Author: Jon (Page 1 of 2)

Can Dogs Eat Cheese? What Types Are Healthiest?

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

Many dog owners are guilty of sharing ‘human food’ with their beloved pet. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this but you should know that there are certain foods that dogs should never eat and then there are some that it’s okay to share. A popular food with humans is cheese because it comes in all different sizes and flavors so it’s likely that our pets will get a taste eventually.

In this article I’ll answer the question of can dogs eat cheese, what kinds of cheeses are best to feed them, the issue of lactose intolerance in dogs, and some possible side effects of feeding your dog cheese.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

The simple answer to the question of can dogs eat cheese is yes they can. However, as with many things in life, the answer is slightly Can Dogs Eat Cheese?more nuanced than that.

Cheese contains calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin B which can be a good addition to your pup’s diet. Some people even use cheese as a way to get their dog to take medication they wouldn’t otherwise eat. Since cheese is often high in calories it’s important to feed it in moderation as it’s easy to overdo it.

Some dogs are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t be fed cheese though. Dogs that suffer from pancreatitis should also not be given cheese because of its high fat content. Even those dogs that don’t suffer from these conditions shouldn’t be fed more than 10% of their daily diet in cheese or any other snack for that matter.

What Kinds of Cheese Can I Feed My Dog?

All cheese should be given to your pet in moderation, but there are certain cheeses that are better than others. Low fat cheeses like mozzarella and cottage cheese are the best, but you can also safely feed them cheddar, cream cheese, swiss, and goat cheese.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese? Cottage Cheese Lactose IntolerantIt’s always best to feed whole versions of these cheeses. That is, avoid any cheeses that have additional ingredients such as garlic, onions, macadamia nuts, avocado, grapes, or raisins. Try to avoid cheeses with high fat or sodium content as these can cause weight gain from the fat or dehydration and vomiting from the sodium.

Lactose Intolerance in Dogs

There are a number of dogs that are lactose intolerant which means their body is unable to process lactose, a sugar found in milk. The severity of this condition can vary from dog to dog so it’s best to start by feeding your pet a little bit of cheese at a time to see how they react to it.

If their system can’t handle it you’ll know pretty soon after feeding because they may display an allergic reaction, upset stomach, diarrhea, severe gas, or bloating. Again, it’s best to start with a small amount of cheese when feeding it to them for the first time.

Possible Side Effects from Feeding Cheese to Your Dog

Cheese, while edible to most dogs, can come with side effects if you feed too much of it at once. These include diarrhea and Can Dogs Eat Cheese?constipation at first and can lead to obesity and gastrointestinal issues if fed too much over a long period of time.

Obesity in dogs is a steadily growing problem and many cheeses come with a high calorie content so it’s best to monitor your dog’s consumption of cheese and, again, give them no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake via this food.

Yes, Most Likely You Can Feed Your Dog Some Cheese

Now you know that most dogs can tolerate moderate amounts of cheese in their diets as long as they are not lactose intolerant or suffer from pancreatitis. You also know that mozzarella and cottage cheese are the best ones to feed your pup, what it means for a dog to be lactose intolerant, and some possible side effects of feeding your pup too much cheese.

For more information check out what the American Kennel Club has to say about dogs eating cheese and check out my articles on what foods it’s okay to feed your dog and what foods it’s not okay to feed your dog.

If you have any questions about feeding your dog cheese or any other food please feel free to leave me a comment below! What kind of cheese is your pet’s favorite, if any?

 

 

 

 

How to Clean a Dog’s Teeth – Tips for Husky Dental Care

How to Clean a Dog's Teeth - Tips for Husky Dental Care

Many people are surprised to learn that ideally they should be brushing their husky’s teeth every day or at least once a week. Dogs in the wild brush their teeth naturally by eating a raw diet devoid of refined sugar and flavored drinks. They also don’t live as long as domesticated animals so their teeth don’t have to last as long as the typical domesticated husky’s life cycle.

Our pets are often exposed to a diet that breeds plaque and tartar if not taken care of though so it’s important to start brushing your dog’s teeth as early as possible. In this article on how to clean a dog’s teeth I will be discussing what supplies you’ll need, how to brush your dog’s teeth, signs to watch out for, and some ways to supplement a good oral hygiene routine.

Supplies You’ll NeedHow to Clean a Dog's Teeth - Tips for Husky Dental Care - Soft Bristled Tooth Brush

When bringing home a new dog there are certain supplies you’ll want to make sure you have. You can get by with a small tooth brush and some doggie toothpaste, but here are a few other things you might think of getting specifically for your new husky’s oral hygiene.

  • Soft-bristled toothbrush with long handle (alternatively a finger brush or cotton swabs)
  • Doggie toothpaste (never use human toothpaste as it may contain fluoride or xylitol)
  • Gauze (a washcloth also works)
  • Dental Toys
  • Dental Chews

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Working with your husky from an early age will make brushing their teeth much easier but a dog at any age can be taught to allow having their teeth brushed on a regular basis. Some dogs can even be taught to brush their teeth by chewing on a toothbrush. For everyone else, however, here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to brush your dog’s teeth.

