Can I Give My Dog? Answers for Dog Owners Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:50:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 is commonly part of a healthy diet. Many people really love it. Your dog, at some point, is likely to be curious about eggplant if […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Eggplant?Eggplant is a vegetable that is commonly part of a healthy diet. Many people really 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 even more controversial.

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

Can I Give My Dog Eggplant? 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 is not 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 something like 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 is certainly a valid 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 is 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 to eat. 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 quite understandable among caring canine owners. Truthfully, some people do give their dogs Xanax but […]]]>

Can I Give My Dog Xanax?Xanax even sounds like a dangerous drug so skepticism about its use for dogs is quite 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, you should know there are lots of alternatives you can give to help them.

With access to safer treatment options, it is unfortunate so many would think to give Xanax to a dog they love. Something like Xanax, which can work well for lots of 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 very 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 probably not the best option for your K9. People often 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 Xanax, please do so only if you are 100% certain of a safe dose which is mostly determined by your dog’s weight. Also, 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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Can I Get My Dog Eyeglasses? Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:39:06 +0000 Can Dogs Wear Eyeglasses?Eyeglasses serve an important purpose for lots of people but not for dogs. The thought of a dog wearing glasses can be ridiculous even though K9s have less than perfect eyesight […]]]>

Can Dogs Wear Eyeglasses?Eyeglasses serve an important purpose for lots of people but not for dogs. The thought of a dog wearing glasses can be ridiculous even though K9s have less than perfect eyesight and are basically nearsighted. Many older dogs struggle with their vision as a result of eye infections, Cataracts or Glaucoma.

As the pet market continues to grow with more creative products offered each year, will dog owners consider buying eyeglasses for their canines? Warby Barker thinks so!

All K9 kidding aside, there is a type of eye-wear that you can legitimately buy for your dog. It won’t improve their poor vision but definitely will protect doggie eyes. If your canine is in the sun for hours on end, or in a particularly harsh outdoor environment, it may make sense to use such eye wear.

Can I Give My Dog Eyeglasses? No, but there is Protective K9 Eyewear Available

Unfortunately, prescription eyeglasses for dogs are not a possibility. I know of no vets who can do a retinoscopy on a K9 in order to evaluate and fit them for custom corrective lenses. Thankfully Fido won’t be driving! You can, however, pick up some really neat and highly beneficial protective eye wear products for your dog.

Specially designed goggle-like lenses comes in various sizes for small, medium and large dogs. Accommodating the facial structure of a canine, with their protruding eyes and a significantly wider nose bridge – as compared to a person, is no easy task but it has been done! Doggles® dominates this niche market for dog lovers.

Eye Glasses or Medical Problem

If your dog has obvious trouble seeing, there are better and more practical ways to treat various eye issues rather than eyeglasses. Often times a dog’s vision is affected by an underlying medical condition like a cataract or some pressure in the eye itself. These are problems you should really be bringing to the attention of a qualified vet in order to improve their eye sight.

Forget about eyeglasses and seek a real solution for your dog. Generally speaking, dogs do routinely need eye care and older dogs do experience some loss of vision. So the verdict is in. If you read something about stylish doggie eyeglasses, you were most likely looking at an old April Fools’ Joke. Besides a photo-op, a dog wearing eyeglasses seems simply laughable, although adorable.

Dog Eyewear Can Be Awesome

On the other hand, eye protection for dogs can serve a really useful purpose. You can protect your dog from things such as wind, UV sunlight or other foreign objects. People who work outdoors with their dogs may consider goggles, or a type of sunglasses, which are tailored specifically for dogs to be an absolutely fantastic idea.

The big test is when your dog actually tries them out for the first time. Lots of dogs simply don’t like having anything covering their eyes. In such a case, K9 eyewear simply isn’t an option. You won’t know how they’ll take to a product like Doggles until you introduce them to your dog.

What Do Vets Do For Blind Dogs?

A vet will check your dog for irregularities of the eyes. Be sure to point out symptoms such as excessive tears or pus which often accumulates due to an ongoing eye problem. Your veterinarian won’t be prescribing your canine eyeglasses but they will offer some solutions.

If an eye infection is found, the common treatment is to give the dog antibiotics in combination with formulated K9 eye drops. The use of special eye drops for dogs is different from using human eye drops which we have previously covered here. For more permanent conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts, performing surgery is an option.

