The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.” Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths.
Shamrocks, parades, pots-o’-gold, green beer — St. Patrick’s Day is a great way to welcome Spring and celebrate one of Ireland’s most celebrated saints.
But there are a few hazards all pet owners should keep in mind before heading out to their St. Paddy’s Day festivities — and we aren’t just talking about leprechauns.
Sure, you and the rest of the fam might be saying, “Erin go Bragh!” over a heaping plate of corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day, but your dog probably shouldn’t indulge in that same tasty meal..
Corned beef is essentially beef brisket that is soaked in a special salt and vinegar pickling brine before it’s cooked in a seasoned broth. Because of that special curing process, corned beef is extremely high in sodium. While a little bit of salt likely won’t harm Fido or Fluffy — depending on your dog’s or cat’s size and health history —eating too much salty food in one sitting can cause sodium ion poisoning in pets.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, salt toxicity can be life threatening to dogs, cats, horses, cows, and birds. Eating too much salt may result in vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst or urination, increased fluid retention, kidney damage, seizures, coma, or even death.
The broth used to cook corned beef also contains quite a bit of garlic, and many people cook the beef and cabbage with boiled onions. While those ingredients might infuse the meat with a lot of flavor, garlic and onions can be poisonous to dogs and cats.
Garlic, onions, chives, and leeks are members of the Allium plant family, which, if ingested by a dog or a cat and in a high enough amount, can cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and an elevated heart rate and respiratory rate. Cats and Japanese breeds of dogs (such as the Shiba Inu and Akita) are especially sensitive to garlic and onion toxicity.
Finally, corned beef is quite high in fat compared what your pet is likely used to eating, so sharing your St. Paddy’s Day dinner with your four-legged friend could give him some serious stomach issues. Foods high in fat can cause bacterial overgrowth in your pet’s digestive system, which often results in diarrhea and vomiting. But frequent feeding of fatty foods like corned beef can also cause a more serious condition called pancreatitis, a mild to severe swelling of the pancreas. Pets suffering from pancreatitis often require hospitalization and long-term medication and diet restrictions.
Soda bread is a common St. Patrick’s Day treat for humans, but keep that mouthwatering loaf away from Fido and Fluffy today.
If you’ve decided to spend your St. Paddy’s Day baking your own tasty soda bread in the kitchen instead of hunting for four-leaf clovers in your backyard, make sure you keep that uncooked bread dough out of your dog’s or cat’s reach.
When a pet eats bread dough, the dough doesn’t just sit there in the animal’s stomach — it expands. As the ball of eaten dough gets bigger and bigger, it can result in a bloated stomach or even a life-threatening condition called gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV), where the pet’s stomach twists and cuts off blood supply to vital organs.
A loaf of soda bread also contains raisins or dried currants, which are poisonous to dogs and in some reports cats and even ferrets. Eating even a few of these varieties of dried grapes has the potential to cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, and, in the worst cases of toxicity, acute renal failure.
St. Patrick’s Day revelers are often in high-spirits — thanks at least in part to spirits of another kind. Alcohol consumption and St. Paddy’s Day go hand-in-hand for many people, but, pets and booze do not mix.
Pets who swill the same whiskey, beer, and other alcoholic beverages their owners might this St. Paddy’s Day are at risk of some serious health issues, and may even die as a result of consuming alcohol.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning in pets include excessive drooling, vomiting, gagging, signs of depression, lack of coordination or stumbling, distended stomach, seizures, sudden dips in blood glucose levels, and slowed reflexes.
Hops, one of the main ingredients in beer, can prove toxic to dogs and cats alike. Ingesting enough hops can cause elevated body temperature, a racing heartbeat, vomiting, increased respiratory rate, abnormal blood clotting, and in the most severe cases, even death. While any breed of dog can fall victim to hops poisoning, breeds that are more susceptible to malignant hyperthermia — including Greyhounds, Border Collies, English Springer Spaniels, and other breeds — are especially vulnerable.
While some sources recommend feeding your dog Guinness to treat and prevent heartworm, this unconventional method should never be used unless prescribed by and monitored by a licensed veterinarian.
