My favorite season is here!!! Woot Woot!
There's nothing better than walking in the door after a long day, greeted by the smell of diced apples and cinnamon cooking in the crock-pot! Homemade applesauce is the best, and there's always the added adventure of a day spent outdoors climbing trees to snag the best ones.
While prepping those delicious apples for the crock-pot, you know a few pieces are going to end up in your tummy. Heck, you'll probably even slip a few to your dog if you have one, and that's awesome!
Some people are hesitant to feed apples to their dog because of Amygdalin, a form of Cyanide, found in the seeds, but remove the core which is a choking hazard anyway, along with the seeds, and apples make a healthy and nutrition-packed snack for your dog. Plus they're CHEAP and your dog will love them!
Tossing a few apples your dog's way will help to remove residue and plaque build up on their teeth all while keeping their breath fresh and kissable! They are a great alternative to commercially produced dog treats as they are much lower in saturated fat which contributes to heart disease, especially in older dogs. Apples are a high-fiber, low- protein, low calorie, and low sodium SUPER FOOD that you shouldn't hesitate to give to your dog. They're even a great source of Vitamins A and C!
There is a select group of dogs that should avoid sweet snacks, even if naturally sweet, like apples and those are dogs who are diabetic or suffering from kidney disease. The natural sugars in apples are too much for a diabetic dog, and the Omega 6 isn't good for dogs suffering from Kidney disease.
So, if you happen to have apple picking on your Fall bucket list, toss a few extra into your bag or barrel for your pup to enjoy, too!
It's the thing every pet parent dreads, FLEAS.
They can sneak into the house on your clothes, or they can hitch a ride on your dog. Either way, they're a pain to get rid of and their bites can itch for days.
I've posted about flea remedies and preventatives in the past, but they have been especially bad this summer so I thought a more in-depth and thorough post might be in order.
Lets start at the beginning...
Fleas are small, about the size of a pinhead, wingless bugs who use their legs to jump from host to host. They live externally on the skin creating havoc within the fur, and have mouths designed specifically for biting and sucking blood, similar to that of a mosquito.
After feeding, a female will generally lay around 20 eggs directly on the host. Many of the eggs will roll off landing on surfaces your pet frequents regularly, like bedding or other resting areas. Vacuuming and washing blankets and sheets will help to prevent the infestation of fleas, as well as other bugs.
Eggs hatch into larvae which feed off any organic material including dead bugs, feces and vegetable matter. Larvae then turn into pupae and then into adult fleas, though fleas can remain as larvae or pupae for several months often referred to as "overwinter," until optimal conditions for survival are present. This is one of the reason why riding your home of these pesky bugs can be so difficult.
Generally speaking, fleas can live for between one and one and a half years with optimal conditions. Sadly, this means females can lay about 5,000 eggs in their lifetime...that's from ONE female flea!
Above are good reference pictures for just how small fleas are.
Besides being obnoxious and cumbersome to deal with, flea bites can itch for days, sometimes even weeks! They can carry bacterial or viral infections, and even lead to hair loss from repetitive scratching or in extreme cases, anemia. It's also a real possibility that your dog has contracted Tapeworms if they've had fleas as fleas are known to be carriers. Dogs aren't the only ones in danger of getting fleas, either. If your fur baby happens to be a rabbit, ferret, chicken, or even a squirrel or a mouse, they too are perfect hosts for fleas, alongside cats and humans.
If you suspect your dog or cat might have fleas, grab a flash light and take a look at your pets underside, as well as the inner thighs, and base of the tail. This is where fleas like to hide out; especially if you've caught the infestation early.
Also, once we've parted the fur, look for flea dirt. It'll look like pepper flakes. If you find something you think might be flea dirt, use tweezers to remove the flakes and place them on a wet paper towel. If the flakes spread apart to form small blood pools, it's most definitely flea dirt as flea dirt is essentially flea poop and will consist of the blood the flea ate.
