Nipping Dog Food Allergies in the Bud

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Dogs have allergies

Photo by Christal Yuen on Unsplash

If you see your dog biting his paws, scratching or obsessively licking, he could have a food allergy – a condition which can take its toll on his digestive system as much as his skin. The very first step to take if you suspect your dog might be allergic to food is to visit your vet. Although dogs only show signs of irritation initially, allergies can cause serious problems and can even be life-threatening. In this post, we discuss the nature of food allergies and offer suggestions to stop them quickly and efficiently. Your dog will still be able to enjoy all his favorite treats, so long as these are allergen-free.

Foods Based Triggers

Like human beings, a plethora of foods can cause dog allergies, though ‘the usual suspects’ are chicken, pork, rabbit, lamb, beef, egg, corn, wheat, soy, and dairy foods. Interestingly, most of these foods are proteins. Your dog could be allergic to one or more ingredient.

In case you wonder how your dog develops a food allergy, the process is as follows: in a healthy dog, any food consumed will be broken down into nutrients and amino acids that pass from the GI tract to the bloodstream. In dogs with leaky gut, however, nutrients which have not been fully broken down make their way into the bloodstream, thus wreaking havoc on the immune system. Food allergies in dogs essentially arise from ‘leaky gut syndrome’,a condition that also affects humans.

Elimination and Experimentation with Novel Proteins

Your vet will usually prescribe a specific diet incorporating just one protein and one carbohydrate – for instance, chicken and rice. Your dog will remain on this simple diet for a couple of months and you can slowly start replacing ingredients, one by one, until you identify an allergen. Some vets recommend sticking to the first combination that works, but eventually your dog could develop an allergy to these two foods as well, so working your way up to a varied diet is a better long-term option.

Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Pets recommends using new proteins your dog has not consumed before when starting the elimination diet, including “ostrich, beaver, quail, pheasant, rabbit, venison, bison, goat, duck, elk, alligator, and kangaroo.” It is important to feed dogs food from different families than those they are accustomed to, to give the body a chance to detoxify. It is probably best to refrain feeding your dog foods they have been reactive to in the past, since you can undo the good work that the elimination diet has achieved.

To battle common dog food allergies, it is important to create an elimination plan with your vet. You may be recommended a veterinary diet or home-cooked diet designed by a veterinary nutritionist. Remember to keep it basic and be watchful for signs and symptoms of a flare-up. Finally, patience and commitment are key to finding a combination that works for your pooch.

Top Tips for Protecting Your Dog in Winter Weather

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Guest Blogger: Bernie Boxer

Dog in winter

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Winter brings special challenges to dog owners.  When temperatures drop and freezing weather moves in, you’ll need to take extra measures to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable.  Here are some tips for managing hazards the season brings.

Winter wellness.  Chilly weather can aggravate certain medical conditions such as arthritis.  If your dog hasn’t seen your veterinarian prior to winter, it’s important to make an appointment for an exam.  What’s more, as the American Veterinary Medical Association points out, dogs who are in top physical condition fare best facing winter weather.

Know your pooch.  Every dog is different, and just like people some mind the cold more than others.  There are physical factors that can affect how well your dog tolerates colder conditions, such as body fat stores and coat length.  Age and medical conditions can also weigh into your dog’s comfort during winter.  Bear all this in mind and make choices based on your dog’s personal comfort zone.  For example, dogs with shorter coats or who tend to get chilly benefit from a sweater or jacket when they go outside to potty. Continue reading

Pet Proofing Your Home

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Neil Foto, Community Outreach Coordinator for ADTSecurity.com sent us an email to recommend an amazing resource link, an interactive pet safety guide for new pet owners.

I think visitors to your site will enjoy this guide as it offers them the chance to click different rooms of the house and be provided safety concerns that are specific to that room. There is also a checklist for new pet owners and a list of essential supplies they will need.

Please check out this comprehensive guide and add the link to your site as an additional resource for your readers.

