Dogs at Christmas -beware
From your dog's perspective, Christmas is a time of the year when lots of unusual and exciting things are brought into your home, making it a very tempting time for them to get up to all sorts of mischief. Interesting foods, unusual plants and trees, attractive decorations and Christmas presents will all be of great interest to your dog, but some of these things may be harmful if eaten.
The list below may appear like a long list of things for your dog to avoid, but it is important to remember that they are not human, and that some human foods can be very dangerous to dogs. If you wish to give your dog a treat this Christmas, please ensure that it is something dog-friendly and avoid giving them the foods listed below.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs, as well as other animals such as cats, rodents and rabbits. Generally speaking, the darker and more expensive the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, and therefore the more poisonous it is. White chocolate contains very little theobromine and so is unlikely to cause chocolate poisoning, but is still very fatty and can still make your dog ill.Chocolate can initially cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but is a stimulant and so can lead to your dog becoming excitable, as well as developing muscle twitching, tremors, fitting and life threatening problems with their heart. Severe cases can be fatal.
Over the Christmas period make sure that all chocolate is out of the reach of your dog, this includes chocolate coins hung from your Christmas tree, advent calendars, boxes of chocolate put out on Christmas day and don't forget the wrapped chocolaty presents under your Christmas tree (just because its wrapped doesn't mean your dog can't smell it!). Although chocolate wrappers are not poisonous, they can cause an obstruction in the gut if eaten. This can be very dangerous and may require surgical intervention. Signs of an obstruction may include vomiting, lethargy, your dog being off their food, not defecating or finding it difficult to defecate.
Raisins, grapes, currants and sultanas
Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas are all toxic to dogs and it is believed the dried forms of these fruits are more toxic than grapes. It is not known why these fruits are toxic to dogs, or how much is poisonous. Some dogs have eaten large quantities of this fruit and had no effects, while others have become unwell after very small amounts.
At this time of year, it is therefore important that all foods that contain these fruits be kept away from your dog; these include Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, fruit cake, mince pies, stolen and especially chocolate covered raisins.
As well as possibly causing vomiting and diarrhoea, these fruits can cause kidney failure, which can sometime be delayed for 24 to 72 hours. Kidney failure may sometimes present as a decrease in urination, your dog may also appear dull, or show signs of increased thirst.
Prompt treatment is important. If your dog does eat any amount contact your veterinarian immediately.
Why these nuts are poisonous to dogs is not known, but macadamia nuts can cause your dog to appear weak (particularly in their hind limbs), dull, sleepy and they can sometimes appear wobbly on their feet, or they may appear in pain or stiff when walking. Vomiting, tremors, lethargy and an increased body temperature can also occur. These effects usually appear within 12 hours and may last up to two days.
Some macadamia nuts are covered in chocolate and so pose a double risk to dogs.
Roquefort and other blue cheeses contain a substance called roquefortine C, which is a substance produced by the fungus used to produce these cheeses. Dogs appear sensitive to this substance and in more extreme cases can cause dogs to quickly develop muscle tremors and seizures, which may last for up to two days.
Dogs are believed to be more sensitive to ethanol than humans and so drinking even a small amount of alcohol can cause effects. Certain alcoholic drinks may be more appealing to dogs, such as cream or egg based drinks. Dogs may develop similar effects to those expected in humans, including becoming drowsy, wobbly on their feet and in more severe cases they can develop low body temperature, low blood sugar, seizures and coma.
When cooked, all bones become brittle and can easily splinter. Eating chicken, turkey or goose carcases may cause larger pieces of bone to cause an obstruction, while smaller pieces may irritate the gut, or even penetrate the stomach or intestinal wall, which may require surgery.
When preparing your Christmas day meal, ensure that any meat is kept on the kitchen surface, or out of reach of your dog. When throwing away a carcass, take it to the outside bin, therefore avoiding any temptation for your dog to raid your kitchen bin during the night.
Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives all belong to the Allium family. These plants all contain a substance which can damage red blood cells in dogs and can cause life threatening anaemia. Signs may not present for a few days, but can include your dog vomiting, having diarrhoea or abdominal pain and they may appear sleepy, dull, weak, off their food and sometimes they may have rapid breathing. At Christmas ensure that your dog is kept away from sage and onion stuffing, onion based gravies or any other allium based foods.
Why chocolate Labradors have shorter lives than black or yellow ones
If you’re thinking about getting a Labrador, this study may influence which colour you go for. A new study has revealed that chocolate Labrador retrievers have a significantly shorter lifespan than their black and yellow counterparts.
