Ok, we admit talking about your dog’s poop is not the most pleasant of topics.
But did you know that your dog’s poop can say a LOT about their overall health and potential health issues and imbalances?
In our November newsletter, Cold Noses News teamed up with AnimalBiome to give you the 411 on what the colors of your dog’s feces can tell you! AnimalBiome protects your dog’s health and happiness through scientific assessments, supplements and maintenance.
Do not miss our November Cold Noses Newsletter with the informative AnimalBiome graphic that may save your dog’s life especially during the holidays if they eat something they shouldn’t!
Christmas is a time to have fun, indulge and celebrate!
Since our pets are such an important part of our family, it’s natural to
include them in the holiday celebration as well!
But this festive season also presents many hidden dangers to our canine and feline friends, from toxic food to hazardous seasonal plants and even decorations!
To ensure your beloved pet remains safe this holiday season, keep reading about the unusual risks to our pets this festive season.
11 Christmas Risks for Dogs
Did you know that more dogs ingest batteries during Christmas than at any other time of the year?
Just like with your kids, apply the same security measures for your dogs. It is vital to cover all batteries and wires so that your dog cannot access them. Batteries can cause burns in the mouth and esophagus leading to other severe internal injuries.
Enjoy a safe Christmas with your dogs by keeping all new and old batteries out of reach of your pets.
Live Christmas Trees
For some people, Christmas is incomplete without a Christmas tree. But pine needles (real and fake) are dangerous if your dog chews or swallows them! They can cause mouth injuries and swelling; if ingested, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Also, stagnant water from live trees can cause diarrhea or nausea in your dog.
Whether you use a real or artificial tree, create a perimeter to prevent your dog from swallowing any of the tree’s needles (and decorations!).
Also, ensure that the tree is securely stable so it won’t fall over and cause injuries to your dog, other pets or even children.
Salt Dough Ornaments
These commonly used holiday ornaments are made out of baked dough and contain flour, salt, and water. This mixture can be fatal for our dogs, especially small puppies.
But unfortunately, these ornaments can invite a pet’s curiosity thanks to their curious shape, colors and smells. But if ingested, the results can be unpleasant and worse for our pets.
Candles can be a great way to bring Christmas spirit into our homes. But as a pet parent, avoid leaving burning candles unattended – or within reach – of your pets.
Dogs (and cats) are naturally curious about new smells and tastes. A curious pet could easily get burned; or worse, cause a fire if a burning candle is knocked over.
Consider using no-flame candles instead. If you decide to light candles, be sure to place them on secure tabletops and remember to extinguish them before leaving the room.
Silica gel in small packets is often found in the packaging of new handbags, shoes or electrical equipment. Although it has low toxicity, it can cause blockages in your dog’s gut if they eat it.
Always be careful when opening Christmas presents with silica gel packets and securely dispose of them immediately.
When eaten, potpourri can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.
Proactively protect your dog by keeping all potpourri securely out of reach.
Chocolate can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.
To protect your dog, you should keep them out of reach.
Despite the popularity of blue cheese, it does contain roquefortine C, a substance which dogs are susceptible to. As with all of the Christmas foods around, be sure to keep blue cheese away from your dog.
While you may think that cooked bones are a safe treat to give to your dog to enjoy, nothing could be farther from the truth!
Cooked bones are very brittle and can easily break into tiny, sharp pieces when chewed. These tiny pieces can cause irreparable harm to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract including blockages and piercing of the intestines. Keep all cooked bones away from your dog and make sure they are securely disposed of where your dog cannot get to them.
Mince Pies & Christmas Puddings
Mince pies and Christmas puddings contain toxic grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas and should be kept away from dogs and other pets.
Alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, coma and even death in dogs.
Keep any and all alcohol beverages (including beer) out of reach of all pets and children for a safe holiday celebration!
Wishing you, your family and four-legged best friends a safe and Merry Christmas!
Dogs are naturally social creatures that enjoy attention. As a matter of fact, nothing more can make them go gaga than chancing upon their own kind, regardless of breed. That should not come as a total surprise because dogs came from a long line of ancestors who had thrived living in packs.