Thanks, Neil.  We encourage our visitors to check out this pet safety guide to pet proofing your home.

Pet Safety Guide

Pet Safety Guide – ADT Security Blog

Dog Defense: Protecting Your Pooch From Harmful Chemicals

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

An interesting study, conducted in 2012 found that household cleaners increase cancer risk in dogs. Even the cleaners that aren’t detrimental to your health can be hazardous for your dog, and it’s this blind spot that we often run afoul of as human beings.

Protect your dog from harm

Photo by Alexandru Rotariu on Unsplash

So what can you do? What chemicals are in, and what are out, to make sure your house is kept dog-friendly but clean? There are various natural dog-friendly household cleaners, of course, but if you have a supply of store-bought chemicals, here’s what you should know.

Chemicals Your Pet Loves

Whilst many chemicals can harm humans, a greater amount of household chemicals can also harm dogs. And the kicker is that your pet may actively seek them out! As you may well know, dogs – and animals in general – love certain smells and objects that are attractive, but not very good for them. Our noses are trained through learning to avoid such things, but animals obviously don’t have that knowledge. Take antifreeze, for example; the main ingredient is ethylene glycerol, which can damage your dog’s kidneys. However, your dog may be drawn to it, as antifreeze has a sweet smell.

When you’ve got a sweet smelling chemical, or one you’re unsure about in the house, just make sure your dogs can’t reach it. Continue reading

3 Vinegar-Based, Pet-Friendly Garden Maintenance Alternatives

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Fountain

Photo by John Wilson on Unsplash

It’s important to have an outdoor space that everyone can enjoy, from you right down to Fido. Everyone loves to relax or play in a well-maintained yard or garden. However, there are many products that are regularly used for routine lawn and garden maintenance that are toxic to pets. 55, 516 pets are affected by toxic substances each year; the most common sources of poisoning are cosmetic and cleaning products. To prevent accidents and make sure that everyone enjoys the outdoors safely this fall, here are some cleaning alternatives that are healthy and safe for the environment and your pet.

Fountains

Many people choose to spruce up their garden with a feature piece such as a fountain. It’s a great, easy way to add value and charm to an outdoor space. To keep up the value and allure, regular maintenance is a must. Many sources recommend cleaning fountains with a mild soap or dish detergent. While this may yield cleanliness as a result, it can be potentially harmful to the water table and your dog, if ingested. A better, more eco and pet safe method for cleaning your outdoor fountain, is to use one cup of white vinegar per one gallon distilled water. The vinegar will help break down mineral and algae deposits, while distilled water will help prevent minerals from building up in the first place. Additionally, your dog won’t come to any harm if he decided that the water looks drinkably good.

Birdbaths   

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Can You Help This Dog See Again?

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Please Help Boston Terrier Get Cataract SurgeryDog Needs Cataract Surgery

When any of our dogs have had health problems, we of course want to do whatever we can to give them the very best medical care. Can you imagine how you would feel if you learned your dog was going blind? Sadly, Our friends Brett and Hillary are dealing with this heartbreaking ordeal in their family. We have known Hillary since she was a young girl and were thrilled to see her get married to her loving husband and bring into their family two cute little Boston Terrier Dogs, Gin and Tonic. We recently heard that 3 year old Gin needs cataract surgery. Poor little Gin wants to play with her brother, Tonic, like she used to before her eyes developed severe cataracts.

We are reaching out to our readers to ask for your help. Hillary and Brett have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the expense of the cataract surgery. Please consider a small donation. I know every little bit will help.

Julie, Murry, and Blue Belle – DogBlog – A Dog’s Eye View

Can You Join Our Family and Help Gin See Again?

GoFundMe Page:  https://www.gofundme.com/helpginseeagain

Please pass it on to your followers. Gin and Tonic will love you for your compassion.  Blue Belle thinks it will be cool too!

Boston Terriers Gin and Tonic