What’s Up With These 6 Controversial Dog Food Ingredients?

The first way to raise a healthy dog is by feeding them a healthy diet. As dog owners, we should always be taking the time to check out what ingredients are in our dog’s food to make sure that our dogs are only eating healthy, nutritious food.

Sometimes, however, the answer isn’t as simple as “good” or “bad” when it comes to an ingredient. From beet juice to pea protein, these 6 controversial ingredients might be in your dog’s food.

1: Garlicis garlic toxic in dogs?
Why It’s Controversial:
Some dog owners give their dogs garlic supplements to help them repel fleas and ticks, but others believe this is too dangerous.

The Real Facts:
Garlic can be toxic to dogs and has even been linked to the development of more serious disorders such as Heinz body anemia.

Since it is still unclear about what kind of damage garlic may cause to red blood cells, it is best to avoid this ingredient in any dosages.

2: Pea Protein
Why It’s Controversial:
Some owners avoid pea protein because they believe it contains lectin, which can be dangerous for dogs.

The Real Facts:
While there is lectin in raw peas, the cooking process used to prepare dog food deactivates the lectin, so there is no danger.

Pea protein is a great, concentrated source of protein that will boost your dog’s diet with many essential amino acids. The best way to make sure your dog gets all the amino acids they need is to feed them a combination of both animal and plant protein sources.
3: Beet Pulp
Why It’s Controversial:
There are a number of claims about what beet pulp can cause:
Red tear stains on light-colored dogs
Ear infections
Digestion problems

The Real Facts:
In all my time researching dog food, I’ve never found any studies that accurately link beet pulp to any of these issues.

Beet pulp is an incredible source of fiber that is digestible by your dog, so there is no reason to avoid dog foods which include this ingredient.
4: Yeast
Why It’s Controversial:
Some critics believe yeast causes allergic reactions. Others are certain that yeast increases the chances of bloat in some dogs.

The Real Facts:
High-quality yeast is good for dogs unless they have an allergy to yeast.

Brewer’s yeast has been shown to help aid digestion as well as promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, and activity levels in dogs. Nutritional yeast adds many beneficial nutrients including B12 to a dog’s diet.

5: Rosemary
Why It’s Controversial:
There are rumors in the dog food world that rosemary can cause your dog to have seizures, making many people avoid foods with rosemary in them.

The Real Facts:
There have been no studies linking rosemary to any type of seizures in dogs, nor could I find any record of this happening.

Rosemary is a great, natural preservative that is often used in dog food to keep it fresh. It is also considered to be a great anti-cancer additive.
6: Corn
Why It’s Controversial:
Corn is a common ingredient in many great dog foods, but some owners believe it is just a cheap filler with no real nutritional value. Some believe that corn has lower sugar levels and higher protein levels than other cereal grains, making it a good source of energy.

The Real Facts:
According to Labrador Training HQ’s best dog food guide, corn does not have a lower glycemic value, and it is not a great source of any vitamins or minerals. It is a cheap carbohydrate source used in inexpensive dog foods.

While this cereal grain is digestible as long as it is finely ground before it is cooked into kibble, there are better carbohydrate sources that you could choose for your dog such as sweet potatoes.

Grain-free is becoming the norm in the dog food industry, but foods containing corn as one of the ingredients is not necessarily bad for your dog. I would not recommend any foods that have corn or corn meal as the first or second ingredient, but there is currently no scientific evidence that confirms that a grain-free diet is a must for dogs.
Feed Your Dog The Right Food For Them
When it comes to these controversial ingredients, there are pros and cons no matter how you look at them. If you’re still not sold about any of the ingredients, simply choose a dog food that does not include them.

The only one of these controversial ingredients that I would recommend always avoiding is garlic – the risks of using this potentially toxic ingredient are simply too high for dogs.

What matters is that you pay attention to what you’re comfortable with feeding your dog and to what they are comfortable eating.

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

Having pets is an integral part of our lives for they provide unconditional love, immeasurable joy, and enrichment. In fact, a great number of families in the country own pet dogs. And most of these families have a child or two. This shows that families enjoy having pets at home and they want to share it to their offspring as well.

