Do Dogs Have Taste Buds?

Do Dogs Have Taste Buds?

As seen in PetMD

Our canine companions use their sense of taste in combination with their other senses to explore the world around them. Sometimes it seems like dogs will eat anything, from garbage and fecal matter to undigestible items like toys and fabric. And other times dogs may be very picky about their food.

So how do they determine what tastes good to them? Do dogs have taste buds like we do? Why do dogs want to eat things that we would never eat?

Do Dogs Have Taste Buds?

Yes, dogs have taste buds that give them the ability to taste things. Taste buds are found on papillae—small, visible bumps on the tongue. Dogs have about 1700 taste buds, while human mouths have approximately 9000.

Puppies develop their ability to taste after a few weeks of life. This is one of the earlier senses that develops, even before hearing and vision. As dogs mature in age, their number of taste buds decreases, along with a decreased sense of smell, which may play a role in picky eating or decreased appetite.

Each taste bud has an ability to sense all tastes if the flavor is strong enough. Taste buds in different areas on the tongue are slightly more sensitive to certain flavors in comparison to others. Bitter and sour taste buds are located toward the back of the tongue. Salty and sweet taste buds are found toward the front of the tongue.      

Dogs have specific taste receptors that are fine-tuned to meats, fats, and meat-related chemicals due to their ancestral diet being primarily comprised of meat. The reduced number of taste buds in dogs as compared to humans may explain their decreased ability to distinguish between subtle flavors, like the differences between types of meat (chicken, pork, or beef) or different berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries).

Dogs also have taste buds that are fine-tuned to water. This ability is also seen in cats and other carnivores, but not in humans. Special taste buds on the tip of a dog’s tongue react to water as they drink and become more sensitive when thirsty or after eating a meal, which encourages them to drink more water.

Dogs’ Taste Buds vs. Their Sense of Smell

Taste is directly linked to smell, and an item’s scent can enhance its taste. The smell of a food item plays a much larger role in how dogs experience the flavor of their food. 

Dogs also have a special scent organ along their palate that helps them “taste” through smell. When a dog smells something, they capture molecules that tell them how a food will taste. Dogs can taste without smelling, but not as well as people, due to fewer taste buds. However, their sense of smell is much more defined. They intuitively know when food isn’t safe for consumption by combining their senses of smell and taste.

Can Dogs Taste Spicy, Sweet, Sour, and Salty Food?

Dogs have receptors for the same taste types as humans, including spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty foods. However, dogs never developed the highly tuned salt receptors that humans have. This is a result of their heavily meat-based ancestral diet being naturally high in salt. This meant they did not need to seek additional salt sources in their diet and have less of an affinity for salty foods.

Sweet flavors are especially preferred by dogs, which likely stems from their ancestral diet including wild fruits and vegetables. However, this does not mean that they should overindulge in pet-safe fruits and veggies. Too much sugar is detrimental for dogs, so sweet produce should be offered in moderation. Dogs should not have other sugary human foods.

What Tastes Bad to Dogs?

Dogs generally avoid salty, spicy, sour, or bitter tastes. Many of these may be unsafe to eat. The presence of toxins or spoilage from bacterial contamination will cause food to taste bad to dogs.

This is why many chew-deterrent sprays for dogs include bitter ingredients. Dogs may also reject many medications due to their bitter tastes.

The burning heat from spicy foods is caused by a compound called capsaicin and can cause physical reactions in dogs despite an inability to detect much of the flavor.

Is your dog digging up your yard?

By Tonya Wilhelm as seen in Animal Wellness

By Tonya Wilhelm as seen in Animal Wellness

Why dogs like digging holes, and how you can help prevent Fido from turning your yard into a moonscape.

If you’ve spent a lot of time and money turning your yard into a beautifully-landscaped oasis, you’re bound to feel frustrated if your dog’s favorite pastime is digging unsightly holes in your flower beds and lawns. Stopping this behavior includes understanding why he’s doing it, then redirecting the digging toward less destructive activities.

3 reasons why dogs dig

There are a few possible reasons why your dog is digging up your yard. It’s important to do a little detective work to find out which one applies to your own dog.

1. For entertainment and the pure joy of digging

Dogs can be silly creatures that like to have fun at every turn. If your dog is left alone in the yard for long periods, he’s likely to get bored. You may think your yard is the perfect place for him to watch the neighbors, run around, or lie in the sun, but he may find this boring after a few minutes and start resorting to less favorable activities to pass the time.

And the fact is, dogs enjoy digging. You may think this is strange, but you’ve probably seen children digging big holes in beach sand just for the fun of it. Dogs are often regarded as having the mental capacity of a human toddler, and this can be seen in the way they respond to their environment. In short, digging is just plain fun!