Unfortunately, some puppies and even adult dogs find it hard to contain their excitement and go completely overboard when around other canines. A dog may bark, whine or lunge at other dogs when they are giddy. These actions may come from a friendly standpoint, but the other dog might perceive it as a threat, especially if their personal space is being violated.
If your puppy or adult dog acts this way, he might be in danger of being attacked by another dog. Also, if this hyperactive behavior is ignored, it may progress into aggressiveness. This tendency is more evident in dogs that show signs of fear and anxiety. But, addressing the issue should be done in the right manner. Yelling will not help and will only impose a sense of negativity to the dogs involved. Also, if you pull your leashed dog close to you when he is about to interact with another dog, this can create unwanted tension. If you reprimand your dog for acting this way, it will lead him to think negatively about associating with other dogs, fueling unwanted and negative behaviors.
Is Your Dog Excited or Stressed?
Did you know that dogs often look the same way when they are excited or stressed? This can be a shocker for most pet parents to realize what they once viewed as a happy behavior is actually a cry for help.
It is not bad for dogs to get excited, but there are key differences between:
Stressed and anxious energy; and
Happy and enthusiastic canine energy.
A dog’s energy depends on their mental state at the time. As owners, we often observe their physical behavior without understanding the true energy behind it. Dogs are “cute” when they are over-excited or over-stimulated, but this attitude is not ideal for your dog. Also, when we match this type of excited energy from our dogs, they respond with more excitement, heightening their already intensified feelings which can lead to unwanted behavior.
To identify whether your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety or excitement, take note of how he behaves when he is in a relaxed state. You can see how comfortable a dog is based on his posture and behavior. It can also be characterized by a soft gaze with squinted or rounded eyes and ears slightly erect and placed forward (does not apply to dogs with floppy ears). When you talk to him, he acknowledges you by moving his ear backward and relaxing his mouth.
Other Reasons Your K9 is Overactive Around Other Dogs
Aside from anxiety, your dog might be displaying fear. So when he acts in a reactive manner, other dogs and their owners may walk away in avoidance or fear, which is your dog’s intention if he is fearful.
Another reason is frustration. Many dogs feel restrained due to the leash wrapped around their neck that holds them back whenever they are excited to see other dogs. You also see this type of dog behavior with closed fences and gates.
Defining Your Role as a Canine Parent
Your dog might be too overeager upon seeing other dogs. Acknowledging your dog’s need to be with other dogs is essential. But, he has to learn to approach potential friends – and even old friends – with confidence and calmness. To protect your furbaby and ensure that he is capable of handling different social situations, you need to identify the root cause of this excitement. As mentioned earlier, some dogs act all gung-ho when seeing other dogs to mask their anxiousness or fear. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to address potential issues with anxiety, fear or frustration when training your dog to be calm.
Prevention is better than cure, many would say. The easiest method to prevent your dog from acting out when they see another dog is to go the other way. But do not wait until your dog gets all riled up. Properly socializing your dog as soon as possible will also help avoid unwanted, unsocial and overexcited behaviors.
The following methods below can help your dog learn:
To channel their extra energy into something positive; and
Help them learn how to stay calm and collected when hanging out with his peers.
Two Ways to Calm Your Puppy Down
During training, use a well-fitted harness to protect your puppy’s neck if he lunges forward upon seeing another dog. You might also want to ask a friend to help out and lend you his or her emotionally-stable and mature dog that will not overreact to your puppy’s over-eagerness or unbridled playfulness. Always reward your puppy’s good behavior with his favorite treat!
Method #1: Calm to Me
Enlist the help of a friend with a calm dog. Meet them in a park or have them join you and your leashed puppy for a walk. Keep all training short and fun
Once you see your friend and their dog, ask them to stop at a distance where your dog is still comfortable and not becoming overexcited. Tell your dog to sit or stay.
Ask the other dog to slowly approach. As soon as you notice your dog starting to go into a frenzy (timing is very important), ask your friend and their dog to stop, turn around, and walk away.
Wait until your dog is calm once again and repeat the process. As long as your dog remains calm and remains in the sit and stay position, the other dog can continue to move toward him. But the moment he begins barking, lunging or getting aggressive, your friend and their dog should stop, turn around and walk away.
