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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/

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

How to tell if your Dog is Stressed out?

10 May

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Your dog might be your best stress-buster, but did you know that your pooch could also experience stress and need your help to deal with it? While occasional stress does not have any serious consequences, chronic stress can take a toll on your dog’s physical and emotional health. It’s therefore important to be aware of the causes of stress in dogs and make an effort to provide your pets with a stress-free and relaxed environment.

Causes of Stress in Dogs

Dogs generally experience stress when there is a change in their routine or environment. Here are some of the situations that may evoke stress reactions in pets.

  • Separation from the owner
  • New Home
  • Travel
  • Loss of a family member
  • New family member or visitor
  • New Pet
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness resulting from lack of socialization with other people or dogs

Signs of Canine Stress  

How do we tell if our dog is under stress? Each of us has a different way of coping with stress and the same applies to our dogs. Some dogs resort to destructive behaviour to deal with stress, others turn their stress inward and display physical discomfort. Here are some of the signs of stress in canines:

  • Excessive Barking or howling
  • Restless behaviour and destruction of household items
  • Biting or attacking people
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Illness such as diarrhea or vomiting
  • Lack of bowel or bladder control
  • Sweaty paws and stiff legs
  • Trembling and moving with the tail tucked between the legs

Coping with Stress

 The first step is to identify the cause of the stress. Only then can you take the action needed to help your dog deal with it.  For instance, if separation anxiety is what’s causing your dog to get stressed out, then you can think of ways to cope with it. You may consider working from home few days a week, or leave the television on at home when you’re out at work.

A healthy and happy dog can handle stress better. Keep your pooch physically active and look for ways to spend more time with him/her. Regular walking and games of frisbee, fetch and tug-of-war not only ensure that your dog gets good physical exercise but also allow you to spend some quality time with your pooch.

Regular trips to dog parks may help if your dog enjoys socializing with other dogs. Keep in mind, however, that some dogs suffer from social anxiety and may prefer more solitary activities. Consider getting your pooch some toys and games to stave off boredom and keep him/her mentally stimulated.

Image Courtesy: Funnypagenet.com

Let’s get the Pawrty Started

2 May

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Throwing a party on your dog’s birthday can be a great way to make your pooch feel special and express gratitude for all that your four-legged friend has done to make your life wonderful.  It’s that one day where you can pamper your pet with limitless treats, toys and other gifts. For all those who have never celebrated their dog’s birthday before, it’s time that you give your furry buddy a big surprise by throwing a gala party on his/her next birthday. Here are some tips to help you organize the dog birthday party and make it a memorable event for everyone.

Deciding the Date

Even if you are unaware of your dog’s actual date of birth, you can celebrate the birthday on the day you brought him/her home. Just decide on a date and celebrate your pooch’s birthday on that particular date every year.

Crafting the Birthday Invitation

Crafting a dog birthday invitation card can be great fun. You can use computer tools to design it or make it manually with your hand. Consider including a paw print or bone pattern in the background or make the card in the shape of a dog or a big bone. Personalize the card with your dog’s name, picture and don’t forget to include your contact number and the time and venue of the event in the invitation.

Preparing the Guest List

Include your friends, family members and your doggie’s furry pals and their parents in the guest list. Don’t invite too many pets; else it would get difficult for you to manage the crowd. For every dog you invite, make sure there is atleast one person to manage and look after that pooch during the event. It’s also important to ensure that all the invited dogs are spayed or neutered and do not have any aggression and socialization issues.

Choosing a Venue

When choosing the location for your dog’s birthday, it’s best to opt for a wide open area like your garden or backyard. If you plan to host the party in your backyard, make sure it’s fenced so the dogs won’t be able to escape out. You can also conduct the event in other dog-friendly places like a dog park, a doggie daycare facility or a pet resort.

Here are some Pet Party Venues in Bangalore:

Petspace

Pet Stepin

Paw & Claw

Arranging for the Party Food

Order a personalized birthday cake for your pooch and other canine treats from a good dog bakery in your city.

