Human Food You should Never Feed your Dog

Many pet owners let their dogs eat from their plates and left-overs. Let us tell you that this is very wrong! Allowing your pet to eat the food you consume isn’t only harmful but also life-threatening to them. The food we commonly eat on a daily basis consists of fats, cholesterol, and natural chemicals that are prone to a dog’s health.

Xylitol, a naturally obtained chemical mixed in chocolates to make it sweet, can cause insulin levels to rise and damage your dog’s liver.

There are many food items, raw or cooked, that we consume on a daily basis which can create troubles for your pet. As a precautionary measure, you should stop feeding pet your of your kitchen. And, put your trash away from the reach of your nosy-friends who often dive into the trash can to scavenge for food scraps.

10 Human Foods to Avoid Feeding your Dog

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare has compiled a list of food items that are harmful and useful for dogs. The list is also recommended by the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center of food harmful for dogs.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough is harmful to dogs mainly because the yeast begins to rise once it gets into your dog’s digestive system. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch their abdomen, bloat their stomach or even twist it, making it a lot painful to them. In many cases, consuming a large amount of yeast dough can become a life-threatening emergency. The yeast produces a chemical ‘ethanol’ as a by-product which leads to alcohol poisoning in dogs.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally originating chemical found in many plants and trees. It is used as a sweetener in many food items such as chewing gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste. Ingesting xylitol leads to the release of insulin in dogs. The excessive increase in insulin can lead to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) and can trigger vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. If not treated within a few days, it can lead to elevated liver enzymes and liver failure in dogs. Carefully dispose away of the candy and gums, and keep the trash can away from your dog’s reach.

Salty Food

Most fast food items eaten by people including Pizza, burger, fries, Lasagna, pop-corn, and Pasta consist of a large amount of salt (sodium). Large amounts of salt intake can produce excessive thirst and urination in dogs. In many cases, the continuous intake of sodium can even lead to sodium ion poisoning in pets.

There are tell-tale signs of sodium poisoning such as vomiting and diarrhea. Severe symptoms include depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures.

Onion, Garlic, and Chives

We often use onion, garlic, and chives in our meal to make it delicious. The problem with these natural root-items is that they can cause gastrointestinal irritation in dogs and cats. It is less troubling if consumed in a small amount. However, if your dog consumes a large portion at once, it can lead to red blood cell damage or anemia. The tell-tale signs include weakness, vomiting, and breathing problems.

Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs, and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. You should keep onions and garlic -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- away from your dog.  Do not let your dog nibble on fast foods found at fests, carnivals, and beaches

Milk and Dairy

Milk and dairy products can be harmful to dogs mainly because they do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Consuming a large amount of milk and other dairy-based products can lead to diarrhea or other digestive upset in dogs. They can also trigger food allergies, which can cause her to itch. Unlike popular belief, milk is harmful to cats. Instead of sharing your ice cream with your dog, instead, give them some cold water.

Grapes and Raisins

Popular fruits like grapes and raisins consist of unknown toxins that can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Although the actual toxic compound is unknown, many instances and research have led to the belief that consuming grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Even small amounts of grapes and raisins can be troublesome for your dog. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, tremors, lethargy, and dehydration.

Chocolate and Caffeine

Do not let your dog nibble on chocolates and caffeine-based food products. Chocolate contains a substance called methylxanthines which are commonly found in Cacao seeds. Ingestion of methylxanthines leads to vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, and seizures. In a severe case, death is common too. The dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate because it contains more methylxanthines and caffeine. Prevent your dog from slurping coffee and tea from the cup or floor.

Alcohol

Alcohol causes ethanol poisoning in dogs. They shouldn’t consume it even the smallest bit of amount. The tell-tale signs of ethanol poisoning include a lack of coordination, diarrhea, seizures, and vomiting. In many cases, it leads to central nervous system depression, tremors, and abnormal blood acidity in dogs. Contact your pet hospital in Urbandale as soon as you notice these signs.

Coconut and Coconut Oil

When ingested in small amounts, coconut or coconut-based products do not pose problems to dogs. However, the flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools, or diarrhea in dogs. Coconut water is mainly avoided for pets because it contains a high amount of potassium.

Citrus

Citrus fruits are commonly found around many gardens, parks, and forests. Beware if your dog starts nibbling on these small fruits. The stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can lead to bowel irritation and central nervous system depression. A small amount doesn’t necessarily hurt your dog, however, if ingested in a significant amount it can lead to many problems.

