Training Tips & Food Suggestions
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TRAINING TIPS & FOOD WARNINGS!
Keep Chocolate Treats away from Dogs, Cats
Dr. Arun, Summit Blvd Animal Hospital, Veterinarian Breeding Specialist
Chocolate poisoning is more common during the holidays when chocolate candies and foods are readily available. Chocolate is highly palatable and available in most homes during the holidays.
But the methylzanthine alkaloids present in chocolate cause poisoning and can be deadly. It's predominantly a hazard to dogs, especially puppies and young dogs, but it's also toxic to cats.
These alkaloids cause constriction of the blood vessels to the brain; heart and muscle con- fractions; central nervous system stimulation; vomiting; diarrhea and seizures.
Different chocolate products have different levels of methylzanthine and so cause different degrees of poisoning. These are the methylxanthine levels of the most common chocolate products.
Products (mg. per ounce)
Cacao bean 400 - 1,500
Baking chocolate 450
Semi-sweet chocolate 260
Milk chocolate 60
Hot chocolate 12
White chocolate 1
The minimum lethal dose ranges from 100-200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. A pound of milk chocolate or four ounces of baking chocolate could be deadly to a 16 pound dog.
Early signs of poisoning to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, stiffness, excitement and seizures.
Symptoms of advanced poisoning include low body temper- attire, rigidity 61 muscles, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, weakness, heart failure, coma and death.
To prevent poisoning, keep all chocolate out of reach of pets. In case of poisoning, call your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will probably tell you to induce vomiting if your pet is not having seizures. This is usually done by giving the pet hydrogen peroxide. Give your pet 2 milliliters per pound of body weight.
One teaspoon contains 5 milliliters. One tablespoon contains 15 milliliters. For example, if your pet weighs 20 pounds, you will give him about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Using a syringe (both hydrogen peroxide and an oral syringe should be part of your pet emergency kit) may be the easiest way to administer the peroxide. Remember that your pet will begin vomiting so be ready with old towels!
If your pet is having seizures or is unconscious, you'll need to transport your pet to the emergency clinic where the veterinarian will use a stomach wash, IV fluids and medications to treat the effects of the poison.
We strongly recommend that you take preventative measures to protect your pet during the holidays. Put that chocolate away!
Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could
be toxic. Many people I know give their dogs grapes
or raisins as treats, NOT a good idea...
Chocolate, cocoa, onions, and macadamia nuts can
be fatal, too.
Winterize Your Dogs and Protect Them From Winter's Bite
Beware of cold temperatures.
With proper shelter, many dogs can be safe in outside temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, puppies, smaller dogs and older dogs should not be left outdoors when the temperature falls below 40 degrees. Shorthaired dogs can become immediately chilled after leaving the warm house, so they will need a sweater to go outside.
Keep older, arthritic dogs inside.
These dogs should not be left outside under any circumstances. Escort the older dog outside for toileting and use a leash if the yard has ice or snow. Older dogs can easily fall and seriously injure themselves.
Watch for signs of frostbite.
Dogs' ears, paws and tails are especially susceptible to frostbite. Initially, frostbitten tissue may appear pale or gray in color. The area will be cold to the touch, and hard. As the area thaws, it may become red. In severe frostbite, within several days the tissue will start to appear black. If you suspect frostbite, bring your dog into a warm location and soak the affected area with lukewarm water for about 20 minutes and contact your veterinarian.
Eliminate the possibility of poisoning.
Unfortunately, dogs like the sweet taste of antifreeze, which can cause sickness or death if ingested. Make certain that all antifreeze containers are well out of reach of dogs, and thoroughly clean any spills immediately.
Supply fresh water.
Use a plastic water bowl to ensure the dog's tongue does not get stuck to cold metal. Change the water often to keep it from freezing.
PUPPY PROOFING YOUR HOUSE AND YARD
Remove potential hazards.
Anything that would make an enticing chew toy--such as power cords, potted house plants, shoes and clothing and anything "bite sized" that could be ingested by a curious puppy. Outside, remove bite-size rocks, sticks, fertilizers, gardening tools and eqiupment. Also, be mindful of toxic household and garage items, such as antifreeze, detergents and tobacco products.
Tips for the FIRST DAY HOME
Your pup will be excited and anxious in his new environment. It is your job to make him feel safe and comfortable.
Although accidents will happen, do not reprimand your puppy during the first 24-48 hours while he is acclimating to the new environment. But do praise him profusely when he does something positive.
Structure is a must.
Have a planned schedule from the day your pup arrives--especially when trying to housebreak. Take your puppy outside frequently, and stay with him so that you know he has toileted.
It will take him some time. Show your pup where he will be eating, sleeping and toileting. As your puppy adapts to his new surroundings and routine, he will feel more comfortable.
Naps are important for a puppy.
Be sure to give him the space and time he needs to relax. Try not to overwhelm your puppy. He is like a new baby, and will need frequent naps throughout the day.
Start training early.
Dogs are pack animals and seek authority and reassurance from the pack leader. Providing this leadership is key to managing a dog's behavior.