What to do: Instead of trying to teach your dog not to dig, teach him where and what to dig. For example, sandboxes aren’t just for children; dogs can learn to love them, too. Purchase a child’s sandbox, kiddie pool, or make one from scratch. Place it in a shady location or purchase a shade sail to place over the sandbox. Fill it with natural, non-toxic sand and train him to use it (see sidebar.

If you aren’t able to create a special digging spot for your dog, hide his toys instead of burying them. Start with your dog on a “stay” behavior as you place a favorite toy or treat 5′ away from him. After you set it down, tell him to “find it”, and encourage him to get the prize. Once he grabs it, reward him with a bonus treat and play a short game. Repeat this process. Gradually, increase the distance at which you are placing the prize until it’s just out of sight. At this stage, your dog is still watching where you place the toy or treat; but once he’s a champ at this part, start hiding the items when he’s not looking and tell him to “find it” as you encourage him to hunt for the toy or treat. Once again, reward him for his successes and play a quick game.

When your dog understands this concept, you can hid various toys and/or treat-filled toys around the yard and ask your dog to “find it” when you let him out. This will give him an appropriate activity to engage in instead of digging up the yard.

2. He’s trying to stay cool or warm up

Dogs also dig holes in an effort to get warmer or cooler. If a dog is left outside in summer heat, he may learn that the deeper he digs, the cooler it gets. In the winter, it’s the opposite; the deeper he goes, the warmer he feels. In this situation, your dog’s digging is simply caused by a desire for more comfortable temperatures.

What to do: The solution to this digging problem is simple. Bring your dog indoors when the weather is too cold or too hot for him. Additionally, in warm sunny weather, make sure he has access to shade, fresh water, toys filled with frozen food, or even a child’s pool to splash in. In the colder weather of fall and winter, provide him with cozy dog apparel such as a coat or warm sweater, and a set of doggy boots – but be sure to keep an eye on him when he’s outside so he doesn’t get his garments caught on anything.

3. He’s hunting critters

Even our smallest lapdogs love a good hunt-and-dig game. Dogs are known for their incredible sense of smell. It is estimated that their sense of smell is at least 10,000 times better than ours.

So you may notice your dog with his nose to the ground, moving back and forth across your yard. Before you know it, he’s digging furiously at the dirt until he’s up to his elbows. If he’s a good hunter, he may retrieve a chipmunk, mouse, or even a beetle, toss it up in the air, and possibly roll on it or even eat it. While he is super proud of his accomplishment, you stand there staring at the mess he has created!

What to do: There are a few ways to rectify this issue. First, depending on the critters your dog is hunting, one option is to humanely trap and remove them from your yard. Do not use any kind of poison – remember that poisons don’t distinguish between “pests”, dogs, cats, and children.

If this is not an option, calmly redirect your dog to a more appropriate game, such as the “find it” game mentioned above. If he is obsessed with his hunt, you may need to leash walk him for a little while, possibly in another part of the yard. This will likely be temporary as the critter moves along and your dog forgets about the scent.

Whether your dog is bored, feeling too cold or hot, or is on the hunt for the chipmunks family nesting in your yard, it’s important to narrow down the reason for his digging so you can find ways to stop it. In many cases, preserving your hard-earned landscaping is as simple as ensuring your dog is comfortable, has enough to keep him occupied, and isn’t spending too much time in

Turmeric — a supplement worth considering for your dog

Turmeric — a supplement worth considering for your dog

By Theresa W. Fossum, DVM, MS. PhD, Diplomate ACVS as seen in Animal Wellness magazine

A spice renowned for its color and flavor, a turmeric supplement offers noteworthy health benefits to dogs as well as humans.

If you are a fan of curry, you have probably heard of turmeric. Also referred to as curcumin, which refers to the key active ingredient that gives this spice its distinct color and flavor, turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that is native to South Asia. In India, this centuries-old plant is commonly used for skin and digestive issues as well as aches and pains. Turmeric offers a variety of wellness benefits to dogs as well as humans, making it a supplement that’s definitely worth consideration.

TURMERIC’S POTENTIAL HEALING

BENEFITS

Turmeric has been recommended for reducing chronic inflammation in humans and dogs1 and may help canines with mobility issues associated with aging or disease. The same article1 cited Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, medical director the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona, as saying that turmeric is “one the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available”.

Turmeric can also help with anxiety and senility, and may even have a positive effect on some cancers. Although there is so far very little research on the use of turmeric in dogs, one study looked at the effects of turmeric root and rosemary leaf on canine cancer cell growth in cell cultures.2 While additional research is needed, the study suggested that turmeric root and rosemary leaf had a synergistic effect in killing certain tumor cell lines.

Another author has suggested that the heat used in producing kibble generates carcinogenic chemical compounds, which turmeric supplements can counteract.3

Hint: It’s safe to give turmeric to dogs in reasonable doses; in fact, it is often added to kibble to enhance its color.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF TURMERIC?