So now what? You're fur kid has fleas and you're panicked that your house is going to turn into flea central. Relax! There are several ways to treat them, both naturally and commercially.
My favorite, and most recommend flea remedy is food grade Diatomaceous Earth. It can be purchased online via Amazon or at your local hardware store, such as Lowes or Home Depot.
Diatomaceous Earth is a soft, crumbly, porous deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms. In other words, it's a white powder that kills any bug with an exoskeleton, including fleas! It's also natural and kills on contact so, there's virtually no waiting. Just sprinkle it on your pet, rub it in and wowza, dead fleas! You can even sprinkle it onto your carpets and furniture, then vacuum it up killing any fleas that may be chilling out waiting for the perfect snack to come their way.
***While Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use topically, you don't want you or your pet to breath it in as the edges are sharp and inhaling a copious amount could result in lung damage.***
Another awesome and immediate flea remedy is Dawn dish soap. Generic brand will not work, it must be original scent Dawn. Just run a nice warm bath for your pup, plop them into the tub and lather on the Dawn soap. Be sure to really work the Dawn down into the fur and onto the skin. Let sit for a few minutes, rinse, and watch the dead fleas be washed away!
It's also important to know that while fleas may look like they are dead, floating in the water, it actually takes roughly 24 hours for fleas to drown. If you simply empty the wash pan, without making sure all the pesky bugs are rinsed free, they can revive in a couple hours and come back to haunt you! No joke!
There are several over the counter, commercial shampoos geared towards flea removal, but from personal experience Dawn works just as well, if not better and is generally half the cost. it's also less likely your fur kid will have an adverse reaction to Dawn when compared to some other commercial flea shampoos.
Vacuuming and washing linens is going to play a HUGE role in eliminating and controlling a flea infestation. Even if the soap and water during the washing cycle doesn't kill fleas or their eggs, the high heat from the dryer is sure to do the job. Fleas are heat sensitive, and will not be able to withstand temperatures within the dryer.
As mentioned before, be sure to regularly vacuum where your dog sleeps and or rests, especially if these are materials that cannot be washed. It's important to remember to empty the vacuum bag or cartridge after each cleaning as you don't want any fleas crawling back into your home!
Fleas and many other outdoor bugs, including mosquito, have an aversion to the smell of citrus. There's an easy spray you can whip up in your kitchen using lemons, water and a pan!
What you will need:
4-6 whole lemons
1 1/4 cup water
Slice the lemons into halves and place them into the pan with 1 1/4 water.
Bring the water with lemons, to a boil and let sit for 5 to 6 minutes.
Turn the burner off and cover the pot, letting the lemons steep overnight.
This will allow all the juices and oils from the lemons to saturate the water.
Place one or two lemon halves into the spray bottle along with some of the water.
BAM! Flea Spray. Easy peasy!
Lightly spray directly onto your pups fur. Fleas, gnats, mosquito's, etc. will steer clear of your now lemony fresh pooch.
And of course there are your more traditional treatments and preventatives like topical liquids you apply monthly, or oral medications that protect against both internal parasites, as well as fleas and ticks.
So relax! Even though it's no walk in the park, fleas are treatable and your home will return to the nice calm, itch free oasis that you love it to be!
You're sitting in your living room and all of a sudden you hear a ruckus in the next room. It sounds like a wild hog has overtaken your dining room and is in the middle of redecorating your walls with snot.
Nope. It's just your dog...reverse sneezing.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky as most dogs suffer from reverse sneezing at some point or another, though there are breeds that are more susceptible to the phenomenon.
First, lets start by defining the difference between a regular old sneeze, and a reverse sneeze.
Reverse sneezing is also known as backwards sneezing, or paroxysmal respiration and is most common in breeds with Brachycephalic skulls, like pugs and bulldogs. Brachycephalic skulls are broad and short. Below is a list of dogs who may suffer from reverse sneezing, though it is possible in any breed.
