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!

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#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!

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#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!

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Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

IS YOUR POOCH PARTIAL TO GRAZING ON GRASS?

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WHY IS THAT?

It might be a bit worrying if you’re a first-time dog owner and your new canine companion starts eating grass, especially when they vomit afterwards – BUT rest assured this is a very common behavior.

There are many theories as to why they do it:

1. Boredom – normally seen in puppies or young dogs (but let’s face it they have a habit of chewing everything!)

2. Some sort of deficiency in diet – grass is not eaten for any specific nutritional value (and it doesn’t explain why dogs on well balanced diets eat it too). However, it’s thought that it potentially may provide some additional form of roughage lacking in their normal diet.

3. Remedy for upset stomach – Dogs are not able to digest grass, so many do vomit after eating eat. However, there are plenty of occasions where my canine grass munchers show no other signs of gastric problems before or after eating it. I think they just like the taste – and it seems especially inviting when it has refreshing morning dew on it!

4. Many dogs just love eating and would like to eat more than they are actually fed (even though their body doesn’t need it!) – my old golden was proof positive of that! But apparently, it’s not necessarily the sign of a glutton, just that they like the actual process of eating, so tucking into a lush patch of grass is like having a snack in between their normal meals.

5. Interestingly, studies of wild dogs have also shown them eating grass, so, as far as most experts are concerned, it is inherently natural behavior for domestic dogs.

As wild dogs depend on good hunting skills to survive and feed their families, it’s believed that grass eating may actually help conceal their scent, in the same way rolling in their prey’s excrement or foul offal is thought to.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

1. At the end of the day, dogs are omnivores and have the capability to obtain the nutrients they need from both plant and animal origin.

Grass does not seem to harm dogs BUT you need to be careful if they are eating grass in an area that is sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, which can be toxic to your furry friend. If you think they may have ingested anything toxic, call your veterinarian or ASPCA immediately.

 

2. If your pal is constantly eating grass and being sick, then you need to remember that the act of being sick also brings up bile acid from the stomach. This acid can ultimately cause internal ulcers, which are invisible to us. So, if your dog has been doing this for a long time, it may be worth getting your veterinarian to check for existing or developing ulcers.

 

3. If there is excessive vomiting, vomiting not associated with grass eating, or other accompanying symptoms of illness, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, lack of energy – get your best friend checked over by your veterinarian.

 

4. Research shows that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration.

a. Veterinarians agree, many dog health issues are caused by processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health. That’s where your furry best friend may benefit from a daily dose of probiotics (with prebiotic) to ensure their body is absorbing the nutrients from their food and restore good digestive health and immune system.

b. Also, if you are preparing homemade food, it may be useful to consult a professional to make sure the nutritional balance is correct for the size and breed of your canine companion.

 

5. While grass is not harmful, it may be among other plants that are toxic to dogs, which they then eat it by accident. Check out the ASPCA list at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

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IMPORTANT

So, in conclusion, if your dog is chewing grass, this is normal doggie behavior. Please just be aware of the potential concerns above and if you think your pal may have ingested poison in the form of a plant or liquid in the process call Animal Poison Control on (888) 426-4435 or your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

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

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Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Make Sure Your Dog’s Bark is worse than their Bite!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

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Every year more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the country; one in five require medical attention and sadly more than half the victims of dog bites are children. The most alarming fact is that bites are often from dogs they are familiar with, or have even known and loved for years as part of the family. This just emphasizes the need to increase awareness and ensure we educate our children, friends and family to make them smart and safe around our canine companions.

Some bites are simply tragic accidents but the majority are normally a consequence of a particular situation, circumstance or environment and therefore can be avoided if we learn to understand our dogs better.

As responsible dog owners, we need to ensure our dogs are well socialized with both people (and other dogs) through positive, force-free education.

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend and not many dog lovers can resist petting a pooch BUT there are certain times where this is NOT a good idea:

  • If they are chewing a bone or eating
  • When they are playing with a toy – do not try to try to take it away from them
  • When they are sleeping.
  • If they are ill, injured or in pain
  • Do not try to touch the puppies of a dog, if she is resting with them or is anxious about your presence.
  • Avoid petting the dog when he is barking or growling
  • If the dog is not with his owner or chained / tethered
  • Even if the dog is with the owner, ALWAYS ask the owner’s permission to pet the dog
  • Sudden loud noises may surprise or frighten them and may trigger an automatic defensive aggression
  • Don’t reach through a fence or gate, over a wall or into a vehicle to pet a dog – they often see this as territory that it is their job to protect for their human family
  • Don’t pet ‘Service Dogs’ – they are special working animals and shouldn’t be distracted from their important jobs
  • Like us humans, dogs often need some ‘alone’ time, so if they seem to be trying to hide or seeking a quiet place, give them some space
  • If a dog is barking excessively, growling, baring their teeth, fixated gaze with whites of eyes showing, then these are all signs that the dog is not comfortable and common ‘warning’ signs preceding a bite, so it’s important to look, listen and understand what a dog is telling you

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I know these precautions may all sound like simple common sense and they are, but I guess it’s often easy for us to be tempted by a four-legged fur ball or soulful face and not be aware that we may be unwittingly putting ourselves, others and the dog in danger.

Last, but not least, please remember that dog bites are NOT breed specific, they are behavior specific, so it’s vital to be observant to keep everyone safe and happy.

