana’s Pupcake look unresistable!!

Check out the Pupcake menu here to see all the yummy treats and cakes available for your furry baby. Pupcake can also deliver treats anywhere in India. For more details drop by their Facebook page.

And here’s your chance to win a FREE bag of yummy treats from Pupcake!! Just tell us in the comments below “Why your dog is the most special person in your life”! Our favorite entry will get a bagful of yummy treats to pamper their special pal :))

Lights, Camera, Woof!

31 May

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Wondering what to do over the weekend? Are the rains spoiling your plans of having some outdoor fun with your pooch? It’s time to snuggle up with your dog and watch some drool-worthy dog movies.  Here are some of our favorite ones.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

Starring Richard Gere, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is based on the true life story of a Japanese Professor and his beloved dog Hachiko. A poignant tale about the unconditional love and faithfulness of dogs, this movie will tug at your heart strings and make you feel blessed about having a four-legged friend to share your life with.

Marley and Me

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and Kathleen Turner, Marley and Me is based on author John Grogan’s best-selling autobiographical book.  A must-watch for all dog-owners, this movie presents the challenges faced by a young couple after they get home a rambunctious Labrador puppy named Marley. Despite his naughty personality, Marley becomes an adored member of the house, teaching the family some valuable lessons about life.

Beethoven

Yet another family drama, Beethoven is the first movie in the Beethoven film series. The story revolves around the Newton family and their dog Beethoven, a Saint Bernard. When a local veterinarian Dr. Herman Varnick, involved in unethical animal experimentation, tries to kill Beethoven for his latest experiment; the family springs into action to rescue their beloved pet.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey 

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) is a remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, which was based on the best-selling novel The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. An uplifting adventure story, this movie chronicles the lives of two dogs and a cat as they escape from a ranch in California to find their owners in San Francisco.

My Dog Skip

Based on the autobiographical book My Dog Skip by Willie Morris, this movie revolves around the life of Willie, who as a shy school boy finds it difficult to make new friends and becomes a victim of bullying at school. Willie’s parents get him a terrier puppy named Skip for his ninth birthday. Skip completely turns around Willie’s life and helps him forge new friendships.

Which other dog movies did you enjoy watching?  Do share them with us in the comments.

Image Courtesy: T3kd.com

Wisdom of the Woofs – Life Lessons from Dogs

24 May

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They make us healthier, they make us happier. They fill our lives with love and joy. Our dogs teach us countless lessons about life. Take a look at some of them here.

Wag away your Worries

Ever seen your dog worrying about the future? No wonder our pets are much happier than us. Learn to live in the present moment, to be happy and sniff out negative thoughts about the future.

Express Gratitude

A bowl of food and some quality time with you is all your pooch needs to be happy.  You may dream to have a bigger house, a better job, a fancier car; but don’t forget to be grateful for the things that you already have. While you are busy running errands and dealing with the difficult challenges of day-to-day life, take time out to appreciate the beauty around you and enjoy the simple joys of life.

Forgive and Forget

You scream at your dog for damaging the furniture or soiling the carpet. Feeling all guilty and sad, he retreats to a quiet corner in the house. But, the very next moment you find him resting his head on your lap and running happily in the garden while you water the plants. Holding on to grudges doesn’t serve you in any way. Learn to forget your past mistakes and forgive people for having hurt you in any way.

Make others Happy

After a tiring day at work, do you look forward to meeting your pooch standing in the hallway, wagging his tail and with a wide grin on his face that says, “I am so glad you are here”? Dogs definitely know how to make others happy and love people unconditionally. Wouldn’t this world be a brighter place if everyone greeted others with the same level of enthusiasm and made sincere effort to express unconditional love?

Take a Nap

Dogs love to sleep. While we can’t afford to take naps as frequently as our pooches, we can definitely set aside 10-15 minutes a day to relax, meditate and catch a few winks. Even research shows that taking a 15-30 minute nap during the day refreshes our mind and makes us feel more creative and alert.

Walk Regularly

Dogs know how to laze around the house, but they also know how to walk, run and give their bodies a good workout. Your pooch looks forward to his daily walks and it’s time that you start enjoying them too.

Play

Dogs are naturally fun-loving and playful. Whether young or old, they never let go of an opportunity to tug on a toy or take on an outdoor activity. Let your dog be a reminder that playfulness is an essential part of your adult life. It’s time to let your hair down and engage in the activities that bring you true joy.

Be Yourself

Dogs never shy away from being their genuine self. They are not scared to express their funny, goofy and weird self. In this world where everyone’s trying to be somebody they are not, it takes courage to let our real self shine through. Your dog could be your  inspiration for being your authentic self and for embracing differences in others.

What other lessons does your dog teach you about life? Do share them with us in the comments.

Image Courtesy: Goodfon.com

Monsoon Health Tips for Dogs

17 May

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While the rains during monsoon provide us and our pets with the much-needed break from the sweltering heat of the summer months, the season can bring with it some uninvited guests in the form of digestive disorders, skin diseases and a multitude of other health problems. With extra care and cautiousness we can ward off these potential dangers and help our pets enjoy the season to the fullest. Here are some tips to ensure that your four-legged companion stays fit and healthy during the monsoon season:

Diet

Contamination of food and water is quite common during monsoon. The consumption of contaminated food or water can result in gastroenteritis and other digestive disorders in dogs. It’s therefore advisable to avoid raw food stuffs and stick to cooked home food or commercially available pet food from a reputable brand. Provide your pooch with clean drinking water and ensure that the food and water bowls are washed carefully before feeding.

Grooming

Due to the swampy roads and the excessive humidity in the air, you may find your dog getting dirty and smelly even after regular baths. Use non-rinsing shampoos or sprays like PetHead Dry Clean or PetHead Deodorizing Spray to keep your pooch clean and smelling fresh in between baths.  You could also use Pup N Fluff Hypoallergenic wipes to clean up his coat and paws after walks.

Contaminated/polluted rainwater can damage your dog’s coat. Use a raincoat to protect his skin and make sure you dry your pet completely after taking him/her out in the wet weather. The feet and the spaces in between the fingers are commonly prone to fungal infections, so special care must be taken to keep these areas dry.

Disease Prevention

Dogs are prone to infections, allergies, ticks, fleas and other skin diseases during monsoon. Keep your pet up-to-date on vaccinations and de-worming schedules. Regular visits to the vet should help keep your pooch’s health under check and prevent common skin ailments.

Safety

Keep your dog indoors, and ensure that the sleeping area is warm, dry and comfortable. Some dogs get frightened by rain and thunderstorms. Symptoms of storm anxiety include shaking, hiding, biting, and excessive chewing. Try distracting your pet by bringing out his toys or turning on the TV to drown out the sounds associated with the storm. Your vet may prescribe medicine to keep your pet calm during storms, in extreme cases.

Image Courtesy: Deviantart.net

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