December 30, 2011

Foods That Dogs Shouldn’t Eat

Filed under: Dog Digestive System,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 12:30 am

dangerous dog foodsMost people know that some food is dangerous and toxic for dogs. For example, dogs and chocolate don’t mix. It can lead to chocolate poisoning. But, there are many other foods that can also cause your dog harm.  Here’s a quick-reference list of dangerous dog foods.

Avocado

Avocado contains a lot of persin.  Persin may be harmless to humans, but it can be toxic for dogs as a dog allergy.

Alcohol

Alcohol poisoning can happen quite easily in your dog, even if your dog is only given a small amount.  Further, the smaller the dog, the greater the effect of alcohol on the dog.

Coffee, Tea and other Caffeine

Caffeine in large doses can be fatal. And since dogs are so much smaller than humans, ‘large doses’ happen much more easily. Caffeine poisoning symptoms include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits and bleeding.

Grapes and Raisins

Even just a small amount of grapes and raisins could result in kidney failure in your dog.  Kidney disease symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and depression.

Milk and Dairy

Milk and milk-based products will result in dog diarrhea, so watch out!  Don’t be tempted to give your dog a lick of your ice cream cone on a hot day!

Macadamia Nuts

These nuts can be fatal for your dog. As few as six raw or roasted nuts could result in poisoning, producing symptoms such as muscle tremors, weakness, paralysis, vomiting and a rapid heart rate.

Keep the macadamia nut cookies away from your dog, especially the ones with chocolate in them!

Candy and Gum

Watch out for diet foods with xylitol, as xylitol can result in a decrease in your dog’s blood sugar levels.  Symptoms from a drop in blood sugar can include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination.

Chocolate

The actual toxic ingredient for dogs in chocolate is called theobromine.  It can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive thirst. It can also lead to tremors, seizures and death.

Bones

While not actually poisonous, bone splinters can case internal damage or choking hazards. It’s best to only give your dog bones from pet stores.

Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

While humans know not to eat the seeds in these fruit, dogs do not!  A dog can have an obstruction if it eats a pit.  Additionally, these pits contain small traces of cyanide.

Salt

Too much salt will cause excessive thirst and urination. It can eventually lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature and seizures.

Sugary Foods and Drinks

Too much sugar will result in the same maladies as it does in humans: obesity, dental problems, and the possible onset of diabetes. Diabetes in dogs works differently than in humans. Usually, dogs don’t contract type 2 diabetes, instead just having their insulin systems shut down completely.

Your Medicine

Human medicine is not suitable for dogs.  In fact, reactions to drugs commonly prescribed to humans are the most common cause of poisoning in dogs.

Drugs containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be deadly for your pet!

Dr. Loridawn Gordon

Why Does My Dog Eat Poo?

Filed under: Dog Behavior — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 12:20 am

While it is a truly revolting habit, many dog owners are confounded and confused by their dog eating poo.  Although it may seem counter-intuitive, there are a variety of environmental and biological reasons why dogs eat poo.  This article will detail not only the reasons why dogs eat poo, but also ways you can get your dog to stop this dirty habit.

There is a variety of reasons why your dog may eat poo, which can lead to your dog developing Coprophagia (i.e. the habitual and deliberate ingestion of eating poo that is neither incidental nor accidental).  First off, some veterinarians argue that dogs were “born” to eat poo, since their ancestors ate poo too survive – their ancestors ate anything that was edible.  Secondly, dogs may learn this behavior from their mother, who eats the poop of her newborn puppies to keep the environment clean.  Alternatively, in a multi dog household, the lesser member of the hierarchical wolf pack will eat poo as an act of submission.  Another possible explanation is that dogs eat poo as a result of house training lessons – when an owner gets mad at a dog for defecating inside, the dog will commence eating its poo, in order to get rid of the “evidence.”  Some veterinarians suggest that the reason why dogs eat poo is because it contains many nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy functioning system.  In fact, some argue that a dog’s system is not yet well adapted to the new modern diet, which contains more plant proteins and less meat.  As such, this reasoning suggests that dogs eat poo to replenish the necessary nutrients to facilitate proper functioning.  The last possible example is environmental.  Some suggest that dogs eat poo in order to gain their owner’s attention, especially if they are bored or lonely.  Further, by scolding the dog for eating poo, it only reinforces the behavior.

So, now that you are aware why your dog eats poo, how can you get him/her to stop eating poo?

In addition to the following below advice, you should take your dog to your veterinarian to seek council.

dog eats pooFirst and foremost, you must make sure your dog gains all necessary nutrients.  You can ensure this by feeding your dog a high grade level dry kibble.  If you do not feed your dog a kibble with enough nutrients, the problem will continue, and perhaps worsen.  Additionally, you should think about supplementing your dog’s dry kibble with dog vitamins.

Many of the possible reasons explored above have one thing in common: stress.  Thus, if you eliminate your dog’s stress and anxiety level, it is likely that your dog will stop eating poo.  Make sure your pet dog has enough exercise and that you are giving him/her praise for their good behavior.  If the dog is still anxious/stressed, think about taking him/her to a certified trainer.  Additionally, think about using a natural stress-reduction remedy.

This next point goes along with the last point – it is imperative that you keep your pet occupied and happy.  Play games with your dog and make sure that he is occupied through companionship and toys.

Lastly, maintain a clean living environment.  If things are clean and in order, which includes having the dog feces picked up and removed from the environment quickly, then there will be no need for your dog to eat the waste.  A clean environment will also help alleviate stress.

