The Easiest Way To Include Your Furry Friends In Thankgiving!


Not long now and I’m sure your Thanksgiving preparations are well underway!
As this is a special time to spend with our family and friends, why not treat your furry friends by giving them their own Thanksgiving meal? It’s super simple – no extra work and an ideal way to include them in the holiday festivities!

Here’s a list of favorite Thanksgiving foods that are safe to share with your canine companions.

But please note, it’s very important that you exercise constraint on behalf of your pooch. Thanksgiving food is very rich and dogs don’t do portion control – given the chance they would easily gobble up their own meal then all the leftovers too! Unfortunately, that could easily end up with a visit to the doggie ER – not where you want to spend your holiday!

I always serve my dogs these meals on a ‘human’ plate (specially reserved for their use), so they know it’s a special occasion and makes it easy to get food proportions correct.The basic rule of thumb for a dog’s meal is: 10% carbs, 50% vegetables and 40% protein (about 1oz of protein per 10 pounds of dog).


No salt or seasoning to be added

1. TurkeyWhite turkey is one of the best protein-packed foods for dogs to eat and they love it!

CARE: Please be aware that other parts of the turkey are not so safe. Avoid the brown meat as that is richer and definitely don’t feed them turkey skin – too much rich fatty food can cause gastrointestinal issues and can lead to pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease of your dog’s pancreas.
Another big no-no is turkey bones; these can easily splinter and get stuck, causing an obstruction in their throat or intestines, or tear their stomach, causing internal bleeding.

 2. Mashed Potatoes Plain mashed potatoes are absolutely fine for your dog, as long as you hold the butter, sour cream, garlic and onion. So, set aside a pooch portion before you load up on the flavor additions for the humans.

3. Sweet Potatoes This sweet orange-colored root vegetable (often mis-labeled as the sweeter, nutritionally inferior yam) is a Thanksgiving staple, but typically served baked with marshmallows which are an absolute no-no for your dog. That’s because they contain large amounts of sugar and very likely the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. However, you won’t want them to miss out on this superfood, as it’s packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, so, instead, serve them a plain sweet potato mash (not the canned mix!), or small raw cubes.

4. Carrots– These are also loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Raw carrots are a real favorite with dogs and great for their teeth, but cooked (unseasoned) carrots are also a tasty treat.

 5. Green Beans Green beans are high in fiber and vitamins C and K, but your dog should only have the steamed or raw versions. Definitely keep them away from the creamy casserole version with mushrooms and onions added, which are toxic to dogs.

6. Corn Give your pooch a few kernels of corn if you want to give them an energy boost to keep them from snoozing through the festivities!

7. Cranberries These provide a tasty dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, but some dogs may turn their nose up at plain cranberries. Just be cautious and serve your dog the smallest amount, if yours is the jellied or sauce version, due to the sugar content. NEVER give them types that contain alcohol or xylitol (the artificial sweetener), which are BOTH TOXIC to dogs.

8. Stuffing There are so many normal ingredients included in this traditional tasty accompaniment, that are simply bad for your dog’s health (or even toxic!), that it’s probably best just to leave it out altogether on your pooch’s plate. The ingredients you’d have to exclude from the recipe are onions, garlic, strong herbs such as sage, raisins/sultanas and dripping.

9. Bread and Rolls These are another staple on theThanksgiving table but probably not required!  These are packed with carbs, so no nutritional benefit to feeding your dog bread or rolls.

If you’re making your own, please keep your pooch away from the raw dough (or any yeast related food), as this can be deadly for dog.

10. ApplesApple Pie is a legendary part of any Thanksgiving menu but too sugar-laden for your pooch. Instead, set aside some raw apple slices or mix cubed apples with plain yogurt then freeze in ice cube trays – both healthy treats to serve as doggie dessert!

I hope you and your furry friends enjoy sharing this special meal together as much as we do. It’s always great to see your dog happy and we’d love to see them too!

Don’t forget to share a photo of your fido tucking into their Thanksgiving food on our Facebook page  and put a smile on all our faces!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team


How To Sniff Out If Your Dog Has Lungworm

What is Lungworm?

Lungworms are a parasitic worm that causes severe respiratory infections in dogs. The larvae can be found in slugs, snails, frogs, birds, rodents and even water.Dogs can also accidentally eat infected tiny slugs if they are on a toy or their fur.

How do dogs get lungworm?

Dogs thatspend a lot of time in the woods, love foraging in the undergrowth, or playing in piles of leaves have a higher risk of contracting this disease.

After your dog ingests the lungworm larvae in the infected host (e.g. slug, snail), the larvae move through their liver, blood vessels and heart, into the lung, where they mature into adults.After about 28 days the worms start to produce their own larvae in the bronchiole (lung airways), which are coughed upor swallowed by the dog.
Due to this movement through vital organs, the health consequences can be far-reaching; it can cause heart problems, breathing problems, bronchitis and pneumonia, hemorrhages in the lungs, liver, intestine, eyes and spinal cord. In mild cases, infection can remain unnoticed for some time but if left untreated, it can be fatal in severe cases.

