January 15, 2010

10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Dog

Let’s be honest, a dog will eat pretty much anything. And while in most cases food that is edible for humans is also edible for your dog, this is not always true. In fact, some foods that we consume can actually kill your dog. Most pet owners have heard that chocolate can be very bad for dogs but might be surprised to learn that there is a long list of foods that are unhealthy for your dog. Some of these foods may cause relatively mild symptoms like an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting, but others can lead to very severe complications and even death. The following foods should never be fed to dogs and you should always check that a food is safe for your dog before feeding it to him.foods bad for dogs

  1. Cat Food. One surprising food that you should not give your dog is cat food. Cat food is higher in proteins and fats and can be unhealthy for your dog.
  2. Drugs. Not surprisingly, you should never give your dog any kind of drug, including tobacco, marijuana or caffeine.
  3. Chocolate. The main reason you should never give your dogs chocolate is because of the presence of caffeine which can be toxic to dogs especially for their heart and nervous systems.
  4. Grapes, raisins, citrus fruits and certain vegetables like onions, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. These foods should also not be given to dogs because mushrooms can be highly toxic and cause death while potatoes, rhubarb, and onions are not lethal but can damage body systems.
  5. Raw fish and hops. Raw fish and hops can also be deadly for dogs because it can cause thiamine deficiency where you will notice a loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.
  6. Alcohol beverages. Alcohol can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  7. Baby Food. There may be onion powder in baby food which is toxic for dogs. If fed in large amounts, your dog may develop nutritional deficiencies.
  8. Bones from meat, poultry and fish. The bones from meat, poultry and fish can cause laceration or obstruction in your dogs digestive system.
  9. Human vitamin supplements that has iron. The iron in the supplements are toxic to the liver and kidney and can also damage the digestive system lining.
  10. Raw Eggs. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin. This enzyme decreases the absorption of a B vitamin called biotin which can lead to problems with the skin and hair coat. There will also be a risk of Salmonella.

 

As you can see, different foods have a wide arrange of effects on your dog. For this reason, it is advisable never to feed your dog anything but specifically formulated dog food. If you want to reward your dog with a treat, make sure to do your research first and only feed him foods that you are totally confident are safe.

January 14, 2010

Popular Dog Names

Filed under: dog naming,naming your dog,popular dog names — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:35 am

What’s in a name? He is a man’s best friend but you might call him Buster or Buddy or even Disco, Max, or Lucy (but then she’d be man’s best friend). Choosing the right name for your dog requires a lot of thought. You want the perfect name, the kind of name that tells people something about your dog and your family. From year to year there isn’t much change in the most popular dog names. Fido and Spot are the names of the past and even names like Max and Molly are becoming outdated. Nevertheless, there seems to be a definite trend toward giving dogs human names.

Indeed, even famous movies or characters influence the names we give our pets. I have a friend who named his dog after a very famous hip-hop artist. The top 10 male dog names, in order, are Max, Tigger, Tiger, Smokey, Oliver, Buddy, Charlie, Simba, Sammy, and Oscar. Alternatively, the top 10 girl dog names are Chloe, Lucy, Molly, Bella, Sophie, Princess, Cleo, Angel, Lily, and Maggie. But choosing your own dog’s name is more than consulting online lists and picking the name you like most. Any dog owner will tell you that choosing a name for your beloved pet is like choosing a name for a child and it is a decision that is never taken lightly.

I recommend that you always meet your dog before you choose a name but try to brainstorm a few ideas in advance. Many people find that they end up thinking an entirely different name when they first meet their dog. A dog’s name is based on his or her personality and appearance. Some people like to choose a name from a different language or to name their dog after an important, deceased family member. Your dog’s name is important, so choose wisely.

January 13, 2010

What do I do if my dog’s nails are bleeding after clipping them?

