Archive | August, 2013

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/

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