Adding Some Green to Your Home? Reconsider These Plants Dangerous to Dogs

Pet owners commonly wonder about the toxicity of various plants. Common questions are about which plants are toxic to dogs and how toxic are they?

Below are four common plants that can cause problems in dogs. Ingestion of just about any houseplant or outdoor plant including grass can cause oral irritation, nausea, drooling, and vomiting in dogs.

It is important to know that some plants that are only mildly toxic to dogs are extremely toxic to cats. An example is the Easter Lily. Learn more about Easter Lily Toxicity in Cats.

Four Plants Dangerous to Dogs

  1. Sago Palm Toxicity to Dog

The sago palm, also known as cardboard palm, cycad, zymia, and coontie, is a plant that contains a toxin called cycasin that can cause liver damage and death in some dogs when ingested.  Because the sago palm is often inside the home, there is a higher level of possible exposure to dogs.

Danger: Severe toxicity

Toxic Component: Cycasin

Possible Effect: Liver failure and death

Toxic Part of the Plant: All

Symptoms of toxicity are those of liver disease that include vomiting, diarrhea, yellow discoloration to the gums, bleeding, bruising, increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, and in some cases seizures, coma and death.

  1. Tulip

Tulips are a common outdoor plant that comes up in the spring forming a beautiful flower that comes in a variety of colors and color combinations. They are sometimes presented in flower arrangements or given as a plant gift in the spring.

Danger: Mild toxicity

Toxic Component: Allergenic lactones

Possible Effect: Gastrointestinal irritation

Toxic Part of the Plant: All parts are toxic with the bulb being most toxic

Symptoms of toxicity from tulip ingestion include drooling, nausea, pawing at the mouth, and/or reluctance to eat due to the oral irritation.

  1. Daffodil

Like tulips, daffodils (Narcissus spp) are common outdoor plants that come up in the spring forming a beautiful flower that comes in a variety of colors.

Danger: Moderate toxicity

Toxic Component: Lycorine

Possible Effect: Various

Toxic Part of the Plant: All parts are toxic with the bulb being most toxic

Symptoms of toxicity from daffodil ingestion include drooling, nausea, pawing at the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, fainting, seizures, and/or abnormal heart rhythms.

  1. Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley, also known as Convallaria, is an outdoor plant that comes up in the spring with beautiful green leaves and a flow of delicate small white bell-shaped flowers.

Danger: Moderate toxicity

Toxic Component: Cardiac glycosides

Possible Effect: Gastrointestinal and cardiac effects

Toxic Part of the Plant: Leaves and flowers

Symptoms of toxicity from ingestion include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizure, and/or death.

How To Keep Your Dog Away From These Plants

If you have any of the plants listed above in your home or garden, the best way to protect your dog is to prevent exposure and not have them. If you must have these plants, build fences between your dog and the plants outside as one option to prevent exposure.  Keep indoor plants out of the reach of pets. Routinely clean up fallen leaves and plant debris to prevent exposure.

Alternatives That Can Bring The Same Look But Are Safer For Dogs

As an option to the plants listed above, here is a list of plants that are considered not toxic to dogs. They include

  • Easter daisy (Townsendia sericea)
  • Easter orchid (Cattleya mossiae)
  • Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis multiplex)
  • Resurrection lily (Kaempferia pulchra)
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exalta)
  • Bottle Palm, also known as Elephant-foot Tree, (Beaucarnea recurvate)
  • African Violet (Saintpaulia spp.)
  • Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus cv sprengeri)
  • Baby Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
  • English Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Palm (Neanthebella) 
  • Sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius)
  • Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)
  • Verona Fern (Nephrolepis biserrata)

What can you use or plant instead of these plants? You can use artificial plants! Some are high quality, beautiful and don’t need to be watered either!

We hope these tips help to keep your pet safe.

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Be Careful with These 5 Foods That Make Dogs Sick

Dogs can eat many human foods safely, however, there are some foods that can cause problems. Some pet owners only become aware of this after their dog ingests one of these foods and ends up in the veterinary emergency room.

Below we will review 5 foods that can cause problems in dogs.

Three Human Foods that Make Dogs Sick

There are several human foods that can make dogs sick. Many of you are aware of some such as chocolate but others like the ones below you may not be aware.

