Thanksgiving Dishes Your Dog Should Avoid!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s likely that you are planning your meals if you haven’t already. It’s also likely that you’re thinking about the many ways you might spoil your favorite pups over the long weekend. While dogs love food and you love seeing that happy little face, before you give anything to your pets, be sure that it is safe to use as dog food. There are many great, healthy food items, but there are just as many bad ones to look out for.


Hidden Spices Can Make Your Dog Sickdog_food

Pumpkin is a great treat for dogs. It’s delicious, nutritious, and can be served as a puree or frozen cube. Unfortunately, when it comes to Thanksgiving pumpkin, many of the canned brands and pie fillings come with hidden spices like ginger. While a little bit of these roots and spices won’t kill your dog, giving them just a little could give them an upset stomach and giving them a lot could cause graver health problems. If you plan to feed your dog pumpkin as dog food this Thanksgiving, try to keep it as plain as possible. Your pup won’t mind.


Only the Best Part of the Turkey as Dog Food

Turkey is an excellent source of protein for people and for dogs. In fact, it’s such a great source that it is often used as a main ingredient for some of the best dog food on the market. If you’re planning to share the bird with your pet this holiday season, try to keep it purely white. The darker meat can have higher levels of fat that are less healthy and harder for your dog’s stomach to process. On another note, do not give your dog turkey bones. While there is the good, ol’ image of a pet happily chewing away at her bone after a big meal, turkey bones can be filled with splinters that may cause internal bleeding if swallowed.


Green Beans and Potatoesdog_eating_food

Green beans and potatoes are more great items to give your pet as dog food. However, they are also much better for your dog if they are kept in a purer form. If you plan to share the greens and potatoes with your dog, make them as plain as possible. Do not serve your dog green bean casserole as the cream and onions are bad for dog stomachs. Likewise, mashed potatoes often have butter, sour cream, mayo, and/or milk in them along with various spices that are not good for pet health.


Alcohol and Sugar is Never Okay

From the funny videos on the internet to making it big on America’s Funniest Home Videos, when a party erupts, many partygoers may think that a drunk dog is a funny dog. However, alcohol is something that your dog should never have in her clutches. It can cause incredible sickness which can become more severe with higher volumes of alcohol. By the same token, as much as we love the sweet pecan pie or Thanksgiving cookies, dogs must avoid sugar and fake sugar substitutes at all times. Instead of giving your dog human treats, why not cook up some special doggie biscuits that are not only tasty, but healthy dog food.


Tail Docking and Ear Cropping in Dog Grooming

From breeding to dog grooming to everything in between, there are many pet parents and individuals in the pet industry who are all about what a dog looks like. If you’re attracted to a breed based on its physicality, there’s nothing wrong with you. Lots of pet parents are drawn to specific breeds because of physical and personality traits. However there’s a large debate regarding tail docking and ear cropping that you should know about.

Not Always Natural

Tail docking and ear cropping aren’t part of dog grooming, but they are part of maintaining a ‘breed standard look’. It’s kind of strange to consider something a breed standard when it’s not a natural trait. If you research dog breeds, you will find some that have naturally pointy ears and short tails and others who have naturally floppy ears and long tails. You will also find that their ‘breed best’ doesn’t match up with what’s natural, mainly: a pointy-eared, docked tailed dog isn’t born that way. Don’t judge all dogs by this however, as some are naturally born with these traits and while the practice may be cruel and painful to puppies, you should never treat an individual or dog as less of a person because you disagree. That’s just common manners.


The Pet Industry Is Putting Its Foot Down

While it will take a while for all pet parents and competitive pet owners to meet on the same level, some professionals in the pet industry are taking a stand. Dog grooming is never a place where you should find tail docking or ear cropping to be handled, however, vets are usually the ones that do this work. In recent news, the major pet hospital Banfield made headlines by stating they would no longer be performing these procedures in their facilities.


Why Is Docking and Cropping Even a Thing?

A long time ago, someone didn’t just decide they thought their dog would be cuter with a docked tail and cropped ears. It never had anything to do with dog grooming or the way a dog looked. Actually, once upon a time, those things actually had a purpose for working dogs. Schnauzers were popular for farm dogs while Boxers were commonly used for dogfighting. Both have naturally floppy ears and when put in these situations, it leaves them vulnerable to be punctured or damaged.


Likewise, many dogs who are now commonly known to have their tails docked had them docked for similar reasons. Rottweilers and Weimaraners were both farm or field working dogs and the shorter tail helped prevent trauma or infection when working with farming equipment or animals. There were no dog grooming or presentation reasons in mind.


So Why Is It Done Now?

More than anything, cropping and docking has become something of an expectation in competitive dog shows because it was so commonly done on the dogs when they were or still do work. Pet parents will also now look at these breeds and think, “That dog’s tail is too long,” or “Those ears look funny on that dog” and so even if they aren’t showing their dogs, they will do the crop and dock strictly for cosmetic reasons and serves little purpose other than for show and dog grooming standards unless the dog is a working dog.

In most of Europe, it’s actually outlawed and considered animal cruelty. Why is it still done here? Who really knows.

Dog Grooming Questions – Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Shedding?