Here are some of the food items and fruits that you can consider feeding your dog. However, you must remember to use moderation when introducing these food items.

  • Blueberries
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries
  • Salmon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Cooked eggs (Never feed raw eggs)
  • Oranges
  • Carrots

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort offers some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about the best ways to take care of your pet.

10 Signs you are not taking Proper Care of Your Pet

Although we are careful about our pet’s daily lifestyle, there are times when they begin showing signs of underlying illness and other borderline mental issues. When you begin noticing your pet showing any unusual signs, this is the time to take immediate action.

Most pet owners aren’t aware that they shouldn’t feed their pets from their plates. The dog or cat’s diet differs from us. They shouldn’t eat everything that we often eat on a daily basis such as garlic, chocolate, oil-based food, etc. This is one of the many cases that go unnoticed by pet owners because for them it seems like the right choice of diet for pets.

Ten Signs you are not taking proper care of your pet

Urban Pet Hospital, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, has compiled a list of ten most common issues that show how taking care of your pet can go wrong.

Obesity

Obesity or overweight is common in many dogs and cats. One of the major reasons for obesity is feeding your pet the wrong food.

According to a study, “Obesity accounted for more than 1.3 million nationwide pet insurance claims in 2016, a 23 percent increase from three years before.”

With an unhealthy diet plan, pets often face large consequences from obesity-related conditions. Your pet’s meal requirements vastly differ from your dietary requirement; hence you must stop feeding them from your plate or prevent overfeeding treats.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and conditions in pets including arthritis, inflammation, diabetes, heart conditions, metabolic and endocrine disorders.

Vitamin D Poisoning

Vitamin D toxicity is common in dogs that are fed food or supplements rich in Vitamin D on a regular basis. Popular food brands contain lots of minerals that are hard to get from food prepared at home; however, these food brands often contain a higher volume of Vitamin D which can lead to poisoning.

The report submitted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) suggests that several popular brands of dog food have 70x the safe levels of Vitamin D which could kill dogs. Although it is rare, it is noteworthy to understand how it can adversely affect your pets.

Pets intoxicated with excessive Vitamin D often show signs of vomiting, weakness, depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, etc. These are the giveaway signs that you must take your pet to the veterinarian to help diagnose if it has been poisoned with excessive Vitamin D intake.

Along with pet food brands, Vitamin D supplements, Cholecaliciferol based rodenticides, etc are common factors causing Vitamin D toxicity in pets.

Bowel Issues

Bowel issue in dogs is something that often goes unnoticed by pet owners. Commercial food can cause indigestions in many cases. The majority of canine food allergy cases involve a reaction to the protein source, such as chicken, beef, or egg.

Most dogs suffer from a sensitive stomach because of indigestion caused by improper diet due to the intake of a type of protein, insufficient fiber, and excess fat.

The sensitive stomach is known as Gastrointestinal (GI) upset. It is the most common form of digestive issues faced by canines. The early signs of GI upset include intermittent vomiting; loose stools, bloating, and passing excessive gas can be caused by a variety of things.

What are the signs of bowel issues in dogs?

  • Dehydration
  • Painful, distended, or hard belly
  • Retching, trying to vomit, or difficulty defecating
  • The appearance of blood in vomit, urine, or feces
  • Lethargy

Energy Level

Lack of energy or lethargy in dogs is quite rare. If you have noticed, dogs or pups often spend most of their time running around, jumping or foraging. If you find them disinterested in playing and going out for a walk or sitting idle for a long time, then there can be underlying medical problems.

Most of the time, it's the food that you feed them. The diet isn't giving it the proper nutrients it needs. Sometimes switching diet or food brand which doesn't suit its age, breed or temperament also invites lethargy in dogs.

The best things you can do is switch back to their previous diet and contact your nutritionist for assistance.

Behavioral issue

Unlike a popular belief, aggressive behavior in dogs is quite uncommon. It can be a frightening experience when a docile and friendly dog becomes hostile.

According to a recent study, aggression has become the most common and serious behavioral issue among dogs. It’s also the number-one reason why pet parents seek professional help from behaviorists, trainers, and veterinarians.

