Watch Out for These Unexpected Things That Make Dogs Sick

There are thousands of things that can make dogs sick. Many pet owners often do not know about these things until an accident, injury, illness, or toxicity occurs. This article will review a few things that you may not realize can make your dog sick and provide tips on how to best protect your dog.

7 Common Things That Make Dogs Sick

Below are seven common things that make dogs sick.

  1. Household Plants – There are house plants and garden plants dangerous to dogs and have the potential to make them very sick or even be life-threatening. Most house plants cause irritation to the mouth, throat, esophagus, and/or stomach which can lead to symptoms that include drooling, gagging, pawing at the mouth, decreased appetite, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Some plants such as the Sago Palm can cause severe toxicity leading to liver failure and death. For more information – go to Adding Some Green to Your Home? Reconsider These Plants Dangerous to Dogs. (INSERT LINK)
  2. Human Foods – Some human foods can be dangerous and can even be fatal to dogs if ingested. Almost any food can make a dog sick when fed in abundance and some foods can be dangerous when fed even in small quantities. For example, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and chocolate are common foods that can be toxic to dogs even in small quantities. Foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis in some dogs.  To learn more about dangerous foods for dogs, go to Be Careful with These 5 Foods That Make Dogs Sick.
  3. Outdoor Dangers – The outdoors can be a dangerous place for dogs. Common dangers include being hit by a car, lacerations, dog fights, animal attacks, exposure to trash and toxins, increased risk of infections, and gunshot wounds just to name a few. Some things you can do to protect your dog is to keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced-in yard, ensure he or she is identified with a collar, tag, and microchip, and is fully vaccinated.  Learn more about common dangers and how to keep your dog safe in this article: Outdoor Dog Safety 101: Keeping Your Pup Safe in Nature. (INSERT LINK)
  4. Infectious Diseases – Dogs can acquire infections in a variety of ways and they can occur to different parts of the body. For example, some dogs will get ear infections that can be caused by yeasts or bacteria. Some dogs can acquire respiratory infections that can be viral, bacterial, or fungal.  Infections can be spread dog to dog, from other animals, from parasites and insects, and others can come from the soil. Infectious diseases in dogs include Lyme disease, parvovirus, bordetella (kennel cough), and canine influenza virus (dog flu). Many infectious diseases can be prevented by routine vaccines and parasite control medications. Get tips on Keeping Your Dog Safe from the Most Common Dog Illnesses.
  5. Parasitic Infections – A parasite is a plant or animal that lives upon or within another living organism.  There are many types of parasitic infections that dogs can acquire. Parasites can live in the intestines (hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms), in the ears (ear mites), on the skin (fleas, ticks, walking dandruff mite), in the respiratory tract (lungworms), heart (heartworms), or in the skin (mange). They can also migrate to other parts of the body such as the eye or heart. Each parasite has a very specific mode of infection and life cycle. Some dogs are born with the parasites, acquired from other pets, or from vectors such as being bitten by a mosquito (heartworms). Parasites cause disease that ranges from trivial to severe or even fatal. Parasitic infections are often most severe in immature puppies and kittens, sick or debilitated pets, or in pets with a suppressed immune system. Many parasitic infections can be prevented with good veterinary care that includes flea, tick, and heartworm prevention medications. Learn more about Parasitic Infections in Dogs.
  6. Genetic Diseases – Some dogs have diseases they are born with or to which they are genetically predisposed. For example, some dog breeds can acquire or be predisposed to hip dysplasia or arthritis. Other dogs are predisposed to heart disease or can be born with a heart defect. If you are getting a new dog that is known to have genetic abnormalities, discuss this with your veterinarian. Genetic testing can be done to determine if the breeding dogs are at risk for some diseases. Your vet may be able to point you in the direction of a good and reputable breeder as well.
  7. Dental Disease – Diseases of the teeth and gums is one of the most common diseases of dogs. Dental disease can be prevented with daily tooth brushing and routine professional dental cleaning with your veterinarian.

We hope these tips help you better protect your pooch from things that make dogs sick.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Things that Make Dogs Sick:

Keeping Your Dog Safe from the Most Common Dog Illnesses

Dogs can literally get thousands of symptoms, diseases, and disorders. Below is information on five of the most common dog illnesses followed by tips on how to prevent and treat these problems.

The Five Most Common Dog Illnesses

There are thousands of diseases and illnesses that dogs can acquire. Below are five of the most common illness in dogs.

