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.

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

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.

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:

The Truth About Your Dog’s Droppings and the Effect on Your Lawn

We all have a special place in our hearts for our pooches. However, most dog owners would tell you their daily droppings aren’t the most fun thing to deal with. In fact, picking up Fido’s mess is a top annoyance for many Americans. But picking up dog poop is an essential part of keeping both your lawn and yourself healthy. Learn more of the truth about your dog’s droppings and the effect on your lawn with these common myths:

Myth #1: It’s Just Poop, It Can’t Make Me Sick

Truth: Dog waste contains millions of bacteria that could lead to some severe health problems. Allowing dog poop to stay on your lawn creates a higher risk of getting sick. Dogs and other animals (including yourself!) could step in the poop and transit tiny particles to other areas of the home. Carpets, furniture, and other spots where your dog walks can contain harmful bacteria. Common problems associated with dog feces include intestinal issues, diarrhea, and kidney disorders.

Dog poop can also pose problems for your dog and other pets. Roundworms and tapeworms are often found in dog poop which can spread to other animals. This intestinal issue can make your pets and you sick.

Myth #2: Dog Waste Fertilizes My Lawn

Truth: While you may see more growth in certain areas of the lawn where your dog likes to relieve himself, dog poop does more damage than good. Dog urine is high in nitrogen and can cause dead patches of grass. Dog poop also creates an unsightly “landmine” situation where you and your family can’t enjoy the lawn that you’ve worked so hard to maintain.

Dog waste isn’t a good fertilizer like cow manure. Spreading dog waste onto a garden can contaminate the produce.

Myth #3: Heartworm Spreads Through Dog Poop

Truth: Heartworm is a horrible disease that has become a significant problem for many pet owners. Although it would be easy to blame dog poop for spreading the parasite, heartworm actually spreads through mosquito bites.

Myth #4: My Neighbors Don’t Really Care

Truth: Your neighbors do care! Many homeowners associations will fine an owner who doesn’t pick up after Fido since the poop creates an eyesore for the neighborhood. Dog poop also produces an unpleasant smell which can cause a big stink with your neighbors. About 10 million tons of dog poop is not picked up each year creating a germy, unsightly damper on the environment. It’s one of the biggest contributors to urban watershed pollution in the country. The feces gets swept away by stormwater and contaminates creeks, rivers, and ponds. This issue has created division among many neighbors who find dog poop in their yard… especially if they don’t own a dog.

Myth #5: It’s Not A Big Deal

Truth: The fact is that dog poop left on the lawn can become an eyesore for your home. Those who pass by may think that the inside of your home is also not cared for. If you’re trying to sell your home, allowing dog poop to pile up in the backyard is a major turn off and can significantly reduce the value of your home.

Now that we have debunked the common myths about dog poop and your lawn, what can you do to keep your lawn healthy?

Pick It Up On A Regular Basis

We’re all busy so you may not have time to pick up dog poop every day. So set a goal of picking up poop every three days to keep the lawn clean. This will help keep the smell down in the yard as well as allow the grass to have a chance to bounce back. This is an excellent job for older kids, like teenagers, who understand good hygiene after coming in contact with fecal matter.

Take Bags Along

Walking your dog is a significant part of owning a pet. Daily walks help the dog get exercise and can cut down on hyperactivity while inside the home. Make sure you always have a bag with you on walks in case your pup relieves himself on someone else’s lawn. If you forgot your bag, make a note of the mess and make sure to come back after the walk to clean up after your pet.

Where to Discard Poop

Many homeowners end up gathering the poop and throwing it in the trash. This can lead to a stinky home if forgotten or left in a trash can indoors. Of course, you could always flush the poop when you get home. Some pet care companies have introduced new biodegradable pet waste bags that will slowly decompose.

Create A Designated Spot

When bringing home a new dog or puppy, consider training them to only poop in one area of the yard. This can cut down on your need to hunt for poop all over the yard and make it easier to care for your lawn and your pet. Pet proofing your yard and garden is also a good way to keep your dog safe when left outdoors unsupervised.

Properly Care for Your Lawn

For those areas of the lawn that your dog visits often, diluting the spots with water. This will help break up the concentration of nitrogen and allow your grass a chance to recover. Other options include spreading lime over the lawn to help neutralize the acidic parts. Reseed bare spots where the grass has died and consider adding fertilizer to help lawn growth.

Mometamax (Mometasone; Gentamicin; Clotrimazole) Otic Suspension for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Mometamax for Dogs and Cats

Mometamax is a medication to treat ear infections in dogs and cats. Otitis externa (outer ear infections) commonly include infection with both bacteria and yeast organisms. Many medications designed to treat these infections will include multiple medications to treat all aspects of the infection. You can learn more about otitis externa in these articles from the Petplace library: go to Otitis Externa (Ear Infections) in Dogs and Otitis Externa (Ear Infections) in Cats.

