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Puppy Care

  • Posted on March 4, 2015 by Lindsey Mattson

    In our previous post, Feeding Fido: Safe People Food for Dogs, we gave a short list of what is -and is not- safe for your precious pooch to eat. This additional list of unsafe people foods for dogs is another quick reference of what to keep out of Fido's reach. These foods can make your pup very sick and many are toxic. Being diligent of what you have in front of your pup will keep them healthy and happy as well as give you peace of mind when you leave them alone in the house.


    Alcohol // This should be obvious given the effects it has on adults. If consumed, your dog will experience weakness, vomiting and low blood pressure. It can even cause coma and death.

    Apple, Apricot, Cherry and Plum Seeds or Pits //  The problem with these fruits is the inside pits or seeds. They contain cyanide which enables the red blood cells to properly carry oxygen to cells. This causes vomiting, irregular and fast heartbeat, seizures, coma and even death.

    Avocado // These have a toxic compound called Persin that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

    Broccoli // This vegetable is dangerous in large doses but should still be avoided. It  contains isothiocyanate.

    Caffeine // The methylxanthines in caffeinated foods cause potentially fatal diarrhea, vomiting, seizures and irregular heart beats.

    Chives // This is dangerous to both dogs and cats as they may cause anemia.

    Chocolate // This is dangerous for the same reasons as caffeine with the same effects of potentially fatal diarrhea, vomiting, seizures and irregular heart beats.

    Garlic // This is dangerous to both dogs and cats as they may cause anemia

    Grapes and Raisins // This fruit has the potential to cause fatal kidney failure.

    Ham // The fat content of this meat may cause pancreatitis.

    Macadamia Nuts // Although it is unknown why, this nut causes vomiting, weakness, joint pain and inflammation.

    Milk & Dairy Products // Though not fatal, these foods may cause diarrhea and gas if your dog is lactose intolerant.

    Mushrooms // May cause kidney and liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucination and damage to red blood cells. Although this only pertains to certain varieties, it is best to avoid all to be safe.

    Nutmeg // This spice may cause hallucinations and severe vomiting.

    Onions // This vegetable has the potential to cause fatal oxidation of red blood cells leading to anemia.

    Salt // This includes rock salt and homemade playdough as excessive amounts can cause tremors, seizures and coma.

    Spicy Food // Increasing the spices of any dish your dog may get into has the potential to cause vomiting, stomach ulcers or diarrhea.

    Sugar-Free Gum & Candy (Xylitol) // This chemical causes a potentially fatal drop in blood sugar followed by severe liver damage.

    Tobacco // Nicotine will cause excitement leading to vomiting and tremors that are usually followed by fatal paralysis.

    Yeast Dough // Yeast will create a buildup of gas in a pet’s stomach, leading to severe pain and life threatening torsion or rupture of the stomach.


    Infographic and food information via www.petsbest.com.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Recipes and was tagged with Pet Nutrition, Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Get Party Trained

  • Posted on December 5, 2014 by Meeko ThePooch

    Meeko the Pooch Blog Posts #PuppyShowers #DogBirthdayParties #PuppyPawties
    Kids don't have all the fun - Get your pooch's wishes into Santa Paws before time runs out! Use this free Official Letter to Santa Paws so your furbabies are sure to get exactly what they want under the tree. Just think about all the tail wags on Christmas morning...

    Letter to Santa Paws - Free Printable from WhenPoochComesToShove.com #PoochPawty

    This Santa Paws letter is also a great way for shelters to ask for much-needed items during the holidays. Since it is a free printable, please download and use as many as you like to get all of those adorable shelter pups taken care of!


    This item is for personal use only. Big Dot of Happiness retains all rights. This item may not be copied, shared, forwarded, sold or distributed.

    Copyright Big Dot Of Happiness, LLC.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Free Printables, Christmas & Winter and was tagged with Puppy Care, Holiday Tips and Tricks, Meeko's Point of View

  • Posted on August 22, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    That little fuzzy face is there day in and day out - ready to greet you and make any bad day better. I am sure you have a similar look waiting for you when you get home from a long day - or even just home from a trip to the mail box!

    My furbaby, Rowlf, wandered into my life 11 years ago. He was a little fluffy ball full of energy who How Dogs are Our Best Friends #PoochPawtyloved the cats, ran in circles and looked at me for constant approval - with big eyes and panting tongue. I was one of the lucky ones who got to take my pup to work and he followed me around every day. This created a sort of co-dependent relationship for both of us but I am ok with that.

    From the beginning, my dear Hubbs tried to get this stubborn little guy to listen to him but it never worked. He only has - well, HAD - ears for me. That is, until a special little human found his way into our home. Then things changed. For a while, I shared my lap with my first 'child' and with my new baby. Then, the two started adventuring. Rowlf would always check back with me, running back and forth between us two, trying to decide who was more entertaining.