  1. Ear infections Ear infections are a common problem that can occur in dogs. The most common type is an infection in the outer ear canal that can be caused by bacterial or yeast organisms. Symptoms of ear infections include shaking the head, scratching the head area, or noticing an abnormal smell from the ears.  Learn more about Otitis Externa in Dogs.
  2. Dental disease Diseases of the teeth and gums is one of the most common, preventable, and treatable conditions in dogs. While some dogs don’t show any abnormal signs of dental disease, others will have pain, abnormal odor, and/or changes in their appetite. Signs of dental disease include swollen and painful gums, tartar accumulation on the teeth, bad breath, missing or loose teeth, drooling, and bleeding gums. A dental, also sometimes called a “prophy” or prophylaxis, is a deep cleaning and polishing of a dog’s teeth that are commonly performed at your veterinarian’s office is a great way to treat and prevent dental disease. Learn more about Dental Disease in Dogs.
  3. Parasite infestation Parasite infections can occur in the stomach or intestines, respiratory tract, or on the skin. Signs of disease will depend on the location of the parasite. Gastrointestinal parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea or no signs at all while skin parasites, such as fleas, cause itching and skin infections. Learn more about Parasite Infections in Dogs.
  4. Trauma Trauma is a common problem in dogs and can consist of a torn nail, laceration, bite wounds from an animal attack, or being hit by a car. Some types of trauma are life-threatening and others can be minor and easily treatable. Minor bite wounds can be treated with local wound care consisting of hair clipping and cleaning the area and treating with antibiotics and pain medications. Severe trauma such as being hit by a car can require treatment for shock, control of bleeding, and fracture repair depending on the severity of the problem. Learn more about Trauma in Dogs.
  5. Vomiting – Vomiting is the act of emptying the contents of the stomach through the mouth.  It can be caused by dozens of problems including eating something not digestible, toxins, adverse effects from medications, intolerance to certain foods, diseases such as liver or kidney disease, diabetes, or cancer. An occasional bout of vomiting can be normal but if sustained or persistent can be life-threatening.  Learn more about Vomiting in Dogs. 

How to Prevent The Most Common Dog Illnesses

There are several things you can do to prevent the most common dog illnesses. Many of the recommendations below focus on protecting your dog and ensuring they receive excellent veterinary medical and preventative health care.  This includes the following important tips to help keep your pet healthy:

  • Ensure your dog has an annual physical examination. This can help identify problems early when they may be more treatable.
  • During your vet visit, discuss your dogs’ risk factors for common diseases based on your location in the country and the dogs’ lifestyle. This will allow them to provide your dog with recommendations for vaccinations, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention medications.
  • Complete annual heartworm testing.
  • Provide routine nail trims as needed based on wear.
  • Conduct fecal examinations one to two times per year and administer deworming mediations as recommended.
  • Keep your dog at an ideal weight. Obesity can cause or exacerbate many health problems.
  • Provide daily exercise as possible based on your dog’s age, breed, and underlying health issues.
  • Feed a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food formulated to meet your dogs’ needs and avoid obesity.
  • Minimize feeding table scraps.
  • Provide training so your dog knows basic commands such as sit, come, and stay.
  • Dry your dogs’ ears with a cotton ball after a bath to prevent ear infections.
  • Minimize roaming by leashing walking your dog. This also allows you to monitor the urine and bowel movements for abnormalities.
  • Ensure your dog has identification that includes a tag, collar, and microchip.
  • Offer plenty of fresh, clean, water at all times.
  • Continuously monitor for abnormal symptoms and call your vet as needed.

How to Care for Dogs that Do Get Sick

The most important thing to do if your dog is sick is to seek proper veterinary care. This includes diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the illness and recommended treatments. The care will vary but generally includes:

  • Encourage your dog to eat the food recommended by your vet. If your dog is not eating, please read these useful tips on “how to get your dog to eat”.
  • Offer your dog plenty of opportunities to urinate and defecate. Keep on a leash so you can monitor all output for abnormalities.
  • Keep your pet clean and dry.
  • If your pet is not eating, seems lethargic, is vomiting, having diarrhea, or you have any other concerns, contact your veterinarian or closest emergency clinic immediately.
  • Ensure your pet has plenty of fresh clean water.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Most Common Dog Illness:

Outdoor Dog Safety 101: Keeping Your Pup Safe in Nature

The outdoors have the potential to be a dangerous place for dogs. There are different reasons for dogs to be outside based on their lifestyle and interactions with their owners.  The amount of time and reasons to be outside can be directly proportional to the risk of problems.

Variables that impact a dog’s exposure to outdoor dangers include:

  • Some dogs are indoors most of the time and only go out to “do their business”, others are indoors and outdoors in various proportions, while some dogs are outdoors all the time. Neglected, unowned, roaming or feral dogs have increased exposure to all dangers. The more a dog is outside, the higher the risk of problems.
  • Some mostly indoor dogs may be exposed to outdoor dangers when they go on outdoor adventures such as hiking, camping, biking, boating, or running.
  • The overall quality of veterinary care for dogs can impact outdoor dangers. Unvaccinated dogs that receive no prevention medications have a higher risk of infections and disease.
  • Intact (unneutered) dogs have a higher risk of fights, running away, roaming, or pregnancy.

