Improve Your Health and Sex Appeal: Get a Dog!

You’ve probably heard that a dog is good for your health; both mentally and physically! From giving us a reason to exercise every day (which also lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol), to helping relieve stress and boost our mood, dogs make a real impact on our overall well-being each and every day.

But now, there just might be another reason to get a dog … improving your sex appeal!

Yes, all you single people out there, a dog can be an effective “social tool” in attracting the attention of a potential companion!

In a recent study, 1,210 single pet-owners registered on Match.com (61% women and 39% men) were polled to see how pets influence their dating habits and preferences. The result? Thirty-five percent of women and twenty-six percent of men said they were more attracted to someone if they owned a pet; and women were even LESS likely to to date someone who simply didn’t like pets!

Now, before you rush out and get that K9 ball of fur, be forewarned that not all pets are created woman-888389_640equal! This study also revealed that bigger just might be better when it comes to men’s preferences in the romantic influence of a pet. About twenty-eight percent of the men in the study admitted that if their date’s pet could fit into her purse … that would be a major turn-off!

So while a dog might not be able to make up for a lousy personality, lack of social skills or knock-you-out halitosis, the results do seem to indicate that having a canine friend may help improve your dating chances.


To learn more about the health benefits, go to: “All You Need to Know About Pets Improving Your Health.


Source: “Having a Dog Makes You Sexier, Study Says” on News.Health.com.

K9 Dental Products: What You Must Know

As is typical throughout life, not all things are created equal.

Including the dental products being created and advertised for our beloved family dogs; and what you don’t know could hurt your dog!

Over the next few weeks, Cold Noses News is going to reveal the SEVEN ingredients you NEVER want to find in YOUR dog’s dental product; regardless of what the experts, gurus or even professionals may tell you.

We’ll teach you what names and terms to look for on the label for each ingredient as well as the very real and potential effects each can have on your dog.

Don’t be Fooled

As you search for an effective – and safe – product for your dog’s dental health, don’t be fooled by pretty labels, fancy advertising, “healthy” images or even these buzz words below:

  • 100% Natural
  • All-Natural
  • Organic
  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Non-Toxic
  • Botanical
  • Vet-Approved
  • Recommended by Vets

Your Dog’s Health Depends on You

Always do your research first to ensure any claims are actually true, for your peace of mind and more importantly, for the well-being of your dog.

Note: the researched information we will be presenting over the next few weeks is only a singular look at each of these seven individual ingredients and does not address the potential for compounded negative effects/reactions when one – or more – of these ingredients are combined.

Also keep in mind, the smaller the dog, the greater – and faster -the adverse toxic reaction(s).

And finally, dogs with pre-existing conditions, compromised health or immune systems could face even greater danger from these ingredients.

So, bookmark this page (or better yet, follow us) and learn about the seven ingredients you never want to find in your K9’s dental product.

Toxic Ingredient #1

So, let’s get started. The Number One ingredient you never, ever want to find in your dog’s dental product is … alcohol.

Some K9 dental products contain as much as 25% alcohol

Bottom line, alcohol is toxic to dogs. All dogs. Always. EVEN when the label says “Natural Derived Alcohol” … naturally derived or not, it’s toxic. Period.

So here’s what you should look for and avoid:

Please share this post (and the ones that follow) with friends, neighbors and family who love and own dogs. Keep your dog safe from dental products (or any products) that contain toxic ingredients.

 

Blue-Green Algae: Safe for Your Dog?

It’s summertime and after a long and challenging winter, the warm temperatures and summer activities feel wonderful!

But, if your dog joins you in your summer activities, it’s important to know what dangers are lurking about to effectively protect them.

In earlier posts, we’ve talked about many of the warm weather dangers waiting for your dog, including:

  • Heartworm and ticks;
  • Mulch and composting;
  • Deadly rattlesnakes driven out of their natural homes due to excessive rain;
  • The most toxic plant to your dog, the Water Hemlock; and
  • The tiny, but deadly foxtails.

Today’s subject is something you also find in the summer; especially in warm, stagnant ponds and lakes with low water flow which may also receive runoff from fertilized fields; namely, blue-green algae. Runoff with residual fertilizer creates an excess of nitrogen and phosphorus in the warm water which leads to an overgrowth of algae, typically called a “bloom” (a floating mat of scum).

Not All Algae is Created Equal

Not all blue-green algae is toxic. Spirulina, a freshwater, blue-green algae, is actually a beneficial whole food supplement (i.e., superfood) for humans and animals. However, in the case of toxic blue-green algae, even a casual encounter presents a life-threatening emergency for dogs and pets.

“Harmful (algae) blooms usually smell bad and resemble pea soup, green paint or floating mats of scum.” (Dr. Karen Becker)

Since it’s practically impossible to determine whether algae is toxic by just looking at it, always err on the side of safety and keep your dog/pet/children and yourself out of all bodies of water where algae is present.

Even dogs wading into the water with blooms can suffer seizures and convulsions; and even breathing in droplets of algae-contaminated air can cause illness.

