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Why Do Some Dogs Sleep Belly Up?
(VETDEPOT on FEBRUARY 20, 2014)
Most of the time, dogs choose to snooze with their bellies facing down. This is done for two reasons: comfort and security. For centuries, dogs in the wild have curled up into a little ball while sleeping to keep warm on a cold night and to protect their vital organs from potential predators. Most domesticated canines tend to follow this rule and catch their z’s resting comfortably on their tummies. However, there’s always an exception to the rule.
A small percentage of dogs, around 5 to 10 percent, sleep with their bellies exposed to the air. Many factors can contribute to this behavior. Dogs that have a relaxed personality may be more likely to sleep on their backs. These are the dogs that are most temperamentally different from their wild ancestors. In other cases, dogs that are well-socialized, confident, and feel extremely safe in their own home might assume the belly-up sleeping position. Dogs with a shy personality aren’t likely to be comfortable with feeling so exposed.
Lastly, a dog’s sleeping position is sometimes simply a matter of preference. Some dogs just find it more comfy to roll over on their back during nap time.
Dogs and Chocolate
An Indulgence to Humans, Toxic to Dogs
Let’s face it. Most people tend to have a little chocolate tucked somewhere around the house. What many people don’t realize is that if their pup gets his paws on this rich treat it can trigger a number of toxic reactions including possible death.
"Approximately 97 percent of the cases involving chocolate toxicity are associated with dogs," says Dr. Justine Lee, associate director of veterinary services and emergency critical care specialist at Pet Poison Helpline, as “cats have a much more discriminating non-chocolate palate.”
Whether you live in a dog or cat household, it’s important to lock up chocolate safely in secured kitchen cabinets. This includes Halloween and Easter candy, along with less obvious sources like chocolate-flavored chewable, daily vitamins. When baking, make sure to keep chocolate chips and baking ingredients out of reach until immediate use; once you’re done making the treats, store them safely out of reach (like hidden away in the microwave). Prevention is always key when it comes to tasty chocolate!
Level of Toxicity
Different types of chocolate contain various levels of fat, caffeine and the substances methylxanthines. In general, the darker and richer the chocolate (i.e., baker’s chocolate), the higher the risk of toxicity. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs might experience vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures.
Dark chocolate is about 10 times as toxic as milk chocolate.
Death is actually very rare, only occurring in about 1 in every 3,000 chocolate intoxication cases. Small dogs or dogs with a history of diabetes, pancreatitis, or heart problems are typically more sensitive to chocolate than large, healthy dogs.
Dark chocolate is about 10 times as toxic as milk chocolate. To understand various levels of chocolate intoxication, here are some simple guidelines:
Lee recommends that when a dog ingests chocolate, owners should immediately call a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline’s 24-hour Animal Poison Control at 1-800-213-6680. “We can help guide owners in calculating just how much methylxanthine is ingested, and whether or not the amount will affect their pet.”
Depending on the severity of the situation, a pet owner might be instructed to induce vomiting at home or rush the dog to the clinic for activated charcoal treatment to absorb the toxins.
In non-life threatening circumstances, veterinarians might just tell owners what to expect (i.e., chocolate diarrhea, vomiting) and to keep an eye on the pet while the sickness passes.
If you're interested in reading more about pet toxicities, you may enjoy our story on the top pet toxins and other pet food toxins.
*A fee is billed by Pet Poison Helpline. PPH is not affiliated with VPI Pet Insurance.
Choosing a Dog Harness for the Car
(Dr. Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ - Pet Health Network)
2013 dog harness study
Luckily for dog lovers, the Center for Pet Safety* (CPS) set out to answer this very question in their "2013 Harness Crashworthiness Study." They had 3 main objectives:
The problem is that there are many different breeds, weights, and shapes of dogs out there so it is not that easy to create a universally safe harness.
Researchers created canine crash-test “dummies” with multiple weights and sizes, as well as a realistic center of gravity. They equipped each one of them with one of 20 harnesses -- made by 7 different companies.
Key harness safety factors -- in the event of an accident -- were determined to include the following:
Unfortunately, results of the study were very disheartening. Out of the 7 companies and 20 harnesses, only a single company provided a harness with optimal performance.
Sleepypod’s® Clickit Utility was the winner by far. According to the Center for Pet Safety the Clickit harness consistently kept the test dummies in their seats, and was the only restraint to offer substantial protection. The company provides harnesses to fit small, medium and large dogs.
So please remember, not all harnesses are created equal. In fact, most harnesses are not even adequate. When choosing a harness, make sure the proper testing has been performed. If you'd like to purchase the harness that outperformed the others in this 2013 test, it can be found at www.sleepypod.com/clickit.
Wishing you and you furry loved ones safe travels.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
Xylitol Poisoning...Sugar Substitute Is Toxic To Pets
Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly used in toothpastes, mouthwash, sugarless gum, certain cough medicines and children's chewable multi-vitamins. It also used in many baked goods and candies. This product is recommended for diabetics and those following a low-carbohydrate diet. However, xylitol is extremely dangerous to your dog.