Researchers from the Royal Veterinary College studied 33,320 Labrador Retrievers in the UK. The analysis revealed that the average lifespan for chocolate Labradors is just 10.7 years - 1.4 years shorter than black or yellow Labs. The team also found that chocolate Labradors are more susceptible to ear infections, with 23.4% affected, compared to just 17% of yellow labs, and 12.8% of black Labs.
Professor Paul McGreevy, co-author of the study, said: “The relationships between coat colour and disease may reflect an inadvertent consequence of breeding for certain pigmentations. “Because chocolate colour is recessive in dogs, the gene for this colour must be present in both parents for their puppies to be chocolate. “Breeders targeting this colour may therefore be more likely to breed between only Labradors carrying the chocolate coat gene. “It may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher proportion of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions.”
The researchers hope the findings will help breeders and vets to priorities approaches for tackling health concerns within the breed.
Here’s to 60 years of Blue Peter dogs, you’re welcome !
Here is some very useful information on how to clean your pets ears safely!
Shop of the month - August!
Dog hid inside oven for two days to survive wildfires raging through Greece wildfires!
Rescue workers have spoken about how a dog survived the Greek wildfires by hiding inside an outdoor oven. Loukoumakis was traumatised to the point of being unable to move when he was discovered in the remains of Mati, a town that was all but wiped off the map by the fires. He had crawled into a brick-built hollow behind a garden barbecue area as the inferno raged around him in the town east of Athens last week, killing at least 91 people in one of Greece’s worst natural disasters.
He was singed yellow from the smoke and flames of the fires and was struggling to breathe when he was found. Diana Topali, who is looking after him, said: ‘Even its eyelashes are burnt, I wonder how this dog survived.’ Vietnam's new 'god's hands bridge makes people feel they are walking on clouds' Artemis Kyriakopoulou, an animal rescue volunteer, was out searching with others when she came across Loukoumakis as she tried to gain access to another garden and lured him out with a tin of dog food. ‘I saw there was something like an (outdoors) oven, and I figured if anything were alive, it would be in there,’ Kyriakopoulou, 21, told Reuters Television.
Hundreds of pets and strays are believed to have perished in the blaze, which swept through the seaside town in a matter of hours.Loukoumakis, as he has been named by a vet, is believed to be a stray, aged about four and a half years. ‘He just looked like a burnt shaggy rug,’ Topali said. Girl, 7, gets sexist road signs changed after writing letter Today Loukoumakis has been groomed, is on antibiotics and is slowly recovering. He will stay with Topali until he finds his forever home. Kyriakopoulou added: ‘I’ve rescued a few animals from around here, most of them are so terrified they are completely quiet, so I need to check into the wreckage to find them.
‘This little guy was scared, burnt, starving and limping – I think he might have fractured his back leg. ‘It took me a couple of hours to convince him to come with me. ‘It’s so sad because we haven’t been able to find an owner – unfortunately in many cases, the owner has died in the fire. ‘I am soon heading back to Mati to look for more animals that might have survived.’
New TUFFY & MIGHTY toys on the website
•1 layer soft fleece on the outside.
•1 layer of industrial grade luggage material on the inside.
•1 layer of plastic coating on the inside.
SEWN MULTIPLE TIMES
All of the toy layers are sewn together to make one super strong layer of material. Each toy is sewn together with 2 rows of cross stitching and 2 rows of linear stitching. Some toys have an additional piece of black trim which protects the edging and makes the toy even stronger.
13 dog owners share funny stories which will make you howl with laughter
1. Nicole, London I have a chihuahua puppy who is always super-charged and once did something terrible on my friend’s three-year-old in the middle of Starbucks. You can imagine. He couldn’t help it, it just happens if he’s excited over attention, food etc. It was so embarrassing. The vet did say he would improve after neutering but it never happened.
2. Ryan O’Meara, editor of K9 Magazine Jackson: ‘Sorry’ (Picture: Ryan O’Meara) My first dog Jackson was a legend. 1/ Humping a world renowned spinal surgeon, when he was on the phone about an accident needing his help (batting off using Yellow Pages has no impact). They both returned to the room after the call finished sweating. 2/ Stealing a plate full of curry. The smells identified the culprit. 3/ Giving a Pringle back to the gift giver when he decided he didn’t like it. 4/ Destroying new shoes left out, only spotted out of the corner of the eye when being thrown in the air.