  1. Choose an appropriate time. You’ll want your dog to be in a relaxed state when you start working with them so ideally after a walk or some strenuous activity that will use up a lot of their energy is best.
  2. First get them used to having their mouth played with. Practice getting your dog to let you put your fingers in their mouth by first gently massaging their face with your hands. This can take multiple sessions depending on how resistant your husky is. How to Clean a Dog's Teeth - Tips for Husky Dental Care - Husky Teeth
  3. Next, use two fingers wrapped in gauze or a washcloth to gently scrub at their teeth and gums. Again, this can take multiple sessions if your dog is resistant to it. Stop and try again later if your dog becomes agitated at any point.
  4. Once your dog is comfortable with this, you can begin using a toothbrush (or fingerbrush) and dog toothpaste to gently brush their teeth and gums. Dampen the brush, lift your dog’s lip on one side and brush the teeth and gums at a 45 degree angle in a gentle, circular motion for the best results. Start by getting them used to brushing the front teeth in short two minute sessions (or even less if your dog is resistant or becomes agitated). Eventually you’ll be able to get to the back of their mouth to reach those back upper molars and canines which are most prone to tartar buildup. If you can brush the inside surface of their teeth great but as long as you’re getting the outer side of each tooth this is sufficient.
  5. After every session be sure to reward your husky with a treat or extra attention. Rewarding good behavior and creating the positive reinforcement that teeth brushing sessions come with good things will help immensely. This is especially important during steps 2 and 3 when you’re getting your dog used to having their mouth played with.
  6. In between teeth brushing sessions give your dog dental chews and dental toys. These are products specifically designed to brush your dog’s teeth as they chew and are a great supplement to a good oral hygiene routine. We try to brush Aura’s teeth at least once a week and give her one dental chew each day. I recommend Nylabone’s Dental Chew Treats but other brands like Greenie’s are also available.

Signs to Watchout For

Even if you don’t brush your husky’s teeth it is important to look inside their mouth on a weekly basis to watch out for bad breath, missing or misaligned teeth, discolored or broken teeth, swollen or painful bleeding gums, tartar buildup along the gums, and any bumps or other abnormalities in the mouth.

If you notice any of these signs see your local veterinarian as soon as possible. These are all indications of periodontal disease which can lead to bacteria growing inside your pet’s mouth, eventually resulting in further health complications in the heart, kidneys, and liver!

Supplementing a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

On top of brushing your dog’s teeth there are a number of products out there designed to supplement a good oral hygiene routine. Below is a list of a few different options.

  • Tooth Wipes – If you’re having trouble getting your dog to let you brush their teeth with a toothbrush there are companies that produce ‘tooth wipes’ which may be good if you can at least get your fingers in their mouth. While not as great as brushing, it’s better than nothing.
  • Dental Chew Toys – These toys are specifically designed with little crevices and brushes to brush your dog’s teeth as How to Clean a Dog's Teeth - Tips for Husky Dental Care - Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chewsthey chew on them.
  • Dry Food VS Soft Food – Dry kibble is better for your dog’s oral hygiene than soft food which more easily sticks to your pet’s teeth. There are even specially formulated dry kibbles that are made to brush your dog’s teeth as they crunch down on it.
  • Natural Dental Sprays – These products are made to be sprayed directly onto your dog’s teeth to reduce tartar and plaque buildup and leave their breath smelling fresh.
  • Coconut Oil – With natural antimicrobial properties, coconut oil has a flavor sure to attract most dogs. One popular way to use coconut oil is to drill holes in a carrot, dribble coconut oil into them, and then freeze the carrot for a few minutes before serving to your dog.
  • Raw Bones – Choosing an appropriate size raw bone for your dog will naturally brush their teeth as they chew. Beware of cooked bones which can splinter and become stuck in your dog’s digestive system.
  • Water Additives – If your dog doesn’t mind the taste of them special additives can be added to their water which will cut down on bacteria and keep their breath smelling fresh.
  • Professional Cleanings – Veterinarians have special training and experience when it comes to identifying, preventing, and treating oral issues in your dog. You should have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year. Many times a vet will look for symptoms during a checkup but if not be sure to specifically request this service.

Conclusion

How to Clean a Dog's Teeth - Aura's TeethBy now you should have basic knowledge on what products you’ll need to clean your dog’s teeth, how to brush their teeth, some warning signs to be on the lookout for, and about the many products available to supplement a pup’s good oral hygiene routine.

In a perfect world you should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day but more realistically once a week if you can get them used to it. At the very least you now know about some products such as dental chews or dental sprays which can be used to help prevent periodontal disease in your husky. For further reading checkout these resources from The American Kennel Club, WebMD, Banfield Pet Hospital, and Cesar’s Way.

If you have any questions or are having a hard time getting your husky used to having their teeth brushed let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help!

 

 

 

 

Newman’s Own Premium Dog Treats Review – Treats for Charity

Newman's Own Premium Dog Treats Review

Anytime you adopt a new dog you’ll want to make sure dog treats are on your new dog checklist for training purposes and to show your dog how much you love them. With so many brands on the marketplace it can be a daunting task choosing what to buy though. Luckily I have compiled a list of the best store bought treats and a list of homemade recipes if you’d prefer to make your own.

One of my recommendations for store bought treats are Newman’s Own Premium Dog Treats which come in an assortment of flavors. In this Newman’s Own premium dog treats review I’ll cover a little information on the company that makes these treats, a description of the treats themselves, their ingredients, whether our husky Aura approves, and finally where you can buy them should you decide to.

About Newman’s Own, Inc.

According to their official website, Newman’s Own is actually a food and beverage company that was founded in 1982 and is owned by the Newman’s Own Foundation, a non-profit organization that gives 100% of its profits to charities. You may Newman's Own Foundation Logobe familiar with their famous salad dressing which was the first product produced when founder Paul Newman started getting requests for the delicious homemade recipe after he gave bottles out as a Christmas present to neighbors one year.

