5 Most Reliable Police Dog

Dogs are the most reliable being in case of human needs. From search and rescue to military espionage, dogs are the most dependable animals.

Every military working dog is an NCO (Non-commissioned officer). The custom was basically made to prevent handlers from mistreating their dogs; hence, a dog is stated as one rank higher than its handler.

Many search and rescue dogs were deployed after September 11, 2001 attack. Some of the heroic dogs who helped find survivors were Trakr (German shepherd), Bretagne (Golden retriever), Apollo (German shepherd), and Roselle (Labrador).

The working dogs are generally used for Illicit-substance detection, tracking human, Cadaver-sniffing, disability assistance, and search and rescue etc.


#5 Dutch Shepherds

Dutch Shepherd is one of most reliable dog breed used in Police K-9 unit. They are known for their versatility and fewer demands and can adapt to a harsh and meager existence. Also known as Hollandse Herder, they are a herding dog of Dutch origin.

The Dutch Shepherd can weigh between 50–70 pounds on average. The height varies between 55–63 cm. Depending on the coat type, the breed can be distinguished as short-hair, long-hair, or rough-hair.

#4 Labrador Retrievers

Labrador or Labrador retriever is a type of retriever-gun dog popular in United States, Canada, and U.K. They are a multi-purpose dog are used as

  • Disability assistance dog
  • Blind Aid and Autism therapy dog
  • Law enforcement dog

They are often prized as sporting and hunting dogs.

They are often categorized in one of two ways; English labs or American Labs. English Labs are recommended as non-professional pet owners, while American Labs are extensively used for police training.

They are generally found in yellow or similar shades and Chocolate shade.

#3 Bloodhounds

Bloodhound is a large scent hound dog originally bred for hunting and for tracking people. They are known for their ability to discern human scent over great distances, even days later. Their extraordinarily keen sense of smell combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct makes them a dependable search and tracking dog.

They generally have a short lifespan and can suffer from various ailments such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), and a high incidence of eye, skin, and ear ailments.

#2 Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois is sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd dog rather than as a separate breed.

They are mostly used as a working dog for detection of odors such as explosives, accelerants (for arson investigation), and narcotics; tracking humans, and search and rescue missions. Due to their smaller size and versatility, they have replaced German Shepherd in many units.

Male Malinois are 61–66 cm and can weigh 25-30kg, while females are about 56–61 cm and can weight 20–25 kg.

#1 German shepherd Dogs

The German shepherd is a relatively new breed developed originally for herding. Originated in Germany, they range from medium to large size.

Because of their strength, agility, temperament, and obedience, they are primarily used as working dogs; disability assistance, search and rescue, K-9 unit and military dogs. Few German shepherds have successfully acted in movies too.

The standard height of German shepherd is 60-65cm for males and 55-60cm for female. A male German shepherd can weigh 3040kg while females can weigh 22-33 kg.

National Train Your Dog Month

January is the National Train Your Dog Month!

In 2010 the Association of Professional Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month campaign. The APDT believed it is time to dedicate a month to bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training your dog can be easy and fun! 

January is also the time when most people bring new pets home during the winter holidays.

How to best Train your dog

1. House Training

It is important if you're thinking about keeping your pet indoors. When pets stay inside, they require a housebreaking or potty training to relieve themselves at the right place.

A house training may include;

Crate training dogs and puppies

Crate training is a method of house training your puppy or dog. The crate is specifically used to keep your pup or adult dog confined in a space when you are unable to supervise. Since dogs do not generally urinate or defecate in the same place they sleep, they will most likely try to hold the urge to pee. Use positive enforcement while introducing crate to your pets.

House Train puppies

It requires patience while training the young pups. Set a schedule for everything; waking, eating, playing, and relieving. Check for signs when your pup needs to relieve. Use keywords repeatedly to make them understand the command.

Submissive/Excitement urination in Dogs

Most dogs tend to urinate when being submissive or in excitement. Also known as involuntary urination, it can be curbed by positive enforcement. Use the house training commands to make them understand that it isn’t right to pee inside the house.