December 17, 2011

Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Filed under: Cat Behavior — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 1:28 am

You open the door to let your pet cat outside, and your little friend runs immediately to the grass to start munching away on a nice, leafy, green meal. If you’re like many pet owners you may find A pet cat eating fresh grassyourself watching your pet, wondering why it has such a desire to chow down on all the foliage in your general area—and if you are, you are certainly not alone. In this blog post we’ll tackle the age-old feline question:

Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

The short answer is there is no short answer.

No one—pet owners, vets, scientists—really know why cats eat grass, but like all great cat mysteries, there is no lack of theories which purport to know the feline truth beyond it all. One thing most people seem to agree on is that cats are not eating grass for nutrition. Cats are not vegetarians; in fact, they require meat as part of a healthy diet.

Hairballs and Indigestible Matter.

Cats are carnivores, but unlike some carnivores cats pay little attention to the difference between bone, fur, and meat. When a cat swallows an entire mouse whole, the digestive enzymes in the stomach will dissolve the meat while leaving the bones and hair to sit in the cat’s stomach. Some vets have theorized that cats eating grass helps to expel these hair/bone balls from prey in their system such that a potentially sharp, protruding mass does not have to pass through the cat’s intestines.

This same hairball expulsion theory is often times applied to regular cat hair collected through a cat’s regular cleaning of its coat with its tongue.

naturelax-natural-laxative

Folic Acid

One of the things that is beneficial for a cat which is found in grass is folic acid, something found in a cat’s mother’s milk. A deficit of folic acid can lead to anemia; a young cat’s growth can be stunted if they do not receive enough folic acid. Some vets have theorized that cats eat grass because they know (instinctively) when they need to up their levels of folic acid, and they eat a sufficient amount of grass accordingly.

Grass is Nature’s Laxative

The last theory involves, instead of throwing up hairballs and other indigestible, eating the broader part of a grass plant to instead induce a laxative effect. Grass can introduce some fiber and mass into the system helping them to pass worms or fur through a cat’s intestinal tract. If you think that your cat is having trouble with digestion beyond the scope of some grass, try our Naturelax Formula for Cat Constipation.

They just like it!

Eating grass is natural behavior in cats. Many people argue that cats just like the taste, texture, and otherwise feel of eating grass—much the same way that humans chew on grass and other objects. Whatever the case, there remains little doubt that cats seem to love eating grass, and in general it represents a low risk to their health. The only time you should be concerned is if your cat is regularly eating excessive amounts of grass, as this may be indicative of a greater intestinal issue that should be addressed immediately.

December 10, 2011

Top 10 Most Powerful Dogs

Filed under: Dog Breed — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 1:39 am

What are the top 10 most powerful dogs? Here at 1stpetnaturals we were wondering that same question. So without further adieu, here is our list:

10. Great Dane

One of the greats in feats of strength is the Great Dane, also known as the German Mastiff. This big boy is not the tallest breed of dog on average, but on average a Great Dane holds the title at any given time. Besides holding down world records, the Great Dane combines its regal appearance with dignity, strength, and endurance.

9. American Bulldog

Stocky, well-built, powerful jaws—the American Bulldog is the original bad boy by name, but on average these dogs are social, confident, and ease with families; they bond strongly with their owners. Initially bred to be a working breed, the US bulldog subdivides into three different categories: the ‘Bully,’ the ‘Standard’ and the ‘Hybrid.’ They can handle any problem.

8. American Pit Bull Terrier

Being a cross between, as you might expect, a Pit Bull and a Terrier, the American Pit bull Terrier brings the unmistakable solid build of the terrier and infuses it with the raw, brute strength of the Pit Bull. Originally hailing from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scotland, these soldiers of the animal kingdom even had the strength to regularly fight alongside humans in WW1.

7. Pyrenean Mountain Dog

The original guardians; the Pyrenean Mountain dog have been used for thousands of years by Shepherds to move the herd and protect it. The males can grow up to 120 pounds of pure power. You may not notice those bulging muscles under that fluffy coat of fur, but they are there.

6. Irish Wolfhound

On average the tallest breed of dog. The Wolfhound is not actually a wolf, or related to one, but rather gets its name from the fact that it was commonly used to hunt wolfs. That’s right, this dog hunts wolves.

5. Leoburger

The Leonberger gets its name from the city of Leonberg, in Germany. It is not only a large dog, but meant to mimic the lion, the city’s crest. It has a double coat, a double scooping of muscle, and double the intelligence of some other breeds. The Leonberger has a dramatic presence not unlike that of the king of the animal kingdom.

4. St. Bernard

Originally bred for rescue, the St. Bernard is a very large breed of dog that, if it needs to, will help to push that large frame of yours out of harm’s way in the midst of the dangers present in their area of origin, the Swiss Alps. Reaching a whopping weight of 240+ lbs, this is the type of dog that can not only traverse mountains, it moves them.

3. Rottweiler

large dog

Originating in Germany as the aid of butchers, the Rottweiler is arguably the most feared breed on the block. They are used by police officers, search and rescue, and even

as guard and assist dogs for the blind. Their abundant strength is enough to scare away maliciousness, or even put some fright into a natural disaster.

2. Tibetan mastiff

In Mandarin Chinese ‘mastiff’ means ‘big ferocious dog’—and if you’ve ever seen one up close you might agree that is an apt description. These dogs are massive, they exhibit ne

arly unparalleled strength, and were tied up outside of houses much the same way that horses are. They don’t run; they gallop.

1. The Newfoundland

Weighing in between 130-150 lbs, the Newfoundland is considered a giant dog by classification, capable of pulling weights well in excess of a fully-grown human being. The biggest Newfoundland dog ever recorded was over 6 feet tall and weighed in at over 250lbs. Newfoundland’s have a double (water resistant) coat and webbed feet, making them the perfect companion for fishermen, either to bring onto their boat, or use to pull one.

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.