So what causes reverse sneezing? Reverse sneezing is caused by a spasm of the soft palate and throat likely caused by an irritant, like an allergen. Your pup probably got too close to a dandelion, or inhaled some dust. In rare cases, medication may be required if your dog suffers from severe allergies causing frequent reverse sneezing fits. Otherwise, the fit will pass and the wild hog will transform back into your lovable pooch.
There's an age old question every dog parent has wondered; "Why does my dog eat grass?"
The truth is there are a number of reasons why your pup could be heading outdoors to snack on your freshly mowed lawn, but rarely are the reason serious.
First, lets talk about the misconception that dogs who eat grass always throw up shortly afterwards. Vomiting after grazing is rare and only happens in less than 25% of dogs. If your dog does throw up after munching on some green roughage it's likely because they gulped rather than chewed. If the grass is gulped it can tickle the throat and or stomach during digestion and can therefore result in vomiting.
When dogs have an upset or gassy stomach they often look for the easiest and most readily available treatment, even for just temporary relief, and grass often times is the key to a less gassy or acidic tum tum. Just think of grass as your dogs version of saltine crackers...or tums!
In the wild, the stomach and stomach contents are often the first part of a kill to be digested by wolves and or foxes. When consuming the stomach of an animal, wolves, foxes and therefore dogs (because they are direct descendants of wolves and foxes) are digesting the berries, plants and other roughage consumed by their prey, and it's for this reason that many feel the need for dogs to digest grass has developed over years of evolution.
Having said that, many commercially produced dog foods can lack certain ingredients and therefore your dog is supplementing by grazing. There's really no need to be concerned unless your dog is consuming copious amounts, and throwing up more than once a week. If this is the case, it's time to seek a professionals opinion, and get your dogs overall health assessed. You want to be sure there isn't an underlining medical issue like constant nausea or anxiety related issues that are causing your dog to ravenously eat grass.
It's also imperative to be conscious of what grass your dog is eating. Has it been sprayed with pesticides? If so, it generally takes a large amount to cause lasting problems, but you may want to step in and prevent consumption of this grass.
Long story short, the reason why dogs eat grass is widely misunderstood and the exact reason is unknown, but the behavior is widely practiced and rarely serious!
Well, it felt like it would never happen, but it did! Summer has finally arrived and temperatures are soaring! Not only are people spending more time outdoors socializing and visiting all the local festivals and carnivals, but ours dogs are too which is great...kinda.
Don't get me wrong, our dogs deserve to get out of the house and into the summer sun just as much as we do, but at what cost?
One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is seeing dogs out and about during street festivals when their feeties are being exposed to HOT asphalt. A lot of people don't realize that if the street or sidewalk is too hot for you to walk on without shoes, it's too hot for your dog to walk on too!
At just 77°F, the asphalt reaches temperatures of 125°F which is enough to cause severe injury to the pads on your dogs feet. Here's another fact about just how hot the asphalt gets on a summer day: you can fry an egg in just 5 minutes at 131°F. Would you want to walk on that in your bare-feet?
If you want to take them to this weekends art festival in the heart of downtown, that's great, but you should take precautions to ensure you're not putting your fur kid in danger.
So the next time you want to take your dog out for a trot around town, just make sure the pavement isn't too hot for your feeties before forcing your dog to walk on it with his precious feeties!
Lets face it, we all dread thinking about the day our fur kids will leave us and we all try to do as much as we can to give them long, healthy lives, but sometimes we inadvertently do, or don't do, things that can actually shortens their lifespan.
Some things are pretty obvious, if we each crummy food we tend to have a shorter life span, the same applies to your pooch, but there are things that don't necessarily stand out as detrimental to your dogs longevity. I've compiled a short list of some things you can do or avoid doing to give your dog the best possibility of a long, happy life!
One of the most frustrating and most obvious issues is an overweight dog. Sure it's kind of cute when you refer to your dog as "chunky monkey," but the truth is a lot of dog owners don't recognize the impact extra weight can have on their dogs lifespan and quality of life.