2. Leash Training

Leash training is important when the pup starts growing into an adult dog. You will often take it outdoors, hence, keeping them in a leash is important to avoid any accidents or misbehavior.

Teach the dog how to walk properly with the leash. A loose leash walk may teach your dog not to pull or lunge when being leashed, making the experience more enjoyable.

3. Socializing

Socialization is basically the process of introducing a dog or pup to in the company of other animals, humans, places, and environment. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Socializing with Dogs

  • Take your dog out to observe other dogs
  • Resist tugging while walking
  • Go to dog training classes

Socializing with Humans

  • Ignore your dog's unwanted behavior
  • Act like everything is normal when he acts out
  • Introduce people slowly

Basic commands

Basic commands help to curb dog’s unwanted behavior and keep them safe. Every dog should be aware of basic commands.

Some of the basic commands are;

  • Look
  • Emergency recall
  • Come
  • With me
  • Leave it
  • Drop it
  • Sit
  • Lie Down
  • Stay
  • Wait

Proofing behavior

Proofing is the last step in training your dog to do any new behavior. Learn how to proof behaviors so your dog will be as obedient at the park or a friend's house is he is in your own living room.

Change a Pet’s Life Day is almost here!

It’s almost time to celebrate Change a Pet’s Life Day. Celebrated on January 24, the special day is held every year to encourage people to adopt pets from shelters and raise animal awareness.

On this day, pet shelters reduce the cost of adopting a new pet. Although the day highlights the importance of pet adoption to save shelter-pets from being deprived of homes, there are other ways you can support the cause.

Adopt a Pet

About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats), simply because the pet shelters lack enough room for new pets and lesser pets are ever adopted.

It actually costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed.

Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and farm animals need forever homes too.

Sponsor a Pet

If you can’t take a dog for yourself, you can get one for others. Consider gifting a shelter pet to your friend, family or someone considering to adopt a pet this year. Most adoptable shelter-pets costs ZERO to $250, hence, gifting one won’t be hard on your pocket.
Volunteer your time

You can also consider volunteering your time at the animal shelters. A helping hand is always appreciated. You can clean the shelter home, utilities, and beds, or play with the pets to keep them indulged and active. Volunteering your time will help shelters provide care for all the dogs that they look after, and it helps dogs get some much-needed socialization.

Donate

Animal shelters can't run by themselves. They need funds to carry out daily activities of feeding, caring, and nurturing the pets, initiating rescue missions, finding and protecting dogs, neutering or spaying, micro-chipping, and vaccination. Consider donating to animal shelters so they can give back to society.

Spread the word about Adoptable Dogs

You can always spread the word about the shelter homes in your area or any pet that needs to be adopted. Those who have less or none information about adoption will be encouraged to adopt a new pet.

Raise Awareness for Shelters

You can always put a word to your mayor, congressmen, or advocates to raise awareness for the animal shelters. Even better, you can seek if your local shelter is organizing any event. You can always offer a helping hand.

Tell Your Dog's story

To encourage others to adopt new pets, you can share your own story of owning a pet. When did you first meet your pet? How were the initial challenges? Unforgettable story or experience you share with your pet etc. Showing the positive impact your dog has had on your life is a great way to show others that a dog might be right for them, too.

One simple act of kindness can make a difference in a pet’s life.

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

National Dress Up Your Pet Day is observed by the pet owners and pet community each year on January 14. It was founded in 2009 by the Celebrity Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Behaviorist, Colleen Paige.

This is what Colleen Paige has to say about the event;

I realize that there are many people who are excited about this day and some others, not so much. The one thing that I feel important to note is that as silly as this day may seem to some, all of my holidays have the underlying goal to help save lives and give homeless animals as much exposure as possible.

You can celebrate this jubilant day by sharing the picture of your pet on social media using the hashtag #DressUpYourPetDay and to raise awareness of the followings;

  • To have fun with a pet fashion
  • To ensure the comfort & safety of pets
  • To celebrate the pet
  • To inspire others, both pet and non-pet owners
  • To promote Pet Adoption


How can you observe National Dress up your Pet Day

Adopt a Pet

About 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats), simply because the pet shelters lack enough room for new pets and lesser pets are ever adopted.