Symptoms of lungworm in dogs 

Diagnosing lungworm can be difficult because the symptoms are not severe unless there are large numbers of larvae living in the dog’s system. The most apparent signs to look out for are:

  • coughing
  • breathing problems
  • gagging or vomiting
  • reluctance to exercise or labored breathing after short period
  • loss of appetite
  • if your dog gets a minor injury, like a small cut, it might bleed for longer

If you have any concerns, you should consult your veterinarian. They can examine a sample of the dog’s feces under the microscope to help diagnose lungworm, although this isn’t 100 per cent reliable as there aren’t always lungworms present in every sample.For a correct diagnosis, they may therefore also need to take chest X-rays, a complete blood count or an examination of fluid from the lungs.

Preventing lungworm in dogs 

  • Lungworm is nota contagious disease. However, dogs pass the larvae in their feces, which is then eaten by slugs and snails, which are then eaten by other dogs. That’s the reason why the disease can become so prevalent within dog communities very quickly.
  • Puppies may also become infected by their mother, when they are licked by or ingest feces from an infected mother.
  • If you spot slugs and snails on the trail, local parks or the yard, then be extra vigilant when out with your dog and always consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog becomes unwell.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about lungworm prevention treatments at their regular check-up.
  • Dogs that have been previously infected with lungworms have a degree of immunity and may be able to fight off a re-infection if the load is not too great.However, a daily dose of probiotics (with prebiotic) will boost their immune system and help them fight off infections.


Clearly, if your furry friend loves the outdoors, they are potentially at higher risk but this doesn’t mean you have to curtail their (and your!) fun. Maybe sharpen them up on their recall command, so that you can stop them from getting into too much trouble in unchartered territory and just keep a watchful eye on their health, with regular check-ups.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health!



Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team                                                         

You can find out more about FidoActive and our all-natural products on our website: 

Show Some Love For A Shelter Senior Dog

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. 

There are a number of reasons why senior dogs are surrendered to shelters, such as a specific illness that requires medication, mobility issues or simply gastro-intestinal issues that make their dog “smelly”. Sometimes, the dog’s owner passes away and the family can’t or don’t want to care for the pet that is left behind. 

It is heartbreaking that, after years of unconditional love and devotion, when a dog needs care, comfort and companionship the most, its owner is prepared to discard them, like an old pair of shoes. 

Reasons why potential adopters may overlook these older dogs 

  • They may have, or may soon develop, health problems that require expensive medication 
  • They may have recently lost a pet and can’t bear the prospect of going through the same hurt again within a few years. 
  • Younger adopters may not find them as cute or energetic playmates as puppies  

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.  

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 Reasons Why a Senior Furry Soulmate Could Be YOUR 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 wellbeing. 

#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. 


#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! 


#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! 


As we head into the holiday season, many people look for ways to be charitable. One person can’t save every dog but every person can save one dog from having to spend their remaining time in a shelter.  

So, 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. It’s sure to put a new spring in both of your steps! 




Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team     

National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day!

Today is National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day, with an aim to increase awareness about this disease and educate dog owners, who always dread such a diagnosis for their beloved pet.

Whilst Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers of dogs; it’s not all bad news. Thankfully, lymphoma is amongst the most highly treatable canine cancers.

Diagnosis and treatment options are much better understood now and carry a good prognosis, with 80-90% responding to treatment and can even have a remission time of years, with a good quality of life for your furry best friend.

What is Canine Lymphoma?

Canine Lymphoma is often referred to as cancer of the white blood cells. It originates from the cells in the lymph nodes, which circulate around the body in the vascular (blood) system. Lymphoma can therefore affect practically any organ, although the most common are the organs that form part of the dog’s immune system, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow.

Early Detection = Better Prognosis

Between you and your veterinarian, this is one disease you really can help detect early. An early diagnosis means early application of the best possible treatment plan and therefore a better chance of a successful outcome for your canine companion.

Symptoms to look out for:

Usually Lymphoma is first noticed by enlarged lymph nodes under the dog’s chin, at the back towards their neck.

They may also show signs of one or more of the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Skin nodules or masses

Many skin nodules or bumps turn out to be benign lumps of fatty tissue and may not even need to be removed, unless they are causing discomfort or a mobility problem for your pet.

HOWEVER, a routine physical examination with your veterinarian can always detect many more hidden symptoms, such as an enlarged organ. It’s therefore important you refer any visible symptoms to them immediately and don’t skip your dog’s annual health check, so you can catch and treat any issues as soon as possible!

Be the Best Guardian of Your Dog’s Wellbeing

At the end of the day, our dogs rely on us totally to notice changes in their behavior and health and then take them to a veterinarian for a professional opinion.

