Pig Ears For Dogs

 

Just like humans, pets deserve a special treat every so often, and times like these call for dog owners to go out of their way to do something their dogs will love. Surprises of this nature go a long way in showing your canine companion that you appreciate them for all the unconditional love they give you.

Dog owners have all sorts of questions. Among the most commonly asked, is whether dogs should be given pig’s ears for a treat. To help make an informed decision, we provide the following advantages/disadvantages list:

The Good…

1. It is almost impossible for a dog to turn down a pig’s ears dog treat. They find the chews simply delicious and will even love and obey you more. Perhaps this is the most appealing advantage of this type of dog’s chews. At the very least, you know that your gift will be received with a lot of joy and love.

2. Giving your dog pig’s ears allows you to kill two birds using one stone. Apart from it being a gesture of appreciation, you get to capitalize on the benefit the chews have on your dog’s teeth. The chews keep your companion’s teeth clean and the gums healthy, and this translates to fresh breath. Furthermore, the chews are also odorless.

3. Since these type of chews have a thick hide and density, they permit easy chewing particularly for small dogs, delicate chewers, as well as senior dogs.

4. Compared to other dog chews, pig’s ears are relatively inexpensive and readily available. They are sold both online and in local pet stores.

The Bad…

1. This type of dog chews is associated with a dangerous level of fat – especially for dogs that are prone to obesity. As such, if you decide to administer it to your dog, moderate the intake.

2. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, stay clear of pig’s ears chews as they may cause vomiting or diarrhea.

3. Sometimes, pig’s ears are infected with salmonella bacteria; an infection that can lead to gastrointestinal infection. Some of the symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, lethargy, and vomiting. For this reason, the chews should only be purchased from a reputable company. Ensure that your source usually conducts heat treatment on their products for about half a day. Heat treatment is an effective way of eliminating possible bacteria.

Note: salmonella is transmittable from pigs or dogs to humans – the more reasons you should handle dog’s feces carefully. Also, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after interacting with the chews.

When administered as a treat, pig’s ears are a good way of rewarding your dog for their company, love, and obedience. As long as you observe safety rules, they are the best for small dogs, senior dogs, and delicate chewers. To prevent or curb incidences of digestive obstructions, choking and the consequences of the highly sensitive stomach, supervise your dog while it chews.

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

From time to time a friend will ask me if dogs can eat apples without getting sick. One friend called me in a panic on a Saturday morning after her pet Labrador snatched an apple off her kitchen counter and scarfed the whole thing down, including the seeds.

I told her not to worry as an apple is perfectly safe for a dog to eat. You should use caution though if you’re giving your dog whole apples as a treat since the covering of the seeds contains very small amounts of amygdalin, a compound that contains cyanide.

My vet believes that the stems of apples may also contain traces of cyanide, so I’m careful to remove the stem and seeds before giving my dog an apple. Seeds are not really that harmful because the seed coating has to be broken before the amygdalin is released, so if your dog eats the few seeds contained in an average size apple, there is nothing to worry about.

I always slice the apple and give it to my dog piece by piece because it’s safer than tossing him a whole apple to eat. As to how many seeds would be safe for a dog to consume, consider that an adult would need to eat a whole cup of seeds to feel ill.

Apples are tasty treats for dogs and provide the nutritional benefits of vitamin C and fiber, plus they’re low in sodium and saturated fat. They also contain calcium and phosphorus. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in an apple help make the dog’s skin and coat healthier.

All dogs should not be fed apples just because they contain nutrients. If a dog has kidney disease, the added calcium, phosphorus and omega-6 fatty acids may not be a good addition to its diet. Additionally arthritic dogs require monitoring of their omega-6 fatty acid levels. It’s best to check with your vet if your dog has kidney disease or arthritis.

The worst problems a dog would encounter from eating too many apples is an upset stomach or diarrhea. So when my friend asked me the question can dogs eat apples, I told her yes, but “In the future keep your dog out of the kitchen when you’re making pies.”

Are Rawhide Bones Good For Dogs?

Rawhide bones are natural chew toys that most dogs like to gnaw on. Most vets agree that rawhide bones are good for a dog and have several benefits, but you need to be aware that there are also some health risks.

