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Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about little puppies. – Gene Hill
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. – Josh Billings
Everyone, including you will be passionate about dogs and the above two proverbs are just two praiseworthy sentences about our loyal friends. There were times in prehistoric period when man used to hunt and live alone.
In due course of time, he found that some animals can be domesticated, one among them, dog. Dogs have always been known as a symbol of loyalty (popularly known as “man’s best friend”), from hunting in the good old days to the recent ones, where they have been able to perform various duties such as guide for the blind people, search for criminals (scent dogs) and as ferocious guard dogs.
They are also known for many health benefits, since they reduce stress, promote exercise by going for a walk and provide unlimited affection and love to their owners. Having a dog as pet has proved to enhance the life span of human beings. In this article, the questions – what does chocolate do to dogs and why is chocolate bad for dogs have been answered in an elaborative way.
Child with a dog health benefits
A child with a canine companion has been proved to be immune against simple diseases such as cough and cold, asthma and allergies. They also learn compassion, responsibility and empathy by taking care of their pets.
Pet dogs do not spank children as parents and a touch of love from their paws can instill confidence. They have been used in case of treatment of hyperactive children, however, with each having to be trained/educated to behave properly with each other.
A dog may have many benefits, but owners stress on the fact – pet is a big commitment and you should be aware of positive and negative aspects, before you go and buy a little pup of your or your children’s choice.
Not all pet foods are the same and you have to be careful in not mixing one food with another. You cannot give your pet your favorite cat food, as it will be highly saturated with proteins and fats and can cause health problems. Also, foods such as avocado, bread dough, ethanol or ethyl alcohol or drinking alcohol, grapes, raw meat material such as eggs and fish, raisins, onions and garlic should never be given to dogs.
Training your canine companion to be the best pet begins with you. If you are sharing every food item that is on your table, it will promote bad manners from both of you. So start the education from the puppy stage. It will be helpful and essential as the pup grows to become the ferocious guard dog, it can be.
It is mandatory that when purchasing your pet food, you have to pay attention to the ingredients. If it suffers from diarrhea, whining, allergies or chronic ear infections and health related problems, then either its immune system has become weak or it is being fed with food containing processed foods, sweeteners, preservatives, colors and artificial flavors. These diets contain nutrients, vitamins and other minerals less than the required intake for daily needs in a dog for maintaining good health.
Taking Care of Pet Dog
Taking good care of your pet as a family member is a challenge. You have to be cautious if your dog is hankering around and you cannot have a plate having ingredients pertaining to its favorite dish. You should also advise children on the advantages and disadvantages of feeding it with ice creams and snacks of any type as they might promote allergies, intolerance etc.
Your infant daughter or son might have fed their pet dog, chocolate as the pet might have asked for handouts or simple wag tail for having a chocolate. Cats do not seem to have fetish for sweet food, whereas a dog will have everything.
If your pet has suffered from eating chocolate, make your child understand the dangers of giving restricted food. The child can argue with questions such as ‘If I can have chocolate, why can’t my dog?’. You, as a parent, should be well-equipped to handle the situation and question. Make your child understand the differences between human beings and dogs. For instance, a dog can run in the snow very easily, whereas a human cannot walk barefooted in the same for more than 30 seconds. You can give similar differences.
Even if you see a dog lying in the park after a fight or in the road after being hit by a vehicle, you would seldom react. Not because you do not have humanitarian values, but because you do not know the approach and treatment. But when you have a dog of your own, you should be aware of the little challenges and jobs which a pet can bring on becoming a member of your family.
What Does Chocolate Do To Dogs?
An alkaloid known as ‘theobromine’ is an ingredient of chocolate. It belongs to the same family as caffeine and is regarded as a stimulant – its various functions are stimulation of cardiovascular system, central nervous system and arouse high blood pressure. Every pet owner has to understand that dogs, horses and cats are generally incapable of metabolizing theobromine. In case of high blood pressure with increased heart rate, your pet can die an untimely death.
What To Do When A Dog Eats Chocolate? – From An Owner’s Point Of View
There is no specific rule as to the amount of chocolate that can result in illness. It mainly depends on the age, size and breed of dog, and the type and level of chocolate consumed. If a larger dog has consumed small amount of chocolate, preliminary first aid and observations are adequate. If it is an older dog and of small size and the amount consumed is more, then you have to take vital steps, as soon as possible.
