Summer Safety for your Dog

Take Preventive Measures to Protect Your Pet

Dog stands in the ocean

Summer is here, and that means pool parties and days spent at the beach. While we all want to enjoy the warm weather with our friends, families and pets, we need to be aware of the very real danger of pet drowning.

It’s estimated that thousands of family pets die in drowning incidents each year, though real numbers are not known, because most incidents go unreported.

However, these tragedies are largely avoidable if precautions are taken. Best of all, implementing safety procedures is not a difficult task. “Most preventive measures are common sense,” says Dr. David W. Reinhard, a consulting veterinarian for VPI Pet Insurance.

Pool Safety Tips for Pets

There are some basics rules you can follow to prevent tragedy when pets are around the family pool. First, your pet should always be taught where the steps in the pool are located, in case he falls in or gets in trouble while swimming, Dr. Reinhard says.

Even pets that are experienced swimmers can sometimes panic if they accidentally fall in the pool. Pets that are too small to use steps should not be allowed in the pool.

Here are some other helpful strategies for keeping your pet safe:

Man and Labrador retriever in a pool
  • A fence should be installed around the pool.
  • Install a pet-safe ladder in the pool so your pet has easy exit access.
  • Pets should not be allowed around the pool without supervision.
  • Pool covers are NOT a form of protection. Covers can be deceptive to pets, as they look like a solid surface but can give out and lead to a tragedy.
  • Familiarize your pet with water at a young age; don’t assume he can swim.
  • Consider purchasing a pool alarm system. These float in the pool and go off when there is a disturbance in the water.
  • Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately if a near-drowning or water injury occurs.

It’s estimated that thousands of family pets die in drowning incidents each year.

Water Safety Away from Home

If you’re heading out for a day at the beach or lake, there are other precautions that should be taken.

“There are differences between moving water on rivers versus the ocean versus a backyard pool,” says Dr. Tina Swan, a veterinarian who specializes in emergency care. Dr. Swan suggests pet life jackets for these situations. The life jackets should be worn even if a pet is simply near a body of fast-moving water.

Dog wears a life jacket

If you’re taking your pet to the beach for the first time, keep him on a leash while he’s near the water. Once he becomes familiar with the ocean, follow the leash rules as posted on the beach. Most beaches (and dog parks) require dogs to be off leash in order to prevent aggressive and territorial behavior.

In addition, concerned pet owners can enroll in a pet CPR class to learn how to act quickly to help save their pet’s life should an accident occur. Your veterinary clinic should be able to provide you with CPR class information.

Summer Fun for Pets

Many pets do enjoy the water, and some are even natural swimmers. It is easy to have an enjoyable experience around a pool or lake with your pet. Implementing the simple safety measures listed above will ensure that your summer experience in a fantastic one.

Taken from  VPI Pet HealthZone

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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Most Dogs

Skin Conditions
• Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy
• Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
• Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
• Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
• Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
• Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair,
bites and stings

• Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
• Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
• Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs • Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing

Immune System, Metabolic Function, Bone Health
• Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection
and disease
• Regulates and balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
• Helps prevent or control diabetes
• Helps reduce weight, increases energy
• Supports healthy heart functions
• Aids in arthritis or ligament problems

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Starting the New Year with Good Information!

Happy New Year!
I hope 2012 brings much happiness and success to us all!

One thing we can all strive to be happy about in the new year is the good health and wellbeing of our dogs. Some of us have often wondered if that little bite of guacamole was okay to feed the dog or if just a little taste of beer would hurt anything; only to find out later, that both were SO NOT GOOD as Rover was hunched over with a bad case of the runs.

Here’s some good information to keep in mind throughout the year when the question comes up, “Is that really OK to feed the dog?”

No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn’t give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It’s harmless for humans who aren’t allergic. But large amounts might be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.

Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol — none of it’s good for your dog. That’s because alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.

Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic in all forms — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.

Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine
Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee – including beans and grounds — caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It’s also in some cold medicines and pain killers.

Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it’s not a good idea. Although it isn’t clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.

Milk and Other Dairy Products
On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).

Macadamia Nuts
Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.

Candy and Gum
Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog’s body. That can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It’s in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Fat Trimmings and Bones
Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn’t eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog’s digestive system. It’s best to just forget about the doggie bag.

Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums
The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don’t.

Raw Eggs
There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog’s coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.

Raw Meat and Fish
Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease.” If not treated, the disease can be fatal within two weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.

It’s not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

Sugary Foods and Drinks
Too much sugar can do the same thing to dogs that it does to humans. It can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly the onset of diabetes.

Yeast Dough
Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your dog’s stomach if your dog ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the dog’s abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Your Medicine
Reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Just as you would do for your children, keep all medicines out of your dog’s reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And, they can be deadly for your dog.

Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed
Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your dog. For instance, baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices. Keeping food items high enough to be out of your dog’s reach and keeping pantry doors closed will help protect your dog from serious food-related illness.

If Your Dog Eats What It Shouldn’t
Dogs explore with their mouth. And, no matter how cautious you are, it’s possible your dog can find and swallow what it shouldn’t. It’s a smart idea to always keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435 — where you know you can find it in an emergency. And, if you think your dog has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.

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Flax and Your Dog

Flax seed is good for you- and your dog. All BlueDaisy healthy dog treats include flax- and with good reason.

This article summarizes the health benefits of flax for dogs, so I wanted to share…

According to Andi Brown, author of The Whole Pet Diet, huskies used as sled dogs get flax seed oil to strengthen their bones, heal their paws, and maintain their energy. Flax seed also plays a significant role in canine cardiovascular health and skin and coat health. Flax seed is an important source of fiber and antioxidants, and it may have anti-tumor properties as well.

Linolenic Acid Benefits
Flax seed is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for your pet’s skin and coat health. They can prevent dry, itchy skin, shedding, and hot spots. Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce or or stop the need for cortisone shots or steroids in dogs suffering from allergies. They can also heal cracked paws and nails.
The Veterinarians Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs recommends that flax seed oil be added daily in the following dosages to the food of dogs with chronic skin problems: 1 tsp. of oil for small dogs; 2 tsp. for medium dogs; 1 tbsp. for large dogs; and for giant breeds, 2 to 3 tbsp.

Flax Seed and Arthritis
Natural Pet Care names flax seed as an anti-inflammatory useful in treating arthritis. However, the Flax Seed Oil informational brochure says that dogs may not efficiently convert the alpha-linolenic acid in flax seed oil to the DHA and EPA forms of Omega-3 fatty acid with the strongest anti-inflammatory properties. Even so, the brochure suggests that flax seed oil may provide relief to dogs with mild cases of arthritis.

Flax Seed and Cancer
The Colorado State University presentation Nutrition and Cancer: New Keys for Cure and Control 2003 suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids may help stop tumor growth in dogs with cancer. Malignant tumors can’t use fats to fuel their growth. Dr. Gregory Ogilvie, who gave the presentation, concluded that dogs on high n-3 fatty acid diets which contained few simple carbohydrates had improved chemotherapy responses, fewer negative radiation side effects, and less severe metabolic cancer-related changes.

Fiber Benefits
Flax seeds contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, soluble fiber absorbs water to form a gel which can decrease blood sugar and cholesterol. Flax seed has 12 percent soluble fiber. The insoluble fiber in flax seed speeds the passage of food through the digestive system. It also builds stool volume, preventing constipation.
Many vets recommend the addition of ground flax seed to a dog’s regular food for these benefits, and also because heavier stools will help evacuate the dog’s anal sacs, preventing impaction.

Lignan Benefits
Lignans are plant estrogens found in the hulls of flax seeds. The digestive process converts flax seed lignans from plant to mammalian forms, called enterodiol and enterolactone. A 1998 study by Saskatoon’s College of Medicine’s Toxicology Group established that flax seed lignans effectively lowered the oxygen free radical levels in dogs experiencing endotoxemia. This indicates the lignans have significant antioxidant properties.

Read more: Flax Seed Benefits for Dogs | eHow.com

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Come On In!

Welcome to BlueDaisyDogs!

Casey drooling over healthy, homemade treats!

We all love our dogs, and they love us back- unconditionally. They meet us with wagging tails, encourage us to play with their most favorite toy, and will forever be a partner for walking in the woods. Our dogs willingly hog the bed, drool over our dinners, and look forward to taking our place on the couch. They make us feel wanted, needed, and most of all- loved. To this, we owe them.

One way we can give back to our dogs is to do our best to make sure they are healthy. Regular visits to the veterinarian, plenty of playtime, and healthy eats. Aside from baking and selling healthy dog treats, I want to share information with dog-owners about good canine health. I have been down the road of struggling through one problem after another with my dog, and understand how helpless it can make you feel. One day, a friend of mine came over and looked at my almost-hairless dog, grimaced and asked “what the heck is wrong with him?” I felt horrible. I could not afford the steroid shots the vet said were needed to help fight the many allergies my dog had. I, also, could not afford the expensive lab work that had to be done at a state university to find out exactly where I needed to start treatment. Surgery was definitely out of the equation… so, we limped along, day after day- playing, walking, and loving- no matter how many oatmeal baths and ear meds we had to deal with. It never occurred to me that my dog’s food contained the very ingredients he was allergic to in the first place. Garbage in, garbage out.

My goal for BlueDaisyDogs is to create a place to share information that will contribute toward good canine health. Aside from personal experience, I run across interesting information that is worth sharing, and this is my place to share it.

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