5 Foods That Can Harm Your Dog

While we love our dogs and like to share fun times, cuddle times, and sometimes even snacks with them, there are some foods that are not good for their stomach and digestive system. We all know some foods like chocolate are not good for dogs but there might some others in this list you weren’t aware of.

5 Foods That Can Harm Your Dog

  1. Chocolate
    The amount and type of chocolate varies in terms of its toxicity towards your dog. Grabbing an M&M might not affect your dog at all, but eating baker’s chocolate could be deadly. Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical compound called theobromine. Theobromine can severely harm dogs.
  2. Xylitol
    The artificial sweeter often found in gum, baked goods, and candy can cause liver damage to dogs. It can also create a life-threatening blood sugar drop in dogs. Low blood sugar can develop in 10 to 15 minutes of ingestion and cause vomitting and loss of coordination.
  3. Grapes
    Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs because it can cause kidney failure. One of the most serious problems of grape/raisin toxicity is acute kidney failure with lack of urine production.
  4. Alcohol
    Alcohol intoxication commonly causes vomiting, loss of coordination, disorientation and stupor. In severe cases, coma, seizures and death may occur. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks should be kept out of reach of dogs.
  5. Onions and Garlic
    Onions and garlic do damage to the red blood cells. Affected dogs may seem weak or reluctant to move, or they may appear to tire easily after mild exercise. Their urine may be orange-tinged to dark red in color.

Image from DogCancerAwareness.org

Urine Marking – Why and How To Prevent It

Many dogs mark when they are out on walks. You know how it goes, sniff the tree trunk or hydrant FOREVER and then “stake a claim” by urinating on it or trying to urinate on it if they have an empty bladder. Urine marking is not just peeing. It’s territorial marking and your dog may drop a few drops of urine on something to “own it.” Males are usually known to mark but females do too.

If you have noticed your dog marking and wondering why, there are a few reasons for urine marking:

  1. Your dog is not spayed or neutered and may feel the need to be more assertive.
  2. There’s a new pet in the house.
  3. There’s another pet in the house who is not neutered or spayed yet.
  4. Someone new has moved into the house such as a baby, roommate, or partner.
  5. Your pet has noticed a new pet nearby such as next door and feels the need to assert ownership on the fence that divides the yards.

If your dog has started urine marking or you want to prevent it, try these tips:

  1. Clean the soiled areas thoroughly with cleaners that are designed to remove urine.
  2. Move any items that your dog has marked out of reach such as shoes, garden hoses, or whatever.
  3. If there are conflicts between your pets, modify the behaviors and try to help them get along.
  4. If your dog is experiencing anxiety and marks out of fear, talk to your vet and see if there’s any medication or natural remedies to instill.

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6 Of The Best Toy Balls For Dogs

Did your dog bury her old ball? Or did it bounce away into the lake at the park? If so, it’s time to replace it. When buying a bounce ball for a dog, you want one that’s sturdy enough to withstand a dog biting it, chewing it, and also want it to be soft enough to not be like a bowling ball.

If it’s time to replace the dog ball toy you had, check out these 6 top sellers:

Virtually Indestructible Best Ball for Dogs

It’s virtually impossible to destroy and made from non-toxic plastic. It comes in vary sizes and colors. It’s not recommended for indoor use as it could bang up your furniture and besides didn’t your parents tell you not to play ball in the house?

>> Click Here for More Details

Treat Ball

If you want your dog to exercise a little more, why not entice her with some treats? It’s durable, light, and strong made from natural rubber. Fill the ball with treats and as it rolls around a few will fall out at a time. Your dog will have to roll the ball, toss it, and move it to get to the good stuff!

>> Click Here for More Details

Jolly Pets Tug-n-Toss

Tug-n-Toss can float, bounce, and easy for you to pick up and throw without getting your hands gross. Not to mention you can easily hang it up to dry once you’re done.

>> Click Here for More Details

KONG Stuff-A-Ball Dog Toy

This toy isn’t a ball but it’s great for playing fetch. You can stuff some treats in it and as your dog chews on the rubber, it will massage the gums and clean the teeth. Getting the treats out of the toy becomes a challenge for your which is great for her mental and physical well-being.