The company eventually expanded into other product lines including dog treats and dog food. One of the best parts of purchasing these treats is knowing that they are sourced from quality, organic ingredients and that all the profits are going to go to charities. Owner Paul Newman unfortunately passed away in 2008 but this great man’s legacy lives on and as of 2017 his foundation has raised over $500 million for those in need.

Newman’s Own Premium Dog Treats

Newman’s Own Premium Dog Treats are biscuit type treats that come in two different sizes, small or medium. The small sized treats are 1″ wide and the medium sized treats are 1.5″ wide. They also Newman's Own Premium Dog Treats Medium Size Quarter Comparisoncome in four different flavors; Cheese, Chicken, Peanut Butter, and Turkey & Sweet Potato. We bought the medium-sized treats as they come in adorable little heart shapes that can easily be broken in half to last longer.

These treats come in 10 oz bags which is a decent size for treats. There is a little air at the top which is normal and there are approximately 60 treats, or 120 halves, in the bag itself. The packaging has a ziploc feature so you can easily reseal them, preventing your dog from knocking it over to get into them (although they may chew through it). They have a pleasant aroma that is similar to cookies.

The only con to these treats is that because they’re biscuits they are crumbly so your husky may make a mess on the floor or you may get a package that has been roughed up a bit and has lots of broken pieces or crumbs. We purchased ours on amazon and I’m happy to report that there were only a few broken pieces in our bag.

Ingredients

Newman’s Own prides itself on using high quality, organic ingredients. They avoid using wheat and corn which are two ingredients that should be left out if possible when selecting dog treats. It’s good to see that the main ingredient of each (Turkey, Cheese, Chicken) is one of the first on the list which means it is very prominent in the recipe. Many other treats use artificial flavoring that appears near the end of the ingredients list meaning there is less of it in the product.

Newman's Own Premium Dog Treats Turkey & Sweet Potato IngredientsIngredients: Organic Barley Flour, (Turkey / Cheese / Peanut Butter), Cane Molasses, (Organic Sweet Potatoes), Organic Carrots, Organic Apples, Chicken Fat, Rolled Oats, Rosemary Extract.

Does Aura Approve?

It’s safe to say that our husky Aura approves of Newman’s Own Premium Dog Treats. We keep her treats all on the top of a Aura the Husky and her Newman's Own Premium Dog Treatbookshelf and when we first gave her one of the biscuits she spent 10 minutes sitting at the bottom trying to figure out a way to get up there. We’re going to have to anchor the bookshelf to the wall now for fear she is going to try to get up there while we’re not looking and bring the whole thing down!

As mentioned before the biscuits do crumble so when using them for training you have to give her a minute to chew and lick the crumbs off the floor in between commands, but she seems to really enjoy them which I’m very happy about.

Should You Buy Them For Your Husky?

Now that you know a little about the company Newman’s Own and their dedication to charity, the premium dog biscuits they sell and what flavors they come in, that they’re made from high quality organic ingredients, and that our husky Aura adores them, you can make an informed decision on whether you should buy these treats for your best friend. Should you decide to buy them amazon has all the flavors and both sizes at a great price.

Have you purchased any of Newman’s Own premium dog treats for your husky? Did they enjoy them? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave your own review there as well!

Click Here to Purchase Newman’s Own Premium Dog Treats Today!

 

 

 

 

 

10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat – What Can Dogs Eat?

10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat - What Can Dogs Eat?

One of the many ways we show our dogs we love them is by sharing delicious foods. Many people will give their dog dinner scraps and other foods. However, dogs digest and metabolize food differently from humans and because of this there are certain foods that are safe for humans but poisonous to dogs.

While there are foods that you should never feed your dog there are others that both humans and their pets can enjoy equally. So this begs the question, what can dogs eat then? Below you’ll find 10 human foods dogs can eat as well.

1. Apple SlicesApple Slices 10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Apples are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. Be sure to cut them into appropriate sized pieces for your dog and avoid giving them any seeds as these contain small traces of cyanide believe it or not. Try freezing the apple slices for an ice cream like dessert for your pup.

2. Carrots

Cooked or raw, carrots are a great low calorie food to feed your husky. They are great for your dog’s teeth and are high in fiber and vitamin A. Be sure to cut the carrots into smaller pieces or feed them baby carrots if they have a small mouth.

3. Cheese

While in most cases dairy products should be avoided, cheese is one exception to the rule as long as your dog isn’t extremely lactose intolerant. Low fat cheeses like mozzarella and cottage cheese are best and should be given in small doses, especially at first, to see if your dog has any negative reactions to it. If they can handle it cheese is a great source of calcium and protein.

4. Eggs

Eggs 10 Human Foods Dogs Can EatEggs are a great source of protein for your husky. Cooking up some scrambled eggs is a great way to get them a good dose of riboflavin and selenium.

5. Green Beans

Again cooked or raw green beans are a great low calorie, high nutrient food to give your dog. They’re also a great source of vitamin C and K.

6. Lean Meats (Chicken, Turkey, & Beef)

Cooked chicken, turkey, or beef are great safe, healthy options that are great for an added boost of protein in your pup’s diet. Be sure not to use any seasonings and to remove any bones which may splinter and get lodged in your dog’s digestive track. Cooked is preferable to avoid any food borne illnesses such as salmonella. Chicken and rice is a great recipe my mom used to use whenever our dogs would get upset stomachs.

7. Oatmeal

Cooked oatmeal is a great treat to give your dog as it is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Be sure to avoid any flavored oatmeal as they often contain unhealthy sugar which could upset your dog’s stomach.

