Tag Archives: dog training

Foods that are Poisonous to Dogs

17 Jan

As a pet owner it is our responsibility to make sure our dogs stay healthy. The following list contains some of the most poisonous foods for dogs that every pet parent should be aware of!

Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.

After the dog has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, many dog owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not happen for several hours, with possible death within a few days. A dog who ingested a large quantity of chocolate will exhibt symptoms that include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia, seizures, coma or death.

Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms of chocolate to a dog. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.

Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Onions and Garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.
Dogs affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body. Symptoms include Hemolytic Anemia, labored breathing, liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea, discolored urine.

The poisoning in dogs occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to puppies, can cause illness.

While Garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness in dogs.

Mushroom toxicity does occur in dogs and it can be fatal if certain species of mushrooms are eaten. Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic. Symptoms include Abdominal pain, drooling, liver damage, kidney damage, vomiting diarrhea, convulsions, coma, death.

Raisins and Grapes.  Few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however, of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Macadamia Nuts are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts. Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.

Stay tuned as this list will be updated with additional blogs on Poisonous plants and how Marijuana can affect your dog!


8 Great Tips for New Pitbull Owners

6 Mar

If you are a new dog owner there are some steps to follow that will ensure you raise your pittie with love and proper care.  These 8 tips will help you to become a good owner and make for a balanced pet!

  1. Vaccinate your Pitbull aka ‘Staffordshire’ Terrier when you first get him, and see that he gets yearly booster vaccinations to maintain his immunity to disease. Consult your veterinarian about flea control products and de-worming your dog.
  2. Feed your American pit bull terrier high-grade dog food. The fresher the better.  The first ingredient should be meat if you want a quality product. Crude protein should be no less than 30 percent and crude fat no less than 20 percent. The fiber content needs to be 4 percent or less.  This balance of nutrition is important to physical health and for optimum energy, a nice shiny coat and a happy dog. Stay away from products with corn gluten meal, dried beet pulp or artificial food coloring such as yellow 5 red 40, or blue 2.
  3. Socialize your pit bull when he’s young to be with people and other animals. Establish your authority over your dog and be sure to take him to public areas, giving strangers the opportunity to pet and play with him. This will help the dog develop an even temper.  Any dog can become fearful or aggressive with bad experience, but there is a known stigma attached to this breed that incites a societal fear in humans.  This fear can and will transfer into the animals, and as a pitbull owner you must take extra precaution by good training and understanding dog communication so that you can make your dog the example of how a good pet should behave.
  4. Start obedience training as early as possible. Because this is a dominant breed, it’s important to be able to control your pit bull by voice alone. Positive reinforcement will go further than physical, as this breed is very eager to please.
  5. Give your pit bull vigorous exercise for a minimum of 45 minutes a day. This is an active breed, and the dog will require a lot of activity.  Pitbulls are best in short sprints at fast speeds, so playing fetch and keeping them challenged is a good idea. Keep him on leash when out in public and avoid dog parks to avoid potential fights or negative experiences with other unbalanced dogs.
  6. Brush your dog’s coat daily with a firm-bristle brush. Shampoo as needed. American pit bull terriers are medium shedders with short hair.  The good news is they dry off easily and if they attract fleas or ticks they are easy to find and get rid of.
  7. Understand that American pit bull terriers are prone to certain health conditions such as cataracts (cloudy eye lens) and hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint).  With proper nutrition and daily exercise you can work to keep your dog healthy throughout it’s life, but these are things to be on the look out for.
  8. Expect male and female American pit bull terriers to grow to 18 to 22 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 80 lbs. They come in black nose, blue nose and red nose varieties, with varying degrees of color. The Pitbull terrier will live about 12 years.

Full grown adult female Pitbull aka 'Staffordshire' Terrier

New Pitbull puppy just a few weeks old

Stay tuned for more Pittie Love to come soon! Keep your pet balanced with regular leashed walks and plenty of exercise daily.

Quiz: What kind of Dog Breed are you?

3 Mar

There are more dog breeds than almost any other species on the planet.  And thanks to human science, specialty breeding and consumer choices of what we look for in a choice member of the family, dogs come in every shape and form.