Here are some dog bakeries that you can order the canine cakes and treats from:

Dog Bakeries in Bangalore: Pupcake, Bone Appetite

Dog Bakeries in Mumbai: The Spoilt brat Barkery, Waggy Bags Gourmet Dog Bakery

Dog Bakery near Delhi: DoggieDabbas

Don’t have any dog bakery or canine food stores in your city? Do a quick search online for dog birthday cake recipes and bake one for your pooch at home. It’s always better to speak to the dog owners who plan to attend the party, regarding their dog’s dietary restrictions, before you order food or prepare a meal for the party. While you are busy making food arrangements for the canine guests, don’t forget to order cakes, snacks and drinks for the humans attending the party. They too deserve to have a drool-worthy time at the event.

Decorating the Venue

Ideas for decorating the venue are limitless. You can cover the tables with paw-printed fabrics; paint bones or paws on balloons and tie them to chairs and other objects around the room/yard. You could further decorate the hall/yard by displaying your dog’s photos or some funky dog paintings and art pieces. Don’t forget to purchase some cute doggie bowls that you could use for serving food. You can shop for pet bowls here.

Getting your Pooch Party Ready

A birthday party is one such event where your dog gets a chance to show off his/her personal style and get decked up in cute clothes and funky accessories. Get your pooch party ready by dressing him/her up in pretty dresses( for birthday gals) or smart tees( for birthday boys). Even if your pooch is not comfortable wearing clothes, you could make him/her look like a rockstar with stylish accessories like party collars, bandanas, bowties, hats and hair clips.

Party Games and Entertainment

Purchase a variety of dog toys to keep the canine guests entertained. You can also organize Pet Fashion/Talent Show and other interactive games(Read this post for some dog game ideas) to engage both the dogs and their owners. Load up with some dog gifts that you can present the game winners and other canine guests at the party. Toys, Collar Charms, Leashes, Grooming Products and Dogs Treats make great return gifts for dog parties.

Have any other dog birthday party ideas? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Image Courtesy: Youqueen.com

Why your Pet must have a Bed of his own?

26 Apr

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Snuggling with our dogs can be comforting and most of us would not mind letting our furry babies curl up on our soft and comfy beds in the night and during the day. Pet owners still feel that a dog bed is not a necessity but a luxury that they can easily do without. This is far from the truth and our dogs like us deserve a bed of their own. A dog bed can benefit you and your pooch in many ways. Here are some of the reasons why you must consider getting your pooch a bed, if he does not have one already.

Good Health and Good Sleep

According to a report in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases” out of the 250 known infectious diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals; more than 100 are derived from domestic pets. The risk of your pet making you sick is relatively small though, and according to WebMD sleeping with a pet can be problematic only for those who suffer from pet allergies or asthma. However, there are other reasons why your doggie must not be sleeping on your bed.  A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that about half the patients who complained of insomnia in the study had a dog or cat, and 53% of those pet owners said their pets disturbed their sleep in some way every night. Even if your dog is not disturbing your sleep, you could be upsetting his sleep unknowingly. By having your dog sleep in his own bed, you’ll ensure that both you and your pooch get a good sleep every day.

Cleaner House

Dogs tend to shed a lot in the places where they sleep. You’ll have a tough time cleaning your house, if you let your pet sleep on your bed or the couch in the living room. Dog beds, on the other hand, are easier to clean and maintain. Some beds even come with machine washable covers and cushions that allow for easy cleaning and washing.

More Place to Sleep

Dogs run, quiver, twist and turn in their sleep. By sleeping on his own bed, your pooch will have enough space to move around without getting hurt or hurting anyone else in the process. Keep your dog’s size in mind while you buy him a bed and always get a bed that is slightly larger than the space your dog occupies when he is curled up in a sleeping position.

More Personal Space

Your dog deserves a personal space of his own in the house and a dog bed would provide him with that. If you have two dogs in your house, then it necessary that both of them have separate beds that they can claim as their own and retreat to during the day, else they might end up fighting with each other over the bed.

A Happier Pooch

A good night’s sleep will keep your pooch healthy and happy. Made of soft cotton fabric and foam, dog beds offer firm support for your pooch’s back and limbs and prevent body pain. A good bed will contribute to your dog’s overall health.

Check out Woofilicious’s collection of dog/cat beds here. You can also shop for dog blankets here.

Image Courtesy: Doggonesmartbed

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