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

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.

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.

Are bananas good for your dog?

IMG_7114Since some of our Customers tell us they have heard that bananas are toxic for dogs I thought I would take a few minutes and clarify the facts about this fruit. It is true that many human foods are very toxic for dogs and should never be given to your dog. The good news is that bananas are not toxic for dogs. Bananas are not on the list of human foods toxic for dogs that is published by ASPCA. This fruit can be cooked, baked, or eaten raw. We combine bananas with peanut butter to make a treat call Monkey Bones and this is our most popular treat at One Lucky Dog Bakery. It is true that if you give your dog more than one banana per day it can result in digestive issues. Monkey Bones and our other treats that have bananas contain just enough to give your dog that good smell he or she is looking for plus added health benefits. Bananas contain almost zero fat, are low in sodium, are a good source of fiber, and provide vitamin C, K, potassium, B6, manganese, and folate. I hope that I have clarified this issue for you and in a future blog I’ll tell you about some human foods that should never be given to your dog. Thanks for your time.

Is your Dog Scratching?

IMG_7114Is your dog constantly scratching behind the ears or biting and scratching the legs and feet? The first thing you should do is go get your dog food bag and take a look at the ingredient label. If you see any of the following items on the label you need to look for another dog food.

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Food Coloring
  • Soy
  • Yeast

All of these are very common allergens for dogs and and are the primary reason why the only dog foods that are sold at our bakery do not carry these ingredients. Stop at the bakery and talk with Mom about the problem and I’m sure she can help you and your dog.

It is also possible that the shampoo you are using is drying out the skin of your dog. You should change to a natural shampoo that has mild cleansing agents and thus will not dry the skin and strip the coat of its natural oils. The shampoo should also contain conditioning oils to make the dogs coat shiny and smooth. Check out the shampoos that we carry at the bakery, use these and your dog will thank you after you have a lot of fun at bath time.

The last thing you need to think about is your dog treats. These should not contain wheat, corn, soy, food coloring, yeast or preservatives. There is a fresh batch coming out of the oven and it is time for me to do some counter surfing. These batch is Chicken MacKnight and I love the white meat chicken and carrots in this one.

I hope that I have helped with the scratching.

How to tell if your dog is at the correct weight

IMG_5623As I’m sure you know there are weight ranges published for every breed but the problem is those figures are for an average dog in that breed. The problem is that I’m sure your dog is not average and I sure know that I’m not. There is a very simple test that you should preform on your dog on a regular basis. Simply run you hands down the sides of your dog to feel the ribs. If you feel the ribs and they have a slight padding this is good news. Your dog is probably at the correct weight. If you can’t feel the rib cage then most likely your dog is overweight and you need to make adjustments in the feeding and exercise for your dog. If the rib cage is obvious and has almost no padding then your dog is probably underweight, unless you have a Whippet, Italian Greyhound, or Greyhound. These breeds show their ribs when at a normal weight.

Weight monitoring is important because it is a well known fact that overweight dogs live almost two years less than dogs who carry their normal weight. We want to be around as long as possible to give you the maximum amount of our love.

Dog food labels do not make it easy for us because most give a range of weight for the dog and a range of feeding. The feeding range is usually very wide so you need to do some testing. When you change food brands monitor your dog very closely with the rib test and adjust your feeding rate base on the rib test results. Remember that the feeding rate will be affected by the exercise your dog receives, how old your dog is, and is your dog female or male. Females usually need a lower feeding rate than males. Puppies usually need more food because of the activity level and the growth factor. Older dogs usually need less food because most of slow down with age and simply are not as active.

Dog treats are not a big factor in most of our diets and if they are healthy like the treats that I sample at the bakery they will not affect your weight. Right now Finn’s Chocolate Dream is coming out of the oven (all the treats have a unique smell and I love this one) so it is time for me to do a little counter surfing.

Does your Alpha Dog get nervous?

IMG_5623Hi it’s Finn again; as you may have guessed I am the leader of my pack of deerhounds. I must be the tough guy, strong, and ever watchful for problems because that is my job. Please don’t spread this around but at times , not too often, I become the biggest woose in town. Sometimes when we have a really bad storm with a lot of thunder and lightning I start pacing and panting. Mum knows I am upset so she gets this stuff we carry at One Lucky Dog Bakery. She puts six or seven drops on a Monkey Bone dog treat (I can tell by the smell) and of course the dog treat is gone in seconds. The other dogs think I am acting nervous to get a dog treat but of course I would not pull a trick like that.

The product is called Rescue Remedy. It is an all natural flower remedy (Mum is really into this all natural healthy stuff) and it isn’t like prescription drugs, you cannot harm your dog by giving too much. The label says four drops but since I am a big guy it takes a little more to calm me. Just experiment with the dosage to find what is correct for your dog. I know that after I get my special Monkey Bone/Rescue Remedy dog treat I am able to crawl on the couch with Jane & Mom and just relax.

This flower remedy helps with any stressful situation such as visits to the Vet, loud noises, excessive barking, shock, or mistreatment. If you have a dog like me who needs help sometimes just stop in the store and ask Mom about Rescue Remedy.