Posts

Is It Safe For My Dog To Eat Snow?

eat snow dog walking montclair

With the Winter season underway, white, glistening snow covers the ground. Like children, dogs seem to have a certain fascination with the snow. I have dogs that roll in it, play in it, dig in it, and even eat it!

But,  it can be a little concerning when your dog eats something other than treats and dog food. Today we’re going to talk about whether or not it’s safe for your dog to eat snow, and what it could mean for your pup.

Yes – Snow Is Usually Safe To An Extent

Snow, in and of itself, is typically safe for dogs to consume, if you’re monitoring how much of it they’re eating. After all, it is just frozen water vapor. However, experts have said that dogs that eat too much snow can undergo stomach upsets – which is no fun for anybody!

No – When Dogs Eating Snow is a Concern:

Where it can start to get dangerous is if your dog is eating other things HIDDEN in the snow. It’s not good for dogs to eat rocks, twigs, or certain plants, which can frequently be found in snow. So, it’s fine if you’re allowing your dog to have a taste of the snow, just make sure you keep track of how much they’re eating, and what may be concealed inside it.

Is Your Dog Getting Fresh, Cold Water?

Some dogs eat snow because they are unhappy with the quality of their water. I’ve heard stories of owners thinking it’s acceptable to not change a dog’s water for a few days – but this is not the case!

Dogs are just like humans in that they need fresh, clean water to survive. You wouldn’t want to drink a three day old glass of water, right? This is why it’s very important to make sure you’re changing your dog’s water once a day at the minimum. Dogs that aren’t happy with their water source will eat snow in order to hydrate themselves.

However, snow doesn’t contain as much water as one may think. In fact, snow is only about five to 10 percent water. So, your dog would have to eat A LOT of snow to get the same benefits from drinking water – which means stomach upsets! If you’re positive that you’re practicing good upkeep on your dog’s water and they’re still eating excess amounts of snow, this could mean other problems are present.

When’s The Last Time Your Dog’s Seen A Vet?

If your dog is consuming (or trying to consume) lots and lots of snow, it may be time for the trip to the vet. It’s always good to consult a professional when you believe your dog is exhibiting out of the ordinary behavior.

Experts say that when dogs are eating large amounts of snow, it could be a sign of kidney failure, Cushing’s Disease, or other endocrine or hormonal diseases. These conditions cause dogs to have increased water intake, which may explain why they are eating so much snow.

But again, talk to the experts to be sure. Nobody will know better than your veterinarian why your dog may be displaying new behavior. The important thing is to stay calm and not panic.

Snow is Generally Okay for Your Dog

The Winter season can bring loads of fun and good times for you and your dog, but it’s important to remember to stay safe. Never stay out in the cold longer than appropriate, and keep a close eye on what your dog might find to eat in the snow.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to not only take your dog to yearly veterinarian checkups, but to bring them in if anything seems out of the ordinary. Dogs are not as different from people as we may think, they need doctor’s checkups just like us to stay healthy and safe!

Five Easy Ways to Keep Your Puppy Safe at Home

If you’ve just gotten a new puppy, you’re probably head over heels in love with your pooch already! Puppies are little balls of energy that love exploring their surroundings and seeking out new experiences, which is why they are so much fun to have around. However, their natural curiosity and lust for life is also the very thing that can get puppies (and dogs of all ages for that matter) into trouble.

puppyfaces
Photo Credit: Flickr

Unfortunately, the home can be a dangerous place for puppies, which is why you need to take steps to ensure that they are safe, especially when you are not around to mind them. If you want to keep your puppy out of trouble, you need to puppy-proof your home in much the same way you would for a little child. Here’s how:

Invest in an Indestructible Dog Crate

pups-in-crates
Photo Credit: Flickr

Dog crates provide your puppy with a safe space to stay when they are sleeping or when you are out of the house, which makes them an invaluable tool in training and caring for your dog. However, many dog crates are poorly made, which means that some puppies can chew bits off them, which is obviously a choking hazard, or even break out of them, which could present any number of dangers. That is why you should purchase an indestructible dog crate, which will stand up to even the most persistent puppy’s efforts.

Check Your Plants

beagle-in-field
Photo Credit: Flickr

Many common plants are toxic and potentially poisonous to your puppy, so you should immediately check what plants you have in your home and garden to find out if they pose a risk to your dog.

Plants that are hazardous to canines include Cala lily, azalea, and Holly, but there are many more, so do your homework.

Keep Medications Out of Reach

tired-pup
Photo Credit: Flickr

Whether your dog is a young pup or an older chap, you will need to take efforts to ensure that drugs, human or pet, is always kept out of reach. It is not enough to simply leave them on a table or counter, because many dogs are ingenious at reaching these surfaces, and many can chew through a medication bottle in no time at all. So, if possible, you should keep medication locked up in a cabinet at all times. This also counts for razors, knives, cleaning supplies, etc.

Trash

pup-in-garbage
Photo Credit: Flickr

Never leave trash in an area where your dog has access. Garbage has an irresistible aroma for the average dog, and they will rip into your trash cans in no time given a chance. This could lead to them ingesting all sorts of things they should not eat and a hefty vet’s bill for you to pay.

Water

pup-on-toilet
Photo Credit: Flickr

Sinks and bathtubs filled with water, along with filled buckets and open toilet bowls are all possible puppy drowning hazards, as are the chemicals you use to clean your toilet, so be sure to keep the toilet lid down at all times, and make sure your puppy can’t access baths and sinks if they are full.

Although this post covers the basics of dog safety, there are many more things, including common health problems, you must watch out for, so if you haven’t already, ask your vet for advice, or purchase a good puppy care book to top up your knowledge.

Five Reasons Why Your Puppy Is Like Your Baby

pet sitting

The saying a dog is man’s best friend isn’t wrong, but it’s also not that accurate either. When you have a dog, you can feel great affection for it. But as a friend? Not so much. You might disagree, but when you have a dog, it definitely doesn’t feel like just a friend – more like a family member.

frenchie-photo1_14644
Photo Credit: pexels.com

The second you get a puppy, whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or not, it becomes your baby. As your puppy blossoms into an adult dog, you still often look at it as if it’s one of your own. Yes your dog makes for a great companion, but their presence is so much more than that of a friend. Wouldn’t you agree?

You Feed Him

There is every chance that you feed your friends too, but your puppy completely relies on you to be fed, just like your baby does. And not only that, but you want to help your puppy grow into a strong, healthy adult dog, so you often put a lot of time and attention into what it is you’re feeding them, just like you could you baby. If you’re a new puppy owner, you should aim to read more about feeding requirements for different breeds to help you out here.

puppy-photo2_59523
Photo Credit: pexels.com

You Clean Up After Her

When you have a puppy or an adult dog, you’re it’s main caregiver. You wash it, chase around after it and pick up its poop! Just like you do with your baby (if you just switch that last one to changing diapers). When you’re that involved with something, it’s hard not to see it as your child. A dog might need you to do these things for it, but you don’t mind. You want to care for it, just like you do your offspring.

You Train Him

Now, you might not train your baby in the same way that you train your body, but in short, you do educate them both. When you have a baby, you educate them. Whether that’s teaching them how to walk or talk, or their ABC’s. And when you have a puppy, you educate it too. But, you tend to train it more, using commands, or showing it how to pee outside and not on your favorite rug! Either way, there are clear similarities between your fluffy baby and your actual baby.

whitepuppy-photo3_36953
Photo Credit: pexels.com

You Love Her Unconditionally

There’s no denying that you love your children unconditionally, it’s not something that you can change or decide upon. You just do. When you have a dog, it can be the same. The love you feel for your child is irreplaceable and incomparable for sure, but when you have a dog, you can often love it just as much.

You Can’t Imagine Life Without Him

You’d never want to live without your child; that’s never an option. But at some point in life, they will flee the nest. You might not be able to even imagine that yet, and it’s the same with your puppy. As soon as this small creature joins your family, you never want it to leave. You just want to keep it happy and healthy. It can often feel like your first or last child, or even your only one! Your dog will always have a place in your family, regardless of how old they get. It might feel like your best friend, but it’s definitely your baby too.

Doggie Dos and Don’ts To Ensure Your Pooch Is Happy and Healthy

Being the owner of a dog is a huge responsibility. They need a variety of things like love, attention, exercise, and care. So, make sure that you are looking after your canine buddy properly by checking out the dos and don’ts of doggy care, listed below.

Do Check Your Finances Before Getting a Dog

Do ensure that you have the funds available to take proper care of your pet. A lot of pets end up in rescue centers or being re-homed because new owners don’t always realize how much money it will cost to look after them. Even a healthy dog can set you back a fair bit of money with veterinary check-ups, good quality food, and toys. Just think about how much they could cost if they are in an accident or get sick!

It is always best to go into pet ownership with your eyes open, so you need to research the costs of keeping a dog thoroughly before you bite the bullet. If you are dubious about whether you can truly factor the cost of keeping a dog or puppy into your budget, it might be best to hold off a bit. At least until your financial situation changes.

Don’t Assume That All Dogs Are The Same

dog-1261278_1920
Image Source: Pixabay

There is such a wide variety of dogs that when you are researching the cost and the care, you will need to provide for them, you have to be specific. It’s no good budgeting for a Highland Terrier and then getting a Doberman! The costs are just not going to be comparable.

blonde-woman-1302289_1280
Image Source: Pixabay

In fact, many owners don’t realize that a lot of items need to be specialized to the breed of the dog. For food, you need to assess the type, and the amount needed like they do in this Pit Bull food guide. Toys, lead, and harnesses, also need to be appropriate to your dog’s age, size and strength. Or they are not going to be very effective at all.

pibble-1278095_1920
Image Source: Pixabay

Do Assess Your Situation Before You Choose To Home a Dog

Do take a long, hard look at you home situation before you decide to get a dog. Are you mobile enough to take the dog out once, or twice a day for exercise and toileting? Do you have space in the garden where they can run around during the day, so they don’t get bored?

How about the other people in your home? Are there are a lot of young children that might pose a risk to a young puppy because they don’t understand how to behave properly around it? Or is the reverse true, and getting a large dog could be dangerous to their health? Remember big dogs aren’t always aware of their own strengths or temperament. This is really worth bearing in mind when you have kids in the house, for safety reasons.

Don’t Forget the Other Pets You Have In Your Home

Something that it is easy to do, when you get a new dog is to forget the comfort and safety of the other animals you already have living in your home. Remember that it can take a fair amount of time for your current pets to get used to the new arrival.

For cats, make sure that there is enough space so they can retreat and be on their own if they want to. Don’t force them together and expect them to get on. Give them some time to sniff each other, and suss each other out.

For other dogs, you need to decide based on the behavior of the individual animal. A nervous dog may benefit from small periods of being introduced to their new housemate until they have got used to them. More robust canines may be happy jumping straight in with their new buddy.

Do Consider Your Own Fitness Levels Before Getting a Dog

basset-hounds-883517_1280
Image Source: Pixabay

Something else that is actually forgotten quite a lot when people get a new dog in the family is their own fitness levels. Big dogs like Basset Hounds and German Shepherds need loads and loads of exercise to be happy. But are you going to be happy doing all that exercise with them? If you aren’t looking to start running marathons with a canine companion, then it might be better to get a smaller breed instead. One that needs a lot less exercise every day.

working-dog-1781152_1280
Image Source: Pixabay

Don’t Forget All the Unglamorous Things You’ll Need To Do

Another thing you had better not forget, is that while dogs are loyal, cute, and loving, they can also be pretty gross. Being a dog owner isn’t just about the fun time. You have to deal with the messy time as well. That includes cleaning up their poop when you are out for a walk. Or giving them a bath when they have rolled in something unsavory.