Adverse side effects are uncommon when turmeric is given in appropriate amounts. If they do occur, they may include gallbladder issues, dizziness, bruising, upset stomach and/or nausea, and iron deficiency.

Turmeric stimulates gallbladder flow by increasing the organ’s contractions; it may be beneficial for some gallbladder diseases but should be avoided if there is a history or potential for gallstones. Turmeric may also delay blood clotting and should therefore be used with caution in animals with a history of bleeding disorders. Reports have indicated that turmeric may be beneficial for people with diabetes by stabilizing blood glucose levels; if your dog is diabetic, however, talk to your veterinarian before adding this (or any) supplements to his diet.

Hint: Iron deficiency is associated with the binding of ferric iron to turmeric in the gut when high doses are given.

HOW MUCH TURMERIC SHOULD I GIVE MY DOG?

As with most supplements, the dosage of turmeric a dog should receive depends on his or her weight. Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all, given that different breeds can weigh as little as a pound or two up to 150 pounds or more.

I generally recommend giving turmeric powder to dogs because you can measure out exactly how much he should receive. Turmeric capsules give you less ability to administer a specific amount.

Turmeric powder can be made into a paste (mixed with lecithin, MCT oil, or olive oil) or added to your dog’s food. If you are adding it to dry kibble, moisten the kibble first and then mix the powder in.

Following are the recommended guidelines for adding a powdered form of turmeric to your dog’s food, up to three times a day. I would suggest you start with one or two doses at the low end, and increase them once you find your dog tolerates it.

  • 1-10 lbs: 1/16 to 1/8 tsp
  • 10-20 lbs: 1/8 tsp to 1⁄4 tsp
  • 20-50 lbs: 1⁄4 tsp. to 1 tsp
  • 50-100 lbs: 1 tsp. to 2 tsp
  • More than 100 lbs: 2 tsp

Hint: Most turmeric capsules have been formulated for humans and may contain higher amounts of turmeric than dogs can typically tolerate.

While more research needs to be done on the benefits of turmeric in dogs, it’s certainly a supplement worth adding to your canine companion’s health regime. Talk to your holistic or integrative veterinarian about what turmeric might be able to do for your dog, especially if he’s older and/or has mobility issues, or is undergoing treatment for cancer.

References:

  1. Waggoner LL: Spice it up! If your dog suffers from chronic inflammation or stiffness, try adding turmeric to his diet, Herbal Medicine, Dec 2014
  2. Levine CB, Bayle J, Biourge V, And Wakshlag JJ: Cellular effects of turmeric root and rosemary leaf extract on canine neoplastic cell lines, BMC Veterinary Research 2017: 13:388
  3. Tweed V: Pet supplement guide: Essential nutrients for optimal health in cats and dogs of all ages. Natural Pet, Nutrition for dogs and cats. March 2014
  4. Smith TJ, Ashar BH: Iron deficiency anemia due to high-dose turmeric. Cureus 2019:11:1; e3858

8 Simple, Cost-Efficient Ways to Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

This article was verified and edited for accuracy by Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM.

As seen in PetMD

Is Your Dog Bored?

Whether the kids have gone back to school, the adults are away all day at work, or the daily routine of walks and play-time have just lost their appeal, finding new ways to occupy your dog is essential. Dogs need both physical and mental stimulation to help keep them healthy and happy. And it’s no secret that bored dogs tend to get themselves into trouble.

“My philosophy is a tired dog is a good dog,” says Caren Malgesini, a vet assistant at PAWS, an animal rescue organization in Lynnwood, Wash., and the owner of Caren’s Canine Counseling dog training business in Everett, Wash.

But entertaining your dog doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on doggie day care, a dog walker, or pricey toys. With a little creativity and insight into your dog’s personality, you can find, or even make, the right toys to make playtime more fun for both of you, or to keep your dog entertained and busy on his or her own.

Malgesini says it’s also important to take your dog’s breed or breed mix and age into consideration as well. Breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, and Australian Cattle Dog, all bred to be working dogs, need more exercise and mental stimulation than more easy-going breeds like the Basset Hound or Bull Dog, which prefer less challenging playtimes, she notes.

PAWS recommends two types of entertaining dog toys:

  • Interactive toys that require your participation, like balls and Frisbees to fetch, and rope toys for playing tug-of-war
  • Distraction toys that keep your dog busy when you don’t have time or aren’t around to play, such as toys that hide food treats, chew toys, and puzzle toys filled with treats

Interactive Toys for Dogs

Dogs, even non-working dogs, were bred to interact with humans. So spend any time with your dog that you can, because playing together strengthens your bond, advises Malgesini. Lack of interaction with people can result in needy, mopey dogs, she notes.

