Can I Give My Dog? Answers for Dog Owners Sat, 04 Jul 2015 09:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Can I Give My Dog Raspberries? Fri, 03 Jul 2015 07:05:38 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Raspberries?Raspberries are one of many fruits that owners sometimes want to share with their pet dogs. These berries are particularly popular in the summertime because that’s when they’re harvested and widely available.

Most folks just want to confirm that feeding some to a dog is okay and not harmful. Others may be interested in the potential health benefits for their four-legged friends. We’ve got it covered, even if Fido got into your raspberry supply on accident!

The truth is that they are, in fact, healthy for dogs in limited amounts. They make for a good light snack on occasion but you shouldn’t overdo it. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of raspberries for dogs!

Can I Give My Dog Some Raspberries? Answer: Yes, in moderation

It’s a suitable fruity treat for dogs and they contain great antioxidants which can be quite beneficial.

If you don’t mind the expense then you can safely provide your best bud with some. What’s great is that there’s little preparation required for serving a few raspberries to a dog. This contrasts with cherries, for example, which definitely require some prepping beforehand. Raspberries, much like blueberries, just need to be washed before being served.

But again, limit your dog’s portion. Raspberries actually contain low levels of Xylitol which could be harmful if several cups are consumed. Some more on this later…

The Nutritional Value

Besides the powerful antioxidant factor, what stands out about raspberries is the high levels of vitamin C. While this is great, most dogs don’t need any extra since their bodies produce their own vitamin-C. But it doesn’t end there since decent amounts of manganese and fiber are found in each raspberry. As a bonus, they are also low in sugar and calories.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Hands down, the best thing about raspberries is the anti-inflammatory aspect as it relates to common canine problems. If you have an older dog, this could be a valuable health benefit. Arthritis is probably the number one problem associated with geriatric dogs. Some fruits, and this berry in particular, may help to reduce inflammation and the resulting symptoms.

What’s the Downside?

So raspberries are generally safe, tasty and healthy for dogs but that’s not the whole story. Consider that canine consumption of this red berry is relatively expensive. Even a handful isn’t exactly going to fully satisfy most larger dogs. So this fruit, known botanically as Rubus idaeus, really won’t do a great job of filling up a best buddy’s stomach.

In fact, you shouldn’t feed a lot anyway because Xylitol occurs naturally in this particular berry. While Xylitol is dangerous for dogs, the amount found in raspberries isn’t a real concern if you limit their portion to a cup or less.

To put it all in perspective, the raspberry is not a miracle food even though it’s healthy. Depending too much on raspberries, or any berries, when it comes to your dog’s diet isn’t the way to go.

The Raspberry Realistically

While raspberries are wonderful as a good treat, it doesn’t mean you should be feeding them to your dog on a daily basis. Limit their portion to an amount that’s snack size for reasons we’ve outlined. In fact, be careful of creating bad feeding habits. Some dogs come to expect human foods and shun their normal chow after awhile.

In truth, dogs need protein in their diets more than anything else. Meat should be the basis of your dog’s daily meals while appropriate fruits can be used to compliment this mainstay. In any case, if you’ve never given any raspberries to your buddy, start out small. Provide just a very small portion until you know it agrees with their stomach.

Conclusion on Raspberries

Yes, you can feed your dog the fruit known as raspberry. In theory, it may actually serve a few valuable medical-related purposes besides satisfying your dog’s desire for a summer time treat. Most notably, raspberries and their juicy pulp contain fantastic antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which may help dogs with arthritis and related problems. At the very least, this well-liked berry can make for a healthy doggie snack when given in moderation.

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Can I Give My Dog Cantaloupe? Thu, 18 Jun 2015 16:55:42 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Cantaloupe?Cantaloupe is popular in the summer months and your dog knows it! They see you slicing open this juicy melon and, of course, they also want a taste. Giving some to your best buddy seems like it would be harmless and even healthy for them.

It’s true that cantaloupes aren’t dangerous for dogs. However, they may not fully agree with their stomach and digestive tract. You can’t know until you actually feed it to your pet. Hopefully they can partake because this melon contains great anti-inflammatory qualities and lots of other potential health benefits.

Start out by serving a small amount of cantaloupe to your pet dog to see if they can tolerate it. In the meantime, let’s look at the nutritional facts and other considerations regarding this delicious fruit as it applies to a special four-legged friend.