Repeat the process for a few days until your dog fully grasps the concept and use this process to introduce to him other dogs.
Have your friend bring their calm dog over to your home. Before the dog and his owner come, place your dog on a leash.
Once the new dog enters your premises, command your dog to sit or stay. Tug the leash gently to the side if necessary to get your dog’s attention (but refrain from pulling back).
If your dog maintains a composed demeanor and obeys your orders, hand him a treat. Repeat several times with different dogs for several weeks until your dog automatically calms down without any command when seeing a dog.
Once your dog has learned how to act properly when there is another dog, have him socialize with all kinds of other dogs.
Dogs are naturally sociable and reprimanding or pulling them back when they get excited will not resolve the underlying issue. Use the tips and methods detailed above to train your dog to be more social and less reactive with anxiety, over-excitement or even fear. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for expert help! A dog trainer or behaviorist can help identify behavioral issues and design an effective plan of action to create a happy, confident and social dog!
Meet our Guest Blogger:
Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.
When a man decides not to shave his face – it’s usually for an admirable reason, like No-Shave November (designed to raise cancer awareness throughout the month). Sometimes it’s just an excuse to get out of shaving, but – more often than not – there’s a purpose behind that decision!
But, when a groomer decides not to shave a dog’s coat, it’s rarely “just because.” It’s in the dog’s best interest for multiple reasons.
A Dog’s Coat is Suited for Heat or Cold
Often, pet parents mistakenly assign human conditions to their pets. For example, thinking their Husky, Chow or Samoyed gets too hot and should be shaved. The truth is their coats serve as natural heating and cooling mechanisms.
“These breeds have a double-layered coat that protects the
from the snow and cold, and prevents sunburn in hot months,”
says Humberto Z., who has been a groomer since 2008.
Shaving double-coated dogs can also cause unwanted medical conditions, like alopecia, which prevents the coat from growing back properly. Sam, an experienced pet stylist, explains, “I try to educate pet parents who request a shave on a double-coated dog on why it is harmful to do so.”
Does Shaving Stop K9 Shedding?
People tend to also believe that shaving will stop shedding – fake news! Fur returns, and with it comes inevitable furballs rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds. “Double-coated dogs shed a lot during hotter months because they’re letting their undercoat out <blowing coat>,” further advises Humberto. “When you do a de-shedding brush out it’s fine because you’re taking only the undercoat out and leaving what is called the guard coat – a layer to prevent sunburn.”
Brittany Z, who has been grooming professionally since 2005, offers alternatives to shave requests. “I would first offer a really good bath with de-shedding shampoo, blow out and a de-shedding brush out with the best tool for that dog’s coat. Then to reduce shedding, I recommend a good brush out every 2 weeks and a bath every 4 weeks.”
Fur-Bearing vs Hair-Bearing Canines
Fur-bearing dogs have different needs than hair-bearing dogs; talk with your groomer about what’s best for your pup. Hair-bearing dogs like Poodles, Shih Tzus and Yorkies, need haircuts regularly and can typically be shaved if needed. But fur-bearing, double-coated dogs, such as Alaskan Malamutes, Labs and Golden Retrievers have fur that grows to a particular length and should NOT be shaved.* You can find a complete list of breeds and coat types at www.akc.org.
Sometimes, when a dog has gone too long without proper grooming and develops tightly packed matted fur against their skin, a shave is necessary. These mats are painful – their skin is being pulled by the tightening fur, and skin diseases can develop if left untreated. Most of these shaves should be performed with the dog under sedation with vet supervision, followed by a skin/coat care regimen to protect the pup while their fur grows back, and a regular grooming schedule to prevent a reoccurrence.
With a bit of coat education, you can keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy, while the groomer makes them look grrrr-eat!
Meet our Guest Blogger:
Renee Ventrice is the VP of Marketing for Woofie’s LLC, proud mom of Beemer, a 13-year-old Parsons Russell Terrier and human mom to her 20-year-old son Gino.
Woofie’s was established in 2004 and is an award-winning pet care company offering pet sitting, dog walking and mobile pet spa services as well as franchising opportunities. Learn more about Woofie’s at www.woofies.com.
The USDA (US Food and Drug Administration) issues a recall alert on August 14th regarding 35 frozen lots of Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food (manufactured by Texas Tripe Inc).