Some of the major reasons for sudden aggressive behavior in dogs are as follows:

  • Any underlying illness or injury that may be causing pain to dogs that makes them react with fierce to others.
  • When animals are afraid of something, they tend to become aggressive.
  • Possessiveness is a common factor for aggression in dogs which can be caused by their favorite toy, bed, or territory.
  • Although rare, the aggression induced by frustration often leads to problems in dogs.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite in dogs can be sudden, and pet owners often feel confused about it. There are many underlying issues that can cause loss of appetite in animals.

Although it doesn't necessarily indicate serious disease, immediate veterinary attention may be required because it could be a sign of significant illness, including cancer, various systemic infections, pain, liver problems, and kidney failure. Some of the other reasons for loss of appetite are dental problems (broken or lost tooth, gingivitis, etc.), recent vaccination, unfamiliar surroundings, etc.

Odd eating habit

You may sometime notice that your dog skips a meal to two. This isn’t uncommon for a few times, but more than that, it can be a problem. The heat outside can often make dogs lose their appetite, however, it if persists, then you must consult your veterinarian. Two days without eating is a clear sign that your dog needs an examination.

Some diseases cause dogs to develop unusual eating habits such as lime disease, tick infection, internal illness, intestinal worms, etc.

As a pet owner, you must keep a check on these things and keep a stack of necessary medication at home.

Excessive Thirst

It’s common for dogs to drink more water during summer or after a lengthy outdoor visit, however, it is uncommon for dogs to experience excessive thirst or urinate frequently on a regular basis.

Not drinking enough water or failure to urinate can indicate digestive issues. If your dog is drinking and urinating excessively, they could be facing more fatal illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) or Water Diabetes is a rare disorder in dogs that affects their water metabolism, preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it. The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), and increase the thirst for water.

Grooming

Pet grooming doesn't only enhance your dog's appearance but it also improves its hygiene and prevents infection, hair-matting, discomfort in movement, ear infection, and stress.

The recent study concluded that grooming helps to keep the pets stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

Ensure to keep your pet well-groomed and clean at any season to prevent excessive hair matting or flea/tick infection. The matted hair, untrimmed nails, and germs around the facial area often induce stress in dogs.

Socialization

Dogs are social animals, and they equally enjoy the company of both animals and humans. It’s uncommon for dogs to distance themselves from other humans or animals. If that is the case, they may be facing socialization issues.

Naturally, a dog socializes by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. It’s more common for recently adopted dogs, dogs or pups that have faced harassment, or animals with abandonment issues to offset anti-social behavior

You can easily notice this tendency. It can be normalized by visiting trainers or daycare and by conducting social training skills both in and outside the home

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about the best ways to take care of your pet. Our certified veterinarian and best doggy daycare facility are always ready to help you

Pet Essential that Every Pet Owner should Own

Pet essentials are assorted items that you will need at the beginning, middle, and end of your canine’s journey. They aren’t only items but essentials that make their and your life easier. These are things every pet owner should have on hand at the beginning, middle, and end of their journey with their canine companions.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best pet hospital in Des Moines, has compiled a list of ten pet essentials that every pet owner should have at home.

  1. ID Tag

Although many say that ID Tags are old school, it is one of the easiest ways to identify a dog and its owner. Like us humans, the pet needs identification in case they are lost, wander off, or fall in some accident. Although microchipping your dog works almost all the time, if they escape or get lost, personal ID tags can help identify them without going through the microchip reading process. ID Tags can ensure to get them home as quickly as possible.

Along with ID Tag, it’s essential to microchip your pet. There are greater advantages to micro-chipping such as during holidays and celebrations where there are many cases of missing pets. Most of these pets are lured into a trap or are distracted. Once the ID tag is removed, it becomes difficult to locate a dog even when they are found by rescue shelters. A microchip can help prevent this by easily identifying the dog.

  1. Pet First Aid Kit

Pet First-Aid Kit is another pet essential that should in your home, car, or office at all times. Owning and being able to use the first-aid kit can prove to be a life-saver! These are the items that should be in the first-aid kit all the time.

  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Ice pack (Replaceable)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Scissors with the blunt end
  • Tweezers
  • OTC antibiotic ointment
  • Oral syringe or turkey baster
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent (for bathing)
  • Towels
  • Small flashlight
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Styptic powder
  • Saline eye solution
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Phone number, clinic name, address of your veterinarian

 

  1. Comfortable Harness/Leash/Longline

There has been a debate about harness and leashes for dogs. While it is true that a harness can be more comfortable for your pets compared to a leash, for smaller dogs and pups, leash works best. Most harnesses won’t fit the small-sized dogs unless you make a customized one for them.