So dogs are not too different than humans? Well the truth is dogs are a lot more like their human companions than we think.  Sure they are all uniquely different in terms of dog socialization, dog training and experience. But science has put genetics to the test and determined different categories of dogs, depending on looks, temperament, color, markings, intelligence and physical ability.

There are a few ways to look at different breeds, which can change depending upon the observer.  Personal preference, status, and popularity of certain breeds change often with society’s perception.  So what breed of dog do you love the most?

If you were a dog, would you be a Pitbull Terrier? A feisty Chiuaua? An English Sheepdog? A border collie?  I was surprised to find out that I’m a Golden Retriever.

What Dog Breed Are You Most Like?  Take the Quiz

10 Dog Breed Categories:

  1. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs
  2. Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid Breeds
  3. Terriers
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Spitz and Primitive types
  6. Scenthounds and Related Breeds
  7. Pointing Dogs
  8. Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs
  9. Companion and Toy Dogs
  10. Sighthounds

The Kennel Club (UK), the world’s original and oldest standing kennel club,  organizes dogs into 7 groups.

Learn what wikipedia says about each breed after you take the Quiz. Can you figure out which group you belong in?

  1. Hound Group
  2. Gundog Group
  3. Terrier Group
  4. Utility Group
  5. Working Group
  6. Pastoral Group
  7. Toy Group

Post your Breed in the comments and share the quiz with friends. Let’s see how many different breeds there are of human!

Pittie Love to all…

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Top Myths of Dog Aggression Part II

17 Feb

Dog aggression is a common problem, just like aggression in people.  It doesn’t matter what nationality you are and it doesn’t matter what breed the dog is.  Aggressive tendencies are linked mainly to social environment, upbringing, and training in both people and dogs.  Here are some myths associated with aggression as it relates to dogs. Awareness is key to understanding how to train your dog and teaches us how to deal with other dogs on a daily basis.  So what is all the fear about anyway?

Let’s re-invent segregation and discrimination against dogs because of what they look like. We can call it breed specific legislation. Government agencies, landlords, insurance companies have found a new way to create a virtual holocaust of canine victims. Proponents would like you to believe that only pit bulls, German Shepherd Dogs, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Chows, etc. are aggressive dogs and that Labs, Goldens, Beagles, and other “nice” dog breeds would never bite.  This is inherently and patently false. Socialization history, the ability of the owner to manage the dog, how well the dog has been taught bite inhibition, and the dog’s life experiences are far more likely to determine his bite risk than his breed.  Don’t believe everything you read. Punish the Deed not the Breed.

There are pit bulls functioning as service dogs.  German Shepherd Dogs are famous for their work with law enforcement, as are Rottweilers, Dobermans, Belgian Malinois, etc.  There are also Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Basset Hounds who have sent folks to the hospital for bite treatment.  Dogs of any breed can and will bite.  Some dogs may do more damage than others, some dogs may be more tolerant of the precursors for aggression (see above), some dogs may be more genetically predisposed to having soft mouths, etc., but all dogs can and will bite in a “perfect storm” situation.

People laugh when a small dog growls and bites.  Oh, a Chihuahua?  Biting? It won’t hurt. Small dogs are better around children because they are virtually harmless.  Wrong!  All domestic dogs are equipped with teeth made for biting and tearing prey.  Though a larger dog may have a more powerful bite, small dogs are often times more likely to attack mainly because owners often don’t see a potential threat and fail to properly train them.  It is also easier for a small dog to bite more delicate areas of the body, and attack a child that is more at its level.

Small dogs are picked up and carried around a lot.  This only makes aggression worse! Owners do this to for a number of reasons – they may want to make the dog feel safe or see it as a way of protecting their guests and other dogs from those tiny but razor-sharp teeth.  Little dogs are generally more insecure and imbalanced as a result – think of it as the Napolean complex. If a dog feels insecure, it will bark, growl, and bite in response to its own fears.  Small dogs are often products of puppy mills and inbreeding and poor puppyhood social experience, which makes it even more important to train these dogs and avoid treating them like a child.

Stay tuned for Part III on Dog Aggression Myths coming in a few days….

Information in this post is based on original content that can be found here

Contents are the property of animal lover and proud pit bull owner Angela Bratrud. Reposts and retweets are welcome! Subscribe to my blog feed for great information on dogs, bully breeds, training and especially our beloved pitbull terriers.

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