Filed under: clip dog nails,clipping your dogs nails,dog nail clipping — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:48 am

canine paw care Almost any dog owner who takes grooming seriously probably can tell you about a time when they accidentally cut the quick of their dog’s toenails. The quick is the soft, fleshy part of your dog’s nails and is packed with nerve endings and blood vessels. Clipping the quick can not only cause your dog a fair amount of pain but can also result in bleeding and possible infection. clipping dog nails
Unfortunately, it’s almost inevitable that you will cut the quick at least once in your dog’s lifetime so here are some tips about what you should do in the event of such an accident.

First of all, you should always be prepared so before you start clipping your dog’s nails get yourself some styptic powder. Styptic powder promotes blood clotting so can effectively stop the bleeding if you accidentally clip the quick. When bleeding starts, you should immediately dip the dog’s nail in the styptic powder. If you don’t have styptic powder you can try corn starch or flour instead. Once you have applied the styptic powder you should soothe your dog and prevent him from walking around and also do not let him lick his foot. The bleeding should slow within a couple of minutes. At this point, apply pressure to the injured nail with a clean, dry paper towel. This should effectively stop the bleeding. A brief warning for dog owners: cutting the quick can be very painful for your dog do it’s possible that he may cry out, snap, or even bite. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect you and your pet. Finally, once the bleeding has stopped, you need to take care to prevent infections. Wash and bandage the paw to protect the injured nail.

January 12, 2010

Is My Cat Anorexic?

Filed under: anorexia for cats,cat anorexia — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:08 am

feline stress anorexic catAs you may have already guessed, cat anorexia is a condition wherein your cat loses his or her appetite and either refuses or is unable to eat. Because appetite is a psychological factor rather than a physical one, there are many causes of cat anorexia. Your biggest concern should be whether there is some more serious underlying condition causing the anorexia as a loss of appetite in cats may signify a variety of illnesses from digestive system diseases to diseases of the kidneys, blood, eyes, mouth, nose, throat, skin, and even brain. On the other hand, your cat may be refusing to eat simply because he doesn’t like the food you’re serving. Likewise, behavioural causes, like stress or anxiety, can lead to cat anorexia. Whatever the causes, a loss of appetite severe enough to diagnose anorexia is a very serious problem that must be treated.

Diagnosing anorexia can be a bit tricky because of the range of causes and because many people don’t associate anorexia with cats. A veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical exam including a complete blood panel and urinalysis, x-rays of the chest and abdomen, and fecal examination in order to make an accurate diagnosis. From there, your vet should be able to tell the causes of the anorexia and therefore the best treatment plan. For example, if your vet determines that an intestinal parasite is causing your cat’s loss of appetite then treatment will be focused on removing/killing the parasite. However, some causes of anorexia are not directly treatable meaning the anorexia itself requires treatment. This usually includes IV administration of fluids, hand feeding, or the use of appetite stimulants. These treatments are designed to get your cat healthy again but may not completely solve the problem of anorexia. Changing your cat’s diet or coaxing it to eat may still be required.

January 11, 2010

What do I do when my cat has diarrhea?

Filed under: cat diarrhea,cat health,diarrhea for cats,diarrhea in cats — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:24 am

feline diarrheaCat diarrhea can signify a more serious health issue. While many cases of cat diarrhea will be a case of an upset stomach, much as is the case with humans, chronic or prolonged diarrhea is definitely a bigger issue. Normally, cat diarrhea will resolve itself but if cat diarrhea continues it’s important to try to recognize what can be causing the diarrhea. In these cases, it’s often necessary to take your cat to the vet but this article will discuss some of the possible causes as well as treatments for cat diarrhea. However, you should always visit a vet if you suspect your cat may have a more serious underlying condition.

Frequent diarrhea can be a problem especially if it is associated with one or more of the following symptoms:

 

  • Blood or mucous in the stool
  • High fever
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Obvious abdominal pain
  • Abdominal tenderness or swelling
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

 

 

diarrhea in catsThe causes of diarrhea can be very simple, even a sudden change in diet can trigger an episode of diarrhea. One of the first measures a pet owner should take when their cat has diarrhea is with the cat’s diet. It could be that your cat is eating some food that you’re not aware of but it’s always helpful to try a different cat food to see if this resolves the cat diarrhea. Alternatively, diarrhea in cats can also be caused by some kind of traumatic or stressful incident. Even moving homes or introducing a new family member may be enough to trigger diarrhea. However, more serious issues like parasites, infections, cancer, or pancreatic disease can lead to diarrhea; as such, chronic diarrhea definitely warrants a vet visit.

