Get a Pep in Your Step with your Couch Potato Canine!

I can’t believe we’re already nearly half way through the first month of the new year and you may be sticking to your resolutions but, I have to be honest and say that I don’t really do ‘New Year resolutions’; I just aim to make the new year the best it can be, for both me and my family – furry members included! 

Many of us will have unashamedly indulged in all the wonderful food and drink over the holidays and, whilst the celebrations are fast becoming a distant memory, some of us may have picked up a bit more baggage around our tummies along the way! Our canine companions will have had their fair share of extra treats too, so they are probably in the same boat!   

No worries – the shared problem can also be the shared solution!  

During the winter months, we’re often a bit lethargic and guilty of staying indoors more, but the solution is simple – we just need to get ourselves and the pooch off the couch and go to the park – whatever the weather!  

The exercise will do you both the world of good, but unlike running around, your furry friend is totally dependent on you to get their diet right too and their requirements will change with age. 

If your dog suffers from stiff joints or arthritis , then carrying an extra few pounds will simply increase the pressure on the joints and no-one likes to see their beloved pet in pain, especially when there is something we can do to help them. 

Keep their fatty treats to a minimum or, better still, why not replace their usual treats with tasty supplement treats that will not make them pile on the weight, help with pain relief and put the pep back in their step! 

 

… and what if you can’t have a Dog of your own? 

That’s no problem either!  

How about becoming a shelter volunteer?  

Dog shelters and animal rescue centers need volunteers all of the time, but especially at this time of year. It’s a sad fact, but many animals are surrendered simply because they were unwanted Christmas gifts, so DON’T DELAY – they need your help NOW!  

Believe me, once you’ve started this great work, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner! 

It’s so rewarding, plus you will meet other like-minded people and form new friendships. These people will love dogs the same as you and you are bound to get on well with them. 

You could be doing any number of things, like checking in new arrivals, grooming, walking, training an old dog new tricks or simply comforting a terrified animal that doesn’t understand why they’ve been dumped. 

Shelters want to find new homes for pooches, and with your help the dogs are prepared faster for this. Each new animal will be different and will need different kinds of help. There is nothing more rewarding than nursing a neglected hound back to health, or helping turn one who had no skills at all into a house-trained pet, ready for their forever home. 

Being a volunteer at the local shelter will keep you active. You will have no time to get bored, as there will always be something that needs your attention. Don’t waste your life sitting in front of the TV – do something meaningful and become a dog rescue volunteer. 

Whatever you decide to do, we wish you and your canine companions a happy and healthy 2020! 

 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Don’t Let Furry Festive Antics Turn into a Trauma!

Christmas Trees 

❆ The fragrance of a real pine/spruce tree is lovely but just be aware that they can actually cause your dog mouth and stomach irritation because they contain mildly toxic oils, so be sure they are not chewing the branches or trunk. 

 Do regular clean ups when the tree starts sheds its needles, to avoid them getting stuck in your pet’s paws, throat or intestines. 

 Trees are often treated with preservatives to limit needle loss, insecticides or flame retardants and many have a sweet taste to dogs, so particularly tempting but toxic if ingested. Consider putting a tree skirt around the base of the tree, especially if there is a water base, to prevent them from drinking the liquid. 

 Stabilize the tree in a sturdy stand to be sure it can’t be knocked over and potentially hurt a child or pet playing or laying under the tree. You can make it extra foolproof by also securing with string to a wall or window, but high enough up so out of chewing range. 

Decorations 

Let’s face it, dogs love to chew and there are lots more enticing things to get their teeth into at Christmas, so here are a few tips to keep them out of harm’s way: 

 Avoid edible decorations. Even if you think you’ve placed them high enough to be out of temptation’s way, your dog’s super-human sense of smell will sniff them out and will encourage them to jump or climb to get to the tasty treat, by whatever means possible! 

 Chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs and affects the nervous and urinary systems, causing symptoms ranging from diarrhea to seizures and death. 

