Does your dog have food allergies?

IMG_7114If your dog is itching excessively and shaking his head all the time there is a very good chance that the dog is allergic to something. If you have been reading this blog you know I’m a dog and not a Vet but at the risk of getting a lot of Vets mad at me I’m going to try to give you a few of Fergus’s tips on allergies, specifically food allergies.

The signs of a food allergy are, an ear infection that simply will not go away, chronic diarrhea, chronic gas, itchy feet or an itchy rear end. Food allergies are the biggest cause of allergy problems in dogs. The biggest causes of food allergies in dogs are wheat, corn, and soy. If you stop in at our bakery in Medina Ohio and talk with my Mum the first thing she will tell you is allergies are why she only makes dog treats that have zero wheat, corn, and soy and why she carries dog food that also does not have these ingredients. She also stocks frozen and freezed dried raw dog food that is a great supplement to your dog’s diet. There is also a chance that your dog is allergic to chicken, beef, or dairy and the only way to find this out is by eliminating items during a test period.

Retrievers, Shepherds, Dachshunds, and Cocker Spaniels are the breeds that have the most allergy problems but food allergies can occur in any breed.

I am going to do a little counter surfing since the Peanut Butter dog treats just came out of the oven. I know these contain no wheat, corn, soy, or preservatives that will cause me any allergy problems plus they smell and taste good. See you at the store.

Fergus

Dog Constipation and what to do about it

IMG_5623Even dogs don’t like to talk about some subjects and constipation is one of them but at the risk of upsetting a few of my dear friends and my grandfather I thought I should give you a few of Finn’s tips about this very delicate subject.

In my opinion the major causes of constipation in dogs are:

  • Lack of exercise – We dogs need lots of exercise to keep all our internal parts in great working order. The good news is we love it when you walk/run/play with us and all this exercise is keeping all our internal parts in great working order. We love it when we are healthy but we love it even more when our human friends/owners are healthy and felling great and if we exercise together we both win.
  • Lack of proper diet – Please have your owner check the label on the dog food you are eating. It should contain plenty of fiber and the first four items should be good sources of protein and vegetables not grains and fillers.
  • No matter how much we beg please do not feed us people food from your table, it probably contains sugar, salts, and bones and these are things we should not have.
  • We dogs also need lots of water so please have a handy bowl for us at home and when you travel grab a travel cup so we can get some water when we are out walking or playing at the park. we have great travel cups at One Lucky Dog Bakery that your owner can clip to a belt.
  • Fur/Hair – We dogs do a lot of licking and many times that means some of our fur is getting inside our bodies. The fur can get tangled with the feces and this may prevent a bowel movement. Mum has some great brushes and combs, just ask her.
  • Foreign Objects – We love to destroy those soft toys you buy for us but just like fur these bits and pieces from the toys can cause an obstruction.
  • Change in our routine – We do not like change and sometimes this can cause problems with our bowels.

Here are Finn’s tips on fixing constipation in your dog.

  • Fiber – If your dog food does not have enough fiber you may have to supplement with some form of bran. You can even use Metamucil but please keep in mind that we dogs are not as large as you humans so a little additional bran or metamucil will be enough.
  • Raw Goats Milk – Most easily digested food for dogs. Helps to entice picky eaters to eat. Contains over 60 different enzymes to ease digestion. Of course we carry raw goats milk at One Lucky dog Bakery.  Many of our Customers are using this as a normal addition to the dog bowl.
  • Grooming – To stop us from injesting all that hair a regular brushing will really cut down on the amount we can intake.
  • Pumpkin – A small amount of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) will really help to keep us regular.
  • Mineral Oil -This is not digested but simply moves through our systems and combines with the feces and helps loosen them. Try this if you see us really having trouble with our bowel movements.

If you are doing all the right things and your dog still cannot go, we have lost our appetite, or we have blood in our stool please get us to the Vet.

One of the reasons I love the dog treats that Mum makes is she finds a way to get a little extra health benefit in every treat. I understand it is not a lot but every little bit helps. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the treats smell and taste so good. Time for a little counter surfing.

Thanks for your time.

Finn

12 foods dogs should not eat

IMG_5623If you have been reading my blog you are well aware that I am a champion counter surfer and if your dog has the same capabilities I suggest that you be extra careful about what people foods you place within our reach. If it smells good you can be assured that we will pick it off the counter in a flash. Here is Finn’s list of foods that you must keep out of the reach of your dog.

