<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1289632567801214&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Is Feeding a Grain-Free Food Hurting Your Dog's Heart?


Grain-free diets for dogs have become all the buzz in recent years with lots of dog food companies, bloggers, and pet lovers extolling them as the cure for all that ails dogs. Now, I’m not going to get into all of my thoughts on this trend. (The board-certified veterinary nutritionists at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine have already done that in these articles on their petfoodology blog.) What I will say though is that it tends to be (emotional) marketing that's driving the grain-free pet food craze, rather than science and an actual medical need for excluding grains from the diets of dogs — even those with food allergies. But again, that discussion is outside the scope of this particular article. 

The purpose of this article is to ensure that, if you have chosen to feed your dog a grain-free diet, and especially if it's a food that contains peas, chickpeas, lentils, or potatoes in place of the grains, you are aware of the newly recognized possible link between the feeding of a grain-free diet and the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a very serious form of heart disease in dogs. DCM is characterized by a distention and thinning out of the muscular walls of the heart, causing it to be a less effective pump to move blood throughout the body. As you might imagine, that’s not a good thing! Dogs with DCM are at great risk of progressing to heart failure. You can learn more about the condition in this article from the good folks in the cardiology department at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Read More

Topics: Dog Safety, Heart Failure, Heart Murmurs, Heart Problems, Food Allergies, Dog Food, Foods that aren't good for dogs, Foods that are good for dogs

How to Keep Your Dog Cool When It's Hot Outside


Tips to help your dog keep their cool

When the temperatures rise, you may be able to stay cool by sweating or drinking a nice glass of iced tea, but your dog isn't so lucky. Not only should your dog not drink tea :) — or any caffeinated beverage, for that matter — but they also really don't have the ability to sweat very well. Dogs mostly cool themselves off by panting.

So, how can you help keep your pup comfortable and safe when the mercury starts to rise? Fret not, this article contains some tips, tricks, and cool (pun intended) product suggestions that can help.

Read More

Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, Heat Stroke Risk Factors

The Top 10 Halloween Dangers for Dogs


Ah, Halloween; the time of year when no one is allowed to say that you can’t dress up as a superhero while eating enough sugar to put yourself into low-Earth orbit. For you, Halloween might be a fun reprieve from normal clothes, as well as a candy-fueled kickoff to the holidays. But for a dog it presents a new batch of hazards. Here are the Top 10 Halloween dangers for dogs you need to watch out for.

Read More

Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Dogs, Toxicity in dogs, Blog, Pet costumes, Dog costumes, Halloween, Trick or Treat, canine chocolate toxicity, Xylitol Dogs

Teaching Your Dog to Play Fetch (and Return)


There are three types of dogs in this world: dogs that don’t care about fetch, dogs that fetch but don’t retrieve, and Labradors.

Unless you have a Labrador or live in a perfect 1950s Pleasantville, (in which case you probably have a Labrador) you’ve most likely had to face the crushing reality that a lot of dogs don’t have the fetch instinct. 

Plenty of dogs will happily run after a thrown toy, but then refuse to bring it back — or they might pick up the toy and make you chase them around just for funsies. Other dogs are more interested in the hair between their toes than the fetch toy you’re trying to get them excited about. 

Read More

Topics: Dog, Dog Safety, Dog Leash, Behavior & Training, Dog Walking, Loose-leash Walking

List of Essentials to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets


If and when disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to scramble for supplies.

Whether you have to hunker down or evacuate to safety, there won’t be much time to worry about finding food, water, and other necessities — and that's if the store shelves haven't been picked clean already.

So it’s vital that you not only have an emergency plan but also an emergency kit — for you and your dog or cat. Hopefully, you will never have to use this kit for the pets in your family. But you will feel a lot better knowing that you have what you need, even if you never need it.

Read More

Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Pet First Aid Supplies, Cat Emergency, Dog Emergency, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

How to Help Your New Puppy Sleep Through the Night


While your new puppy’s sleep schedule might not (yet) be in sync with yours, there are still plenty of things you can do to help both of you get as much sleep as possible. For the first several nights and weeks, you should make peace with the fact that you’re just not going to get a full night’s sleep. But the time and dedication you put in now will help you reach that point sooner (before sleep deprivation makes you start speaking in tongues to shadow people). Check out the tips below so you and your puppy can get back to that deep REM sleep as soon as possible.