  1. Grapes and Raisins – It came as a complete surprise to many veterinarians when it was discovered that grapes and raisins are toxic to some dogs.  Which dogs can be affected and the toxic components are still unknown. Ingestion of as little as one or two grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Signs of toxicity include lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy and increased or decreased thirst or urination. Learn more in this article Grape and Raisin Toxicity.

  1. Macadamia Nuts – These wonderful and delicious nuts are toxic to dogs. Macadamia nuts are found in chocolates, cookies, and candies. Signs of toxicity can begin in 10 to 12 hours after ingestion and vary from mild to severe.

Symptoms include a weakness that is often more severe in the rear legs, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and/or tremors.  Most dogs improve in one to two days with treatment.

  1. Peanut Butter, Gum and Other Xylitol Containing Foods – Many foods and human products are sweetened with xylitol. This includes gum, pastries, candy, toothpaste, and mints just to name a few. Certain formulations of peanut butter are sweetened with xylitol. Some of these foods are created for people with diabetics. Ingestion of xylitol causes a release of insulin that leads to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and liver failure in some dogs.  Prevent exposure by taking time to read ingredient labels on peanut butter jars and low-calorie foods to ensure that you avoid the active ingredient xylitol if you plan to give any of these foods to your dog or after accidental exposure. Another common cause of contact is from dogs that get into a purse that contains chewing gum or mints.

Signs of xylitol toxicity may include weakness, lethargy, and incoordination as the blood sugar falls. Progressive weakness, vomiting, and lack of appetite develop as liver damage occurs. Learn more about Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs.

An important thing to know is what dogs can eat as well as what they can’t. Learn about the safety and risks of many different human foods. Go to: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Two Pet Foods that Can Make Dogs Sick

  1. Raw Foods – Some people believe that raw meat diets are healthier. This is controversial. There are definitely some benefits to feeding a raw meat diet however some raw diets are not nutritionally balanced and can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. Learn more about the pros and cons of raw food diets.
  2. Rawhides – Rawhides are made from the inner layer of hide and are given as a common treat to dogs. Dangers associated with rawhide include contamination with chemicals or dangerous bacteria as well as provide a risk for choking (INSERT LINK TO PILLAR JUNE 2019). Some dogs will swallow large prices that are difficult to digest and become lodged in their esophagus. The Good and Bad of Rawhides.

Safe Treats for Dogs

The best treat for your dog is low in calories and makes up less than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie consumption. If your dog has dietary restrictions, discuss giving any new food or treat with your vet. All treats given should be appropriate for your dog’s size. Big pieces should be cut up so a dog does not choke.

Safe and healthy treats you may give your dog include:

  • Vegetables – small pieces of cooked or raw cleaned cut green beans, carrots or peas.
  • Rice cake or air-popped popcorn are good low-calorie treats.
  •  A small amount of canned dog food of the same brand and flavor as the dry dog food you are feeding.
  •  A few kibbles of your dog’s regular food.

Prevention of Toxicities in Dogs

The best way to prevent these food toxicities is to prevent exposure to toxic items. Here are some tips:

  • Do not feed your dog human foods. That is the best way to prevent exposure.
  • Encourage your company not to give your dog food or treats without your permission.  Dogs are commonly given foods and treats during holiday parties or picnics.
  • Keep cupboards closed, purses out of reach and closed, and food sealed out of reach on countertops.
  • Pay special attention during holiday parties where grapes are at the table or in fruit baskets.
  • Consider putting your dog in a room during parities where well-meaning guests won’t feed your dog a treat.
  • Feed a high-quality AAFCO approved food to your dog.
  • If you suspect that your pet has eaten or potentially ingested a toxic food, please contact your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ways to Protect Your Pet from Wild Animal Attacks

Who doesn’t love the start of summer? Warmer weather and longer days mean you get to spend more time outside. While you may know the essentials of taking care of yourself during these warm-weathered months, have you thought about what threats there are to your pets?

We aren’t just talking about the importance of hydration and flea control, though. When the weather breaks, the likelihood that you may run into a wild animal goes up, as they will begin to come out of hibernation and can end up in your backyards and neighborhoods.

Even if you live in a more metro or urban area, taking your dog out for a walk or to an unfamiliar place can put them in harm’s way. The best thing you can do is know how to act in case there is an encounter and what you can do to protect your pet from a wild animal.