So, when you’re cuddling up with your pooch on the settee, or giving them a massage after an energetic exercise session, or lathering them in shampoo at bath time, take the opportunity to give them a regular check over.

Your dog will be in absolute bliss, totally unaware of this informal examination and it will allow you to run your hands all over their body and identify any oddities, such as lumps, bumps or particularly tender areas. Pay special attention to areas under their chin at the back towards their neck and under their armpits.

It’s also good to make a routine of checking your pet’s gum color, eyes, ears and mouth – I tend to do this as a separate routine and ensure they are rewarded with a treat after each bodily part is checked, so they associate this with something good!

Remember 1 dog year is equal to 7 human years, so it’s important to get your canine companions checked over every year with the veterinarian and be especially vigilant as they get older (i.e. 7+ dog years old), when health issues tend to occur more frequently – just like us humans!

Canine cancer is probably the worst fear for any dog owner but, by doing these simple checks, we can look out for our furry friends and help them live a long, happy and active life!

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



Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

The Food of Love for Your Furry Friends

Healthy, happy dogs are at the heart of what we do here at FidoActive, but just like it’s said about us humans, the way to a dog’s heart can also be through food!

Have you ever stopped to think what it would be like to eat the same food every day? How boring!

I’m sure our furry friends are trying to tell us something, when they look with longing eyes and slobbering jowls, while we cook up a juicy beef or salmon steak next to a bowl of dried or tinned dog food.


National Cook for Your Pets Day is always observed on November 1. It originated with the aim for us to use this day to reflect on what we feed our pets and specifically, to ensure they enjoy a varied, well-balanced and nutritious diet.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you stop feeding your dog their regular food overnight. Any changes should be brought in gradually, so they can get used to it. But what I am suggesting, is that, say, once every month or fortnight, you cook something that is tasty and nutritious that BOTH YOU AND YOUR CANINE COMPANIONS CAN ENJOY AT THE SAME TIME.

The first time I did it was a revelation and NO EXTRA WORK! But, the best bit was, without doubt, the simple enjoyment of spending some special time with my beloved dog Brillo (whose gaze was transfixed all the time I was cooking!), sharing a meal sitting next to each other and watching his enjoyment as he woofed up the ‘human’ food (on a ‘human’ plate specially reserved for him!) with relish. Absolutely priceless!

The basic rule of thumb for a dog’s meal is: 10% carbs, 50% vegetables and 40% protein and about 1oz of protein per 10 pounds of dog.

I started with this SUPER SIMPLE salmon meal but, to Brillo, it was like food of the Gods. Here are the instructions to give it a go yourself. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of recipes available on line, on sites such as, amongst many others, to give you a helpful guide.


– Heat oven grill to full heat

-Drizzle olive or vegetable oil over both sides of the salmon. Place on cooking tray with skin facing up. (Care: DO NOT use coconut oil. DO NOT add salt, spices, seasoning)

– Grill for 14 minutes, then remove tray from oven. Using a knife and your fingers, carefully peel the skin off the flesh and flip the skin over, so crispy side is next to flesh. Return to grill for 5 minutes, or until skin is nice and crispy. Then flip the skin over once again and cook for a further 5 minutes.

– Serve with a selection of vegetables (e.g. carrots, broccoli, green beans, potatoes) OR rice mixed with vegetables.

N.B. You can set aside the crispy skin to break into pieces and use as treats!

However, PLEASE REMEMBER these 3 ESSENTIAL SAFETY POINTS:2017-11-01_2242

1. DO NOT add salt or spices to the food – dogs don’t need seasoning and may actually upset their stomach. Salt is especially harmful to dogs. You can season your own meal when it’s served on your plate.

2. If your pet suffers from any sort of health condition, please consult your veterinarian before feeding them any new type of food.

3. Dogs are much more sensitive to certain types of food, and some ‘human’ foods are actually toxic to them. Please see the list below of the most common everyday foods you should NEVER feed your dog. (source: ASPCA website:

CARE: If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate (in any form)
Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate-covered espresso beans)
Yeast dough
Grapes and Raisins
Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
Rhubarb leaves
Macadamia nuts
Moldy or spoiled foods
Other Nuts

Also, be careful with milk and other milk-based products, as they can cause diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Cooking and sharing a meal with your dog is truly one of the easiest and fun ways to show how much you love them. You will also create some magical memories at the same time, that I’m sure you will treasure for years to come.

If you want to celebrate a special occasion, such as their birthday or adoption day, there are plenty of dog-friendly places to eat too! Some restaurants, such as the Bistro restaurant in Cannon Beach, Oregon even take it to the next level, by offering meals for canine companions. Now that’s what I call really dog-friendly!

Photo by Gary Hayes

So, go on, reward their unconditional love and loyalty, by cooking up a feast for the special furry friends in your life today!