❆ Popcorn, raisin and cranberry garlands have added dangers: raisins are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney damage plus the thread can cause an obstruction in the intestine. 

And remember, many sweet treats contain xylitol (artificial sweetener) which is toxic to dogs. So, better to be safe than sorry and just keep these dangerous temptations off the decorations list altogether – they’re just not worth the risk! 

 Although salt dough sounds edible it definitely is NOT. It is a baking material that is used for making ornaments (often of a new-born child’s foot/handprint or pet’s pawprint) and it contains an extremely high salt level, which can be fatal if your pet ingests it. Making salt dough tree decorations or parcel tags is a popular activity this time of year and especially fun to do with the kids, but just ensure that the end product is out of reach of your pooch.  

 Keep electrical cords and electrical light wiring out of your dog’s reach. They can get tangled in wiring and pull the tree down or items on shelves. If they chew the cord, they could suffer from mouth burns an electric shock or even death by electrocution. 

 The glistening tinsel and ribbons are tantalizing playthings but if your pup gets their teeth into it, then swallows it, this can cause a blockage in their gastrointestinal tract, which requires surgical removal. 

 Other potential hazards include scented oils and candles, which can cause spills, burns and a serious fire hazard, so again place in a safe position and always extinguish candles when you go out. 

Floral Arrangements 

Festive arrangements are beautiful but the most popular plants can be dangerous to your dog. These include:  

Holly leaves and berries cause severe stomach upset, seizures and can be potentially fatal to dogs. 

 ❆ Mistletoe  contains several substances that are toxic to dogs, causing severe upsets stomachs, breathing problems, sudden & severe drop in blood pressure and potential heart collapse. 

 Poinsettia contains a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, this will often cause nausea and vomiting. 

 Amaryllis, Lilies and Daffodils are toxic, especially the bulbs. Even a small amount of plant ingested can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, convulsions and arrhythmia.   

 Hibiscus may cause diarrhea 

 ❆ Yew treehas toxicity in ALL parts of the plant. When ingested, it causes drooling, vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, life-threatening changes in heart rate and blood pressure, coma and death may be seen. 

You may think that popping out for a short while will be fine, because your pooch is well fed and sleeping soundly, but they can be easily awoken by noises outside…and then their curiosity gets the better of them and the games begin! 

Please keep them safe and don’t take the chance of leaving them alone in the decked-out areas.   

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of festive fun and health! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Follow Us on: 

 

Could You Open Your Heart & Home to a Senior Furry Friend?

As we head into the holiday season, many people look for ways to be charitable but sadly it’s also one of the busiest ‘dog dumping’ times for dog shelters and rescue organisations.   

One person can’t save every dog but every person CAN save one dog from having to spend their remaining time in a rescue shelter.  

In an ideal world, every shelter dog would find a loving forever home but sadly it’s the older ones that are usually the last to find homes and the first to be euthanized.   

It’s easy to understand why people are immediately drawn to the younger, cuter, more energetic dogs, but, if you’re planning on getting a new furry addition to your family, I hope you will consider opening your heart and your home to a senior shelter dog 

The one thing I tend to see is that the older dogs are often just sitting quietly at the back of the kennel, not drawing attention to themselves, so people simply pass them by. What they often fail to realize is that poor dog has lived for years in a loving family home, so is feeling scared, abandoned and confused in their caged surroundings and they are just waiting patiently to be taken ‘home’ again.    

…AND HERE ARE 10 GREAT REASONS WHY A SENIOR FURRY FRIEND COULD BE YOUR NEXT PERFECT COMPANION!

10 Reasons Why a Senior Furry Friend Could Be YOUR Next Perfect Companion 

#1 Senior dogs have better manners  
Having spent years living with a family, they have been socialized with humans and may even have been trained to at least respond to basic commands such as sit, stay and down. Many will also be house trained, so it won’t take long for them to pick up the potty rules in their new home.   

#2 What you see is what you get
A senior dog holds no surprises as to how big they may grow, whether their coloring may change, or whether they will develop a genetic or breed-specific condition. Having knowledge of their past and present helps you better manage future expectations.   