    How Dogs Became our Best Friends #PoochPawtyBut NOW - these two are in cahoots! If one doesn't think of it, the other will. From treat sneaking to snuggling, they have a special bond that fills my heart with joy. Rowlf is always ready to go for a run while The Little rides his bike. They speak the same language when it comes to snack frequency and bedtime snuggles are never far away. After making sure his Little is fast asleep, he will make his way to the foot of my bed for the full nights sleep, but I am sure that will end soon as their bond grows.

    Rowlf is a special part of our family and he deserves to be celebrated for all the joy he brings to us. Check out these dog party supplies so you can honor your pup as well. Then read the info graphic below - Dogs haven't always been man's best friend but I am sure glad that changed!

    Be sure to tell us about your furbaby and the special bond you have below in the comments.
    How Dogs Became Our Best Friend

    Infographic originally found on TheUncommonDog.com

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Puppy Care, Training

  • Posted on July 30, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    Bringing home a new puppy is always exciting. Those soft puppy kisses are the absolute sweetest!! With all of the fun a little dog brings - like the first time he tries to take off running on the hardwood floor - it is easy to forget a few essentials you will need after you get home. I know when I brought my adorable little fuzz ball home, I had a bag of food, a collar and every.single.toy in the store!

    It wasn't until a few days later I found myself running back to the store for just one more thing - A kennel. Then one more thing - A baby gate. Then one more thing...and so on, and so on. Grant it, no expense was spared for this new fur baby that I carried on our walks and I let share my pillow at night, but if I would have had this easy checklist at the start, I would have been able to prepare for his homecoming. Click on the image for the download, then print and go shopping before your new puppy comes home!

    New Puppy Checklist from WhenPoochComesToShove.com #PoochPawty
    This item is for personal use only. Big Dot of Happiness retains all rights. This item may not be copied, shared, forwarded, sold or distributed.

    Copyright Big Dot Of Happiness, LLC.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Free Printables and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Training, Special Needs Dog Care, Dodger's Point of View

  • Posted on July 17, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    The top baby names of 2014  presented by nameberry.com got us thinking - What are the top 10 dog names for 2014? Find this year's favorites in the image below. Does your pooch's name land on this list? Give a shout out to your pup in the comments.

    Top Ten Dog Names for 2014 - Male and Female

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Puppy Care

  • Posted on June 4, 2014 by Nicole Knutson

    Already this summer in Wisconsin it is HUMID and I can’t stand it. I feel so bad for our old little fur ball, Lulu! The kids and I were with Lulu outside this weekend trying to enjoy the weather but unfortunately, Lulu looked sad and miserable. Seeing her so uncomfortable got me wondering about what I could do to help her out with the heat. I read a few articles and googled a few things and I learned a lot!

    Did you know that early signs of heat stroke in your dog are weakness, confusion, excess panting, increased salivation, dark red gums, and seizures? Scary! So,  I found a bunch of ways to keep that from happening and to keep Lulu cool.


    Lulu keeping COOL Lulu keeping COOL


    1. Keep your dog well hydrated with fresh, cool, water
    2. Keeping your dog in a well ventilated, shaded area or shelter
    3. Give your dog their own little tub or share kids pool of water to sit or play in (See a Dog Pool Party Here)
    4. Make your own frozen dog treats(Recipe Here)
    5. Limit your dog’s activity on very hot and humid days or play on the grass rather than asphalt

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care

  • Posted on May 16, 2014 by Brenda Knutson

    Dog Life JacketMost of us assume all dogs know how to swim, which is a common misconception. The “doggie paddle” was named that for a reason, right? While some dog breeds love to be in the water, there are some that don’t enjoy being anywhere near the water. For some breeds that have low body fat, like Greyhounds, it can even be dangerous. These breeds may have a very difficult time staying afloat and regulating their body temperature. If a dog is afraid of the water, and shows high levels of anxiety when put in the water, their normal breathing can even be affected. Dogs that are elderly, sick, overweight and out of shape can also have issues in the water. Waves, currents, undertows, and fast-moving rivers and waters can overtake even the strongest swimmer – including a dog. Wearing a life vest may make the difference between life and death.

    Dog Boating My pup loves to be in the boat with us, and will even jump into the lake on his own and swim. He doesn’t, however, have the best stamina in the water. This has been a concern for us, as we spend a ton of time in the water in the summer. I had seen life vests for dogs in stores, but had previously never seriously considered them. Then, last year my youngest daughter was jumping off the boat to me, and Mocha got excited and jumped in the water too. We were in the middle of the lake, and here I was with two little bodies swimming towards me. Thankfully my daughter always wears a life vest, but it still made for a juggling act getting everyone back onto the boat.

    If you have ever had a dog swim to you, they are all paddling legs that don’t stop and claws. It is definitely not easy to keep yourself afloat and manage that moving furry body, and not get scratched up in the process. Dog life vests not only help your pup stay afloat, most also have a handle on the back that helps handle your pup in the water and lift them out of the water. After using the life vest, Mocha seemed to appreciate the additional lift and support from the vest, and we appreciated the piece of mind.