“We don’t give them enough to do, so they get into trouble,” adds Jen Gabbard, a Detroit-based blogger who offers a wealth of low-cost or free ways to keep your dog entertained on her blog Puppy Leaks. Gabbard’s easy interactive dog toys include:

Tug toys

Tug-of-war is a great way to tire your dog (and yourself) out. And you don’t have to buy a tug toy, you can easily make your own from old t-shirts, towels, or other soft materials.

Fetch toys

Many dogs love chasing balls, Frisbees, or soft toys. Some rubber toys are oddly shaped so that they bounce erratically and make the game more fun, notes Gabbard. Tennis balls are always a hit with dogs.

Distraction Toys for Dogs

“There are so many dogs that are left alone all day,” says Malgesini. “But anything can be a game to your dog if you make it fun.”

However, it’s important to initially supervise your dog with a new toy before leaving him or her alone with it. Younger dogs tend to be more destructive and may ingest part of the toy, which can lead to intestinal blockages. “Watch them to see what they do with it,” Malgesini advises.

Gabbard has a few ideas to help keep your dog occupied if he or she is home alone for hours at a time:

Stuffed Kong

Give your dog a Kong toy filled with treats, frozen peanut butter, or other food. Gabbard is such a fan of Kongs that she feeds her own dog all of her meals in a Kong. “It’s partly because she scarfs down her food quickly, but mostly to keep her mind engaged,” says Gabbard.

Frozen treats

A free equivalent to a Kong, these treats are made by freezing dog treats in ice or by making ice cubes out of a meat- or vegetable-based broth. It’s amazing how long ice treats can keep your dog occupied, says Gabbard.

Digging box

If your dog loves to dig, channel that love by building a digging box, similar to a small sandbox, in your yard and burying toys in it for your dog to find.

Change It Up to Keep Your Dog Engaged

Playtime is best when it incorporates both mental and physical exercise, which can be equally tiring, says Gabbard. “Don’t underestimate the importance of play.”

Other ways of mentally and physically challenging your dog don’t require toys at all. Gabbard suggests that dog owners:

Change your walk routine

Dogs like to do new things, so take a different route or visit a new park.

Teach your dog new tricks

You can train your dog to help around the house. Gabbard has trained her dog to help pick up her toys and to carry sticks and small logs to the woodpile. It’s fun and helpful at the same time and can be especially welcome for working breeds.

Arrange a play date with a friend’s dog

Just be sure the two dogs get along well before leaving them to play unsupervised.

Dogs and Toddlers Is it a good idea?

As seen in Animal Wellness magazine

The short answer is yes, but when dogs and toddlers spend time together, it’s vitally important to make safety a top priority.

Dogs and toddlers can be great pals. Some canines are naturally easy-going around young children — but others are afraid or even anxious, especially if the youngsters are active and noisy (and most are!). So it’s important to consider the safety of both dogs and toddlers when they’re in the same vicinity, especially when family and friends are visiting and your dog might already be a bit stressed.

Keep in mind that toddlers are unpredictable

“Toddlers can be very unpredictable,” says holistic dog training expert, Tonya Wilhelm. “They sometimes fall, grab, scream, run and throw things.” A nervous dog can easily be scared by this behavior, and any dog can be injured if a toddler throws something at him or pulls too hard on an ear or leg. “The ideal situation is to teach toddlers how to
gently and kindly interact with dogs,” Tonya advises. “This will also teach your dog that little humans are friendly and enjoyable, not something to fear or feel they need to be
defensive around.”

Unfortunately, some people don’t teach their children how to behave around animals, and may even think that dogs should put up with anything a young child does to them. “This is not only dangerous, but unfair to the dog,” says Tonya. “No dog should have to tolerate being yelled at or hurt.” As well, relationships with family and friends can be damaged if someone’s toddler scares or hurts someone else’s dog, and ends up getting snapped at or even bitten. Because you can’t predict what toddlers will do, or know if their parents have taught them how to treat animals properly, it’s important to
maximize safety by teaching your dog how to interact with small children.

Preparing your dog for toddler interactions

1. Socialize him with children

Socializing your dog with people of all ages is vitally important. While your dog is still young, introduce him to kids so he’ll learn to be comfortable around them. Ensure
the experiences are positive so he won’t feel threatened. For example, take your dog to a playground and allow him to watch the kids from a distance. Give him treats as he watches, then walk him a little closer so he’ll become familiar with the noise and activity.

Even an older dog can be socialized around toddlers. Give him lots of treats, and stay near him when small children are in the vicinity. Talk calmly to your dog and if he shows any signs of stress, simply remove him from the area and try again another time.