Read More

Topics: Dog, Dog Safety, Dog Food, Food, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Dog Health

How to Make a First-Aid Kit for Dogs


What to put in your pet first-aid kit and why


When your dog suffers an illness, injury, or poisoning, knowing what first aid to do (and not do) can have a big impact on their recovery, safety, and comfort. It can also help your emotional stress, because you'll have a plan of action to follow whenever a problem arises. For these, and many other reasons, I always recommend that dog owners take a pet first-aid class. But that's not the end of the story.

Regardless of whether you've taken (or are planning to take) a first-aid class, you still need to have the supplies and "gear" handy to be able to administer first aid to your dog. And that's where having a good pet first-aid kit (or two) comes in.

Do you have a pet first-aid kit? If not, you really should — and this article will show you what you need in your dog's first-aid kit and why. 

If you already have a first-aid kit, when was the last time you checked and updated it? Have your stocks run low? Are the medications expired? Does it truly have everything you might need? (Many pre-made pet first-aid kits don't!)

Read on to see what your dog's first-aid kit should have, and what each of the items is necessary for.

Have a cat? Check out this first aid shopping list for cats.

Make Your Own Pet First-Aid Kit

To make it easy for you to put together (or check) your pet first-aid kit, we have a shopping list (for mobile or printable) for you to take to your nearest pharmacy to grab your dog's first-aid supplies.

Want to make it even easier for yourself (and likely cheaper, too)? We've sourced and linked to good quality/value examples of each of the first-aid items below. Each item on this list has been vetted for you to ensure that you're getting the right products and brands that will be most effective, practical, and safe for inclusion in your dog's first-aid kit. [Full Transparency: Product links are Amazon Affiliate links. Learn more here.]

Hopefully you'll never need to use your dog's first-aid kit. But, you never know, and well... Murphy's Law. So here's how to prepare...

Read More

Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, First Aid, Pet First Aid Kits, cat first aid, Pet First Aid, dog first aid supplies, dog first aid, Pet First Aid Supplies, Pet First Aid Kit

The Right Way to Stop Your Puppy From Nipping and Biting


The dreaded puppy teeth. Those unnervingly sharp little daggers hidden behind that adorable little face. Ouch!
 

Much like human babies, puppies explore their new surroundings by taking anything and everything they find and putting it in their mouth. Unlike human babies, a puppy’s mouth is not filled with soft gums, but needle-like teeth. It can be surprising just how much it hurts the first time a puppy chomps down on your arm or finger. But the real problem is when you realize that those cute little puppy bites might turn into a permanent habit, which is definitely not as cute or harmless in an adult dog.

Read More

Topics: Dog, Dog Safety, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, aggression in dogs, Dog Behavior

What to Know If You Want to Give Your Dog CBD


Is it a cure-all or snake oil?
 

If you have spent any time researching cannabis for dogs, and specifically cannabidiol (CBD), you have probably found yourself wondering whether these products are safe, and even if they will offer any real benefits for your pained, anxious, or elderly dog.

The simple story about CBD is that there is no simple story about CBD. Though CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical derived from cannabis that won’t get people or animals high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it still falls into both a medical and bureaucratic black hole where it can be nearly impossible to extract definitive information.

But we have done our best to stare into the CBD abyss and pull out as much as possible to help you decide whether it might be good for your dog. As you’ll soon see, vets are placed in a difficult position when talking about these products, but you will hopefully walk away from this article with enough information to help you make a more-informed decision.

Read More

Topics: Dog, Dog Emergency, Dog Safety, Foods that aren't good for dogs, Marijuana toxicity, Pet First Aid, Warning Signs, marijuana, Anxiety in Dogs, Pain management, Arthritis in dogs

Why Your New Puppy Isn’t Eating and What You Can Do About It


Your  puppy is settling into their new home and you’ve picked out the best food you could find (and afford). Or maybe you’ve kept the food they were fed by their breeder or at the shelter. But for some reason your puppy has no interest in their meals.
 

This can be — and very well may be — a concerning sign in a puppy. And it’s a big concern in a very young or small puppy, as they have less ability to sustain themselves without enough calories.

Read on to see why your puppy might not be eating and what to do about it.

Read More

Topics: Dog, Dog Safety, Dog Food, Food, Puppy, new puppy, puppy tips, Dog Health

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.