How Xylitol Can Harm Your Dog
The effects of xylitol on your dog are immediate and can be very severe. Signs of toxicity can be seen in as few as 30 minutes, says the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Ingestion of any small amounts of the product will cause the rapid release of insulin in dogs and result in hypoglycemia, warns Dr. David W. Reinhard, a consulting veterinarian for VPI Pet Insurance. Hypoglycemia results in vomiting, weakness, and sometimes seizures. In some cases, xylitol poisoning can result in liver failure, Reinhard adds. As little as two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more pets are being treated for xylitol toxicity than in previous years.
Below are some of the symptoms associated with xylitol poisoning:
How Common is Xylitol Poisoning?
The number of cases animal poison control centers handle has substantially increased. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more pets are being treated for xylitol toxicity than in previous years. The rise is likely linked to the increase of xylitol in human foods, says the AVMA.
What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Xylitol.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a product that might contain xylitol, call your veterinarian immediately. If your vet is not available, seek help from the the Pet Poison Hotline at 800-213-6680. The Hotline's service is available 24 hours a day, every day.*
Prevent Xylitol Poisoning
Always remember that our food is not meant for our pets. If you don’t know the ingredients of a specific food, don’t feed it to your pet. If you are often purchase gum and food labeled “sugar free,” be sure not to leave it out where your pet can access it. Following common sense safety with your food items could save you pet — and you — much suffering.
*A fee is billed by Pet Poison Helpline. PPH is not affiliated with VPI Pet Insurance.
If you liked this story, read about toxic meds and toxic foods that can seriously harm your pets.
How to Trim My Dog's Eyelashes
( J. Taylor Ludwig, eHow Contributor , last updated March 08, 2013)
Certain breeds of dogs have wild, unruly eyebrows and eyelashes that you must trim occasionally if you want your dog to look like a show dog rather than a street mongrel. Schnauzers are especially known for fast growing eyebrows, as are some Yorkshire Terriers and Cocker Spaniels. You must be very careful when trimming your dog's eyelashes not to accidentally poke the dog in the eye with the scissors. Depending on your dog's temperament, the procedure can go quickly and smoothly or take over an hour.
Things You'll Need
Tips & Warnings
Tip of the Day: Coming When Called
(Dogs to Kevin)
A system that I go with when doing off leash hiking with my dog is if he comes back on his own without me asking, he gets 1 reward. If he comes back when I call and it was quickly, I will give two rewards. If he comes back when I call when there is a huge distraction I give a ton of rewards. I don't even think I count. Just one after another with plenty of sincere enthusiasm. Most importantly, after he comes when called and gets his reward, I release him to go off and run again. This turns it into a double reward system. Try this out, you should have a lot of success with it. Definitely use a long leash at first until you trust that your dog will come back every time you call.
Tip of the Day: Associating Touch with Things he/she Enjoys.
(All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC)
It is important to practice touching your dog all over its body. If you do this the right way it can make your dog enjoy being touched just about everywhere! But why is this important? This is important because the last thing you want is for someone to come up to your dog and randomly touch the wrong spot, which could result in a bite. Places that dogs are typically sensitive about are their feet, ears, muzzles, and genitalia.
What I recommend doing is one of two things. First you can try grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter and have the dog lick it while you touch everywhere. This will condition your dog to enjoy being touched in these spots. I recommend starting off with less sensitive areas like the top of the back and then slowly moving toward the more sensitive spots. Secondly, you can practice touching the sensitive areas, and then follow it with a treat. (Be cautious with this and make sure that you are using a super high value treat.)
The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
(Dogs Naturally Magazine)
Although supplements can be a confusing topic for many pet owners, most dog owners have heard of the benefits of feeding fish oils. There are however, a variety of oils that you can also use to your dog’s benefit, each with different actions and benefits.
Coconut oil consists of more than 90% saturated fats, with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). The main component (more than 40%) of MCTs is lauric acid, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).
Most of the coconut oil benefits come from the MCTs. For example, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.
In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.
According to Dr. Bruce Fife, certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects you from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.
Fed regularly to pets, coconut oil may have multiple benefits:
Why not give coconut oil a try and introduce it to your dog? It offers many benefits for your dog and is a more sustainable and less toxic source of oils than fish.
Pro-Pet LLC recalls dry pet food due to possible salmonella contamination
February 6, 2014
Another pet food recall has been announced. According to a press release issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 5, 2014, Pro-Pet LLC has recalled a limited number of dry dog and cat foods due to possible salmonella contamination.
Even though there have been no reports of illness related to these pet foods to date, the voluntary recall was issued because a single field test indicated products manufactured during a two-day period on one production line may have the potential for the contamination.
Those living in the following states should pay particular attention to this recall alert: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Please refer to the FDA press release for specific products, lot codes, best by dates and UPC numbers.
If you have purchased an affected product, you may contact the customer service line for Pro-Pet LLC at 1-888-765-4190 for further information. Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT.
How salmonella poisoning affects pets and humans:
Salmonella can affect dogs, cats and other animals eating contaminated products. There is also risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with a contaminated product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
If your pet has consumed the recalled product and presents these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice.
Hi, my name is Terry. I manage this website for my furbaby, Daisy. When I first became interested in the Shichons, I found it was difficult to get information on them. A few sites, I am using for information are excellent sources. Then, I moved on to compile and share more information on choosing a good breeder, grooming, health, behavior, training and much more. I hope you enjoy this site and find it helpful. I am NOT promoting any information, just sharing. You and your vet know what is best for your baby.