2. Get him used to noise and handling

Expose your dog to some handling, human noise and activity before you introduce him to any toddlers. Give him big hugs and tug gently on his tail. Look inside his ears, and tickle his legs. This gets him used to being touched. Again, it’s best to start while the dog is young; older dogs may find this kind of handling stressful if they’re not used to it, so proceed slowly and carefully, and watch for any signs of stress. Once in a while, yell playfully or laugh loudly to help your dog get used to these sounds.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Never leave your dog alone with a toddler

This applies even if you’re confident that the child will be kind and gentle with your dog. A toddler’s quick movements or high-pitched cries can cause some dogs to react in
unexpected ways. It’s best to be cautious and provide supervision when young kids are around your dog.

Even if they’re outside and there’s lots of space, dogs and toddlers need to be watched. Kids often run around screaming and jumping when they’re outdoors, and may pick
up sticks and other objects and swing or throw them around. This kind of behavior feels threatening to many dogs, who may then try to defend themselves and their territory.

Never punish your dog

Never yell or discipline your dog around toddlers, even if he’s showing signs of unfriendliness. He may feel confused about what you want and why he’s getting punished. Yelling in anger can cause your dog to panic, which means he could snap at you or the child. Stay calm and have a set strategy to deal with your dog when toddlers are around.

Never allow a child to bother your dog when he’s eating or sleeping

Teach toddlers who come into your home that it’s never safe to bother a dog while he’s eating, sleeping, or chewing on a toy. Dogs are protective of their food, toys and beds, and may growl or snap if they feel those things are threatened.

Never allow a toddler to run up to your dog

A dog can be easily startled if a small child runs up to him, and may lash out in defense of his territory. Teach toddlers to call the dog in a friendly voice, then tap the side of their legs to invite the dog to come to them.

Dogs and toddlers can be a great combination if they know how to respect and get along with each other, and they’re always well supervised when together. It means
extra work and vigilance on your part, but the sweet reward of watching your dog and toddler play happily together is well worth it.

Environmental toxins in the home — how to help your cat breathe easier

By  Nancy Scanlan, DVM, CVA as seen in Animal Wellness

Our homes contain a range of environmental toxins that can affect your cat’s respiratory system. Here are the most common culprits, and what you can do to help your kitty breathe easier.

Does your cat sneeze a lot? Have you noticed irritated or runny eyes? Perhaps some coughing? Or worse, has she developed chronic bronchitis or asthma? These symptoms may have several causes, one of which could be a sensitivity to environmental toxins in the home. Such sensitivities can appear in cats of any age. This article looks at the most common culprits when it comes
to these toxins, and what you can do to help alleviate your cat’s suffering.

MANMADE CHEMICALS ABOUND

The number of environmental toxins present in our homes has increased steadily since the 1970s. From fire retardants to air fresheners, these chemicals were all originally created to makes our lives easier, safer, or more pleasant. But for some individuals, including our feline companions, they can make life more difficult. Exposure to the chemicals used in fabrics and materials for curtains, rugs, furniture and other household items has resulted in a variety of health problems in both humans and animals. The greater the number, variety, and concentration of manmade chemicals in a household, the greater the chances that your cat (or human family) will suffer from the health effects they can produce.


Food Sensitivities

Although food sensitivities caused by additives in commercial pet foods don’t typically cause respiratory symptoms, they can still contribute to the total chemical burden on your cat’s body. These sensitivities generally cause itchy skin or GI upsets such as vomiting or diarrhea. Switching to a healthier diet is just one more way to help her feel better overall.


HOW TO FIND THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAT’S DISCOMFORT

If your cat develops any of the respiratory symptoms mentioned above, the first step is to take her to the veterinarian for a checkup. Once other health problems, such as an infectious disease, are ruled out, it’s time to start looking at toxins in your home environment, such as the following:

  • Is anyone smoking or vaping indoors? The effects of second-hand smoke can be as bad for cats as they are for people. This is especially true of vaping, which was initially promoted as a “healthier” alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke. The solution is to stop smoking or vaping inside the house. This single step can make a big different in a cat’s respiratory health.
  • Toxins in the air can also come from the evaporation or “outgassing” of chemicals. Outgassing occurs when chemicals are gradually lost from materials in the home, especially those made from plastics. The result is a weakened product as well as chemicals in the air that you may be unaware of. For example, even if paint looks and feels dry, it can continue to cure or dry further, releasing low levels of toxins. Similarly, commercial floor and furniture waxes contain many compounds that can evaporate and cause sensitivities in your cat.
  • High levels of dust mites in the home are associated with an increased number and duration of asthma attacks in humans, and difficulties in breathing. Dust mites can affect cats as well.

HEPA FILTERS AND OTHER SOLUTIONS

What can you do to minimize the impact of environmental toxins in your home, and improve your cat’s health? A HEPA filter can be very helpful, especially one with a charcoal pre-filter. The charcoal absorbs certain gases that the main filter can’t. Many people notice that they, as well as their animal companions, breathe more freely and have less eye irritation after buying a HEPA filter. As a bonus, a HEPA can also help reduce the negative effects of dust mites.