Mometamax contains three medications to treat your pet’s otitis:

  • Mometasone – a synthetic steroid that will help reduce inflammation in the ear canal. Inflammation is a large source of the pain associated with otitis, this will help your pet become comfortable more quickly.
  • Gentamicin – an aminoglycoside-type antibiotic that will treat a wide variety of bacteria types found in ear infections.
  • Clotrimazole – an antifungal medication used to treat infections caused by fungi (yeasts and molds). It is effective in the treatment of the common skin and ear yeast Malassezia pachydematitis and in control of the skin fungi (dermatophytes), Microsporum, Candida, and Trichophyton. The drug is also used occasionally for treatment of fungus infection of the nasal cavity.

Mometamax is specifically used to treat otitis externa caused by susceptible strains of yeast (Malassezia pachydermatis) and bacteria (Pseudomonas, coagulase-positive staphylococci, Enterococcus faecalis, Proteus mirabilis, and beta-hemolytic streptococci).

Brand Names of Mometamax for Dogs and Cats

  • Mometamax® – Merck
  • Similar multi-drug products include:
    • Otomax Ointment (Intervet-Schering-Plough) which includes Gentamicin sulfate, betamethasone valerate and clotrimazole
    • Posatex (Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health) which includes Orbifloxacin, posaconazole, mometasone furoate monohydrate
    • Tresaderm (Merial) which includes neomycin sulfate, dexamethasone, and thiabendazole
    • Surolan (Vetoquinol) which includes miconazole nitrate, polymyxin B sulfate, and prednisolone acetate
    • Claro® Suspension which includes florfenicol, terbinafine, and mometasone Furoate
    • Generic formulations which contain neomycin, polymyxin B, and hydrocortisone (generics)

Uses of Mometamax in Dogs and Cats

  • Mometamax is prescribed to treat or control infections caused by susceptible yeast and bacterial ear infections (otitis externa). The product is currently labeled for use in dogs only but has been used “off-label” in cats also. This means it is believed to be safe but has not been directly researched in cats.
  • Mometamax is not effective against infections caused by viruses or parasites (such as worms or mites).
  • Identification of the cause of an ear infection should be undertaken by your veterinarian.
  • For more information on ear infections, please read Otitis Externa in Dogs or Otitis Externa in Cats.

Precautions and Adverse Side-Effects of Mometamax

  • The combination of clotrimazole, gentamicin, and mometasone found in Mometamax® is generally safe for use in dogs. It can also be used in cats but has not been labeled by the manufacturer for this usage at this time.
  • Your pet should be examined by your veterinarian before starting this medication, it should not be used in animals with a ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane).
  • Signs of allergy to Mometamax® may include skin reactions, hives, and redness of the treated area.
  • Use of Mometamax® has been associated with partial hearing loss in a small number of geriatric dogs. It can be temporary in some dogs.
  • If you notice hearing loss, head tilt or dizziness in your pet undergoing treatment with Mometamax® stop the treatment and call your veterinarian immediately.
  • The steroid component of Mometamax®, mometasone has the advantage of having a lower risk of systemic corticosteroid signs than some other ear medications.
  • Do not use this drug in pregnant dogs.

How Mometamax® is Supplied

  • Mometamax® is available in various size bottles (7.5gm, 15 gm, 30 gm, and 215gm)
  • The ear canal should be cleaned and dried before the topical use of this product. It should be confirmed that the eardrum is intact prior to using this medication.
  • It is recommended to clip the excessive hair away from the area to be treated.

Dosing Information for Mometamax®

  • Mometamax® should only be used under the direction of a veterinarian. It may not be safe to administer the clotrimazole, gentamicin, and betamethasone combination to pets with certain medical problems.
  • The typical dose of Mometamax® ranges from 4 to 8 drops in the ear canal.
  • Administer 4 drops to dogs weighing less than 30 pounds once a day for 7 days, or as indicated by your veterinarian.
  • Apply 8 drops to dogs weighing more than 30 pounds once a day for 7 days.
  • Here is an article on How to Administer Ear Medication to Your Dog that may be helpful.
  • The duration of administration depends on the severity of the infection, response to the medication, and the presence of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription.