#3 Senior pets are less destructive
An older dog has grown out of the seek and destroy puppy phase, they’ve gone through their infant teething, so don’t chew on anything and everything and their mischief mayhem is replaced with calmer curiosity.  

#4 You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Adult dogs are less easily distracted than younger pups, so they can focus better on the task. Many will already know the basic commands, so it can be fun for both of you to learn new tricks and increase the bond between you.  

#5 A dog to match your own energy levels
As an older dog has less excess energy to burn off, they will be happier to go at a slower speed. So, if you prefer to play frisbee in the yard or a walk in the park, rather than a mountain hike then an older dog may be the best fit for you.  

Oh, and it goes without saying that senior dogs make great snuggle buddies when you just want to kick back and relax at the end of a hard day!  

#6 Senior dogs and senior citizens make the perfect companions
Many elderly people crave companionship and can talk to their furry friend all day, every day, without judgement or criticism. Stroking an animal also has a proven soothing influence, that improves a human’s mood and well being. 

#7 Adopting a senior dog is a relatively short-term commitment
Many people deny themselves the pleasure of a dog because their circumstances are likely to change in the next 8-15 years. Elderly people think their pet will outlive them and are worried about what would happen to them. A senior dog is the perfect solution for both scenarios and satisfies the mutual need for companionship.   

#8 Adopted seniors are more devoted
Dogs are always thought to have a sixth sense but, from my own personal experience, I truly believe that my senior adoptees really know they have been rescued and saved from years spent in a cage or an even worse fate.  They show true devotion and are really eager to please, as if they are showing gratitude for me rescuing them.   

#9 You Can Pick Your Perfect Pooch
Whether you want a certain size dog, or a non-shedding breed, one that’s cat-friendly or one that likes travelling in cars, you can cater for YOUR specific requirements.   
  
Many rescue centers have photos and details of dogs available for adoptions on their websites, so you can make your initial shortlist before arranging a visit in person. There are also some rescue organizations that specialize in specific breeds, which will not only match you up with the dog of your dreams but also provide specialist ongoing advice and support.  

BUT don’t be surprized if you end up going home with a totally different dog than you went for – you’ll only know which is the right one for you once you get there!  

To see their true character, it’s important to interact with the dog outside the cage, to get to know them better and see if you have that special connection.  

#10 It is in the giving that we receive. 
This is undeniably illustrated when you give a rescue dog a home, for you will receive unconditional love and loyalty that money just can’t buy!  What’s more, I think they know they’ve been ‘rescued’ and love you all the more for it! 

Yes, it may take a little time and patience from both of you at the start, but it’s sure worth it and bound to put a new spring in both of your steps!  

 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

 

Follow Us on: 

 

TERRORIFIC DOG TREATS FOR HALLOWEEN

Pumpkins come but once a year, so don’t forget to include your furry friends in the seasonal fun and festivities. For many pooches, the ‘trick or treat’ circuit with the kids may be a bit overwhelming, but not many would need to be tricked into gobbling up these doggielicious treats! 

So, when you’re preparing your pumpkin pie for the family, why not set aside some pumpkin puree and try one of these recipes for your canine companions too. They’re so easy even the kids could make them! (Just click the link below or the image for recipes)

NOTE: You can, of course, use canned pumpkin instead but please remember to only use plain canned pumpkin. It should not be pumpkin pie filling, and there should not be any added ingredients. You just want pure pumpkin puree in a can. 

Easy Frozen Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats 

Ingredients 

• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 
½ cup natural peanut butter
• 
1¼ cup pumpkin puree
• 
Small Milk Bones 

Instructions 

1. Place ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into ice cube trays, dixie cups or molds of your choice.
3. Place a small Milk Bone in the center of each and freeze for 5 hours.
4. Once frozen, pop out and share with your pup!
5. I placed them in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn for safe keeping up to 3 months. 