Just like people, being overweight can introduce several secondary issues such as arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, joint and hip issues and sometimes even behavioral issues. Over-weight dogs can also experience chronic inflammation which increases the risk of cancer.
The truth is eighty five percent of dog owners would classify their dog as being a healthy weight. The reality is that 53% of those dogs are considered obese. That's scary! As a responsible pet parent we should all obtain the proper knowledge to provide our dogs with the best life possible and that means maintaining a healthy and appropriate weight. After all, we are the hands that feed them! Literally!
That's right, an unhealthy mouth can lead to not only dental issue like Gingivitis, but it can also lead to issues outside the mouth like heart, kidney and even respiratory problems.
Tartar build up in the mouth can cause some pretty nasty breath, but it also can create pockets between the teeth and gums where bacteria and other debris gather. This can lead to infection, inflammation, bone loss and abscesses. Once your dog has developed this condition, called Periodontal disease, it's irreversible and can be very painful.
Research has also shown that certain bacteria found in the mouth produce a protein that adhere to artery walls and can cause blood clots. Uh oh!
Point is, keep your dogs teeth clean! If you're not sure how, check our my post about Petzlife.
Removing the Baby Makers
A lot of people think having their dog altered is just a means to end the possibility of unwanted liters. While this is true, spaying and neutering also reduces the risk of cancer by nearly 100%. That means cancers such as mammary gland tumors, uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer are 4 less things you and your dog have to worry about.
Altering your dog also decreases their desire to roam which can reduce your dogs urge to escape the yard. Just a little food for thought to backup that last statement, eighty-five percent of dogs who are hit by cars are unaltered.
As an added bonus, on average, altered dogs tend to live 1 to 3 years longer than their unaltered counterparts! That's 1 to 3 more years you get to spend loving your pup.
Dogs are instinctual, social pack animals; they thrive and crave attention. It's one of the reason why dogs are able to cohabitate with a multitude of other pack or herd animals like sheep, horses and cattle.
When dogs are properly socialized they are generally happier, healthier, friendlier and more predictable, making new environments and people less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone, including you!
Dogs who are not adequately socialized are much more likely to develop aggressive or destructive tendencies as they have not been equipped with the proper tools to deal with new or different situations. They often develop anxiety, depression and are generally less healthy and often present with chronic skin and coat issues.
There are tons of ways to socialize dogs of all ages, here are just a few:
Exercise & A Healthy Diet May Keep Sickness Away But A Trip To The Doctors Is Still A Must!
A lot of pet parents only take their dogs to the vet when it's time to renew vaccines or there's an obvious issue, but yearly exams can detect issues before they become big problems or before they're too advanced to treat.
Your veterinary is trained to notices small things that may seem trivial to you, like lipomas or fatty deposit on an older dog. What you think is benign and unimportant could be an indicator of something much larger and much more serious, like cancer or infiltrative lipomas which can invade muscle tissue.
It's always best to have your dogs checked out yearly. It could prolong their life by years if problems are noticed and addressed early.
There are several factors that play a role in determining how long our fur kids are with us, some are out of our control, but I know I am going to do everything I can to make sure my fur kids are the happiest and healthiest they can be!
Last year around this time there was an article floating around social media eluding to the idea that giving ice cubes to your dog was dangerous and could cause bloat.
Lets start with the basics...
There are essentially two parts of bloat; the first is gastric dilatation and the second is the more serious and life threatening condition known as Volvulus or torsion of the stomach.
When the stomach fills with air, it puts pressure on the organs and diaphragm making it difficult for the dog to breath. Once the stomach has filled with air it's much easier for it to flip on itself resulting in Volvulus. Once torsion or Volvulus occurs it cuts off blood supply to the stomach and causes the tissue and muscle of the stomach to die.
