Can I Give My Dog? Answers for Dog Owners Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:11:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Can I Give My Dog Dinovite? Sun, 31 Aug 2014 03:51:52 +0000 Can Dogs Benefit from Dinovite?Dinovite is a well known health supplement because of all the aggressive marketing campaigns they run. We get asked a lot about using Dinovite for dogs as a way to […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Dinovite?Dinovite is a well known health supplement because of all the aggressive marketing campaigns they run. We get asked a lot about using Dinovite for dogs as a way to improve health or treat pesky K9 conditions. It’s time we finally address the issue. So what’s the deal with Dinovite?

Their products claim to boost the immune system, reduce allergies, improve skin and coat as well as enhance digestion in dogs of all sizes. Interestingly, since Dinovite contains bacteria and digestive enzymes we actually consider it a type of dog formulated probiotic in addition to being a supplement.

One problem is that Dinovite tightly controls who can sell their products. They aren’t found on PetSmart, Petco or Amazon which makes objective reviews more difficult. So here’s what we think!

Can I Give My Dog Dinovite? Answer: There are cheaper & better options

While your dog may benefit from Dinovite, we believe there are products out there which are a better overall value.

There is nothing very special about Dinovite’s most popular product which is a powder formula. The primary ingredient is ground up flax-seeds followed by kelp and various yeast cultures. Their liquid version, pictured here, contains a lot of fish oil and chicken parts.

Dinovite does seem to work for many dogs and most of the reviews are positive. Of course, you can’t go by any review on the company’s website since they aren’t going to showcase anything negative there. The truth is that Dinovite relies on their brand name recognition to drive sales for what’s become an overpriced product line relative to similarly effective canine supplements.

Dinovite Hit or Miss

First off, dogs with serious medical problems should see a vet. There is no way around it. No supplement is going to turn around a serious condition.

But most dog owners going the Dinovite route are trying to treat issues like allergies from grass pollen, for example. It may help your dog but based on my research, lots of folks are reporting mixed results after using Dinovite.

Their products do contain a lot of healthy elements such as vitamins, trace minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. The problem is that Dinovite’s price point creates very high expectations for dog owners.

Dinovite Downside

Nobody wants to spend a significant amount of money for something they aren’t blown away by. If the product doesn’t cure their dog’s issues, you end up with some very unhappy customers.

People are also reporting cases of diarrhea after giving their dogs Dinovite. Other dogs, particularly fussy types, don’t actually like the taste of Dinovite. Another problem is that the liquid version smells really awful (people and dogs both agree).

The good news is that there are now so many dog treatments for shedding, itching, stinkiness, joints, allergies and general health. We’ll make some suggestions here.

Best Dinovite Alternatives

The Missing Link has a highly rated line of supplements which are much cheaper than Dinovite. You can target your dog’s coat or skin with their Ultimate Skin & Coat Dog Supplement or try their joint health and digestive solution called Ultimate Hip, Joint & Coat Dog Supplement.

Our dogs have benefited from both of those and so we highly recommend them. Our neighbors swear by Nupro Dog Supplement by Nutri-Pet Research for their Pug.

Some say Dinovite’s products are more fresh than other supplements because they don’t sit in third party warehouses. This is no longer true since Missing Link’s products sell like hot cakes!

Better K9 Probiotics

If you are looking for a probiotic to improve your dog’s digestion and stomach health then try one of these instead of overpriced Dinovite:

Veterinary Diets Fortiflora by Purina

Probiotic Everyday Bite Size Chews or Vetri-Mega by Vetri-Science Laboratories

These 3 products have a proven track record. You can read unbiased reviews about them on third-party websites like Amazon unlike Dinovite. All of them are also much cheaper.

Conclusion on Dinovite

There are quality supplements or probiotics that don’t break the bank. Research the recommendations throughout this article. Dinovite seems to work for some dogs but it doesn’t offer the best overall value in today’s competitive market. Save yourself an expensive disappointment.

You may also consider changing your dog’s diet. Doing so could dramatically improve canine health. Avoid dog foods containing worthless corn-based fillers or chicken by-products. Instead, get your dog a quality brand with real meat listed as the first ingredient.

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Can I Give My Dog Zucchini? Sat, 16 Aug 2014 01:01:30 +0000 Can I Give My Dog Zucchini?Zucchini is a type of squash that’s very healthy and super low in calories which makes for an attractive combination. Your dog is sure to want to partake in your […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Zucchini?Zucchini is a type of squash that’s very healthy and super low in calories which makes for an attractive combination. Your dog is sure to want to partake in your zucchini recipes. Since it is healthy why not give it to your dog, right?

