Are Dogs Good For Children? Yes!
Thanksgiving Leftovers: Good For Your Dog?
Dozens of new and unfamiliar faces invading your cherished territory, terrible punishments for breaking those precious dioramas, and worst of all, the tantalising smell of a sumptuous feast without any possibility of getting to eat any yourself. So how do you know what Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for your pup to enjoy? Check against this list and you should be off to a good start!
If in doubt, check with your vet. A poor diet can lead to anything from dog skin problems to serious health issues.
Avoid feeding turkey to your dog. The risk of salmonella from raw or incompletely-cooked scraps is just too great, let alone the risk of choking on bones.
Dogs are also unable to digest turkey skin properly, which could be fatal, and if they avoid choking on the bones straight away, there is a chance that larger bones will splinter in their mouths. This can be extremely painful and could also lead to bone fragments damaging their internal organs.
Dogs simply shouldn't be fed turkey scraps. So please don't do it.
A surprisingly large number of vegetables are OK for your dog to eat, but certain groups are very much not-OK.
'Sweet' vegetables like carrots are fine in small quantities but be careful about portion size – while we adults may enjoy pigging out during Thanksgiving, excessive pup portions could give your dog digestive problems later in the day.
Sweet potatoes and winter squash can be genuinely helpful to doggie digestion, as can green beans as they're high in fibre.
In general, you should avoid feeding your dog sugary fruit and sauces, and you should definitely avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, or corn in large amounts. These are fattening foods that will only serve to damage your dog's health.
Chitterlings are pork intestines, and form a traditional Thanksgiving side dish in many households but don’t add them to your dog’s bowl.
While some dogs cope ok with eating small amounts of raw meat, for dogs that are not adjusted to raw diets yet, this can result in a upset tummy. Suffice it to say that if you think the chitterlings smell bad before you clean, boil and pick them clean for your dog, you are in for a heck of a shock once the dog has started providing you with some solid results.
Furthermore, if they've been prepared for human consumption, they may be too salty for dogs, or have too much chemical preservative left on them. This preservation process also wipes almost all the nutrition out of them, making them a fairly useless, if tasty, treat.
Stuffing contains onions and sage, neither of which are ideal for dogs.
If you use breadcrumbs to help bulk out your stuffing, or if the sausage-meat provider used breadcrumbs to bulk out their product, you could cause your dog to suffer from bloat.
Once you've stripped out all the potentially harmful and definitely unhelpful ingredients from the stuffing, it'd basically be easier to feed your dog, well, food already esigned for consumption by dogs.
More Trouble Than It's Worth?
For the purposes of Thanksgiving, then, it is suggested that you treat your dog like a very fussy, old, sensitive, allergic vegan.
Either that, or treat them like an actual dog and buy him or her some special doggy treats!
Human food is human for a reason. Don't be afraid to give your young dog some vegetables now-and-again, but they get very little out of human food and can get some serious health problems.
Personally, I won't feed my pup any human food except squashes and pumpkin. But what about you? Do you have any healthy and nutritious human food that your dog just can't get enough of?
Please share in the comments!
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Moving To The Country? How This Might Affect Your Dog
If you and your pet are city-dwellers, you are familiar with all of the rules. Walks are on a schedule, you always collar and leash your pet, and before too long, you and your dog know just about every dog on the block. There is a system for living in the city with a dog. Moving to the country means this whole system will change. This can cause a pet a little bit of anxiety and of course, making a move anywhere can be stressful for all of us. Here's how this might affect your pet.
Once you and your dog move to the country, you'll notice the pace starts to slow down. You'll probably have a yard and this means you can let your dog outside whenever he or she needs it. This is a nice upgrade over bundling up, walking down a flight of stairs and walking your pet around the block until they find that "perfect spot". However, this brings challenges as well. You will want to fence in your yard if at all possible. This not only keeps your dog safely confined to your property, it also keeps other dogs, critters and coyotes (yes, coyotes) on the outside.
Another benefit of living in the country is the expanded space that you have to play with your pet. Take advantage of this. Stock up on some dog toys and try to spend as much time as you can playing with your pet. It is great for them and even better for you. Recharging your batteries is good for the soul, and playing with your dog is a great way to do just that. On the flip side, you'll want to make sure that your pet doesn't spend too much time outdoors. In the fall and winter, dog jackets and/or dog sweaters are a good idea to keep your pet as comfortable and warm as possible.
In the country, you will encounter a new set of potential pests. That's right - ticks, fleas, skunks and the previously mentioned coyotes. Take a quick assessment of your yard. Keeping it freshly mowed will help keep the insect population down, but checking your dog regularly for ticks and insect bites is now a priority. Fencing your property will cut down on skunks, snakes and other varmints, but don't be surprised if your pet gets into a tangle once in a blue moon. Keep your pet's vet number on speed dial and if possible, keep a first aid kit in the closet, at the ready.
Finally, living in the country you will encounter dog owners with all types of ideas on dog ownership, many of which are different from "city folk". Be prepared for this. Again, keeping your pet fenced in and away from roaming dogs is wise. Additionally to keep your pet safe, we recommend ensuring that all of your dogs have durable dog collars and up to date dog tags, just in case they ever get loose in the wild. Additionally, listing "reward" on your dog's collar and/or tag is always a good idea, just to ensure that if your pet is found, there is extra incentive for the party to call you, instead of keeping your dog as their own.
Moving from the city to the country has it's challenges, but if you pay extra attention to your dog's needs, it can be a fantastic choice. Just take it slow, make sure to keep your pet safe and secure and you and your dog will love the joys of country living. As Eddie Albert once sang, "Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!"
Heat, Humidity and Long-Haired Breeds
Dark colors absorb heat; light reflects. The same applies for dogs and the color of their coat, but they can't change their coat like their owners can change clothes. A long-haired breed with a dark coat would be more likely to benefit from a shave in warmer months. This is because they are more likely to stay cool from heat loss when air passes over their skin, which doesn't happen when skin is insulated under layers of fur. To shave a dog of a lighter shade, on the other hand, risks a greater chance of sunburn. A sunburned puppy is not a happy puppy. If the decision is made to shave a lighter long-haired breed, don't forget about sunscreen. There are sunscreens made specifically for dogs, or if that isn't immediately available, scentless sunscreen made for children should work.
Veterinarians are conflicted about the benefit of long-haired breeds keeping their long hair in the summer. If a dog has longer fur in the summer, the consensus is that their fur needs to be well maintained and free of matting or tangles. That is really the only way that longer length would be of benefit to the animal. Long hair also hinders finding ticks, and does not keep a dog from getting bitten by mosquitos. If home is an especially wooded area, short hair might simply be a practical health choice. The perceived benefit of having longer hair in the summer months is that the layers of fur act as insulation against the heat, just like the insulation in a home. If a dog is panting consistently with long hair, though, the grooming situation should be reconsidered.
- Exercise at dusk or dawn in areas with access to shade and running water
- Cool vests
- Never leave the dog in a car
- Always have cold water at the ready
- Understand the signs of heat exhaustion, just in case