 

Frozen Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe 

Makes 40 small-sized treats 

Ingredients: 

• 1 cup plain yogurt
• 
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
• 
1 teaspoon honey 
• 1 banana 

Directions:
1. In a blender, add banana and puree until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, add yogurt, pumpkin puree, mushed banana and honey. Stir until well combined.

3. Spoon mixture into ice cube trays. Once each mold is full, wrap in plastic wrap or place in Ziploc bag to avoid mess. 
4. Place in freezer and let freeze completely, overnight. 

Note: When using canned pumpkin, only use plain canned pumpkin. It should not be pumpkin pie filling, and there should not be any added ingredients. You just want pure pumpkin puree in a can. 

 

Pumpkin Pupper Treats 

Ingredients 

• 1 egg
• 2/3 cup pure canned pumpkin
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour  

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Combine the egg, pumpkin and cinnamon. 
Slowly add in flour until the dough is nice and stiff. 
Put whole wheat flour on the counter and roll the dough out to ¼ inch on top of it. 
Use cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes. 
Place cookies on a no stick or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
Bake cookies for 40 minutes. 
They should be nice and crisp before you take them out. 

Drool, while you let them cool, and serve.  

 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins for Dogs | Halloween Dog Treats 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Muffins 

• 1 Cup of Gluten Free Cake Flour
• 1 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 Egg
• 1 cup Water
• 1/2 cup coconut cooking oil
• 1 cup Pure Pumpkin 

Directions 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add all remaining ingredients.  Mix together until well blended. 

Spray your pumpkin pan with a non-stick cooking spray (we use bakers joy).  Fill the cavities 2/3rds full.  Bake for 15 minutes.  And that’s it, you are done!  You can also frost these if you like.  I choose not to this time, but I would have used whipped cream cheese just for fun. 

 

Wishing you and your canine companions safe and happy celebrations! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Follow Us on: 

 

Preventing Bloat Could Be Your Dog’s Life-Saver

It is vital that you do everything you can to prevent bloat in your canine companions. It isn’t just a “bit of wind” that will exit their body through flatulence!  

Bloat is the commonly-used term for a life-threatening condition in dogs called gastric dilatation volvulus, or canine GDV. The word gastric means ‘of the stomach’, dilatation refers to the abnormal enlargement of a part of the body, while volvulus means a twisting of the intestine causing an obstruction. Put simply, bloating involves excessive amounts of solids, liquids or gas in the digestive system and GDV occurs when the stomach fills with gas (bloat) and twists around on itself. 

If this happens to your furry friend then there is no relief for them. There is no chance of defecation, belching or flatulence. The only answer to this problem is to rush your pet to the veterinary immediately!  

Wherever possible, we prefer to look at prevention rather than cure, so in this article we will help you to reduce, even eliminate, dog bloating and hopefully avoid you ever having to deal with the worst-case scenario. 

How is Bloat in Dogs Caused? 

Let’s face it, most of our furry friends have no ‘full’ control when it comes to eating and will happily devour what you put in front of them. The most common reasons for bloating are overeating, eating too fast or drinking water too quickly.  

Another thing that can create bloating is a lot of activity right after a meal. Most of us learned when we were kids to let our food settle down before we went out to play. This was very good advice and the same applies to your furry friend.  

Which Dogs are Most at Risk of GDV? 

A bloated stomach can be a problem for any dog, both male and female. Studies have shown the risk of GDV increases with age and is five times more likely in pure-bred dogs than in crossbreeds. Body weight is also strongly associated with increased odds of GDV. Dogs weighing more than 40kg are significantly more likely to suffer from the condition than those weighing less than 10kg. Also, the most severe forms of bloating and GDV usually occur in adult dogs and senior dogs. It does not normally happen to puppies. 

Some breeds are more susceptible to this than others, especially large, deep-chested breeds. Here are some of the breeds that are most at risk: 

• Boxer
• Saint Bernard
• Rottweiler
• Great Dane
• Doberman
• Bernese Mountain Dog
• German Shepherd
• German Wirehaired Pointer
• Poodle
• Cane Corso
• Great Dane
• Mastiff
• Greyhound
• Labrador Retriever
• Bassett Hound
• Weimaraners
• Setters 

What Physically Happens When a Dog has Bloat? 

