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Pet Bucket Blog

December 2018

10 Winter Holiday Hazards for Dogs

 by ben on 27 Dec 2018 |
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The holidays are the time to be loving, to have fun, to enjoy, but most importantly to be safe. Both you and your pet deserve to enjoy these holidays as much as possible! This is why pet safety is so important. There are many things to beware during the holidays, but here are some things to beware, and how to prevent any disasters with them! Picture from akc.org 1. Wiry mess Wires are one of the most common things to see during the holidays. A good example is the lights that go around Christmas trees, and they are extremely dangerous for your dogs! Before you put them on your tree, be sure your pet doesn’t play with them, given that there is a high risk of them getting tangled up in the material, and even getting choked by it. Connected wires are a risk of entanglement as well, but also of electrocution. You can prevent any of this from happening by taping the connected wires to the ground or wall, and when they are not connected yet, placing them somewhere they cannot reach them. Picture from Dogintonpost.com 2. Falling tree Our dogs love to wag their tails, and many dogs love getting under things or behind things, in spaces too small for them. This could cause a terrible accident if it is with the Christmas tree. A tail wagged too hard against the tree, or an accidental body pushes from your pet and soon the tree could fall on them, on you or on something that can break, also causing any glass ornaments to be crushed! This can hurt not only whoever it falls on, but if there is broken glass, you also need to beware it. Nailing down your tree is a good solution, this way, you make sure that no amount of tail wagging will knock it down. Picture from Prima.co.uk 3. Sweet Christmas Everyone loves a good Christmas cookie, especially dogs! Although we always beware where we put our food during normal days, the holidays tend to be a bit more agitated, and therefore we might easily get distracted and accidentally leave the cookies on a table within their reach. Another food that is usually used to built cookie houses (which are very common during Christmas) is marshmallows! As pet owners know, cookies can be harmful to dogs, so be sure to stay alert during this wonderful time and always leave the delicious cookies far from their reach!  Picture from telegraph.co.uk 4. Doughn’t eat During the holidays there is always a lot of cooking to be done, whether it is that you are hosting a dinner and cooking the food, or baking some cookies to give to your neighbor, or some brownies to share with your family. However, this adds the risk of raw dough for your dog. Raw dough is harmful to humans, but even more so to dogs! When cooking, pay attention to where you leave the raw dough. Make sure it is always out of their reach, and that if you drop a piece, you can pick it up before your dog gets to it. Picture from Imgur.com 5. Seasonal plants Dogs may love eating grass, or other garden plants you have, but plants such as mistletoe and holly are extremely dangerous to them. Since their system is not built to consume mistletoe, it can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, and sometimes even cardiovascular problems. This is why it is best to keep your dog away from mistletoe and holly. Leaving the plants on places they can’t reach is ideal. Given that many times mistletoe is hung, stay alert to the whereabouts of your dog and check regularly that the mistletoe has not fallen. Picture from Dogintonpost.com 6. Decorate safely Ornaments can also be dangerous to your pet. Given that many ornaments look like balls, or just generally appealing to a dog, they might attempt to chew or play with it. This can lead to choking if a piece of the ornament gets stuck in their throat, or if the ornament is sharp it can injure them. Beware even more of glass ornaments, given that if they accidentally drop or break them, they might also get hurt. Try to keep your dog away from the ornaments, whether by keeping the ornaments out of reach (such as decorating the tree from where your pet will pay no mind to the ornaments and up), or teaching your dog to stay away from them. You can even put a dog proof fence around the tree! Picture from Petmd.com 7. Bad medicine The cold weather, the dusty decorations, the holidays are full of things that can make us sick. You may have the flu, or allergies, which means that you’ll be taking medicine for it. After all, no one likes being sick during Christmas. Having said that, the medicine that makes you better can make your dog sick. This is why keeping your medicine with you, and out of reach from your pet, is the best idea. This way, your dog won’t accidentally swallow your pills and need an emergency trip to the hospital during Christmas Eve! Picture from urdogs.com 8. Special drinks Even if you don’t drink alcohol, odds are someone who will come to your house will. Even if it is only a glass of champagne or wine to celebrate New Year’s, you have to always be sure your dog doesn’t get any. Alcohol is extremely dangerous to them and can cause many issues in their system, no matter how little they consume. Keep alcoholic beverages out of reach from them, and clean up immediately if some of it spills on the ground, not allowing your pet to drink it. Picture from bluecross.co.uk 9. Noisy ‘till midnight Fireworks are beautiful, that is true. But for your pets, it is just a lot of noise that hurts their ears. The noises that go around during Christmas and New Years, such as people screaming, loud music, fireworks, etc., scare your pet! Be sure to keep them by your side and silence as much from the noise as possible for them by closing the door, the windows and playing some calm tunes for them. Being by your side, however, is what will help calm them down the most. Picture from chelseadogs.com 10. Safe space The holidays are not only extremely agitated for you, but also for your pet. Especially if your house is the go-to house, which means there will be a lot of people and noise, and your dog might get overwhelmed. Be sure you prepare a space for them to relax and go rest. A quiet room that has food, water, and their bed should suffice. This way, if they are feeling overwhelmed, they can go drink some water and rest in a quiet and safe space. Picture from Dogue.com.au Although there are many things to beware during the holidays, all of them can be easily taken care of to prevent any accidents. The most important thing is to enjoy and have fun, making sure your pet does too! And of course, always be safe. You can check out more information here! Sources https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/emergency/winter-holiday-pet-hazards http://www.vspn.org/Library/Misc/VSPN_M01660.htm https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=6048033 https://www.rauanimalhospital.com/resources/blog/cats-dogs/seasonal-safety-5-hazards-your-pet-during-winter-holiday http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/at-home-pet-dangers-to-beware-over-the-winter-holidays?page=2 Cover picture from bosleys.com