8. Peanut ButterPeanut Butter 10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Plain, unsalted, and made from unroasted peanuts peanut butter is a dog favorite. Peanut butter and peanuts are a great source of healthy fats, vitamin B, vitamin E, protein, and niacin (vitamin B3). Putting some peanut butter in a Kong toy can keep some dogs busy for hours. Be sure not to give them too much though as this can result in unhealthy weight gain.

9. Salmon

Salmon, cooked and boneless, is loaded up with protein, vitamins, and iron. It’s also a great source of omega-3 acids that will keep your husky’s skin and coat healthy.

10. Yogurt

Yogurt 10 Human Foods Dogs Can EatFull of protein, calcium, and helpful digestive cultures, plain yogurt is a great option to share with your dog. Be sure that it is plain yogurt without any added sugar or artificial sweeteners like xylitol. Start with a little at first as some dogs can be lactose intolerant and have a negative reaction to any yogurt.

Additional Resources

There you have it, my top 10 ‘human’ foods dogs can eat! It’s important to remember you should introduce new things into your dog’s diet very slowly as their digestive system is much more fragile than ours. If you’re looking for additional snacks to feed your pooch check out my articles on store-bought treats as well as some recipes to make at home.

For further reading on human foods dogs can and can’t eat check out these resources from the American Kennel Club and Cesar’s Way.

This is by no means a complete list of foods that are safe for dogs to eat. What are some of your pet’s favorite safe foods to chomp on? Feel free to share in the comments below!

 

 

 

Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chew Treats Review

Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chew Treats Filet Mignon Flavor

When bringing home a new dog be sure that a toothbrush is on the list of supplies you bring home with them. Oral hygiene is a very important and often overlooked part of having a husky. Tooth decay can result in nasty bacteria and plaque developing in your dog’s mouth leading to further health complications.

As a supplement to brushing your dog’s teeth you can also give them special treats designed to brush as they chew and fight bad breath in the process. Today I’ll be reviewing one such product, Nylabone’s Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chew Treats, which is one of our top recommended store bought treats. First we’ll discuss the company, then the product itself, the ingredients list, whether our Husky Aura approves of them, and finally some safety concerns when it comes to dental chews.

About the Company

According to their official website, Nylabone has been making long-lasting toys, chews, and dental treats since 1995. Nylabone Company LogoFounded by Glen Axelrod they claim to be the world’s largest pet book publisher and make treats and toys for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Unfortunately not much more is given about the company other than that they are family-founded.

Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chews

Nylabone natural nutri dent dental chews are tooth-brush shaped treats designed to remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth as they chew on them. They come in various sizes; mini, small, medium, Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chew Treat Large next to Quarterand large.

Your dog’s weight will determine which size is appropriate. Mini is for dogs 5 – 10 lbs, small for 10 – 15 lbs, medium for 15 – 30 lbs, and large for dogs 30 lbs and up. We purchase the large size filet mignon flavored ones for our husky Aura and try to give her one once a day. They also come in chicken and ‘fresh breath’ flavors.

Amazon offers them in packages of ten or sixteen for large dogs. It’s very important that you purchase the correct size treats for your dog and that you give them no more than two in one day for reasons I’ll explain a little later.

Ingredients

Nylabone’s dental chews claim to be made with ‘limited ingredients‘. I’m personally not a fan of the fact that wheat starch is the main ingredient as wheat should typically be avoided when selecting dog treats. I would also like to have seen beef (filet mignon flavoring) higher on the list of ingredients.

However, when compared to competitors like Greenie’s, Nylabone’s treats use fewer ingredients so by comparison they do indeed use ‘limited ingredients’. You should only give your dog up to two of these treats per day anyways so they shouldn’t be eating too many of them. They are more of a supplement for good oral hygiene than a treat.

Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chew Treats Ingredients List
Ingredients: Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Natural Flavors, Gelatin, Lecithin, Cellulose Powder, Oat Hulls, Beef (Filet Mignon Flavor)

Does Aura Approve?

Like many rescue dogs, Aura suffers from separation anxiety so when my partner leaves for work in the morning he often gives her a Nylabone dental chew as a parting gift. She absolutely loves these treats and just one keeps her mind and mouth occupied while he makes his exit.

This strategy has been extremely helpful with Aura’s anxiety. It helps her associate his leaving with something good and prevents her from chewing on things she shouldn’t be. These treats are specifically designed to be very enticing to dogs and they are great for their oral hygiene too!

Are Dental Chews Safe For Huskies?

As mentioned earlier, it is extremely important that you choose an appropriate size dental chew for your dog. This is because there have been reports of pets choking on dental chews or swallowing chunks that have not been chewed enough which then expand in the stomach or intestines and become stuck there.

Should you choose to purchase any kind of dental chew for your dog I recommend you watch them closely at first to ensure they chew the treat adequately and don’t just swallow them whole. You should also make sure that they have access to water when eating one of these treats. In my experience it takes quite awhile for Aura to chew one up and we have never had any problems with Nylabone’s dental chews.

Final Verdict

Now that you know a little about the company Nylabone, what their ‘natural nutri dent dental chew’ treats are used for, what ingredients are in them, that Aura can’t get enough, and the choking concerns that come with dental chews you should be able to make an informed decision on whether Nylabone’s dental chews are right for your dog.

I recommend purchasing these dental chew treats and using them with regular teeth cleaning to keep your husky happy and healthy with fresh breath. I want to stress one more time to make sure you get an appropriately sized dental chew for your dog. If you’re not sure feel free to ask me about your particular pup in the comments below!

Click Here to Purchase Nylabone Natural Nutri Dent Dental Chew Treats Today!