The rough surfaces of rawhide bones make them an almost irresistible treat for a dog to chew on and your dog can stay busy gnawing away at the bone for hours on end.

Most rawhide bones are good for your dog’s dental health. An added benefit may be that they can help in preventing a dog from chewing on your furniture and shoes.

If you’ve given your dog a rawhide bone or are considering buying one, you should be aware that these bones can also be bad for your dog. Larger pieces of rawhide bones can choke your dog by blocking its respiratory passageway. If your dog breaks off small chunks that can be swallowed, it could result in stomach problems or blockages of the dog’s intestinal tract which often requires surgery to remove.

Some dogs also develop allergic reactions to rawhide bones. Mere contact with the rawhide can irritate the skin of some dogs and requires treatment with medications. Rawhide bones that are sold in grocery stores usually have rough surfaces that can cause fractures of a dog’s teeth, or in severe cases could cause a fracture of the jaw bone. If splinters from the rawhide bone are swallowed without being properly chewed, they can puncture several of a dog’s organs.

If your dog is allergic to beef, don’t buy rawhide bones made from cattle. Instead, try one made from the skin of other animals like pigs.

Rawhide bones can also cause bacterial infections like salmonella because the rawhide that has been used to manufacture the bone may carry bacteria from the pig or cow it was made from. Luckily, most of these types of bacteria do not cause intestinal distress in a dog because the gastric acids in its system neutralizes the bacteria upon reaching the stomach.

Only you can decide if rawhide bones are good for your dog. You might choose to give your dog safer chew toys or treats in place of a rawhide bone. If one of your dog’s favorite pleasures is chewing on one of these bones, just be sure you buy the right sized bone to prevent your dog from choking, fracturing its teeth, or developing an intestinal blockage.

Dental Treats For Dogs

Dental treats for dogs are not necessarily a discretionary indulgence but are useful in keeping a dog’s teeth and gums healthy and its breath smelling fresh. There are many kinds of dental treats available for dogs and you can choose from a wide selection at Petco, PetSmart, or any pet supply store.

Among your choices for dog dental treats are:
* Hard biscuits, which are relatively inexpensive, yet effective at preventing tooth decay.
* Dog dental treats designed to give a dog the maximum benefit from chewing the treat.
* Fresh-breath dog dental treats that include ingredients like cinnamon to freshen a dog’s breath.
* Dental treats made from natural bones or rawhide.
* Soft treats that are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated with vitamins and minerals.

Some of the benefits of giving your dog dental treats include:
(1) Chewing dog dental treats strengthens a dog’s jaw muscles.
(2) Dog dental treats freshen a dog’s breath.
(3) Dog dental treats will scrape the dog’s teeth, helping to keep them clean and preventing plaque build-up.
(4) Dog dental treats massage a dog’s gums to keep them healthy.
(5) Dog dental treats augment the benefits of daily tooth-brushing.
(6) Dog dental treats can be given to a dog if it strongly objects to having its teeth brushed.
(7) Daily dog dental treats help prevent tartar and tooth decay.

Dog dental treats are designed to please almost any type of dog and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures and flavors. You can choose from doggy treats that are nutritionally balanced, specially formulated, fortified with dog vitamins and minerals, wheat-free, holistic, organic, made from veggies, plus dozens of other formulas and tastes.

Some dog dental treats are made from natural bones; rawhide that has been knotted, twisted, chipped, and compressed; or biscuits filled with bone marrow. The hard texture of crunchy dog biscuits helps loosen the plaque that builds up on a dog’s teeth and along the gum-line. When a dog is given hard treats regularly it will keep plaque from accumulating, and also exercises the dog’s jaws and helps strengthen its teeth.

Some dog treats are soft and don’t offer the same dental effects that hard treats provide. However, some soft treats are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated with added ingredients to provide basic dental health. These treats are identifiable by the words “contains high levels of calcium” or “fortified with vitamins and minerals” listed on the label.

