CAN DOGS EAT CHOCOLATE?
Do you give your dog a sneaky bit of chocolate now and then? I have to admit I used to before I realised exactly what the side-effects could be.
Chocolate is toxic and poisonous to dogs.
Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine, which is naturally occurring in the cocoa plant, from which chocolate is made. It’s this active ingredient that is a type of stimulant. Unlike humans, dogs can’t metabolise theobromine fast enough so it results in the over stimulation of the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and causes an increase in blood pressure.
In some cases, if too much theobromine is ingested it can be fatal from symptoms such as rapid heart rate. Other symptoms include; diarrhoea, vomiting, increased urination, excessive panting, hyperactive behaviour and seizures.
Can Dogs Eat Chocolate In Small Amounts?
As a rule, the larger the dog, the more they can eat and cope with. It also depends on what type of chocolate they may consume:
With the offending ingredient being the theobromine, then the darker the chocolate (the more cocoa), the worse it is for your dog.
General toxicity levels that could kill a 16lb dog (i.e. Bichon Frise / West Highland Terrier size):
So, if your dog should get their hands on some of your chocolates, check the details above to see if they are likely to be ok. But, in short, the answer to the question – can dogs eat chocolate – is definitely no, it’s just not worth the risk and if they do have a sweet tooth, it’s better to give them healthy dog treats of their own made from sweet fruit and vegetables.
5 TOP TIPS ON HOW TO TRIM A DOGS NAILS
I know many dog owners are not sure of how to trim a dogs nails and are a little afraid of doing it wrong, but if you’re careful and take your time to make it a pleasant experience, it’s easy to do.
Here’s a short video I thought was quite good at showing you how. It’s also worth watching just to see the very cute Boston Terrier :)
Tip 1 – Get your equipment ready before you call your dog. Get a good quality
dog nail cutter (either from your local pet shop or vets), some favourite treats and something to stop bleeding, should it occur, like styptic powder (an antiseptic clotting agent).
Tip 2 – Create a relaxed environment. Make sure you are in a comfortable place for your dog and a secure position for you to trim a dogs nails easily. A good idea is on the floor, with your dog laying on it’s side so all four paws are facing you.
Tip 3 – Always cut at a 45º angle; if your dogs paw is flat to the floor, bring the clippers to the front of the nail at the tip, with the clippers parallel with the floor, then raise the handle part up to 45º and snip off a thin strip.
Tip 4 – Do one nail at a time – and slowly, bit by bit. This is important as you need to AVOID cutting too much off in case you cut into the quick. The quick is the bit inside the nail that contains the blood vessels and nerve endings. As you snip check inside the nail and once you see a secondary section inside – stop and don’t trim a dogs nails any further.
Is It Easy To See How Much To Cut Off?
If your dogs nails are light coloured then yes; if you look closely you can see where the nail is slightly more pink/darker in colour – that’s the quick, the part to avoid.
The quick can be quite long, so don’t assume that you can cut close to the nail bed. If your dogs nails are black, then you won’t be able to see the quick from just looking, so it’s very important you take it one thin snip at a time and more important that you look inside each time you do.
Tip 5 – When you trim a dogs nails, after each snip, on each nail, give your dog a small treat and praise them and encourage them to stay put. If they are afraid, let them move and encourage them back with another treat. Try not to tell them off, as that won’t help – they need to let you do it out of pleasure (from the treats and your praise) rather than fear, otherwise, it will always be an ordeal for you and a stressful experience for them.
Remember, the more you do it, the more they will get used to it. But, if you need to build it up because they become stressed, then do that. You could even start with just one nail a day and build it from there. After a while your dog will get to know it’s part of their routine and you will become more confident in how to trim a dogs nails, and they will be more confident in you!
DOG TOOTHPASTE: SHOULD I BE USING IT TO BRUSH MY DOGS TEETH?
The truth is, dog toothpaste shouldn’t be needed if a dog is fed on a raw diet and also gets to munch on raw meaty bones on a regular basis; the need for dental intervention shouldn’t be needed, as a rule.
Bones are natures natural teeth cleaners… They keep the mouth healthy…
If you don’t feed a raw diet, however, then feeding the commercial food, especially the dried kibble, can lead to a build up of tartar, as the food will inevitably stick to their teeth, especially the back teeth. Commercial food contains sugars (both natural and added) amongst other ‘sticky’ ingredients.
So, brushing your dogs teeth is a good idea to keep them healthy. However, a lot of the bought toothpaste is not natural (and loaded with chemicals), and if, like me, you choose to give your dog only natural food and substances, then a great alternative is home-made dog toothpaste.
Is human toothpaste the same as that for dogs?
No, it most certainly isn’t! Do not, under any circumstances give your dog human toothpaste. When swallowed, it’s not good for humans, let alone dogs; it can upset their stomach severely and constant use can lead to severe digestive problems.
I have noticed many posts on blog websites stating that they have used human toothpaste on their dogs to hide their bad breath… Let me say, quite categorically, if your dog has bad breath there is a reason for it – either the food you are feeding them is not agreeing with them; they have tartar build-up or rotten teeth; or there is a problem inside your dog’s stomach. If you are worried about your dogs breath, then a trip your vets is a good idea.
Don’t mask symptoms – always look for the cause and treat that.
A natural dog toothpaste is so simple...
Mix all the ingredients below and keep in an airtight container in your fridge. It should be the same consistency as your own toothpaste.
But above all, if you do use a bought variety, use a dog toothpaste, not your own!