  • It actually costs lesser to adopt a pet than buying a new one from the pet-farm or Puppy mills. Pet farms are the breeding center of pets that put profit above the welfare of dogs. The pets in farms are generally poorly housed.
  • Adopt a pet from your local shelter or rescue. There are more than just dogs and cats that need homes, pets such as bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds and farm animals need forever homes too.

Celebrate the Companionship

This can be the best opportunity to celebrate the companionship with your pet. Dress up your pet in a comfortable and safe costume and consider taking photos to share online. You can bring happiness to your pets and share a special moment with other pet owners.

While posting a photo, don't forget to tag it with the hashtag #dressupyourpetday.

Promote Philanthropy

National Dress up Day is also a special occasion to promote philanthropy. You can donate blankets, food, and toys to animal welfare organizations and animal shelters. You can also choose to volunteer at the local animal shelter. You can play with pets for adoption, clean their cages, litter boxes etc.

If your state allows puppy mills and gas chamber for killing, you should consider writing your Congressman and ask them to support the ban of puppy mills and gas chambers in the state. Consider adopting a pet if you have a home large enough for multiple pets.

You can also take up the responsibility of looking after pets in absence of the pet-owners at your neighborhood.

5 Useful Blog Posts from 2018

What would this world be without our pets? It’s harder to imagine a life without our beloved pets by your side. We share a special bond, and to maintain this bond we must ensure to provide them with enough care.

Here are 5 useful blog posts we made in the past year to help out all the pet owners and our furry friends.


Can pets get Skin Cancer?

Unfortunately, Yes! Like Humans, pets are susceptible to cancer and other form skin related diseases. Many domesticated and wild animals suffer from some form of cancer too.

Skin tumors are the most common form of cancerous tumors found in Dogs.  However, if it’s caught during early onset, it can be treated effectively. The disease is generally classified into Benign and Malign cancers. The term ‘Benign’ is used for less harmful cancer tumors, while ‘Malign’ is used for harmful cancer tumors.

6 types of common cancers among pets

  • Malignant melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Mast Cell Tumor
  • Melanomas
  • Hari follicle tumor
  • Epitheliotropic lymphoma

Read more..

How often do you groom your dog?

Dog grooming is a process by which a dog’s appearance is enhanced. It not only enhances the appeal but also keeps your pet hygienic and clean. It is also essential to keep your pet stress free and comfortable, especially those with long or heavy coats.

A person who professionally grooms the dog is known as dog groomer or Groomer. The grooming procedure, time and tools differ from one breed to another and one coat type to another.

5 benefits of Regular Grooming

  1. Eradicate Health Problem –Grooming lessens any chances of various health problems, such as skin allergy, parasitic infections, scratches, and matted hair.
  2. Cleanliness –General tidiness and physical appearance are ensured by regular and proper grooming.
  3. Vital Organs in Check –Grooming also monitors the status of essential body parts for the infection, such as; Eyes, Ear and Teeth, Nose, Underside, Skin Coat, Nail and Pads etc.
  4. Physical Appeal –The physical appearance and standard are maintained with regular grooming.
  5. Stress-free environment –Matted hair, long and burly fur can cause stress to many dogs on daily basis. Grooming keeps them comfortable and happy.

Read more..

The Obesity-related Condition in Dogs

Obesity is common in dogs with an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. As a pet owner, you must keep their weight in check and offer an optimum quantity of nutritious meal. It’s completely wrong to feed your dog from your plate or dinner table because their meal requirement vastly differs from humans.

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.

10 Obesity-related conditions

Obesity causes various medical conditions in Dogs. Some of the common conditions are;

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cystitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • hepatitis
  • Cruciate ligament injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Lipomas

Read more..

Dental Problem in Pets

The dental problem in pets, both cats and dogs, is quite common than you think. By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gum disease. The dental problem isn’t only persistent in senior pets.

Here are some of the common risks from a dental problem.