Healthy, High Protein Dog Food Recipe

 by ben on 18 Dec 2018 |
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We’re always on the lookout for homemade dog food recipes we can share with our readers, and this one is a winner. Our friend Sarah from the Wholesome Hound has rustled up a great high protein chicken dish for her cockapoo Willow and kindly shared it with us – and we thought it was so good we wanted to share it with you! When it comes to feeding dogs, the Wholesome Hound’s principles are simple – if you aren’t prepared to eat it yourself, don’t feed it your dog. The team loves coming up with hearty and wholesome treats for dogs using healthy oils, fruit and quality ingredients, and they have spent a lot of time learning how to balance the protein and vegetable content to deliver the type of food that makes four-legged friends thrive. They have also taken nutritional advice from a veterinarian so they know their dishes contain all the ingredients pooches need to stay fit and strong. Most importantly, Sarah and the team are committed to making sure that their furry friends will enjoy the homemade dog food they make. When Sarah created this recipe, she said “Willow was round my feet the entire time I was cooking, so I knew she was going to love it even before it hit her bowl!” Chicken, Kale and Pear Bowl Makes 7 portions for a 20 pound (9kg) fur baby. Ingredients 1 tablespoon coconut oil 8oz (225g) chicken, diced small 7oz (200g) brown rice, rinsed and drained 1 large carrot 1 large zucchini (courgette) 2 pears, peeled and cored 4 stems of kale 4 tablespoons flaxseed oil Method 1. Boil the rice according to the packet instructions. 2. Meanwhile chop the carrot, zucchini and pear into small doggy bite-sized pieces. Toss in the coconut oil and roast at 355F/180C for 10-15 mins. 3. 10 mins before the rice are finished, add in the chicken and kale. 4. When the rice is cooked, drain the chicken, rice, and kale and add in the roasted veggies. 5. Once cooled, add in 4 tbsp flaxseed oil. 6. Portion up. This made 7 portions for Willow who is nearly 20 pounds (9kg). Put a few in the fridge and the rest in the freezer in food bags. 7. Feed to your four-legged friend and enjoy the look of happiness of their face! Why make homemade dog food? Homemade food can be a wonderful addition to your dog’s diet, whether it’s as an occasional doggy treat or a high protein meal you can serve them every day. By preparing your own pet food you know exactly what goes into it, so you can ensure your pup gets top quality ingredients and none of the filler or preservatives that can go into commercial dog foods. It’s also a great option for pets that suffer from food allergies or have special nutritional needs. Before you get the pots and pans out, it is important to know what dogs need to survive and thrive. The best dog food, whether it’s homemade or commercial, will have sufficient protein, fiber, and fats and include the right vitamins and minerals. And of course, it’s vital to know the foods dogs can’t eat, such as citrus, grapes or raisins, onions, and garlic. Talk to your vet or a pet nutritionist about the best balance of calories, protein and dog vitamins for your particular breed, and get cooking! Find more of Sarah’s recipes at https://thewholesomehound.co.uk/healthy-dog-recipes/