Symptoms of Blue-Green Algae Toxicity

Blue-green algae produces deadly and toxic compounds which can cause:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea;
  • Lethargy, shock and coma;
  • Excessive panting and salivation;
  • Liver damage and failure;
  • Blood in the stool; or a black, tarry stool;
  • Respiratory tract inflammation and breathing difficulties;
  • Irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and  throat.
  • Nervous system damage; muscle tremors or rigidity; seizures; and
  • Death in dogs;

in as little as 30 to 60 minutes after exposure!

If you suspect your dog/pet has been exposed to blue-green algae, even briefly, immediate emergency vet care is necessary.

Since it’s much easier to avoid algae toxicity than to attempt treatment after exposure, keep your dog leashed and protected from the dangers that lurk in the summer sun and heat.

Final Notes on Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae is also harmful (but usually not lethal) to humans causing a rash/reddening of the skin, hives, blistering, runny nose and irritated eyes and throat. Ingestion of this toxic algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, throat irritation and muscle pain.

Blue-green algae also poses a danger to horses, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, cats and birds.


To learn more about blue-green algae:

Foxtails: Tiny but Deadly

They are typically called Foxtails (bushy spikelets or spikelet clusters that resemble a fox’s tail) or Grass Awns (bristle-like fibers). They are present from May through December and abundant after rainy, moist weather (in sidewalk cracks, edges of roads, alongside trails and in pastures).

While found throughout the USA; the types of grasses that produce foxtails are most common in the western United States (west of the Mississippi). Usually, the worst cases are found in California.

Foxtails are also known by other names, including:

  • Wild Barley
  • Cheat Grass
  • Needlegrass
  • Bromegrass
  • Spear Grass

Foxtails are produced once certain types of grasses have gone to seed; and their hardened tip and arrow-shaped barbs pose a real threat to your dog (and cat). To make matters worse, the Whole Dog Journal warns that a single foxtail “is made up of dozens of hard, pointed seeds”  all ready to become easily – and quickly – embedded in your dog.

Foxtails commonly become embedded in the following areas (although they are not limited to just these areas):

  • Ears;
  • Eyes;
  • Mouth;
  • Nose (foxtails can be easily inhaled);
  • Paws and toes; and
  • Genitals and groin area.
  • Long ears and long and/or curly hair are also potential targets for foxtails.
  • But foxtails can also just latch onto your dog’s fur or skin with their barbed seed heads and over time eventually work themselves into your dog’s body; even into vital organs (like the brain, lungs, eardrums and spine) causing irreversible damage and possible death.

Despite their tiny size, the real issue behind foxtails is that the canine body cannot degrade or break down these tough, hard seed heads. Once embedded into the body, they easily travel (burrow) throughout the body (and because of the microscopic barbs, they cannot work themselves back out of the body; they can only travel “forward”).  So what may start out as a simple irritation, an embedded foxtail can lead to a deadly infection that could, if left untreated, lead to death.

Signs Your Dog May Have Embedded Foxtails

  • Body/Skin: Persistent licking or chewing at a specific spot (including the genitals); swelling, abscesses and open sores.
  • Ears/Ear Canals: Incessant scratching or pawing; tilting or shaking of the head.
  • Eyes/Eyelids: Redness, discharge or tears, swelling, inflammation, squinting or pawing.
  • Mouth/Gums/Tongue/Throat: Coughing, retching and/or gagging; difficulty eating and swallowing.
  • Nose: Discharge; bloody nose; excessive, even violent, sneezing; repeated pawing.
  • Paws: Swelling or limping.
  • Unexplained fever, vomiting or difficulty breathing.

Preventing Issues from Foxtails

After being outside (especially in areas where foxtails are common; including open fields, areas of tall grasses and overgrown grassy areas), always check your dog’s:

  • Armpits.
  • Coat/fur.
  • Genital/groin area.
  • Face, ears, mouth and gums.
  • Paws (especially between the toes).

Remove any foxtails you find with tweezers (if it can be easily removed). However, if one is already embedded or the area around the foxtail is red and/or swollen, see your veterinarian immediately for proper medical attention.

If you commonly find foxtails in a certain area of your dog’s body, consider trimming the hair in that area to avoid more foxtails becoming attached. To keep painful and potentially dangerous foxtails out of your dog’s ears, nose and eyes, an OutFox Field Guard is helpful (essentially a mesh bag over the dog’s head that doesn’t affect natural breathing, panting, sniffing and drinking). Protective vests (covering the chest and abdomen) can also help prevent foxtails from attaching to the dog’s body.

To learn more about foxtails:

RECALL: Loving Pets Air-Puffed Dog Treats

Loving Pets, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of pet treats located in Cranbury, is voluntarily recalling a limited number of dog treats for potential salmonella contamination.

The limited recall includes the following products:

  • Loving Pets Barksters: Sweet Potato and Chicken and Brown Rice and Chicken;
  • Loving Pets Puffsters Snack Chips: Apple and Chicken, Banana and Chicken, Sweet Potato and Chicken and Cranberry and Chicken;
  • Whole Hearted: Chicken and Apple Puff Treats.