We are always hearing that people foods shouldn’t be fed to dogs. As such, folks need to know if zucchini falls into that category. We are here to help.

Whether you consider this healthy food to be a fruit or vegetable, it is easy to cultivate and can be incorporated into many great cuisines. It has so many uses as an ingredient in your favorite dishes. Do you want to give your dog some zucchini? We will discuss if it is appropriate for dogs to put your mind at ease.

Can I Give My Dog Zucchini? Answer: Yes

When feeding your dog zucchini, as with all people foods generally OK for K9s, it is important to use good judgement and moderation.

The simple way to give your dog zucchini is by picking up a great product called Steakhouse Beef and Zucchini Entrée Dog Food.

Zucchinis are a great source of vital nutrients especially potassium and vitamin C. If the dog food your canine routinely gets is lacking in either, perhaps this squash can compliment and enhance your dog’s diet. The low calorie count, 2 or 3 calories per slice, is a nice bonus.

Zucchinis are Great

Like cucumbers, zucchini can make a great healthy snack for your pup. The difference is that cucumbers are usually served raw where as zucchini can be served to your dog cooked. Zucchini is prepared boiled, steamed, grilled, barbecued, baked, fried or simply eaten raw.

Obviously frying any food is not as healthy as baking or most other methods of preparation. Those culinary principles hold true for your dog’s health as well.

The possibilities are really endless with zucchini but we favor keeping it simple. Some people foods served along side of it may not be good for dogs such as onions. Others like eggplant are fine but you really need to know for sure, including the spices, before feeding your dog a zucchini dish.

How would you serve it to your dog? Please share your recipes at the end of this article!

Argument Against Zucchini

Unless your dog is allergic to zucchinis there really isn’t a strong case against feeding it to them. One can argue that dogs should be on a strict K9-formulated diet and should never be eating people food. When talking about something like zucchini bread or muffins we tend to agree.

There is nothing wrong a strict dog food diet, a top quality brand, but we occasionally feed our dogs foods like zucchini which really can be beneficial for them. We do so in moderation and view it as a nutrient which may not be available in their dog food.

Of course, you must always observe the effects of any food you give your dog which deviates from the norm. A severe change in their stool is a sign that a particular food doesn’t agree with them. This is especially true when you first start out giving them something new.

Too much zucchini certainly can be a bad thing.

Flowers and Plants

Zucchini comes from a flowery plant. We don’t recommend giving the plant or flowers to your dog. In fact, let’s remember that dogs shouldn’t overly depend on a food like zucchini because they need a meat-based diet much more than we require it.

The carnivorous nature of dogs, over many thousands of years, means that meats are the most important component of a healthy K9 diet. Your dog is not a vegetarian so let’s not get carried away with the vegetables.

Common Sense Conclusion

Yes, you can give your canine some zucchini, either cooked or raw. Moderation is the key as with broccoli or kale or any other safe fruits and veggies.

If the zucchini is part of a meal, make sure there is nothing else which could be harmful to them before they chow down. Monitor them for changes or negative reactions, especially in their bowel habits. Assuming they agree with it, this people food could help keep your dog healthy. As such, you and your canine can enjoy it together!

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Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes? Sat, 02 Aug 2014 02:25:37 +0000 Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes?Tomatoes are one of nature’s most popular human foods. Naturally, dog owners wonder about the safety and health effects of occasionally feeding their K9s a tomato or two. There is […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes?Tomatoes are one of nature’s most popular human foods. Naturally, dog owners wonder about the safety and health effects of occasionally feeding their K9s a tomato or two.

There is an aspect of this nightshade fruit that is poisonous which creates a lot of confusion around the suitability of tomatoes for dogs. We will cover this and many other aspects here so you can make up your own mind.

This savory food is so common, from salads to subs to classic dishes, that we had to address the debate surrounding tomatoes. If your dog enjoys eating a juicy tomato then you’ll be glad to learn they may also benefit from it’s many healthy qualities.

Can I Give My Dog Tomatoes? Yes, moderation is key

There is nothing harmful about sometimes feeding your dog a ripe tomato.

In fact, the widely known health benefits derived from tomato consumption could help your dog live a healthier and longer life.