Take suggestions from your pet trainer and veterinarian if you should buy a harness or leash for your dog. Longline works best when you take your dog out in the park or near forests. This will prevent it from running off into the forest or bushes and also keeps it away from the reach of coyotes and other wild animals.

  1. Dog Diapers

Dog diapers become essential at different points of time in the life of dogs. While dog diapers are common when they are young or older, some dogs may need dog diapers when they are facing certain medical conditions such as incontinence.

Diapers help to prevent dirt and germs on the floor from entering the urethra and causing a Urinary tract infection in dogs. The thing to keep in mind is that you should change the dog diaper frequently. Just like children, dogs n`eed to feel fresh and clean to stay in a healthy state of mind.

  1. Pet Hair Brush

Even though you frequently take your dog for grooming, it’s quite handy to keep a comfortable pet hairbrush around the house.  Frequent grooming in dogs is linked to their mental well-being. Regular grooming is linked to a balanced mental and physical state of the pet. It keeps them stress-free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

There are different kinds of pet hair brushes which you can choose from,

  • A slicker brush helps to get rid of any debris, loose hair, and mats/knots.
  • A pin brush is made for dogs with longer and silkier coat types.
  • A bristle brush is well suited for dogs with short or wiry coats.
  • The undercoat rake is designed to get deep into double and heavy coats of dogs.

 

  1. Steel Food and Water Bowl

Using plastic food and water bowl for dogs is a complete No-No. The plastic bowls often form cracks after extensive use which leads to debris or residue. These can lead to the formation of germs and bacteria which can easily pass into the digestive system of your pets. Using a ceramic bowl is another best option.

You should fill the water bowls often during summer because dogs often perspire while sitting indoors. This is the best way to ensure that your pet doesn’t remain dehydrated. Additionally, some dogs may develop an allergy to the plastic, resulting in a mild skin reaction on the chin or face

  1. Cozy Bed with Heating Pads

Your dog spends most of its life in its bed; hence ensure that you provide a cozy and comfortable bed. Using a cozy mattress is one of the options to make the bed extra cozy. During winter, you should consider installing heating pads in their bed. Do not use heated blankets meant for humans. Heated dog beds heat up safely for a dog's needs and work on low voltage making them safe for canines.

  1. Toys and Puzzles

Keeping pets engaged with different forms of toys and puzzles help to keep them away from developing isolation, boredom, or stress. This is important because dogs that “need a job” have a problem-solving mindset and will find puzzles very satisfying. You can find different forms of interactive games for pets. When you’re home, you can consider hiding treats and giving them clues to solve the problem. This helps to strengthen you and your pet’s bond.

  1. Flea Treatment Agent

Fleas can also sneak into your home any time of year. Easily available flea treatments can help to remedy your home from flea infestation. As an option, you can create your own concoction of home-based agents to develop flea treatments.

Use flea shampoos to wash your dog when it's flea season. This prevents flea from getting into your dog's coat, which is later carried inside your home.

Flea infection becomes common during spring and summer.

  1. Stain and Odor Remover

Stain and odor remover helps to remove stubborn urine smells from just about anywhere while removing the underlying pheromones. These pheromones are like a marker where your dog tends to return to and re-mark. You can find many enzyme-based cleaners on the market.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is a premier pet hospital in Urbandale. We employ some of the best-certified veterinarians in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to find out about other pet essentials you can gift your companion.

Topmost Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Summer is already here! Along with it come different kinds of allergies, rashes, flea, and dry skin. Your pet, both canine and feline, could face different kinds of allergens in and outside the house! The best way to prevent this is to prepare possible home remedies.

 As admitted by many pet owners, their pets end up consuming chemicals such as plant fertilizers and defrost toiletries and human pills. Such accidents may require immediate medical attention from a professional veterinarian. In common cases such as allergies, rashes, and flea bites, a pet owner can diagnose the conditions and administer homemade remedies accordingly.

 Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital, the best pet hospital in Des Moines to find possible home remedies for allergies, rashes, indigestion, flea and tick, and other problems.

Home Remedies for Common Pet Problems

Here are home remedies for some of the most common pet problems. 