(For the specific Item, UPC and Lot numbers of the affected products, click here to go to the Loving Pets Products website.)

Salmonella and the Risks

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is also a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having come into contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Symptoms of possible salmonella poisoning in humans include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. While rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms.

Pets poisoned with Salmonella may exhibit lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only show signs of decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers of salmonella and infect other animals or humans.

Contact your vet or doctor if you suspect salmonella poisoning for immediate help.

Why the Recall

The potential salmonella contamination was “discovered by the Loving Pet’s internal quality assurance team.”  The contamination was identified to a single finished ingredient supplied to Loving Pets from one of its USA-based suppliers.

According to a Press Release:

“Loving Pets produces its treats in small batches, in order to offer the highest quality and control in safety. To ensure the safety of its products, Loving Pets decided to be extra cautious and recall a wider range of lot numbers so that no possible contaminated product is available on the market.”

According to the Company’s website, no illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported.

What to do Next

Consumers may return any affected treats to the retailer where the product was originally purchased.

For additional information, consumers may also call Cathy Vesey at 866-599-PETS (7387) or visit LovingPetsProducts.com.


To learn more about the Loving Pets recall, go to:

RECALL: Rawhide Chews: Multiple Brands

Still feeding your dog rawhide chews? Then this recall is for you.

United Pet Group, a division of Spectrum Brands, Inc., is voluntarily recalling multiple brands of packages of rawhide dog chew products (distributed to retail outlets and sold online in the U.S. from their Edwardsville, IL distribution center ) for potential chemical contamination.

All of the recalled dog rawhide chew products have an expiration date ranging from 06/01/2019 through 05/31/2020.

Why the Recall

United Pet Group identified manufacturing facilities (in Mexico and Colombia, as well as a Brazilian supplier), were using a processing aid during manufacturing (a quaternary ammonium compound). While this anti-microbial chemical compound is approved for cleaning food processing equipment, it has not been approved in the U.S. as a processing aid in the manufacturing of rawhide chews for dogs.

There have been very limited reports of pet illness and the primary consumer complaint was the unpleasant smell of affected products. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported.

Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds (through direct ingestion) may cause the following symptoms in dogs (depending on the severity, veterinarian treatment may be necesssary):

  • Reduced appetite, and
  • Gastric irritation (including diarrhea and vomiting).

What to do Next

Consumers are urged to properly dispose of any affected product or return it directly to United Pet Group or the retail store for a full refund.

Consumers may also contact the United Pet Group Consumer Affairs Team directly at 855-215-4962 between the hours of 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time with questions or for a refund.

To learn more about the specific brand and product names and associated UPCs involved in this recall, go to:

THE Most Toxic Plant to Your Dog (and kids)

water-hemlock-dogs

(Note: We’ve reposted this article because of the very wet winter and spring (and subsequent flooding), this deceptive-looking plant is flourishing in wet areas throughout North America and Europe. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pets – and children – safe.)


It looks soft, delicate and even beautiful, but this wildflower is one of the most toxic plants your dog (or child) can ingest (even in a small amount); with fast-acting and deadly consequences (within minutes).

Water Hemlock: Pretty, But Deadly

It’s called Water Hemlock and is a member of the carrot family. It typically grows in wet areas like marshes and swamps, damp pastures and along riverbanks, ponds, streams, irrigation ditches, reservoirs and other water edges in both North America and parts of Europe. It’s often mistaken for edible plants such as artichokes, celery, sweet potatoes, sweet anise, or wild parsnip.

Water Hemlock Is But One Name

Water Hemlock is also known by a variety of other names, including:

  • beaver poison
  • poison parsley
  • poison hemlock (with red spots or blotches in the stem)
  • muskrat weed
  • poison parsnip
  • spotted water hemlock
  • western water hemlock
  • cowbane/spotted cowbane
  • bulblet-bearing water hemlock

Symptoms of Poisoning

If ingested, the violent effects of toxic poisoning may become evident within a few minutes (from a toxin called cicutoxin, an aggressive, poisonous stimulant that attacks the nervous system) and include:

  • Drooling
  • Nervousness/agitation/weakness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures and/or twitching
  • Rapid heart rate/difficulty breathing/asphyxiation/choking
  • Coma
  • Death from respiratory paralysis death (occurring between 15 minutes and 2 hours after the first initial signs of poisoning).

While the highest levels of its toxin is found in the roots, all parts of the water hemlock are poisonous and dog lovers should never let their dog get anywhere near it.

A side note, the water hemlock has a strong carrot-like odor which could attract curious dogs (or children). Even if it’s not ingested, touching this plant could give you a rash and smelling or breathing it could cause respiratory issues.

What You Should Do

If you suspect your dog has come into contact with water hemlock, seek immediate emergency veterinary care.  If you suspect a person has been affected, call Poison Control immediately at 800-222-1222.

The More You Know

To learn more about water hemlock and its potential dangers:

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