Understanding Pica in Dogs

It’s understandably frustrating when your dog won’t stop trying to eat things that aren’t food. However, pica in dogs isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.

If you have a puppy who is under six months of age, eating nonfood items is normal behavior. Puppies chew and swallow inedible things when they are learning about their environment and will typically grow out of this stage with nothing but a little discouragement from their owner. If you’re worried about your puppy ruining your favorite things, provide lots of safe chew toys, monitor her activities closely, and give her plenty of physical exercise to alleviate boredom.

Full grown dogs may eat grass when they feel nauseous as a way to make themselves vomit. Eating grass may also be your dog’s way to remedy certain stomach problems or to improve digestion. As long as your dog only does this occasionally, it’s not a cause for concern.

A full grown dog who is eating items like plastic bags, clothing, and rocks may have a nutritional imbalance. Your vet can run blood tests to see if a dietary change can help correct your dog’s pica.

If your dog doesn’t have a nutritional balance, his pica may be a compulsive disorder. This type of behavior won’t go away on its own. You’ll need to train your dog to break the habit. Medication might be needed in severe cases.

Until your pooch’s propensity to eat nonfood items has been addressed, you’ll need to “dog proof” your home in order to keep your pet safe. Many items that dogs with pica like to try to eat, such as spare change, cleaning chemicals, houseplants, and human pharmaceuticals, can cause death or serious injury. Keep dangerous items safely out of your dog’s reach and use a pet gate to prevent your dog from accessing common trouble spots in your home like the garage or bathroom.

 

Keeping Your Dog Healthy with Green Bark Gummies

Tasty treats can be useful as a training aid to discourage dogs from trying to eat nonfood items. Green Bark Gummies are free of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, and soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties). Visit greenbarkgummies.com for additional information.

 

Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby

Dogs thrive on predictability, which means that adjusting to a new baby can be difficult. A dog who is used to having your undivided attention is naturally going to feel slighted when he’s competing with the needs of a demanding infant.

To help your pet adjust to the new addition to your family, you’ll want to start planning for baby’s arrival as soon as possible. If your dog hasn’t already been to a basic obedience class, make plans to complete a course as soon as you find out you’re expecting. Your instructor can help you correct behavior that could pose a safety hazard once your baby arrives, such as jumping up to greet you at the door.

Help your dog become used to the sight and sound of children by taking him to a park where children often play or to visit close friends with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers.

In your third trimester, get a life size doll and treat it like an infant. Set up your baby’s crib, bassinet, and swing for the doll to use. Sing to the doll and carry it around your home like you would a real baby. The goal is to get your dog gradually acclimated to the change in routine that an infant will bring.

If you’re the one who will be walking the dog after baby arrives, practice walking while pushing your baby’s stroller. Remember not to loop the leash on the stroller handle, since this could injure your baby if your dog sees a squirrel and takes off running.

After your baby is born, have someone bring home an outfit or two so your dog can get accustomed to the new baby’s scent before you return from the hospital. Stock up on tasty treats to reward your dog for being calm and tranquil while you’re nursing or giving baby a bottle.

Keep in mind that the normal squeals and cries of an infant can be distressing for a dog, so watch closely for pacing or unusual eye contact that could indicate your dog needs to be taken out of the room.

 

Reward Your Pooch with a Tasty Treat

Green Bark Gummies chia-based dog treats are a nutritious and delicious way to reward your dog for being on his best behavior around your new baby. These quality dog treats are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties).

Treating Constipation in Dogs

Constipation in dogs is fairly common, although elderly pets are particularly susceptible to difficulty with bowel movements.

Constipation is not considered a disease on its own. In most cases, it’s a symptom of another health problem. Constipation can be caused by:

  • Dehydration
  • A lack of fiber
  • Too little exercise
  • Side effects of medication
  • Hair in the stool from too much grooming
  • Ingested objects caught in the intestinal tract
  • Neurological disorders
  • Orthopedic problems
  • An enlarged prostate gland
  • Hernias in the dog’s rectum in the area next to the anus
  • Low levels of potassium
  • Low levels of thyroid hormones

To rule out serious medical concerns, you should see your vet whenever you notice that your dog is having dry or hard stools, is straining when he is trying to defecate, or has not had a bowel movement in two days. Your vet will take a complete health history, ask about specific symptoms you have noticed, and order tests such as a blood chemical profile and urinalysis. X-rays may also be needed to visualize the abdominal and intestinal tract in order to better assess the severity of the problem.

Common treatments for constipation in dogs include the use of a stool softener or laxative made for dogs, adding extra fiber to your pet’s diet in the form of bran or canned pumpkin, increasing his water intake, and allowing additional time for exercise. In some cases, your vet may recommend a professional enema to help your pet start having normal bowel movements.