  • If your pet remains uncured from dental disease, they are at a higher risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease
  • Bacteria under the gum can travel to different internal organs.
  • Dental disease can result in bad breath, painful chewing, and tooth loss.
  • Broken teeth are a major concern among pets. Chewing on hard surfaces or materials can render their teeth weak. A broken tooth can expose the nerve of the tooth which can be a painful experience for your pet.

Read more..

All about Canine Therapy

Canine therapy is the guided interaction between a person and a dog with the goal of comforting and increasing joy in a person with a mental or physical health condition. The patients may learn to give the command to the dogs, play with them or pet and care for him.

Therapists observe their actions and behavior with the dog and use them for in other situations and further treatment.

Therapy Dogs

Any dog can be a therapy dog as long as s/he is well tempered, obedient, well socialized and loves to cheer others up. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training before working with patients. They work with people with special conditions, for example, people with learning difficulties, in special places such as a hospital, nursing home, hospices, schools, stressful conditions, and disaster areas.

Read more..

Is Your Dog Colorblind?

Unlike the popular belief that dogs are colorblind, your dog can actually see more than you have thought. The vision in the dog is much more similar to humans, however, they do not perceive the color as we do.

The movement and color are perceived by rods and cone cells in the retina respectively.

Retina is a layer at the back of the eyeball that contains cells sensitive to light, which trigger nerve impulses that pass via the optic nerve to the brain, where a visual image is formed.

Human eyes have more cones than rods, hence they can perceive more colors. They are also gifted with fovea which enables them to see the image in higher resolution. However, dogs possess more rods than cones which enables them to perceive light and movement, hence they are able to see better in the dark.

Anatomy of Dog’s Eyes

Dog’s eyes are similar to us humans. Their eye anatomy is similar to us which contains cornea, pupil, lens, retina, and rods, and cones. Like us, dogs do often encounter eye problems which are prone in humans.

Although the positioning of a dog’s eyes is a lot like us— at the front of the face, they have a better visual field.

Dogs have a total visual field of about 240-250 degrees which is 20% greater than that of a human. Dogs can pick the movement of objects better.

Unlike humans, dog’s eyes can’t perceive high-resolution vision. They have a better peripheral vision but lack binocular-vision like us.

A Dog’s Color spectrum

The human eye can see 7,000,000 colors. Some of these are eyesores. Certain colors and color relationships can be eye irritants, cause headaches, and wreak havoc with human vision.

To put it in simple term, the dogs' color field consists mostly of yellows, blues, and violets, while humans can perceive reds, greens, and oranges, which aren't distinguishable to dogs. Instead, they appear somewhere on their yellow to blue spectrum.

Dogs are Dichromats

Dichromacy is the state of having two types of functioning color receptors, called cone cells, in the eyes. Organisms with dichromacy are called dichromats.

dogs color spectrum

Canine's Night Vision Ability

With more rod cells in the eyes, Dogs are better at perceiving movement and vision in the dark. Rod helps to perceive movement and vision, however, it lacks clarity and resolution generating cell called ‘fovea’. Dogs aren’t as good as humans in perceiving the detail image of an object. However, they are very good at catching movement hence are a good chaser. They can see better in the dark, hence, they notice even small change in movement even in low light.

Dog's Sense of Smell

Humans have a typical sense of smell, however, dogs can smell far better than us. That’s because dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses. A human nose has only around 400 types of scent receptors.

Dog’s make up with their heightened sense of smell for their lower perception of colors.

Vision issues in Dogs

Dogs often lose their sight due to multiple factors. Some of the common factors are;

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Disease
  • Injury

Blindness in dogs is sometimes a secondary symptom to other diseases such as heart, liver, or kidney ailments or other systemic diseases such as diabetes.

10 New Year Resolutions from your Pets

What are you looking forward to doing this year? Work less, enjoy more, and eat healthily?

Like you, your pets look for greater things in life. If your pets could talk, this is what they would wish to do this year.

Adopt Shelter Pets

Approximately 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized due to lack of shelter and adoptive homes.

The cost of adopting a new shelter pet may cost $0- $500. The cost of adopting a new dog depends on its age and breed. Most feeds are taken by the shelter homes to take care of the necessary needs of the pet including vaccination, spay or neutering, and microchip etc. Most fees go into the shelter homes’ fund.