4.Charlotte, Birmingham We were walking our family dog and he spotted a family having a picnic. Before we’d even realised what he was up to, he’d rampaged onto their blanket, stolen the sandwich from their toddler’s hand and was merrily devouring whatever was in their hamper by the time we even reached him! Michelle, Bexley Used to have a dog that would escape the garden to nearby field, roll in manure then return and hide behind sofa, thus smearing the manure along wall and back of sofa. A real treat.
5.Gill, Worcester Pepperami thief Bailey (Picture: Gill Drinkwater) My dog Bailey ran over to some lads playing football, peed on his rucksack then stole his Pepperami and ran off. When I first had him at one year old, I decided to take him to training classes but he terrorised the other dogs. They refused to accept him in the normal class and he had to go to the class for badly behaved dogs. Should have called him ASBO.
6.Bea, Midlands Christmas Eve, me and my husband were preparing for Christmas lunch the next day. His family were coming over. When should you stop wishing people ‘Happy New Year’? Made cauliflower cheese but didn’t have any room in the fridge so clingfilmed it and left it pushed to the back of the counter. Next morning, come down to find Max the lurcher had enjoyed a midnight snack and had eaten part of the cauliflower cheese. Not gonna lie, we mixed the rest of it up and cooked it. No one was ill so it was fine.
7.Fiona, senior content manager at Pets at Home Angie and Chesney (Picture: Angie Keay) When I was about eight weeks pregnant and before I told anyone I was in a meeting with a colleague, Angie, and her dog, Chesney. Although our pets often come to meetings with us, I’d never spent much time around Chesney, so I was quite surprised when he snuggled up to me. Angie was a bit embarrassed and kept trying to remove Chesney, but he would just cuddle up again. When the meeting was over, Angie told a mutual colleague that Chesney had a history of snuggling up to pregnant women. I announced my pregnancy a few weeks later, Angie said she was so glad she had told our colleague about Chesney’s super-sense because otherwise no one would have believed her. The hormonal changes must have made me smell different to Chesney. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends and family; it’s now my favourite work story!
8.Steve, Worcestershire Growing up, we had an extremely naughty Staffie called Roady. He would eat pretty much anything given to him but seemed to have a stomach of iron. His first trip to the vets as a pup was because he had eaten an 18 inch long rubber tube and needed to have emergency surgery. Another time, after a long day at work, my mum bought our dad a kebab for his tea. Famished as he was, dad had literally just put the fork to his mouth as the doorbell went. The plate went down, but Roady was (thankfully) on his bed. In the time it took my dad to answer the door and come back through the hall, Roady had complete obliterated the plate full of food. Dad said it was even funnier because of the way Roady’s legs were moving faster than ever but they just slipped on the carpet in cartoon fashion.
9.Rae, London (Picture: Rae Martin) We went on This Morning with our four Chihuahuas debating why we let them sleep in our bed. All was going really well until one threw up. Mortified!
10.Chris, Oxford Our old dog was too lazy to walk from the living room to the back door so he used to jump in and out the living room window. This was fine until he forgot where he was and jumped out of my sister’s second floor window. Luckily he managed to land on the roof and sat there shaking like a leaf until we were able to get a ladder and rescue him.
11.Kristi, Midlands My Labrador Holly was a bit of a hooligan when she was a pup. I was walking her once and she spotted a class doing a bootcamp style workout in the next field in the middle of doing press ups at the time. Holly thought it looked like great fun and charged over jumping on top of the people doing the press ups. Most of them laughed but the leader in the military style outfit didn’t look amused.
12.Ceren, North London (Picture: Hillary Kladke/Getty) Lola once stole a bottle of water from a group of people enjoying a lovely picnic spread in Victoria park in the summer. Barkley once stole a football from a group of young boys playing football in the local park. He punctured it with his teeth so my dad had to give them a tenner to get a new one. So yeah, my dogs steal stuff. And sometimes the owners are just as bad…
13.Lisa, Leamington Spa (Picture: andresr/Getty) I was taking my dog to his monthly veterinary appointment and left myself plenty of time for the journey (it’s a Friday night, rush hour etc). I arrived at my destination pleased there was very little traffic and we had plenty of time to spare – too much time in fact. 25 things that will make everyone who feels the cold say ‘same’ Anyway, because I’m early I figure I’ll take him inside in the hope they could possibly see him earlier than scheduled. We walk into the familiar, cosy, little waiting room thrilled to find it empty and blindly ignoring the confused looks and furrowed brows of the receptionists. Up I go with a cheery ‘Hello, I know we’re early but…’ to be greeted by a wall of silence. Still the penny didn’t drop. Not until the massive grinning face of my very own GP appears around the corner do I realise I haven’t taken Bucky the 15 miles to his vets but taken him the four miles to my own doctor’s surgery. I just about managed to stutter ‘Oh bollocks’ before being escorted back to my car by my GP who is practically on his knees laughing.