In addition to purchasing a HEPA filter, start using more natural products such as household cleaners to help everyone — feline and human — breathe better. It’s true that a natural product may require a little more effort to use than chemical household cleaners. For example, when using a beeswax product rather than a chemical furniture polish, you might need to apply more pressure to get a good shine. You might need two products instead of one to clean carpets or drapes, especially if you are just starting to use more natural products. But your cat’s improved well-being (and your own) is worth it!

If your cat suffers from asthma, do not abandon conventional treatment methods. Cats can suffer uncomfortably or even die from a severe asthma attack. As you introduce more natural products into your house, however, you may notice that her attacks are less severe, and don’t happen as often. In fact, with the guidance of your veterinarian, you might even be able to decrease your cat’s medication.

Because our cats are a lot smaller than we are, and often spend more time in the house than we do, they are more likely to develop health problems in response to the many environmental toxins and chemicals found in our homes. If your cat is exhibiting any persistent respiratory symptoms – sneezing, watery eyes, nasal discharge or coughing — have her checked by the vet, and then look for ways to lower her exposure to household toxins by considering a HEPA filter and adopting a more natural lifestyle.

How to Choose and Understand the Difference Between “Full Spectrum” CBD Oil, “Broad Spectrum” CBD Oil and CBD “Isolate” for Pets

By HempMy Pet as seen in Animal Wellness magazine

With a variety of CBD products on the market, it’s important to know the differences in order to choose the right CBD oil for your pet!

Understanding the difference in CBD products is just as important as choosing the right CBD product for your pet. Since these differences can also directly affect price and product benefits, it’s crucial to consider the true meaning of “Full Spectrum”, “Broad Spectrum” and CDB “Isolate” when it comes to a CBD oil for pets:

1. CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD. It comes in a powder, and is the most popular form for a few reasons, including its inexpensive cost and its lack of smell or taste (if produced correctly). It can also easily be mixed and formulated into a product. However, it’s the least efficacious form of CBD, which means it has the less medicinal benefits when compared to a broad spectrum or full spectrum oil. CBD isolate is void of all the other supporting compounds found in the hemp plant, such as Terpenes, which give the plant its overall medicinal benefits. These other compounds include, minor cannabinoids, such as, CBG or CBC and terpenes. CBD isolate is created by “crashing out” (turning the CBD into a crystal form) the pure CBD from the rest of the hemp compounds.

 2. “Broad Spectrum” CBD Oil

Broad Spectrum CBD oil is the next best option to CBD isolate as it does include some of the other supporting cannabinoids, while still excluding THC and the terpenes. Broad spectrum oil is also known as a “distillate”, which is the CBD oil that’s left after it goes through a distillation process. It’s very similar to how an oil company refines oil into gasoline. Broad spectrum oil is still a commodity of the hemp industry as it can be mass produced using just about any quality of hemp material. One concern with this form is the process of removing the THC from the CBD oil. THC is most often removed using chromatography, and this process employs extremely dangerous chemicals to separate out the cannabinoids. These chemicals can then be refined out of the CBD oil, but because it’s time consuming and sometimes costly, residual solvents may still remain. Understandably, then, it‘s so important to know the source of your CBD oil and be able to track it throughout cultivation, extraction and formulation.

3. “Full Spectrum” CBD Oil

Full spectrum CBD oil is an extract that contains the highest number of compounds found in the original hemp plant, including THC. Full spectrum CBD oil produces the commonly used phrase “Entourage Effect”, which refers to the synergistic relationship of all the compounds in the hemp plant, including cannabinoids and terpenes. Through this synergy, the compounds work together to bring on more therapeutic benefits. Full spectrum CBD oil has the highest medicinal value and is the least processed CBD oil of the three options. A quality full spectrum CBD oil first starts with hemp genetics. Not all hemp is created equal. In fact, there are many levels of quality when it comes to hemp genetics, and better genetics create CBD oil with better efficacy. In addition to genetics, it’s crucial to properly harvest, dry, and cure the hemp, since heat and natural environmental exposure can harm the plant’s compounds if these steps aren’t done right. Finally, the extraction method, whether it’s through carbon dioxide (CO2), alcohol or hydrocarbon, needs to be completed with care and knowledge of the process (including temperature). Interestingly enough, even though a full spectrum CBD oil has less post processing, it is actually more expensive to produce.

When you’re shopping for a CBD product for your pet, you likely want one that’s safe and comes with the most benefits. Understanding the differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate will help you make the best decision for your furry best friend.

 Diane recommends :

 HempMy Pet™ Information 

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Longmont, CO, HempMy Pet is a vertically integrated hemp oil production company using strictly organic farming methods, creating only the highest-quality human grade formulations for pets. 