FLEA INFECTION

  • A mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt can make an effective flea spray. Dilute 6 cups of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water, and then add a dash of sea salt. You can spray the mixture directly onto your dog's coat.
  • You can place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. This way, any fleas you sweep up will remain inside.
  • Flea collar is sprayed with insecticides. If you resist using insecticide, you can use active ingredients such as cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, and marigold. This will help deter them.
  • A regular flea bath to your dog during spring, summer, and autumn with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb will help prevent any flea infection.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to each quart of the animal’s drinking water. It acts as a flea deterrent and it helps keep pets free of fleas and ticks.
  • As an organic approach, you can stock your garden with off-leaf larvae-eating nematodes. These can help to bring down your Japanese beetle population.
  • To keep your home free of flea, you can consider spraying your window and door screens with distilled water containing several drops of bitter orange essential oil.

 

ITCHINESS & DRY SKIN

Dry skin and itchiness are common in pets during spring and summer. During summer, you must restrict your pet from staying outdoors for a long period of time.

 An Oatmeal bath is one of the most common and effective home remedies to prevent itchiness. Prepare a bath by adding uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking. Run a tubful of warm water over it. Next, you can soak your pet in the water for 5-10 minutes before rinsing them dry. As an option, you can also buy Oatmeal-based shampoos from the pet stores.

 Using aloe Vera gel is another way to prevent itchiness. Start with break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick gel onto the raw area or the skin. Beware; your pet mustn’t lick the area. Ingesting aloe vera can cause vomiting. 

CUTS, SCRAPES & ABRASIONS

Cuts, scrapes, abrasions are common during any time of the year. If your pet is active and runs around places, or forages into the dustbin, it is more likely to get cuts and scrapes.

 Mix together 1-pint water, ½-teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon calendula tincture. Next, you can soak the injured part in the solution. An injured paw can be soaked into the solution while the wound on the body requires applying the solution through a squirt bottle. Gently apply the solution to the infected area. Repeat the process every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

 

BITES AND SCRATCHES

If your pet gets serious bites and scratches, you must immediately take it to the vet.

  • For smaller wounds, you can start with rinsing it with the following solution: 1-pint water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • As an option, Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean wounds, but it can hurt delicate tissues.
  • In the case of felines, cat wounds are infamous for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, you should clean it with Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Wear a protective layer or latex gloves while handling an abscess.

 

TISSUE TRAUMA

Tissue trauma is common in pets after they fall from a height, get stepped on, or are in a fight. 

  • As an effective home remedy, you can apply common homeopathic remedy arnica which speeds the recovery.
  • You can administer two pellets of arnica 30c once per hour for three hours following the injury.

 

PET INDIGESTION OR LOOSE STOOL 

Indigestion or loose stool in pets is mostly after they eat something they shouldn’t have. If your dog scavenges from the dustbin or kitchen bin, you should start keeping it away from their reach. Most often scavenge for food items outside the house. This can lead to the ingestion of food or items that can affect their digestion.

  • Certain food items can irritate the bowel, creating nerve impulses that signal the gut to speed up. If the food moves too quickly, the result is loose stools.
  • You can prevent this by inspecting what they eat all the time. Don’t over-feed supplements such as Vitamin B which can lead to loose stool.
  • The herb slippery elm, available as powder or capsules, can help control indigestion and loose stool.
  • Ensure that you keep fertilizing, pesticide, and chemicals away from your dog’s reach. Most of these items can be poisonous and the first sign of poison is often loose stool.

SKUNK SPRAY-ON PETS

Skunk spray is common during summer and spring when your dog plays outside the house. The nosy practice of dogs often lands them in trouble. A skunk sprays the allergic liquid when they detect a threat.

  • If you notice that your dog has been sprayed by a skunk, you can start with bathing them in a mixture of one-quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap.
  • The stench of skunk spray is another problem to get rid of. You can use tomato juice, to remove the smell. Leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it off. For a large dog, a single wash can require several cans of tomato juice, so be prepared for this.

 

GET RID OF PLASTIC FOOD DISHES

 Plastic utensils are often allergic to pets. Hot spots around the face can be caused by plastic food bowls. You can start by replacing the plastic food and water bowls with stainless, glass, or ceramic bowls. Clean the bowls often to remove any decay.

 Most pets are prone to bacterial allergens which develop into puppy acne or feline acne and a rash or pimples in the face area such as nose and chin.

 Urban pet Hospital & Resort is the Best Doggy Daycare in Urbandale and premier pet hospital in Urbandale. Get in touch with for the best doggy daycare and assistance from a certified veterinarian.