Hot Weather Dogs: Tips for Keeping Your Canine Cool
Whether fluffy or sleek, most dogs can be healthy and active in the heat, provided they get plenty of access to drinking water and shade.That said, certain dog breeds have a greater appreciation for hotter climates—and all our pals could benefit from a little extra TLC in the summertime.
Tips for keeping cool through the dog days of summer
If you see the mercury rising, here are some tips to keep your canine cool:
- Offer an ice pack or wet towel to lay on.
- Add ice cubes to the water dish.
- Offer access to a wading pool with shallow, cool water.
- Offer access to cool shade by stringing up a tarp, cloth, or use a shade screen.
- Bring a collapsible water dish on your walks.
- Replace a portion of their regular diet with canned food.
- Avoid walking on hot pavement, and consider booties to insulate their toes.
- Early morning or evening playtimes, exercise, and walks are best.
- Give your dog some homemade frozen treats.
The best hot weather dog breeds
In general, dogs with thin, short coats—think: beagles, Chihuahuas, and Dalmatians—do best in the heat. Dogs with short noses and thick coats are less comfortable as temperatures rise.
Dog breeds originating in hot climates were born ready to face the heat: basenjis and pharaoh hounds, to name a few. High-speed hounds used for coursing and racing, mostly from the sighthound group, are all naturally gifted when it comes to beating the heat. Their long noses cool the air, and their big lungs and hearts distribute oxygen through their bodies. Salukis, greyhounds, and whippets are all members of this speedy group.
Heatstroke in dogs: know the signs
- Raised temperature (101.5° is normal)
- Rapid breathing and panting
- Excess salivation and thickened saliva
- Fatigue or depression
- Muscle tremors
If you spot these signs, get your dog inside and contact your vet.
Wrap your dog in cold wet towels, especially the underarm/belly/groin area. A fan may be used on the dog during the cooling process. Check your dog’s temperature every five minutes and end the cooling treatment when the temperature is down to 103°. Avoid cooling too rapidly to avoid shock. Allow access to cool water, but don’t force your dog to drink. Your vet may push IV fluids if dehydration is a concern.
Dehydration in dogs: know the signs
Sunken eyes, Lethargy , Dry mouth, Depression , Gently pinch a fold of skin at the top of the neck. Is it slow to snap back? Not all signs of dehydration are easy to detect. If you suspect your dog may be dehydrated, a trip to the vet is recommended.
Offer clean cool water. Try different bowls, adding a splash of carrot juice, chicken broth, or pieces of a favorite fruit to one of the bowls to encourage drinking. Some dogs enjoy a few ice chips in their water dish.
To shave or not to shave… Is that your question?
If your furry friend has a double coat like mastiffs, spitz, or terrier types, you may be tempted to simply shave off all that fuzz in hopes of keeping them cool. Before you break out the razor, you should know there can be several drawbacks to this solution, including a sudden lack of insulation and decreased sun protection.
Additionally, because longer guard hairs have a different growth cycle than inner insulation hairs, it can take years for some dogs to regain their natural appearance.
Elderly dog helps save girl lost in Australian bush!
Australian police have praised a dog for remaining with a three-year-old girl as she spent a night lost in bushland. The girl, Aurora, had been the subject of a large search after she wandered away from her home in Queensland. She was followed by her family's 17-year-old cattle dog, Max, who is partially deaf and blind. The dog stayed with the girl for 16 hours before relatives found them on a hillside on Saturday morning. Aurora's grandmother, Leisa Marie Bennett, said she had heard the girl call out from the location, about 2km (1.2 miles) from home. "I shot up the mountain and when I came to the top, the dog came to me and led me straight to her," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Relatives said Aurora had taken shelter with the dog under a rock as temperatures dipped to 15C (59F). She suffered only minor cuts.More than 100 emergency workers and volunteers had taken part in the search in Queensland's Southern Downs. Police praised Max's actions, and named him an honorary police dog. "At three years old, I would imagine that the young child would be very scared and frightened through the night and very cold," Insp Craig Berry said. "You can hope the dog was good company for the child and kept her warm. It's a positive outcome."