So who's most at risk for GDV or Gastric Dilation Volvulus? While any dog, of any age, and stature can suffer from GDV, it is more common in deep chested dogs such as:
But there is plenty you can do to help prevent GDV from happening:
If your dog presents with a distended abdomen, non-productive heaving or retching, shallow breathing, abdominal pain and is foaming at the mouth, it's time to get them to a veterinary office ASAP. Once GDV presents, it's fast moving and there isn't a lot of time to work with before the dog is in serious danger of dying.
Treatment for GDV is gastric decompression where a tube is inserted into the dogs stomach to release air or by puncturing the stomach with a large needle. Depending on the condition of the dog and severity of the case, the dog may need to be treated for shock and undergo surgery to correct the stomach twist. In some dogs they may choose to tack the stomach in place to prevent GDV from happening again in the future.
Now that you know what bloat is and how it happens, I hope it's clear that giving your dog ice cubes does not or will not cause bloat. In fact, most dogs enjoy a cool drink on a hot summer day. There are even treats and toys that are recommend for freezing for entertainment and refreshment purposes!
It was just about a year ago when our life took a drastic turn...
Easier to potty train, ready to roughhouse, and less likely to accidentally get kicked while walking from one room to another; big dogs filled our house and our hearts, until...an image of a feisty, get caught between your feet accidentally, filled with attitude, little dog appeared on my phone via text message. I drove over an hour to break him out of jail and from the moment he arrived to our house, despite what we thought, he had no plans of going anywhere else. He was a little dog filled with assertiveness that reigns supreme in our house now.
A little dog with really awful, disgusting, gag-worthy, dragon breath named.
Little Dude arrived as a foster, but subsequently failed miserably on every home visit he went on. Well...I should say the potential adopters failed to meet Little Dude's standards, not the other way around, and so, a year later and he's still a part of the Finken clan.
After being sprung from the confines of his jail cell, he was hauled off to the vet for some much needed dental work. I had hoped the removal of several dead and decaying teeth would elevate the disgustingness that was his breath, but alas, this was not the case. Even a good teeth cleaning, expensive food and several brushings later, the flames of his dead fish, rotten egg breath could still be smelled on the other side of the room. I settled on the idea that he was just a dog with stinky breath.
That is until...
My parents dog, Nikki, started experiencing some dental issues of her own. Due to a stage 5 heart murmur, she is not a good candidate for surgery. I had popped over for a visit at their house and was alarmed when I took a gander inside Nikki's mouth. There appeared to be a string of black, thick, tar like substance pinched between the top of her gums and her jowl. Of course I was curious and used a paper towel to pull the stringy like substance from her mouth. After I gagged and threw away the bacteria infected string I called my dad to ask what on earth was in Nikki's mouth. Being the "all natural" nut that my dad is, he started researching different methods of keeping her breath fresh and her teeth clean, he found Petzlife - Oral Care Spray, pictured above, on Amazon.
Petzlife is a mist you spray onto the teeth themselves and into the back of the throat twice a day for the first week than once a day afterwards. It breaks down tartar and bacteria helping to prevent infection and tooth decay.
Needless to say, I tinkered around on my cellphone for a few seconds after getting off the phone with my dad, Petzlife - Oral Care Spray was on it's way to my house via Amazon Prime and free two day shipping. I'm happy to report, despite fighting with Little Dude to OPEN HIS MOUTH the first few nights, this spray works like a charm and makes his breath smell minty fresh. I worry less about the possibility of him needing further dental work down the road now that we have a safe and effective way to help keep his teeth and mouth clean.
It's really not expensive at $19.99 and last for months! I highly recommend giving it a try! It beats trying to brush their teeth with a toothbrush!
Just click on the image below to have a minty fresh solution to your dogs awful breath shipped to your house via Amazon!
Let me know how it worked for you dog in the comments below!
It's not a pleasant topic, but it's an important one and one that all dog owners should be aware of and on the look out for; WORMS!
When my brother moved to Pittsburgh for school he felt a bit lonely in his apartment so he adopted Nikki, a Beagle/Chihuahua mix and Katrina survivor. She spent several months bumming it around Pittsburgh with my brother, sleeping in hubcaps when we was at the garage with his buddies and peeing on his pillow when he stayed out too late. Eventually she made her way back to my parents house where she ended up bunking permanently. I'll never forget that first night.