  1. Grapes & Raisins – These foods contain a toxin that can cause kidney failure.
  2. Yeast Dough – Yeast dough can result in an intestinal obstruction and alcohol poisoning. As a side note check the label of your dog food because many dog foods contain yeasts. In dog food it is not as dangerous but many dogs have allergies from yeasts in dog foods.
  3. Alcohol – These beverages or foods with alcohol can be very danerous for dogs. Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even death can occur if alcohol is given to your dog.
  4. Tobacco – If you are a smoker you must be extra careful around your dog. If we chew one of your cigarette butts, your chewing tobacco, or your nicotine patch it can be fatal to us. Tremors, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and possible seizures are the symptoms.
  5. Macadamia Nuts – These are common in cookies and candies and can really cause problems for your dog. Symptoms are weakness, depression, vomiting, and tremors.
  6. Avocado – This fruit contains Persin, which is very poisonous to dogs. Breathing problems will occur and if enough is eaten death can occur.
  7. Fruit pits and seeds – The fruit is great for your dog but the seeds and pits contain Cyanogenic Glycosides which can poison your dog.
  8. Salt – Large amounts of salt can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and seizures in your dog so please keep those salty potato chips to yourself.
  9. Cat Food – Cat food usullay contains higher fat and protein than dog food. If your dog consumes cat food on a regular basis it may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  10. Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine – These all contain methylxanthine which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures in dogs. The darker chocolate is the most dangerous.
  11. Mushrooms – Be careful on those walks in the woods because many mushrooms found in the wild have toxins that will affect your dog’s kidneys and digestive system.
  12. Xylitol – This is a sweetener found in gums, candies, and baked goods and peanut butter; it can cause liver failure in dogs.

When your dog sees you eating a snack more than likely he will sit next to you with those sad eyes, whine, and open his mouth begging you to share. Please resist and if you think he or she really needs a treat then head to the kitchen, open the refrigerator and get a treat you can trust, a Monkey Bones from One Lucky Dog Bakery.

Thanks for your time.

Finn

Finn’s top 10 people foods that are ok for dogs

IMG_5623Dogs Owners are great in that most of them really worry about what foods we dogs receive and are very careful not to feed us any human food that is bad for us. Since I am a very positive thinking dog I thought I would list a few of Finn’s favorite dog approved human foods.

  1. Peanut Butter – I listed this one first since it is my personal favorite. Peanut Butter is a great source of protein; it has healthy fats, vitamin B, vitamin E, and niacin. You can put peanut butter in a West Paw Tux and it will keep us entertained for hours. Please use unsalted peanut butter which is the healthly kind of peanut butter that we use in the bakery for Peanut Butter, Monkey Bones, Finn’s Chocolate Dream, and Garbage dog treats.  There is now a big issue with peanut butter so please read my blog about just peanut.
  2. Eggs – Another good source of protein. Of course you will find eggs in all the dog treats at the bakery.
  3. Pumpkin – This is a great source of fiber and beta – carotene. Pumpkin can really help if your dog has digestive issues. Of course we have a Pumpkin Spice dog treat.
  4. Carrots – Another high fiber food that is also low in calories. Carrots are found in multiple One Lucky Dog Bakery dog treats.
  5. Chicken – Many dog owners use this as a replacement for dog food if they run out of the regular dog food. This is another great source of protein. Since Knight loves chicken Mum had to name a dog treat after him, Chicken MacKnight (since he is Scottish). This treat also has carrots.
  6. Cheese – If your dog is not lactose intolerant this is a great food for dogs. Duffy, a One Lucky Dog Bakery regular loves cheese so we had to name a treat for him, McDuffin. We love you Duffy.
  7. Yogurt – This food is another great source of protein and also calcium. Make sure you feed yogurts without artificial sweeteners or sugar. Now that summer is almost here we plan on having frozen pupsicles at the bakery made with yogurt and fruit. Stop in after you visit Lemonberry in Medina and of course bring your dog.
  8. Bananas – As long as you don’t feed these in excess (more that 1/day) you will find that your dog loves the smell and taste of bananas. Bananas are a good source of vitamin K and potassium.
  9. Apple Slices – Good source of vitamin A and C plus will help to clean your dogs teeth.
  10. Good fishes like Atlantic Mackerel or wild salmon – We dogs love foods with a great smell and taste and fish is perfect. The added heath benefits of omega 3 fatty acids will keep our coats heathy plus support our immune system.

There you have Finn’s top ten people foods for dogs. If you read our ingredient labels on our dog treat bags you will find all these foods. If there is an ingredient on our treat bag that you do not understand please ask Mum to explain the health benefits of that ingredient. She did a lot of research to make sure that every ingredient had a health benefit plus would also keep the treats tasting and smelling great.

Thanks.

Finn

Why do dogs need a good dog bed?

Sometimes when I’m trying to think of things to write about in this blog I try to think of some of the ways that we dogs and our owners have the same problems. Many dog owners participate in sports activities and they will get a scrape on their arms and knees from contact with a basketball floor, sliding into second base, or from roller or ice skating. Other dog owners are very handy around the house and will get scrapes on their legs or knees from laying a new floor, installing a new deck, or by simply playing on the floor with their children.