A handful of people love the morning, the rest of us manage to stumble our way through breakfast. If you have a dog it’s important to always make time for them, especially if you’re going to be at work all day. Dogs don’t necessarily understand a working day, and so it’s vital that you make them feel special in the brief amount of time you have with them before work. Here are our five top tips for sharing a great morning:
1. Always Say Good Morning
It seems like such a simple thing, but if you’re rushed off your feet with the morning routine, a dog can feel lonely, or even an inconvenience. Make sure your dog feels loved in the morning by speaking to them. A quick ‘good morning’ and some fuss goes a long way if that’s their only contact with you until the evening. If you think that you’re too busy to spend a few minutes with you dog in the morning, then a great tip is to not look at your phone until you leave the house. It’s far too easy to get distracted by Facebook, Instagram, and other social media, and lose 15 minutes of valuable time. You’ll feel much more relaxed if you spend that short amount of time playing with your best friend!
2. Spend Time With Each Other After Breakfast
It can sometimes feel like the mornings follow a set routine: bathroom, breakfast, and then leave the house. Instead, it’s a great idea to subtly rearrange your time and spend 15 minutes with your dog after breakfast. This is additional time in which you can relax, and forget about work, and so you’ll leave the house with a clearer head. There are a few things you can do with this extra time. Maybe just sit on the sofa in your pyjamas and give your dog a quick cuddle, or more practically make a to-do list for the day while playing with your dog – you don’t need to write anything down, just do it in your head!
3. Go For a Morning Run
Going to a run in the morning has numerous health benefits, and will leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. If you go on the run with your dog, then you can combine two tasks, as you’ll also be spending quality time with your dog. Dogs need exercise as much as people do, and so you’ll both be getting so much fitter than if you just went for a quick walk. Getting outside in your running gear is a great way to see your neighbourhood in a totally new perspective, and your dog will appreciate it so much more than just being let out into the garden for a quick wee.
4. Have a Healthy Breakfast
Much like exercise, dogs and humans both need a balanced diet. Breakfast is an essential component of any diet, and so it’s important to make sure that you both start off the day correctly. There are loads of recipes online for healthy dog breakfasts (and for you!), and it can be a great bonding experience if you both eat at the same time.
5. Teach Something New Every Morning
Depending on your breed of dog, teaching tricks can be varying levels of effort. Even if you have the most uncooperative dog in the world, spending five minutes on a trick every morning can be a great way for your dog to learn new things. Not everyone has the time to commit a few hours to teaching a rtrick, but spending just five minutes a day will allow your dog to learn a new trick every couple of weeks!
Dogs are the best companions, although it’s probably a good idea to not tell your other half that! They’re also great to share a bed with, as they provide comfort, warmth, and many other benefits. It’s great for your dog to have its own bed for when you don’t want something heavy lay on your feet, but sometimes you just need that extra cuddle. These are our top five reasons for sharing your bed with your dog:
1. Anxiety Relief. Dogs are extensively used to treat severe anxiety disorders, and there’s a reason for that. They’re gentle, and help to relax people, meaning they are as effective as many pharmacological interventions. Being relaxed when you are trying to drift off is essential for good quality sleep, and having a dog to help you forget about the world is a great first step. That is until you’re woken up at 6am because your dog needs to let you know that it still loves you, by licking your face – it’s a small price to pay!
2. Safety. It doesn’t matter how old you get, when it’s dark and you hear a noise in the kitchen you have an internal freak out. Burglar or bogeyman, having a dog in your bed will provide that extra sense of protection. Even if you have a Chihuahua, just knowing something else is there will make you feel safer. The extra sense of security, if nothing else, will help you accept your fate and fall back to sleep. After all, what is someone going to steal from the kitchen, the Breville blender?
3. Happier Dog. Dogs absolutely love spending time with their owners. The only thing that they love more is sleeping. Combining the two, and letting your dog sleep on your bed, will relax them and make them feel unbelievably loved. Dogs are much like people, and need to feel safe and loved. There are few better ways to reassure your dog than with a 7am cuddle before you both have to face the day (although admittedly, your dog probably has it easier as it never has to meet your boss!).
4. Warmth. There’s nothing more comforting on a cold Sunday morning in December than cuddling up to your dog, knowing that you don’t have to get out of bed for another few hours. It only gets better when your other half offers to make breakfast, but most of us have to settle for the dog at the end of the bed! Dogs are built for providing warmth, with their thick coats and love of cuddles, and so really it just makes sense to let them share your bed.