Outdoor Safety Dangers in Dogs

The risk of outdoor dangers for dogs is not only impacted by the amount of time your dog is outside but also on your location in the country, the activity level of your dog, the environmental temperature, the freedom of your dog (fenced in yard vs. allowed to roam), the activity your dog is participating in, and his overall health, nutrition and medical care.

Below are possible outdoor threats to dogs:

  • Trash or junk exposure – Dogs that roam or get out of the yard have the possibility of exposure to trash, toxins, spoiled garbage, bones, and dead animals. Ingestion of any of these items can cause gastrointestinal upset with symptoms such as vomiting and/or diarrhea. Even more dangerous is the opportunity for outdoor dogs to ingest toxins such as antifreeze, rat poison, or indigestible objects that can get caught in the stomach or intestine.  Learn more about Antifreeze Toxicity in Dogs or Gastrointestinal Foreign Body in Dogs.
  • Toxic food exposure – Just as dogs can ingest spoiled trash, they can ingest foods toxic to them such as grapes and raisins. Learn more about Grape and Raisin Toxicity. Another good article is Be Careful with These 5 Foods That Make Dogs Sick.
  • Bite wounds –Dogs that are outdoors can get in fights with other dogs or sustain bite wounds from animals such as groundhogs, raccoons, or opossums. Outdoor dogs can also be exposed to snake bites that can vary from minor to life-threatening. Another life-threatening consequence of a bite wound is from bites from animals infected with Rabies.
  • Trauma – Outdoor dogs are commonly exposed to hazards such as being hit by cars, falls, lacerations, or even being shot. Dogs that run free or are even in the yard can sometimes find sharp objects that cause a laceration to their feet or skin. Lacerations are a common emergency that presents to veterinarians.
  • Parasites – Dogs that that spend time outdoors have a higher risk of exposure to all kinds of parasites including ticks, fleas, and gastrointestinal worms such as roundworms or whipworms. Parasites can vary in their level of danger from being annoying and causing skin infections to life-threatening and causing Lyme disease or heartworm disease.  Learn more in this article about Keeping Your Dog Safe from the Most Common Dog Illnesses.
  • Infectious diseases – Dogs that are outdoors and have exposure to other dogs have a higher incidence of disease from kennel cough, parvovirus, distemper, canine influenza (flu), and much more.
  • Plant toxicity – Outdoor dogs have exposure to all kinds of plants that can cause problems. Learn more about toxic plants in this article: Adding Some Green to Your Home? Reconsider These Plants Dangerous to Dogs.
  • Heatstroke or heat-related illness – Outdoor dogs can suffer from heat-related illness or even heat stroke when exposed to high levels of heat and/or humidity. This occurs when the ambient temperature surpasses their ability to dissipate heat. This is more common in dogs that are obese or have underlying medical issues. Dogs that go running, exercised on hot days, have poor access to water, or are left in a car have an increased risk of heat illness. Learn more about Heat Stroke in Dogs.
  • Drowning – Near drowning or drowning can occur in ponds, lakes and swimming pools. This can occur both in the summer or winter as some dogs will fall through the ice, can’t get out of the water or find themselves exhausted when swimming. Learn more about Near Drowning in Dogs.
  • Insects – Insects can be annoying with their bites, cause allergic reactions, infections or spread life-threatening diseases. Bee or wasp stings can cause allergic reactions in some dogs but spider bites can also be dangerous. Mosquito bites can spread heartworm disease, ticks can spread Lyme disease, and Kissing bug bites can spread Chagas Disease.
  • Bad water – Outdoor dogs can be exposed to sources of water contaminated with chemicals or infected with protozoan organisms such as Giardia.
  • Lost – Dogs that are outside can become lost. This is more common when a dog is frightened and runs such as during fireworks. Make sure your dog is identified with a collar, tag, and microchip.
  • Stolen or taken– Although uncommon, dogs that roam or are outside unsupervised may be considered unowned and taken or stolen.

Outdoor Safety Dangers Tips for Dogs

The following are suggestions to protect your outdoor dog from common dangers.

  • Ensure your dog has plenty of fresh clean water at all times.
  • Outdoor dogs must always have shade or cover available to ensure your he is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Ensure your dog is current on vaccinations such as rabies, distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus, adenovirus-2, parainfluenza, bordetella, coronavirus, Lyme disease, canine flu based on the risk factors in your area.
  • Have fecal examinations done twice a year and treat as needed.
  • Provide prevention medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworms based on your dog’s risk.
  • Provide a good quality AAFCO approved dog food and feed to ensure your dog is an ideal weight.
  • Spend time with your dog daily to ensure he or she is healthy, eating well, acting normal, and provide quality bonding time.  It is good to pet your dog and observe them for any wounds, bumps, skin infections or other abnormalities.
  • Depending on your situation, it is generally recommended that dogs be restricted in their roaming. The more freedom a dog has outdoors, the higher the risk of problems that can vary from being hit by a car, exposure to toxins, or gunshot wounds.