Children at some point have nagged parents on and on about having pet dogs. This is because they tend to think all the fun benefits of owning a pet. However, not all parents are open to the idea of allowing their kids to have pet dogs. Little do they know that dogs provide many benefits for children. These benefits range from health to physical to social developments of the child.

One such good example of an advantage to having a pet dog is lowered stress levels. Cuddling with our four-legged companions could help lower loneliness, stress, and anxiety. In fact, the benefit of lowering stress level is the biggest advantage there is to having pet dogs with children at home.

Thus, the relaxation and relief provided by pet dogs to children, and parents, yield great health benefits. This translates to fewer visits to the doctor, decreased number of illnesses and health problems in a year, and decreased risks for various diseases.

Below, you will find a well-thought of and organized colorful infographic. It has more tips and details of the many advantages to letting children grow up with dogs. We want to highlight that owning a dog could be a delightful experience for the children and the family.

This is a Guest post from Jenny from herepup.com. Thank you Jenny.

12 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Are Good to Help Raise Children

How much fat do I feed my dog?

dogs on scales
Animal obesity – bulldog dressed up as doctor standing beside pug laying down on weigh scale

Normal dogs require not less than 5 per cent of fat in their diet if they are to remain comfortably plump, and carry good coats. As much as 10 per cent can be fed, temporarily, to a dog that has lived on a fat-deficient diet, or half-starved, without causing digestive upsets, except perhaps in a few individual cases in which there is fat-sensitivity so- called chronic gastritis case, to use a common expression.

Every dog, however, appears to have its own special fat requirement; while some appear to be unable to digest fairly high proportion of beef fat added to their regular diet. In the absence of a fat ration, the dog uses up fat already stored in its body, until the fat content of the whole body falls to 6 per cent, after which emaciation becomes observable.

It is being able to maintain the balance between the laying down of fat and its regular rate of absorption that spells success not a particularly easy thing to do in these days of building congestion and motor traffic, which limit the possibility of either man or dog taking sufficient exercise.

The type of fat within the body depends in large measure upon the diet. If it comes from the food in the form of butter, beef fat, cream or lard, the dog’s fat remains soft and the dog appears unduly obese.

If, however, the source of the fat is digested carbohydrate, the fat in the body is much harder, and it is possible for the dog to carry a considerable quantity of such fat, firmly moulded into or around the body, with the clog looking fairly normal, certainly not obese.

Although both fat and carbohydrate foods provide energy, they play quite different parts in the metabolism of the body, and the one cannot be substituted for the other, both fat and carbohydrate being necessarily present in the same diet.

The inclusion of sufficient fat in the diet appears to have a definite value in maintaining bitch fertility but at no time should the proportion of fat fed to brood bitches exceed 5 per cent of the total ration. This applies also to lactating bitches during the summer, though rather more can be fed to them when the weather and the accommodation are cold.

Fat is very necessary in connection with the nourishment and well-being of the skin, and in this connection one must include the ears, which are lined with skin even down the ear canal. It has been proved that a number of skin diseases, including a fair proportion of cases of so-called chronic tear-canker’,’ respond to treatment consisting of feeding fat, or unsalted bacon in the feed daily, while the benefit derived from quite small amounts of pure, fresh linseed oil (not boiled oil) is well known to many breeders.

A shortage of fat in the diet may give rise in some dogs, principally the long-eared varieties, to a purulent form of ear canker.

Excess of fat fed to dogs lessens the appetite for other necessary foods and, even if it fails to excite biliousness and vomiting, it may retard growth in young animals.

Young dogs and recently weaned puppies are far less able than older animals to digest either meat proteins or fats. Rancid fats such as stale lard and rancid cod-liver oil, are capable of destroying vitamins A and E in the body. One useful effect of a store of fat within the body is that it may help to combat certain types of infection, especially those attacking the skin.

Dog Food Requirement

dog food requirementThese days most commercial food take all this in consideration. Just make sure you choose the right type of food for the right type and age of the dog. But if you would like more information these are the theories it is based on.

Although, in theory, the needs of any individual dog can be estimated by the use of charts and tables, it is equally easy to weigh a dog at intervals. Having ascertained the optimum weight of every dog in the kennel when in fit condition and in perfect health it is as well to record this, and then one may decide whether excess weight demands less food, more exercise, or both, loss of weight indicating a need for extra nourishment. It is soon possible to get to know the sort of food each dog requires and thrives best on.