With over 30 years of experience in cannabis cultivation and dietary supplement manufacturing, HempMy Pet grows all our own hemp right here in the US.

HempMy Pet makes cultivar-specific full-spectrum hemp oil productsfor pets. It is the ONLY CBD label for pets that has been Clinically Studied and proven effective at treating pain in dogs by independent Veterinarians.

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Washing your dog is a necessary activity, especially in the warmer months. Here’s how you can make this task an easy process, for you and your dog.

By Animal Wellness magazine

Summer is upon us, and that probably means you and your pup are spending more time outside. Most dogs would much rather skip bath time, but after spending hours running around outdoors, washing your dog is a great way to keep him free of dirt, bugs, and parasites. Washing your dog doesn’t have to be difficult, so here are a few simple steps to make bath time a breeze.

1. Brush out the coat

Get the coat ready with an all over brush. This helps get rid of loose hair, tangles, and debris. Plus, it starts the bath time process with quality time between you and your dog.

2. Use a towel in the bottom of the bath

Tubs can be slippery, especially when using soapy products! Putting a towel down gives your pup’s paws something to grip on, making sure he remains stable throughout the bath.

3. Check the water temperature

Always test the water temperature with your hand prior to setting your dog in the bath. Warm, body temperature water is best – not too hot or too cold. Ease your dog into the bath, wetting the body slowly from the legs up and leaving the head for last.

4. Get soapy!

Use a shampoo that is designed for dogs. WashBar® Original Soap for Dogs or the ManukaBar for sensitive skin are a perfect option. Made with 100% natural ingredients like manuka oil and neem oil, WashBar® soaps are free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates and parabens! Use them like you would a regular shampoo by lathering it up, then slowly rubbing it into your dog’s fur for a nice deep clean.

5. Rinse thoroughly

Be sure to rinse your dog and make sure there is no more product on the fur, just to avoid any potential skin irritation. When rinsing his head, tip it up and use a bowl or handheld hose to avoid getting water or soap in his eyes.

6. Towel-dry at the end

Your dog knows how to dry off, but you can help too! After a good shake, towel-dry the rest of the water off as best you can – the finishing touch after an enjoyable bath time.

Washing your dog doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these tips, bathing your dog will be far less stressful than you thought it might be. And not only will you have a dog that smells and looks fresh – but you’ll also have spent some quality time together.

 

Why Do Some Dogs Bark More Than Others?

As seen in PetMD

Why do some dogs bark more than others? Maybe your neighbor’s dog barks nonstop when he’s gone, or maybe your dog barks at every breeze, shadow or whisper. And then there are dogs that hardly ever make a peep.

You might love your dog unconditionally, but a dog that barks at everything and anything can get a bit exhausting. No one enjoys being jarred out of sleep to the cacophonous sound of dog barking in the middle of the night—especially when there seems to be no reason for it.

So, what causes one dog to bark more than the others? Here are three factors that could contribute to a noisy household.

Genetics and Breed-Specific Characteristics

Genetics and breeding for specific traits can play a big role in a dog’s proclivity for barking.

According to Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist based in Orange County, California, the frequency of a dog’s bark can vary from breed to breed, and it all depends on how their ancestors were bred.

“Barking was emphasized in some breeds more than others,” says Dr. Schwartz. She explains that this trait was likely “selected by our ancestors to help guard human settlements.”

Not all breeds known for barking will necessary be noisy, however. For instance, terriers tend to be more vocal. But not all terriers will bark excessively, says Dr. Schwartz. Huskies and Nordic breeds are also known to howl more than others, while most Basenjis don’t bark at all, says Dr. Schwartz.

Environmental Factors

Dogs get used to their environments, and they will react to sounds that are unexpected (like a knock at the door) and those that they don’t hear often. 

If a dog was raised in a bustling city where they’re used to hearing constant noise, they’ll probably be less apt to bark in a noisy urban environment. But a dog who was raised in a quiet, rural area may bark at any sound.

“A city dog wouldn’t react to a siren (cops, ambulance) because it becomes part of the background noise, compared to a country dog [who lives] where things are quieter and less chaotic,” says Dr. Schwartz.

Unintentional Rewarding of Dog Barking

“Some dogs learn to bark for attention regardless of breed,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Barking is a response to not getting their needs met.” She also says that, “Barking can be a learned behavior where the dog signals to the owner, ‘I need something.’”

“It goes back to that basic of rewarding behavior,” says Dr. Katie Malehorn, DVM a staff veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. She explains that dogs will keep doing something if they are getting rewarded for it.

Many owners may pay more attention to the dog when he’s barking—accidentally rewarding him for the behavior, says Khara Schuetzner, a certified professional dog trainer and owner of The Doggie Spot based in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Dr. Schwartz gave the example of one woman who gave her dog a treat every time he barked—giving him attention and fulfilling his need for food—and inadvertently training him to bark.