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Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

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Lower Urinary Tract Problems And Infections In Dogs

Many people have heard about the dangers of urinary tract disease in cats, but did you know it can be just as life threatening for dogs?

WHAT IS URINARY TRACT DISEASE?

Urinary tract disease is actually just a general term used to describe several afflictions that can affect the urinary tract, the body’s drainage system for removing wastes and extra water. The urinary tract includes two kidneys, two ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder), a bladder and a urethra. Here are just a few urinary tract conditions that can affect your dog:

Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs

This occurs when bacteria invades and colonizes in the urinary bladder, urethra, and sometimes even the kidneys. Dogs of all ages can be affected by urinary tract infections, but vulnerability generally increases with advancing age. Additionally, female dogs are more susceptible to bacterial infections of the lower urinary tract than males. Urinary tract infections can lead to bladder stones called struvites.

Read more about Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs here.

Bladder Stones in Dogs

This occurs when a solid mass made up of mineral and acid salts form in the bladder, often because your dog’s urine contains too much of certain substances that form the crystals. While bladder stones can affect any dog, some dog breeds are more susceptible to certain types of bladder stones than others. For example, bladder stones containing calcium and oxalic acid (known as calcium oxalate uroliths) are more likely to be found in Schnauzers, Bichons, Lhasa Apsos, and Miniature Poodles. Bladder stones containing uric acid (known as urate uroliths), on the other hand, typically affect Dalmatians, Yorkshire Terriers, and English Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, struvite bladder stones form when the urine has too much magnesium, ammonium and phosphorus. Most struvite bladder stones in dogs are caused by a urinary tract infection, so correcting the bladder infection is important. The good news is there are therapeutic foods that are low in magnesium phosphorus and pH that can dissolve the bladder stones. Your veterinarian can treat the infection and recommend a proper treatment course for dissolving or removing the bladder stones.

WHAT ARE THE COMMON SIGNS OF URINARY TRACT DISEASE IN DOGS?

Signs associated with urinary tract disease will vary depending on the condition afflicting your dog. Here are some common signs of urinary tract disease in dogs:

Frequent Attempts to Urinate

Is your dog peeing for the umpteenth time today? Dogs with urinary tract disease often urinate an abnormal amount of times each day because little to no urine is being expelled each time. This is obviously very frustrating and also dangerous because when a dog is blocked they are unable to rid themselves of bodily toxic waste products through their urine. Take your dog immediately to your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is blocked, as this can be a life threatening condition.

Painful Urination

The pain associated with urinary tract disease may be so severe that some dogs will lick their penile or vaginal area (or at times the abdominal area) as a way to try and self-soothe. Dogs with urinary tract disease may also be more irritable than usual.

Blood in the Urine

Dogs with urinary tract disease will often have urine which is blood-tinged or discolored. Females are often at greater risk for urinary tract infections that lead to blood in the urine than are males.

Urinating Indoors

Urinating indoors is not always a medical issue, but you should be concerned of it, especially when combined with any of the other aforementioned symptoms.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR DOG HAS URINARY TRACT DISEASE

Urinary tract disease can be remedied with treatment so bring your dog to a veterinarian for examination if you suspect anything is amiss. Your dog will need to be examined and have laboratory work, including a urine test and possibly a blood test, X-ray or ultrasound, to diagnose your dog’s condition. In addition to various prescription drugs and techniques he or she can recommend for your dog, there are nutritional changes to consider. Consult with your veterinarian if your dog’s food is best for his or her urinary health. Foods high in magnesium, phosphorus, protein and calcium have been linked to stone formation in some studies. This is why your veterinarian may recommend a dog food that restricts amounts of those minerals, especially if your dog is suffering from bladder stones.

http://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/evr_dg_lower-urinary-tract-disease-in-dogs-what-you-should-know

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

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Lower Urinary Tract Problems And Infections In Dogs

Happy National Puppy Day 2016!

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INSPIRED

As you guys know, dogs are pretty much my thing. So I take today aka National Puppy Day very, very seriously. Puppy Day is not just about celebrating the greatness of your furry friend. It’s also all about protecting all pups, loving them properly, and making a difference for the dogs who don’t have a loving place to call home.

We had a lot of rescue dogs growing up. My mom has a heart of gold! She would go to the pound literally every week to bring supplies to the animals. She wanted to make sure they were either getting picked up from the families who had lost them, or they found new places to call home. I remember once when I was around six years old, my mom came home with a Dalmatian she named Lucky. She arrived to the shelter twenty minutes before they were going to put him to sleep because nobody had claimed him. So that’s how we got lucky with sweet Lucky!

grid-julesLexi, Harley and I plan on observing this special day by donating some of their favorite treats and toys to our local animal shelter. Looking for fun and effective ways to celebrate? I found some great ideas over atNational Puppy Day.

http://juliannehough.com/happy-national-puppy-day/

 

You and your best friend don’t have to live with pain!

Our product covers dogs of all ages and breeds, which encounter joint problems with age, need some post-op help to regain mobility or highly active dogs suffering from joint inflammation and pain after a hard day on the job or the trail. FidoActive Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs supports joint health for dogs to get your four-legged friend back on their paws again. Get Fido active again the simple, safe way and treat your dog to a long & active life! Shop now and enjoy 40% off!!!

SPECIAL -40% EASTER OFFER From “March 22 – 29, 2016” Only!

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Learn More About FidoActive- here

Happy National Puppy Day 2016!

Dog Seizure: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment