I can remember when I was younger being told never to give our dog chocolate because it could make him sick. I didn’t question it until I found out that you couldn’t really grow an apple tree in your belly after eating the seeds. Chocolate poisoning in dogs is, however, not only real but also very common. The majority of pet owners don’t realize the potential for toxicity that chocolate possesses.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs in sufficient quantities. When dogs ingest theobromine, it begins to affect the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Signs include:
- Hyper excitability
- Hyper irritability
- Increased heart rate
- Increased urination
- Muscle tremors
How much chocolate is deadly? You have to take into consideration the health and age of the dog and the type and amount of chocolate consumed. It takes a fairly large amount of theobromine to cause a toxic reaction. The lethal dose for theobromine is between 100mg to 200mg per kg of bodyweight. As a rule of thumb:
- White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.
- Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level.
- Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20-pound dog; 1/6 pound for a 10-pound dog.
- Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog.
If you suspect your dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate, contact your vet immediately. Treatment will usually involve fluid replacement, sedatives and medication to reduce heart rate and blood pressure if the poisoning is severe. So think twice about offering your dog chocolate, it could be a fatal mistake.
I read an interesting article the other day about a dog (Luke) that had been picked up and put in the local pound in Oklahoma after roaming the streets. His owner, a 53-year-old woman, was informed that they would release Luke when a fence was built to contain him. The next day, however, the owner unfortunately passed away.
Rumors then began to fly about Luke being euthanized so one minor (17 years old) and two adults (18 and 22 years old), therefore, decided to break into the pound to get Luke out. The purpose of the breakout was to allow Luke to attend its owner’s memorial service. They were able to cut the lock at the pound with wire cutters but were greeted by the police as they left the building holding Luke.
As it turns out, the pound had no intention of euthanizing Luke, and the two adults were charged with second-degree burglary while the minor was cited and released to his mother. And no, Luke didn’t make it to the memorial service!
Humans aren’t the only ones who have allergy problems! Dogs too can develop and suffer from allergies. There are five known types of dog allergies: contact, flea, food, bacterial, and inhalant. Common signs of dog allergies include frequently scratching, licking the paws, or pawing at the ears. Sores can then develop and become infected and painful. Some dogs even lose their hair in these spots.
One of the most effective ways to relieve allergy symptoms is to give your dog cool frequent baths. Shampoos with aloe vera or eucalyptus might help with the itching. Your best bet is to consult with your veterinarian in order to get an accurate diagnosis and recommendation of the best method of treatment.
For allergies to dust and dust mites (inhalant allergies), vets often suggest using plastic or some type of waterproof liner to cover your dog’s bed and keep your dog off of upholstered furniture and carpeting. Also get rid of stuffed animal type toys for your dog. Dusting and vacuuming frequently will really help also. If the dog’s allergies involve pollen, stay away from fields or high grass and stay indoors on days when pollen counts are elevated
Contact allergies are the least common and result in a local reaction of the skin. An example is a reaction to a flea collar, and getting rid of the contact irritant solves this allergy problem. Speaking of fleas, flea allergies are quite common in dogs. The flea allergic dog has a severe itch-producing reaction when the flea’s saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes such intense itching that the dog may severely scratch or chew himself, leading to hair loss and bacterial infections on the open sores.
There are several species of Staphylococcus bacteria that live on normal dog skin. Some dogs, however, develop an allergy to this bacterium ( bacterial allergies). When this happens, the dog develops areas of hair loss that look much like ringworm. This can be treated with antibiotics to control the immediate problem and desensitization with Staph antigen for long-term relief.
The most effective way to manage dog allergies is to prevent them. There can be relief for your dog!
There really isn’t enough time to prepare you for the birth of a child. But after nine months and much thought and preparation, you are as ready as you are going to be. Well, the time finally arrives for you to bring your new bundle of joy home, but what about the big baby in your life, your faithful pooch, you left waiting for you at home? After all, it was getting most, if not all, of your attention before. Did your preparations include getting your dog ready for this new family member?
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Before the baby arrives home:
- Take your dog for a routine exam to make sure it’s healthy
- Have your dog spayed or neutered because sterilized dogs are usually calmer
- Familiarize the dog with new smells, like baby lotion and powder
- Bring something home with the baby’s scent for the dog to sniff
- Slowly adjust your dog’s schedule to fit the anticipated schedule needed for the new baby
- Gradually reduce the amount of time and attention you give the dog because that time will probably be spent on the baby
When the baby arrives:
- Have someone else carry the baby in the house so you can focus your attention on the dog like you usually do when you enter the house
- Allow the dog to explore the new smells associated with the baby
- Correct any bad behavior immediately
- Reward the dog so it associates good behavior with the baby with a positive experience
- Include your dog when going on family walks and other activities
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole!â€ ~Roger Caras
I heard this story on KSDK news and was touched by the actions of one eight-year-old girl from Atlanta. Katherine Hawkins is her name, and she was able to change the life of a golden retriever named Rocky. Rocky was under the care of the rescue group Adopt-A-Golden and needed surgery to repair a broken leg that previous owners neglected to take car of.
Katherine saw Rocky’s picture and fell in love with this adorable dog. She just had to help! Katherine started her mission by giving up her allowance, but she didn’t stop there. Katherine then sold cookies until she raised over a thousand dollars for Rocky’s surgery.
Thanks to Katherine’s love, determination, and hard work, Rocky was able to have the needed surgery. Katherine and her family have adopted Rocky, and Katherine decided to rename him Tanner since he is too sweet and loving for a name like Rocky! Tanner is now in post surgery therapy and loving every minute of the love and attention he is receiving from his new family. All for the love of Rocky!
