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Dog Wellness – Safety, Wellness and Health Tips

If you are considering adding a dog to your family it is important to understand all that is entailed with being a successful, happy dog owner and ensuring you have a happy healthy dog. Of course, there are many things to know and understand before getting a dog but these dog wellness tips are a good place to get an idea of things you need to have and take care with to ensure safety, health and wellness for your dog.  If you already own a dog ask yourself this; Are you aware of the things that can hurt your dog and aware of the things he needs to stay happy and healthy?  Good dog wellness practices start with pet owner knowledge and awareness.

With compliments of Dr. Jon, veterinarian, here are some dog wellness tips to increase your knowledge and add to your compilation of necessary pet care knowledge.

Bread Dough

When bread dough is ingested, it rises in a dog’s stomach and as the dough ferments, alcohol is produced, causing alcohol toxicity.   After ingestion, dogs will act nauseated, vomit, act painful, lethargic or become disoriented.

If your dog does get his paws on bread dough, call your veterinarian or local emergency clinic.


Not only does extra weight put stress on joints and discourage exercise, but obesity may also lead to increased risk of diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Check your dog’s conformation to determine if he is too chubby. An obese dog has a rounder girth, a paunch on his underbelly and his ribs are buried.

Traveling with Your Dog

When traveling with your pet in the car, it’s import to follow these tips:

  • Use Proper Restraint: When traveling in your vehicle, your pet should always be properly restrained for both your and their safety. In the case of an accident, a dog can weigh up 30 times its weight upon impact while traveling at 35 mph. Today, many companies create seat belt systems and crates to keep animals safely secured while on the road.
  • Never Leave Your Pet In the Car: In 70-degree weather and above, it takes only minutes for the temperatures in your car to escalate to triple digits. Leaving the window open an inch does not provide adequate ventilation. Many states are passing laws that prohibit leaving your pet alone in your automobile.
  • Bring Water: Car travel can make your pets feel anxious and result in nervous panting. Be sure to take frequent breaks during your trip to allow your pet the opportunity to re-hydrate.  Let him out of the care on a leash and give him some water in a bowl and even a nice healthy treat.

Healthy Dog Signs

There are several signs that can indicate a problem with your dog. It is important for dog owners to be  aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate a problem. Problem signs include a lack of appetite, decreased activity, weakness, changes in water consumption, not grooming, bad breath, sleeping more, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, trouble breathing, frequent urination or bloody urination.

Ideal Pet Food Storag

An ideal choice for a dog food storage container is a sturdy, airtight, bug-proof container that is easy to clean and large enough for an entire bag of kibble.

Choosing a Doggie Door

Your ideal doggie door is sized to fit the standing height of your full-grown dog when measured from the top of the shoulders, and the width at the chest.

Bad Doggie Breath

Many people think that dog bad breath just comes with the territory of being a dog.  This is not the case.  Dog bad breath can be associated with teeth and/or mouth abnormalities.

Exercising your Senior Dog

Exercise and play is important to all dogs, including your elderly dog.  Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight may lead to a number of health problems. It places excess stress on your pet’s heart. Excess weight on degenerating joints can speed up the development of arthritis.

Your elderly dog’s mental health may also benefit from exercise. Activity keeps oxygen and other nutrients at optimum levels in the brain. The brain is like every other organ in the body in that it requires good nutrition.

Removing Skunk Odor

Try a mixture of 10 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part baking soda. Add a dash of  dish-washing soap and pour into a spray bottle.  Spray liberally over dry coat and allow to air dry. Avoid eyes.

This same mixture works on inanimate objects as well.

Healthy Teeth Tips for Dogs

Keeping your dog’s teeth clean can help keep your dog healthy. Use a soft toothbrush. A child’s toothbrush for small dogs is ideal; an adult size should be used for larger dogs. Use toothpaste formulated especially for pets, available at pet supply stores or your veterinarian’s office.  Do not use human toothpaste – it is not safe for your dog.

Begin by only brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth. When your pet has adjusted to this, add the inside surfaces between the teeth and tongue.

Nail Trimming Problem

If you make the mistake of cutting your dog’s nails too short here is  a home remedy to stop the bleeding.  A small amount of flour packed onto the end of the nail will often quell the bleeding.  Also try rubbing a bar of soap on the end of the nail for the same effect.  Nothing, however, beats having a stash of styptic powder, which you can buy at your local pet store or at your vet’s office.

Cocoa Mulch

Mulch is commonly used in landscaping.  Most types of mulch are safe, however, cocoa bean mulch is toxic.  The cocoa bean produces beautiful dark mulch that has the aroma of chocolate. Unfortunately, this type of mulch is dangerous because of the by-products of the cocoa shells. When ingested, dogs can show severe signs of chocolate toxicity.  If you do any landscaping make sure to use pet safe mulch.

