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Topics - Meg

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General dog chat / How cold is too cold ? Brrrrrrr
« on: Mar 01, 2018, 02:11 »
Spring is 'knocking on the door' and yet to utterly confuse nature it is freezing outside!

If anyone is concerned regarding this cold spate (one hopes a warmer Spring will urge it's presence sooner rather than later!) and its effect on our dogs, there is guidance in the table here:

How cold is too cold for a dog to be outside

The source of the information is adapted from The Tufts Animal Condition and Care (TACC) weather safety scale.

We are fortunate in this digital age that the allaboutdogfood forum runs respectfully and I hope it will continue in that way. The website is a wonderful reference to all and reflects marvellous achievements in a relatively short time.

As a forum member we are able to write responses onto an existing post, or to start a completely new thread.

Everyone has important and both valuable, and valued, input; and consequently this is how we have an opportunity to learn from one another.

A Barbet is more commonly known as a French water dog. It is a curly-coated gundog and is going to be recognised this year by the Kennel Club as a pedigree breed.

The Barbet club of Great Britain has more information about the dog in their website here:

Barbet breed information

General pet chat / 199 Poisonous plants to look out for
« on: Jan 31, 2018, 23:40 »
" 199 Poisonous plants to Look Out For "

Erica Daniels has some great graphics throughout the tables in her article, mentioning almost 200 plants to be aware of - those plants that could harm us, our dogs or our cats.

Plus a cleverly constructed toxicity level for each plant ranging between 1 and 4;  with 1 classed as "Major toxicity" thru 4   described as "Dermatitis, rash or irritation".

There are 2 tables, the first consists of plants which are poisonous to eat, whilst the other has plants poisonous to touch.

And here is the link:

  “Household Food Items Toxic to Dogs and Cats” is the title of an article submitted to the Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology section of the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science by Cristina Cortinovis and Francesca Caloni. It has been reviewed by others including the National Poisons Information Service in the UK.

In addition to the 'usual' items that we know of there are others mentioned such as rotten apples , sloe berries used to make sloe gin, uncooked bread and pizza dough.

There is fairly specific data on raisins and grapes which prove toxic to dogs. It may be surprising to read that renal failure in dogs following the ingestion of raisins may be as low as 2.8 mg/kg and as little as four to five grapes in a dog weighing 8.2 kg!

Other lesser well known toxic items include Hops viz "As home brewing becomes increasingly popular, companion animals may be at risk of exposure".

Also unsweetened baking chocolate and cocoa powder which usually contain more than 14 mg of theobromine per gram.

And the article mentions "increased marketing and use of xylitol as a sweetener in recent years has led to increased risk of pet exposure to this agent".

Here is the link to read the article:

I've noticed that sweet potato is currently a fairly commonly used ingredient in processed dog foods.

Unfortunately, this is an ingredient I cannot feed to a sweet potato intolerant dog. Potato is okay, yet not sweet potato....

 And this adds up to steering clear of complete brands, no matter the variety within the brand, so as to avoid that 1 ingredient.  ???

It would be interesting to hear if there are any ingredients or foods that others may not feed, perhaps for similar reasons?  perhaps through choice?

Are our pets pampered?

Pampered pets! -  the beginning of the title of a recent article appearing in The Grocer. Discussing, amongst other pet food topics & trends, a tendency towards humanising our dogs.....

Here is the link :

Dog news / Growth standard charts for dogs
« on: Oct 07, 2017, 01:12 »
"Tall or short, stocky or long legged. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, each special in their own way, but do they all grow at the same rate?"      is a question currently being asked in Science Daily.

That article makes for interesting reading as we currently monitor how our dogs are developing from puppy to adult by weighing them, using breed specific charts for guidance which though helpful, at the same time seems rather a best-guess approach.

New research has produced evidence based growth standard charts "for monitoring bodyweight in dogs of different sizes", in other words not breed specific; and is akin to a percentile monitoring approach, similar to that used for humans.

The conclusion states "A series of evidence-based growth standards, based on bodyweight, have been developed for male and female dogs across 5 different size categories."

Interestingly these charts may also be used for the growth standards of mixed breed dogs as well.

Here are the links:

Science Daily article

PLOS ONE article

It got my mind ticking over, after one of those particularly tiring days.... :-[ ........that is, the 'lugging around' of multiple bags, packages and cans of various sizes of dog food; and this following on with locating suitable storage areas of the said aforementioned... Phew! 

Yes,  there is no doubt that part of this fairly frequent (and at times fatiguing) scenario may surely be eased, simply by ordering directly from the manufacturers and waiting until the food is delivered. And yet too at the same time I'm happy to support our local pet stores.

Aside from storing dog food correctly,  It simply seems at times that it's the actual weight of the food that is the annoyance, the bugbear if you like.  As expected though food in smaller volumes equates to an accepted greater wasting of packaging; obversely, it's fairly commonplace that greater volume often equates to financial savings in the long run.

