Can I Give My Dog? Answers for Dog Owners Wed, 27 May 2015 12:09:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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Can I Give My Dog Artichokes? Mon, 06 Apr 2015 13:09:27 +0000

Can I Give My Dog an Artichoke?If you’ve prepared tasty artichokes, it may be tempting to share some with your dog. This perennial plant bud is packed with lots of nutrients so, in theory, it may make sense for Fido as well.

The artichoke offers high levels of Vitamin C, Folic acid, Magnesium and fiber. But besides being very healthy, there are other important considerations before you serve some up for your beloved pet dog.

There are lots of recipes for making artichokes, some of which include ingredients which dogs shouldn’t be consuming. In addition, you must serve this flowery vegetable in a way which makes digestion easy for your four-legged friend.

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

It’s okay if you keep your artichoke recipe very simple, without other potentially harmful ingredients, and prepare it in easy-to-consume portion sizes.

Artichokes are not toxic for dogs, nor are the stems, hearts or leaves. The biggest danger is the potential to create a blockage in your dog’s digestive tract. There is also a chance, as with any human food, that they will react with symptoms of diarrhea and/or vomiting. Many new foods, including artichokes, simply don’t agree with our four-legged friends.

Artichoke Health Benefits

If all goes well, your dog can also benefit from this wonderful antioxidant-rich veggie. Artichokes are low in calories and sodium, contain no fat or cholesterol, all while being packed with lots of vitamins. So canines may be able to pick up some great nutrients that aren’t in their regular kibble.

But keep in mind that dogs create their own vitamin-c. They also don’t typically need to have their cholesterol lowered, another of the many health benefits. The artichoke, however, offers many other positives including Potassium, Niacin and several others previously mentioned.

Specific to Dogs

A lot of pet dogs struggle with all types of digestive issues. Artichokes, either the globe or spiny varieties, are known to help with irritable bowel and stomach as well as flatulence. The plentiful antioxidants can help defend against cancer, heart problems, premature aging and overall illness because it boosts the immune system. It’s also possible that your dog’s liver may benefit from occasional artichoke consumption.

K9 Digestion Considerations

To successfully feed your dog an artichoke, you should specially prepare it for them. This is important because you want to prevent an unfortunate case of intestinal blockage. They could easily choke on this food. Dogs consume things in such a way that it makes preparation necessary in this case. So it’s important to cut an artichoke up into small pieces and ration it out. Feed it to Fido slowly because you don’t even know if your best buddy’s stomach can handle it.

Also, don’t feed artichokes to your dog in the same way you may enjoy them. Exclude garlic and other inappropriate or questionable ingredients. This way your dog will get all the benefits and none of the drawbacks to a healthy artichoke meal. Who said table food cannot be fed to pets!

Cooked or Raw

Artichokes are often steamed, braised, sauteed, boiled or fried. For your beloved dog, it’s best to feed it to them raw. They won’t be missing out on a delicious recipe, promise. Just keep it simple! Besides, consuming an artichoke raw means your dog will get the maximum nutritional benefit possible.

Just cut off and get rid of the outer leaves. Then you are ready to cut it up for your dog so they can safely chow down. Try to get a freshly picked one. You can tell it’s fresh if the artichoke makes a squeaky sound when it’s squeezed.

Conclusion on Artichokes

There isn’t anything about an artichoke thistle that’s toxic for dogs. It’s actually a very good health food but there are some risks to feeding artichokes to your best buddy. Be careful to avoid creating an obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract. You don’t want their intestines to have a blockage. So that’s the primary concern with feeding your dog some artichokes on occasion. Finally, be sure to feed them this healthy plant bud without the added ingredients we often use as part of a typical artichoke recipe.

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Can I Give My Dog a Bath with Human Shampoo? Mon, 23 Mar 2015 04:43:25 +0000

Can I Give My Dog a Bath using Human Shampoo?Everyone has their own routine for bathing a pet dog. Many people are just using human shampoo to maintain a fresh smelling canine coat. But there’s some doubt, and for good reason, regarding how suitable regular shampoo is for dogs. People want to know if there’s really that big of a difference!

If your goal simply to have a nice smelling best buddy, then human shampoo will do the trick. However, there are many other factors to consider when you go about giving your beloved dog a good washing.

Of course, it’s cheaper to share your own shower supplies. But let’s take a closer look at this debated issue for your dog’s sake. You may come to realize that human shampoo can’t provide important health benefits and may actually do more harm than good.

Can I Give My Dog a Bath using Human Shampoo? Answer: Yes, but dog shampoo is much better

You can use a run-of-the-mill human variety if you temporarily run out of your dog’s regular supply.

But we don’t recommend regularly using human brand for a dog. The concept of ‘pet shampoo’ is not a marketing gimmick. There are so many reasons why a good canine shampoo is superior to human products. We keep it simple and regularly use a convenient detergent-free cleaning mist which never dries out their skin. You just spray it on and wipe it off. Most importantly, it doesn’t remove the natural oil in their coats. Our dogs have never looked better since we made the switch.

Some Shampoo Truths

Most human shampoos can be very harsh for dogs, even for us humans! The chemicals and fragrances in most regular brands are actually working against your dog’s natural ability to maintain their beautiful skin and coat. Sure, they’ll smell better but it’s a net negative overall. Unfortunately, the damage is often gradual and many dog owners don’t notice the effects. While you may save some cash, you aren’t doing your four-legged friend any favors by using human shampoo.