Additional Articles that May be of Interest About Outdoor Dog Safety:

Choosing a Shih Tzu

Choosing a Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small sturdy dog with a big heart. With a name meaning “lion,” the Shih Tzu is an ancient breed and a popular family pet. Recognized as part of the toy group by the AKC in 1969, the breed is an excellent choice for families with children or for the elderly.

The Shih Tzu has racked up a number of honors. The breed won the Eukanuba Tournament of Champions in October 2001, and was one of the top top 10 AKC small breeds. According to AKC, Shih Tzus are the 20th most popular dog breed.

History and Origin

Based on their presence in various Chinese paintings and tapestries, it is thought that the shih tzu has been in existence since 624 AD. Despite many theories about the origin of the breed, it is not disputed that the Shih Tzu was part of the ancient Chinese court. The dogs were bred and selected with great care. From this foundation, along with the help of Russian refugee Madame de Breuil, the dogs of today were developed.

In the 1930s the interest in the breed had spread to England. During World War II, U.S. military personnel stationed in England fell in love with the breed. When returning home, the Shih Tzu accompanied them, thus introducing the breed to the United States.


The Shih Tzu has a short nose and slightly pushed in face. The hair coat is naturally long and dense and requires daily care. The hair of the face is typically tied on top of the head as a topknot. To reduce the need for daily brushing, some people have the coats trimmed in a short terrier-like trim. Shih Tzus can be any color or combination of colors.


Standing only 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighing 9 to 16 pounds, the Shih Tzu is a small but tough little dog.


The Shih Tzu is bred to be a pet and nothing else. The breed is strong and sturdy, the least delicate of the toy breeds. They have the appearance of being proud and arrogant but are actually gentle and very playful.

Home & Family Relations

The Shih Tzu is a friendly dog that adapts to any family situation but is definitely an indoor dog. Their size gives them poor blood circulation, so you want to limit the amount of time that your Shih Tzu spends outside when the temperatures are chilly. They can easily withstand the rough treatment, and even the occasional dress-up of children and make excellent children’s companions. The breed is also loyal and gentle enough to be a great choice for a companion for the elderly.


Basic obedience is recommended to help develop a content and pleasant member of the family. The shih tzu is not typically trained for specific jobs and does best as just a loving pet.

Special Concerns

With a long hair coat, the shih tzu needs grooming to prevent mats.

Famous Shih Tzus

The plot of the movie Seven Psychopaths starring Colin Farrell centers around the abduction of a Shih Tzu named Bonny. Breath easy Shih Tzus lovers. While not all the characters see a happy ending in this movie, Bonny comes away unscathed.

Celebrities with Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus make for wonderful pet dogs. The adorable little fur balls are popular with celebrities as well. The following celebrities have pet Shih Tzus:

  • Nicole Richie has a Shih Tzu named Honeychild.
  • Geri Halliwell, of Spice Girls fame, has a pet Shih Tzu named Harry.
  • Queen Elizabeth of England has a pet Shih Tzu named Choo Choo.
  • Bill Gates has a Shih Tzu named Ballmer.
  • Mariah Carey has a pair of Shih Tzus named Bing and Bong.
  • Beyonce has a Shih Tzu named Munchie.


Health Concerns

Proptosis is displacement of the eyeball out of the eye socket that can occur in some dogs.

Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.

Atopy is an itchy skin disease of animals that is caused by an allergy to substances in the environment.

Urolithiasis is a urinary tract disorder characterized by the development of bladder stones.

Corneal ulcers are common in the Shih Tzu due to the protrusion of the eyes.

Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) is a disorder that affects the spinal disks resulting in pain, difficulty walking and possibly paralysis.

Tracheal collapse is a weakening of the rings of the windpipe. This leads to irritation and coughing.

What to Expect from Your 9-month-old Puppy

If you had a tiny puppy at one point, chances are the pooch grew quickly. He soon became a gangly adolescent, and you might wonder when he will start behaving like a grown-up. At nine months, many dogs look like adults but still exhibit puppy behaviors. However, they should have grown out of the more inconvenient habits, like having accidents in the house and teething. It is important to learn how to care for a puppy at this age so that you may encourage good behaviors that last a lifetime.

Your Teenage Dog

Until they’re about four months old, puppies are unpredictable. However, they also tend to be small, roly-poly, and easy to deal with. After four to six months, they may mellow out to the point where you can forecast certain behaviors and get a sense of their habits. Just when you think this puppy care thing is going smoothly, they turn into crazy beasts again.

Nine-month-old puppies have been described as rambunctious teenagers. Your dog’s hormones are shifting incredibly at this time, leaving him with some erratic and impulsive 9-month old puppy behaviors. Like human adolescents, teenage dogs are in a new phase of developing confidence and awareness. To solidify their learning during this stage, they tend to test boundaries and explore in ways that may not be appropriate.