 

 

 

 

Foods That Dogs Should Not Eat Under Any Circumstance

Siberian Husky Face

As dog parents we only want the best for our pets and for them to know that they are loved. There are many ways to show our dogs we love them and one of the most popular methods comes in the form of sharing delicious treats. Usually we will feed them with dog treats we purchased from a store or that we have made ourselves especially for them.

Other times, because they’re so adorable, some of us may give them a little bit of ‘people food’ to mark special occasions or reward good behavior, or because they guilt us into sharing with those sad puppy dog eyes. While there are plenty of foods that are okay to feed our dogs in small doses there are certain foods that dogs should not eat under any circumstance.

Below is a list of the top 13 ‘people food’ items you should never let your dog eat and what to do if they get into something they shouldn’t have.

1. AlcoholAlcohol

Alcohol has the same effects on dogs that it does on humans. However, because they are smaller, alcohol will hit a dog much faster and in much smaller doses. Alcohol poisoning is a serious threat to the health of your dog and can result in the need for immediate medical intervention. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as decreased coordination, diarrhea, vomiting, and central nervous system depression which can lead to coma and even death.

2. Avocado

Avocados are a popular food item for people but can have deadly consequences if ingested by a dog. Avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin which is poisonous to dogs causing diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, the sizable seed in the middle is a choking hazard. If a dog is able to swallow the seed without choking it can then become lodged in their stomach or intestines.

3. Candy / Gum

Licorice and other candies that are high in sugar can affect dogs similarly to humans as well. Too much sugar can cause weight gain and tooth decay in dogs and may even lead to diabetes.

Meanwhile many sugar free gums and candies use an artificial sweetener called xylitol which is highly poisonous to dogs. Ingesting even a small amount can cause a drop in blood sugar and lead to liver failure. Early warning signs include lethargy, decrease in coordination, vomiting, and even seizures.

4. Chocolate

ChocolateMost people are aware that chocolate is a big no-no for dogs. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baker’s chocolate are the worst because they contain the highest concentrations of caffeine and other methylxanthines.

Methylxanthines are a chemical compound that can cause abnormal heart rhythm, hyperactivity, excessive thirst and urination, seizures, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death in dogs.

5. Citrus Fruit

Avoid letting your dog eat any citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, and limes because the citric acid can lead to an upset stomach even in smaller doses. The more of it they eat the more potent the effect and it can even lead to central nervous system depression if they eat too much.

6. Coffee / Caffeine

Coffee beans can be very enticing to a dog but those and anything else that contains caffeine are no good for your dog for the same reason chocolate isn’t; they contain methylxanthines.

7. Grapes / Raisins

Eating grapes can lead to kidney failure in dogs and raisins are even worse. Be sure to watch out for things like fruit salads Grapeswhich may contain grapes or raisins as one of the ingredients. Early signs that a dog has eaten too many grapes are lethargy, vomiting, and depression.

8. Milk & Other Dairy Products

Most dogs are lactose-intolerant which means their body is unable to efficiently break down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. For most huskies consuming too much dairy can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues.

9. Nuts

Many types of nuts including walnuts, almonds, and pecans are not good for dogs because they contain a high concentration of fats and oils. A dog that ingests enough may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are especially dangerous and sometimes lethal for huskies resulting in vomiting, lethargy, depression, and hyperthermia (increase in body temperature).

10. Onions & Garlic

Onions & GarlicOnions, garlic, and chives can all cause serious gastrointestinal issues if ingested by your dog. Eating enough of them can cause permanent damage to red blood cells resulting in a condition known as anemia.

 

 

11. Rhubarb

Rhubarb, a fruit like vegetable, can cause a number of different ailments if ingested by dogs. These include diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, tremors, bloody urine, and even kidney failure.

12. Salt

Snack foods like chips or pretzels that have a high salt content are not good to feed your husky. If too much salt is ingested Salt Pretzelsit can lead to sodium ion poisoning. The symptoms include excessive urination, excessive thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, depression, hyperthermia, seizures, and even death.

13. Yeast Dough

If your dog ingests even a little bit of yeast dough it can cause life threatening problems. The dough in their stomach will begin to expand causing discomfort and bloating. If severe enough it can even rupture their stomach or intestines. Additionally, yeast produces ethanol as a byproduct which can result in alcohol poisoning in the poor pooch.

If Your Husky Eats Something They Shouldn’t Have

Now you know some of the top foods that dogs should not eat under any circumstance, but accidents do happen and dogs get into things they shouldn’t all the time.

If you even suspect that your dog has gotten into one of these foods or anything else that could be potentially poisonous remain calm and contact your veterinarian or the closest animal emergency clinic immediately. If this isn’t possible you should contact the official ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 for assistance.

For additional reading check out these resources from the ASPCA and the American Kennel Club.

 

 

Martingale Collar Review, Choosing The Best Collar for Your Husky

If It Barks Blue Martingale Collar

A collar is a necessity when it comes to bringing home any dog, especially a husky. They are a high energy breed and tend to wander too far by themselves so they should be leashed at all times when outside for their own good.

There are many collar variations on the market though and this can be overwhelming for new dog owners especially with everything else on a new puppy or dog checklist.

We have a martingale collar for our husky Aura and it has worked wonderfully for us. In this Martingale Collar Review we’ll cover what exactly a martingale collar is, its advantages, some disadvantages, how to fit your dog’s new collar, and finally where the best place to buy one is.

What is a Martingale Collar?

A martingale collar is a collar that has two loops, one smaller than the other, that tighten around a dog’s neck just enough Martingale Collar Small Chain Loopto be uncomfortable without causing any real damage.