5. Treat Depression. A dog will love its owner no matter what. If you don’t let a dog on your bed, it isn’t going to care too much, but bring surrounded by that lover when you fall asleep can help to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling down, and need something to lift you out of a cycle of depression then there are few better things than the unconditional love of a little bundle of fluff. Feeling down, and then fighting off a dog while it insists on licking your face in the morning is a great way put a smile on your face, and give you the strength required to face the day!
Cute article from PugSpot.com…
Is there more to life than the daily walk? Yes, of course there is. Though the traditional walk is the most common form of exercise it’s not always possible. Sometimes your Pug may not be able to go for his walk or outdoor romp due to inclement weather. What if your Pug just wants to add some variety to his exercise routine? Why not try some of these exercise alternatives to bring the spring back in his step?
Everybody who loves a Pug knows they are apt to have fun with anything. Why not use this to your advantage? Bring the fun back to exercise. Get a Pug safe ball and play fetch. Why not tie one of his favorite toys to a stick? You can play keep away while letting him chase after the object. Keep encouraging him to “get it”. They love any activity they can do with you.
Why not teach your Pug a new trick? This will exercise both his mind and body. It doesn’t have to be anything super hero-ish, just fun. Teach him to dance, roll over or crawl. Kids love to teach dogs tricks. This can be a good bonding activity for your children to do. Learning tricks can give your Pug the mental and the physical stimulus he needs. It will also make him happy and proud.
Are you are going to be away from home for the day? If you don’t want your Pug to be a couch potato, then why not invest in some activity toys for him to use while you are away? We all know Pugs love to eat and what better exercise than to play for his food. There are a myriad of “food” related toys on the market today. Some toys to choose from are Stuffed Kongs, Buster Cubes and Activity Balls. These will give your Pug both a mental and physical challenge. Your Pug will also get the added bonus of a treat. What Pug wouldn’t love that?
Do you and your dog spend a lot of time at home? Then why not set him up with an agility course? You can get ready to use combo sets. These “agility in a bag” sets are handy and inexpensive. They are easy to set up and put away when not in use. They are fully adjustable to suit his ability. Most dogs love the challenge and fun these agility courses bring. In addition to giving him his exercise, it will strengthen your bond with him as well.
Does your Pug long to play with some doggie friends? Then why not take him to a doggie day care? These centers focus on fun. They have everything your Pug could dream of to play with and others to play with him. Or, if there is no doggie day care in your area, how about visiting your local kennel club? There you can socialize with other dog owners while your Pug plays with his friends. You might even decide to take a course in obedience. This will not only provide your Pug with exercise, it will teach him good manners.
There is no set exercise for your Pug. You just need to experiment to see what he prefers. The only rule is to make it Pug safe and Pug fun.
Cute article from PugSpot.com…
Once your Pug knows a few basic obedience commands, such as Sit and Down, then he can begin doing some tricks.
One popular trick to teach your Pug is to play dead. This is a simple trick to teach. Give your dog the command to lie down. Once he’s lying down you will need to hold a treat where your dog can see and smell it. Then move it in circles toward the floor and tell your dog to “play dead.” This will encourage your dog to roll over and he should eventually be lying on his back if you keep moving the treat. Once your dog is in position you can give him the treat and give him lots of praise. It may take a few tries before your Pug puts it all together, but it’s a very cute trick once he learns it.
Many Pugs learn how to rollover, which is taught the same way as playing dead. You simply keep the dog rolling from one side to the other so he can get his treat. Use treats to lure your dog into position.
You can also teach your Pug to shake hands. This is also easy to teach with some treats. Ask your Pug to sit, then tell him to “shake.” Reach out and pick up his paw to shake hands. Give him his treat and offer lots of praise. You will need to do this several times until your Pug figures things out. While your Pug is learning, be sure to praise and reward him for any attempts he makes to shake even if they don’t quite work. If he lifts his paw or scratches at you those are steps in the right direction. It won’t take long for your Pug to start shaking your hand when you ask.
Once your dog learns to shake hands it’s easy to teach him to give you a “high five.” Simply hold out your hand for a shake and when your dog starts to shake your hand move your hand to an upward position. Say, “High Five!” and let your dog touch your hand with his paw. Give him lots of praise and treats for touching your hand with his paw.