Can I Give My Dog Some Cantaloupe? Answer: Yes, in moderation

It makes for a refreshing and healthy treat for dogs assuming it doesn’t bring upon a bout of diarrhea.

Many fruits, including cantaloupe, can be occasionally fed your dog. However, this melon should not be a mainstay of their canine diet. It actually contains a lot of sugar and lacks protein. Think of it as a healthy treat that you can provide under certain circumstances. For example, some sliced cantaloupe or watermelon can be great to serve when the weather gets hot!

Due to the high sugar content, it may be best to avoid giving cantaloupe to diabetic dogs.

Cantaloupe’s Nutritional Value

Though your dog’s digestive tract is faster than that of a human, they can also absorb some of nature’s gifts delivered in the form of a tasty cantaloupe. This orange colored melon fruit contains high levels vitamin C and vitamin A as well as beta-Carotene which may be good for eyesight. It’s also a great source of potassium, fiber and folic acid.

In truth, your dog probably doesn’t need these since they should be getting sufficient levels of these vitamins in their regular dog food. Actually, dogs produce their own vitamin C under normal circumstances. That doesn’t mean cantaloupe, which is the top melon in the United states, cannot be healthy and enjoyable for Fido.

Interestingly, cantaloupes are in the same family of plants as pumpkins and cucumbers which are also canine friendly.

Antioxidants & Older Dogs

If your dog is getting up in their years, Cantaloupe may actually make sense because it contains excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Also, some older dogs no longer produce sufficient levels of vitamin C which could be a contributor to less than optimal health. Cantaloupe can provide these and may act as a sort of supplement. It’s difficult to know if your dog actually needs the extra vitamins but if they can handle this fruit, it can be beneficial in such cases.

How to Serve This Melon

There are a few helpful tips to know about when sharing some cantaloupe or muskmelon. Don’t let your dog eat or lick the outside surface because it’s been know to carry potentially harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. Just discard it and do that with the seeds as well since those may be tough on your dog’s stomach.

As far as the proper amount to serve goes, just a normal size slice or two is a good start. It really depends on how big your pup is but, again, start out with a small 1 or 2 inch wedge. Then see how they take to it over time. Adapt to how they react; this way you’ll know if cantaloupe is something they can really enjoy with you.

Conclusion on Cantaloupe

Yes, you can feed your dog some cantaloupe which is also known as Cucumis melo. It’s a healthy fruit for canines and humans, alike. But it should be just a treat. Dogs require less fruit, including melon, than people should be consuming. Older dogs, that lack vitamin C, could greatly benefit from cantaloupe since it contains a bunch of important vitamins. Keep a close eye on your best buddy, especially when serving some for the first time, since dogs are known to sometimes react to fruits with diarrhea.

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Can I Give My Dog Baby Aspirin? Wed, 03 Jun 2015 06:14:57 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Baby Aspirin?Lots of people regularly take baby aspirin for preventative reasons. Many believe that it helps the heart stay healthy and can even prevent heart attacks. This line of thinking, which is highly debatable, certainly doesn’t make sense for a dog and we’ll explain why.

It may come as a surprise but even baby aspirin is a powerful drug that can cause serious bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and even the brain. So the name, ‘baby aspirin’ is sort of misleading which creates a potentially dangerous scenario if it’s misused.

But unlike Tylenol, which is seriously deadly, aspirin can be cautiously given to dogs to help with short-term pain. It is acceptable but the risks are somewhat higher for them. Baby aspirin in particular, on a short term basis only, is okay for your dog but longer term use should be out of the question.

Can I Give My Dog Baby Aspirin? Answer: Only to Treat Pain, Not Long Term

Don’t put your best friend on baby aspirin as a type of preventative heart health supplement.

There are many reasons why doing so is a bad idea. Dogs don’t live nearly as long as people do. Their hearts don’t need supplementation for the long haul. Baby aspirin, used in such a way, presents more of a hazard to dogs. Long term use of this popular aspirin will not help them and is unnecessary. In fact, it could actually harm their cartilage which is totally counter-productive to your good intentions.

If you’re seeking an appropriate solution to your dog’s long term pain, consider an Apoquel prescription or something like this well regarded all-natural anti-inflammatory. There are many quality options, specifically developed for pets, which is why we aren’t so keen on human over-the-counter meds. But for more information regarding the use of baby aspirin keep reading.