The recall was issued after samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes. Testing was done by the Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC). Of the 23 samples tested, 16 were positive.
The recalled products were sold frozen in 20- and 40-pound cases containing multiple plastic pouches in 23 product varieties. NOTE: There are no unique identifications numbers on the individual chubs (plastic pouches) to identify them as the recalled products. Lot codes are only printed on the outside of the cases.
Here is the list of all the recalled products and lot numbers:
(Courtesy: The Dog Advisor)
The States Included in the Recall
The recalled products were sold directly to consumers (online and over the phone) in the following states:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
ALSO … A Special Note
The products below were also tested and showed positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes but have NOT been recalled.
Texas Tripe Chicken Blend: Lot 19196-6
Texas Tripe Pork Blend: Lot 19190-09
Texas Tripe Beef Blend: Lot 19191-05
Pet treats and food contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes pose a public health concern because they can affect both the health of animals and humans. Refrigeration or even freezing does not kill the bacteria.
What You Should Know About Salmonella
Salmonella poses a risk to animals ingesting the affected product (including dogs and cats) and humans. Pets infected with salmonella may display symptoms including:
Lethargy and shock;
Diarrhea (which may last up to 3-4 weeks or longer);
Mucus and/or blood in the stool.
People infected with salmonella can also have:
For some people, their diarrhea may be severe enough to require hospitalization.
What You Should Know About Listeria Monocytogenes
Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans (if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product). Pets infected with listeria may display symptoms including:
Mild to severe diarrhea;
Nervous, muscular and respiratory system issues;
Shock and even death.
Infected animals can also serve as sources of infection to other household animals and humans.
What to do Next
Consumers should immediately stop feeding any of the recalled products and discard them in a secure container where stray animals or wildlife cannot access them.
Consumers should also:
Clean their refrigerator/freezers where the product was stored.
Thoroughly wash their hands after handling any recalled products.
The New Year celebrations are right around the corner.
As you’re making plans for your end-of-the-year parties and resolutions, be sure to include your dog and his comfort in your plans!
What do you need to consider to ensure Fido enjoys the festivities? Keep reading to find out.
With your dog’s incredible hearing ability, fireworks can be a dog’s WORST nightmare! Consider this: humans hear at a range of 20 and 20,000 Hz. In stark contrast, our beloved K9s hear a frequency range of 40 to 60,000 Hz! With that kind of hearing, loud fireworks can rattle even the calmest dog.
Sadly, emergency vet visits increase this time of year and they can quickly destroy the holiday spirit and your budget! Remember, many of the foods, treats and drinks (alcoholic and those that are not) you enjoy can be potentially dangerous to your canine. Traditional favorites include (but are not limited to):
Turkey, skin & bones, ham ,etc.
Table scraps (especially those that are spicy and fatty)
Alcoholic beverages including egg nog, beer, wine and cocktails
Sweets (especially those with xylitol) and chocolate
New Year’s Parties & Celebrations
Not all dogs are well-equipped to deal with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, especially when it comes into their safe place/home. Keep in mind, these celebrations are never a good time to “socialize” your dog especially if they usually tend to not be social.
If you’re bringing the New Year’s Eve party home, make sure your dog (and even other pets) has a safe and quiet place so they are both secure and protected from running away or unleashing an unwanted bite (because of fear, anxiety or stress).
In addition, below are some other traditional New Year’s Eve items you should consider banning to keep the pets in your home safe during the celebrations:
Glow sticks & bracelets
With some thoughtful planning, you and your pets can enjoy the New Year’s celebrations safely!
When even more information came out about all the potentially deadly chemicals used to mass-produce rawhide in China, “safe” choices became even further limited for canine guardians. (Not to mention numerous horror studies about rawhide pieces becoming stuck or causing obstructions requiring surgery to save a dog.) Click here to learn the harmful truth behind making rawhide.
Are Antlers a Safer Option?
So, what about something more “natural,” like antlers from wild deer or elk?