Happy NCFYP Day!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team



Don’t Turn Halloween into a ‘Howl’oween for Your Dog!

Well the countdown to Halloween has begun and it is undoubtedly one of the most popular holidays for the family to share.

Unfortunately, we also have to mindful that this fun and treat-filled time, also brings potential harm and danger to our furry friends, especially if they are included in trick or treating.

Don’t forget that a dog’s hearing is much better than ours, so the noises are even more magnified and can make them stressed and scared.

Here are four ‘fangtastic’ tips to help keep your dog safe and sound while still having some fun!



#1       Is your dog Trick or Treating with you?

Unless your dog is extremely calm around loud noises, including fireworks, then the safest bet is probably to leave them at home.

However, if you feel they can cope with being part of the Trick or Treat crew, please just be mindful of a few pointers below, to make this an enjoyable event for all:

  • IMPORTANT: Do NOT allow your dog to eat ANY candy or treats collected. These may contain Xylitol (artificial sweetener), chocolate or other ingredients that are poisonous to your dog and could be life-threatening. Bring some of their favorite doggie treats with you instead, so they don’t feel excluded. (You could even try out the recipe for Halloween doggie treats posted on Facebook this Tuesday).
  • Do NOT encourage or allow strangers to pet your dog – especially if they are in scary costumes!
  • Keep your dog on a leash AT ALL TIMES – there are all manner of things that could easily spook your pooch and the ‘fight or flight’ reaction kicks in. Remember that your dog is your guardian (in their eyes) and protecting you is their No.1 job, so it is easy for them to misinterpret playful Halloween antics as a threat towards you that they need to defend.
  • Keep your dog’s inquisitive snout and costume away from lit candles or pumpkins.
  • Bring along a poop-bag in case your dog needs to relieve themselves.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing their ID tag. It’s also an ideal time to check that the microchip company have your up to date details, so you can be quickly reunited with your runaway pet, if they get spooked.

#2       Have a dress rehearsal

Costumes on dogs can bring a smile to 2017-10-27_0051anyone’s face, but this should not be at the expense of your pet’s comfort. If you are planning on dressing up your dog, have a dress rehearsal at least a couple of times before the event. This will give you an opportunity to see how your dog reacts and give them a chance to get used to it.

The costume should NEVER impede their movement, breathing, hearing or vision, as this may cause your pet unnecessary stress. Also, keep checking to make sure there are no wardrobe malfunctions as you do the Trick or Treat circuit.

Please note that if your dog licks their lips, yawns, shows a half moon of white in their eyes, turns away from you, tries to escape, growls or puts his teeth on you or the costume, these are sure fire clues that they are not comfortable. Try to scale the costume down or perhaps just revert to a jaunty coat or neckerchief/bandana.

The rest of the family also need to take part in the dress rehearsal, as your pooch may not even recognize you in your costumes, may be startled/scared by them, or become over-excited by dangling accessories or flowing fabric that they constantly want to chase or chew!


#3       Will your hound be home alone?

Here are a few top tips to help reduce your best friend’s stress levels:

  • If your furry friend isn’t up to Trick or Treating, make sure they are snuggled up with their favorite blanket and toy in a quiet room in the house, away from the front door. They may actual prefer being in their covered over crate, where they feel safe and secure.
  • Give them a kong filled with treats or a long-lasting chew to keep them occupied.
  • Turn on the radio or TV to help drown out the scary noises.
  • If your dog usually barks when the doorbell rings or when someone passes by the window, then disconnect the bell and close the dra
  • NEVER leave your dog in the yard around Halloween (even if you are at home!). It’s a sad fact that many pets are subjected to vicious pranks, injured, stolen or even killed on Halloween, so make sure they are kept safe and secure indoors.
  • Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach. While these are safer than candles, you don’t want an anxious or mischievous pooch chewing wires or batteries, that could potentially lead to a life-threatening electric shock , chemical burns or intestinal damage.

#4       Greeting Trick or Treaters at home?

Staying indoors with your furry friends at Halloween is probably their favorite option (and perhaps yours!), but you may still be prepared to welcome Trick or Treaters to your home.

However, please remember that your dog’s inbred duty is to protect both you (their family) and their territory (your home). A constant flow of strangers and screaming children dressed in scary costumes can cause a normally placid dog to become agitated and even aggressive, because they think their family is being threatened.

A loud barking dog can also be very scary and intimidating, especially to young children, so keeping the dog away from all the excitement may be the best option for all. Also, the last thing you want is for your spooked pooch to bolt out the door into the night and an even more dangerous and scary environment.


Wishing you and your canine companions a safe and happy Halloween!





Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Are You Killing Your Pet With “Kindness”?