They are typically made of a flat strip of nylon or other material with a smaller loop at the end where you can attach a leash. When your dog pulls on the leash pressure is evenly distributed around their neck.

The martingale collar was originally designed for sight hounds like Whippets or Greyhounds because these dogs have a head shape that allows them to easily slip out of a regular collar.

Advantages of a Martingale Collar

One of the biggest advantages of a martingale collar is that they are designed to prevent dogs from backing out and escaping which often happens with a standard collar. Another advantage is that the slight tightening of the collar when the dog pulls too far provides gentle and immediate feedback, helping to curb unwanted behavior.

The martingale collar provides all the benefits of a slip chain (aka choke collar) but is much safer for your husky. Unlike with a choke collar, a properly fitted martingale collar will not harm your dog. This type of collar is especially effective for loose leash training because it tends to help inhibit pulling behavior.

Martingale collars come in varying widths, 3/4″, 1″, or 1.5″, to accommodate small to extra large dogs. Huskies are medium to large size so we got a 1-inch collar for Aura.

Disadvantages of a Martingale Collar

As with most things, if used improperly a martingale collar can have its disadvantages. If the collar is not fit correctly to your dog it can apply too much pressure and choke them. Martingale collars may not be a good choice for smaller breeds. Martingale Collar With Buckle and Chain RingBecause of their size smaller dogs are more likely to hurt themselves even with an appropriate fit.

Some experts warn to not leave a martingale collar on your dog for extended periods or to only use it during training. Their rationale is that the smaller loop, especially the metal chain kind, could potentially get caught on something and end up choking your dog. If you fit the martingale collar properly the choking hazard is greatly reduced even if the collar were to catch on something.

We leave Aura’s collar on 24/7 but she usually follows us around the house and isn’t left unsupervised for very long. The particular collar we have for her doesn’t have a quick release buckle so it’s a hassle to be taking it off and putting it back on all the time. If you’re worried about the choking hazard we recommend buying a harness or regular collar and just using the martingale for training.

How to Fit Your Husky’s Martingale Collar

Fitting your dog’s martingale collar is a simple but very important process. You will first slide the collar (if there is no buckle) over your dog’s head and adjust it so that you’re able to fit your hand under the collar.

When the smaller loop is pulled tight you should only be able to fit a finger under the collar. For further reading check out If It Bark’s guide to finding the perfect fit.

Where to Buy a Martingale Collar for your Husky

Amazon provides a large array of different martingale collars at competitive prices. I’ve compiled some of the top sellers below for easy selection.

Is a Martingale Collar Right For Your Dog?

By now you should have a basic understanding of what a martingale collar is, the pros and cons of this type of collar, how to fit your dog with one, and the best place to buy them at. With this information you should be able to decide whether a martingale collar is right for your dog.

I highly recommend martingale collars because they have worked wonderfully with our husky Aura. She is a slight puller and I call her a bunny because she likes to jump a lot when she gets excited. She has lunged out quite a few times and I was worried she would hurt herself but because the collar is fit properly it’s just a little uncomfortable to her without causing any damage to the throat.

Do you have any experience with martingale collars? If so feel free to share in the comments below! I’d also be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.

 

 

 

 

How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash – Easy Loose Leash Training

Walking in the Woods with Husky

In my opinion one of the best things about having a husky is they’re a great excuse to get out of the house and go for a walk! Our husky Aura is much calmer than most but she still enjoys the adventure of new sights and smells that come with exploring our neighborhood and nearby parks.

At the time of this writing it’s the middle of summer here in Phoenix, Arizona so it’s usually too hot to go outside for long stretches of time, but when fall rolls around the weather will be more accommodating. This gives us plenty of time to teach Aura some good leash manners. Enjoying walks with your best friend is much more enjoyable when they’re not constantly trying to pull you to the ground in pursuit of the countless distractions of the world.

We’re currently going through a six-week training course through Petsmart and this week we’re learning about loose leash training. This is essentially getting your dog to walk next to or slightly in front of you while keeping slack on the leash. As usual I’ve done the research and assembled the best tips for how to train your dog to walk on a leash.

First we’ll cover the necessary things you’ll need to purchase before getting started, then we’ll go over loose leash training, troubleshooting some typical challenges that might arise, and finish with some additional parting tips.

Loose Leash Training Supplies

If you used our new dog checklist you should have everything you need already but if not don’t worry because I’ll cover that information here as well.

The first thing you’ll need is a suitable collar for your husky. I recommend a martingale collar as this is what we have for Aura and it works wonderfully. Martingale collars have an extra loop in them that tightens just enough to be uncomfortable if the dog pulls on it but can’t tighten so much that it damages their throat like a choke chain collar can. This functionality also keeps your dog from slipping out of the collar.

Pink 5 Foot Leash

Next you’ll need an appropriate leash for your pet. For loose leash training purposes a length of less than 6 feet is ideal. Any longer and it’s possible for your dog to get enough force running that they can hurt themselves. We have a pink leash that matches Aura’s collar and is just about 5 feet long.

The last thing you’ll need is something to help you hold your dog’s attention. In most cases dog treats are great but you can also use a favorite toy if your husky responds well enough to it. If you’re planning on purchasing treats from a store check out our top recommendations or if you’d rather make your own look into our recommended homemade recipes.

How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Here is a step-by-step process for loose leash training your husky.

