Tag Archives: pitbull

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!


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.

Top Myths of Dog Aggression Part I

9 Feb

Myths about dog aggression abound.  These myths put dogs, the people who love them, and the general population at risk. Based on my experience with owning a bully breed I find that this issue needs to be examined further by addressing a few of the many popular myths surrounding dog aggression and reactivity.  I will start this blog with the first myth and will post more in the coming weeks, along with great photos and videos of some dogs who have been put to the test.


A sweet puppy could not possibly grow up to be an aggressive, biting dog, right?  Wrong.  Nurture and nature are generally equally important in the creation of both dog and human behavior and personality.  It is relatively easy to create a reactive or aggressive dog, even in a puppy who has wonderful genetics – even in a puppy for whom grandparents and parents on both sides have been service dogs for generations.

How would you take such a wonderful puppy and create an aggression problem?

  • Don’t socialize the puppy – keep him inside your house or in your yard until his critical socialization windows are closed.  Wait until he is at least six months old before you introduce him to new dogs or people, then wonder why he is “freaking out.”  Wait until he has been rehearsing the behavior for a few years and then contact a trainer, saying “we need to fix this in two days, I’m having a baby this weekend!”  Get frustrated with the trainer when she can’t wave a magic wand and fix it.
  • Avoid teaching him how to use his mouth politely.  When he continues biting without improvement, simply throw him in a crate or relegate him to the back yard, hoping he’ll “grow out of it.”  Do not get help for the situation or reward him for soft-mouth interactions.  Do not hand feed to improve your bond and your dog’s bite inhibition.
  • Use flooding a lot.  If your dog is scared of other dogs, throw him in a room with 50 other large, bouncy, obnoxious dogs.  Keep hoping that “he’ll get over it.”
  • Make sure that the puppy has lots of unpleasant experiences around new people and other dogs.  Yell and jerk him around by his collar a lot.  Avoid setting him up for success, always work with him in environments where you know he will be unable to succeed (over threshold).
  • Ignore the puppy’s stress signals, keep pushing him past the limit of what he can confidently tolerate, thereby teaching him he cannot trust you to keep him safe.
  • Forget that your puppy has the mental functioning capacity of a 9 month old child, treat him like he’s a Guantanamo detainee!  Do lots of things to scare the crap out of the puppy – yell at him, punish him for resource guarding, spank him, shock him, alpha roll him, bite his ears, knee him in the chest if he jumps, etc.  This will teach him early on that the world is a scary place and since his people won’t protect him, defending himself with his teeth is a useful strategy for self-preservation.
  • Stop socializing the puppy the instant he turns four months old.  Avoid introducing him to any new dogs or people until he has reached maturity at 18 months – 4 years of age.
  • Ignore critical periods of development.  Second fear periods would never happen to a “nice” dog, right?
  • Avoid seeking professional assistance at the first sign of a problem.  Hope that it will just “go away on its own.”  Wait until you’re so frazzled by the dog’s behavior that you’re 48 hours away from having him euthanized to seek help, then give your trainer a two day deadline to “cure” him.

Congratulations!  You’ve created an aggression or reactivity problem!

Original Link to Myths taken from: http://blogs.dogster.com/dog-training/category/dog-aggression-myths-a-series/

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