You might wonder what happened to your sweet little snuggler. All of a sudden, Fido doesn’t listen to a word you say, can’t stay off of the kitchen counter, and inches his crate across the room when you’re not home. Everything seems like it has fallen apart. Some dog owners respond to this age by deciding that they need to rehome their puppies, but all hope is not lost. This is just a phase, and you can help your dog grow out of it successfully. On the other side is a mature, calm, obedient adult dog (with proper care and training of course).

Training An Adolescent Puppy

According to Dog Star Daily, adolescence is a crucial time to socialize your dog. The behaviors that are reinforced during this era may stick around for the rest of her life. Many owners who attended a puppy class or brought their dog out and about with them when she was younger have settled into a routine that involves seeing the same family members every day. Even if you go to the dog park or walk your dog, you probably follow the same route and interact with the same people and dogs.

If your dog doesn’t continue to experience unfamiliar environments, she can become progressively desocialized during adolescence. This can result in aggressive or anxious behavior when she is exposed to novelty. What can you do? Continue to bring your dog to new places, keep meeting new canines, and make each meeting especially fun by offering your dog her favorite treats when you do something new.

What else does training an adolescent puppy entail? Now, you have many more distractions to deal with. Your dog wouldn’t leave the yard when he was four months old. He stuck to your heels like glue. At nine months old, he lunges after bikers and chases squirrels even when you try to lure him back with a can of wet food. His manners have taken a nose dive, but you can reinforce good behavior. Instead of barking “No!” every time your pet does something wrong, use positive reinforcement training to teach him what you want him to do. Rewards are more powerful than punishment. Learn more about positive reinforcement training by watching this video.

The Physical Development Of A 9-Month-Old Puppy

By the time they reach nine months of age, small breeds will be fully grown, but they’ll fill out over the next four months. Medium breeds may reach about 80 percent of their adult size by nine months. Larger breeds may still have a ways to go. Trupanion says that large breeds like collies and Labrador retrievers won’t be fully grown until they’re closer to 18 or 24 months. Different breeds vary in their maturity rates.

What else is going on in your nine-month-old pooch’s body? At this age, pups have all of their 42 permanent teeth. When puppies are actively teething, they tend to chew on everything. Most puppies have all of their adult teeth by six months of age. If your dog is still chewing on inappropriate items, perhaps she’s testing her teenage boundaries. Give her plenty of appropriate chew toys. Remember, her teeth are much stronger than they used to be. Make sure that you monitor her while she chomps on a bone, and take it away from her if it starts to seem like a hazard or gets bitten down to a nub.

Cat Facts – How Much Do You Know About Cats? The Answers!

How much do you know about cats? Check out the answers to these questions and find out:

1. How many bones does a cat have in its body?

A cat has 244 bones in its body, including approximately 60 vertebrae. Also, nearly 20 of these bones are in the tail, which allows the tail to make so many movements.

2. How many muscles does a cat have in its body?

A cat has 517 muscles in its body.

3. How many muscles does a cat have in each ear?

A cat has 32 muscles in its ears.

4. How well can cats see and identify objects?

Cats have 1/10 the ability to distinguish separate objects. They can see movement quickly but they have poor visual acuity.

5. How developed is a cat’s sense of taste? How does it compare to a human’s?

Cats have a relatively poor sense of taste. A human tongue has approximately 9,000 taste buds as compared to a mere 473 taste buds on a cat’s tongue (and these are generally focused only on the tip).

6. Can cats get sunburn?

Yes they can – especially light colored cats.

7. What is the average lifespan of an indoor only cat?

The average indoor cat lives to be 15 years old.

8. What is the average lifespan of an outdoor cat?

The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is short, ranging from only 6 months to 2.5 years.

9. How many hours does a cat purr on average each year?

According to Cat Fancy magazine, a cat will purr an average of 10,950 hours during its lifetime.

10. What is a cat’s normal body temperature?

A normal body temperature for a cat ranges from 100.5 degrees F to 101.5 degrees F. Normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees F.

11. What is the normal heart rate of a cat? How does that compare to a human?

The normal heart rate of a cat is anywhere from 150 to 210 beats per minute. Most humans have a heart rate of approximately 60 to 80 beats per minute. A cat’s heart beats 2 to 3 times faster than a human’s.

12. What can a cat do with its tail that no other species can do?

A cat can walk with its tail held vertically, which is different than any other species.

13. How many vocal sounds can a cat make and how does that compare to a dog?

Cats can make more than 100 vocal sounds. A dog can only make about 10 sounds.

14. Do cats meow at each other?

No – cats do not meow at each other.

15. What spring plant is extremely toxic to cats? (Ingestion can cause kidney failure and even death.)

The Easter lily is very toxic to cats. We recommend that you do not bring Easter lilies into any home that has a cat.