The distended stomach presses on the diaphragm and other internal organs, causing problems with the circulation and respiratory system.  This makes it difficult for your dog to breathe and for their heart to get blood and oxygen around the body, as it should.  Your dog will very rapidly go into shock.  While the stomach is twisted, the blood supply to the stomach and also sometimes the spleen is affected meaning that the stomach wall and spleen can start to die. 

What are the Symptoms of Dog Bloating? 

The most obvious symptom of bloating is where your dog’s tummy goes hard or swells up like a balloon. A dog with GDV is likely to feel pain when you press on their belly. But there are signs that are not obvious, such as them trying to vomit or defecate but unable to. Also watch out for your dog walking around aimlessly on a continual basis. 

Sometimes a pooch with a bloated stomach problem hardly moves at all. They can also start breathing heavily. If the bloating is really getting severe then their gums turn pale, they may froth at the mouth and their heart starts to race.  

What Treatment is Available for Dog Bloating? 

GDV is one of the most serious of all pet emergencies.  

To remove a twist in their stomach, a vet needs to perform surgery so that entrance and exit points are cleared and the stomach functions normally again.  

After receiving treatment for a twisted stomach a number of dogs end up going back to the vet again because the problem returns. If this happens a vet can perform a gastropexy where they pin the stomach to the abdomen wall so that it cannot twist in the future.  

If left untreated, dogs with GDV will almost certainly die. However, the survival rate of dogs who undergo surgery after being diagnosed with GDV is as high as 80%, which is why it’s vital you contact your vet if you suspect your dog has bloat. 

What Can You Do to Prevent Dog Bloat? 

Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to protect your pooch from stomach bloating. It is often simply the result of poor feeding habits so AVOID the following: 

• Using a raised bowl to feed your pooch
• Giving your furry friend too much food or water at a time
• Only feeding once a day
• Giving your dog dry foods that are high in oil or fat (slower to digest & exit the body) 

10 Easy Steps to Prevent Dog Bloating 

Research at Purdue University attempted to identify the causes of dog bloating. They recommended that dog owners take the following steps to prevent bloating: 

1. Give your pooch a number of smaller servings throughout the day
2. Place the feeding bowl on the ground
3. Avoid foods where fat is one of the top four ingredients
4. Don’t just give your furry friend dry food
5. Avoid moistening dry food
6. Wait at least one hour after exercise before feeding your pooch
7. Wait at least two hours to exercise your dog after eating
8. If your pooch is a fast eater purchase a special dish that slows the eating down
9. Never give more than one cup of dry food per 30 pounds of body weight at each meal
10. Introduce probiotics (Note: must contain prebiotic) into your dog’s diet 

How Can Probiotics Help Prevent Bloating? 

A major source of abdominal bloating comes from gas that is produced by bacteria that feed on undigested food sitting in the intestines. The longer the food takes to digest, the more gas is produced. There are many different types/strains of bacteria that reside there, and they can vary between dogs. 

Probiotics are essentially strains of “good” bacteria to help break down the undigested food more quickly, regulate bowel movements and relieve the pain caused by pressure in your dog’s gut.  

Please note that for maximum efficacy any probiotic supplement must contain a prebiotic too – prebiotics are nondigestive carbohydrates which feed the probiotics.  

Once they have the right probiotics in their gut, it’s important to keep them strong in order for them to have a positive effect. FidoActive’s Advanced Probiotics supplement (with Probiotic) is in powder form, odorless and tasteless, so super easy to introduce into your dog’s daily regime – easily mixed into their regular dry or wet food and suitable for even the pickiest of pooches!   

Probiotics with prebiotic supplements can have numerous other benefits, so they are definitely worth trying out. They can take a while to start working though, so be patient, but they will do your pooch the power of good in the long run. 

However, please remember, while probiotics can restore digestive health and more, they are not a replacement for poor diet – they go hand in hand (or should that be paw in paw) with a healthy balanced diet.  

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team