Post #383 The New Dog Days of Summer

June 17, 2015 at 11:56 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #383 The New Dog Days of Summer

Summer is heating up quickly in our part of the world.  The dog days which are usually at the end of summer are happening now.  High temps, high humidity, low energy.  But that’s not what this post is about.  I’m going to be sharing, again, tips on feeding our furry friends of the canine variety.  Here are mine (you’ve seen them before):

 

Jack Relaxing

Jack Relaxing

 

Dusty Chillaxing

Dusty Chillaxing

Buddy in a Non Energetic Moment

Buddy in a Non Energetic Moment

These are “the guys” and they’re all special and perfect in their own ways.  There’s very little we wouldn’t do for them.  Matter of fact, there’s an internet meme going around right now saying “I would give up a meal if it meant my dog would eat.”  That’s about the way it works in our house.  We’ve been known to save the last few bites of a perfect steak to share with the guys.

Giving dogs table scraps is not really the healthiest thing for them.  There are tons of people food they shouldn’t get and for good reason.  Just like many of the things that birds eat are toxic to humans, many things that humans eat are toxic to dogs.  Everyone knows about chocolate, right?  If not, check back in my blog.  There are at least two posts about not feeding chocolate to dogs.  The toxins in chocolate can impact dogs either quickly or slowly.  It does take a large amount of chocolate based on body weight, but it’s not a good idea for dogs to get the taste for chocolate.  I’ve never given any of my dogs chocolate, even though a single M&M won’t hurt them.

But there are other things, common things we keep around the house that aren’t good for dogs.  For instance, did you know garlic and onions weren’t healthy for dogs?  I didn’t until several months ago.  I used to give my dogs garlic to keep fleas and ticks off them since garlic exudes from the skin and fleas and ticks don’t like it.  But it can cause anemia for dogs, and each dog’s sensitivity is different.  The debate about how much garlic is bad has been going on for decades, so if you’ve been giving your dog garlic with now ill effects, carry on.  It’s dosage size that counts.  I prefer not to deal with the bad breath that comes along with that particular dietary supplement, but that’s just me.

Peanut butter!  Who knew?  The guys love peanut butter.  I mean, the LOVE peanut butter.  They’ll lick it off each others faces to get a taste of it.  It’s the only way we can give them their meds is in peanut butter.  So why is peanut butter bad for them?  Well, it’s not the peanut butter that’s bad, but one of the ingredients, and that ingredient is not found in all peanut butters.  It’s artificial sweeteners.  More and more, the bring down the calorie count, manufacturers are making peanut butter with various artificial sweeteners.  NONE of these are good for dogs and the newer ones can actually be toxic for them.  I won’t go into the fats, sugar, or allergy concerns because each owner makes their own decisions on that.  But check your peanut butter first.  If there’s an artificial sweetener, you eat it.  Don’t give it to Fido.

I love grapes.  My favorite are those red ones about the size of a ping pong ball.  They’re sweet, juicy, and very grapey.  A handful will fill me up as a snack and it’s kind of fun to eat them.  I swallow the seeds whole and never suffer for it.  Occasionally, one will drop on the floor and I will wrestle my dogs to the ground to get it out of their mouths.  Not all dogs will react badly, but do.  Grapes will cause kidney failure, even a small amount of grapes.  No one really know why yet, but larger brains than mine (if that’s possible) are studying as I write this.  Raisins will do the same thing, so just leave anything having to do with grapes in your hands and not your dog’s mouth.  That includes jelly and juice and any other form you can think of.

Another form of grape that I love is wine.  Who here doesn’t know that?!  Don’t give it to your dog.  Nothing alcoholic should pass your dog’s snout.  Alcohol isn’t spectacular for humans, and it’s worse for dogs.  The worst one, though, is beer.  The yeast content of beer will bloat your dog’s stomach and intestines which can cause burps and farts.  However, it can also cause pinches, gaps, obstructions, and very high vet bills.  And hangovers your dog won’t thank you for.

Many fruit treats for humans are nice for dogs, too.  Frozen blueberries are terrific for them.  However, if the fruit you want to give them has a seed big enough to remove, then remove it.  Most fruit seeds can cause small choking hazards for small dogs.  Apple seeds can release cyanide into their system during digestion.  Larger pits and seeds can also scrape and cut your dog’s gums and teeth, aside from releasing poison into their system.  So just nix the seeds and let them have the fruit.  But not grapes.

Another fruit/vegetable that has a toxin in it is avocado.  It contains a toxin called Persin which causes vomiting, diarrhea, and heart congestion.  And it has a big pit.  No form of avocado should be given, so that includes guacamole.  Me, I don’t like avocado or any of its formats, so keeping it away from the guys is easy.  But if you’re using it and some drops on the floor, don’t rely on your four legged vacuum cleaner to get it.  You aren’t doing them any favor.  And no grapes, either.

Raw meat is seldom ever good for dogs.  It’s true that dogs were bred from wild animals whose main diet was raw meat.  Centuries of breeding, inbreeding, human selection, etc. have bred the capability of digesting raw meat easily right out of the furry critters.  Cooked meat, even rare cooked meat is better than raw.  I’ve dropped raw meat on the floor only to see our dogs pick it up and spit it out because it’s so unfamiliar.

Having said all that, there are some really nice things you can give your dogs to help cool off in the summer.  We give our ice cubes.  They love ’em!  It’s just frozen water, best thing in the world.  They play with them, chomp on them, have a great time.  We pay close attention so that when they get the size of choking hazard, we taken them away.  Lots of times, the guys lose interest and you have to determine if the wet spot on the carpet is from ice or something else.

This list is by no means complete, but it’s something to think about when you’re looking at your plate.  Your dogs would thank you (maybe) if they had a voice.  I’m of the opinion that most dogs, if they had a voice, would mostly say, “Throw the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ballThrow the ball!!”

Enjoy

 

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