Increased weight may be due to growth, excessive fatness, muscular development, or even to the over-retention of fluid in the tissues. It may also be associated with pregnancy or with pyometra in the bitch, or in either sex with any dropsical condition. In the two latter, the distension is purely abdominal with increased girth and there may even be loss of flesh in other parts of the body.

It is easier to put on weight than to reduce it. A tendency to obesity appears to be hereditary in some lines, especially among bitches. Excessive fat can be gradually reduced in a healthy subject by increasing the amount of exercise and cutting down on carbohydrates and fats. Lack of body fat may sometimes require a veterinary examination to determine the cause.

In a healthy, worm-free dog, the weight may be increased by extra food containing the essential proteins and carbohydrates and fat, plus the necessary minerals, vitamins, and trace elements in the right proportions.

Exercise needs to be moderated though it must be sufficient to keep the muscles in good trim. Care should be taken to distinguish the abnormally lean dog from one in a state of hard muscular fitness. The lean dog may be very fit and healthy but the over-fat one may be a sick clog in spite of its prosperous appearance.

The energy value of a food is usually expressed in calories; another way of showing how much body heat a particular food is capable of producing. A calorie is the unit of heat that will raise the temperature of one cubic centimetre of water one degree Centigrade.

The heat output of the animal at rest, expressed in calories, is known as the basic metabolic rate. As a result of numerous experiments carried out by many investigators it is now accepted that the requirement of a dog weighing 13.5 kilograms (about 26 lb) is 24 calories for each pound body weight per day. A clog of Cocker size, say 25 lb, would therefore (in theory) require 600 calories daily in terms of food.

This figure, however, was worked out using experimental dogs at rest, and allowance must therefore be made in every case with due regard to the amount of exercise or work, and an appropriate number of calories added to the amount. This is where theory and practice are apt to get a little tangled. A sheepdog on the hills may easily travel 20 to 25 miles in a day, but a Pekingese or a Chihuahua might not do a great deal more than that in yards.

Extensive experiments have shown that the requirements of the normal housedog may average 4.0 calories for every pound of body weight. On 50 calories per lb (100 calories per kg) most of the experimental dogs put on overweight.

What applies to pets and housedogs in general, does not apply to hounds and working dogs, which could consume more than 5o calories per lb bodyweight and still remain lean and fit (provided they were working).

The number of calories considered requisite to retain condition in the housedog needs to be increased in growing dogs, also during cold weather, and in pregnancy, and in lactating bitches.

In estimating the number of calories required, body surface is actually more important than weight.

In a small breed, such as a Chihuahua or Yorkshire Terrier, the basic metabolic rate is inversely proportional to that of a large dog such as a Great Dane or Pyrenean, since in dogs with a large body surface there is far greater loss of body heat.

Growing puppies require twice as many calories for each pound of their weight as adult clogs would need. Arnold and Elvelyem determined that a puppy weighing 21 oz required 282 calories, but as soon as it attained the weight of 10 lb it would require only 900 calories through an entire day.

Allowing 40 calories for each pound body weight, this would feed a 30 lb house- dog for a day and permit it to take normal exercise.

Alternatively, a diet containing an almost equal number of calories could be provided by 4 oz of tinned dog food (200 calories), 4 oz biscuit (400 calories), and to oz of milk (zoo calories) with 4. oz wholemeal bread (28o calories.)

The above examples show how, with a knowledge of food values, the changes may be rung to provide a varied diet and, on occasion, practice economy. Due account will have to be paid to (a) palatability, (b) digestibility and (c) bulk.

 

 

 

Air Travel with Your Dog from the UK

 dog airtravelSo many people seem to think that it is complicated to travel with your dog on an airplane. In fact, it is quite simple when you know how.

For the UK if you are going abroad.The first thing to do is to apply to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Government Buildings, Block B, Hook Rise South, Tolworth, Surbiton, Surrey, or telephone Derwent 6611 for the regulations applying to the country to which the puppy is to be sent.