The fact is that dogs have more sensitive skin than we do. Human shampoo is much more likely to dry them out and make them itchy. In fact, some owners are quick to suspect allergies when the real culprits are the types of products being used in the bathtub!

Consider the pH Balance

When you use a human brand on a dog, you’re disrupting their skin’s delicate pH balance. This makes them susceptible to all kinds of parasites and bacteria in addition to drying them out. Regular products also tend to be too acidic. Most dogs require more of an alkaline concentration which, at the very least, keeps them better hydrated.

If Fido has trouble with rashes or has somewhat irritated, dry, flaky and/or peeling skin then it may be time to evaluate what you’re using on them. If that’s already the case, try a natural oatmeal shampoo treatment, also made for dogs, that can relieve such unfortunate irritations. Such products aren’t actually as expensive as you may think.

Smell is Least Important

Before you bathe your dog, consider all the factors. You want them smelling fresh but smell should be the least of your concerns in the grand scheme of things. Focus on preventing the stripping of oils and delicate skin (top layers) which act as natural protection against all sorts of things. Having a full shiny coat that’s also protected against fleas and ticks is an added benefit.

So bathing your dog serves a very important but quite different purpose for them. It’s part of preventative care which includes cleaning the teeth and ears. In other words, don’t routinely use human shampoo on your dog! Fur sure! (that’s a joke)

Conclusion on Shampoo

Everyone has, at one time or another, used a human shampoo on their dogs. It likely isn’t a disaster but you really shouldn’t get into that habit. Investing in a good canine shampoo will provide your dog with many important health benefits which we often overlook. Do your best buddy a favor and don’t compromise when it comes to maintaining their natural defenses. Buying a quality shampoo, that’s pet-formulated, is the prudent thing to do.

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Can I Give My Dog NSAIDs? Sun, 08 Mar 2015 11:04:44 +0000

Can I Give My Dog NSAIDs?We have covered the suitability, specifically for dogs, of several different NSAIDs. But there are so many NSAID brands which makes covering the subject sort of difficult. It’s time to address the entire issue as a whole and put to rest some misconceptions.

OTC pain pills are an important topic for dog owners but many just don’t realize it. NSAIDs can be highly dangerous for a dog and, no matter what, they should always be used with great caution. Tens of thousands of dogs have been harmed or have died as a result of their misuse.

What’s great is that NSAIDs have improved over the years. There are some which were developed with canines in mind. Reduce the risks and choose a brand, with the help of a vet, that will help your dog in the safest manner possible.

Can I Give My Dog NSAIDs? Answer: Yes, a safe brand with veterinary help

Forget the familiar brand names and instead get an NSAID that’s much safer. Better yet, try a natural safe alternative.

Geriatric dogs are often dealing with a combination of hip dysplasia, deteriorating joints with associated pain, osteoarthritis and arthritis. If your dog needs meds for a pain problem, we can recommend at least three lesser known NSAIDs; all of which you should discuss with your veterinarian. But first, learn more about how these medications actually work.

How NSAIDs Work

This is technical info but important to understand. These drugs are so effective because they quickly block prostaglandin production which is the primary cause of inflammation. This process, which also inhibits two types of important enzymes called cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2), works the same for both humans and dogs. However, the possible side effects can be more harmful for canines and you often won’t even know it.

The good news is that some NSAIDs can selectively inhibit certain enzymes, while allowing others (ie. COX-1) to behave more normally. This has important pain treatment implications for you and your dog. The end result is safer use and fewer side effects!

Household Names are Bad

People know the older NSAID brand names, common pain killers, which partially explains why so many dogs continue to be poisoned. These popular over-the-counter products are, by and large, inappropriate for a pet dog. Lack of knowledge truly does end up having detrimental effects on our four-legged friends.

You know the names such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Bayer and the list goes on and on. It’s fair to say that nearly all of the well-known brands are all wrong for helping Fido. Of course, these household pain pill names are a quick and cheap fix, but you love your dog more than that!

Below are a few better NSAIDs which can work for your dog. At the same time, they’ll be at a statistically reduced health risk.

NSAID Recommendations

Our suggestions are only to make you aware of them. You should consult with your veterinarian to see if these NSAIDs are appropriate for your particular dog. Rimadyl is probably the most popularly prescribed NSAID for use in dogs. EtoGesic is another pain treatment option to consider. Finally, Metacam generally scores well for being safe.

In general, we are fans of carprofen NSAIDs or Vetprofen. But remember, all NSAIDs are potentially dangerous especially when used improperly. It may be best to first try a more natural approach to treating pain.

Even Safer Alternatives

Duralactin greatly helps chronic canine inflammation and sore joints. It’s natural and your dog can use it long term or in combination with NSAIDs. It’s also low in lactose and the pills are chewable. Personally, our dogs use a different one (this anti-inflammatory health supplement) and we’re seeing good results.

Conclusion on NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce pain for a beloved dog. It’s true that NSAIDs are provided to dogs all the time but they can be very harmful. Reduce your dog’s risks by using safer NSAIDs such as EtoGesic, Metacam or Rimadyl. These brands are proven to be safer and just as effective for dogs. Ask your vet about them! Alternatively, try natural alternatives such as those mentioned above because they often work just as well.

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