Oh My Dog! Holistic Doggery

Oh My Dog! Holistic Doggery
Now in Central Florida

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Understanding Dog Body Language and Verbal Clues


Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger?

Dogs speak to us, but in a different language.Unfortunately, there's no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn "dog talk." So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.

The best way to start is to look to the dog's ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.

Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can't string them together.

Thus, the need for short commands such as "Sit!" and "Come!" Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you're uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak "dog."


         Dog Body Language/Facial "Expressions"


Confident and Relaxed

·   Stance - erect
·   Tail - wagging slowly
·   Ears - pricked up but with a relaxed look
·   Eyes - small pupils
·   Mouth - closed or slight parting of lips


Fearful or Anxious

·   Stance - lowered
·   Tail - tucked under
·   Ears - down
·   Eyes - a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
·   Mouth - panting


Aggressive

·   Stance - rigid
·   Tail - straight up or out behind, very rigid
·   Ears - pricked up
·   Eyes - intense, focused stare
·   Mouth - lips are pulled back and some teeth show
·   Hackles - this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders.
   It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.



Fear-Aggressive

·   Stance - dog is pulled into himself
·   Tail - tucked completely under
·   Ears - lying down
·   Eyes - wide-eyed and trouble focusing
·   Mouth - lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting


Relaxed

·   Stance - lying down or standing without any alertness
·   Tail - up and wagging or lying naturally
·   Ears - at their normal state, depending on the breed
   (A Terrier's would be up but relaxed, a Hound's would be down)
·   Eyes - normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
·   Mouth - open and lightly panting or closed


Dog Verbal Cues


The Howl

This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street.
When you leave for work, it's very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in - it's sort of like a conference call.



The Growl

This means "back off." You'll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn't like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It's actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.



The Grunt or Mutter

This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It's an interesting sound because it's almost manipulative - your dog knows if he barks, he'll get into trouble but the more subtle "grunt" might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.



The Whimper

Dogs whimper when they're anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.



The Whine

This indicates frustration. They are in a sense "complaining" about something.



The Bark

There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they're happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a "problem" that you can't see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor's cat hiding in the tree outside the window.




Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs' language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn't going crazy when he's muttering to himself all the time.

Source: Dogster.com


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat





Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Who can resist those big black eyes ? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there's a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it's not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs - and some of these common foods may surprise you.

 









Avocado

No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It’s harmless for humans who aren't allergic. But large amounts can be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.









Alcohol

Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol - none of it's good for your dog. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.









Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic in all forms -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.









Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds - caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.









Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.









Milk and Other Dairy Products

On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).







Macadamia Nuts

Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.









Candy and Gum

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.









Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.









Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag











Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don't











Raw Eggs

There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.













Raw Meat and Fish

Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease." If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.















Salt

It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.









Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Who can resist those big black eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there's a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it's not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs - and some of these common foods may surprise you.





Avocado

No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It’s harmless for humans who aren't allergic. But large amounts can be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.





Alcohol

Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol - none of it's good for your dog. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.




Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic in all forms -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.




Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds - caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.





Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach





Milk and Other Dairy Products

On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).





Macadamia Nuts

Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.





Candy and Gum

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.




Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.




Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag.




Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don't.





Raw Eggs

There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.





Raw Meat and Fish

Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease." If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.





Salt

It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.





Sugary Foods and Drinks

Too much sugar can do the same thing to dogs that it does to humans. It can lead to obesity, dental problems, and even diabetes.





Yeast Dough

Before it's baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that's exactly what it would do in your dog's stomach if your dog ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the dog's abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.





Your Medicine

Reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Just as you would do for your children, keep all medicines out of your dog's reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And, they can be deadly for your dog.





Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed

Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your dog. For instance, baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices. Keeping food items high enough to be out of your dog's reach and keeping pantry doors closed will help protect your dog from serious food-related illness.





If Your Dog Eats What It Shouldn't

Dogs explore with their mouth. And, no matter how cautious you are, it's possible your dog can find and swallow what it shouldn't. It's a smart idea to always keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - (888) 426-4435 - where you know you can find it in an emergency. And, if you think your dog has consumed something that's toxic, call for emergency help at once.





What Dogs Can Eat

You can ensure your dog has a healthy, well-balanced diet by asking your vet to recommend a quality dog food. A well-designed dog food gives your pet all the nutrients it needs for an active and healthy life. But that doesn't mean you can't sometimes give your dog human food as a special treat - as long as portions are limited, and the foods are cooked, pure, and not fatty or heavily seasoned. See the next few slides for some tasty suggestions. But if you’re looking to human food as a meal replacement, talk to your vet about amounts and frequency.





Safe: Lean Meats

Most dogs are fine eating lean cuts of meat that have been thoroughly cooked. Be sure to remove all visible fat - including the skin on poultry. Also be sure that there are no bones in the meat before you give it to your dog.





Safe: Some Fresh Fruits

Slices of apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelon make tasty treats for your dog. Be sure to remove any seeds first, though. Seeds, stems, and leaves can cause serious problems.





Safe: Some Vegetables

Your dog can have a healthy snack of carrot sticks, green beans, cucumber slices, or zucchini slices. Even a plain baked potato is OK. Be sure, though, not to let your dog eat any raw potatoes or any potato plants it might have access to in your garden.




Safe: Cooked White Rice and Pasta

Dogs may enjoy plain white rice or pasta after it's cooked. And, a serving of plain white rice with some boiled chicken can sometimes provide welcome relief from gastrointestinal upset.





REFERENCES:

PetEducation.com: "Which Foods Could Be Dangerous for My Dog?"
Today.MSNBC.com: "'People Foods' That Can Kill Your Pet."
ASPCA: "People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet."
Provet Healthcare: "Caffeine Poisoning."
Petalia.com: "Human Foods That Poison Pets."
Dog Breed Info Center: "Raisin and Grape Toxicity in Dogs."
Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: "Protect Your Dog From Fish Disease."
Dog First-Aid 101: "Don't Feed Your Dogs Toxic Foods."


THIS POST DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.

It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your pet's health.
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment for your pet because of something you have read on this Blog.
If you think your pet may have a medical emergency, immediately call your vet or dial 911.

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat



Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Who can resist those big black eyes ? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there's a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it's not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs - and some of these common foods may surprise you.

 





Avocado

No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It’s harmless for humans who aren't allergic. But large amounts can be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.




Alcohol

Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol - none of it's good for your dog. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.




Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic in all forms -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.




Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds - caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.




Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.




Milk and Other Dairy Products

On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).



Macadamia Nuts

Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.




Candy and Gum

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.




Chocolate

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.




Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag





Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don't





Raw Eggs

There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.






Raw Meat and Fish

Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease." If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.







Salt

It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.