Dogs shed as a natural part of life. Their coats naturally build up stronger and thicker for the winter and come out in periods of major shedding about two times a year. Between those two major shedding seasons, your dog will shed regularly throughout the day in order to remove unnecessary, old, or damaged hair from their coat. Regular brushing and dog grooming can help remove excessive hair much faster and keep it from tangling. However, not all shedding is good and it’s important to recognize the signs of excessive shedding in order to catch serious illness earlier on and at a phase where you may be able to defer it or prevent it all together.


dog groomingMost Dogs Shed Year-Round

All dogs shed year round, albeit some shed a little less than others. Some dogs shed a lot and some dogs shed a little, depending on the dog breed. In dogs with undercoats, such as most northern-type dogs, you will experience much more shedding than with other dogs because of the presence of an undercoat. Regular dog grooming can help minimize excessive shedding or hair on your floor due to the undercoat shedding process, but there is little to no way to absolutely end shedding unless you get a hairless dog. Even shaving a dog will not stop them from shedding.

The difference between dangerous shedding and regular, everyday, year-round shedding is whether your dog is losing patches or clumps of fur at a time in any specific spots.


Seasonal Shedding

In most northern breeds and all dogs with undercoats, you will experience increased shedding during two times a year around about the same time every year. For these dog breeds, the shedding is usually called ‘blow out’ and at times, you may see large clumps of fur dropping out. You will want to monitor your pet’s shedding and hair loss overtime and observe their coats so you know what looks normal and what doesn’t.


Signs for Shedding to Be Concerned About

Fur loss and shedding look completely different in all dogs and they also signal two different things. Shedding is a normal part of dog grooming and coat health. Fur loss typically comes in clumps and will typically appear in your dog’s coat as spotty or patchy empty spots. Fur loss can be a sign of Cushing’s disease, hypothyroid with your dog, or worse.


It’s important to go to regular dog grooming with professionals just because they know what a healthy coat for most dog breeds looks like. They can also tell you if your dog shows signs of an unhealthy coat or deeper health problems. Some signs to look out for when doing dog grooming include:dog grooming peachtree city


  • Bald patches or clumps of missing fur
  • Dog is tender or resists touch in certain areas.
  • Fur is dry or brittle
  • Fur breaks or falls out uneven
  • Hair loss is accompanied by skin irritation, redness, or other problems

Causes of Excessive Hair Loss

If your dog is experiencing excessive hair loss in your dog may include:

  • Allergies. There are so many things your dog may be interacting with that is causing the hair loss and it may include dog grooming including shampoos or soaps. Other allergic reactions may come from food, medications, environmental causes like housecleaners or dog bed materials, or even pest bites.


  • Hormones. Your dog hormones may be something that’s playing a part in the difficulty with dog grooming. Thyroid imbalances, or other hormonal issues can be helped with professional care through local vets.


  • Stress. If you’ve recently put your dog through a stressful situation like moving, a change of environment, or the loss of a loved one, your dog may be physiologically responding to the stress she feels. You should check with your vets and dog behaviorists and give the dog the support she needs to make it through the situation.


  • Skin Condition. Your dog may have contracted something like mange, mites, dermatitis, ringworms, bacterial or fungal infections, or may have developed a skin condition from his parents that causes clumpy hair loss.


Regardless of the reason, if you notice excessive, unsafe hair loss, you should always seek appropriate medical attention.

Harmful – Do Not Use as Pet Food

We all love spoiling our pets. In fact, it can be tempting to feed them anything but their pet food. They give you the big eyes and you slowly reach your hand out. They give a look of affection and you know you’re going to give them a treat again. Food is a great thing to bond over, but when you’re treating your dog to something special, avoid giving them any of the following foods:


dog_grooming_towl_dry1.    Chocolate

This is probably the most talked about unhealthy pet food and actually, the higher the cocoa content, the more dangerous it is. Toxic doses of chocolate can cause abnormal heartbeats, kidney failure, or death. How much is dangerous to your pet highly depends on the size of your dog and how much they ate, but to avoid worrying at all, just don’t give them any.


2.    Grapes and Raisins

Not all fruits and vegetables are healthy for pets. When grapes or raisins eaten as pet food, it’s shown to induce kidney failure in not only dogs, but in other animals as well. This kidney failure can often cause permanent damage or lead to death. This, like chocolate, is more dangerous depending on how much of it they eat. While eating grapes or raisins may not always result in life-threatening circumstances, there is no way to tell how your dog will react so it’s better to just avoid them all together.


3.    Onions, Leeks, and Garlic

Avoid any pet foods at the store with the word onion under ingredients. While they think it’s tasty, lots of onion can actually cause life-threatening anemia in both cats and dogs. When reading pet food labels, especially wet food, you may be surprised to find what kinds of food they mix in as filler.


4.    Xylitol

Often known as artificial sugar or the sweetener in gum. This is the chemical that is used to create sugar-free gum, cookies, and other diet foods. This, unlike the other three items listed, can cause major damage from even the smallest amount. Reactions to this food include low blood sugar, seizure, liver failure, and death.  These symptoms can show up as quickly as 30 minutes after ingesting to 12 hours later. There is treatment, but it must be applied quickly and aggressively.


5.    Bread Doughsmall_dog_pet_food

Never used in pet food, the yeast in raw dough can be hazardous to goes due to the reaction it has when mixed with warm liquid. The stomach is the perfect place for the yeast to grow, resulting in an expanded stomach. While that might not seem had, the expanded stomach can press into the diaphragm or arteries and cut off blood flow or breath.


6.       Moldy Food

Often time’s people think about giving their dogs the leftovers from the fridge. Maybe they’re running low on pet food or maybe they smelled it and realized it wasn’t good for them to eat, but the dog wouldn’t mind because he eats anything and they don’t want to waste the food.  Moldy food can be just as dangerous to a dog’s health as it would be to a human’s health. There’s no telling the kind of mold or germs that have formed on unwell food, especially if it’s meat.  To stay away from this danger, just follow the motto, “If I shouldn’t eat it, neither should he.”