Go Hiking

This New Year, consider going on a hike with your beloved pets. Most small pets can hike 10 miles a day. A large dog can hike more. However, the hiking ability of canine isn’t determined by their size but age, health, and ability to breathe well.

Dogs with physical ailments can’t hike a long distance. And, you must provide paw protection to avoid any injury. Going outdoors with your pets can be the best thing to do. You can spend precious time with our pet indulging in a fun activity.

Pay Regular visit to Vets

Regular wellness exams help the vet to evaluate or determine the changes in your pet’s health and diagnose conditions before they get worse. Regular well-checks help to save valuable time, money and stress in the long run. Well, Check includes the pre-examination and physical examination to assess the overall health of your pet.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends for dogs and cats to have check-ups annually, at least.

Socialize more

Dogs are a social animal. They enjoy the company of humans and fellow pets. Socialization should begin at a young age which helps them to adapt to social circle and behavior. The ideal age is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies.

Socialization helps to elevate stress in animals. Here are few tips to socialize your pets.

  • Take your pet out to observe other animals
  • Resist tugging while walking
  • Go to pet training classes
  • Ignore your pet's unwanted behavior
  • Introduce other pets/animals slowly

Groom often

Grooming is a process that ensures your pet’s hygiene and appearance is kept at an optimum level. Grooming may involve cutting or trimming hairs, brushing, washing, cutting nails, cleaning teeth and others.

Some of the benefits of grooming are;

  • Eradicate Health Problem –Grooming lessens the chances of contacting health problems, such as skin allergy, parasitic infections, scratches, and matted hair.
  • Cleanliness –General tidiness and physical appearance.
  • Vital Organs in Check –Grooming also monitors the status of essential body parts for the infection.
  • Physical Appeal –The physical appearance and standard are maintained with regular grooming.
  • Stress-free environment –Grooming helps to keep the fur even, clean, and unmated which helps to lessen the stress.

Get Pet Insurance

Pet insurance helps to cover medical costs and ensure your pet gets the optimum services during the emergency. It doesn’t only the pet owners to save cost, but make better decisions about the pet’s health based on finances.

Pet insurance can greatly decrease the cost of visiting vets from plain illness to major injuries. In an emergency, the insurance can be a lifesaver. Insurance offers the veterinarians freedom to provide the most comprehensive care possible.


You can choose to add more to the list. Ensure to keep your pets happy at any cost. They aren’t just your pets but a life-companion.

5 Ways to Treat Your Cat Right

December is also known the Happy Cat Month or Cat Lovers' Month by the Cat Lovers. Initiated by the CATalyst Council to help spread awareness about feline health and welfare. CATalyst Council’s vision is a cat-caring society.

In U.S. alone, 86% of household owns about 85 million cats according to National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

A happy cat makes a happy life! Unlike canines, treating cats can be challenging as they enjoy living in their own space. However, it doesn’t mean that cats do not need a companion. You can become their great companion if you treat them right.

#FUNFACT

There are more cats than dogs in the U.S. The reason is those cat owners are likely to own multiple cats as compared to dog owners who own just one dog.


Here are 5 ways to treat your Cat right!

1. Relieve their Stress

Pet owners expect their cats to be domesticated like dogs. Lavishing their cats with affection and treats doesn’t earn their content. Cats treat themselves as the owners of the home, and they love marking their territory.

Stress in cats leads to anxiety and behavioral problems which can be troublesome for both the pet and the owner. You can relieve their stress by reducing the stressors and introducing feline friendly home-environment.

Telegraph UK reported,

“Cats suffer from stress because owners expect them to behave like dogs, according to a leading animal behaviorist.”

How to relieve their stress?

  • Slowly introduce a new pet to your cats
  • Make the vet visit enjoyable
  • Offer them treats for their good behavior
  • Let them settle in the new setting

2. Proper Vaccination

Vaccination at the right age helps to prevent any unforeseen illness in pets. Every cat requires core vaccines which are considered vital based on the risk of exposure, the severity of disease or transmissibility to humans. In cats, core vaccines are panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus), and rabies. These vaccinations are required by law.

