• No Tricks...7 Things to Know About Keeping Your Dog Away From Chocolate

    With costumes, scary faces and, especially, the candy—Halloween is one of the biggest days of the year for children seeking fun and sweets. However, this is not true for pets and especially not true for dogs that might inadvertently eat some candy, worse yet that might eat some chocolate. Chocolate can be deadly to dogs, so be sure to keep your beloved furry friend away from Halloween candy and chocolate at any time of the year.

    Happy Halloween from The Flippy Flopper

    How It Happens

    Inadvertently a dog gets into a bowl of candy or a piece of candy, that’s one thing to prevent. Another is someone actually giving the dog candy when sugar is not good for the dog but chocolate can be deadly.

    No matter how much a dog begs, never give a dog candy. And if a dog should eat some chocolate, there are steps you need to take right away.

    What To Do

    First step is call your veterinarian to ascertain best steps to follow in the situation at hand. If your vet’s office is not open, call an emergency vet. The ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hotline (888-426-4435) is always a great call to make.

    Note: It’s best to have those phone numbers and addresses ready and handy at all times so that you’re not spending time looking when the situation is urgent.

    Second step is usually to get your dog to vomit so that the chocolate is out of the system, but let an expert tell you what to do based on the circumstances.

    Keep a watchful eye over your pet in the meantime for such symptoms of poisoning as:

    • Extreme thirst
    • Diarrhea
    • Too much energy
    • Pacing
    • Panting
    • Shaking
    • Seizures

    How Much Is Too Much

    Any amount of chocolate can be deadly, so any amount is too much.

    The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.

    No Amount of Chocolate Is Safe

    Even a little bit of chocolate can make your dog ill.

    Dark chocolates, baking chocolate and dry cocoa powder (for example, hot chocolate mix) are more dangerous than white chocolate or milk chocolate. But 1 ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight could still be deadly.

    By the Way

    Theobromine is also found in tea, cola beverages and açaí berries, among other food and beverage products. And it is also dangerous and deadly to cats and other animals, so be aware of any pet getting into candy and chocolate around the house.

    Cocoa Shell Mulch: A Little-Known Danger

    Think twice before you spread cocoa shell mulch on your property. It’s dangerous for pets, too, and dogs are attracted to its sweet smell. Use shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark instead, ASPCA suggests.

    We love our pets and owe it to them and ourselves to never let any harm come to them on our watch.

    Just because you dog can't celebrate with candy this Halloween, don't forget, you can keep them happy with a number of our products!

     

  • Why Do Dogs Chew, Lick or Scratch Repeatedly and Compulsively?

    A visitor to our facebook page asked us recently about dogs licking his/her paws in the evening. This could be for a number of reasons. A veterinarian once told us about our own dog that it can be a sign of arthritis pain, so definitely something you’d want to look into with your dog. Pet and dog experts also point to other reasons, like allergies, boredom, even obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s especially a concern when a dog is licking a paw or any area nonstop. In part because it can be awfully distracting to observe, but it also might mean your dog is very uncomfortable or in pain and that’s never an acceptable situation.

    For those of you who have had at least one dog in your life, let alone numerous dogs, you have probably experienced some chewing, licking and scratching behaviors and know they can be quite common in dogs. The harder part is getting to the cause, as there can be a variety of causes. Sometimes you can notice what looks like a raw spot that might be red and irritated. This is usually a result of licking. Some diagnoses can include dermatitis. Again, there can be a number of reasons dogs chew, lick or scratch repeatedly and compulsively.

    Taking dog for walk

    Here are some possible reasons:

    Allergies

    This could mean food allergies or environmental triggers like including mold and pollen.  Dogs can develop contact dermatitis from encountering irritants in pesticides or soap.

    Anxiety & Boredom

    Just as people get bored and chew their nails or cuticles or pull at their hair, dogs can have similar responses to their life situation, especially when the home situation is in an upheaval with the humans in their lives.  Becoming obsessive and compulsive in response to something that is out of their control can result in chewing, licking and scratching behaviors that can cause severe damage.