>>Click Here for More Details

JW Bad Dog Toy

Devilish horns on this little toy make it “the bad” toy but it will be your dog’s new best friend. Comes with a tough squeaker and has a high bounce. This toy will last the toughest play times.

>> Click Here for More Details

Chuckit Kick

Kick the ball to play, hands free so you don’t have to pick up a slimy dirty rubber toy. It’s easy for dogs to pick up and carry around.

>> Click Here for More Details

Image from Gear Patrol

Fostering A Dog? Here’s 9 Questions to Ask

Fostering a dog is a great way to help a pup find a forever home and also great for you. The presence of a pet in a home can bring a lot of joy and a lot of fun into a daily routine. But, before you complete the interview and paperwork with a rescue group, make sure you have a good idea of the dog you’re bringing into your home.

9 Questions to Ask Before Bringing a Foster Dog Home

  1. Does the dog have any medications or medical concerns?
  2. What, if any, behavioral issues does the dog have and how are they being dealt with?
  3. How is s/he with other dogs, cats, small animals, children? Can my family meet him before we foster him?
  4. If there is a medical emergency, how would you like me to handle it?
  5. If there is a problem, who do I contact?
  6. Can I crate train him?
  7. Who will pay for vet visits, medical bills, and any other treatments while I foster?
  8. What happens if I’m unable to continue fostering him/her?
  9. What if I fail fostering 101 and want to adopt the dog, do I get priority over other potential adopters?

Image from Doghouseadoptions.com

Fall Weather Rain Gear For Dogs

The weather is cooling down and if you live in the Pacific Northwest, then you know that the rain is here. Walking your dog in the rain isn’t always pleasant, especially when you come back home and have to dry your dog off or have that “wet dog” smell for a few hours afterwards. Your dog could use a raincoat and some other protection from the rain.

Here are 5 Essential Rain Gear Items for Dogs

Musher’s Secret
Walking on cold pavement can dry out paws. Protect them with this moisturizer formulated especially for dog peas. It dries in seconds and creates a layer of protection from sand, ice, and everything in between. Musher’s secret contains Vitamin E to keep paws healthy and help heal any abrasions your dog might have.
Buy it at Amazon

Disposable Waterproof Dog Boots
Maybe your dog doesn’t mind boots on her feet. If so, these booties are great to protect her paws from debris, cold wet pavement, chemicals, and ice. The boots are 100% biodegradable and can be reused many times before you move onto a fresh set of boots.
Buy it on Amazon

Guardian Gear Rain Coat
Waterproof and fashionable, this little raincoat will keep your dog dry when it’s pouring outside. The coat is made from vinyl and has a reflective safety stripe for those night walks. There’s a drawstring hood, a leash opening on the back by the neck, and a pocket where you can stash a few doggie bags.
Buy it on Amazon

West Coast Rain Wear
This coat is fleece lined for comfort and warmth. It is water repellant and has a reflective safety stripe. The coat doesn’t ride up or slide around on your dog’s body and is machine washable.
Buy it on GW Little

Rivers West Hawkeye H2P Safety Rain Coat
Safety green rain coat for your dog will keep her dry and visible to cars when you two go out for night walks. It has reflective strips on the sides and micro fleece on the inside for comfort. There is enough room at the next for the leash and collar to move without being caught under the coat. The coat also has a D-ring so if you use a harness, you can connect the coat to the leash as well.
Buy it on Amazon

7 Tips To Care For Your Dog’s Paws

Your dog’s paws are made for walking and are tough enough to withstand cement, walking on gravel, hiking trails, and other terrain. The pads provide protection from sharp objects like the soles of our shoes. The pads also absorb shock that helps protect their joints. But at the end of the day your dog’s paws might be a little sore, little tired, and could probably use some TLC. Help your dog out by checking the paws and pampering them now and then.