My friends and family have often referred to me as the "dog whisperer" so it was no surprise that Nikki choose my bed to sleep in that first night. No biggy, not like I didn't welcome the furry snuggles. Little did I know I would get a lot more than just some snuggles.
"Bri, it's time to get up."
Mom opens the shades and I hear a small, but audible gasp.
"Bri, go in the shower right now. Don't touch your hair or look in the mirror, just get in the shower and make sure you wash your hair really, really well."
"Mom, what are you talking about?"
"Just go, Bri. Into the shower, now!"
I stumbled my way to the bathroom and closed the door, reached for the shower and then pass a glance into the mirror.
"What the hell?! What's in my hair? It looks like rice..."
I didn't know at the time, but what was in my hair were tapeworms. Nikki had been given a dewormer at some point before coming to my parents house and the little buggers vacated her rump and crawled out to die on my pillow and in my hair!
*Insert gagging noises*
Now, for the different types of worms
Tapeworms are one of the most common worms to be found hiding out inside your dogs intestinal tract. Tapeworm larva or eggs can be ingested by your dog when they snack on the carcass of deceased animals or rodents. Tapeworms can also be contracted by ingesting fleas or flea eggs. Chances are, if your dog has had fleas, they likely have Tapeworms.
Tapeworms are composed of up to 90 segments (see the picture at the beginning of this article for a better visual) and the last segment is what breaks off and can be seen in stool or hanging around the underside of the tail. They can grow to be 4 to 6 inches long and require a prescription from your veterinarian to kill off a infestation, over the counter dewormers will not work on tapeworms.
Roundworm are small worms that most puppies and kittens are born with. The worms are introduced in moms uterus, but they can also be transferred through moms milk. They can grow up to 5 inches in length and take root in the intestines. Eggs or larva are present in stool so if fecal matter is consumed by another animal, they too will contract Roundworm.
Female Roundworm can produce as many as 200,000 eggs per day! Roundworm eggs are protected by a hard outer shell making it possible for them to survive for years in soil.
Roundworm will need to be treated by a veterinary as the over the counter dewormers will only kill adults, not eggs. If left untreated Roundworm can cause death as blockages can form.
Whipworms are most commonly found in adult dogs and resemble a piece of thread with a single engorged end. They are seldom seen in stool samples and for that reason can be hard to diagnose. They thrive in the cecum or first compartment of the large intestine and shed few eggs making diagnosis even more difficult.
Whipworms are most commonly ingested through contaminated food, water or soil, but can also be found in the flesh of dead animals or feces. Whipworm larva can live for months or even years in the right environment.
Dogs who have contracted Whipworms are likely to have chronic weight loss issues and often present with bowel movements covered in mucus, especially the end of a fecal deposit. They can also present with symptoms of dehydration or anemia, but can be asymptomatic as well. Treatment is often administered based on circumstantial evidence and consist of medication to kill both adult worms and larva.
Hookworm larvae hatch from eggs and can remain active for weeks or months given the right conditions. They are very small parasites with fang like teeth who take up residency in the small intestine and suck blood.
Puppies most commonly contract Hookworm from their mothers during feeding, but adult dogs contract the parasite through inadvertently swallowing larvae when sniffing contaminated feces or soil or when grooming their feet after having walked through polluted ground. Hookworm can also be contracted through the consumption of contaminated water.
Symptoms of Hookworm infestation are; diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, weakness or lack of stamina. The lining of the nostrils, ears and lips could also be pale in color and if larvae have enter the lungs a cough could be present. Stool samples from Hookworm infested dogs are often dark and tarry, or the dog may present with symptoms of constipation.
If not diagnosed and treated accordingly, Hookworms can be fatal, especially in puppies or dogs with compromised immune systems such as the elderly.