After an episode of constipation, your vet may recommend continuing to monitor your dog’s defecation and stool consistency for future problems. Start by monitoring at least twice a week, then progressing to weekly or biweekly monitoring as your pet’s condition improves.

 

Preventing Constipation with a Quality Diet

A high quality diet can help prevent constipation for many dogs. Green Bark Gummies Healthy Digestion in small bites feature heart-healthy NutraCHIA with tapioca and ginger to support your dog’s intestinal health. You can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com.

 

Treating Bad Breath in Dogs

Bad breath is more than just a mere cosmetic problem. In many cases, bad breath is a sign that your pooch needs a trip to the vet.

Bad breath can be caused by:

  • Poor diet: Dogs that eat poor quality food that is hard to digest are much more likely to have bad breath.
  • Teething: If you have a puppy, temporary bad breath can be caused by teething.
  • Dental or gum disease: Small dogs are especially prone to tartar and plaque buildup, which can cause bad breath. Older dogs may have periodontal disease, which leads to an increase in bad breath causing bacteria.
  • Diabetes: A dog with breath that smells unusually sweet or fruity might have diabetes.
  • Kidney disease: If your dog’s breath smells like urine, this may be a sign of kidney trouble.
  • Liver disease: Bad breath that is accompanied by yellow tinged gums, a lack of appetite, and vomiting can indicate a liver problem.

If you are bothered by your dog’s bad breath, you should make an appointment with your vet to rule out any serious medical problems. At home, you can help keep your dog’s breath under control by brushing his teeth daily. You need to use a special toothpaste designed for dogs, however. The ingredients in toothpaste intended for human use can give your dog an upset stomach.

Providing your pet with an assortment of hard chew toys can also be helpful in preventing bad breath as the process of chewing helps your dog naturally clean his teeth. Chew toys also have the added benefit of keeping your dog from inappropriately chewing on items like your favorite pair of sneakers!

 

Keep Your Pet Healthy and Happy

Green Bark Gummies chia-based dog treats are a nutritious and delicious way to help your beloved pet stay as healthy as possible. These quality dog treats are free of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, and soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulas for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties).

How to Tell if Your Dog Is Overweight

Just as carrying excess weight puts you at a risk of health problems, being overweight increases your dog’s odds of developing diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and kidney disease.

Unfortunately, you can’t tell if your dog is overweight by comparing him to other dogs you see at the park. Studies suggest that almost 40% of all adult dogs are overweight or obese, so your pet could still be in trouble even if he’s not the heaviest one in the group.

 

How to Tell if your Dog is Overweight

To tell if your dog is overweight, see if you can feel his ribs. In a healthy dog of ideal weight, there is a slight amount of fat over the ribs. The area looks smooth, but you can still feel the ribs easily. There should also be a small amount of fat over the shoulders, spine, and hips with the bones still easy to feel underneath. If you can’t feel the bones in these areas, your dog is overweight.

Another way to tell if your dog has a weight problem is if he has no visible waist when you look at him from above. If the area between the ribs and hips is wider than the hips or ribs, your dog is likely considered too heavy.

If you suspect that your dog is overweight, consult your vet to develop a weight loss program. Your vet will want to rule out medical conditions that could lead to weight gain, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, before deciding the best way to help your pet lose weight.

Do not try to help your pet lose weight by restricting his regular food intake on your own. Improper feeding can result in a rapid weight loss that would create additional health problems. The best way to help your furry friend get back in shape is to precisely follow your vet’s feeding recommendations and to encourage your dog to get as much exercise as possible.

 

Nutritious Treats for Healthy Dogs

A quality diet can help keep your dog’s weight within recommended limits. Green Bark Gummies dog treats were developed by a veterinarian after consulting with nutritionists, scientists, and animal health experts. They are made with high quality fish, meat, and greens without any byproducts or cheap fillers. Learn more at greenbarkgummies.com.

Is it OK to Feed my Dog Table Scraps?

Fall and winter are the times of year when we tend to want to stay indoors and eat heavier, richer foods. We have holidays like Thanksgivings, Christmas, and New Years that are focused on feasting and getting together with family and friends that are focused on having a variety of foods that we don’t necessarily eat at other times of the year. While you may be tempted to give your dog a treat or two to include him in the fun, this is not the best idea; most of the things we enjoy are too high in fat for a dog’s digestive system and can lead to stomach upset.

 

Is it OK to Feed my Dog Table Scraps?: The Answer

If you are giving your dog a healthy diet of a good quality dog food, you can give him some healthy leftovers from your table occasionally. If you suddenly start loading him up with a lot of rich food at Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may be setting your dog up for an attack of acute pancreatitis. (If your dog loses his appetite, starts vomiting or has belly pain, he needs to be seen by a vet immediately.)