This assumes you’ve monitored them afterwards and they don’t seem to have any issues. Dogs who experience either an allergic reaction or, more commonly, digestive problems such as diarrhea after eating tomatoes should steer clear of them in the future.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Tomatoes could benefit your canine by providing a defense against cancer and many degenerative diseases. Just like other reddish colored fruits like watermelon and papaya, tomatoes contain something called lycopene. Preliminary research shows that this wonderful carotene promotes good health. There is no reason why this can’t work, in theory, for dogs as well.

Separately, tomatoes provide a great source of vitamins, especially vitamin C, and a variety of important antioxidants. These elements may be lacking in the dog food you are providing on a regular basis. This is not to say you should regularly feed your dog tomatoes but occasionally doing so may make sense.

The Unsafe Aspect

Because tomatoes are of the nightshade family, the tomato plant is extremely dangerous for dogs. Tomatine and Solanine, both of which are found in the tomato plant, are seriously toxic for dogs. Any part of the plant is dangerous for them!

For this reason, do not ever let your dog eat anything other than the actual tomato. This detail is very important and could have implications for the garden in your yard and how you manage it!

Symptoms to watch for in case of a big accidental indigestion of this toxic tomato element include upset stomach, vomiting, muscle weakness, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, drooling, dilated pupils and a lack of coordination.

That is quite a scary list but it is likely the amount eaten needs to be significant to seriously harm your dog. In any case, it is always wise to consult with a vet if you are concerned following such an incident.

Red, Ripe, Right

Even unripe tomatoes contain a degree of these potentially harmful components. Your best best, if you want to feed your dog a tomato, is to give them a red colored ripe one. Ripe tomatoes contain a much lessor concentration of Tomatine making them safer for canines. Often small green tomatoes are not yet ripe. The motto “Red, ripe, right” makes sense.

Conclusion on Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a generally safe food for dogs to eat in moderation after they have properly ripened. Do not allow your dog to get into anything but the ripe tomato itself. The plant including the vines, leaves and even their stems are always off limits to canines. This seems to be the source of doubt among those questioning the merits of feeding this food to their dogs.

It should be noted that it matters what you combine with tomatoes when considering whether you can feed it to your dog. Of course, your dog shouldn’t be eating pizza!

As with all human foods, especially those in the nightshade family, you should learn as much as possible before feeding them to your canine. Some foods are truly harmful, even fatal, and the only effective preventative measure is research and the attainment of knowledge.

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Can I Give My Dog Watermelon? Fri, 18 Jul 2014 19:01:29 +0000 Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?Watermelon is a healthy summertime fruit which would seem like a great treat for your dog as well. It is loaded with minerals, low on calories and is really great […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Watermelon?Watermelon is a healthy summertime fruit which would seem like a great treat for your dog as well. It is loaded with minerals, low on calories and is really great for hydration. People want to enjoy watermelon, sometimes with their dogs, especially during hot summer days.

Feeding this fruit to your dog is a great idea but there are some considerations and helpful tips you should read about beforehand. As refreshing as watermelon is, dogs usually won’t digest fruits as well as we do. This doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy it or benefit from it’s nutrients.

A slice of watermelon is a great way to cool down for your canine. Since your little guy is probably running around a lot, this could be a great thirst quencher for them. You should, however, practice moderation when feeding it to your pet.

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

Providing your dog with some watermelon helps them beat the heat but you should limit their portion.

This amazing fruit contains beta-carotene, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium and especially vitamin C. All of these are great for dogs including for their immune system. The fact that is it a light treat due to it’s high water content is a big bonus for all who enjoy it.

Simply put, the health benefits combined with it’s taste and usefulness on hot days makes this melon a wonderful gift from nature. A moderate amount of watermelon certainly won’t harm your dog. That said, it should be a treat only because your dog requires more of a meat-based diet than you do. Find out below why there may be more valid reasons for limiting consumption.

Argument Against Watermelon

Some people will argue that since watermelon is slightly diuretic that it isn’t really hydrating you or your dog. We disagree but are open to hearing more about that. Since it is 91% water by weight, we think your dog will be better hydrated after consuming it.

A stronger reason why too much watermelon may not be entirely helpful is that your dog has a good chance of experiencing a change in bowel movements after eating it. Diarrhea is not uncommon upon feeding canines watermelon. This doesn’t mean it is harmful, just that they aren’t so well-suited for digesting it.

Therefore, you may consider limiting how much watermelon they eat especially if you notice a change when they empty their bowels. Don’t be surprised if things get messy! This is why starting out by giving them 2 or 3 slices instead of a whole bunch is probably a good idea. Success here would be seeing your dog urinate more instead having irregular gastrointestinal symptoms.

