Saturday, September 29, 2007

What is toxic to dogs?

While you love your dear dog and want him to have the healthiest of diets, it’s important to know which foods to consume and which must be avoided at all costs. In fact, there are specific foods which are toxic to dogs.

Large amounts of cooked liver cause Vitamin A toxicity, which impacts muscles and bones. Yet another item which is toxic to dogs.

Spoiled food and garbage – just don’t go there. Definitely considered toxic for dogs.

Alcohol can result in coma and death.

Bread dough can result in a bloated belly and then disorientation and vomiting. Since it yeast that hasn’t risen yet, you do not want it to expand in Fido’s belly, much less get stuck in the intestines!

Dogs need to be kept away from all antifreeze spills since this could be hazardous and toxic to dogs. While the sweet smell and taste may be attractive to his sensitive nose, if your dog consumes any amount of antifreeze, rush him immediately to the veterinarian.

Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol sweetener contained in chewing gum and candy. Seizures, lethargy and weakness are the result if dogs consume significant amounts of this chemical.

Ibuprofen, like antifreeze, may smell sweet. Dogs will eat it if they’re found lying on the floor and don’t be surprised if your dog tries to chew threw a bottle to eat the entire contents. This is definitely toxic to dogs. It causes ulceration and perforates the lining of the stomach, and decreases the blood flow to the kidneys.

And keep the above mentioned foods and chemicals in mind to prevent your dog from consuming toxins. At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. If you think your dog could have ingested a toxic substance please contact your local vet as soon as possible.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are Grapes and Raisins Really Poisonous to Dogs?

It turns out that raisins—and grapes—can be poisonous to dogs. The trend of poisonings was noticed first around 1989 when dogs that had eaten the fruit developed ARF, also known as kidney failure.

Between January 2001 and August 2004, more than 200 calls were made to the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) involving dogs that had potentially eaten grapes or raisins.

The exact mechanism by which grapes and raisins cause kidney failure is still unknown. Theories include pesticides, heavy metals, or mycotoxins (fungal material) on the skin of the grapes, but the fruit implicated in the deaths of the dogs has been tested and returned with negative results. Even when grapes were consumed off the vine in a family’s backyard, homeowners’ claims were that no pesticides or fertilizers had been used.

Poisonings have occurred from both seeded and seedless grapes, and from fruit purchased from a grocery store and picked off the vine. Nor does the variety of grape or brand of raisin seem
to matter. The amount a dog needs to eat to cause illness varies. Poisonings have been documented to occur in dogs who have eaten anywhere from a single serving to a pound of raisins.

What are the symptoms of grape and raisin poisoning? Sensitive dogs have a risk of initial gastrointestinal upset, followed by acute renal failure. Vomiting often occurs within the first few hours and the partially digested grapes or raisins are frequently found in the vomit and fecal material. Subsequent symptoms may include diarrhea, depression, excessive thirst and signs of abdominal pain. These signs can last from several days to several weeks.

If treatment isn’t sought immediately, ARF can develop within 24 to 72 hours. When the kidneys fail, a dog’s body is unable to filter the blood and excrete waste in the urine. Once urine is no longer being produced, most dogs die or must be euthanized.

Without understanding exactly how raisins and grapes cause toxicity, all cases of ingestion should be considered potentially dangerous. However, today, with a better understanding of the symptoms and progression of the illness, dogs can be treated successfully to prevent ARF.

The key is early recognition and decontamination. For a dog that is known to have ingested raisins or grapes, inducing vomiting and administering activated charcoal helps to prevent absorption of potential toxins. In all cases of ingestion, however, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately to provide professional medical attention.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How to Avoid Foods Dangerous for Your Dog

There are some common foods on the human table that are deadly for dogs. It is important to know about them to avoid causing severe or fatal illness in your loyal canine companion.

Understand that even though you can eat the food, this does not mean that your dog can eat it also.

Chocolate contains theobromine (a methylxanthine derivative). It can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, pant excessively, urinate frequently, develop a great thirst, have seizures, show hyperactivity, get an abnormal heart beat and possibly die. The negative effects depend on the dosage, the size of the dog, and the type of chocolate.

Onions, garlic and chives in all forms (dry, raw, cooked) contain thiosulphate, which can irritate the gastrointestinal system of your dog. A relatively high dosage (600-800 grams) in one meal or spread apart over a few days can damage red blood cells

Raw or undercooked meat and eggs - as with humans, care needs to be taken in handling raw meat and eggs to avoid the possibility of contamination with Salmonella bacteria and E. coli. Raw eggs contain an enzyme (avidin) that can lead to skin and coat problems for a dog.

Check the food you are sharing carefully. Many of these ingredients are tucked away in cookies, bread, cake, preserves and other processed foods. It is really important to be aware of what you are feeding your canine companion so that you can avoid these problem foods.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reading your Dog

Although every dog is different and personalities among our canine friends almost as varied as among our human ones, there are certain signals which mean the same whichever dog is "saying" them. Learn to read them to avoid misunderstandings with your faithful friend.