    If you are considering a life vest for your pet, I would talk to other pet owners for their recommendations. Dogs come in every shape/size/weight, so be sure to have your pet fitted for the vest that will work best and be most comfortable for them. There are many dog life vest styles out there and the materials used have different levels of buoyancy in the water. I would also never leave your pet unattended while wearing a life vest - they can be quite hot to wear if not in the water and your pup may chew or become entangled in the vest if bored or wanting to escape.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Dog Training

  • Posted on May 13, 2014 by Nicole Knutson

    Most children want a pet. Most of those pets they want are dogs. You’d think they would go together perfect but they don’t always. In order to get a great relationship, it takes time, training, and patience.  My oldest daughter is 3 years old and she can sometimes be rough or unaware she might hurt our dog. Our dog Lulu is very small and old...so even though they are comfortable with each other, my daughter still shouldn’t carry her like a baby or get too rough just in case of injury of her or the dog. I’ve been researching tips and techniques to practice with them.

    I narrowed  it down to four helpful tips to help your dogs and children happy and safe together.

    • Supervision

    Children (especially younger ones) should be supervised around your dog. Playing rough, moving too quickly, or making a scary noise for your dog could result in defensive growling, snapping, or biting. Don’t let your little one carry around your dog or let them bring them alone to another room..you never know what could happen...with the dog or your child.

    • Respect

    Sometimes not all dogs enjoy or appreciate the company of children. Don’t force it—this could negatively affect their opinion of children as a result. I tell my daughter, "Lulu does not like it when you do that" or "you are going to hurt Lulu’s feelings if you do that"...so she stops. She wants Lulu to like her and be happy just as much as I do. If your dog doesn’t like their proximity, contact a trainer or behaviorist.

    • Teaching Good Manners

    Teach your dog boundaries for your child’s safety. For example, approaching your dog from the side or back instead of hovering over him Encouraging your children to play calmly, avoid direct eye contact, and to not try to pick the dog up. Explain that sometimes your dog needs alone time and that he should have some space to eat his food. Every dog should be taught to sit, stay, drop it, come, and down. A dog that is trained with the basics is much easier to manage around small children.

    • Rewarding Positive Behavior

    Obviously the best motivation for your dog to keep behaving well is with positive reinforcement…like dog treats! Every time they listen to you or play well with your children, give him a treat. Telling your children how well they are acting and how proud you are of how good they are being with your dog will remind them that they need to keep doing it. Doing all this will help strengthen their connection and safety.

    Doing these little things little by little has already helped calm my daughter down and has stressed my dog out less. I hope you find them as helpful as I did!

    Tips for Dogs and Kids

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Puppy Care

  • Posted on March 24, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    When I first came across this list of safe people foods for dogs, I wasn't surprised to see some of my pup's favorites on the left side - and the usual offenders on the right side. But there were a few that caught my eye and prompted an office discussion of who's dog has eaten what.

    Of the Don'ts, the general rule of avoiding sugars and salt applies, as they will harm Fido's kidneys. The surprise came from the image of the gum - which lead to a story of a friend's dog being rushed to the ER after rooting around in her purse and eating a pack of sugar-free gum. It turns out that Xylitol, a common sugar replacer, is incredibly toxic to dogs. Even in small amounts, two pieces of gum, the chemical can induce severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and cause liver failure. Scary stuff!

    My dog is known as a purse-robbing brownie thief but has thankfully never gotten into a pack of gum. Other office dogs will do anything for a lick of peanut butter, eye up a toddlers yogurt and stare longingly at your fish dinner, but have, so far, never been rushed to the ER.

    Please share this list and let others know how harmful sugar-free gum can be!

    This infographic was created by PetCareRx. Providing quality pet meds and supplies for all your pet needs.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Recipes, Everyday Parties and was tagged with Puppy Care, Dog Training, Recipes

  • Posted on March 14, 2014 by Randi McMorran

    anti botox brigade
    emdot / Foter / CC BY

    Moving is a nightmare! It’s no fun for anyone, including your pup. Dogs depend on stability and familiarity, so a dramatic change in location will shake him up a little. There are a couple things you can do to make the move a little easier on your dog.

    Keep his things – You may think a new home deserves new items, but keep your dog’s same bed, crate, bowls and toys. There’s already enough change for your pup! Having these familiar items around will comfort your dog and make transition much easier.

    Keep him safe – While moving in and out, keep your dog in a safe place. You don’t want him to get loose or get in the way when moving large items. Place your pup in a closed room with toys, food and water, or in a crate where he can watch the action.

    Keep his routine – Stay on the same schedule for feeding, walking and bedtime. Also, keep the same rules in your new house. If he wasn’t allowed on the furniture before, he should be allowed now.  Don’t try to teach new commands either; they need to stick with what they know while they adjust to the new surroundings.

    Keep your cool – Once you’re in your new home, your pooch may be a little confused and have some accidents. This is not out of spite or anger towards you; they simply don’t know where to go or what to do in a new place. So stay calm and don’t scold your dog.

    Moving is challenging for both you and your dog.  Just remember that they are part of this as well and also can be stressed in the situation.  Take care of your pup and make sure their needs are also being met in all of the commotion.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Elderly Dog Care