On a side note: If you think they lost a lot of fluids after a bout of diarrhea, perhaps you may need to replenish their water by providing a fresh bowl.

Seedless & No Rind

The best way to feed your dog watermelon is to remove the seeds first. This way your canine is less likely to suffer from an upset stomach. While watermelon seeds probably don’t pose as much of a problem as other pits do, better to be safe than sorry. We like to simplify all the different variables that go into our dogs’ foods as much as possible.

While some cultures in Asia eat the rind part of watermelons, we don’t recommend giving it to your dog. Do you provide the rinds? If so, please comment below. They can be used to make homemade pickles since it’s surprisingly similar to cucumbers. In truth, the rind is not as nutritious as the juicy red center nor will it assist with hydration on a hot summer day.

Dog Digestion & Fruits

We are not against providing some fruits to pets. You must, however, understand that your dog will likely not digest most fruits as well as humans routinely do. Even people are known to experience a change in bowel movements as a result of too much fruit consumption. We’d like to remind you, there are some fruits which are seriously off limits to dogs such as grapes.

As a general rule, moderation is important if you aren’t against feeding certain human foods to your dogs. Starting out with a small portion, including with watermelon, is the best way to introduce any new food to your canine.

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Can I Give My Dog Eggplant? Sat, 05 Jul 2014 02:40:54 +0000 Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?Eggplant is a vegetable that’s commonly part of a healthy diet. Many people love it. Your dog, at some point, is likely to be curious about eggplant if they see […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Eggplant?Eggplant is a vegetable that’s commonly part of a healthy diet. Many people love it. Your dog, at some point, is likely to be curious about eggplant if they see you eating some. There seems to be a lot of doubt about whether eggplant for dogs is actually safe. We’ll try to answer that here!

As a species of nightshade, eggplant raises some concerns for dog owners. It should also be noted that eggplant is related to the tomato. As you may know, giving tomatoes to dogs, due to the alpha-tomatine they can contain, is also controversial.

Feeding your K9 something like part of a left-over eggplant parm sandwich seems harmless. You’re certainly doing the right thing by checking to see if this plant is toxic to dogs. The bigger picture is remembering that your dog needs a diet based primary on meat rather than vegetables.

Can I Give My Dog Eggplant? Answer: Yes, but monitor them afterwards

Eggplant, in itself, isn’t likely to harm your dog. Start out with just a little and keep a watchful eye on them for a bad reaction.

This plant, also known as aubergine, is healthy for all who can tolerate it. Once you can confirm that your dog isn’t allergic, then they too may benefit from it’s low fat and low calorie makeup combined with the iron, calcium and fiber it provides. Eggplant compares well against something like potatoes which are high in starch, will weigh most dogs down and aren’t as nutritious.

Providing Eggplant

If you decide to give some eggplant to your dog then you should do so in a smart way. First off, don’t ever overfeed your dog with any food, especially human foods. If you aren’t against giving people food to your K9, you should be practicing moderation especially with something like eggplant.

Preparing it yourself is best since you’ll know exactly what other ingredients are in the meal. Many other foods that go well with eggplant, like garlic, are very harmful for K9s. It’s best to keep it simple for that reason.

Since eggplant in general is a food that people are known to be allergic to, prepare it in such a way to reduce the possibility to a bad reaction. Cook your eggplant thoroughly to reduce such a risk for your dog. Grilling, baking or boiling this plant is much healthier than frying it.

Your work isn’t done at this point. Don’t forget to provide your dog with a diet based on their natural evolution. They need some meat and so eggplant alone isn’t going to cut it.

Argument Against Eggplant

If your dog has known kidney problems then eggplant isn’t for them. Due to the high oxalate levels it contains, this vegetable can complicate their condition especially if you feed it to them often. In such a case, speak with your veterinarian before introducing eggplant into your dog’s diet.

Watch for Allergic Reactions

Any time you add a new food to your dog’s world, it is best to closely monitor them. The most common symptom dogs will experience after eating eggplant is probably diarrhea. If this occurs then you know not to give them any more. This is the number one reason canine owners tend to stick to dog food since the results are more predicable.

If you know your dog to be atopic, meaning hypersensitive, then perhaps avoiding eggplant all together is best. Some more serious reactions could be vomiting, itchiness, rashes, upset stomach and headaches. However, many dogs will simply love it and everything will be just fine.