Some Valid Reasons

We’ve already ruled out using baby aspirin as a sort of statin for pet dogs. You can, however, provide low dose aspirin to reduce pain on a short term basis. An example may be that your little buddy has a bruise or is experiencing some swelling and they’re whimpering as a result.

Giving it may be appropriate for dogs between 10 and 30 pounds or so. Of course, it’s not without some level of risk. Puppies, in particular, have kidneys and livers which aren’t yet fully matured. You may wish to consult with your vet beforehand to be on the safe side.

We wish to emphasize, once more, that baby aspirin will not improve your dog’s heart health!

Regular Verses Baby

We’ve previously covered NSAIDs as well as regular aspirin. In regards to the so-called baby variety, it is smaller and less potent. The enteric pills, which are manufactured by Bayer, are 81 milligrams compared to what is normally 325mg. Logically, if you are considering a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for your dog’s pain then baby aspirin is a more conservative and relatively safer approach than a higher dose.

Dosing & Important Info

So yes, baby aspirin can treat temporary canine pain and it’s better dosed for small dogs in general. By the same token, puppies and tiny dogs are highly susceptible toxicity when it comes to medications including baby aspirin. So providing any dose warrants prudence and caution.

That said, the standard is half of a baby aspirin twice daily for dogs weighing approximately 10 pounds. You can give an entire pill, twice per day, to an 18-22 pound four-legged friend. If you want piece of mind, consult with a veterinary professional.

Never provide this to a pregnant pup! Also, do not combine aspirin with any other pain medications.

Conclusion on Baby Aspirin

You can give your dog baby aspirin for the right reasons. Only humans can take this low-dose NSAID on a routine basis. It will likely do more harm than good if you provide it to your dog in the same way. While we aren’t big fans of using conventional pain killers, baby aspirin is better suited for treating canine pain than regular strength OTC products. Consider alternatives or consult with your vet but, whatever you do, don’t give your beloved dog baby aspirin regularly.

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Can I Give My Dog Bengay? Tue, 19 May 2015 14:57:23 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Bengay?Bengay is the most well-known analgesic heat rub for muscle pain but there’s some question as to whether it’s safe for dogs. The product works to reduce discomfort from bruises, sprains, backaches and even some arthritis-related symptoms.

Since this topical cream is available over-the-counter, it’s commonly assumed to be harmless. That’s generally true but there’s an strong active ingredient in Bengay which you must know about for your dog’s sake.

Not to be alarmist but applying Bengay on a dog is potentially more dangerous when compared to its routine human use. There are a few reasons for this and we’ll discus them here. Weigh the pros and cons to make your own decision regarding its application.

Can I Use Bengay on My Dog? Answer: Yes, but restrictions apply and there are better alternatives

Applying Bengay to your dog’s body carries a moderate level of risk due to the methyl salicylate it contains.

Also, consider that your dog may want to lick at the applied gel which is not okay! If that’s likely to be the case, seek another solution. Further, we don’t recommend it for smallish breeds or puppies due to the potential for increased absorption concentration. Otherwise, a conservative amount of Bengay is unlikely to cause any serious complications.

Some Better Alteratives

In truth, there are better alternatives for your dog’s aches and pains. A product called Tri-Relief, also administered externally, has been developed specifically for dogs. It’s safer and equally effective. Another one that’s highly recommended is Bag Balm.

Pain is a very frustrating and all too common problem facing pet dogs. More serious and persistent cases could warrant a vet consultation, diagnosis and a Rimadyl prescription.

Tips on Bengay Use

If you plan to go ahead and use Ben-Gay, for whatever reason, please avoid using any product containing the words, “Ultra Strength” because those particular products contain higher levels of the active ingredient called methyl salicylate. Instead, it’s preferable to use Vanishing Scent Bengay or their Pain Relief & Massage Gel but don’t lose sight of the fact that your dog cannot be licking at it!

Never Combine Products!

The chances of your dog being poisoned increase if you combine different brands containing certain ingredients! This is something that’s very important but is often overlooked. For example, if you are applying Bengay on your dog’s body, never provide aspirin or Pepto Bismol or other NSAIDs because they may also contain salicylate.