  • A timely vaccination helps to prevent diseases in your favorite companion, hence, increasing its livelihood.
  • Animal vaccines help to control disease, many of which can affect people.

3. Avoid Fatty Food

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention,

59% of cats living in the United States are obese.

Wrong food is the main cause of feline obesity. More or so, high-carbohydrate, corn-laden dry food, and calorie-rich food and treats are the major reasons for gaining excess weight.

Obesity may cause severe diseases and physical ailments in cats. Few of the common problems are namely Inflammation, Diabetes, Heart condition, Hepatic lipidosis, Metabolic, and Endocrine disorders.

Insufficient exercise is also another major reason for feline obesity. You should consider feeding them animal-based protein, taurine (amino acid), canned food with enough moisture, and enough fresh water. Pets Hydrotherapy is another effective method to burn excessive fats in animals.

4. Regular Well Checks

A well-check or wellness exam is a periodic medical test conducted on the pets to assess their overall health.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends an annual well check for dogs and cats, at least. Most Vets suggest that your cats are overdue for well-checks.

Age

Well Checks

Kittenhood

Monthly basis

Adult Cat

Annual basis

Middle-aged or geriatric Cats

Semi-annual basis

 

Although the popular belief holds that one human year equals to 7 cat years, however, the truth is that in one human year a cat may age the equivalent of 4 to 16 years in a human's life.

Consider taking your cats to the Vet immediately if you haven’t taken it in a while. Cats are good at hiding problems or ailments.

5. Nutrition & Meat based meals

Cats are an obligate carnivore. Unlike canines, cats cannot solely survive on the vegetarian diet. A nutritious, balanced diet is essential to keep your cat healthy. They require a high-protein, low fat, low carbohydrate, and low-calorie diet.

  1. You should strictly consider feeding them animal-based protein. While choosing a canned food, you should go for meat-based, high-protein food with low carb and calories.
  2. The quantity of food your cat needs depends on its weight, size, and age.
  3. Avoid feeding raw meat until the kitten is at least 20 weeks of age, as their immune system isn’t resistant enough for potential pathogens.

Foods to avoid feeding your cat

  • Raisins/sultanas
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Coffee or caffeinated products
  • Bread dough
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Fruit stones – for example, mango seeds or apricot pips
  • Fruit seeds
  • Corncobs
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk and other dairy products

How to make sure Pets have a Purr-fect time this Christmas?

Christmas is a festival of joy. It brings your family and friends closer along with your pets. When you consider your pet a companion, you must consider keeping them happy. Christmas can be a great time to make them happy, as your furry friends need a great time too.

Here are few tips to remind every pet owner how to make sure pets have a Purr-fect time this Christmas.

Nutritional Meal

Nutrition is the most essential part of any pet’s life despite the change in weather, time, or even holidays. Both cats and dogs love to nibble on the food items including chocolates and holiday-meal residue, which can be harmful. A balanced diet is critically important to your dog’s cell maintenance and growth and overall health.

  • Protein – Eggs, skinless poultry, and dairy products. Note: Avoid holiday turkey as it contains garlic and other seasonings that can be harmful.
  • FatOmega-6 (linoleic acid) food. Fat provides concentrated energy and helps to absorb protein.
  • Carbohydrates –Whole grain, fruits, and vegetables. Carbs are generally the main caloric source in most dog food brands.
  • Vitamins –Vitamin is essential to perform many bodily functions. Tuna, mackerel, salmon, dairy products, beef liver, and egg yolks.
  • Minerals –Mineral is important for growth and strength, although it makes up only 1% of a dog’s body weight. Calcium and Phosphorus are the two main mineral requirement for pets.
  • Water –A dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day to maintain their pH level and to keep bodily functions active.

Enough Exercise

Pets tend to easily add up weight in winters. As the outdoor activity gets minimum and the meal intake increases, pets can easily gain weight which can pose many health-related issues. Shedding pound can be difficult if they get less exercise. As a pet owner, you must consider offering enough exercise and play time for your pets. Get them outside the house, indulge in physical activity, or simply keep their weight and meal intake in check.