Dispelling the Myths

Somehow eggplant gets a bad reputation among people. While there’s certainly an argument for not giving people food to dogs, the relation to nightshade isn’t one of them. Eggplant is simply not poisonous for dogs to eat. It’s not toxic for them.

That doesn’t mean your particular dog won’t have a bad reaction to it which is why we suggest close observation as well as consumption in moderation.

Plants in General

Many foods in the plant family are harmful for dogs. They evolved from wolfs and are carnivorous which probably explains why they may not be able to handle plants so well. For example, grapes and grapevines are always off limits for canines.

We share your concern for giving your dog, all dogs, safe and healthy foods. As a reminder, always keep your vet’s phone number handy in case of an emergency.

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Can I Give My Dog Xanax? Sat, 21 Jun 2014 04:04:05 +0000 Can Dogs Take Xanax?Xanax even sounds like a dangerous drug so skepticism about its use for dogs is understandable among caring canine owners. Truthfully, some people do give their dogs Xanax but that […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Xanax?Xanax even sounds like a dangerous drug so skepticism about its use for dogs is understandable among caring canine owners. Truthfully, some people do give their dogs Xanax but that doesn’t mean they are doing the right thing. If your dog is struggling with some form of anxiety or even insomnia, know there are lots of alternatives you can give to help them.

With access to safer treatment options, it is unfortunate many would think to give Xanax to a dog they love. Something like Xanax, which can work well for some people, tends to find its way to our four legged friends regardless of the dangers. Always do your research!

There is so much that could go wrong if you give a dog Xanax. Obviously, since this drug was developed for humans it means proper dosing is tricky for K9s of all sizes. Alprazolam is a definitely a strong prescription. There is a good reason to limit its use to the person it was written for.

Can I Give My Dog Xanax? Answer: No, but some vets say it’s ok

We say no because there are simply much safer ways to calm your dog. This benzodiazepine drug is likely not the best option for your K9. People give this drug to their dogs for a car ride as a quick fix. Honestly, giving a small dose of Xanax to a dog occasionally isn’t as dangerous as Aspirin or Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

If you must give your K9 some Xanax, do so only if you are 100% certain of a safe dose which is mostly determined by your dog’s weight. Don’t make a habit out of it because Xanax usage creates physical and psychological dependency.

Xanax Misuse

Not only dogs, lots of people shouldn’t be taking Xanax either. There are folks that will tell you Xanax is absolutely terrible. In fact, it is the most abused and misused drug on the market. People inappropriately take Xanax, much like Valium, by choice but a dog can’t make such a decision.

This and the fact that there are better choices for treating or calming dogs leads us to our answer. You may disagree but we tend to err on the side of caution here.

Proper Xanax Dose for Dogs

We are reluctant to provide dosage information for something we don’t use for our own dogs. Since people do seek the information, providing a conservative suggestion may help out some people. Please don’t ever exceed 0.025mg of Xanax per pound. For example, if your dog weights 40 pounds the maximum dose would be ( 40 * 0.025 ) 1mg but not more. You really should run it by your vet before you do so, especially for the first time.

Negative Side Effects

Xanax is a Schedule IV drug so it needs to be taken seriously. Even if you get the dosage right there are several things to watch for. The onset of Alprazolam is very fast so you may find that your dog’s demeanor has changed suddenly. A change in temperament is common, usually positive but sometimes negative. A small percent of dogs have been known to become very aggressive, even biting at things while on the drug. This is what’s known as a paradoxical reaction.

Besides a change in behavior, there are other things to watch for. A high dose could result in shallow breathing, poor balance and a dizzy or clumsy dog. A loss of appetite and vomiting are possible as well. All these symptoms could indicate too high a dose. If at any time you see your dog’s condition worsen, you should phone or visit your vet immediately.

Xanax Poisoning Plan

If your dog accidentally consumed a dangerous dose of Xanax you certainly need to act. If you saw it happen, you can act fast and have them puke it back up before it is absorbed into their system. But after some time has passed, it’s best to simply grab your dog and the pills and head straight to the veterinarian.

Natural Remedies Instead

Lots of dogs are high strung but we need to seek out safe and effective remedies. Consider using Melatonin instead of Xanax. Anytime you have the chance to effectively treat your dog using natural ingredients versus a prescription drug – please do so! People have a lot of success with using Melatonin on their dogs and they don’t need to worry as much.

Also consider Rescue Remedy since there is a version just for dog which gets great reviews and is definitely worth trying out. Last but not least is Thundershirt which we’ve used on occasion and it seems to work most of the time.

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