Wildlife That Is a Risk to Dogs and Cats

Where you live may be a great indicator of what types of animals you may encounter, but even if you don’t live near a forest or park, that doesn’t mean that you won’t run into urban wildlife. This type of wildlife occurs when non-domestic animals share the environment in which you live.

What this means for you and your pets is that these wildlife animals may pose a potential health risk. The first thing you need to know is what kind of animals are native in your area, and which you are most likely to run into.

Common urban wildlife animals are coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and foxes. While some of these are seemingly harmless and may not care to interact with you, a curious dog or cat can scare the animal and an altercation may break out.

Knowing that those are the common wild animals, it may seem obvious that some of them pose more of a threat than another, but, the transmission of these diseases can happen quicker and easier than you can imagine. Sometimes all it takes is contaminated water or soil. But, mainly the transmission occurs through saliva, especially by bites.

While we all know having a dog sprayed by a skunk is a less-than-pleasant experience, it’s usually a problem that can be resolved by a few home remedies. But, these critters, just like raccoons, foxes, and coyotes, can also carry rabies.

When it comes to heartworms, your dog can get this from an infected raccoon or coyote. Raccoons also carry an intestinal parasite called Baylisascaris.

If your dog enjoys the water or you will be hiking through trails, it is best to have them vaccinated against these diseases as well as others, such as Leptospirosis. This bacterial disease is transmitted through urine, so it could contaminate areas pets may play or drink.

Tips to Protect Dogs From Wild Animals

While you may go to great lengths to protect your pet from a wild animal, you have to remember that these non-domestic creatures are not vaccinated and do not have any type of disease control.

Knowing that these animals can carry diseases — such as rabies, heartworms, parasites, and other diseases — the following are tips to protect your dog from wildlife.


  • Vaccines — Keep your dog up-to-date and all their shots to ensure that they are protected against disease.
  • Lighting — If it is getting dark, try to only walk your dog in well-lit areas so you can see if a wild animal is approaching. Light is a natural deterrent for some.
  • Limit outside time — Try to keep your dog’s outdoor time to a minimum. Also, do not leave them unattended.
  • Leashes — Your dogs should only be walked on sturdy leashes, especially in rural areas or at night.
  • Desirable yard — Make your own property less desirable by the use of fencing and closing up any hiding or crawl spaces that wildlife would enter.
  • Food — There are no circumstances in which you should feed wild animals. This only makes your home a desirable location.
  • Noise — Be ready to make noise to ward off predators if they are approaching.
  • Report — Let the neighborhood know of any wildlife spotting, especially those that pose a real threat to domestic animals such as coyotes.


In addition to the above tips, if you have a smaller dog, you should always watch or accompany them while outdoors no matter what time of day it is. At night, it is best practice to turn all the lights on in the yard and even using a leash when taking your dog outside.

Things to Include in a Pet Disaster Kit

We all love summertime. The nicer weather means we get to spend more time outdoors doing some of our favorite activities. But, with the arrival of summer, it also means the time for some unpredictable weather.

Depending on where you live, the summer could mean it’s the peak time for tons of rain, which can lead to flash floods or even hurricanes. Or, the super dry climate can bring on severe thunderstorms, wildfires, or tornadoes.

Regardless, the last thing you want to do is be unprepared in the event that you’ll need to survive without the traditional means of food, water, electricity or heat, or even shelter for a few days. While your family may already have a disaster plan or kit on hand, the one thing you need to do to assure everyone is taken care of properly is to make sure your pet’s needs are met as well. A pet disaster kit can do just that.

Your Survival Kit

As mentioned above, where you live can indicate what type of severe weather you may experience during warmer months. But, simply knowing what you are up against and what to actually be prepared for are two separate things.

Before we go into what you should have in your pet disaster kit, evaluating what you have prepared for your own is a good start.

According to the Red Cross, your Disaster Survival Kit should have, at a minimum, the following basic supplies.

  • Water and food
  • Flashlight and radio (with extra batteries)
  • Deluxe first aid kit
  • Medications and medical supplies
  • Multi-purpose tool (screwdriver, knife, etc.)
  • Sanitation/personal hygiene items
  • Copies of documents (medical, emergency contact information, etc.)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Emergency blankets
  • Area map
  • Cash

Your pet’s needs are different than yours, so their kit will require items that you may not think of for yourself. While preparing for disaster, consider making your kit alongside theirs and keeping them together in one, easily accessible spot. That way, if a disaster were to strike, you will both be ready to get through it together.

