9 Foods to Never Give to Your Cat or Dog

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic to dog and cats, even in small amounts, especially dark or baking chocolate. .

2. Onions

Onions contain N-propyl disulphide which causes anemia and, thereby, jaundice (yellow discoloration in lips and eyelids, as well as skin in light-skinned animals).

3. Uncooked potatoes & tomatoes

Both these plants come from the deadly nightshade family. Eaten raw, they are likely to cause  gastrointestinal distress. Cooked tomatoes and potatoes, however, have no toxic effects. (Eating green potatoes, cooked or not, can cause cardiac issues, hallucinations and paralysis, but as they are bitter this is not likely to be an issue.)

4. Milk & milk products

Most dogs and cats become intolerant to lactose, a sugar found in cow’s milk, and can no longer digest dairy products. Even a few laps of milk or a tidbit of cheese can cause gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea in adult pets. Lactose-free milk or live culture yogurt, however, can be given at any age.

5. Yeast dough

The ingestion of yeast dough can cause severe abdominal pain, intestinal rupture, and even alcohol poisoning as the dough rises and expands and the yeast ferments.

6. Grapes & raisins

Grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs and cats.

7. Caffeine & alcohol

This one may seem obvious, and chances are these beverages would never end up in a pet’s dish, but if a curious animal were to lap the dregs out of a coffee cup or get into an open container of any alcohol, the consequences would likely be an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital.

8. Garlic & chives

Like onions, garlic and chives can also cause anemia and gastrointestinal problems in dogs and cats. In small amounts, chives are sometimes included in commercial cat food. While this may not be enough to cause problems, don’t let your cat mistake your window box of chives for a planter of cat grass.

9. Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in candy, gum, baking products and even some toothpastes. Xylitol can produce seizures  soon after ingestion and liver failure a day or so after, so keep any Xylitol products stored out of reach.


Dog-Friendly Jogging/Running

These running TIPS will help turn your pooch into an endurance animal:

Get Fido Fit

You wouldn’t drag an untrained spouse out for a five-mile run right off the couch — right? And you shouldn’t throw your beloved goldendoodle into the deep end, either. Although your dog was probably born to run, you need to start slow.

Don’t Start Too Young

Puppies shouldn’t run with you until their bones stop growing, since their joints are prone to injury. This takes about nine months in small dogs, while large breeds may grow for up to 16 months. Daily  walks are necessary and needed but daily long  runs are too strenuous for the growing dog.

Easy, Boy!

Before you start, assess your dog’s health and fitness status. If Bowser is slightly overweight or severely out of shape, begin by walking. If you just adopted him,  take him out for some easy strolls to assess his energy and fitness levels.

Don’t Go Long…

You want to ramp up slowly, just like you did when you began running. Start with three times per week for 15 or 20 minutes, and build up from there, adding five minutes each week.

…Or Hard

Just like us, dogs need a five-minute warm-up before they run. Look for signs of fatigue — flattened ears, tail down, heavy panting, and hind legs dragging. If the dog is exhausted, he may sit down and refuse to continue — a sure sign you’ve gone too far or too fast. And if he’s really lethargic post-run, he might need a day or two off.

Environmental Factors

Hot, humid weather, surfaces (sand/concrete/asphalt) and water availability must be considered. Heat stroke/exhaustion are common emergencies and require veterinary care. Foot burn and lacerations often occur  from hot pavement and glass or rocks.


Why Not Try Treibball?

So you’d like to give your dog a good workout, but you don’t have access to a complicated agility course and you definitely can’t have sheep in your backyard for herding. Fear not — direct from Germany comes the newest dog sport, Treibball.

The sport gets its name from the German words “treiben”, meaning to push or drive, and “Ball,” which means, of course, ball. Designed to provide practice in human and canine teamwork while inspiring herding instincts, it’s perfect for any energetic dog that needs a job.

It’s also perfect for less energetic humans. Running an agility course with your dog requires that you keep up as well, but Treibball is much lower impact for the two-legged participants, with an emphasis on verbal or clicker commands.

Unlike herding sheep or cattle, which is for larger dogs only, Treibball is for dogs of all sizes, from pug to pit bull, and it’s just as fun to watch as it seems to be for the dogs involved. There are Treibball competitions, but you can also practice at home. All you need are a large room, suburban backyard, or off-leash dog park, and at least one exercise ball.

Treibball is a game that help build a strong bond between you and your dog. It improves focus and obedience while providing physical and mental stimulation.

To learn more, click here http://www.americantreibballassociation.org/



Common Dog Behaviors Explained

Communication begins with understanding. If you want to build a better relationship with your dog, you can start by working to understand the meaning and causes behind some of the most common dog behaviors. Below are some common dog behaviors and what they mean:


Because dogs have limited sweat glands, most of their body heat is expelled when they pant. It’s their primary means of regulating body temperature.


In nature, dogs bark to raise an alarm at the first signs of possible danger or to herald a new arrival. Barking is an important means of canine communication.


Just as a growing child, your dog will want to chew on toys and other objects to find out about his/her environment,  relieve the pain of a new set of teeth coming in or if he/she is bored. If your dog is full grown, you may also come home to find your couch cushions or favorite pair of shoes ripped to shreds, but it is not because they enjoy the taste. Your dog could be exhibiting signs of separation anxiety or anxiety in general.


Digging is an instinctual activity, written deep in a dog’s DNA. It is especially strong in terrier breeds. Dogs in natural packs will dig to hide food or to uncover food such as small rodents. A den dug in the cool earth can also provide shelter from the heat.

Jumping up

Though it may seem like play behavior, or an enthusiastic greeting, jumping up is a sign that your dog is attempting to assert their dominance over you. By encouraging jumping up with affection, you are reinforcing the behavior.


A dog will bite a person as a way of communicating their current state of mind. What starts out as “playful nips” can escalate if not stopped.  The dog could be reacting out of fear, nervousness or most dangerous,  aggression. There are, however, ways to prevent a dog bite from ever happening if you stay in tune to the dog’s body language. Training classes address these potential problems and can help prevent serious situations.

Separation anxiety

Dogs live and travel in packs, so it’s natural for them to feel anxious when they are separated from their pack-mates. You are their substitute pack.  Try taking your dog on a nice, long walk before leaving him/her alone in the house. Leaving them in resting mode can calm their anxiety.

Once you understand these behaviors, you’ll be better equipped to recognize when your pack’s needs are not being met! When your dog’s needs go unfulfilled, unwanted behaviors begin to emerge. Consider:  Exercise, Discipline, and Affection are the key to a happy pet.