Unfortunately, if your dog goes outside (I certainly hope they do!) or has contact with other animals, there isn't a 100% fool proof way to prevent worms, but there are a few things you can do to decrease the likelihood of an infestation.
1. Picking up moon pies regularly is super important. Worms like the moist, dark environment not to mention an abundance of poop in the yard can be smelly and pose other health risks to your dog.
2. Wash your dogs blankets and other bedding regularly. Washing will remove debris and help to prevent fleas or other parasites/pest from nesting or breeding in or on your dogs bed or blankets.
3. Steer clear of moon pies left by other animals while walking your dog. Dogs like to walk with their noses to the ground, taking in the sights and smells of other furry critters that came before them. Sadly, this means they are often smelling the feces and urine of other animals, other animals that may have a worm infestation.
4. Keep your dog up-to-date on flea treatment and Heartworm preventative (if you are not familiar with Heartworms please read my previous blog post here). Depending on which Heartworm preventative you are using, many of them also protect against certain intestinal parasites, as well.
5. Have your dogs fecal sample checked frequently and talk with your veterinary about the best ways to keep your dog, based on yours and their lifestyles, free from worms.
Please keep in mind, the above (4) worm types are not the only types of worms a dog can contract. There are several others such as Lungworm and Heartworms, these are just the most common.
So remember, if a family member brings home a new fur kid and that fur kid decides to sleep with you, don't be surprised if you wake up with rice on your pillow!
Most dog owners know the common foods that dogs shouldn't have like grapes or chocolate, but there are many others that are just as dangerous.
Below is a list of "human" foods that should never be given to dogs.
Alcohol - Alcohol has the same effect on dogs as humans only it takes 1/10 the amount to cause serious, life altering symptoms which include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, coma, abnormal blood flow and death.
Chocolate/ Caffeine/ Coffee - They all contain Methylxanthines that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and death.
If your dog steals a chocolate chip cookie or your kids slips Fido a piece of chocolate under the table, relax, it takes a lot more chocolate than that to cause an issue. It would take a pound of chocolate to be considered poisonous for a 20 pound dog, and the average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of chocolate, so it would take 2 to 3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Of course, the type of chocolate consumed will play a big part in determining treatment; dark chocolate is the most dangerous and white chocolate, the least.
Grapes / Raisins - No ones sure of the exact reason why grapes and raisins have the effect they do on dogs but research shows dogs who consume even small amounts develop kidney failure and quite rapidly.
Garlic / Onions - There's a common misconception that garlic can be fed in small doses to ward off fleas or ticks and to treat some skin alignments in dogs. Garlic, in fact, is very toxic even in small doses. Garlic damages red blood cells and will lead to anemia. small doses are equivalent to poisoning your dog slowly over time.
While onions are less toxic they can have the same effect.
Raw Eggs - Raw eggs use to be thought to give dogs a shiny coat, that is not the case. The enzymes in raw eggs can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin B which can lead to skin irritations and even a dull, flat coat. Not to mention the potential for Salmonella or E.Coli.
Macadamia Nuts - As few as 6 raw or roasted Macadamia nuts are enough to cause muscle tremors, weakness or even paralysis, vomiting, depression and hypothermia.
Xylitol - which is found in some bake goods, candy, gum, some pops and other sweets can lead to an increase in insulin levels which can result in a drop in blood sugar levels and cause seizures or death. If your dogs gets a hold of a pack of gum and ingest it, you have a major problem.
If your dog ingest any of these things, call your veterinary doctor right away. Inducing vomiting using Hydrogen Peroxide (1 teaspoon per 10lbs) may be the best course of action, but depending on when you found the culprit and their snack, it may no longer be an option.
Dogs are sneaky and are almost always on the prowl for something to munch on so be sure to keep food up and off counters, and out of reach of talented paws or long noses that may know how to open cupboards or refrigerators!
With over 10 years of experience through ownership and rescue work, I hope to share my knowledge and insight to happier, healthier fur kids. Have a question, feel free to ask!