It seems like it’s not just us two-legged animals who have been waging a battle against obesity – turns out our pets are fighting the same war… and losing. According to CBS affiliate KCNC, a new study conducted in part by vets at the University of Georgia shows that more than half of pets in the U.S. are overweight and 55% of dogs qualify as obese.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined by an excess of body fat. Dogs that are over-fed, lack the ability to exercise, or that have a tendency to retain weight, especially house dogs, are the most at risk for becoming obese. Multiple areas of the body are affected by excess body fat, including the bones and joints, the digestive organs, and the organs responsible for breathing capacity.

Obesity is common in dogs of all ages, but it usually occurs in middle-aged dogs, and generally in those between the ages of 5 and 10.

Obesity is not only a weight-bearing issue for your best friend; It can also lead to secondary health complications, ranging from malnourishment to arthritis and can significantly reduce their lifespan.


Just like humans, dogs carrying extra pounds of weight place extra demands on virtually all the organs of their bodies, as well as their digestive systems. When we overload these organs, disease 

and sometimes death are the consequences. The health risks to overweight dogs are serious and every dog owner should be aware of them.

The most common consequence in overweight dogs is the development of serious joint issues. The bones, joints, muscles, and associated tendons and ligaments all work together to give the dog smooth and efficient movement. If they are required to carry excess weight, they lose the ease of flow & flexibility, increase wear & tear and become damaged.

Arthritis can develop as your dog gets older and the pain and joint changes associated with this and Hip Dysplasia can become markedly more severe with excess weight. Suitable supplements may be used in conjunction with a weight loss program, to help ease the pain and enable them to enjoy playtime again – an ideal way to burn off some extra canine calories!

The Most Common Obesity-Related Conditions for Dogs

  1. Arthritis & Poor Joint Healthblog2
  2. Diabetes
  3. Torn Knee Ligaments
  4. Heart & Respiratory Disease
  5. Chronic Kidney Disease
  6. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
  7. Low Thyroid Hormone Production
  8. Liver Disease
  9. Diseased Disc in the Spine
  10. Cancer

“There’s just more of my dog to love!”

There’s no arguing with that –  But wouldn’t you prefer your furry best friend to have a long, healthy and happy life?

Now, let’s be honest, our furry friends can’t get the lid off the cookie jar themselves and most love food so much they never know when to stop eating. So, aside from the few suffering specific diseases that can cause weight gain, we, as responsible dog-owners, have total control over what they eat. We see them every day, know what and how often they eat and what exercise they do. So, there is no-one better placed to notice if your pooch is getting a bit podgy!

Other simple steps to help keep a pet’s weight in check include:

  • Don’t feed your pet table scraps
  • Serve the correct food measure recommended for your pet, not just what’s written on the dog food label
  • Understand when to switch from puppy to adult food
  • Limit treats and ensure they are healthy treats. Normally, they should not be more than 10% of your dog’s daily nutrition, but if you are using more treats for reinforcement training, then just reduce one of their meals
  • Establish a realistic exercise regimen. Ideally dogs should have at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. However, if your dog is overweight and under-exercised, DO NOT throw your pooch into vigorous activities such as chase & retrieve ball or frisbee. If their weight issue has rendered them couch potatoes, you may do more harm than good, so consult your veterinarian first to agree a specific weight management and exercise program.
  • You should be able to see your dogs waistline or run your fingers across their rib cage and feel the bones with out pushing down on your dog.As a basic guideline, you should be able You should be able to see your dogs waistline or run your fingers across their rib cage and feel the bones with out pushing down on your see their waistline or run your hands over their ribcage and feel the bones without having to press down on your dog.

Are table scraps really so bad for my dog?


I know it’s so hard to resist! You hear a whine from under the dinner table and there sits your dog, looking at you with those soulful eyes, longing for you to toss them a piece of whatever it is you’re eating. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a carrot or a broccoli spear, but the precedent for doggie table manners is set and other times, you may have less healthy things on your plate, like pizza or cookies. “What harm can a “little” cookie do?” I hear you cry.

The problem is that, given the size difference between humans and pets, a small portion of something for us can almost constitute a meal for your dog in terms of calories. To put this into perspective, let’s look at a common example of a human snack and the caloric equivalent if fed to a 20lb dog. (So, the smaller the dog, the bigger the equivalent!)

1 oblog4atmeal cookie to a 20lb dog is the   same as a human eating a hamburger or a bar of chocolate

“A little of what you fancy does you good”

I don’t think for one minute that any responsible dog owner would overfeed their beloved pet with table scraps, if they knew it would have life-threatening health issues. The fact is that people get joy from sharing their food with their furry best friends and dogs love receiving ‘treats’ from their owner.

So, I’m not suggesting we deny ourselves this mutual pleasure, it’s just a case of moderation and only giving them suitable low-fat scraps. Or replace table scraps with healthy low-calorie dog treats instead, such as carrots (great for teeth too!) or sliced apple (great source of Vitamins A & C BUT no core or seeds please!).