7 Paw Care Tips

  1. Snip and Trim: Trim the hair between the toes and pads to prevent matting.
  2. After walks wipe your pet’s paws: Sometimes the walk through the park or hike means your dog may have tiny pebbles or dirt stuck between the toes. A simple wipe or check after the walk will alleviate any pain and discomfort.
  3. Moisturize those paws: dog paws can become dry and crack. Talk to your vet about what kind of moisturizer is good for dogs. Don’t use brands geared for humans.
  4. Start slow with new exercise: If your dog is on a new diet and exercise routine, start slow with the exercise. Paws might hurt after a long walk when they are used to shorter ones. Think of when you walk a lot in a day how your feet feel, your dog’s may feel the same.
  5. Summer sidewalks burns: hot sidewalks can burn paws. It’s important to remember this. Walk your dog on grass and you might want to alter the schedule of walks if the sidewalks become scorching. Early morning and later evening walks when the pavement cools are better.
  6. Wintertime: Super cold sidewalks can create chapped and cracked paws! Rock salt and other de-icers can burn the paws. Wipe your dog’s feet after a walk and if your dog will tolerate it, buy the booties.
  7. Keep your yard clean: To avoid injured paws, check your yard for debris like broken glass, rusty nails, or other sharp objects that could pierce your dog’s paws.

Photo from Dogster.com

5 Tips for Walking Your Dog

Does it feel like your dog takes you for a walk? When you put the leash on and try to lock your front door, is your dog already pulling you down the street or jumping up on her back legs? It is understandable why dogs love to go for walks. The excitement level is normal too. However, being dragged or yanked as you walk your dog is not good for you, for her, and is unsafe. It’s important to master the walk to make sure your dog doesn’t ever run out in traffic, you don’t get pulled and fall, and that your dog knows you’re the one in charge of the walk.

5 Tips for Walking Your Dog

  1. Walk in front of your dog – your dog will see you as the leader and while your dog has a faster pace, stopping, making her sit, wait, and then you taking the first step will slowly but surely establish that you are the leader. You should always be the first one out the door and the first one inside. Try to make sure your dog is a step behind you or next to you during a walk.
  2. Use a short leash – a 6ft leash is the standard and best length to use. Put the loop around your wrist and hold the leash in your hand like you were holding a rope. This way if your dog does pull, you’re not holding onto the loop handle, you’re holding the leash itself and the loop is securely around your wrist. It gives you more control. The leashes that are retractable with the plastic handle are not good to use when training your dog. One quick dart and the plastic handle is out of your hand and being dragged behind your dog as she chases a squirrel or gets scared and runs away from the leash. Always keep your dog’s safety in mind.
  3. Take time – if you’re retraining your dog to walk, make sure you can dedicate the time to have a slow, patient walk. A fast walk before work won’t give you time to stop, correct your dog, and start again. Training takes real time. It might mean you have to get up a little earlier for the morning walk and dedicate more time to the evening walk. Reward your dog with praise, time to sniff things, and treats. You decide when the sniffing time is over and you decide where you both go. Remember, you’re the leader.
  4. Keep leading after the walk – ask your dog to sit when taking the leash off, ask your dog to sit before being served food, and keep the leadership role going in the house. Have your dog wait before you give her any treats or allow her into a room. It’ll reinforce that you’re in charge.
  5. Reward your dog – whenever your dog does something you like, let her know. Reward her with treats, pets, and praise. After a walk, rewarding with some food and water is also a way to show that she did a great job. Play time can be the best reward and another chance to reinforce commands. Let her run around chasing a ball or run with you around the yard but reinforce commands like sit, stay, and come while doing it.

Image from Charlestondogwalk.com

Keep Your Old Pup Healthy!

As our pets age their healthcare changes too. The activity levels slow down, runs become long walks, and your dog may not be able to jump and catch that frisbee the way she used to when she was a young, silly pup. Want to keep your buddy healthy as she enters her twilight years?