Perhaps your dog is an Aries and is “The Leader of the Pack” or a “Snoop Dog” because he/she is a Scorpio and finding the perfect toy to satisfy your dog is challenging. If you are having trouble finding just the right toy to fit your dog’s personality, then I have a few cool toys for you to check out.
If your dog is the type that must keep busy to stay out of trouble, then how about the automatic fetch machine called GoDogGo. This toy is perfect for dogs with inexhaustible amounts of energy and can be found at http://www.buygodoggo.com/. It launches tennis balls for your active dog to retrieve over and over again.
Maybe your dog is not quite so active but loves to be playful. Then how about a Wubba found on http://www.wubbaworld.com/. These toys are great for the fetching, tug of wars, or just for chewing, and they are durable.
Some dogs, however, prefer to be challenged intellectually. For these problem solving canines, I found the Leo and Mini Leo at http://www.caninegenius.com/. These toys can be linked together and a treat placed inside to peak your dog’s curiosity. The treat will move from one toy to another until the puzzled is solved.
My yellow Lab, Knucky, died unexpectedly about two years ago, and I miss him greatly. Oh, how nice it would be to have him here with me today! I will always have wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. But what if, though, I could clone him? Would I do it? The answer for me is no. I can’t imagine spending that much money cloning a dog that might look like Knucky but not have an exact personality match. After all, it’s the package deal that I love and miss so much! I also don’t think it would sit well with me to know that I could rescue a yellow Lab from a shelter instead of trying to bring back Knucky just to make me happy.
A woman from California, however, has a different opinion. She recently asked RNL Bio, a South Korean company, to clone her dead pitbull terrier (Booger). She feels such an attachment to this dog since he saved her life from a vicious dog attack that she is willing to put up $50,000 to recreate him. This will be the first time a dog has been cloned commercially. RNL Bio will help Seoul National University stem cell scientists clone Booger since they succeeded in creating the world’s first cloned dog back in 2005. They were able to create a genetic duplicate of a 3-year-old male Afghan hound named Snuppy (Seoul National University puppy).
This, of course, sparked a great deal of opposition from animal rights groups and the U.S. Humane Society as well as veterinary associations and concerned citizens. One of the fights is that although you might get a dog that looks like the one you had, it might have health problems and cause suffering to the dog and perhaps death. Others claim that people have a false hope of getting an exact match of their dog in every way and that might not be true. It might have a different temperament, or it won’t retain all the training and nurturing it experienced over the years. On the other hand, Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh says the “primary goal is to advance medical, including veterinary medical, understanding of disease causes and to accelerate stem cell research to the clinic.” Well, the list of pros and cons goes on and on as well as the ethical and moral debate!
Hi, my name is Chip and I’m hear to say,
My life is great, especially when I’m getting my way.
I like to greet you with a sniff and a big wet one,
Who can deny that I’m so darn cute and a lot of fun!
Well, let me just begin by telling you a few things about myself. First of all, I am one big tough beast and the king of a little place I like to call home. After I have intimidated you with my ferociousness, I like to show my softer side by rolling on your feet and sitting on your lap. I have heard that humans like to treat dogs like children, so I cuddle in their laps like a little baby. It seems to make everyone happy (especially me). Well, a little pampering never hurt anyone!!!
Second, I know I am man’s best friend but sometimes I am very confused about my identity. It’s a bird…It’s a plane…No, it’s Super Chip. I mean I know that I can save the entire world when I’m called to duty, but I’m just confused as to why this part of my life has to be undercover. After all, I feel so powerful and in charge when I’m wearing the cape — I know I’m Top Dog! And, to tell you the truth, I know I look rather handsome in my red cape and the babes dig it!
Last but not least, I have a great sense of humor. I love to slowly (inconspicuously) inch my way up to the edge of board games that the family is playing. Then, all of a sudden, I roll across the board game, drawing all the attention where it should be — ON ME! It is just hilarious. In case you doubt my humor, here’s a little joke for you. What did Minnie say when Mickey asked if she was listening? I’m all ears so pbbbbbbbl!
Let’s pretend for a minute that a man and his wife are in Alaska looking for grizzly bears. Looking in different directions, both of them spot a bear at the same time. The man whips out his gun and shoots the bear he sees just as his wife takes out a camera a takes a picture of a peaceful bear sleeping she has spotted. One of them is going to jail for breaking the law. Yes, it is the wife! Stupid, you say. Well, Alaska is not alone with stupid animal laws. I, therefore, present to you a list of laws that make you go hmmm…
- It is illegal to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.
- It is illegal to educate your dog. (Hartford)
- Any dogs with tattoos must be reported to the police.
- It is a crime for dogs to mate within 500 yards of a church. (Los Angeles)
- It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting license.
- It is illegal to take a French Poodle to the opera.
- It is illegal to give lighted cigars to dogs.
- If you make ugly faces at a dog, you may be arrested, fined, or jailed.
- Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more.
- Hunting camels is prohibited.
- It is illegal to tie alligators to fire hydrants. (Detroit)
- You can’t walk a dog without dressing the dog in diapers first. (Temperance)
- Fights between cats and dogs are strictly prohibited. (Barber)
- It is illegal for elephants to plow cotton fields.
- If your dog barks after 6 pm, you can be fined and the dog impounded.
- It is illegal to keep an alligator in your bathtub.
- A policeman has the right to bite a dog to quiet him.
- You have one hour to notify the authorities, if you lose your pet tiger. (Canton)