Adding a new dog to the one you already have.

Don’t encourage ill will between future buddies with a too-close-for-comfort feeding time routine. Make sure to feed the new member of the household in a separate location, using a using separate food bowls.

Puppy Proofing your Home

  • Start by assuming you have a two-year-old child.
  • Everything that you would lock up for a child, lock up for your puppy.
  • Keep all cleaning materials, household chemicals, and medications locked behind cabinet doors.
  • Keep poisonous plants, electric cords, and children’ toys out of reach.
  • Block off portions of your home such as bedrooms, bathrooms, or any part of the house you are not occupying most of the time.  The new puppy should have a very limited place to roam in your home until he properly potty trained and outgrows chewing on things.

Winter Paw Care for Dogs

In cold weather, the pads on the bottom of your dog’s feet can take a beating. One way to protect them is to buy special boots made of neoprene or similar materials.

Preventing Heatstroke in Cats

  • Do not leave your cat in the car – even if you think the weather is fine.  Cars heat up very quickly and become similar to a small sauna.
  • When the weather is hot or even warm make sure your cat has plenty of shade and water if he is outside.  Consider leaving a small tub of water for your cat to play in and stay cool in the hot weather.  Make sure the amount of water is drowning proof safe.

Bland Diet for Vomiting

Many veterinarians recommend a “bland” diet for dogs that have been vomiting or had vomiting and diarrhea.  The general approach is as follows:

1.  First, start with water. After the small increments of water are offered, gradually offer a bland diet.

2.  Small frequent feedings of a bland digestible diet such as: Hill’s prescription diet i/d, Iams Recovery Diet, Provision EN or Waltham Low Fat are usually recommended. Homemade diets can be made of boiled rice or potatoes (as the carbohydrate source) and lean hamburger, skinless chicken or low-fat cottage cheese (as the protein source).

3.  Return to regular dog food should be gradual over one to two days. If vomiting continues at any time or the onset of other symptoms is noted, call your veterinarian promptly.

Protect your Dog from Common Household Dangers

There are items in every home that can hold hidden dangers to pets. Many household items may look benign yet have potential to cause serious injury.  For example, a recliner can crush a small puppy or fast-closing doors may allow paws or tails to be caught.  Here are a few items to keep your eye on:

1. Paper shredders

2. Ethylene glycol

3. Doors

4. Recliners

5. Potpourri

6. Bones

7. Human foods and substances

8. Trash cans

9. Unsecured medications

10. Glues and cleaners

Tips for a Successful Vet Visit

When you go to your veterinarian for your dog’s next visit, make sure you get the most out of the visit. Ask lots of questions and be prepared. Here are some tips:

  • Write down any questions and health concerns you have before you go and take the list with you.
  • Make a list of any medications your dog is on, the dose and frequency.  Be sure to discuss any effects the medication may or may not have had or any difference in behavior if any since taking the medication.

Yard Safety Tips

There are several possible hazards in your yard that can cause injury or create problems for your dog.

1.  Sharp nails or wires on fencing

2.  Loose fence boards or areas where pets can sneak out, around or under

3.  Trash tossed or blown into the yard that may be chewed on or ingested

4.  Improperly stored toxins such as rodenticide, slug bait, fertilizer or antifreeze.

5.  If you landscape or are having any landscaping done at your home, make sure to use pet safe mulch.

6.  Make sure you do not have any pet toxic plants in your yard.

Natural Remedies for Cats and Dogs

Pet natural health care is becoming extremely common amongst pet owners around the world.  It is important to remember that just like an over the counter medicine there are several different approaches and natural ingredients that can be used, so monitor your pet while he is being treated in case he needs to try a different dosage or different mix of medicine.

Being a responsible pet owner means knowing how, when, where and what when it comes to your pet, keeping abreast of changes and new findings, and putting pet wellness practices into motion on a daily basis or as required.

I will be adding new tips for pet wellness as they come my way, so be sure to check back for updates, new findings, and new advice

Pet Trivia: Do you know that dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures?

About the Author

Michel’s family and pets live on the wellness side of life. She carries out her mother’s tradition of people and pet wellness including natural home remedies whenever possible, home cooked healthy meals, and an all around health lifestyle. People and pet wellness is life’s passion for Michel, who often heals her pets without a vet using  Pet Natural Health Care. Find out more about people and pet wellness at The Health and Fitness Fairy – spreading the wealth of health.  Plus get healthy, easy, delicious recipes and cooking tips at The Kissable Kitchen – toward a steamy, seductive, vibrant, healthy life.