New Bed, Blanket or Mattress

It's winter and high time to switch their old mattress, bed, or blanket with new ones. Buy cozy and warm materials for your furry friend and protect them from the cold. You can buy a holiday-themed bed, fleece blanket, cushion, or mattress. Pets enjoy sitting in a colorful setting.

Christmas Goodies

You can gift Christmas goodies to your furry friend this season. Consider buying them an Apple Mint Christmas Dog Bones, Gingerbread Dog Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Dog Candy Canes, Dog Treats with pumpkin and peanut butter, Irresistible Christmas Cookie Dog Treats, Mutt Mints or Nutty Bacon Dog Treats. Like us, pets enjoy holiday-themed goodies too. As they are a food-lover, Christmas goodies can be a great treat.

Adopt a new pet

Consider adopting a new pet instead of buying one from the pet-farm. Approximately 6.5 million pets enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) due to lack of shelter and adoptive homes. The shelter animals need love and care too, and who can be their best companion than a pet owner.

Christmas is a festival of joy indeed, and what could be better than splurging on your favorite companions.

Vitamin D Toxicity in Pets

The pet food brands made into the news lately. The excess nutrients found in the popular dog food brands recently stirred the debate on keeping a closer look at the pet food contents.

The report submitted by 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.

Vitamin D Toxicity

Vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of excess calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause various physical and mental ailments such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, or even kidney failure and death.

The homemade and raw meals lack Vitamin D, hence, most pet food brands added extra Vitamin D to compensate the homemade meal. At least 11 different labels or dog food brands were asked to recall their products by FDA.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Dark tarry feces containing blood
  • Presence of blood in vomit
  • Loss of weight
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremor
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive drooling

Cholecalciferol & Vitamin D3

Cholecalciferol, also known as Vitamin D3 is a type of Vitamin D which is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It’s also found in some human and pet foods or is taken as a dietary supplement.

It is important for the absorption of calcium from the stomach and for the functioning of calcium in the entire body. Cholecalciferol is used as a treatment or to prevent health conditions caused by a lack of vitamin D, especially skin and bone conditions.

Exposure

Taking 60,000 international units (IU) a day of Vitamin D for a longer period of time has been shown to cause Vitamin toxicity.

Cholecalciferol based rodenticides

Anti-coagulant Rodenticides commonly consist of Cholecalciferol. Concentration is typically 0.075% or 750ppm which equates to about 23mg/ounce of rodenticide. The clinical signs of toxicity are noted at > 0.5mg/kg of cholecalciferol ingestion, therefore a 44-pound dog would need to eat less than 1/2 ounce to cause toxicity.

Vitamin D Supplements

The intake of Vitamin D supplement is common in most pet food brands. Pet owners choose to add Vitamin D to their regular meal to compensate for its lack of nutrients. Multivitamins contain a relatively small amount of Vitamin D, hence, toxicity from multivitamin ingestion is rare. Primary Vitamin D supplements contain a large amount of cholecalciferol which raises the concern of toxicity.

Vitamin D Analogs

There are multiple Vitamin D analogs approved for use in humans which is included in psoriasis creams used for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism, doxercalciferol, or Hectoral which is used for the reduction of pTH (Parathyroid hormone). Dogs tend to lick the skin where the cream is being applied. The routinely licking of skin can cause toxicity.

Pet Food Contamination

Several commercially available pet foods have been known to contain Vitamin D as the major nutrient content. The over-supplementation of Vitamin D can lead to toxicity.

Treatment

Decontamination is the major treatment for Vitamin D toxicity. Within the last 4-6 hours of ingestion, vomiting should be induced with apomorphine at 0.03-0.04mg/kg IV. Hydrogen peroxide can be administered at a dose of 2.2ml/kg, with a maximum of 45ml, repeated once.

Hydrogen peroxide should be avoided in the case of cats as they are more susceptible to adverse effects. In cats, vomiting can be attempted with either xylazine at 0.44mg/kg IM or dexmedetomidine at 10mcg/kg IM.