    Pain

    This is something we never want to think and see in our pets and where we need to do everything we can to identify if a dog is in pain; if so, what is the cause; and what is the treatment? There could be an acute issue, like something stepped on, a bee sting or spider bite, or arthritis or joint problem.

    Skin Issues

    Many common factors like climate and diet can cause skin issues in dogs that then result in discomfort for your dog that causes chewing, licking or scratching repeatedly. Besides a skin issue, the dog could have been affected by fleas, mites or ticks and that must be addressed with a professional to be sure to eradicate the situation as quickly as possible for your dog’s sake and yours.

     We all make a promise to our dogs when we take them in to our lives, so be sure to honor that commitment along with the bond and dedication from your dog by making sure he or she is always well cared for and sees a veterinarian regularly as well as when needed. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

  • 5 Tips to Help Ensure Your Pets’ Well Being in the Event of a Natural Disaster

    How best to plan for pets in the unfortunate circumstances of evacuating your home due to a natural disaster

    Unfortunately as we’ve seen in the last month or so in the USA and nearby in the Caribbean with such natural disasters as forest fires and hurricanes, there is a need to be prepared for your pets’ safety and wellness as well as your own. The only way to be prepared is to plan ahead. This allows you to minimize risk of injury and death to yourself and your beloved pet(s), as well as keeping first responders and emergency personnel from taking on unnecessary risk to rescue someone who stayed behind because of their pet.

    On Facebook, there were many people posting about how they were going to deal with their pets during hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida – some by hiding in closets to avoid local government-mandated evacuation. This is a last resort and should be avoided by planning ahead as best as possible.

    Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet

    Sheltering Pets With Humans Can Be Problematic But Is Necessary

    It is reported that as one of the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, many government programs now include pets in their shelter accommodations.

    This can be difficult due to closeness in shelters and allergies and other medical issues that can be suffered by those humans allergic to pet dander. In Katrina, many residents stayed put—and died in some cases—rather than heed rescuers’ instructions to leave pets behind as waters inundated homes. Others faced wrenching choices when they arrived at shelters that would not allow animals.

    One small white dog, Snowball, became a national symbol of these emotional separations after he was taken from the arms of a child who was boarding a bus to Texas that did not take pets. The boy cried so hard, he vomited.

    Be Prepared – Tip #1

    Prepare a pet emergency kit with information from local government regarding sheltering pets, a list of veterinarian offices and pet emergency care contact information. Have enough crates to hold each pet in the event of a storm in the designated area for each pet. Panic can give rise to out of the ordinary behaviors in pets and fast confinement will be required. These crates can also make or break a situation in a shelter where there are unknown people and situations for your pet.

    Be Prepared – Tip #2

    Make sure your pet(s) wear collars and tags with up-to-date contact information and other identification. Also microchip your pet(s) and be sure to register the microchip with the manufacturer and keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company.

    Be Prepared – Tip #3

    Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information. If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located ahead of time and make a list and keep it where you can find it easily. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current, so keep those together and in a waterproof bag.

    Be Prepared – Tip #4

    Post a rescue alert sticker on your front door at home–and keep it up to date, including updating it if you can if and when you evacuate with your pets. This will let first responders and other people know that pets are inside your home. Include the types and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian.

    Be Prepared – Tip #5

    Be sure to talk to your family, friends, neighbors and pet caretakers, including veterinarians, about taking care of your pets in an emergency situation. Doing this during calm and predictable times is the best way to be prepared in the event you need to act quickly.

    We all love our pets and when we welcome them into our lives we make a promise to them to always do the right thing by them. Please be sure to plan ahead if you have pets so that you can always take care of them as well as yourself in the event of any type of emergency, especially a natural disaster where many people and pets need to be taken care of safely and thoughtfully at the same time.

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