Giving your dog some lean turkey and vegetables would likely be a welcomed treat. There are some foods that you should never give to your dog, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Cooked bones
  • Corn on the cob
  • Food with large amounts of fat
  • Foods with large amounts of garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Peaches, persimmons, plums (the pits present a choking hazard)

Don’t feed your dog food directly from the table. Place the food directly in his dish at his regular mealtime.

 

If you want to give your dog a treat, choose Green Bark Gummies. These Chia-based dog treats are nutritious, delicious, and are devoid of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulations for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties), you can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com!

How to Train your Dog to Take Treats Gently

If your dog has developed the habit of taking treats out of your hand fast and hard or you want to train him the right way to take treats from the beginning, use this method to teach him how to take treats gently. You won’t have to be concerned about your dog lunging forward to get the treats, and you can show other members of your household the right way to offer treats so your four-legged friend doesn’t become confused when it’s treat time.

 

Train your Dog to Take Treats Gently

1) Take some small dog treats (about the size of popcorn) and have your dog sit. Take the treat and hold it in your hand like a closed fist. Starting with your hand at your side, slowly move your fist up under your dog’s nose.

2) When your dog gives your fist a nudge with his nose, open your hand, palm facing up. The dog will eat the treat from your flattened hand. Be sure to keep your fingers together.

3) While your dog stays in a seated position, repeat this process of offering a food treat several (10-20) times. If your dog stands up, tell him to sit down again. When he has calmly and gently eaten the training treat from the palm of your hand several times in a row, you can move on to the next step.

4) Move the hand with the treat toward your dog in exactly the same manner as you had been doing (bring it up from your side to just under your dog’s jaw). Now, instead of holding the training treat in your closed fist, hold it under your thumb, keeping it completely hidden. Your thumb should be on top of your hand, with all four fingers together on the bottom. When your dog touches your hand with his nose, move your thumb out of the way so he can get the treat. Do this technique about 10 times. Once the dog has taken the food from your fingers several times in a row in a calm manner, you can move on to the next step in the process.

5) Continue to offer treats in the same manner as in Step 4. This time, begin to alternate holding the food under your thumb with holding it between the fingertips of all five of your fingers, leaving the food slightly exposed. You should still bring your hand up slowly under the dog’s chin in the same manner as before.

 

Over a period of several weeks of training, start with the first step and work toward Step 5. Over time it should take fewer repetitions between the steps to get the result you want. With practice, the dog will stop snapping at your fingers. Do not let your children give your dog treats until the dog has learned not to snap at food. Once the dog has been trained, always supervise children and dogs when it’s treat time.

 

Green Bark Gummies are the perfect treat to help train your dog to take treats gently. These Chia-based dog treats are nutritious, delicious, and are devoid of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulations for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties), you can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com!

How to Choose the Right Veterinarian

Finding the right veterinarian for your dog is a process, and it may take a bit of time before you find someone who is a good fit for both of you. Ideally, you’ll want to find someone who will be part of your pet’s life for a long time and will be providing care for a number of years.

Choose the Right Veterinarian

  1. Start by finding possible candidates.

Ask friends, relatives, relatives, neighbors and co-workers who have dogs where they go for veterinary care and if they would recommend their doctor.

Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website, enter your zip code and click on “Find a Veterinariran” to find a doctor in your area. You can also look up veterinarians in your area online to check out their websites to see what kinds of services they offer.

Go to a local pet store or shelter and ask the staff if they can suggest the names of some doctors you could contact. Ask for a suggestion as opposed to a recommendation and the other person is not put on the spot. Explain that you are interested in interviewing a few candidates before you make your choice.

  1. Make sure the veterinarians you are considering are accredited.

Check to ensure that they have met the standards set by the American Animal Hospital Association. It means that a veterinary hospital has voluntarily met the Association’s standards for equipment, facility and quality of care.

Veterinary specialists should be board certified. This means the vet has completed an additional two-four years of study in his or her specialty area and passed an exam.

  1. Make an appointment for a wellness check for your dog.

Your evaluation of the veterinarian should start as soon as you contact his or her office.

  • Are the staff friendly and helpful?
  • Is the office open during hours that are convenient for you?
  • Is the parking convenient?
  • How long do you have to wait to see the vet? Does he or she practice alone or in a group?
  • When you get to the appointment, make note of the general condition of the facility. Is it clean and comfortable for you and your dog?
  • Are there technicians or veterinary assistants on staff?
  1. Observe how the vet interacts with your dog during the exam.
  • Does he or she take some time to pet and reassure your dog before starting the exam proper?
  • Do you feel comfortable asking questions, and are they answered completely?
  • Does the vet provide extra tips about diet and exercise for your dog at the well visit?
  • What kinds of services does the veterinarian offer?
  • Which emergency services are available?
  • Does the vet do blood work, X-rays, EKG, ultrasound and other diagnostics in house or do you need to see a specialist?
  • Can you have your dog boarded, if necessary?
  1. Do the vet’s fees fit your budget?