It’s also fun to teach your Pug to bow. Pugs are such clowns and performers that this trick will come in handy. Ask your dog to sit. Then, with a treat in your hand hold it in front of his nose and say “bow.” Move the treat toward your Pug’s chest. He should move his head to try to follow the treat. This will put him in the bowing position. When he does this little bow you can reward him and give him lots of praise. With practice the bow can become more elaborate.
You can teach your Pug to speak on command. This is an easy trick. Simply wait until your Pug barks and say, “Good bark!” Praise your dog for barking and give him a treat. You can teach your dog to wait until you ask for the bark (this is great for dogs who bark too much!). Your dog will be silent because he’s waiting for the bark command — and the treats that go with it.
You can make up your own tricks for your Pug to learn. Maybe he’s good at finding your husband? Give that trick a name and reward him when he does it. Can he fetch the remote? Give it a name and reward him so you can ask him to do it for you. Does your Pug like to dance? Many Pugs love to entertain so let them show off and give them praise and treats when they have something they want to show you. There’s no limit to what you and your Pug can come up with together. Have fun with it!
Considering adding a Pug to your family? Here are a few fun facts from PugVillage.com…
The Pug is considered an Oriental breed with ancestral ties to the Pekingese and perhaps the Shih Tzu. There is no clear date of introduction of the Pug and many people disagree due to the lack of records available. The Pug was introduced to America just after the Civil War and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the mid-1880’s
Is there a difference between Fawn and Black Pugs?
Aside from the color, there is no difference between the two. On average, Pugs live about 12 years, but they’ve been known to live well beyond their average life span with proper care, nutrition and of course some good luck.
Are Pugs easy to train?
Pugs are moderately easy to train, making them neither easy to train, nor difficult. They maintain a stubborn streak, which can present the occasional problem. Fortunately though, a Pug is a people dog that is eager to please and receive attention…And they’re lovers of all things edible with the possible exception of lettuce and thus can be bribed to do what you want them to do rather easily.
Are Pugs good apartment dogs?
Absolutely! Pugs are small indoor dogs that don’t require a lot of room to run inside or outside, making them ideal for apartment dwellers.
Yes yes…A thousand times yes! Pugs are among the most gentle and passive breeds of all. They will tolerate the prodding of a child, are not known to nip or bite and are quite protective of the family and home.
Do Pugs bark a lot?
Not usually. Pugs are generally very quiet dogs, though they can be taught to bark and make lots of noise. To answer a related question, the Pug’s bark is not yappy or shrill like the bark of some other small dogs.
Do Pugs shed a lot?
Do they ever! Most Pugs have a double coat of fur where the undercoat constantly grows and pushes the overcoat out. This, coupled with their being indoor dogs that don’t shed based on the season makes for a whole lot of shedding going on!
Generally, Pugs are not considered to be active dogs. There are some exceptions however. Pugs spend a good part of their day, approximately 14 hours worth, sleeping. They do have bursts of activity throughout the course of the day, but they are short and usually end with the Pug retreating for a nice little nap.
Do Pugs require a lot of attention?
Yes. Pugs are people dogs. They like, and some say need to be around people in order for them to be truly happy. They don’t bark or jump up and down on you however, so a Pugs need of people basically shows itself in where you’ll find your Pug…At your feet, on your lap or quietly following you around. It’s one of their greatest charms!
Absolutely. We plan shortly on putting a detailed article on the PugZone covering this very subject. For now though, Pugs need regular cleaning of their facial folds, constant nail clipping and have a problem coping with high heat that can threaten both their short and long term health.
How much do Pugs cost?
This depends on several factors. First, the price of a Pug pup varies greatly based on geographic location. Second, the quality of the Pug, whether it is pet quality or show quality also plays a role in their price. Finally, the source of the Pug pup makes a difference as well. To put this altogether, a show quality Pug pup in the New York metropolitan area can cost upwards of $1500 from a well known and highly regarded breeder. While a pet quality Pug pup from a reputable breeder can cost $800 in the same area. In another state, the range can drop dramatically, depending on the availability, popularity and quality of breeder involved. From New England to Washington state, the price of a Pug pup can range anywhere from $250-$2,000 depending on the three major factors listed at the top of this answer.