Disaster Kit for Your Dog

When making a pet disaster kit, first consider what type of animal this is for. A dog’s kit will look slightly different from a cat’s, as would an indoor pet from a farm animal.

While you may be used to sharing table scraps with your dog from time to time, when it comes to having limited supplies, making sure they have their own food to eat is just on the surface. Here is what your dog’s disaster kit should look like.


  • Food and water — Just like you, your pet will need food and water for a minimum of five days. While they may not need as much water as you, keep extra on hand in case they need to be rinsed. Also keep a manual can opener, if you did not pack one in your kit, for cans of dog food.
  • Leashes and harnesses — Your pet needs to be able to be transported easily. Leashes and harnesses should be sturdy and secure. These should not be their daily ones, as you may not remember to grab them in the midst of disaster.
  • Carriers — In addition to a leash, your pet should have a carrier that it can stand up, turn around, and comfortably lie in.
  • Medications and medical records — Have a list of current medications and medical records for the dog. It’s best if this list is waterproof.
  • Photos — Have a photo on hand of you and your dog. In case their tags come off or you are separated, you have proof they are yours.
  • Food dishes — Make sure you have a bowl for water and food.
  • Medical supplies — Anything from gauze and gloves to bandages to tweezers, scissors, and swabs should be readily available in case of an injury.


Additional supplies to consider that are not listed are:

  • Flashlights with batteries
  • Blankets
  • Waste bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Eyewash
  • Dog sticker

Keep all of the supplies together in one compact and preferably waterproof bag. It may be a good idea to include some additional treats or even a toy for comfort for your dog as well. Make sure they have a collar with an identification tag on it that has their name, your name, and your address and phone number on it. Consider getting your dog microchipped as well in case the collar were to come off.

Disaster Kit for Your Cat

If you happen to have a cat, or a dog and a cat, you will need different supplies to take care of them. While some of these supplies may be a repeat of the previous kit, it is important to note that if you do have one of each, you need twice as many supplies. Do not rely on sharing one kit between two animals without ample stock of each item.

Is Your Dog Depressed After a Baby Came Home? Here’s Why

Congratulations! You just brought home your new bundle of joy and the whole family couldn’t be any happier. Except, perhaps for one member of the family, this new arrival can bring a whirlwind of emotions.

If you have noticed that your dog has been acting strange since the arrival of your new baby, then there’s a chance they might be depressed.

Now, before you go and wonder how bringing a baby home could make your dog depressed, think of the bigger picture. Major changes in your dog’s life can trigger symptoms of depression, such as moving or adding another pet to the family.

Seeing your dog depressed after the baby arrives is no different. In order to be able to help, first, you need to understand what a depressed dog looks like.

Why Does My Dog Seem Sad or Depressed?

If your dog does seem sad or depressed after you bring home the baby, it’s more due to the fact that their lives — just like yours — have just been transformed.

If you notice your dog has stopped participating in things they once enjoyed; seems withdrawn or inactive; or stops eating, drinking, or sleeping, they may be experiencing depression symptoms.

Why would your dog be so upset? Well, your dog may be jealous. If your dog is the only pet, or just used to getting a ton of attention, adapting to having a baby around that needs all of your focus may cause feelings of hurt or confusion.

Another reason a baby may cause your dog to feel depressed is that they thrive on predictability and routine. Soon enough, you will be waking up at all hours of the night and while you may think that just affects the parents, it messes with your dog’s sleep as well.

This also comes with messing with the dog’s space. If you do begin moving the dog’s belongs around after the arrival of the baby, this can lead to confusion and depression.

But, there’s no need to worry. With time, and by taking the proper steps, your dog and baby will likely form a new friendship that will last for years to come.

Preparing Your Dog for a New Addition

While we all may wish our dogs understand every single word, situation, and detail we are telling them, that is simply just not the case. So, in order to help your dog transition into the big change to come, you can prepare in ways that will help them adapt prior to baby’s arrival by following these few tips.

