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Big bangs and panicky dogs

It’s that time of the year again; when we humans get to celebrate and (some) dogs get terrified due to fireworks and firecrackers. It’s not a problem for every dog, but for some, it’s an event with lasting consequences. 

There are ways of dealing with it; some work better than others, but it really depends on the dog. Here are some ideas for getting your dog ready and through the season of big bangs.

Prevention and preparation:

  • Precondition your dog in advance by playing him audio (video too, if they are afraid of the lights) of fireworks and firecrackers on a quiet and later on normal setting (preferably not in the same session). Act normally during this, without giving them comfort hugs – if they feel you’re worried it’s only gonna make things worse.
  • If this isn’t your first rodeo and you know your dog gets very panicky, then talk to a veterinarian about getting them some mild sedative for D-day (under no circumstances should you try and give them human sedatives as you would most likely end up killing your dog). But this is a somewhat drastic course of action.
  • Prepare your home. The house/yard should be open for wandering but escape-proof in case your dog gets really panicked and tries to run. Prepare some blankets in their favorite spots (sometimes the noises are the quietest in bathrooms, so that’s one of the spots you might consider) and open the doors for them to choose their place.

During the cannonade:

  • If your dog is scared of the light flashes of the fireworks, consider pulling the curtains closed so the flashes of light aren’t visible.
  • If your dog is scared of the bangs, play some white noise in the background (TV, Radio, etc.) to drown out some of the outside noise.
  • ACT NATURALLY. Don’t drag your dog into your lap and give them a death hug. If the dog thinks their human is worried they’ll panic even more. Act calm and composed and do things normally around them. If they sense you’re calm, they’ll worry less.

There are more ideas available in the vast expanses of the internet, but these are the tried and tested approaches that have shown a measure of success in certain cases. So good luck to you and your pupper during the holiday season, may it be a peaceful and calm one. 

Good news !

The goverment of the Republic of Slovenia has adopted a ban and the sale of pyrotechnics. 

You can read more on MOJ PES
And remember, use PAWSM be AWESOME.

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Dogs and Fruit

Fruits are great, but there are certain do’s and don’ts we must be wary of…

Abstract:

Yes: Apple, Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Pear, Pineapple, Raspberries, Strawberries

If you remove pits: Apricot, Peach, Plum, Mango

NO! : Avocado, Currant, Grapes, Raisins

Fruits can be a great snack for dogs and humans alike as they tend to be packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Fresh fruits tend to be a better treat than commercially available treats, but due to their high sugar content, fruits should be added to dog’s diet in moderation.

Supplementing your dog’s usual chow with fruit is a great idea, but there are certain things you should pay attention to. Give your dog a sugar and potassium rich banana and he’ll love it; but feed him an avocado and you’re gambling with his life…

How to introduce fruits into your dogs diet:

When preparing fruit treats you should always check that the fruit is safe for dogs, as some fruits can cause serious problems or even kill your dog. 

While preparing the fruit take care to wash it, peel it and cut it into bite sized chunks. Remove any seeds or pits (choking hazard, bowel obstruction and often contains cyanide). You should always check for any surface mold; if any is found, discard the fruit altogether. 

Introduce the fruit treats gradually while looking for any side effects. Just like humans, dogs can have food sensitivities or even allergies. Even if the fruit is on the list of foods dogs can eat, caution and moderation is advised. 

Foods which are OK:

Apple (High in fibre, low in fat. Remove the seeds.) Banana (Rich in potassium and carbohydrates. High in sugar.) Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (Rich in antioxidant, and full of vitamins.) Cantaloupe (Rich in water and fiber. High in Sugar.) Pear (Contains vitamins C and K. Remove the seeds.) Pineapple (Contains vitamins, zinc and folate. High in sugar.) Strawberries (Contains manganese, iron, copper, magnesium. High in sugar; contains a protein which can cause allergic reaction (swelling of the dog’s lips) ) 

Foods which are OK after you remove pits:

Apricot, Peach, Plum (Full of antioxidant, vitamins C, E and K)

Mango (Contains vitamins A, B6, C and E)

Toxic to dogs:

Avocado, Currant, Grapes, Raisins

In conclusion, fruits are great; but you need to keep track of what and how much you give to your dog. Often too much of a good thing can be worse than nothing.

Stay PAWSM, be awesome!

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Perfect Dog Food Storage and Dog Bowls

Bigger isn’t always better

Everyone likes buying dog food a little bit cheaper, and the most common way of doing that is buying it in bulk. Bigger packaging usually means that you end up with a gigantic bad of dog food that keeps drying out, which is… well bad. The problem with food drying out is that even dry food contains various fats/oils which start oxidizing (long story short: food goes bad and mold starts to develop). We try to delay this by repackaging the food into air-tight/sealed containers which are usually made out of plastic, which can … cause some issues.

The issues with plastic… (and unglazed ceramic and wood)

Plastic not being the best thing for your health is really not a secret; compounds BPA (carcinogenic, hormone-mimicking) and BPS (causes diabetes, obesity, and cancer in minute concentrations) are both an issue on their own. Also, add phthalates (makes plastic softer; disrupt endocrine system) to that mix. That being said, the situation is improving (being regulated) in this field.

There is however the issue of basic properties of plastic (and unglazed ceramic, and wood); specifically micropores and micro-scratches – which are a breeding ground for bacteria. Cleaning the containers daily will help alleviate the problem, but remember to use softer materials during cleaning or you’ll be creating more and more scratches on the material.

So what are the alternatives? Use glass or metallic airtight containers which you then clean regularly (use stuff that doesn’t scratch). If you don’t have one, then pack dog food into smaller airtight sealable bags and then place those into a dark, dry, and cool container. 

What about bowls?

Bowls are the same as any other container; if they get micro scratches they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. You can prolong the use of a single bowl by avoiding plastic, wooden, and ceramic (glazed and unglazed) bowls. Typically glazed ceramic or glass would be just fine until it breaks and becomes a hazard to the dog. The alternative is providing your dog with a new plastic bowl every year or so. 

In the world of dog bowls safety – metal is king – easy to clean, resistant, and durable. But it tends to look a bit boring and plain. It’s a trade-off.

Anything else I should know about dog bowls?

Of course. If you have a big dog, try not to put the bowls on the floor, as it makes it harder for the dog to eat; put it about 6 inches below the height of their shoulders. If you do this, use bowls that have an anti-skid bottom to help avoid unnecessary cleanup.

Clean bowls daily! If it’s not clean enough for you to eat out of, then neither should your dog.

Stay PAWSM, be awesome! 

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