Resources & References

  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XIV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology, Miller WH, Griffin CE, Campbell KL. 7th edition
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Mometamax gentamicin sulfate, mometasone furoate monohydrate, and clotrimazole suspension [product information]. Madison, NJ, USA.
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman

Cytopoint (Lokivetmab or CADI) for Dogs

Overview of Cytopoint for Dogs

  • Cytopoint®, also known by the names Lokivetmab and Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic (commonly abbreviated as CADI), is a monoclonal antibody treatment that targets and deactivates canine IL-31.
  • Canine IL-31 is a cytokine involved in sending the itch signal to the brain. Therefore, Cytopoint® is effective at controlling pruritus (itching) in dogs with allergies. Because this drug focuses on canine IL-31 – it is a dog only product. Cytopoint® not effective in cats.
  • Cytopoint® is not considered a corticosteroid or an antihistamine but has effects that can be similar and has been shown to be a great drug alternative to antihistamine drugs and steroids such as prednisone, dexamethasone, depomedtrol, and triamcinolone. Cytopoint® has been very effective in controlling itching without the side effects.
  • Cytopoint® is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
    Studies have shown that CYTOPOINT started controlling itch within 1 day of the injection and can keep the itching controlled for 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Cytopoint® has been specifically approved and labeled for use in dogs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Brand Names and Other Names of Cytopoint®

  • This drug is registered for use in dogs only.
  • Veterinary formulations: Cytopoint®. Cytopoint® is also known as Lokivetmab and Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic and commonly abbreviated as CADI).

Uses of Cytopoint® for Dogs

  • Cytopoint® has been used in the treatment of allergies such as atopy (Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs) and those allergies caused by fleas, food or other contact substances.

Precautions and Side Effects of Cytopoint for Dogs

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Cytopoint® may cause side effects in some dogs.
  • Cytopoint® should not be used in dogs with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Cytopoint has been shown to be safe if given with antibiotics, vaccines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or allergen immunotherapy.
  • There have been limited long-term studies to identify side effects. The most common side effect from Cytopoint® noted to date has been lethargy for the first 1 -2 days following an injection.
  • There is some evidence that some dogs may show a diminished response to Cytopoint® over time suggesting that they are developing antibodies to Cytopoint®.

How Cytopoint® Is Supplied

  • Cypoint® is available in in single-use 1-mL vials in four concentrations: 10, 20, 30 or 40 mg/vials. This drug is dosed by weight with some dogs getting a combination of vials to active the appropriate amount of medication.

Dosing Information of Cytopoint® for Dogs

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs for an anti-itching effect, Cytopoint® is generally given once every 4 to 8 weeks as a subcutaneous injection.
  • Some dogs will need year-round continuous treatment and others seasonally and only during flare-ups.
  • Cytopoint® is most commonly dosed at 2 mg/kg body weight (0.9 mg/pound). For convenience, the manufacturer provides a dosing table by weight to be used as a guideline.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication, and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian. Even if your pet appears to be feeling better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.

Resources & References for Cytopoint

  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Mometamax gentamicin sulfate, mometasone furoate monohydrate, and clotrimazole suspension [product information]. Madison, NJ, USA.
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology, Miller WH, Griffin CE, Campbell KL. 7th edition

11 Pet Dangers and Concerns for Pregnant Women

Your pets are an important part of the family and can continue to be a big part as your family grows. When there is a pregnant woman in the home, some precautions should be taken with handling your pets medications, supplements, and waste. The risk of handling cat waste/litter boxes is handled in a separate article. For more information on cats and pregnant women, see the following article in the PetPlace library: Are cats dangerous to pregnant women?

The focus of this article is medications and treatments your pet may receive and cautions that should be taken. You should always ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns about the treatments your pet is receiving while you are pregnant. This article is not meant to replace any advice given by your doctor, you should also let them know you have pets and what medications they are taking so they can discuss these topics. We tried to come up with the most common exposures you may have during pregnancy- if there is a medication prescribed that is not listed, check out our Drug Library to find out more information. Most of the concerns with the following medications can be avoided by wearing gloves when handling the medication and washing hands immediately afterward or having someone else in the house medicate your pet.

1. Chemotherapy: There are many different drugs used in chemotherapy in veterinary medicine and the safety margins will differ, it is important to discuss the specific drug used with your veterinarian. In general, the biggest danger is the elimination of the chemotherapy drug which is commonly in urine. Pregnant owners, those who are trying to conceive, or breastfeeding should avoid handling chemotherapy and should avoid their pet’s waste (urine, feces, and vomit) for 72 hours after the last treatment. For more information on Chemotherapy, go to Chemotherapy Treatment Procedure for Dogs.

2. Chloramphenicol: A broad spectrum antibiotic that is usually reserved for serious infections or those that have failed to respond to other antibiotics. It can cause bone marrow suppression, vomiting, and nausea in humans. All owners should wear gloves when giving this medication to their pets, pregnant and nursing women should use extra caution to avoid exposure. For more information on Chloramphenicol, see our drug library article: Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®) for Dogs and Cats.