Although we can’t play basketball or baseball and install a new floor or deck we are many times playing or simply laying on very hard surfaces and we dogs get those same scrapes on our paws and legs. Here are Finn’s tips on stopping scrapes before they start and for fixing them after they occur.

  1. Just like our owners we need a soft place to lay and I can tell you that I really appreciate a nice soft dog bed and if you have seen me at the store you know it has to be a large dog bed. If you don’t have one or yours is really getting old my suggestion is check out the Heyday Bed from West Paw Design. These great beds from a great USA company are in our store. They are easy to clean, are stain resistant, are machine washable and dryer friendly, and of course they are made in the USA. Stop at the store to check them out.  You may see me or one of the other Deerhounds laying on one in the kitchen.
  2. If your dog gets a scrape or develops a callus you should:
    1.  Apply warm compresses three times a day.
    2. Apply petroleum jelly or a product we have at the store called Paw Rub. The product must be safe because you just know we are going to lick the area if we can.
    3. Watch for infections and if one develops you need to get an antibiotic from your Vet.

Of course since we are feeling bad from the scrape it is really a good idea to make us fell better with a wheat free dog treat from One Lucky Dog Bakery. Sweet Pea & Mint tastes great and is also great for a sweet smelling breath.

Thanks for your time.

Finn

Finn’s top 3 dog health issues

IMG_5623The one thing we dogs can communicate very well to our owners is that we need to be fed. If you walk to the refrigerator and there just happens to be some healthy dog treats from One Lucky Dog Bakery in the refrigerator I’ll bet you can tell from our excited run to the refrigerator that we could really use a dog treat. If you usually feed us the first thing in the morning and around 6 at night I’m sure that you can tell from our excited pacing that it is time to feed us because we are hungry.

If we aren’t feeling well I’m sure your owner has never sat in front of you to ask, where does it hurt? If you are going to properly care for your dog you have to be aware of some health signs and what you should do to help us. Here are Finn’s top three dog health issues and the signs you need to look for.

  1. Vomiting and Diarrhea – These occur because of an infection or because we ate something we should not have. This could be your shoes, clothing, toys, paper, carpet, or whatever is available. Because we will eat just about anything you can expect an occasional problem with vomiting or diarrhea. If these problems occur often or last for more than a day you need to get us to the Vet. Allergies are another issue which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Many times the allergy is from something in the dog food such as wheat or corn. In recent years dog owners have to be more aware of dog food recalls because bacteria in problem dog foods can really cause us problems. There is independent help out there on dog food issues. I like Dog Food Advisor, you can click this link to see the dog food recalls for 2013. This is also a great link to see how your dog food is rated.
  2. Obesity – Just like humans this is a big problem for dogs and being overweight can cause us all kinds of health issues. Looking at us from above you should see our waist just before our hips. You should be able to feel our backbone and ribs without pressing hard. If your dog is overweight you need to walk/run your dog more often and you will need to cut back on our food intake.
  3. Heartworms – Heartworms is a very serious disease where parasites infect the dog’s heart and arteries. Dogs are exposed to the disease from mosquito bites and if the disease is not controlled the larvae will develop into large worms. The symptoms of heartworm disease are coughing and depression. The disease can cause heart failure and death. This disease is easily prevented with injections or a once a month pill.

I did not list my top three in any order, they are all serious and dog owners need to be watchful.

This serious talk has me hungry so I think it is time for me to see if Mom has a Finns Chocolate Dream dog treat for me. I’ll use my sad face on her, it always works.

Big Dogs have advantages

IMG_5623If you have been following my blogs by now you are aware that I love to counter surf. If you are not familiar with the term it occurs when a big dog is able to see what is on the counter or table and more importantly is able to pick it off the counter without even jumping. In addition to having the size to preform this feat it is also important for the dog to preform the feat with stealth. I like to think of myself as a Navy Seal when it comes to counter surfing.

As you also are aware we dogs have a very keen sense of smell and certain smells really get us excited. The smell of coconut is divine to me. Mom uses Burts Bees coconut foot cream and one day when she was in the kitchen baking I ate two tubes of it. As you might suspect Mom wasn’t very happy but she was also very concerned for my health. No problem, it takes more than two tubes of Burts Bees to get this Deerhound down. Problem is I haven’t had any lately, I think Mom stopped using it. I wonder why?

Of course my love and need for coconut didn’t stop. Mom loves to bake Christmas cookies for family and friends and one Christmas she was making coconut macaroons. I thought I was in heaven as the smell of these wonderful cookies awakened me from my resting place in the living room. I convinced Knight to distract Mom (Knight is very good at distracting Mom) and I did my best Navy Seal impression and got to the kitchen while Knight convinced Mom there was a real problem in the bedroom. Mom was in such a hurry to find out what was wrong with Knight that she forgot to block the counter and the prize was mine, 12 coconut macaroons. I was in heaven. Mom was not very happy and to this day she hasn’t made coconut macaroons. I think friends and family are not very happy with me. Mom was really worried about me getting sick but it takes more than 12 coconut macaroons to get this Deerhound under the weather. I must admit that Mom found a big block of coconut pooh in the yard that night.