Definitely DO NOT throw them cooked bones, as these can break and leave a jagged edge that can scratch or puncture a dog’s esophagus or gastrointestinal system.

What do veterinarians have to say on the matter?

Many veterinarians dislike the idea of feeding table scraps to dogs for 3 main reasons:

  1. If scraps are all you feed your dog, or they have so many it puts them off their normal food, then they won’t get the nutritional balanced diet required to maintain good health and wellbeing.
  2. Vets often see dogs with pancreatitis, which can occur when a dog eats rich food they’re not used to, such as table scraps that contain lots of fat. Needless to say, the number of pancreatitis cases soar after Thanksgiving and other ‘special occasion’ meals.
  3. Many people could accidentally feed them something that is toxic to dogs, such as chocolate or grapes – or dangerous, such as cooked bones. Click here to see list of toxic foods

I hope this article helps anybody that is concerned about their furry best friend’s weight, but if you have any concerns, please consult with your veterinarian.

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





Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Learn How to Read Your Dog’s Fear Via Body Language

Aside from barking, dogs communicate even more using body language. Common gestures are bared teeth or a wagging tail, which can often be misconstrued; bared teeth do not always mean a nasty vicious dog and a wagging tail does not always mean a happy dog! 2017-09-20_0001

There are many contributing factors as to why a dog may be fearful, so identifying the root cause and managing the fearful behavior reduces the stress levels for both the dog and their owner and, above all, keep everyone safe.

Dogs go through a critical period of development when they are between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks. The more different environments they are exposed to during that period the better equipped they are to handle new things later in life, such as traffic, meeting strangers, riding elevators or climbing steps.

Genetics can also be a reason for fearful behavior. As well as eye and coat color, dogs can inherit personality traits a from their parents. Certain breeds are known to be more skittish and it is quite likely that a shy timid mom will produce shy timid offspring. It is certainly harder to determine an inherited fear but a general clue is that a dog whose fear stems from genetics tends to be fearful of a variety of things, rather than having a single specific phobia.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a fearful dog can help you to help them address their fears and phobias – before they escalate. Sometimes it’s obvious, for example, when thunder and lightning or fireworks send your pooch diving for cover in the nightstand or cowering under your bed. But it’s important to also be aware of the following, much subtler, signs of fear in your dog, so you can understand when your furry friend is anxious and stressed aboutsomething in that particular environment.


Body Language

  • Flattened ears
  • Tail tucked between the hind legs
  • Cowering
  • Lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Raised hair on the back of the neck


Behaviors of a Fearful Dog

In addition to showing fear through body language, some dogs exhibit one or more of the specific behaviors below, which are basically symptoms of fear or anxiety:

  • Growling
  • Biting
  • Pacing
  • Destructiveness
  • Clinginess to owner
  • Barking
  • Submissive urination

Physical Symptoms

The dog’s fear may also manifest in some physical signs that it is unable to control, such as:

  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Trembling
  • Dilated pupils or seeing the whites of a dog’s eyes
  • Loss of control over bowels or bladder


Treating Fearful Dogs

One thing for sure in my experience though, is that recognizing the symptoms, and therefore rehabilitation, of shelter animals is often harder, because we don’t know enough about their history or specific details of physical abuse they may have suffered. It’s times like this that I wish dogs could really talk!

Often, an adopted dog realizes it has found a new loving owner and can overcome its fear or anxiety fairly quickly. However, patience is key when it comes to helping a dog that has suffered long term abuse or neglect and professional help may be needed.

It really great that there are also many reputable rescue centers that will work on any known issues, to ensure they make their charges as ‘adoptable’ as possible.

These are some of the most common steps to help our furry friends overcome their fears and/or correct any undesirable behaviors:

  1. Give the dog space and time to acclimatiz2017-09-20_0003_001e to their new environment.
  2. Provide them with their own ‘safe place’, such as a crate, where they can retreat to like a den.
  3. Encourage them to come to you with treats and gradually gain their trust.
  4. Distract them by playing with them or practise obedience commands.
  5. Joining a good dog training class will provide extra support and also help with the dog’s socializing skills.


I can’t stress enough how essential positive reinforcement is – whatever the dog, whatever the circumstances.  Punishing a dog who has committed some act of aggression or engaged in destructive behavior is rarely successful. In a sense, a fearful dog expects to be punishedThat’s why it’s fearful and that’s the connection you need to break without punishment. 

Like many dog owners, I resist the use of medications such as anti-depressants, to treat fear in dogs, as they are not a cure. However, for severe cases, this is often an option people use to reduce the anxiety/fear to a level where the dog would be calmer and more receptive to training.  

I have found the more time and dedication I have put in to my rescued pups, the more rewarding the final results have been. I am always amazed at how dogs have the ability to not only forgive past human treatment, but then continue to give us their unconditional love.

The world is certainly a better place with dogs in it and I, for one, couldn’t imagine a life without mine!




Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team2017-04-07_2235


Rabies – Are You willing to Chance the Odds on Your Furry Best Friend?

Rabies isn’t really something that hits the news headlines very often these days, probably because human rabies cases in the U.S. currently average two per year. However, cases of rabies in domestic pets average 400 to 500 per year.

This is obviously a very small percentage of the total pet population, but that doesn’t ease the heartache for the 400-500 pet parents who took the risk and lost their furry friends to this dreadful disease. Don’t Let a Simple Missed Vaccination be the Death of Your Beloved Pet

Wildlife have accounted for >80%of reported rabid animals in the United States since 1975. The most common rabies carriers in the U.S. are raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes.


Rabies Facts

  • Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system.
  • Rabies can infect any warm-blooded animal.
  • There is no cure for rabies, and it is almost always fatal. Once clinical signs occur, an infected animal usually dies within five days.
  • The only way to test for rabies is by examination of the brain tissue of a dead animal. There is no way to test for rabies infection in a live animal.
  • Rabies virus is spread by contact with the saliva of an infected animal. Transmission is usually through a bite wound, but the disease has been known to spread through a scratch or an existing open wound.
  • The incubation period — the period of time between exposure to a disease and the onset of clinical signs — for rabies can vary greatly. The typical incubation period is three to eight weeks, but it can be as little as nine days or as long as several years in some rare cases. The incubation period depends on several factors, including the location of the entry wound, the severity of the wound and the animal’s immune system. In general, the farther the wound is from the brain, the longer the incubation period will be.
  • An infected animal can only transmit rabies after the onset of clinical signs.
  • Rabies is endemic throughout the continental United States. Hawaii is the only rabies-free state.  Rabies is most prevalent along the East Coast from Florida to Maine and in southern Arizona along the Mexican border.


Rabies Symptoms

  • The early signs of rabies typically include behavioral changes — the animal may appear anxious, aggressive or more friendly than normal.
  • As the disease progresses, animals develop hypersensitivity to light and sound. They may also have seizures and/or become extremely vicious.
  • The final stage of rabies is typified by paralysis of the nerves that control the head and throat — the animal will hypersalivate and lose the ability to swallow. As the paralysis progresses, the animal eventually goes into respiratory failure and dies.


Rabies Laws

  • Most states have laws mandating rabies vaccinations for both dogs and cats.
  • Most states also have laws requiring rabies quarantine for animals that have bitten a person or another animal.
  • Some states also have mandatory rabies quarantine for unvaccinated pets who have been bitten by a wild animal or who have a suspected bite wound of unknown origin.

Why a 10-Day Quarantine?

  • In almost all states, an animal that has bitten a human or another domestic animal must undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine period. Some states require that this quarantine be carried out in an approved animal control facility, while others may allow the quarantine to be carried out at the owner’s home.
  • The quarantine is set at 10 days because a rabies-infected animal can only transmit the disease after clinical signs have developed AND once these signs have developed, the animal will die within 10 days.
  • If the animal lives beyond the 10th day, it can be said with certainty that it was not shedding the rabies virus at the time that the bite occurred.
  • If the animal dies before the 10th day, it can be tested for rabies. If the test is positive, a human bite victim will still have enough time to receive post-exposure vaccinations and prevent the disease.

Check out this video from the Global Alliance for Rabies Control:

Why a Six-Month Quarantine?

  • In many states, an unvaccinated domestic animal that has been bitten by a wild animal or that has received a suspected bite wound of unknown origin must undergo a six-month rabies quarantine. Most often, state law requires that this quarantine be carried out in an approved animal control facility at the owner’s expense. Because the incubation period for rabies is usually less than six months, this quarantine period is meant to ensure that the animal does not have rabies before it is allowed to come into regular contact with humans and other animals again.
  • If an owner is unable to comply with this law or cannot afford to pay for the mandatory six-month quarantine, the only alternative for the pet is mandatory euthanasia and testing for rabies.
  • Keeping your pet’s rabies vaccination up to date will ensure that he never needs to be quarantined for six months, even if he is bitten by a wild animal.


Tips for Protecting You and Your Pets

  1. Know your state’s rabies law! Obtain a copy from your local animal control agency or health department.
  2. Always keep your pet’s rabies vaccine up to date. Puppies and kittens should receive their first rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age. Pets must be vaccinated again in one year, and then a three-year rabies vaccine is generally administered during the rest of your pet’s life. Many animal control agencies and humane societies offer free or low-cost vaccinations. To find low-cost options in your area, call your local animal shelter.
  3. Keep your pet’s rabies vaccination certificate in an accessible location.
  4. If your pet bites a person or another animal, consult your veterinarian immediately. Most states require that bites to humans be reported to the local health department. An animal control officer may contact you to file this report, and you will be required to show proof of your pet’s rabies vaccination.
  5. If your pet is bitten by another known domestic animal, consult your veterinarian immediately and ask the owner to provide proof of rabies vaccination. If the other animal is not up to date on his rabies vaccine, it is advisable to report the incident to your local animal control authority to ensure that the animal is quarantined appropriately.
  6. If your pet receives a suspected bite wound from an unknown animal or if your pet comes in direct contact with any wild animal, even if no wounds are evident, consult your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may recommend a rabies booster.
  7. If you are scratched or bitten by any animal, either wild or domestic, consult your physician immediately. If required by your state’s rabies law, your physician will report the incident to your local health department and animal control agency. If the animal is a pet, ask the owner to provide proof of rabies vaccination.