One of the most important reasons for poisoning of dogs is intake of house chocolates. If you do not know how to handle the situation, call a Vet. You will be asked questions on the breed, its size and the chocolate brand. Then your dog might be administered medicines (hydrogen peroxide) to make him vomit on his own by giving hydrogen peroxide.
If your pet throws a tantrum, vets stress on giving the dogs a bowl full of peanut butter with hydrogen peroxide at the edges. The vomiting may take place soon and in this period, you should not give him any water or food.
If you are one who has successfully treated this problem in the past or you have confidence in yourself to take control of the situation (phone a vet or search the internet for instructions), then remain calm and do the necessary steps. You can make your pet vomit by giving him multiple doses of activated charcoal (this compound of carbon prevents the toxin from entering bloodstream – two table spoons of charcoal mixed thoroughly with water).
There are also aggressive IV fluids which can help excreting the toxins, calming your dog by means of giving sedatives till the vet comes home, medicines to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and remedies for stomach disorder (Pepcid) and for seizures, you have to give anti-convulsants to your pet. Keep your pet hydrated if there is excess discharge of water from the body such as urination or frequent bouts of vomiting, within a short period of time. There are chances of theobromine being reabsorbed more in the body, so frequent walking of your pets is necessary.
You may think that you can stick your finger down his/her throat and make them do the desired thing just like your children, but this activity is seldom recommended. So, you can take the alternate step – two to three tablespoons of syrup of Ipecac can provide the necessary results only in the rarest of cases.
If the case gets complicated and you have called the vet, he/she can ask for a detailed physical report, which can have electrolyte panel, chemical blood profile and urinalysis for checking overdose of chocolate. Blood tests can also be recommended to check concentration, in addition to an ECG for detecting abnormalities in heart beats or rhythm.
Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs
You will feel very happy when you see your child play with his/her pet dog. Children are more affectionate towards pets, as they share the same feelings with chocolate. Since children have more compassion than us, with less knowledge, they tend to share the chocolate with their pets which can have disastrous effects.
Pet dogs, showing unconditional love to their masters and children eat up things they should not, which holds true for puppies. Since canine companions are easily blessed with an acute sense of smell, in addition to being fed, they can also search for chocolate hiding spots. Kindly encourage your kids to throw the chocolate cover in the garbage bin as licking the residual contents in the cover might also lead to intake of unwanted food.
Once a dog has tasted sweet, it will definitely crave for more. Since you know the consequences, you will refrain but seldom will your child. Pets are attracted to what your child will eat and a wag of tail and whine will do the necessary trick. Food poisoning usually occurs in holidays, namely Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Birthdays.
Even a small piece can make dogs suffer from various illnesses such as vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyper excitability, extreme thirst, shivering, seizures and hyper irritability etc. It can also cause permanent kidney damage.
The first signs of poisoning can occur in the first six to twelve hours of ingestion and it is necessary to take vital steps in this stage. Prolonged medication can results in heart attacks, epileptic seizures and finally death.
Prevention Of Chocolate Poisoning In Dogs
A person who does not like an adorable puppy can be said to be one without humanitarian values. Even the cold-hearted will smile or laugh over soft pads and the joy of giving a new born puppy love. There are persons who cherish the glad moments spent with their pet dog. Although there are challenges and you can handle them, the most grieving part will be that you will live longer than your dog.
You always hope that your near and dear ones will be a part of your lives, but pet dogs have a life span of twelve years. Just as you care for older persons in your home, older pet dogs also have very different requirements and may suffer from arthritis and dental problems.
Giving your pet dog the right food in its middle age, which contains antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids might prolong the life span and sustain brain function and reduce changes in behavior.
Although the life span of your pet dog can be attributed to diet, exercise and genetic diseases, you also have to take care in providing the right food and safe environment. A dog can also be prone to diseases such as maggots or lyme disease and it is your duty to provide health treatment.
Dogs should also be trained, right from the initial stages, to behave as well cultured pets. The initial rounds of training for the first year might take its toll on you, but it is worth when your pet grows and cares for your children. You just have to be consistent, instead of behaving like a maniac who can train a puppy to become obedient in a day and sustain the same character for its entire lifetime.
You might have raised many dogs or you would have had a pet in the childhood stages, but kindly remember that each one is different and has its own personality. If you are having difficulty training it, search the internet for bundles of information or the best way will be to contact your local trainer, who can give you the best tips and draw a consistent training schedule for you and your family members.