3. Cyclosporine: Immunosuppressant medication commonly used for severe allergies and skin conditions as well as autoimmune conditions such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). Cyclosporine will also suppress the immune system in humans and contact with this medication should be avoided by pregnant women. For more information on Cyclosporine, go to Cyclosporine (Atopica®, Optimmune®, Sandimmune®) for Cats and Dogs.

4. Diethylstilbestrol (DES): Diethylstilbestrol is used in female dogs for hormone-responsive incontinence and can be used to avoid pregnancy in accidental mismating although the second use is controversial and not commonly recommended. This drug is a synthetic estrogen, a hormone important in female reproduction. Exposure to pregnant dogs or humans is not recommended. This medication is not used in cats. For more information on Diethylstilbestrol, go to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) for Female Dogs.

5. Dinoprost (prostaglandin-F2alpha; PGF2; Lutalyse®): Dinoprost is a salt of the naturally occurring prostaglandin F2alpha that can be used in cats and dogs to treat uterine infections (pyometra) or induce abortions. This drug should not be handled by pregnant women at all. Women of childbearing age and people with asthma or other respiratory problems should use extreme caution in handling these solutions. This drug is easily absorbed through the skin and can cause uterine contractions and bronchospasm in exposed people.

6. Mitotane (Lysodren) and Trilostane (Vetoryl): Both Mitotane and Trilostane are used to treat hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) by interfering with the hormone production in the adrenal gland. It can reduce the production of prostaglandin and should not be used in pregnant animals, pregnant women should also use caution when handling these medications. For more information on treatment of Cushing’s disease and Mitotane or Trilostane therapy, see the articles in our drug and medical library: Mitotane (Lysodren®, o’p’DDD) for Dogs and Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Syndrome) in Dogs.

7. Methimazole (Tapazole, Felimazole): Methimazole is used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) in cats. This medication interferes with thyroid function, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. It is available in tablets and a transdermal ointment that can be rubbed onto your cat’s skin, the transdermal ointment would not be recommended with a pregnant woman in the house. Pregnant or nursing women or women who may become pregnant should wear gloves when handling tablets, litter or bodily fluids of treated cats. For more information on Methimazole, see the article in our drug library: Methimazole (Tapazole®, Felimazole®) for cats.

Top 5 BEST Dog Halloween Costumes

It’s estimated that 15 percent of Americans will buy costumes for their pets and will spend almost three times more on costumes for children than they will for pets. The business of pet costumes has been growing.  It’s no longer about a simple bandana or  Santa hat on your dog.

When it comes to dressing up your dog in a costume, some pet costume options are just better. Our Top 5 Dog Costume list is filled with the most hilarious, adorable and favorite pet costumes out there!

Our Top 10 list was compiled by conducting interviews with pet owners just like you. Plus, we vetted the costumes based on quality and actual customer reviews from

#1: Prisoner Dog & Cat Costume

With the Frisco Prisoner Dog & Cat Costume, your pooch or kitty will be the cutest jail-pet around. Dress up you fur-gitive with this two-piece costume that includes a prisoner’s hat complete with an adjustable chin strap for a secure fit, and a pull-over style shirt with bars for an authentic look. Perfect for all shapes and sizes.

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $9.99 with a special $3.00 discount
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#2:  Werewolf Dog & Cat Costume

Full moon or not, your furry one can get a whole lot furrier wearing the Frisco Werewolf Dog & Cat Costume. This three-piece werewolf costume comes complete with fluffy hands, “ripped” pants, plaid shirt, furry hat, and removable cape. Perfect for themed photo shoots!

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $12.99
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#3:  Hotdog and Ketchup Costume

Hold the dog, because your pooch or kitty is actually the hotdog in the Frisco Hotdog Ketchup Dog & Cat Costume. Dress up your pal in between two plush sesame-seed buns and a generous squirt of squishy ketchup on the back. It’s super easy to put on thanks to the Velcro straps on the belly and the neck.

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $8.99
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#4:  Red Riding Hood Costume

Whether she’s a wolf or just a sweet little girl on her way to grandma’s house, your precious pup will bring the fairy tale to life with the Rubie’s Costume Company Red Riding Hood Dog Costume. She’s sure to turn plenty of heads strolling through the woods or at a pet parade

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $12.00
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#5:  Devil Dog Costume

Give your little angel a new look with the Zack & Zoey Sequin Devil Dog Costume. A must-have for your Halloween party—or just a share-worthy photo op—your friends will love the sparkling cape that is decked out in sequins for a devilishly cute effect.

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $15.99
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween.