Post # 335 Puppy Love

January 23, 2015 at 12:33 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 335 Puppy Love

Anyone who’s known me longer than ten minutes knows how I feel about my dogs.  If you’ve read this blog, even occasionally, you know how I feel about my dogs.

dusty chillaxing

jack relax

Jack and Buddy 04

The only time we can get pictures of them is when they sleep.  It’s the only time they ever slow down.  The top one is Dusty; the middle one is Jack; the bottom one is Buddy.  They’re all rescues and all essential to our daily happiness and entertainment.  Right now, all three are sitting on the floor at my feet waiting for the moment when I’ll stand up and holler “Who wants treats?”

Like any indulgent dad, I tend to overfeed them.  Buddy, the puppy (almost three years old, but hey) is one big ball of energy and is incredibly muscular.  He’ll never get fat.  Jack is one of those rare dogs who only eats as much as he wants, regularly leaving food in his bowl for the others to finish.  Dusty, who was once a stud in a puppy mill and kept on the edge of starvation eats everything in front of him and tries to push the other dogs away from their food bowls.  We have to watch him constantly or he’ll get very chunky.  Once, he made it to over 40 pounds!  We put all the dogs on diets then (us too) and we all shed some pounds.  Dusty is a healthy 30 pounds now, looks good for his size.  They all do.

Food management for them is something that’s constantly on my mind.  I don’t want to over feed them, but I don’t want them actively starving, either.  We tend not to give them treats from the table, unless we’re eating steak.  Then they each get a bite.  It’s something I talk to the vet about periodically.  I don’t want to hurt my dogs by giving them something bad for them.

Everyone knows that chocolate is bad for dogs.  Even a small amount can cause discomfort.  More can lead to a poisonous build up of toxins and fatality.  I have a friend whose dog once got into a bag of M&Ms and demolished nearly a half pound in just a few seconds.  The poor dog looked happy for the space of about two minutes, then raced for the doggy door and emptied his stomach all over the back yard.  When they called the vet, they were told the dog should be okay since the stomach was now empty, but to keep an eye on it.  Poor guy was miserable for a few hours, but never suffered any long range discomfort.  Very small amounts probably aren’t going to hurt, but there’s no sense in your dog developing a taste for the stuff.  It’s hard enough on humans, much less a dog.

But did you know that bones aren’t all that great for dog?  It sounds counterintuitive given that a dog’s ancestors have been chomping bones for centuries.  Dogs were bred from wolves who eat bones as part of their daily diet.  Dogs don’t, though.  It’s been bred out of them.  They don’t eat bones the same way.  Particularly not the bones that humans leave behind on their dinner plates, cooked and brittle.  The bones tend to shred and splinter causing choking hazards.  The small bits can also tear up their intestines causing all kinds of havoc.

Onions and garlic, we eat ’em by the pound in my house.  Our dogs don’t go near them.  There’s an enzyme in them that causes harm to their red blood cells.  There’s an old wives tale saying that feeding your dog garlic will keep fleas away.  It doesn’t work.  It just makes their breath smell bad and hurts their blood.  Another old wives tale says a raw egg mixed with their food will help their coats.  It might, but the risk of salmonella is too great.  There’s also an enzyme that inhibits the absorption of vitamin B.  Cooking the egg gets rid of all that so cooked eggs are fine.  Keep your dogs away from milk and dairy, too.  For the same reason humans tend to keep away from it.  Some dogs are lactose intolerant, and most dogs experience some kind of discomfort and flatulence from it.

One thing I learned today, though, floored me.  Never ever ever ever give your dog one of these:

macadamia-nuts

Those are macadamia nuts.  Very toxic to dogs.  As few as six can cause your pet incredible discomfort leading to a prolonged illness.  And I learned you shouldn’t give your dog most nuts.

That stopped me.  I give my dogs peanut butter every day.  It hides their meds.  Was I slowly poisoning me dogs?

Nope.  Turns out peanuts are legumes, not nuts.  And it turns out that peanuts are healthy for dogs.  Peanut butter is a flavor they love.  They can’t get enough of it.  That’s not to say we should give them tons of it, but it’s also not a restricted item at all.  You can buy toys that you can fill with peanut butter and freeze and your dog will be happy with it for hours and hours.  Helps with separation anxiety since their mind is on licking out the peanut butter rather than on the fact they’re alone.    And it can hide meds for them so they gulp them down.  It’s better to give them creamy than chunky since the chunks could pose a choking hazard or stimulate the gag reflex.  And it’s better to give them natural with no additives like salt or sugar, but that’s true for us, too.

So go pet your four legged kids and give them all the peanut butter you like.  And raw carrots.  And cook potatoes.  And apples, bananas, oranges, and watermelon.  They love them all.  Just remove the seeds, stems, etc.  But mostly give them peanut butter.

Enjoy

 

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