Each country has different restrictions but it is a simple matter to enquire and find out what they are. The Ministry will be able to give you all the up-to-date information and if a licence is found to be necessary they will send you the appropriate form to fill in

You will then know at once whether the puppy has to be vaccinated with Rabies vaccine before export, or if he requires a blood test or anv other stipulated requirement. An early enquiry can save delays later. Some countries offer more complications than others. Finland, for instance, requires a faeces test. Dogs sent to Denmark have to be accompanied by a statement sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths that they have not left the breeder’s premises; and when I sent the first two Golden Retrievers ever to go to the Argentine, they had to be accompanied by passport photographs.

Apart from any necessary injections a Health Certificate must be obtained from a veterinary surgeon approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. This must he signed a stipulated number of days before the dog is exported, but to qualify for it the puppy may need some preliminary immunisation or treatment so it is as well to enquire some time in advance. A form on which to apply for an export pedigree must he obtained from the Kennel Club and returned with a fee. In the case of a male dog, the form must be signed by a veterinary surgeon as having examined the dog and found both testicles descended into the scrotum. If possible the export pedigree should he sent with the puppy but this is not absolutely necessary.

Book the puppy on a direct flight if possible wherever it is going. If you are not going to use an agent to send the puppy then a travelling box (crate) must either be obtained beforehand or arrangements made for it to he delivered to the cargo department of the airline being used. Travelling boxes(crates) are made in various sizes of light weight material to a specification laid down by the authorities and the box should be of a size which will allow the dog sufficient freedom and room to stand up and turn around.

Although I have done much of my own exporting in the past I think that nowadays it is better to use a good export agent of repute who will take care of all the details and provide the travelling box. They are experts at the job and will deliver the puppy to the airport and notify the purchaser in advance of the time of arrival. Sometimes a puppy or grown dog may be going on a long distance flight such as to Australia or New Zealand. This must be done through an agent as quarantine kennels have to be booked in the country to which the dog is going and a special kennel is required which is sealed before take-off and must not be opened until the animal is examined by the veterinary authorities on arrival. If the plane is delayed in any country during the journey and the kennel is opened, then the dog will have to be flown back to this country and put into quarantine kennels for six months. –

If an agent is handling your puppy it can be delivered the day before the flight to his kennels. If he is a bad car traveller this will give him time to get over this part of the journey and allow him to have a good meal and sleep before taking off the next day, especially if You use an agent whose kennels are close to the airport.

If you are handling the puppy yourself and have either written or phoned the airline which you have decided to use they will have told you the flight number and airway bill number. Most airlines insist on payment at the time of despatch, but it is sometimes possible for payment to be made on arrival by the new owner if you give the airline the name and address of the person to whom the puppy is going about ten days prior to the flight.

All you have to do now is to arrive at the airport about three hours before the flight. This means rather a long wait so I have the puppy weighed in his travelling box, then take him out again and put him in the car while I go back and complete the necessary formalities.

It is generally possible to find a piece of grass nearby on which to give the puppy a last minute run and I take with me some raw beef and a flask of egg and milk to give him before he finally goes hack in the travelling box.

In case of an early morning flight, or an unexpected cancellation, arrangements can he made for the puppy to stay overnight at the R. S.P.C.A. kennels attached to the airport and he put on the flight the next day. Advance notice of this should be given if possible.

I have found on enquiry that the puppies and adults which I have sent on long journeys by air have arrived quite clean and in excellent spirits.

Some people recommend giving a tranquillizer before sending them off. I have never thought this to be necessary with a Golden Retriever but it is probably advisable with some very highly sensitive breeds.

One of the most amusing journeys by air on which I sent a dog was from our local airfield. I had an English Setter bitch on which I had spent a fortune using the best stud dogs available and each time the puppies faded out after a few days. I finally decided to give her away to an army officer who was involved in air reconnaissance and stationed about eighty miles away. He rang me up and asked me to meet him with the dog at the airfield. When I arrived I discovered that it was an open biplane. This took place some years ago. Not the least disturbed, the bitch was placed on the back seat and with a complete air of disdain soared into the air like Dismal Desmond sitting on a magic carpet.

Some while later I heard that she had been accidentally mated to a Labrador and when the puppies arrived I went to see them. She had ten perfectly healthy black puppies none of which had any intention of fading out and this was the only really healthy litter she ever reared. I had managed to save one or two from earlier litters but it had been a heart breaking job seeing them die one after another.