    • Territory — If your dog has a favorite spot to sleep, it’s probably best to try to avoid setting up the baby there if it all possible.
    • Furniture — If you will be moving or rearranging furniture, try to get it done as soon as possible. This way, your dog will be able to adjust.
    • Baby things — Allow your dog to look at and sniff around the baby’s room and things so they get accustomed to the new sights and smells.


  • Play date — If at all possible, see if you can coordinate for some kids — neighbors or relatives — to come hang out with your dog to gauge their behavior.
  • Swap scents — If possible, have someone bring home a blanket that the baby at the hospital prior to coming home. Place near the dog’s bed or food dishes.


What You Can Do

In addition to the preparations above, while it may sound a little silly, you can walk around the house with a baby doll in your arms. Teach your dog appropriate behavior when the doll is out.

For example, if you are sitting down with the doll, appropriate action may be for your dog to come sit or lay down and examine the baby. But, if your dog gets overly excited and begins to jump up, then you need to try to affirm the commands “no” or “sit” to get your dog to back down.

If your dog does not know simple obedience commands prior to the arrival of your newborn, you may want to consider enrolling in some classes beforehand.

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Happy After Baby Arrives

Once you bring home the baby, there are a few things you can do to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible.

As mentioned above, taking a couple of used baby items — such as blankets, clothes, or burp clothes — and placing them under your dog’s dishes and near their bed is a good way for them to become familiar with the newest family member’s scent.

Pet Water Safety Tips for an Enjoyable Summer

When the warmer months come rolling around, many of us want to enjoy some quality time with friends and family near the water. While this a great way to get out and relax, there’s another member in your household that may enjoy the water just as much as you: your dog.

Enjoying water activities with your dog can be a great way to provide a fun and engaging environment for all. Before you go ahead and assume that your dog naturally knows how to swim, remember, that’s not always the case.

In order to have an enjoyable summer with your furry friend, follow these guidelines for pet water safety to help keep your dog protected around the water.

My Dog Can Swim, Right?

Some people may be under the assumption that canines are natural-born swimmers. While some breeds may have a better advantage due to their size and weight, others struggle while in the water.

Sure, if your dog winds up in the water accidentally, they may begin to dog paddle, but that doesn’t mean that they actually can or want to swim — or even stay afloat for a long period of time.

Breeds Known for Swimming

Breeds that are best known for swimming include medium-to-large sized dogs that have webbing between their toes as well as water-resistant coats.

These include most retrievers, labs, and golden breeds. Despite their size, Newfoundlands are great swimmers in addition to the Schipperke, standard poodle, and English and Irish setters.

But, don’t forget about the dogs that have the word “water” in their names such as the American Water Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, and the Spanish Water Dog. These dogs are natural water-loving companions.

Breeds Not Known for Swimming

On the contrary, there are dog breeds that are just not known for swimming. In this category, think of dogs that have small legs and a large chest. Or, those who have a short muzzle and legs. Popular dogs in this category are pugs, Boston terriers, and bulldogs.

Dachshunds and boxers are other breeds that have trouble staying afloat while in the water. Despite all of this, some small dogs can actually be good swimmers, but due to the fact they can get spooked or cold easily, it may not always go as planned.

Regardless of size, know that you can properly handle your dog on the land before attempting to get in the water. It will be harder, as your dog will be heavier and it may be difficult to get them out of the water once they’re in.

Teaching Your Dog to Swim

Before turning your furry friend loose into the water, the best thing you can do for their safety and your own is to introduce them to water and help them learn the basics.


  • Keep your dog on a leash — While introducing your dog to water, make sure they are secure on a leash. That way, if they need help, you can guide them.
  • Pick a good spot — Find a quiet, shallow area of water when taking your dog out the first few times. Don’t rush to deep water.
  • Don’t go too far — Start near the edge of the water. If your dog seems to be enjoying it, stay as long as you can. Don’t let them go too far as they can tire easily.
  • Don’t force it — Never force your dog into the water. Allow them to go in on their own. It could scare them in the future if they are forced!
  • The dog paddle — When your dog does begin to paddle, assist them in lifting up the hind legs. This will show your dog that it can float.
  • Get in — That’s right, you need to get in the water with your dog!


Water Safety Tips for Your Dog

Now that you know some of the ways you can help your dog learn to swim, there are some additional pet water safety tips to follow to ensure you will have a good day out on the water.