Here’s 5 Ways to Keep Your Older Dog Healthy

  1. Checkups – Older dogs need regular visits to the vet to test for arthritis, dental disease, kidney functions, and to catch problems sooner rather than later. Don’t skip the vet appts and in fact, your vet might recommend 6 months checkups.
  2. Observe changes – Keep an eye on changes in bathroom habits, sleeping, and eating. Changes in the usual day to day can indicate something is going on. Also, if your dog seems moodier, it could mean she’s uncomfortable or is having a hard time doing things and it’s bothering her. Any changes should be relayed to your vet to make sure things are ok.
  3. Getting Around – As your dog ages, jumping up on the couch, climbing into the car, and walking may become tougher. Help your dog out and get small doggie steps or a ramp for getting on and off surfaces. If your dog seems very unsteady on tiled floors and wood floors, a carpet on the slippery floors can help your dog gain stability.
  4. Diet – Your older dog may need a new diet or changes to her diet. Some dogs may gain weight and other may lose weight, changing the food can help stabilize her weight. Also, some health problems can be controlled by a special diet. Talk to your vet if your dog needs dietary changes.
  5. Sleep Station – Older dogs may need a different pet bed. You’ve seen the orthopedic bed for dogs, right? They are cushier in some ways, firmer in others, and help your dog sleep better and provide better comfort and support. This can help ease the discomfort of arthritis, increase circulation, and reduce stiffness. If you’re not down for buying a super pricey bed, you can provide softer blankets, pillows, and towels that can pad your dog’s bed. Remember, keep the bed away from drafty areas in the house.

Image from (Dog)Spired.com

7 Reasons to Adopt an Adult Dog

Thinking of adding a new pooch to the place? Not sure if you can deal with the puppy stages again? An adult dog is a great choice if you’re thinking of expanding your family. Even if you already have a dog, an adult dog makes a great addition to your home.

Here’s 7 Reasons an adult dog makes a great new pet:

  1. There’s no guessing – what you see is what you get. They are full grown, their fur is completely grown in, and their personality is established. You will know what commands to teach or reteach and what issues or problems you’ll need to work on together as your forge that bond with your new adult dog.
  2. Easier to train than a squirmy puppy – older dogs focus better than puppies and are calmer. Training sessions can be fun for both of you and also less irritating. Plus, the years that the adult dog already has under his belt of reading people and being around him makes it easier for him to figure what you’re asking for and what you want him to do. He also can figure out how to get that treat faster than a puppy who may just jump around and then scoot away.
  3. Adult dogs need less supervision – adult dogs tend to already have some manners, are mature, and any behavior issues they have are usually noted when you adopt them. If they are crate-trained, then they already know to stay clean in the crate and will relax. If they are destructive, you’ll have an idea of what to keep out of the dog’s reach. Plus adult dogs will fall into the routine of your house faster because they are happy to be in a home again.
  4. No puddles on the floor – A good number of adult dogs are house-trained from their previous homes. They also may not have the need to chew like a puppy because they aren’t teething. Even if your new adult dog isn’t house-trained they can be trained very quickly to learn.
  5. Adult dogs make good companions for older people – Some people may not get a new dog or a second dog because of the energy level of a young dog compared to the energy level of themselves. An adult dog can be a great companion for an older adult who is looking for a buddy to talk nice slow walks with and an adult couple who can’t run the 4 hour marathons on the weekends anymore.
  6. Adult dogs like to chill – They aren’t necessarily couch potatoes but they are calmer than puppies and don’t often require the same amount of exercise as a growing dog. Adult dogs and senior dogs need exercise but they don’t always want or need to run around for hours on end. A few nice long walks and some TLC can almost guarantee a dog that sleeps soundly through the night.
  7. You’ll make an adult dog happy! – Many adult dogs are at your local shelters and rescues. They often are in great shape, good health, and have many years left in them to love and be loved. In some cases you may be saving a life and in other cases, you may be finding a new best friend.

Image from Petfinder.com

5 Tips for Hiking With Your Dog

Outdoor activities increase when the weather warms up. If you and your furry best friend love going for hikes, make sure both of you are prepped and ready for the mileage.

5 Tips for Hiking With Your Dog

  1. Check that the trail is pet-friendly. Some parks allow dogs on trails and others do not.
  2. If you haven’t been on the trail before, take a day to check it out before your bring your dog. It might be really rocky, muddy, steep, and have some obstacles that your dog might have problems traversing.
  3. Hiking in a high altitude place? Take a minute and think if your dog can handle the conditions. Thinner air, smushed noses, and cardio could mean problems.
  4. Stick to wider trail to avoid poison ivy, ticks, and other problems. Don’t let your dog venture into the grass and shady rocky areas where snakes may hide out.
  5. Take breaks! Your dog may need a drink of water, a rest, and a few minutes here and there to relax before hiking back to the car.

Image from The Sonoran Concervancy of Fountain Hills