Canine First Aid Kit

Canine First Aid Kit

What you need to have handy at all times in case of emergency involving your dog. Here are my essentials for what need to go in a first aid kit

Antiseptic;. Dettol, T.C.P. or similar mild antiseptic are a must for a first aid kit for dogs and are excellent for general purposes but

                   Cetavlon is less stringent for bathing cuts and wounds. It is a wise precaution to wipe over the feet and head of a dog at a show with either T.C.P. or Dettol, particularly at indoor shows where infection is so easily picked up.

                   Boracic powder. A good general stand-by, used dry or as a lotion.

Canker powder. This is essential in a first aid kit for dogs for any sign of ear problems and should be used regularly if there is any sign of canker, but the occasional dusting is usually sufficient to keep the ears in perfect condition.

first aid kit for dogsClinical thermometer. This is a most necessary adjunct to any medicine chest or first aid kit. It is best to buy one marked thirty seconds as it requires a shorter time to register. First of all see that the mercury is shaken down to read below about 35°C(98°F). Carefully insert the thermometer into the rectum. On no account should it be forced; a little liquid paraffin smeared on to it will help. Leave the thermometer in place for half a minute and then withdraw and wipe clean with some cotton wool. The normal temperature of a dog varies slightly in different individuals as with human beings but it should be about 38.6°C(101.5°F). Variations in the same dog do occur for no apparent reason, but anything above 38.9°C(1029F) should be regarded as a fever.

After use remember to shake the mercury down and clean and disinfect the thermometer thoroughly before returning it to its case.

Flea treatement. For use against all external parasites. Insect repellant collars or strips are an alternative. The collar is suitable for adult dogs and if the instructions issued with it are followed it is most effective. It need only be worn at night. A Vapona strip placed in the kennel will insure against any parasites, but I would not recommend its use where there are puppies, or if the kennel is a very small one, as the vapour may be a bit overpowering for the dog unless there is good ventilation.

Kaolin powder. This is useful to have in your first aid kit and can be sprinkled alternatively be mixed up with some milk, but if the puppies are off their food more drastic measures must be taken, and I always keep a supply of tablets for this purpose, so that if a puppy has diarrhoea and is off his food he can be dosed at once.

Puppies can have diarrhoea for many reasons such as change of diet, too much food or too rich a diet, as well as the more serious disorders which can arise. Prompt action can avoid a lot of trouble and the puppy can be back on his food and fully recovered the next day. Like children they can go up and down very quickly but if neglected serious conditions can result.

Liquid paraffin. This is a very cheap but necessary item for your first aid kit. Used as an occasional laxative, e.g. at whelping time or if a dog becomes constipated through eating too many bones. Frequent or excessive doses should be avoided.

Milk of magnesia. For all digestive troubles, and can be given to a bitch after whelping should her milk for any reason be too acid.

Lubricating eye ointment. Obtained from your vet, and if kept cool is always useful in a first aid kit just in case of eve trouble. Inflammation caused by a foreign body or damage to the cornea can be relieved and rapidly cured by the application of a little ointment night and morning. A damaged cornea can he serious if neglected, whereas it can be healed within two or three days if treated at once.

Hibiscrub solution I find this invaluable at the first sign of a patch of wet eczema. Dilute in warm water, using about a dessertspoonful to half a pint of water. Bathe the affected part and if necessary cut off the surrounding hair so that the air can penetrate. Dry thoroughly and dust with boracic powder or dress with calamine lotion. Repeat three times a day, which will prevent the eczema from spreading and will dry it up surprisingly quickly. If neglected this type of eczema can spread alarmingly and professional help will then he necessary.

Travel sickness pills. There are several kinds which can be obtained either from your veterinary surgeon or from a chemist. If a dog is a had traveller this is usually due to nerves, and once he finds that he can travel without being sick he will get over the trouble completely.

Witch hazel or calamine lotion. This is useful if the skin is irritated and the dog is making things worse by scratching, but more specific treatment may also be needed.

Worming tablets. For round worms in puppies I like to use drontal, but there are many proprietary makes of worm medicine. drontal tablets can be obtained from your veterinary surgeon and an adequate supply of these or other tablets should always be kept in hand. They are administered by giving one tablet for every ten pounds body weight, and repeating the dose ten days later.