Otherwise, there are some simple measures that you can take to treat the diarrhea. First of all, you should avoid giving your cat any solid food for at least 24 hours and this will also require that you keep them in the house to prevent them from hunting their own food.Be sure to give your cat plenty of fresh water as diarrhea can cause dehydration.After a day of no solid food and lots of fresh water, start slowly introducing solid foods again.If the diarrhea is gone, no problem, but if it persists make an appointment with your veterinarian.

January 8, 2010

Does your dog have tapeworms?

Intestinal parasites are not fun and considering tapeworms are the most common of these nuisances pet owners should take some time to learn about how they affect cats and dogs. In most cases, tapeworm infestations fly under our radar but from time to time we can find them in our pet’s feces or in areas where they sleep. Tapeworms are white or beige parasites that resemble grains of rice and they are highly resilient little pests. Pets become infected by tapeworms when they ingest fleas that carry them and as a result flea control is important in preventing tapeworms.

Nevertheless, once you have discovered an infestation, it is important to seek the appropriate treatment. A dog or cat with tapeworm may be fatigued or weak because of malnutrition. Essentially, a tapeworm will use all the nutrients from your pet’s food and as a result your pet becomes malnourished. Obviously, malnutrition can have very serious side effects not the least of which is a pet with no lust for life. Moreover, tapeworms can grow so long that they block the intestines of your dog or cat or even break off and migrate to the brain.

Luckily, treating tapeworms has recently become much easier. Tapeworm tabs for cats and dogs can now be purchased over-the-counter as a highly effective method for removing tapeworms. Tapeworm tabs for cats are safe for kittens over 6 weeks of age and can be purchased according to the size of your cat and can be administered in just a few doses. Likewise, tapeworm tabs for dogs are safe for dogs over 4 weeks of age and are available in dosages according to the weight of your dog. Don’t let tapeworms wreak havoc with your pet’s nutrition by investing in a proven tapeworm treatment. They work quickly and effectively and ensure the nutritional health of your beloved pet.

January 7, 2010

Why is your dog throwing up?

Filed under: Dog health,dog puking,dog throwing up,puking dog,throwing up dog,Uncategorized — Dr. Amber Reed @ 11:11 am

canine pill delivery As with humans, dog vomiting is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. This may include flu or infection or something even more disconcerting. While most cases are the result of your dog eating something that doesn’t agree with him, prolonged vomiting can lead to dehydration or intestinal obstruction; in fact, left untreated, vomiting can be life threatening to your dog and as such should be taken very seriously. Dogs will put almost anything in their mouth and if they ingest it, this could lead to throwing up. Still, you should always make sure to keep a watchful eye on a dog that’s throwing up.

why is my dog throwing upGastritis is the main factor behind vomiting and this can be caused in a number of ways. As mentioned, ingesting an unfamiliar food or non-food item can cause the stomach lining to become inflamed resulting in vomiting. Moreover, dog vomiting may be the result of a bacterial or viral infection. In such cases, some antibiotic or antiviral medication will likely need to be prescribed by your veterinarian. Another common factor that causes dogs to throw up is excess stomach acid or bile. If you see that your dog is vomiting a yellowish brown fluid (often just before meals), this suggests that there is excess bile or stomach acid causing the vomiting. Excess bile or acids is the result of having an empty stomach so the solution is quite simple: Feed your dog more frequent, smaller meals to prevent the build up of digestive fluids.

Likewise, unfamiliar foods can cause your dog to throw up. Imagine you eat a new cuisine that you’ve never tried before. This experience often causes human stomachs to become upset and unfortunately for dogs this often results in throwing up. Suddenly changing your dog’s diet may be the factor causing the vomiting so reverting to his old diet will likely clear up the problem. Introduce new foods gradually so your dog can adapt.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.