When choosing dog treats be sure they’re manufactured from 100% natural products that make them safe for a dog to eat. Treats made from natural sources also taste great so a dog won’t even notice its teeth are being cleaned at the same time. Doggy dental treats come in a wide array of flavors like cinnamon, peppermint extracts, chlorophyll, parsley seed, and baking soda. There are enough choices to please any dog’s palate.

Next time you’re in a pet store, buy your best friend some doggy dental treats to help keep its teeth clean and reduce the chances of it developing gum disease. An added benefit of treats are that they help eliminate doggy breath – and we all know how overpowering that can be at times.

Health Care For Older Dogs


Proper health care for an older dog requires more attention from an owner than when it was a puppy or young adult dog.

It is important to know when your pet is a “senior citizen” so you can make appropriate changes in its diet and exercise to ensure a longer, healthy life. As a general rule of thumb, dogs are considered senior around seven years of age.

A quick look around your favorite pet store will reveal most dry packaged dog foods carry the inscription “For senior dogs 7 years or older”. As a general rule, larger dogs are considered to be seniors around five or six, and smaller dogs around nine years. There is such a large variety of dog breeds and sizes that there is no single age that automatically designates senior status.

Most dog owners feel their dogs do not live long enough. A recent survey of more than 1,000 people showed that one third of Americans who own a pet dog have no idea when their dog is a senior dog. And with 71 million pet-owning households in the United States, this translates to millions of dog owners that don’t know how to provide the best care for their dog’s senior years.

One of the most common misconceptions among dog owners is that pets and their owners age differently. While the rate at which dogs age is different than humans, the changes that take place with advancing age are very similar. Both pets and humans either gain or lose weight, develop arthritic joints, encounter problems with their heart, and often experience dental problems.

Another misconception that seems to be common among almost all dog owners is if a dog is overweight it isn’t a major health concern. While obesity should be a major health concern for dog owners, sudden weight loss is also a serious health worry. Diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, and diabetes can cause weight loss and you need to schedule a visit to your veterinarian if your dog has a sudden weight loss.

The usual symptoms of obesity can be managed with proper diet and exercise. Winston’s Digest All can aid your dog in losing weight if it is overweight or obese. Aching joints and lack of energy can also be managed successfully with natural supplements like Winston’s Joint System formula. This highly recommended product has helped thousands of dogs who were suffering from debilitating joint diseases such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

One of the most popular misconceptions now found on the internet is that exercise and dog toys that entertain and engage a dog’s senses are the best ways to prevent cognitive decline. The reality is that cognitive decline, or geriatric dementia, although most often associated with older humans, also affects older dogs who are prone to age-related dementia also. Dementia in older dogs usually becomes evident with inappropriate acts like barking in the middle of the night, urinary accidents in house-trained dogs, or becoming disoriented in his familiar home, and a lessening of interaction with family members. Dementia, which exhibits itself as a general disorientation, usually causes stress, anxiety, and fear, both in the dog and its human owner.

Some common age-related changes to watch for as your pet dog ages: He or she becomes less active, sleeps more, often develops a reduced sense of hearing and sight, is less able to handle temperature changes, and loses muscle mass. These changes may be symptoms of a disease, so be aware of any sudden weight loss or gain, sudden loss of appetite, lethargy, increased thirst or urinating more than usual.

When your dog reaches the start of his senior years, he will need your loving care more than ever. This is the perfect time to start your dog on Winston’s Senior Complete Multi vitamin supplement. This is the most powerful and complete once-daily multi vitamin for dogs 5 years and older. It contains almost 50 active ingredients from the healthiest sources available.

Maintaining good health care for your older dog is is the best way to repay your aging dog for the loyalty and pleasure it has given you for so many years. Show him or her that you love them as much as they have loved you. Spend time petting and just being with them. You may be surprised at the calming effect it produces in both of you.

Are Bones Safe For Dogs?

Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast. Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.

The idea that it’s natural for dogs to chew on bones is a popular one. However, it’s a dangerous practice and can cause serious injury to your pet.

Here are 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone:

1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.

2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.

3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.

4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.

5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!

6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.

7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.

8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.

10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

Talk with your veterinarian about alternatives to bones if you’re convinced bones are unsafe for your dog. There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on. Always supervise your dog with any chew toy or product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before.