When you are dosing an adult dog for worms seek your vet’s advice, particularly if it is for a hitch after she has been mated. No matter what brand of medicine you are using, it is important to give the correct dose to suit the size of the dog it is prescribed for and the dog must be accurately weighed.

Yeast or yeast tablets. Both brewer’s yeast and yeast tablets are a great tonic and a quick pick me up if the dog is out of sorts, but they should not be continued indefinitely.

 

First Aid kit List

  • Antiseptic
  • Clinical thermometer.
  • Flea treatement.
  • Kaolin powder.
  • Liquid paraffin.
  • Milk of magnesia.
  • Lubricating eye ointment.
  • Hibiscrub solution
  • Travel sickness pills.
  • Witch hazel or calamine lotion.
  • Worming tablets.
  • Yeast or yeast tablets.

Let’s Talk Dog Food

Let’s Talk Dog Food

dog Food vegetables or meatNormally the problem of dog feeding is conditioned by the number of dogs  one keeps; a pack of hounds must be fed with greater regard to economy than a single pet. A small chihuahua will not be as costly as a great dane as far as quantity is concerned.

The basic requirements of all individuals are similar, whatever their station in life. The main difference lies in the amount of energy the dog is required to expend and, somewhat ironically, it is usually the idle lapdog that fares better than the industrious hound.

The fact remains, however, that in the majority of instances, neither is being fed to the best advantage.

One of the common errors associated with nutrition lies in widely-accepted belief that the so-called carnivorous animals, including the dog family, as well as all animals that kill and cat each other, are essentially meat eaters and should be restricted to a diet of meat whenever circumstances and economical circumstances permit.

The truth is that very few animals can, or ever attempt to, live on meat alone. All of them require a proportion of their diet to be vegetable material if they are to maintain condition and remain fit and reasonably healthy. Although nobody would suggest depriving dogs of meat, it is a common mistaken belief among dog breeders that dogs cannot live without a high proportion of animal protein in their diet. This belief has no scientific foundation.

Dr. Walter Schwick, in his well-known book on dog nutrition, quotes Koehn, who composed an all-vegetable ration containing yellow maize meal, wheat shoots and peanut meal as the chief sources of protein, and found that dogs fed on it retained their fitness and health, with a good rate of growth.

Foxes raised on a fur farm where no meat was fed grew as well as those receiving meat and produced furs of equal quality to those from meat-fed foxes.

Research conducted at Wisconsin University several years ago proved that a diet of ground yellow corn, soya bean oil meal, alfalfa meal, cottonseed oil, mineral supplement, niacin and irradiated yeast, was adequate for the growth and maintenance of dogs, although successful reproduction and lactation were achieved only when liver, fish, and certain vitamins of the B group were added as a supplement.

All mammals require:

proteins for body building:

carbohydrates for energy,

fat for warmth.

It is probable that ill-health, unthriftiness, thinness or over-fatness, are due in dogs not so much to the quantity of food supplies, as to its quality and, particularly, to the relative proportion of its essential ingredients. A great deal of money can be wasted on foods in which the various nutritive elements required by the body arc improperly balanced.wolves eating dog food

The vegetable material consumed by the wild carnivores is seldom gathered first hand from the land, although in their natural native environment Basenjis eat a certain amount of fresh green material, while the Mexican Hairless Dogs actually graze after the manner of goats, and seldom eat meat in their native habitat.

The regular source of the vegetable material consumed in quantity by all the wild carnivora is that contained in the stomach and digestive organs of the animals they kill. This has been partially digested by fermentation set up in the warm interior of the animal by the action of yeasts, bacteria, and natural enzymes. The rumen of a bullock, or a buffalo, is capable of holding up to half a hundredweight or more of this partly digested vegetable food material. Fermented vegetable material obtained from this source is more valuable to the dog than actual flesh, since it contains the essential vitamins and a variety of other food materials unobtainable by the dog from elsewhere.

The dog, fox, or other carnivore, immediately after making its kill rips open the skin of the abdomen and at once devours as much as possible of the rumen contents of a deer or antelope, and in the same way eats the stomach contents of a rabbit, as well as its intestines.

The flesh may be left alone until the animal’s vegetarian requirements are satisfied, and it is not unusual for the flesh to remain untouched for several hours longer. It is in this way that carnivorous animals in the wild obtain the bulk of their vitamins, particularly those of the B-complex, together with a number of enzymes, and in all probability a selection of vitamins as yet unrecorded.