Some vets will offer a discount to seniors or families with multiple pets, so do ask whether this is the case.

 

Following these guidelines will help you choose the right veterinarian. He or she would approve of your offering your dog Green Bark Gummies. These Chia-based dog treats are nutritious, delicious, and are devoid of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulations for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties), you can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com!

How to Read a Dog Food Label

With the number of terms on dog food packaging, it can be difficult to determine whether you are getting a good quality food for your canine companion. How do you navigate through the terms like “organic,” “gluten-free” and “natural” to make the best choice? Here are some tips to help you figure out how to read a dog food label so that you can make the right choice for your pet.

 

Learn How to Read a Dog Food Label

  1. Choose a food that fits the size of your dog’s breed.

Dry dog foods labelled for “small breeds” have kibble that is smaller and easier for toy breeds to chew. Large breed formulas have nutrients to lower the risk of developing arthritis in later years.

  1. Look at ingredient list if your pet has allergy issues.

If your dog has a food allergy to wheat, you will need to find a specially-formulated dog food. Examine the ingredient list carefully to make sure it doesn’t contain any wheat or other allergens before buying.

  1. Check for protein.

Chicken, beef, lamb or fish should be one of the first few ingredients listed on the ingredient list. Chicken meal (dehydrated chicken) has more protein than fresh chicken, which is 80 percent water. The same rule applies to beef, lamb and fish. If you see [source of protein meal] as the first ingredient, it’s not a bad thing.

  1. Are additional flavorings used?

Some pet food companies add “beef flavoring” to make their product more attractive to dogs. If protein is in the first few ingredients this should not be necessary. However, if the manufacturer adds flavor, look for specific “beef flavor” instead of “meat flavor.”

  1. Get serving size guidelines.

Each pet food manufacturer will have daily recommended serving sizes for its product. The pets on which the guidelines are based are active and get more exercise than the average pet. For guidance about the right serving size for your dog, consult your veterinarian.

  1. Understand the difference between “natural” and “holistic.”

Natural pet food means that none of the ingredients have had any chemical alterations. Holistic doesn’t have a specific legal definition, and it is one of those terms can mean something different depending on the manufacturer. Organic pet food will have a label from the USDA.

  1. Look for AAFCO Nutrient Profile and Nutrition Adequacy Statement

The dog food label will be marked as either appropriate for “All Life Stages” or “Adult Maintenance.” All Life Stages is meant for either a growing puppy or a lactating dog and has a higher caloric content, as well as extra calcium and phosphorus. Healthy adult dogs should be fed adult maintenance food.

The nutrition adequacy statement confirms that the food meets the minimum nutrition requirements set by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for life stages.

 

Making a choice about a good treat for your dog isn’t difficult when you choose Green Bark Gummies. These Chia-based dog treats are nutritious, delicious, and are devoid of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulations for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties), you can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com!

Tips for Keeping your Dog Safe this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday when we look forward to spending time with friends and family, and indulging in special food and drink. If you are playing host over the holiday weekend, your home will be busier than usual, and you’ll want to think about how to keep the four-legged member of your family safe while you are giving thanks for all the blessings in your life.

 

How to Keep your Dog Safe This Thanksgiving

  • Keep a close eye on the door as guests enter and leave your home. Your dog may view the open door as an invitation to leave your busy home. Unless you want to spend part of your Thanksgiving holiday looking for a lost pet, make a point of holding onto your dog’s collar if he is anywhere near the door when someone arrives or is ready to leave or keep him in a quieter part of the house when you have guests.
  • Make sure your dog can’t get access to food that is left on your kitchen counter or table, either during meal preparation or after you have finished eating. If you are trying to prepare a meal for a crowd, it can be easy to lose track of what your pet is doing, and he can help himself to something very quickly.
  • After you have cleaned up after eating, take the garbage out of your kitchen and place it in a garbage can or container where your pet cannot gain access to it.
  • Do not give your dog turkey or chicken bones to chew on. They splinter very easily and can stick in his esophagus, stomach or intestines.
  • Chocolate can be fatal to in large amounts, and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic this treat is to your pets. Don’t leave bowls of candy out within reach of your pets and keep a close eye on children, who may drop candy on the floor for your dog to pick up and ingest.

 

If you want to give your dog a safe and healthy treat, Green Bark Gummies are the perfect choice. These Chia-based dog treats are nutritious, delicious, and are devoid of any artificial flavors, colors, wheat, corn, soy, and are also non-GMO. They are available in formulations for dogs that are both under 30 pounds (Skin & Coat and Healthy Digestion) and over 30 pounds (Hip & Joint and Skin & Coat varieties), you can learn more about these healthy dog treats at greenbarkgummies.com!