You shouldn’t even combine other creams! This is especially true if your dog is on the small side because chemical reactions are more potent as a result. Sometimes a simple application of a warm hot water bottle or a well-placed heat pad can do the trick.

Symptoms to Watch For

It’s unlikely that your dog will have a bad reaction to Bengay if you follow common sense guidelines. But just in case, be sure to watch for gastrointestinal changes. Also consider that when most dogs are sick, or are experiencing a bad reaction, their appetite is likely to suffer. Watch for that and be sure to keep them well hydrated at all times.

If you are here because your pet consumed a lot of Bengay then please get some help immediately. It’s a no-brainer to seek professional assistance if your beloved four-legged friend is in trouble.

Regarding Similar Medicines

Muscle pain, for human and dogs alike, is prevalent so there are many competing products. Anything containing a high concentration of methyl salicylate tends to increase the risks for your dog. Based on that alone, Tiger Balm could be preferable to the other conventional competitors. But again, an analgesic developed for animals in mind would certainly be better option than any OTC medicine found at your local supermarket.

Conclusion on Bengay

Bengay, when precautions are taken, is generally safe for adult canines but there are moderate risks associated with methyl salicylate. Interaction among similar medicines is another concern to be aware of. Finally, never let your dog lick or consume this gel since it’s considered toxic. All these considerations make Bengay a sort of last resort treatment option. Look into treating your dog’s pain with a superior alternative such at those mentioned above.

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Can I Give My Dog Prilosec? Tue, 05 May 2015 14:01:51 +0000

Can I Give My Dog Prilosec?Prilosec, the brand name for Omeprazole, is similar to Gaviscon and Zantac. This acid reducer can help to alleviate, for both people and their dogs, a variety of conditions related to excess stomach acidity.

GERD, heartburn, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, indigestion (dyspepsia) and some types of ulcers can be treated with Prilosec. A few of these may apply to your beloved pet dog which is why we are covering this well-regarded but expensive OTC medicine.

It’s true that Prilosec is a very effective drug, and fairly safe, when used properly. But it isn’t directed for use in canines which increases the risks for dogs when misused, as is the case for most human meds.

Can I Give My Dog Prilosec? Answer: Yes

Only administer Omeprazole to your dog if you’ve already gotten a proper diagnosis.

This acid pump inhibitor drug may do more harm than good if your dog is suffering from something like, for example, undiagnosed kennel cough. The risks also increase if your four-legged friend is already taking other medications. Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec, or any generic version, isn’t FDA-approved for use in dogs. These are just some of the reasons why an assessment, done by a vet, is the best way to go before considering Prilosec.

Proper Use of Prilosec

Interestingly, Prilosec works in a similar manner to probiotics in that it helps to normalize enzymes. But Prilosec may be more aggressive, and starting working sooner, because it regulates stomach acid secretion which reduces overall stomach acidity. This can be especially beneficial for a dog suffering with ulcers because it aids in the healing process.

There are several well-known products which are similar besides those already mentioned such as Tums and Rolaids. It’s fairly easy to know which works best for you but judging results for a dog obviously isn’t so straightforward. So you see, sometimes it’s more appropriate to avoid experimental treatment and instead try changing up their diet. Maybe you’ll notice improvement and avoid medicating your dog which is, of course, much preferred.

Providing Prilosec Properly

Prilosec comes in powder form but capsules and tablets are by far the most prevalent. You may find that mixing it with your dog’s food is the most effective way to administer it. A safe dose should be your biggest concern after you’ve confirmed that Omeprazole is an appropriate option for your dog’s condition.

Obviously, dosage is primarily based on your dog’s weight. A conservative dose is between .25 to half of a milligram per pound over a 24-hour period. There are other factors such as overall medical condition, age, breed and so on. Your vet is in a better position to provide an exact dosage specific for your pet dog’s particular situation.

Some Additional Information

This drug doesn’t have a long history for use in pets. Fairly recently veterinarians began prescribing. So while Prilosec is usually well-tolerated by dogs, and symptoms are mostly mild, there are still some important caveats. First off, never provide it to a pregnant or nursing dog or those with a history of seizures or any type of liver disease!

Provide Prilosec in the mornings before your dog’s first meal. But don’t make a habit out of it as you shouldn’t have them on it for more than two weeks. Most importantly, discontinue use if you notice a decrease in appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, urinary problems, vomiting, extreme flatulence or other changes in behavior.