Later in the day, or even after a couple of clays if it has not been forestalled, the predator will return and eat part of the victim’s liver, melt, lungs or kidneys, all of which contain essential vitamins. Flesh is often left until it is partly decomposed, when it is likely to contain other substances useful to the dog.

A rather interesting story centres around the sheepdogs living on certain hill farms and used entirely for herding sheep on the higher ranges.

wild rabbits dog food

When myxomatosis first broke out and the rabbits temporarily disappeared, many of these dogs began to waste away, and many died. It was immediately presumed that the dogs were ill because they were deprived of rabbit flesh, as without this they were fed only ground barley, maize meal, and pig swill. The fact was, however, that few of these dogs ate the flesh of a single rabbit in a month, but they did consume the entrails of all of those that were systematically trapped or shot and gutted on the hills before being taken off the farm. These rabbit entrails had provided the greater part of the dogs’ vitamins.

On the lower pastures where the cows grazed, the cattle dogs remained fit and healthy although they had also lost their rabbits. The reason was that they had learned to eat dried cowdung, which also contained the same vitamins, and this supplied their requirements. On the higher ground, the sheep pellets were not eaten by the dogs.

Not so many years ago many dog breeders made a habit of visiting the local slaughterhouse or the knacker’s yard and bringing home rumen contents, uncleaned tripe, and melt. These were found to be a valuable pick-me-up for dogs that were not thriving or were out of coat, and were particularly useful in keeping showdogs in tip-top condition. Nowadays, slaughterhouse regulations make it difficult or impossible to obtain such material.

Dog Fits

Dog Fits

Fits in dogs

  • What is a fit?

Seizure dog/fitFits take a variety of forms in dogs, just as in other animals and people. The correct medial term is seizures. The general behaviour described as a fit involves salivation with chomping movements of the jaws, usually followed by the sudden onset of spasmodic muscular contractions involving the head and neck, limbs and, possibly, other parts of the body, accompanied in many instances by interference with consciousness, partial or complete.

  • Duration of a fit

The duration of the fit may be a matter of seconds or minutes only, or the attacks may be repeated at intervals. Sometimes the condition persists for hours or days without any marked periods of remission. The severity of such fits in dogs may be so marked that they continue even when the dog is under anaesthesia.

  • Recurrance

The attacks may disappear and never return or they may recur after long or short intervals during puppyhood, sometimes with occasional appearances throughout the animal’s life. Much depends upon whether the cause can be discovered and is capable of removal, or if it involves irreversible changes that have taken place in the brain.

Fits vary enormously in their pattern, but in individual cases accompanied by frequent repetition the pattern usually remains fairly constant so long as the cause is unchanged.

  • Breed predisposition

Although dogs of most or all breeds may develop fits, there arc in some strains or families hereditary tendencies that may increase susceptibility. The type of temperament inherited may confer greater nervous sensitivity and a diminished capability to compete with the strains and stresses associated with domestication. This may account for some of the fits seen in quite young puppies, and it may be that they are born with a brain defect.

On the other hand, a simpler explanation may be that certain strains may be abnormally sensitive to the migration of worm (ascaris) larvae throughout their bodies and nervous mechanism. The primary infection may come through the dam. This is very unlikely these days considering most breeders are very good with worming protocols. Making sure that the mother is up to date with worming so the puppies are not at risk.

  • The sience behind a fit in a dogsign seizure dog

The point of origin of a fit is situated actually within the brain or its coverings (meninges), or it may arise from increased pressure of fluid present in one of the normal brain cavities. When the brain itself remains normal the fit is produced by abnormal outgoing impulses from the brain being transmitted to the muscles of the body under the influence of ingoing messages transmitted to the brain from some part of the body subjected to abnormal irritation. The local irritation responsible for such messages to the brain may be situated in the ears, in some portion of the alimentary tract, from the skin or the eyes, or in fact, from any part of the body.

  • Chemicals or hormone inbalance

Other causes of brain irritation include the presence of chemical substances within the blood. These may come from poison taken in through the mouth or injected into the animal, or may be associated with the presence of a toxin, or to excess or deficiency of some necessary hormone. Not uncommonly, a hormone imbalance gives rise to a corresponding mineral imbalance with alteration in the blood content of calcium, magnesium or phosphorus, or all three. Sometimes in diabetic subjects the fits may arise from imbalance between blood sugar and insulin.