If you stop by the dog bakery in Medina Ohio you will probably see me relaxing in the back. If you smell and see some dog treats cooling on the counter I would really appreciate it if you would get involved asking Mom about dog collars or dog food and I’ll do my Navy Seal impression. Please try not to laugh as you see me grab a few dog treats.

Thanks.

Finn

This will help dogs with joint pain

IMG_5623Just like humans we dogs think we can live forever and always be able to run and play in the same way we did as pups. Just like humans the years do take a toll on our bodies and just like humans some of us suffer from the affects of getting older more than others. The larger breed dogs like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and of course me have more problems with joint pain as we age. Now that I have reached 10 years old, really old for a male Scottish Deerhound, I simply cannot jump around like I could even a few years ago. It got so bad I couldn’t even jump up on the couch and if you know us Deerhounds you know we love to be couch potatoes.

In 2012 we added a new product in the Bakery, Myristin, and If you have a dog with joint issues I can recommend it highly. The main ingredient in Myristin is Cetyl Myristoleate and it provides the most natural joint supplements to reduce inflammation and lubricate the old bones. It also serves as an immune system modulator. Vets have been using Myristin for dogs, cats, and horses since 1996. We have added horses to our list of satisfied customers this year.  We now have a treat for horses that includes Myristin as one of the ingredients and we have some really happy horse Customers

My personal experience with Myristin is after taking it for two weeks the swelling in my joints was reduced and I could run and play with Jane, Knight, Cookie, and Fergus just like the old days. I can even get to my favorite spot on the couch next to Mom with ease. We have many satisfied Customers who love and recommend this product.

Mom feels the only reason she has the Bakery is to make life better for as many dogs as she can which is why at One Lucky Dog Bakery, “It’s all about the dogs.” Stop in and talk to us about any issues your dog has and I’m sure that Mom can point you you toward a natural solution.

Why is your dog barking?

IMG_7114There are two things dog owners ask about dog barking. The first is do dogs have different barks depending on what they are feeling and two how can I stop my dog from barking.

Do dogs have different barks? The research says yes and if you listen closely you will probably agree. Here are just a few that I know.

  1. If you grab the West Paw throw toy and head for the field your dog will probably get very excited and this excitement will be reflected in the type of bark you hear.
  2. If your dog is a guard dog and a stranger is knocking at your door the type bark you will hear is an angry one not the excited bark you heard when the dog knew you were going to play.
  3. I’m sure you have driven by a dog tied to a pole or a tree and the bark you hear from this dog will be different than the first two, it will be a bark of an anxious, possibly distressed dog who is asking for attention.
  4. If you have a rescue dog who was mistreated this dog may bark whenever a stranger approaches and it will not be the guard dog bark. The bark you will hear from this dog is one of fear.
  5. Sometimes barking is due to the dog just having too much energy.
    What can you do if you have a dog who barks too much? Here are a few things to try.
  • Try using a special sound or a look to stop the barking. You will need to be patient because he may relax at first but then his brain tells him to start over. Give the sound or look again and again until your dog submits.
  • Constant barking can be very stressful and you need to remain calm and patient. Remember your dog will mirror you and if you are upset the result will not be good.
  • If you think the barking is due to too much energy maybe it is time to go on a long walk.
  • Another way to challenge your dog is to get involved in agility or obedience training.

I almost forgot, some dogs bark when them come in the store. I think it is the great smell of the dog treats that are baking. You probably noticed that I never bark for dog treats, it might have something to do with the fact that I can reach them on the counter whenever I want. It is great to be big. Stop in to see me, I am at the store almost every day.

How to read dog food labels

IMG_7114Picking a dog food isn’t easy but I have found three simple rules that really work.

  1. Look at the first 5 foods on the label and if your dog has allergies look for another dog food if you see corn, corn meal, any meat by-product, animal fat, or any grains.
  2. If you see BHA or any food coloring look for another dog food.
  3. Check the label for the feeding rate for your dog. Calculate the cost per day and compare it to $1.59/day for a 22# dog on Orijen which I believe is one of the best dog foods you can buy.

Step three is really important because many dog foods contain a lot of fillers like corn meal which means you have to feed more per day. You will probably find out that feeding the best dog food that will give you a healthy dog only costs 10 to 15% more per day or less than a quarter. This is a really small price to pay to ensure that you have a happy healthy dog, just like me.

As you know another thing that makes me happy is a dog treat from One Lucky Dog Bakery. Time for me to do some counter surfing.