Pet water safety begins and ends with you. While you may be just as excited to get into the water, your dog is relying on you to keep them safe. We will go over the many ways you can keep your pet safe in different types of swimming areas.

At the Pool

If you are planning on swimming with your dog in your pool or at a friend’s house, the first thing you need to do before letting your dog jump in is to check the temperature. Make sure it isn’t too hot or cold.

Make Summer a Blast With These Pet-Friendly Vacation Ideas

How many times have you found yourself struggling to figure out what you want to do or where you want to go on vacation because you’re not sure what to do with your pet? Do you leave them at home or maybe with a pet sitter? Either way, leaving your pet at home while you leave for a couple of days doesn’t sound enticing. Well, what if you could have fun on vacation and also take them? It sounds like the best of both worlds, but is it really possible? With these pet-friendly vacation ideas, you’ll have a blast while also being able to bring your furry friend along for the trip!

Pet-Friendly Vacation Ideas

Since Lola, your trusty poodle never leaves your side, you’ve decided to bring her on vacation with you this summer, but you’re not sure where you guys should go. Since most places aren’t very dog-friendly, but you still want to have fun with your furry companion during your time off, where should you go?

San Diego, California

You’ll be pleased to hear that San Diego is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the United States. Whether you’re there for the attractions, tours, or restaurants, you and Lola will be welcomed with open arms. With beautiful weather, gorgeous scenery, and the incredible San Diego beaches, you and Lola will have a fantastic time. Start off with some lunch at the Patio on Lamont at Pacific beach, where you can get a taste for some authentic Californian cuisine, but Lola can also chow down on some of their homemade dog biscuits.

If that’s not really your style, you can always hop over to the dog-friendly terrace at the Pier Cafe on West Harbor Drive. After lunch, let Lola loose at Nate’s Point Off-Leash Dog Park at Balboa Park, which is open 24 hours a day, so you can enjoy a late night jog or an early morning walk as the sun is rising. Since Lola’s an active one, you might want to go explore Fiesta Island, one of San Diego’s many off-leash beaches and parks.

According to Smart Assets, San Diego has a whopping 530 dog-friendly restaurants, so you should have no concern as to whether you’ll be able to find somewhere to eat. Want to sit around and drink a beer with your best bud by your side? San Diego has plenty of breweries where you can do just that. If you’re in the city at the right time, you might even be lucky enough to catch one of the many canine-focused events that they put on every year.

Austin, Texas

If you’re not really interested in visiting California and don’t want to spend the money to do so, maybe Austin, Texas is the right place for you and your furry companion! Nationally known as one of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States, there are plenty of fun things to do with your pet in Austin. If you’ve brought along your pooch, you’ll surely want to enjoy the great outdoors at Lady Bird Lake. Located in downtown Austin, this river-like reservoir provides plenty of fun for visitors as well as locals to get out and enjoy the weather. From hiking and biking trails to kayaking and paddleboarding on the water, you could spend a whole day at Lady Bird Lake with your pup.

What dog doesn’t like running around off leash? Red Bud Isle Dog Park is 17.5 acres of off-leash fun for you and your dog. Since it’s located right on Lake Austin, it’s a great place for dogs to run around and then cool off in the water after a hot day in the sun. After your day in the sun, you’ll surely want to cool off with some drinks. What better place to do so than Yard Bar. This local bar is a popular spot for dog lovers in Austin and allows you to enjoy some good food and drinks while you watch your dog play in the bar’s off-leash dog park with fellow pups from the bar. If you’re interested in getting some shopping done while on vacation, you’re going to want to head to “The Domain.” This outdoor shopping center has shops such as Macy’s, Dillards, and more. The nice thing about this shopping center is that most shops allow pets and will even give out treats to dogs that stop by.

Sedona, Arizona

Let’s say you’re more of an outdoorsy sort of person and you’d like to go vacationing somewhere that you can things like hiking, going on adventure tours, and just being in the outdoors all day long with your pet. Well, Sedona is the place for you. A trip to Sedona is wasted without venturing out to their local hiking hills. The beautiful red-rock scenery will leave you wanting more and more. With dozens of fantastic routes to choose from, varying in difficulty level, you and your pooch can grab your canteens and get going on an all-day hike.