  • Viral infection

In dogs of any age, but more usually in young dogs, especially those that have not been vaccinated against distemper, virus hepatitis and leptospiral jaundice, fits may be the first manifestation of an attack of one of these diseases already involving the brain cells. Conversely, the brain symptoms may never make their appearance or they may crop up weeks after apparent recovery from the primary infection.

Fits may occur during the course of kidney infections owing to accumulation of toxic products in the blood. In heart conditions, particularly in older dogs, fainting attacks are sometimes accompanied by struggling, recurring at frequent intervals.

  • Pregnant bitches and lactating bitches

Lactation in bitches, resulting in a lowering of the calcium content of the blood may produce hypocalcaemic symptoms (milk fever), frequently including tetany (muscle stiffness) and convulsions.

  • Accidents

Accidental injury to the brain during puppyhood, as from a fall on the head, may cause fits immediately or at a later date, and in some instances these fits may occur at intervals throughout the animal’s lifetime.

  • Teething ( very rare)

Teething, especially when changing the canine teeth, will sometimes produce fits in susceptible puppies. These usually disappear when the second teeth come down. Such fits may be confused with those produced by round worms, which frequently cause trouble at about this age. At teething time the administration of tablets containing calcium gluconate and vitamin D may be helpful.

In a survey, Dr. Phyllis G. Croft discussed 26o cases of fits in dogs, and recorded electroencephalograms from each. From the results it was assumed that 167 of the 260 affected dogs examined were effected with epilepsy. The ages ranged from one to ten years, more often between one and three years. The incidence diminished from the fourth to the ninth years with a slight rise again atten years. All the common breeds appear to have been represented. Dr Croft did great work on this subject and has always supported a UK based charity for epileptic dogs

  • Fits Associated with the Ears

The more characteristic symptom is the position of the head, drawn usually down on one side or lifted upwards and backwards. Apart from infection conveyed by ear mites, the possible presence of one or more rapidly burrowing barley grass awns ( more commonly referred to as grassseeds) must always be borne in mind.

Fits due to ear mites may be seen occasionally in puppies, only a few months old, that have obtained them from the ears of the mother.

  • Fits Associated with the digestive tract

Overeating, especially at weaning age, may give rise to a fit or fits, usually of short duration, if the puppy is fasted for some hours.

The need to worm puppies is always apparent but great care must be taken in the choice of  wormer (vermicide). Veterinary surgeons nowadays stock efficient remedies that produce no side-effects.

  • Fits Associated with the Skin

Heavy infestation with lice or fleas, and certain allergic skin irritations, have been suspected as being the cause of fits. It is probable that such symptoms arise only when there is an inborn predisposition to epilepsy.

  • Eyes and Fits

It has been recorded that some strains of puppies showing a tendency to fits are less susceptible if kept in the dark, possibly because they see less that is likely to disturb them.

Certain strains of puppies will develop fits if exposed to strong sunlight or when electric lights are turned on after dark. The probability is that these strains have an epileptic background. Like some people.

  • Fits Caused by Chemicals

Chemical substances capable of producing fits or convulsive symptoms resembling them,

lead, derived from drinking water and bad plumbing;

Agene, formerly used in bleaching flour. a very serious cause of so-called ‘hysteria’ in dogs during and before the war

Strychnine, which produces muscular contractions, followed by death.

Slug bait in the form of methaldehyde is commonly laid in gardens and is readily eaten by dogs and cats. In small doses it causes intoxication. Larger doses produce incoordination of limb movements, rapid breathing, muscular twitching, rapid movements of the eyeballs (nystagmus),followed by unconsciousness and heart failure.

Treatment is The hypodermic injection of apomorphine, followed by atropine, usually succeeds if the dose is not too large and the interval between ingestion and injection not too long. This is an emergency were quick response if critical.

seizure response dogI think this goes hand in paw with dogs that help people with epilepsy. Dog can detect the onset of an epileptic fit long before people can. With this dogs can warn people that a fit is coming and make sure people have time to get themselves into a safe situation.

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