Five home remedies for your dog’s itchy skin

 by alex on 12 Dec 2018 |
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It’s important to take him to the vet to diagnose any underlying conditions, you can treat your dog’s dry skin at home with a few simple, vet-approved remedies. When your pet is feeling under the weather, your veterinarian should be your first line of defense. After all, seemingly minor symptoms can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying condition. But for familiar and small ailments, such as itchy or dry skin, some at-home remedies can help cut costly vet bills while providing your pet with relief. Here are a few vet-approved home remedies if Fido can’t stop scratching his dry skin:   Vitamin E Oil: As in humans, vitamin E oil has a host of benefits for our dogs’ skin. While Fido may not be as interested in vitamin E’s anti-aging properties as you are, a massage with the antioxidant-rich formula can provide powerful itch relief—and it’s OK if your dog licks off the small amount on his coat.   Yogurt: A daily dose of plain yogurt can help keep your pet’s gut bacteria in balance, boosting his immune system and in turn helping him combat skin conditions. Because our pets’ digestive systems differ from our own, you may also want to try probiotic supplements designed specifically for dogs, available through your veterinarian as well as over-the-counter. Make sure the supplement includes the National Animal Supplement Council seal to ensure you’re buying the real deal.   Oatmeal: Oatmeal’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a quick fix for pets with itchy skin. Grind the oatmeal into a fine powder with a food processor or blender and add it to a warm bath to create an itch-relieving soak for your four-legged friend. To treat hot spots, mix the ground oatmeal with a smaller amount of water to create a poultice, which you can apply directly to inflamed areas.   Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea is touted for soothing upset stomachs, but it can also provide relief to pets with dry skin. Leave some brewed tea in the refrigerator to chill, and spray it onto your pet’s itchy spots. You can also try a tea bath for your dog to provide full-body relief.   Exercise: For dogs that can’t stop scratching, exercise can be the ultimate distraction. While Fido is playing and running, his mind is not focused on his itchy skin. Taking him outside can provide relief while providing you with a chance to elevate your own heart rate and bond with your pet.   There’s no silver bullet when it comes to relieving a pet’s itchy skin, but you can help him find relief. Remember that it’s important to address the underlying cause of his discomfort and not just the symptom of scratching, which can range from allergies to fleas, pollen or dust to mange, infections or a more serious underlying disease. Be sure to consult your vet if Fido’s symptoms persist to rule out any serious health concerns.

Tips for Taking Your Dog on a Long Car Trip

 by ben on 04 Dec 2018 |
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Driving along the coastline, taking in the beautiful seaside views, your dog peeking out its head from the window to enjoy the breeze - that’s what a long car ride with your dog is like, right? Well, it can be, if you’re well prepared. But most dog owners aren’t, and think a long ride with their dog will be as simple as just getting them into the car and enjoying the ride. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as that. Especially the first time, which can often end up being a stressful and overwhelming experience for unsuspecting dog owners. This is because there are so many things to prepare for - from ensuring your dog is entertained on the long ride, to their safety. To sum up the most important considerations, we’ve put together this guide of our top four tips for how to travel with a dog on a car trip. Let’s jump right in! 1.  Pack Some of Your Dog’s Favorite Toys While a getaway to a destination that requires hours of car travel may sound like a vacation to you, your dog may not share your enthusiasm. After all, most dogs don’t want to be cooped up in a car for several hours when they could be running around in the backyard! That’s why it’s essential to pack some of their favorite toys. You won’t want to pack anything that could end up being too much of a distraction though, or something that could turn into a hazard. Usually, a small chewy toy is sufficient - something that is fun enough for them to be thoroughly entertained, but not too big (or loud!) for it to become a liability. 2. Invest in a Dog Car Barrier Safety is a key concern when you’re taking your dog on a long drive. You need to make sure that they will be properly protected against any perils on the road - or themselves for that matter! For these reasons, we can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in a dog car barrier. As Jenny Jarvis of Pet Life Today shares, although it's easier than ever to take your dog around with you whenever and wherever, “The more you take your dog places, though, the more you’ll realize all the risks that come into play with your dog in your car.” Dog barriers, as the name suggests, are designed to keep a barrier between you and your dog. You don’t, of course, want your dog affectionately jumping on you or distracting you when you’re driving - so they serve a vital safety purpose on car trips. What’s more, many of them are designed to keep your car free from dog fur and even messes, so look around for a versatile one. 3. Consider Taking Out Pet Insurance Another safety-related tip we would be remiss not to include is to consider taking out pet insurance. While it may seem like a considerable expense for a single trip, it’s actually quite affordable when you think of how many situations it will cover. After all, it won’t just cover your one trip, but for however long you take out the plan for. That means if your dog gets sick or injured on the trip, or before or after it (depending on when you start or end the insurance), you’ll be covered. Instead of settling out for a massive vet’s bill - not to mention any meds they need or recurring visits, you’ll just have to pay a tidy weekly or monthly payment. 4. Travel When Your Dog’s Energy Levels Are Down This is a very handy tip for making long drives with your dog more bearable. Travel when your dog’s energy levels are down. Pet Let suggests two ways to do so. The first method is to “drain their energy” by taking them on a long walk before driving off with them. The idea behind this method is that because a car and the car ride itself is very stimulating for a dog, “the more tired they are the easier it is for them to focus that energy on the experience itself.” It makes sense when you think about it, right? The second method is to travel at night, when you can take advantage of the fact that your dog will naturally be sleepy. Needless to say, this means that you will also be prone to be sleepy, so consider this option carefully before proceeding.  We hope you have an enjoyable, safe trip with your four-legged friends! Check out our top tips on avoiding dog car sickness. About the writer This post was written by Ana who is a frequent contributor at Pet Life Today. She comes from a sunny and warm region of central Serbia, but now she lives a little up north in the city of Novi Sad. Ana is passionate about helping pet owners provide their four-legged friends with the care and attention they need to be able to lead healthy lives. She had two cats named Ceca and Lunja while she was growing up, together with a parrot named Kica. Ana has been writing about pet-related topics, advice, and trends since 2016.
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