What You Can Do to Stop Dogs From Barking So Much

To help lessen your dog’s barking, figure out the root cause of the behavior.

Dr. Schwartz explains that you need to find out what the triggers are for dog barking. Once you figure out the triggering behavior, the best approach is to work with a dog trainer and veterinarian (or a veterinary behaviorist) to find the best ways to help your dog find alternative, more productive behaviors.

Dr. Malehorn says that you will need to be patient. Many dog owners won’t seek help or try to work on excessive barking until it becomes a serious issue. At this point, it is going to take time, consistency and a good training plan to break the habit.

By: Teresa K. Traverse

How to Slow Down a Cat Who Is Eating Too Fast

As seen in PetMD

Just about every cat owner has experienced excited meowing, the rubbing against your legs and the pleading stare—let’s face it, cats have a way of getting what they want! Unfortunately, sometimes when they get that worked up for a meal or treat, moments later, we’ll hear the familiar sound that sends us running for the paper towels. And then there’s the cleanup of the snack that now lies on the floor, looking completely undigested. How do we stop this cycle of cats eating too fast?

A Cat That’s Eating Too Fast Might Regurgitate the Meal

The good news is that there are several ways to slow down a cat that’s eating too fast. But first, what triggers the reflex that leads to regurgitation? Kitty eats too quickly—especially dry cat food—which then absorbs water, swells and sends the memo to the brain that the animal has overeaten.

The brain does the logical thing: Too much food in? Let’s get rid of some, and the regurgitation reflex is triggered. This is slightly different from the mechanism involved in cat vomiting, which can be a more concerning symptom. That being said—if your pet regurgitates frequently or shows any additional sign, such as weight loss, a trip to your veterinarian is warranted.

How to Slow Down Your Cat’s Eating

A good first step is to determine what is being regurgitated. If it is always the same brand of cat treats, for example, perhaps a switch to a different brand is in order. If it is always dry food, kitty may do better on canned, which also boasts a large number of health benefits and may be better in the long run.  However, if no diet changes are in the future, it is possible to reduce or stop the bouts of regurgitation.

Try a Nonconventional “Bowl”

The first, and often simplest option, is to not use a typical cat food bowl, but instead spread the portion out on a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. This will space the food out markedly, leaving plenty of gaps between the kibbles or the chunks of canned food. Kitty must then take a bite—move along–take another bite—move along, markedly slowing the process from the typical GULP where half the bowl is eaten! Most of the time, this can slow the process down enough to resolve the problem.

Add an Obstacle

For cats that still eat too fast, however, or for those that do better with more traditional cat bowls, adding nonedible “obstacles” to the bowl can be helpful. This should be something too large for kitty to eat, and maneuverable enough that they can push it around while trying to get at the food below it.

Common items include ping pong and golf balls. If we are adding a second layer to the 9- by 13-inch baking pan strategy, larger balls such as tennis balls can be used. They will not work well for feeders that hold a large amount of food and replenish themselves automatically.

Use Automatic Cat Feeders

There are several types of automatic cat feeders that offer a feeding strategy that might be helpful. Some of these, like the PetSafe Eatwell 5-meal automatic pet feeder, can be set to open on a schedule and feed small meals frequently—which often helps prevent the regurgitation.

However, for many reasons—including weight control and appetite monitoring—the automatic feeders that don’t have portion control are generally not recommended or appropriate for feeding most cats.

Some automatic cat feeders have an ice pack below the bowl, to keep canned food fresh all day long—perfect not only for the “gulpers” in the house but also those kitties who just like being served fresh food multiple times per day (and who doesn’t?).

Try Cat Treat Toys and Slow Feeders

You can try slow cat feeder bowls that are shaped like mazes, making the cat work around the grooves and curves to get the food. You place the food in these slow feeders so that your kitty needs to solve a puzzle to get it, like with the Trixie activity strategy game tunnel feeder cat toy or the Northmate Catch interactive feeder.

Cat treat toys are also appropriate for curbing the gulping behavior. These need to be pushed or batted around into just the right position to release some of the food contained within–like with the Pet Zone IQ treat ball toy or the PetSafe Funkitty Egg-Cersizer cat toy.

These cat interactive toy options have the additional benefit of exercise and mental stimulation on top of providing nutrition—which more accurately simulates how it would be if the cat had to “work” to get its meals as it would in the wild.

Each of these techniques are most effective if kitty is being fed an appropriately portion-restricted amount of food and being fed once or twice per day. So, if you have stepped on yet another pile of regurgitation and swear it will be the last one, never fear. There are a number of options you can choose from, and certainly, one (or more!) will work for both you and your cat! I’m sure your kitty would rather have that favorite meal or snack in her tummy rather than on the floor, as well.