  1. Put the collar and leash on your dog. If your dog knows how to sit make them sit calmly before you put their leash on. If your pup isn’t used to wearing a collar or leash just let them hangout inside with both on, leash trailing behind, to get used to the sensation. Giving them treats and praise at this time will associate positive emotions with the leash and collar.
  2. Decide which side of you, left or right, your dog will walk on. It doesn’t really matter which side you choose, just that you’re consistent with it. Traditionally working dogs such as police and guide dogs are taught to walk on the left.
  3. With the dog on your preferred walking side, give the command ‘let’s go’ and begin walking forward. You can also use ‘follow me’ or any other string of words you’d like but again, remain consistent.
  4. As soon as your dog gets too far ahead and pulls on the leash, immediately turn around and take two steps backward. Careful not to yank on the leash, pull gently. You can also give an audible ‘uh-uh’ as soon as they pull on the leash to help them know what they’re doing wrong.
  5. Lure your dog back to your preferred walking side with a treat or toy. Anytime your dog looks up at you give them a treat or toy. This will teach your dog that they are rewarded for staying near you and for keeping slack in the leash.
  6. Again give the command ‘let’s go’ and begin walking in your original direction. From here you’ll simply repeat the last three steps until you reach your destination. This can take a long time depending on how persistent your dog is on pulling at the leash. Stay even more persistent with it though and your dog will learn that they need to pay attention to you to know where to go.
  7. Give your dog treats every few seconds if they are walking near you to reinforce the good behavior. As your pup gets the idea of what’s expected of them you can give treats out less and less frequently.

Some Typical Challenges And What To Do

Walking Husky in the Woods Short LeashFor some people their dog may trail behind or stop altogether during a training session. If this is the case try to lure them into catching up with a high value treat. If that doesn’t work bend down to your dog’s level and many times they will naturally want to come closer to you.

Some dogs love to bark and huskies especially tend to have a unique howl language they speak in. We’re lucky that Aura doesn’t howl too much, she does just enough for it to be ridiculously adorable. Some dogs are more talkative than others though and if you find your dog likes to howl or bark a lot simply stop where you’re at and don’t move until they stop. You can also give them a treat as soon as they do stop to reinforce the good behavior of not barking.

Often you’re not in a position to control outside distractions while walking your dog. They may become infatuated with something or someone outside of your control and in this case you will want to walk in the opposite direction of whatever the distraction is. Walking at a brisk pace will often help prevent your pup from getting distracted in the first place.

Final Tips

  • Before you begin your training session try to get your dog tired by playing with them or letting them run around in the Man walking red huskybackyard. A tired dog is less likely to pull and also less likely to bark.
  • Keep the leash short at first, forcing your dog to your preferred side. If your dog is progressing well and not pulling, gradually let out more slack.
  • Try a short walk that lasts about 5 minutes at first and then gradually work your way up to 15 minute sessions.
  • As you anticipate your dog about to pull on the leash, give an audible ‘easy’ to let them know they’re about to do something you don’t want.
  • If your husky is especially difficult to work with consider getting a chest-led (aka no-pull) harness or head halter which are more restrictive on the dog, inhibiting pulling behavior. If you go this route you should also consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer.
  • I mentioned it before but it’s worth repeating; be consistent and reward good behavior.

Further Reading

Hopefully by now you have basic knowledge on what it takes to loose leash train a dog, everything from the necessary training supplies to dealing with some typical challenges. For more information on training your dog to walk on a leash check out these resources from WebMD and The American Kennel Club.

 

 

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Review – Healthy Treats for Healthy Huskies!

Zuke's Mini Naturals in Six Different Flavors

When we adopted our Siberian husky Aura we knew it would be a huge yet rewarding responsibility. We want to be able to take her with us wherever we go and to do that she needs the proper training. We are training her through the positive reinforcement of good behavior. To do this we use treats as high value rewards when teaching her new tricks.

In our article on the best healthy dog treats you can buy in stores Zuke’s Mini Naturals is one of our top recommendations. In this Zuke’s Mini Naturals Review we’ll discuss the history of the company, the products, what ingredients are used in those products, how Aura feels about them, and finally we’ll talk about some potential controversy regarding the company.

About the Company

According to their website, Zuke’s was started in 1995 after the owner of the company had an epiphany about his dog. Zuke's Logo - Fuel the LoveWhile on a hike he fed his pup a piece of an energy bar and gave the dog enough energy to finish the trip. That’s when he realized that dogs need healthy treats for energy just like humans do.

So, he started the company in Durango, Colorado and named it after his dog, Zuke. To this day the company is based in Durango and is known for contributing profits to cancer research in cats and dogs.

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Products

Zuke's Mini Naturals Size Comparison to Quarter and HandZuke’s Mini Naturals are small cylindrical treats that are intended to be used as high value rewards when training pets. They come in various sizes and six enticing flavors; Roasted Pork, Roasted Chicken, Savory Salmon, Fresh Peanut Butter, Delicious Duck, and Wild Rabbit.

Because the treats are so little even the smallest bags have plenty of treats to get your pup through multiple training sessions without breaking the bank. With each treat being under 3 calories you can feed your pet plenty of them without worrying about spoiling their dinner. Each treat has 30% moisture which gives them a distinctive aroma to attract any pet.

Ingredients

We recommend Zuke’s mini naturals because their recipes use a variety of high quality ingredients. They never use corn, wheat, or soy which can be harmful to your pet. They also avoid using any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or by products in their recipes. Zuke's Mini Naturals Ingredients

(Pork / Peanut Butter / Duck / Rabbit / Chicken / Salmon), Ground Rice, Ground Barley, Malted Barley, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Tapioca, Cherry, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Rosemary, Tumeric, Sorbic Acid (preservative), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin E, Zinc Proteinate, Citric Acid, Mixed tocopherols (preservative).