A Natural Alternative

A neighbor of ours uses an all-natural, made in the USA, liquid extract which is free of additives, preservatives and GMOs. It’s called Slippery Elm and it which works well to help their dog with his gastric issues.

Conclusion on Prilosec

Prilosec can be an effective anti-ulcer, anti-heartburn, anti-reflux for pet dogs. Most canines can take it for a variety of gastric conditions when appropriate. The biggest risk for Fido is going on Omeprazole or Gaviscon due to owner misdiagnosis. Any number of health problems can be mistaken for issues assumed to be treatable with Prilosec. Honestly, a vet evaluation should be done before your dog goes on this medication. Otherwise, seek out natural alternatives or try a different diet.

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Can I Give My Dog SAM-e? Tue, 21 Apr 2015 03:35:49 +0000

Can I Give My Dog SAM-e?S-Adenosyl methionine, also known as SAM-e, is a relatively new health supplement which seems to be very promising. Though SAM-e occurs naturally within your dog’s body, supplementation may be necessary if they aren’t producing enough on their own.

SAM-e can be great for the liver as well as for combating arthritis. Everyone knows that dogs often have joint problems later in life. It could be that taking such a product may make life easier for them.

SAM-e may make sense for other reasons which we’ll also get into. Though the FDA doesn’t regulate this type of dietary supplement, most experts are fairly confident about the health benefits offered by S-Adenosyl.

Can I Give My Dog SAM-e? Answer: Yes

Especially if your dog is deficient, admittedly difficult to know.

There are situations that warrant providing certain naturally occurring chemicals in the form of supplements for a pet dog. It’s especially true, as it applies here, if your dog suffers from liver or bone-related issues.

There are some SAM-e supplements made specifically for pets. Our neighbors give their oldest four-legged friend this product, which is pictured above. They say it does a good job of dealing with his joint stiffness and swelling.

For Treating Osteoarthritis

Sadly, it’s a fact that many owners struggle to help their dogs with arthritis. The good news is that SAM-e usually works well as a natural treatment alternative. It’s a really great anti-inflammatory. In fact, several studies have shown that it’s effectiveness is on par with Celebrex and several NSAIDs but with less potential for serious side-effects.

Liver Health & Treating Disease

Obviously liver function is a critical component of good canine health. Unfortunately, the liver cells can become damaged because the organ may not be producing enough SAM-e. That’s when supplementation for your dog can be very important; it could get their liver back to producing glutathione again which is very critical. S-Adenosyl may enable protein synthesis, liver cell replication and better movement (exit) of bile acids.

Not only can this prevent further damage but it can even heal and repair cells! So there are very hopeful reasons to believe that SAM-e can help your dog if they have a liver disease. Of course, you should consult with your vet before starting any type of treat for such a serious condition.

Treating Dog Depression

SAM-e is such a great supplement because it promotes good health across the board. There are strong indications that it can also help with depression. It’s not uncommon for a pet dog to be feeling down due to poor health. It’s possible they could also benefit from SAMe’s ability to alleviate depressive symptoms. People are often asking about SSRIs and the suitability of such drugs for their dogs. S-Adenosyl methionine may be a superior alternative since it is widely believed to be safer; it makes sense since it’s naturally occurring much like Melatonin.

Dosage and Duration

You won’t start seeing results right away, so give SAM-e some time for your dog’s sake. It usually takes between 2 weeks and 1 month to kick in. People tend to give up to easily. Stick with it and don’t skip any days, just like with any vitamin supplement. In the end, you may be pleasantly surprised at the medical value of SAM-e as it applies to your dog.

The general rule of thumb is 10mg per pound of body weight. So dosing your dog’s SAM-e is pretty straightforward. For example, if your canine weighs 40 pounds; 400mg would be sufficient when taken daily. Provide it to Fido on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.

Conclusion on SAM-e

S-Adenosyl is one of the more promising health supplements for dogs. So yes, it’s true that both people and their pets can take SAM-e for help with arthritis. In addition, lots of exciting SAM-e research points to improved liver function and treatment for depression.

Any person or dog that’s deficient in producing their own SAM-e may greatly benefit. Just be sure to follow proper dosing guidelines because too much SAM-e can create problems for Fido. It’s always best to talk over the use of any supplement, including SAM-e, with a trusted vet beforehand.

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