Blue Dog Blog

The Latest News from the Pack at Blue Dog Bakery

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Sure, you might be feeding your dogs all natural, healthy food and treats. And you probably even make sure they get enough exercise to keep that rockin' bod. But let's face it - they're dogs. And they will likely get into some things they're not supposed to get into from time to time. Like the trash can. Or the pantry. Or even plates of food that you leave out. 

There are several things around your home that are terribly unhealthy and toxic for your pets to consume. Some are pretty obvious and some might have never crossed your mind. Here are some of the biggest pet threats in and around your home that you might want to move to higher grounds or eliminate altogether. 

Pills and Medications - Human prescription pills and over-the-counter medicines are the #1 source of animal poisoning. Properly secure all medicines, creams, and vitamins so they are out of reach from your pets and children.

Some of the most common and harmful medications include: 

  • Prescription anti-inflammatory and pain medications. These can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers or kidney failure in dogs.
  • Antidepressants. Ingesting these can lead to vomiting or serotonin syndrome - a condition that raises heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and causes seizures. 
  • Blood pressure medications. 
  • Tylenol, ibuprofen, Advil.
  • Fish oil and joint supplements.

Insecticides - Applying flea and tick prevention applications might seem like you're doing your dog a favor, but you should ALWAYS read the label and make sure the product is made specifically for dogs. Also, store these in an out-of-reach location so your dog does not run the risk of ingesting items. 

People Food - They sure will beg for any and everything you are eating, but that doesn't mean you should always give in. Especially if you're eating a guacamole covered grape. Some of the foods we eat are great for us, but can be sometimes fatal for dogs. Be careful about letting your dog consume any of the following: 

  • Raisins and grapes. These fruits will induce kidney failure in dogs. Even the smallest amount can cause problems in some dogs.
  • Chocolate. Chocolate contains methylzanthines that can cause vomiting in small doses and death if ingest in large quantities. Darker chocolates contain more of these dangerous substances than milk or white chocolate, so be extra, extra cautious with these. Caffeine and coffee have similarly dangerous chemicals. 
  • Avocado. Eating avocados will cause a dog to have vomiting and diarrhea, caused by a substance called persin. 
  • Macadamia Nuts. Overheating, weakness, and vomiting are all symptoms a dog will possess after the consumption of macadamia nuts. 
  • Xylitol. This is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gums, toothpaste, and some candies. Ingestion can cause a drop in blood sugar, resulting in weakness and seizures.

Plants - They sure do look pretty, but you should do everything you can to keep your dog from getting too friendly with your azaleas. Here are some common household plants that are toxic to your pets. 

  • Azaleas and rhododendrons. These may cause vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and potentially death. Avoid these!
  • Tulips and daffodils. The bulbs of these plants may cause stomach problems, convulsions, and increased heart rate. 
  • Sago Palms. Even eating a few seeds can lead to vomiting, seizures, and liver failure.

Cleaning Supplies - This one is pretty obvious. Keep them locked and out of reach. 

Paint - Just as you would tell your children to not chew on anything that has been painted, neither should your pet. Especially avoid paints that claim to have antibacterial or mildew fighting claims. They lead potentially thyroid damage. 

Lawn Care Supplies - Your lawn and garden care products may be poisonous to pets that ingest them. Malignant lymphoma is more likely to occur in a dog who's owners have a chemically treated lawn. 

If you think your dog has been poisoned, stay calm and gather any of the leftover product you believe has been consumed. It is also helpful if you can collect a sample of vomit for your vet to evaluate. Then call your animal's vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. They are available to answer questions and provide guidance 24 hours a day for a $60 consultation fee. 

 

Here at Blue Dog Bakery, we take the health and safety of our pets very seriously. As summer approaches, it is important to remember that dogs, unlike humans, can only release heat through their paws and panting. They are unable to sweat, and therefore it takes some extra planning to help keep them cool and healthy during the summer.

Here are a few tips for how you can keep your pooch safe from the heat:

  • Never leave your dog in the car during the summer, even if just for a few minutes. Even when the windows are cracked, temperatures in a car can reach over 100º in just a few minutes and up to 160º in just 10 minutes. 
  • Always give your dog access to fresh, cool water. Some companies are even coming out with water bowls designed to keep water cool, such as this one.
    • Thank you to Amy S. of Cazenovia, NY for sending over another way to do this! Fill half a bowl with water and freeze overnight. In the morning, fill your dog's water bowl halfway and then invert the frozen water into the bowl. This will provide your dog with cool water all day long!
  • There are plenty of products out there to keep your dog cool if s/he isn't able to be in an air conditioned home. This self cooling pad is one of them.
  • Although we strongly encourage working out with your pet, your dog will likely go past his safety point without you notice when exercising in the heat. During the hot summer months, the best time to exercise with your pet is in the early morning and after the sun goes down.
  • If your dog has long/thick fur, consider cutting it short.
    • Shaving the fur to the skin can promote sunburn, but shaving it to just a few inches off the skin can protect from sunburn while helping keep your dog cool.
  • Don't be scared to call the police/your local humane society for help if you see a dog locked in a car on a hot summer day. It could save his/her life!
Symptoms of heat stroke for look for in dogs:
  • Heavy panting.
  • Dark red gums.
  • Excessive drooling/foaming that is out of the ordinary for your dog.
  • Extreme lethargy.
  • Diarrhea/vomiting - this is a sign of dehydration.
  • A dog's normal body temperature is around 101º. If your dog's body temperature reaches over 104º, s/he may be overheating.
What you can do if you suspect heat stroke in your dog:
 
  • Get the dog out of the heat and into a cool area immediately.
  • Since blood vessels are close to the skin, pouring cool water on your dog will help cool him down. Never use ice water, as this is too drastic of a temperature change and can induce shock.
  • Offer the dog cool water, but don't force him to drink as this may induce more vomiting.
  • Call your vet immediately. Emergency animal hospitals and/or your vet can quickly help your dog rehydrate and recover with IV fluids and oxygen.

Spring is approaching and that means a few things - sun, blooming of flowers/plants, and allergies. While we often think of allergies in humans, sometimes we forget that our dogs can get allergies as well!

Spring allergies in dogs are often similar to Hay Fever, which can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Persistently itchy skin
  • Scratching/biting at skin to get relief
  • Open sores and infections from persistent scratching
  • Sneezing

Tips that may provide relief:

  • If you suspect that your dog has seasonal allergies, always speak with your vet. S/he will be able to diagnose your dog accordingly. 
  • Your vet can often prescribe oral/topical medications, such as antihistamines. 
  • Oral fatty acids made for dogs can often help soothe skin from the inside out. These can be found in both pill and liquid form. 
  • Frequent bathing with soothing shampoos made for sensitive skin. 
  • Removing your dog from the allergen is key. 
    • If you have found that your pooches skin gets irritated whenever s/he goes outside alone, make sure they aren't rolling around to help decrease symptoms significantly.

Best of luck providing relief for your beloved pooch!