Like most subjects about dog health, “expert” opinions about whether antlers are a completely safe chewing option falls between both ends of the spectrum. From slick marketing campaigns raving about the wonders of antlers for your dog’s chewing pleasure to so-called dog experts decrying even the thought of offering an antler to your dog to chew. While the controversy rages on, educate yourself on the pros and cons of antler chews for your dog.
Factors to Consider
Deciding whether an antler chew is good (or not) for your dog involves a number of factors, including:
What kind of chewer your dog is;
Your dog’s current dental health;
The “grade” of antler you are planning to give your dog to chew; and
The supplier/distributor of the antler chews and whether they sell cheaper, low-grade or inferior products.
When you know better, you can make better choices for what to safely offer your dog to chew. Knowing your own dog is the first place to start. Is your dog a heavy or aggressive chewer? The chewing needs or habits are vastly different for a Chihuahua versus a Rottweiler. Smaller teeth and jaws cannot stand up to extremely hard objects like antlers.
Also, consider your dog’s current dental health. Have they suffered from dental issues that would rule out giving them hard items to chew?
Symptoms of gum disease like receding gums, bone loss, gingivitis and periodontitis? Gum disease can make teeth unstable and incapable of standing up to chewing. (Did you know that gum disease, is five times more common in dogs than in humans?)
If you have determined your dog’s dental health and chewing needs can tolerate hard chewing, keep reading to learn more about antler chews.
What IS an Antler?
Antlers come from moose, caribou, elk, reindeer and deer. Typically, elk antlers are the easiest ones to find.
It’s also believed that antlers do not splinter or chip as easily as some other bones or toys. While antlers may seem similar to “horns” … they are actually different. Cow horns are made from a substance call keratin; similar to our nails and hair. They also have a lining of bone inside them.
Antlers, on the other hand, are made from real bone and cartilage with a marrow core. They are actually a bony outgrowth of the animal’s skull. Since they are actual bone, they are also very hard. Antlers are typically shed each year allowing a new set to grow in their place. Antlers (unlike processed bones or rawhides) also offer nutritional value in the form of:
Iron and Zinc
For dogs fed a raw diet, bones are important to their diet. But, it is not necessary for them to eat very hard bones (like antlers or weight-bearing leg bones).
Grading Antlers: What it all Means
Antlers are “graded” on five different levels. Before you buy any kind of antler for your dog to chew, below is what you need to know first.
Grade A+ Antlers
These are the highest quality and most pristine antlers, previously reserved for high-end craft and artisan use. They constitute less than 5% of all antlers each year. Only a few stores and distributors are focused on selling antlers of this caliber.
Grade A Antlers
These antlers comprise the top 10-15% of all antlers each year. They have been shed during the current – or previous – year. These antlers will appear a little more on the light-brown side; as they have been freshly shed and have had only minimal exposure to the elements.
Grade B Antlers
This grade of antler comprises the bulk of all antlers sold online by the “high-end” brands. These antlers are easily recognized as they will be white from sun bleaching which also means they are dried out. They may also show visible marks of rodent chewing. These antlers are approximately one to two years old. While they may be sold by well-established brands, it does not mean they are “safe dog chews.” While they are not the worst of the antlers, they are definitely not the safest for your dog based on their age and being dried out which means they could splinter or chip much more easily.
Grades C and D
The final two grades are combined together because, for all intents and purposes, these antlers are “junk” and definitely not safe for your dog. These antlers are not only white from years in the sun and exposure to the elements; but there is also a white powder that can be easily scraped off the surface. In addition, the antler has almost a coral-like porous crystalline structure to it, due to having lost too much moisture. This makes it even more susceptible to breaking, splintering or chipping even with minimal effort. These antlers are commonly sold in the big-box pet stores and outdoor sports stores.
A Few Final Cautions
Make sure any antler product you buy and give to your dog is sourced from the USA (preferably from organically raised animals). Note: China does chemically process and ship antlers to the United States.
Also, make sure you buy the right size antler for your dog (one that cannot be easily swallowed).
Do not give puppies any kind of antlers to chew on. (The high protein content can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.)
And finally, if you do decide to give your dog an antler chew (or any other chew as well), always supervise them to keep them safe! No chew product is 100% safe and healthy for every dog. Digestive or dental issues, possible choking (in the mouth or throat) and intestinal obstructions are always a risk.
Check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any chew product.