Reducing Your Risk of Getting Rabies from Wildlife

  1. Don’t keep wild animals as pets. Americans keep more than 4.7 million exotic animals as pets — animals that cannot be vaccinated against rabies.
  2. Avoid direct contact with wildlife, dead or alive. Never touch any wildlife with your bare hands. If you find a sick or injured wild animal, call your local animal control agency or humane society and let the experts handle it.
  3. Avoid animals displaying unnatural behavior. Wild animals that are unusually friendly or displaying other unnatural behaviors may have the rabies virus.
  4. Discourage contact between pets and wildlife. Don’t let your pets roam or encourage them to interact with unfamiliar domestic or wild animals.
  5. Feed your pets indoors. Leaving food outside often attracts stray dogs, cats and wildlife to your yard.
  6. Animal-proof your trash. Make sure your trash lids are locked, and don’t leave bags of garbage outside the cans.
  7. Prevent wild animals from getting into the house. Prune tree branches that overhang the roof. Keep screens on windows and cover small openings, such as chimneys, furnace ducts and eaves.
  8. Report all stray animals to animal control. Stray animals may not be vaccinated for rabies. They also run a high risk of exposure to wild animals who carry the disease.
  9. Give your child some guidelines to follow. Do not frighten young children, but make sure they learn some basic rules about protecting themselves from strange or unfamiliar animals.

Article credits: American Humane; Global Alliance for Rabies Control

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health.




Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team2017-04-07_2235

Expect the Unexpected (AND the Expected!)


Texas is just beginning to recover after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the state last week, when the storm dumped 19 trillion gallons of water on the region. It left behind catastrophic flood damage to residential areas, which experts claim will amount to at least $35billion, about what Katrina cost in 2005.

Sadly, there was also loss of life, both human and animal; the number of which is expected to rise.

To add insult to injury, Hurricane Irma is now posing another significant threat, prompting state of emergency declarations in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Although Irma’s path remains uncertain, Florida Gov. Rick Scott stated yesterday: “In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.”

We couldn’t agree more, as this is now more a case of “Expect the Expected”, so we implore you to do the same for you and your family, including your furry members too.

PLEASE DON’T DELAY – use the tips below to check your safety measures are up to date and keep your furry family safe and sound in the case of any emergency.

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND – they may not manage to survive on their own or may run off in fear, never to be reunited with you again!

DO YOUR HOMEWORK – While you may not live in an area which suffers from natural disasters, check out your travel destination to see if they suffer any seasonal issues.

GET ORGANIZED – make up an emergency kit for your pets and be sure to keep it in a handy place, so it’s easy to grab when you really need it. Also, if you’re in a flood risk area, make sure it’s in a watertight container and preferably not in the basement. Please see the checklist provided below to help you:


1. 3-day supply of water and food (MINIMUM) – You can never predict the intensity of disaster, so it is always a safe practice of having an adequate supply of food and water for the whole family

2. 7-day supply of any medication your dog is taking PLUS a written copy of all medications, dosage instructions and any other health conditions, such as food allergies, that would be useful should you ever have to leave them with a boarding facility.

3. Pet carrier – it can come in handy if you have to travel to another place with your pets.

4. Lightweight bowls & can opener (if you stock canned food or you need to purchase additional supplies and that’s the only type available).

5. Towels and Blankets for your pets

6. Gloves and hand sanitizer for yourself

7. Leash and Harness (ideally a harness with a handle, so you can easily lift your dog over hazards and obstructions, or into boats, especially if they get injured).

8. Plastic bags

9. Litter pan scoop

10. Contact details of your veterinarian and local emergency animal shelters

11. Copies of your pet’s vaccination certificates

12. Microchip number

13. List of pet-accommodating boarding facilities, should your whole family need a different place to stay for a while.

14. A RECENT photo of your pet and a note of your contact information – it might prove critical in reuniting you with your beloved pet, should you get separated from them in the chaos.

15. Some treats and a favorite toy to lower stress levels and keep them occupied

16. Consider additional clothing such as weatherproof dog-coat, life vest or booties

We hope you’ll never have to use this disaster emergency pack but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Wishing you and all your furry friends a safe and stress-free September!




Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team2017-04-07_2235