If this is the sort of thing that gives you the shivers, then you need to reconsider whether a dog is the best choice for your life. As there are other animals such as cats or fish that are cleaner instead.

Do Keep an Eye on Their Diet

Just like us humans, what dogs eat can have a massive effect on their health. That’s why it’s vital to keep an eye on their diet. You need to make sure that no one is feeding them items that can be toxic to dogs, like chocolate. Or, you can end up having to deal with an upset stomach or worse! You can find out some more information about that here.

Don’t Forget About Discipline

Whatever the size of your dog, it’s important to remember that they don’t train themselves. Discipline classes can seem like an expensive investment. But actually, they can be the key to getting a great relationship with your pooch.

So many owners increase the stress in their lives because they either don’t take them to puppy classes in the first place. Or, they can’t be bothered to keep up their training once they come home again.

But teaching them to sit and fetch it is vital, just like any human skills it’s easy to forget if we don’t do it regularly. That is just the same with your dog, help them to be the pet that you want them to be by providing regular practice, or a refresher course now and again.

Can I Have A Dog Mom? Five Reasons To Get A Family Dog

Your kids have been pestering you for a dog for some time, but you’re not convinced. Despite everyone’s promises to do their bit, you suspect you’ll be the one to do the walking and the cleaning. And how well do dogs get on with kids?

puppy-couch-jammies
Image Credit: Pexels

There are many things to consider when introducing a dog into your home. Unlike cats who are pretty independent, dogs need a log of care and attention. This may seem daunting at first, but there is lots of information out there, and sites like Topdogtips can help you navigate this.

Dogs need to be walked at least twice a day, and they need human contact. There’s also the added expense to think of as dogs come with a list of requirements. If you think you can cope with all of this but you’re still not convinced, read on.

1. Dogs Help You To Exercise

There’s no doubt about it, if you have a dog, you’re going to get more exercise. Depending on the breed, most dogs need to be walked at least twice a day. This includes weekdays, weekends, holidays and days with non-stop rain. Whatever the weather, your dog will need to be walked. The thing about dog walking is that you get used to it very quickly and it becomes fun. It’s a great way to get all the family involved, especially at the weekends. Dogs love exploring and running along an empty beach or forest path. And it’s a win-win situation as everyone gets some fresh air and exercise.

pexels-girl-with-puppy
Image Credit: Pexels

2. They Are Always Happy To See You

If you’ve had a bad day at work and come home to a dark empty house, your dog will be delighted to see you. You’ll be greeted at the door with a round of barks and licks. It’s a great feeling to be welcomed home with such enthusiasm and your bad day will become a little bit better.

3. They Teach Kids About Responsibility

Dogs teach kids about responsibility. They teach them how to take care of others, even if they prefer to be playing on the Playstation. You’ll find that, in the early days, everyone will be clambering to look after the pup or dog. But just as you expected, this is likely to wane. Make sure that everyone contributes and fulfils their promises. This is a valuable teaching point.

4. Dogs Help Kids Read

No that isn’t a typo. Schemes across the U.S. are helping kids improve their reading skills, and their tutors are dogs. Kids, who are naturally shy, feel more confident reading aloud to dogs. Research has shown increases in reading levels as a result. So having your own four-legged tutor in the house is likely to help your kids if they need a boost in this area.

puppy-couch
Image Source: Pixabay

5. Dogs Help Reduce Allergies

Kids with dogs are less likely to develop allergies and asthma. In fact, research has shown that kids growing up around dogs are up to 50 percent less likely to develop allergies and asthma than those who grow up without them.

If you feel that you could offer a good home to a dog, you should definitely consider it. Do your research and look into the various breeds to find the best fit. You’ll find that before long, you can’t imagine life without them.