Dealing With Your Dog’s Eyes

Luckily, since canines don’t read, their vision doesn’t need to be on par with ours. Dogs aren’t fussy and they won’t complain about not having tiptop vision. That’s said, the loss of vision can be a real problem for older dogs. Please don’t take matters into your own hands by using your Clear Eyes as the ingredients could cause issues and even more problems.

Ultimately, your dog will come to rely on their other senses such as hearing and smell to get around and continue living the best way they can!

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Can I Give My Dog Mushrooms? Fri, 23 May 2014 00:48:06 +0000 Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?Mushrooms are one of those foods which will always be controversial. Some people like them and others are kind of grossed out just by the thought of eating a mushroom. […]]]>

Can Dogs Eat MushroomsMushrooms are one of those foods which will always be controversial. Some people like them and others are kind of grossed out just by the thought of eating a mushroom. Dogs are usually more than willing to wolf down some mushrooms if you let them. Whether you are here asking about mushrooms for your dog as an ingredient in a meal or simply pure mushrooms, we are here to help.

A cautious dog owner is understandably reluctant give a dog mushrooms. With so many fungal species, some of which are simply poison, even the most informed K9 owner can have their doubts.

The truth is some dogs will be able to enjoy an occasional mushroom while others will not like it or their stomach’s won’t agree with it. In rare cases, people and dogs are allergic to them. In any case, wild mushrooms should be totally off limits with no exceptions! 

Can I Give My Dog Mushrooms? Yes, in moderation and only store bought types

This is a case where human food, supermarket bought mushrooms, is recommended for dogs over what they may actually come into contact with outdoors such as wild mushrooms. The popular fear of the mushroom stems from the more exotic types such as the kind which can make you hallucinate or worse. Scary right!

Americans often eat mushrooms as part of a prepared meal or as a topping such as on pizza. Most dogs can have a few mushrooms but you should also consider the other human-prepared ingredients before assuming you’re doing the right thing. For example, I don’t personally think dogs should be eating pizza, with or without mushrooms as a topping.

Mushrooms as a Healthy Treat

If you happen to know that your dog agrees with mushrooms, then you may wish to occasionally provide them as a treat. Mushrooms are definitely a health food. Your dog may benefit, as you do, from the high doses of vitamin-D as well as an overall immune system boost.

Since the popular Button Mushroom is also low in calories it may be a great healthy alternative, occasionally, to the more conventional doggie treat options on the market. In fact, mushrooms contain high levels of niacin, enzymes, protein and antioxidants all of which your dog may benefit from. Mushrooms are not so scary, for K9s too, when you learn more about them.

Which Mushrooms are Dangerous

Let’s keep this simple for your dog’s sake. People, mostly in Asia, do and can consume certain wild mushrooms but don’t ever let your dog eat a wild mushroom. There are so many varieties of mushrooms it would make your head spin. Even though only about 1% of mushrooms are considered toxic, nobody should chance it and that includes your dog. The wrong type of mushroom can cause your canine permanent organ damage.

If you simply buy mushrooms at a supermarket or from your local deli, you’ll be okay assuming your dog doesn’t have an allergy. The ASPCA holds this view, that local grocery store mushrooms are usually fine, and we concur. So we repeat, never consider allowing your dog to eat any mushrooms found in the wild or those growing in the grass. Doing so is simply irresponsible and could prompt an emergency visit to the vet.

Certain parts of the country are prone to sprouting wild mushrooms which increases the need to closely watch over your dog to prevent poisoning. Mushroom hunting is actually a popular activity in certain parts of Europe and even the Appalachian area of the United States but we don’t recommend it for dog lovers.

In Case of Mushroom Sickness

Since mushrooms are not typically part of your dog’s overall diet, moderation is key here. If you are giving a presumably safe store bought mushroom to your beloved dog for the first time closely monitor them for any negative reactions including gastrointestinal issues or bouts of diarrhea. Any time you introduce a new food to your dog, you run the risk of upsetting a delicate balance and mushrooms would be no different in this regard.

You may need to determine if your dog simply rejects mushrooms or if they may have a life threatening allergy. If your dog becomes seriously ill you must bring them, and the mushrooms, to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Assuming they consumed only a small portion of store-bought mushrooms, the situation should be easily handled by a professional vet.

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Can I Give My Dog Probiotics? Sat, 10 May 2014 02:38:38 +0000 Can Dogs Take Probiotics?Probiotics is an area of health science undergoing considerable research. These live microorganisms are known to offer many beneficial effects when introduced to the digestive tracts of both humans and dogs. […]]]>

Are Probiotics Good for Dogs?Probiotics is an area of health science undergoing considerable research. These live microorganisms are known to offer many beneficial effects when introduced to the digestive tracts of both humans and dogs.

Often times, much like us, dogs carry bad microbes in their stomachs resulting in overall poor health with symptoms difficult to accurately diagnose. Some research is inconclusive as to the health benefits of probiotics. However, there is no doubt dogs have experienced improved quality of life as a result of the use of probiotics.

If you are here looking for answers to your dog’s health problems, you may find a solution by learning more about probiotics.

Can I Give My Dog Probiotics? Yes

Many dogs suffer from diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, unexplained allergies and urinary tract infections all of which can be rather stubborn. Instead of treating these problems exclusively with antibiotics, more canine owners are looking towards probiotics as a way to return their dog’s gut health to a more harmonious condition.

We know probiotics work for dogs because there is a high rate of improvement, their symptoms ease, after using these specially formulated organisms. There is no placebo effect possible when administering medicine to dogs which means they are a perfect test subject for such a relatively safe treatment.

The scientific research isn’t yet conclusive but many people, including dog owners, can personally vouch for probiotics. More than ever, probiotics are looked at as a form of nutrition which can greatly benefit you and your dog.

How Probiotics Help Dogs

There is no question that a dogs’ digestive tract is constantly in a battle between friendly and harmful bacteria. This gastrointestinal system is intertwined with the immune system, also critical for dogs. Both of these can be strengthened with the proper use of a good probiotic.

The truth is that your pet dog is probably not being exposed to much harmful bacteria which is actually causing them to be more susceptible when they do come into contact with these. An environment with good hygiene actually weakens your dog’s ability to fight harmful bacteria. It sounds crazy but it is a generally accepted theory which further advances the use of probiotics for canines. Think of a dogs’ stomach as a war zone and probiotics are the good guys who are fighting the bad guys.

Most kinds of digestive disorders can be improved with the right probiotics. Candida, a yeast overgrowth problem, has been known to respond to the right bacteria as well. Dogs with itchy skin or other types of allergies could benefit from these special organisms. You could also possibly improve your dog’s bad gas and bad breath issues, even stress!

Are Probiotics Safe for Dogs?

For the most part these types of microorganisms are safe for dogs. There are, however, some things you’ll need to know in order to effectively use them. Of course, you should check with your vet prior to starting a probiotic treatment plan or similar dietary plan for your dog.

Only use probiotic products specially formulated for dogs. They are widely available and will make the proper dosage simple for you. Don’t use human probiotics on your canine especially if you have a small dog. Some types of probiotics require that they be refrigerated. If they are consumed without proper refrigeration they could be very harmful so be warmed.

Also, if you see looser stools after use this may be a sign to reduce the amount. Again, this is why the advice of a veterinarian is best because they can recommend the best kind and advise you on more symptoms to watch for. You can never be too careful.

Which Types of K9 Probiotics are Best?

Science has identified several kinds of healthy bacteria best fight specific health problems. If you have a sick pet, the use of probiotics could be an important recovery treatment. Sometimes they are combined with other medicines.

The most popular type for K9s seems to be Enterococcus faecium which occurs naturally in a dogs’ gut. This is the most common type prescribed by vets. Other kinds such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are given to K9s but are less conclusive in their effectiveness.

The trend is now to provide a mix of the best known bacteria which is marketed to pet owners as an advanced canine health supplement.

Sickness, Recovery, Preventative

Sick canines need an expert vet to determine the proper probiotic plan tailored for them. An already sick dog probably shouldn’t be helped with a hit-or-miss approach. Consult a veterinarian first.

Another great use is during a recovery from an infection. Sometimes vets prescribe a form of a probiotic to assist with antibiotic therapy or surgery.

Finally, if you seeking to take a proactive approach as a way to keep your canine healthy then we can recommend something here. There are many great probiotics supplements available on the market. We use something called FortiFlora which has worked wonders for our older dog.

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