Notice that the first ingredient of each recipe matches its flavor. The pork flavor’s first ingredient is pork, the peanut butter flavor’s first is peanut butter, and so on. This is fantastic as many other treats on the market use artificial flavoring and byproducts as the main ingredient to achieve their flavors.

Does Aura Approve?Zuke's Mini Naturals Aura Approved

The first mini naturals that we bought for Aura was a 6oz bag of rabbit flavor. We purchased them right before going to her first professional training session and she immediately took to them. They were able to keep her attention even in a store full of new sights and smells. Now whenever she hears the rustle of the packaging she comes running!

A Bit of Controversy

Back in 2014 Zuke’s was acquired by pet food giant Nestle Purina, putting many Zuke’s customers on edge. Zuke’s claims that their recipes and practices have not changed in any way following the purchase but many consumers are still not convinced. This is because Nestle Purina has been at the center of many controversies over the years including a lawsuit alleging Purina sold contaminated dog food leading to countless pet deaths.

Nestle Purina LogoWe understand that many pet lovers are wary of Zuke’s parent company but as of this writing Zuke’s itself hasn’t been involved in any scandals or controversies. As long as they continue to make quality products we will continue purchasing their treats. Unfortunately these days the only way to make absolutely sure you aren’t feeding your pet contaminated treats is to make them at home so you can personally source every ingredient.

Last RemarksZuke's Mini Naturals in Treat Bag

Now that you know a little more about the company, what products they offer, the ingredients in those products, that Aura absolutely loves them, and a little about the Nestle Purina controversy, you can make an informed decision on purchasing these treats for your best friend.

We highly recommend buying them. They are made from high quality ingredients right here in the United States and are bound to make any husky happy to work for them.

Click Here to Purchase Zuke’s Mini Naturals Today!

 

 

 

 

Alaskan Husky VS Siberian Husky – What’s the Difference?

Siberian Husky VS Alaskan Husky

While learning about huskies I discovered that there are two major breeds, Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies. At first, I thought the obvious difference is that one breed hails from Alaska and the other Siberia. This is true, however there are a few other things that differentiate these two.

Husky History

Siberian Huskies, like our husky Aura, are a purebred dog that was domesticated by the Chukchi people and developed as working dogs to help them survive the unforgiving climate of Siberia. The Siberian husky is part of the ‘spitz‘ family and has been officially recognized by The American Kennel Club since 1932.

Alaskan Huskies started popping up in 1909 when the first Siberian huskies were brought to Alaska as racing dogs. To make the Siberian husky more effective at pulling sleds they were bred with other working dogs like German Shepards and Border Collies. This resulted in the birth of Alaskan Huskies which are basically mixed dogs and are not recognized by The American Kennel Club as a breed.

Physical Attributes of Alaskan VS Siberian Huskies

Because Alaskan Huskies are mixes they can vary quite greatly in appearance from dog to dog. That being said generally Black Husky with Heterochromiamales will be around 40 to 60 lbs and females around 35 to 55 lbs. They are medium, sometimes large, sized dogs and can get up to 26 inches tall. They tend to have lean bodies with long, slender legs. Their fur coats come in a variety of different colors based on what they’re mixed with and predominantly have brown eyes. They are usually taller and faster than Siberian huskies, making them even better sled dogs.

Since they are purebred, there is usually more consistency in the physical appearance of Siberian huskies. Males tend to be around 45 to 60 lbs with the females coming in between 35 and 50 lbs. They are generally a medium-sized dog, about 18 to 24 inches tall. Most Siberian huskies have a black and white coat but there are also white, gray, and red huskies as well. Usually they will have brown or blue eyes but some have heterochromia which means that one eye is a different color than the other. Our husky Aura has a matching set of beautiful blue eyes.

Both dogs sport a two layer coat that keeps warmth in during frigid weather and reflects heat when it is sunny. It’s hard to believe but Aura loves to go out sunbathing in the backyard here in Phoenix Arizona where temperatures often break 100 degrees Fahrenheit!

Behavior of Alaskan VS Siberian Huskies

In terms of behavior Alaskan and Siberian huskies are both very similar. They’re generally very friendly dogs and love belonging to a pack. Since Alaskan huskies are mixed with other breeds they tend to be slightly less hyper than Siberian huskies. Our husky Aura is full Siberian but lacks the relentless energy of most dogs her breed. White Alaskan Husky Standing

Huskies are known to love exploring and will easily get lost if you don’t keep them on a leash. Digging is another favorite hobby of theirs and they will dig up your yard for fun or to escape the confines of their enclosure. They are very intelligent creatures so it’s important to train them from a young age to reinforce good behavior.

Huskies tend not to bark but instead howl in unique and often amusing ways. These dogs are known for being very loud and talkative and there are plenty videos on the web that showcase this trait of theirs. One thing of important note with these dogs is that they have a predator’s instinct and will chase down and kill small animals without thinking twice. It’s important to introduce them to smaller pets in a safe and controlled environment.

The Simplest Explanation of Alaskan VS Siberian Huskies

Hopefully by now you understand a little more about the minor differences between Alaskan and Siberian huskies. The simplest explanation is that Siberian Huskies are a purebred breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and Alaskan Huskies are husky mixes that were bred to make more efficient sled dogs.

There is also a breed of dog called the Alaskan Malamute that are often mistaken as huskies and vice versa. While Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies are basically the same breed they are separate from malamutes despite the resemblance. For more information check out this article by siberianhusky.com.

Between the Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

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