That said, however, buying a greater volume may not prove to be cost effective if the result is leftover unused food. Some examples include feeding a dog who begins to dislike the food, or feeding a food that begins to disagree with a dog! Though this same train of thought may be attributed to any food regardless of volume, one might expect the loss of revenue to be greater as the degree of volume increases....

There are different reasons for sure as to why we buy the volume/sizes of dog food that we do. One such reason to consider may be the storage space available. And of consideration too is the type of storage available. Further considerations to ask are whether a larger amount of food keeps as fresh as one might hope?

Optimistically, there's an opportunity to voice our wishes, a possibility to further influence manufacturers to offer healthy dog foods at a cost effective price whilst taking into account valid views of consumers on the forum!

So to all - and of course those who may prefer a particular size/weight/volume of dog food to feed their dogs - here's the opening post asking what 'size' of dog food do you want to feed??

There is a request from David, the website owner, namely:

"I need to ask a quick favour. Someone has kindly been in touch to say that the dog's weight sliders on the site have stopped working but whenever I test them at my end, everything seems fine so I'm wondering how many more people are getting the same issue.

 If you've got a second, please drop by the dog food directory, change the 'dog's weight' slider at the top and let me know whether or not the price per day figures for the foods change

David - having tested this so far on a desktop,  I haven't been successful finding any sequence of test variables which fail. The weight slider appears to be working really well, and the price per day figures change accordingly.
I wonder, is there any other coding that may be influencing price-per-day aside from the dogs-weight variable?

If anyone is able to check the slider, then please could you kindly post how it's working;  perhaps here on the forum or on the allaboutdogfood facebook page which is here:

I've been having a meander into the topic of living with 'man's best friend' and pondering (as you do  8)) on how lucky we are to have been blessed with the acceptance and companionship of dogs that accompany us throughout and on our life's journey.....

This set me to conclude that there must surely be certain times of the day, which are simply, and for whatever reason, those rather more special times, perhaps even the favourite time spent with our dogs. (Or perhaps there are simply too many special times to count! ;) )

 It's so rewarding to be part of such happy gratitude as can be shown by dogs whenever we reappear in their world. For this reason the hands-down winner for me is that first time of each day, when, no matter the circumstances, there is a truly wonderful, loving greeting as though I've been away for ages!!

Does anyone have a favourite or special time of day with their dog?

Thankfully not commonly a question to ask oneself on a daily basis!!!  8)

.....However, that said, there are the unfortunate moments when we may suspect, or even witness, our dogs eating something that may cause us to wonder whether they've eaten something harmful, or which may even be poisonous to them. And on occasions if our dogs are stung, or they go sniffing around in somewhat questionable substances....  :o .....we may wonder can we do?

Rightly if we are unsure or naturally concerned, we contact our vets for further advice.

Vets and pet owners (who are worried their pet may have been exposed to something harmful or poisonous), may also contact the "Animal PoisonLine" which is available 24 hours a day, and run by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS).

The following are quotes from the Animal PoisonLine faqs: "Approximately 80% vets are members of the VPIS and use it regularly for specialist advice on the management of poisoning in animals."
"Whenever your pet has had access to anything you are concerned about and you would like advice what to do next. It could be something they have eaten, inhaled, is on their skin or splashed in the eye. This includes human medicines, overdose or incorrect administration of veterinary medicines, household or DIY products, fuels, garden products, plants and venomous bites."

There is more information here: Animal PoisonLine

In Summer, the higher temperatures make the issue of keeping cool, compounded for our dogs, what with their extra layer - and in some breeds 2 layers - of heat-trapping fur contributing to the problem.

Added to this is an elevated risk at such times, notably in the summer, of our dogs becoming sunburnt; particularly on vulnerable areas like their noses.  And of course areas of skin on dogs with thinner, and in some breeds little, fur.

There are plenty of ways to try to help our dogs keep cooler. Mine like ice cubes, particularly if they have meat juices frozen!

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have a useful article with tips on caring for your dogs in Summer which may be read here:
              Summer dog care

Blue Cross also have a useful article called  How to keep dogs cool in the summer heat

More commonly known as Parvo, Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious viral illness that affect dogs; though fortunately for several years there has been vaccination available to help protect against the disease.

However, occasionally there are cases where dogs have been infected  - this week 2 dogs had confirmed Parvo (both in the N8 area of London).

If anyone would want to check for any alerts of Parvo in the areas frequented by their dogs, there is an 'early warning system', in the form of an interactive online map, available here:

Canine ParvoAlert UK map

General pet chat / PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report (PAW)
« on: Jun 17, 2017, 00:21 »
Each year - since 2011 - the charity called the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals,  (traditionally known as the PDSA), produces a report based on the results of a survey, as a first step towards "identifying, assessing, monitoring and improving the wellbeing of companion animals."

This year's PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report is available from here:

2017 PAW Report

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