Monday, September 5, 2011

Dog Rocket

I think most every parent has done the water rocket experiment with their child as an example of Newton's third law of motion. If not the classic water rocket, fireworks are a runner up for rocket launching experiments.

Have you seen the screaming pug rocket?

Now, how about a pug watching the screaming pug rocket?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Surfing Doggie

Did you know that there is a surfing championship for dogs?

A rescue dog with a difficult past, Abbie got a sudden start in competitive surfing in 2008. She is an Australian Kelpie and has exceptional balance and a natural love of water that contributes to her talent on the board.

A rather long video, but really shows Abbie's love of the sport:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How Come No Chocolate?

"No, No Fido!!!"

Have you every wondered why dogs cannot have chocolate?

We thought this information on chocolate and its toxicity may interest you:

Chocolate, in addition to having a high fat content, contains caffeine and theobromine. These two compounds are nervous system stimulants and can be toxic to your dog in high amounts. The levels of caffeine and theobromine vary between different types of chocolate. For example, white chocolate has the lowest concentration of stimulants and baking chocolate or cacao beans have the highest concentration.

Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. The high fat content in chocolate may result in vomiting and possibly diarrhea. Once toxic levels are eaten, the stimulant effect becomes apparent. You may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and possibly signs occur when two ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that a little less than one pound of milk chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog.

Types of Chocolate and Toxicity

Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 1/3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when one ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that as little as six ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog.

Baking Chocolate. Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 0.1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 0.3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Two small one-ounce squares of baking chocolate can be toxic to a 20-pound dog. This type of chocolate has the highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine and very little needs to be ingested before signs of illness become apparent.

Generally, within a few hours of ingesting a toxic amount of chocolate, signs of hyperactivity, tremors, panting and excessive urination are seen. Prompt veterinary care is recommended.

In the Garden

One uncommon but potential source of chocolate is in certain mulches. Cacoa bean mulch is made from the hulls of cacoa beans and when fresh has a rich, chocolate aroma. Ingestion of large amounts of fresh mulch can result in chocolate toxicity. To keep your pet safe, keep him away from the mulch until the chocolate aroma has gone. A thorough watering or heavy rainfall often reduces the potential toxicity.


Diagnosing chocolate ingestion is generally based on the owner's witnessing or suspecting ingestion and on physical exam findings. Pets that have ingested toxic levels of chocolate are generally hyperactive, panting, have increased blood pressure and increased heart rates. Dehydration may also occur if there has been significant vomiting and diarrhea.


Treatment depends on the severity of the clinical signs and may include continuous intravenous fluid therapy, medications to help control vomiting and sedatives to counteract the stimulant effects of chocolate.

Occasionally medication to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure is indicated.

Most pets treated for chocolate toxicity recover and return to normal within 24-48 hours of treatment.

Home Care and Prevention

Remove your dog from the source of chocolate and call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has consumed a toxic amount. Your veterinarian may recommend that you induce vomiting in your pet by oral administration of hydrogen peroxide. Transport your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

Home care for pets that have ingested toxic levels of chocolate is primarily aimed at reducing gastrointestinal upset and making certain that there is no access to additional chocolate. Once the nausea is gone, your veterinarian may recommend a bland diet for a couple of days.

Watch for tremors, hyperactivity or seizures. If your pet is not eating and drinking, continues to vomit, has persistent diarrhea or still seems hyperactive, consult your veterinarian for additional recommendations.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shelter Dog For You?

What could be more rewarding than giving a second chance to a homeless dog who is desperately seeking a loving home?!

You could help a dog whose family moved and decided not to take him along, or one who was born a stray in an empty warehouse, or give your love to a dog rescued from an abusive home... Whatever his story, there is a dog out there who wants to put his sad life chapters behind him and write a happy ending with you.

Most pets are in shelters for reasons that are no fault of their own - either their previous owners' issues or plain bad luck. So do not fear that by adopting a homeless dog you will be getting "damaged material". Shelter dogs are often extremely loving and eager to win your heart.

By adopting a rescue dog, you are not only giving a grateful pooch a new leash on life, you will gain a faithful friend who will brighten every day. As a bonus, rescue dogs are usually already spayed or neutered, vaccinated, licensed, and sometimes even trained!

How do you find a rescue dog who is perfect for you?

Here are some tips:

1.Research the shelter and rescue group options in your area. Check the Internet, talk to your veterinarian and pet-loving friends, and do not be afraid to call these facilities and ask questions. Most rescue groups are quite humane and clean, but you still should do your homework to be sure they are right for you.

2. Remember to think with your head. When you are looking at those adorable doggie faces, it is easy to make a decision based purely on what your heart feels. BEFORE, you go looking for the perfect dog, seriously think about the canine characteristics that will be best for your family and home, and stick to those guidelines while at the shelter.

3. List what you are looking for in a dog. Go to the shelter with a plan. Tell the staff why you want a dog, and they will help you find the right one for you. Do you want a jogging partner, a lap dog, a hunting dog, a companion for the kids.....? Do you want a puppy or would you like to rescue an old dog? Small, large? Long-haired, short-haired?...

4. Consider your finances and lifestyle. Pets are a lifetime commitment, and they deserve the best care possible. Will your pocketbook allow you to feed a dog a quality diet, provide him with the supplies his needs to nurture his daily life, and give him adequate preventative and emergency medical care? Do you have plenty of available time to spend with a dog? Do not adopt a dog only to find that you do not have time or money for him. This is never fair to any pet.

5. Take your time when making this big decision. Do not rush into pet ownership. Take the time needed to find the right dog and get to know him. Several visits to the dog at the shelter may be best before taking him home. Also, take the time to be sure your house is ready for the new family member.

6. Visit with the dogs outside their cages. A shelter is a stressful environment. The other animals and all the noise may make a dog nervous and unsocial or over-exuberant to win your attention. Taking a dog outside or to a private visiting room will give you the opportunity to get to know the dog's true personality.

7. Interact with the dog. Do not just say, "He's cute, I'll take him." If the staff will allow you, walk him, play with him, find out if he knows any commands or tricks, give him a snack... Get to know the dog, and let him get to know you.

8. Allow the dog to meet all members of the family. Bring Mom, Dad, kids, even other pets if the shelter allows it. Be sure the dog you are considering for adoption is comfortable with the whole family.

9. Talk to the staff. The staff members are handy tools for helping you learn more about the dog, his likes and dislikes, his quirks, his health, etc. The staff members spend a lot of time with these rescue dogs and have gotten to know them well.

10. Evaluate the dog's health and body condition. Check for discharge from the dog's eyes and nose. Is the dog coughing, sneezing, etc.? Note the dog's gait. Is the dog overweight or underweight? Check for fleas and ticks. Check the condition of the teeth. If you see any issues in these areas, talk to your vet and/or the shelter staff about them. Learn what you can do to resolve any health problems, and think about whether you are willing to do so.

11. Bring needed supplies on adoption day. Be prepared, and help your dog feel welcome. Bring a collar, leash, blanket for the car seat, and possibly a toy on the day of adoption. Try to make your dog's transition as stress-free and calm as possible.

12. Do not expect everything to go perfectly. There will be struggles. Remember your dog will be a little nervous in his new home, and he will not immediately know your expectations. The rules and ways of his previous home probably were not the same as they are in his current home. BE PATIENT as your dog adjusts.

13. Show him your love. Give your new dog abundant time, attention, and affection. This is especially important during his adjustment period. Help him feel wanted and comfortable.