16. How old was the oldest living cat?

The oldest documented cat on record lived in England. The cat lived to be 35 years old.

17. How does a cat’s sense of smell compare to ours?

Cats have more than 200 million scent receptors in their nasal folds compared to only 5 million in humans.

18. What percentage of pet cats in the United States are thought to be obese?

Approximately 25 to 40% of all American household pets are obese or overweight.

19. Which medication is extremely toxic to cats? (As little as one pill can be fatal.)

Several medications are toxic to cats. Cats should never be given any medications with out the approval of a veterinarian. Acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) is one of the most toxic.

What Your 6-month-old Puppy Needs

Your 6-month-old puppy has certain needs to stay healthy! The following is a list of recommended wellness care for a 6-month-old puppy including tips and advice on dewormers, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, spay and neutering and nutrition.

  • Vaccines – 6-month-old puppies should have completed all of their puppy shots. This means he or she should have received 2 to 4 sets of shots spaced every 3 to 4 weeks from age 6 weeks to 16 weeks. If your puppy has not had any shots, he needs 2 sets of shots 3 to 4 weeks apart and one rabies vaccine. Additionally, Lyme disease vaccination may be recommended depending on your pet’s level of risk. Bordetella vaccine may be recommended for some dogs.
  • Dewormers – Most puppies at this age have already been dewormed and do not require additional deworming unless they are infested. Your veterinarian can check a fecal sample to determine if worms are present. Alternatively, a dewormer medication can be given and may be repeated in dogs that have an unknown history or have not been previously dewormed. Many heartworm preventative medications control worms which eliminates the need for routine deworming.
  • Heartworm Prevention –Heartworm prevention is important to puppies and should be started before they are 6 months of age. If your pet is older than 6 months of age, your veterinarian can perform a simple blood test and prescribe preventative medication.
  • Flea/tick Control – Depending on where you live and your current flea/tick situation, there are very good preventative medications to control flea and ticks. The best and safest products are prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Spay/Neuter – Most dogs should be spayed or neutered by now, if they have not been already. Check with your veterinarian to determine their recommendations.
  • Diet – Your puppy should be eating a good quality food formulated for puppies of his or her size twice daily. Consider your pup’s age, weight, and activity level when deciding how much to feed. Every brand of food has different nutrients, caloric densities and feeding recommendations. There is no set formula for how much to feed a puppy. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much to feed. As your puppy ages and his size increases, he will need more food each day. Weigh your puppy each week. The approximate caloric requirement for a 6 month old puppy varies with breed size and activity level. Estimations include Toy breeds – 250 calories, small breeds 635 calories, medium breeds 975 calories, large breeds 1875 calories and giant breeds 2800 calories.

Is Pet Insurance Right For You?

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As one of the first pet insurance providers in the U.S., PetPartners has been offering affordable, comprehensive pet health insurance to dogs and cats in all 50 states since 2002. Trusted as the exclusive pet insurance provider for the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association, PetPartners highly customizable options allow pet owners to create a plan that fits their individual needs and budget — so you’re not paying for added coverage you don’t necessarily need or want. Visit today to see if pet insurance is right for you and your family.”)


Recent Dog Food and Cat Food Recalls by FDA

Pet food and treat recalls are common and below is a list of the recalls with the most recent listed recall listed at the top by year. We included recalls from current to 2008 for those of you that may have old boxes of treats or older bags of dog or cat food around that you have not yet fed. 

If you believe your dog or cat could have been affected by a dangerous dog food, cat food or other pet product recall – please go to this link:

How to Report a Problem With Your Pet

Recall List from the FDA. Below is the recall from the FDA, pet product manufacturer, a link for more information and a short blurb regarding the reason for the recall.

Pet Food Recalls 2017

5/8/2017 – RECALL – Bellmawr, New Jersey, C.O. Truxton, Inc. is expanding their 4/21/2017 voluntary recall, as a precaution to include the following C.O. Truxton, Inc. products, registered NDC numbers and corresponding lot numbers, to the consumer/user level. 

5/5/2017 – RECALL – Smallbatch Pets Inc. is voluntarily recalling two lots of frozen 2-lbs. chicken blend for dogs and cats, brand name Smallbatch, due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

4/24/2017 – RECALL – Party Animal is voluntarily recalling lots of 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04, best by July 2019) and 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13, best by August 2019).

4/21/2017 – RECALL – Bellmawr, New Jersey, C.O. Truxton, Inc. is voluntarily recalling lot 70952A of Phenobarbital Tablets, USP, 15 mg, to the consumer/user level.

3/20/2017 – RECALL – EuroCan Manufacturing is voluntarily recalling Lot Number 84 consisting of it’s individually shrink-wrapped, 6-pack, 12-pack and 25-pack bags of Barnsdale Farms®, HoundsTooth® and Mac’s Choice® Pig Ears because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

3/17/2017 – RECALL – Blue Buffalo Company is voluntarily recalling one production lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs, as the product has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally- occurring beef thyroid hormones.

