Dr Frank Adams of SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio has a great show each month called “Pets and your Health.”
I was flattered to be invited to speak with them again yesterday, March 7th about puppies and all the questions that come with having a new puppy.
This a wonderful show (not just because they like me) but because Dr. Adams’s guests answer questions on a variety of pet-related topics and showcase the ever increasing data demonstrating how pets make our lives better.
If, like me, you are in your car a lot and have SiriusXM, you can listen for the re-broadcast of this episode Friday 4am to 6am, Sunday 6am to 8am on channel 110. If your not up and awake enough at these times to listen, you can always stream this episode and others on SiriusXM Doctor Radio.
Just as a shout out to SiriusXM Doctor Radio, besides Dr Adams’s shows “Pets and Your Health” and “Pulmonology,” there are plenty of other great shows to listen into, from “Health Care Connect” that answers all your insurance related questions at a time when we all have questions on this topic, to dermatology, men’s health, women’s health, nutrition, child and adult psychology and more.
The toxicity of chocolate is relative to the size of your dog and the type and amount of chocolate ingested.
Because it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be good to remind everyone that chocolate is not safe for dogs.
PetMD has a great calculator to help you determine when it is time to get your dog to the veterinarian if your dog has had some chocolate. The toxicity of chocolate is relative to the size of your dog and the type and amount of chocolate ingested.
For example my favorite candies are Reese’s Dark Chocolate Mini Peanut Butter cups. I did a little science experiment on them and one of these candies has about 1/4 oz of dark chocolate.
My dog Pinball is about 35 pounds. Like so many dogs he loves peanut butter and will not be bothered by the fact that there are wrappers and even some dark chocolate to get through in order to find the coveted peanut butter.
Based on the PetMD chocolate calculator, if Pinball got one of these candies, I would not have to worry. I would watch him closely because at his weight with the amount of dark chocolate in one small dark chocolate peanut butter cup, there would be no symptoms expected. But, because every body is a little different, I would keep an eye on him, AND make sure he got NO MORE.
By the way, it is the compound theobromine that is the culprit here. Theobromine can also be found in things other than chocolate. A few of them are: tea, coffee, cola products, acai berries, coco mulch for the yard, and probably others.
If Pinball were to get 1 oz of baker’s chocolate, I would call the poison control hotline if my veterinarian were not available, and probably take him in to see the veterinarian or emergency veterinarian right away.
There are a number of pet poison hotlines, some charge a fee, and others don’t. Look online to see what works best for you, and here are a couple:
For Pinball’s 1 oz of baker’s chocolate, mild to moderate symptoms would be:
2 oz of baker’s chocolate would cause moderate to severe symptoms:
Tremors in muscles
Abnormal heart rhythms
Elevated heart rate
3 oz of bakers chocolate would cause severe symptoms:
Tremors in muscles
Abnormal heart rhythms
Elevated heart rate
When we compare this to 3 oz of milk chocolate which would be expected to cause mild to no symptoms, it is dramatic the difference the type of chocolate can make in terms of toxicity – so – Remember if you have to call the veterinarian, he or she will need to know:
– Dog’s weight,
– Amount of chocolate,
– What type of chocolate
In short – no chocolate is good for your dog, but the darker the chocolate the less your dog will need to ingest to become very sick and potentially lose their lives to a simple piece of candy.
On Valentine’s Day, show your dog you love him or her with a great wild walk in the snow for those of you in the north, or a peanut butter kong, or both. But keep your chocolate up and away.
And for those of you with young kids, send the dog out of the room until the kids are done with their chocolate – save everyone the anguish and let your kids enjoy their treat without worry.
Here is one of my favorite students, Bandit, taking care of his front nails himself on the sanding board. As you can see, he is enjoying himself.
Taking care of our dog’s nails can sometimes be a arduous task but it is a necessary one. If a dog’s nails grow too long, the nails push against the ground every time the dog puts weight on his or her feet which affects the movement of different joints by shifting the alignment of the leg bones and that can cause our dogs pain and lead to arthritis. It is hard to imagine that long nails can cause our dogs hip, knee, spinal pain and more, but it’s like that old song, “…shin bone connected to the knee bone…”
Sometimes our dogs allow nail trimming with little protest, but more often than not, if we have not trained our dogs to tolerate (and even love) nail clipping or dremmeling, they are only putting up with it.
“Love it?” You say?
Indeed. Before my fringy dog Pinball came along, all my dogs had their nails demmeled. They came running when they heard me taking out any power tool, disappointment showing on their faces when it wasn’t the Dremmel, but my saw or nail gun instead. And, when it was Dremmel time, it was party time!
Because Pinball has such long fringe, I cannot Dremmel his nails. The fringe from his tail got caught in the sanding drum early on in his nail dremmeling career, and that was enough for all of us. Instead, I have to clip his nails, which is not my favorite. I’ll admit it, I am a “quick wimp” and because of my fear of clipping his quick, I never cut too much away. This leaves his nails always a little too long.
I realized it was time to teach him the sanding board.
Our dog keeps getting sprayed by skunks. Can you make any suggestions?
Ask Professor Boo is our recurring, positive reinforcement dog training and behavior question and answer column. If you have a question that you would like to ask Professor Boo, please feel free to contact him.
[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]: Our dog keeps getting sprayed by skunks. She’s a terrier mix and loves looking in culvert pipes and other exploring. We live in the country in Montana and there is so much here that a curious dog can get into trouble with. She used to not come when we called her but we’ve been training her with treats and she’s gotten so much better at coming when we call. We hate to have to keep her on a leash when we go for walks. Can you make any suggestions? Thank you, Jennifer
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]: Hi Jennifer,
Many folks who enjoy walking their dogs off leash like to have a handful of distance commands. The recall is, of course, the most common in terms of getting the dog well under control at a distance. There are others that are a little less ridge and less restrictive for the dog.
A distance leave-it. This could be used once your dog has learned leave-it so well that on that command, she will turn away from whatever it is she has found.
Leave-it has to be rewarded with food in the learning stages, and then intermittently forever depending on the dog and the surroundings.
A distance sit or down. These could be used anywhere or anytime you need to simply put your dog into a holding position. Once you can reliably request these commands at a distance, you can lock your dog down matter how far away you are.
Some dogs do better with a stop command at a distance than the sits or downs, but essentially the stop command like the sits and downs, simply halt all actions until you tell your dog otherwise.
The sit, down and stop all have to be trained in close where you can easily reward them, then using a long drag leash, you can begin to increase the distance you ask your dog to preform these until she is ready for the big leagues of off leash completely.
Hope that helps and remember, there is just something that dogs LOVE about skunks so keep that skunk wash handy.
And, hopefully the ideas above will allow you to not have to use it quite as often as we had to with Dante. He loved skunks!