If your dog is looking at something, he is thinking about it. When looking at the door, for example, he is thinking about going out. When looking at the bin, he's thinking about a tasty morsel inside and whether he can get at it. By interpreting this simple body language, you can reward behaviours you wish to encourage - and filter out the rest.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Basics of Dog Training Commands

The majority of dog owners in the world have one common problem with their dogs. They refuse to do what they are supposed to do. Some dog owners only have behavior problems with their dogs when other people are around. In most of theses homes the Dog rules the kingdom. These dogs have had no training whatsoever. What most of these dog owners do not know, is that it is the owner who really needs to be trained and not the animal. Once the owner takes charge and becomes the leader of the pack, the dog will follow in turn. Dog training commands are essential in taking charge of your dog and becoming the leader of the pack. The training of your dog is a natural bonding experience between you and your lovable friend.

The Commands

Every dog trainer will have their own list of dog training commands, but there are generally five basics on every trainers list. The first dog training command is to heel. Heeling means to have your dog stop along side of you. The second dog training command is sit. This dog training command is rather self-explanatory. The third command is down. The word, down, is used to get a dog to quit jumping up on people. Simply use the single word, down and not, get down, the dog will be more confused because he is only used to the one word, down, and get down will sound like one word to Fido. The fourth dog training command is to stay. It is always essential that your dog learns to stay sitting in one spot when told to for many obvious reasons, safety, being first and foremost. The last, but not least, of these five dog training commands is come. Come is setting your dog free and releasing him from commands.

A dog owner must realize that using your dog’s name will get his attention and this should also be rewarded in the early lessons. It is not necessary to yell at Fido, but do use a firm tone. Hand signals are another good way to teach your dog training commands as long as your dog has a successful attention span and can focus on the handler. Your dog will respect you if you stand tall and show him in your stance, that you are the authority in his world. Be strong and be firm and above all else, be consistent and your dog training commands can make your life a lot less stressful, and turn you into the King of your kingdom.

Article Source:

About the Author:
My name is Roland Parris Jefferson III and I'm a researcher for the online community working out of lovely Santa Monica, California. For more facts, tips and tricks covering Dog Training, please visit my Police Dog Training Online Guide.

Monday, September 3, 2007

What's a Labradoodle—Designer Dog or Just Another Mutt?

Bijal P. Trivedi
The Labradoodle, Yorkipoo, cockapoo, and schnoodle are the latest designer hybrid dogs to hit the catwalk.

Just as people meticulously customize a cup of coffee to suit their mood—a lowfat, decaf, mocha latte with chocolate sprinkles is particularly good—people are designing their pets to match their lifestyle.
The most popular breed of designer dog is the Labradoodle—originally a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. The mix reputedly combines the intelligence, aloof nature, the delicate frame, and the low-allergy, and non-shedding traits of the poodle with the boisterous exuberance, lovability, and loyalty of a lab.

Humans began domesticating dogs about 14,000 years ago. Breeds emerged as dogs were selected for various traits like the ability to guard and hunt. Like the many breeds that have emerged since, the evolving Labradoodle also has a purpose: to provide an allergy friendly companion, especially to people with special needs.

The most popular breed of designer dog is the
Labradoodles originated in Australia in the 1970s when the Guide Dogs Victoria, in Kew, Australia, received a request for a low allergy guide dog. But their Labradoodle breeding program was largely abandoned because it produced inconsistent results. The breed also arose independently on the farm of Don Evans, who ran a mixed dog farm in Northern Victoria, Australia.

Trouble With Pure Breeds

"Don Evans loved his dogs but he bred everything and anything," said Beverley Manners, a former German shepherd breeder for 30 years, licensed dog show judge, and currently the president of the Hawaii-based International Labradoodle Association, Inc. "If a bitch was in season and a male was interested, well, he just said, 'why not.' Don had bred poodles and labs together and had several second and third generation Labradoodles—that's where I got my original stock."

Labradoodle fever escalated when the Guide Dogs Victoria opened their doors and the general public spied the charismatic, wide-eyed, wavy-haired pooches. Many contacted Manners to locate Labradoodle breeders.

Manners was also intrigued with the Labradoodle—especially in light of rising allergy and asthma problems—and with the prospect idea of developing a new hybrid, free from the health issues facing the pure breeds.

"I was increasingly disheartened with breeding German shepherds," said Manners. "These dogs, like other pure breeds of the show world had been bred for looks, and health was largely ignored. German shepherds, for example, are plagued with 89 inherited disorders."

Top winning dogs are often highly inbred—siblings are interbred, and fathers are mated with daughters. The result is a tiny gene pool that is saturated with bad traits.

Manners began with dogs from Don Evans' farm and has been breeding the doodles at Rutland Manor Labradoodle Breeding and Research Center, near Melbourne, for the last 15 years—carefully archiving genetic and health records for all the dogs. The center's goal is to refine the breed to predetermine coat, color, size, and temperament of the puppies.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Resource Guarding

Dogs don't like to share. While many will grudgingly give up their treasure to their favored humans; others will threaten, and even bite at the people that dare to interfere. This is not an acceptable behavior in a companion dog. Starting early in puppyhood, you can make sure your dog never turns into a resource guarder, or if you find he is already guarding things of value, use these steps to help wean him off of this unwelcome behavior.

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