3/17/2017 – RECALL – WellPet has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited amount of one canned topper product due to potential elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone.

3/3/2017 – RECALL – Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is voluntarily expanding its recall of Hunk of Beef and is also recalling Evanger’s Braised Beef and Against the Grain’s Pulled Beef Products due to potential adulteration with pentobarbital. 

2/14/2017 – RECALL – Out of an abundance of caution, Against the Grain Pet Food is voluntarily recalling one lot of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that was manufactured and distributed in 2015.

2/9/2017 – RECALL – PetSmart has issued a voluntary recall of one production lot of its Grreat Choice® Adult Dog Food sold on,, and in nationwide PetSmart retail stores.

2/3/2017 – RECALL – Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its Hunk of Beef product because of a potential contaminant Pentobarbital, which was detected in one lot of Hunk of Beef Au Jus

1/13/2017 – RECALL – Grange Co-op is initiating a recall of Rogue All Purpose Rabbit Pellets in 25# (25RP) 50# (50RP), 1,500# Tote (RP) no lot codes.

1/13/2017 – RECALL – Blue Ridge Beef is voluntarily recalling one (1) of its frozen products due to their potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

1/6/2-17 – RECALL – The J.M. Smucker Company is expanding the limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1).

1/3/2017 – RECALL – The J.M. Smucker Company announced a limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1).

Pet Food Recalls 2016

12/28/2016 – RECALL – Huvepharma, Inc., which recently acquired the Longmont Colorado manufacturing facility including the respective FDA registration associated with this recall, is voluntarily recalling 1 lot of Duramycin-10 Soluble Powder, distributed by Durvet, to the consumer level.

12/23/2016 – RECALL – Whitestone Feeds, Inc. has initiated a voluntary recall of a single product from its beef cattle feed line.

12/14/2016 – RECALL – Ridley Block Operations has initiated a voluntary recall of a single batch of its beef cattle feed product, Ultralyx 24% + 3% Mag Composite Block.

12/08/2016 – RECALL – Blue Ridge Beef is voluntarily recalling two of its frozen products due to their potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes

11/30/2016 – RECALL – Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) is recalling its 50-lb. bags of rabbit pellets.

10/7/16 – RECALL – Mars Petcare US has announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of CESAR® Classics Filet Mignon Flavor product.

9/20/16 – RECALL – Wells Pharmacy Network is voluntarily recalling all sterile human and veterinary products prepared between February 22, 2016 and September 14, 2016, and that remain within expiry.

Your Guide to Common Cat Poisonings

There are hundreds of items your pet can get access to. Some things are highly toxic and others are non-toxic. This article is a guide to help you determine if a particular item is a problem and link you on to more in-depth information.

If you think your pet may have been exposed to a toxin, the best thing to do is to check the label of the item you think your pet ingested. Read the information about toxicity. Often, but not always, the information on packaging regarding children is relevant to pets and some manufacturers even discuss pet toxicity. If there is an 800 number on the package – call them! It is also recommended that you call your veterinarian to confirm the recommendations. If you go to your veterinarian, take all packaging and any information you have on the product.

General Information. For most poisonings, there is not much you can do at home. Consult your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you suspect your pet has been poisoned. For some ingested poisons, your veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting before bringing the pet in for examination and treatment. Inducing vomiting of a toxic substance should never be done unless specifically directed by a veterinarian. For topical exposures, bathing in lukewarm water with a mild dish soap can reduce further toxin absorption before the pet is examined and treated by a veterinarian.

Amitraz. Amitraz is an insecticide used in some brands of dog tick collars and topical solutions. Toxicity most often affects cats who have a dog tick collar placed on them but can also occur if a cat licks the tick collar on the dog. Typical symptoms begin within about 2 to 6 hours of ingestion and often begin with the cat becoming weak and lethargic. Vomiting, diarrhea and disorientation are also common. Without treatment, coma may result. In severe untreated cases, toxicity may result in death. Prompt consultation with your family veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital is suggested if you realize an amitraz-based tick collar was placed on your cat or your cat licked a collar.

Antifreeze. Ethylene glycol toxicosis is a type of poisoning that occurs after ingestion of antifreeze or other fluids containing the ingredient ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol itself is not toxic, but it is metabolized in the animal’s body to several extremely toxic chemicals that are responsible for its potentially lethal effects. Ethylene glycol poisoning results in nervous system abnormalities and severe kidney failure with almost complete cessation of urine output. Ethylene glycol poisoning can be fatal if not treated soon after ingestion (within 4 to 8 hours). Cats are more susceptible to ethylene glycol poisoning than dogs (i.e. smaller amounts are required to cause poisoning). The minimum lethal dose for a cat is 1.5 milliliters of antifreeze per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, a teaspoonful can be lethal to a 7 pound cat. Definitive treatment should be started as soon as possible after consumption of ethylene glycol (within a few hours). If treated promptly and appropriately, pets that have consumed ethylene glycol will not develop kidney failure and have a good chance of survival. Signs to watch for include: nausea, vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy and incoordination progressing to coma. Pets may act as if they are intoxicated. These signs develop within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol depending on the amount ingested.

Aspirin. Aspirin toxicity (salicylate toxicity) is poisoning that occurs following the ingestion of aspirin or aspirin-containing products. Cats and young animals are more susceptible to the effects of aspirin than are dogs because they are unable to metabolize the drug as quickly. Aspirin interferes with platelets, which are responsible for helping the blood to clot. Disruption of platelet function increases the amount of time it takes the blood to clot after being cut. Spontaneous bleeding may also occur causing pinpoint bruises to appear in the skin and on the gums (petechiae). Aspirin toxicity may cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding disorders and kidney failure. If accidental ingestion has occurred, remove any remaining pills from the environment. Take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment. If you live more than 30 minutes from the veterinary hospital, call ahead for advice on whether or not to induce vomiting at home prior to transportation.

Arsenic. Although a common poison in the days of Agatha Christie, arsenic is somewhat difficult to obtain and animal poisonings are rare. Usually, poisoning is due to the ingestion of very old insect traps. Since 1989, the use of arsenic in insect traps has greatly diminished but there are still some out there. The lethal dose is 1 to 25 mg per kilogram of weight and signs of poisoning include severe vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. If caught early, most pets are treated and recover. If treatment is delayed and the signs of illness are severe, pets usually do not survive. If your pet has ingested an insect trap, make sure to check the label to see if arsenic is present and call your veterinarian.

What to Expect from Your 12-week-old Puppy

At 12 weeks of age, your puppy‘s focus is still to eat, drink, sleep, eliminate and play. Your puppy should be underway to learning right from wrong and in the process of being housebroken. He should be playful and curious. You need to make sure your home is puppy proof and safe. This is a critical time for housetraining and you should carefully support your puppy with a good housetraining schedule.

The following list will help you know what to expect from your puppy has he develops.

  • How Big? Most 12-week-old puppies are only a fraction of their adult length and of weight. Most puppies will gain or grow rapidly between birth and 6 months of age and how much they grow or gain will depend on their breed, diet, and ultimate adult size. Growth is generally steady until they attain their adult size. Some formulas estimate that a puppy’s adult weight will roughly be double of their weight at 14 weeks of age.
  • Teething – Puppies 12 weeks old will have most of their 28 baby teeth and may have their first 2 to 4 adult front teeth, called the incisors. Over the next three months, your puppy will be getting in all of his adult teeth. Because they are entering an active “teething” stage, they will want to chew. Provide lots of safe chew toys. Begin the first steps toward brushing their teeth by opening their mouths and looking or gently touching their teeth. Make each event positive.
  • Senses – 12-week-old puppies will show fear, pain and excitement. They can see and hear fairly well. They are learning to differentiate between smells.



  • Ability to Hold Urine – 12-week-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 4 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 4 hours to get them “housebroken”.
  • Intelligence – 12-week-old puppies are very interested in their environment. This makes them at higher risk for getting into “things” as they explore their environment. It is estimated that a puppies brain is fully developed at this age and this is the ideal time for them to begin “training”. They can begin to understand right from wrong and remember the consequences (reward!). Get your puppy used to the collar and leash.
  • Play & Agility – Most puppies that are 12 weeks old are still quite clumsy but are getting stronger and more coordinated. They have all the gaits of the adult dog, just not fine-tuned. They can run, play and stop with better accuracy. You may see bouts of “spurts of energy and play” when your puppy runs around like crazy. Enjoy this time! If your puppy is wreaking havoc in your home, redirect this energy toward appropriate balls and toys.
  • Sleep – Puppies that are 12 weeks old sleep approximately 18 to 20 hours per day. The rest is spent eating, playing and eliminating.
  • Physical Appearance & Hair Coat – 12-week-old puppies have a very soft baby hair coat and do very little shedding. They still have puppy characteristics but are getting slightly taller, longer and their muzzle is lengthening.



Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 12-week-old Puppy


  • Continue crate training
  • Maintain a housetraining schedule
  • Take him out at least every 4 hours
  • Feed him 4 times per day
  • Get your puppy used to grooming and touching his feet and mouth
  • Expose your puppy to different people to minimize fears
  • Socialize!
  • Never hit your puppy
  • Give positive reinforcement for work well done
  • Beware of puppy hazards
  • Provide safe chew toys
  • Play with your puppy daily
  • Make sure he gets his vaccines!
  • Start/discuss heartworm prevention with your vet
  • Make sure he has a good ID tag and microchip!Read about What your 12-week-old Puppy Needs to Stay Healthy!