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Dog Life

Dangerous Foods for Dogs

- Dog Life, Health

When you have a dog, particularly one that eats literally everything (cue Ember) it’s important to know foods that are dangerous for dogs to ingest. Fortunately for us, Go Compare have created a useful infographic to display the foods that are dangerous for our dogs.

They have created this is an effort to not only save dogs from getting ill, but also saving owners from hefty vet bills. See it here

A lot of foods poisonous for dogs are seasonal and with the seasons changing and the holiday period coming up (how did that happen so fast?) there are a lot of hazards to look out for. Here are a few particularly bad ones to avoid:

Conkers: while cases of serious poisoning are rare, ingesting these seeds can cause an intestinal blockage and can also cause a dog to fall pretty ill.

Oaks/acorns: acorns contain tannic acid which is known to cause damage to the kidney and liver if they are eaten regularly. Due to their size, acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage.

Luminous necklaces: these are the ones you snap to glow, they were popular circa 2006. It is the chemical mixture in these necklaces that are dangerous as it can cause problems with gums and their stomachs.

Traditional Christmas food: chocolate, nuts, fruit cakes, puddings, mince pies etc can be toxic to dogs. Turkey bones can cause choking and damage to dogs intestines too.

Traditional Christmas plants: Christmas trees, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are toxic to dogs, so it’s important to keep those out of your dogs reach.

Decorations: tinsel and electrics can be dangerous if ingested, as well as batteries which are toxic.

Anti-freeze: due to antifreeze tasting sweet and being palatable, this makes dogs more likely to want to eat it. Unfortunately, only a small quantity can cause damage to your dog’s kidneys and can sadly be fatal.


Other all year round dangerous foods include:

Bones                                   Bread dough

Dairy products                     Garlic and onion

Xylitol                                  Avocado

Tomato                                Caffeine

Dried fruit                            Fresh fruit

Nuts                                     Grapes

Walking a Reactive Dog

- Dog Life

The simple task of walking Ember can sometimes be quiet a challenge. We’ve made a lot of progress with some tips that I have learnt.

Walking a reactive dog can be an anxious and stressful experience, you’ve put in so much effort avoiding all situations, that you’re worn out just halfway through the walk. However, there are ways to make it easier, just remember that it is going to take some time and you need to be committed to the process. If you are not able to control your dog on a walk, it might be worth seeking a professional behaviourist, I am not a trained professional, these are just some tips I have learnt through having a reactive puppy.


1. Repeat until your dog believes
Remain consistent with the praise, treats or clicks you use when nearing a potential situation.


2. Turn fearful things into a positive experience
When your dog is being reactive, they are feeling a lot of stress, so communicates with them that nothing bad is going to happen. Hold some treats or have your clicker handy. If your dog is being particularly calm, don’t be afraid to use some extra praises.


3. Understand failures will happen
It takes a lot of time and patience to desensitise a dog, so don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t always work. Failures help us improve.


4. Teach target or watch
I use watch a lot with Ember, making her look me in the face or watch a treat in my hand when we are coming up to a potential situation. Make sure you have their attention and they are focused on something positive, be it you, a treat or even a toy.


5. Use a front clip harness
This is something I have been looking into for Ember. Front clip harnesses are great for teaching a dog to walk nicely on a lead. As well as belong them walk more calmly, they give you more control to steer and turn your dog.
Do you use a front harness? Would you recommend them? 


6. Avoid situations if you don’t feel in control
Sometimes you feel so unsure about some situations it is best just to avoid them, some situations are not worth the effort. If you don’t feel your dog will be able to manage the situation and you don’t feel confident controlling your dog, safety should always come first. It doesn’t mean you have failed, some battles are just not worth fighting. I personally use this technique when I am walking Ember by myself in an environment I am unsure of.
Remember patience and consistency is key.


Do you have a reactive dog? Do you have any more tips or experiences you can share with us? 

Surviving the First Night

- Dog Life

The first night with your new addition is the first and hardest hurdle in your new relationship.  Not only is their new home a completely new surrounding, with new people and new smells, it is probably the first time they have ever been alone.

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What I Look For in Treats

- Dog Life, Treats

It’s no secret that Ember loves food and behaves best when she is rewarded with treats.  I love working with her training, whether it’s just enhancing her basic skills, or our new recent hobby agility.  Therefore, high-quality treats are an important part of our daily arsenal, here are a few things I look for in treats for Ember.

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Why You Should Take Your Dog on Holiday

- Dog Life, Travel

Holiday season is here! Whilst some people prefer to go abroad on super swanky holidays, I like nothing more than an adventure holiday where Ember can come too.  Two years ago we went to the New Forest and we’re going back again this year, I can’t wait!  There are so many benefits of taking your dog on holiday, here are a few of my favourites.

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Spring Harmony | Dogs and Wildlife

- Dog Life

Spring is the most enjoyable season for walks with Ember, I love being outside when the weather is warmer (hopefully soon, please). However, it is also the worst season and can become uncomfortable for dogs, owners and wildlife alike. Spring synergy with dogs and wildlife isn’t something which comes easy, but I’m fed up of being tarnished with the same brush as other, irresponsible dog owners.

Sarah from Twilight Bark wrote a post recently and her experience really resonated with me and inspired me to write this little post.  Go check out her open letter to dog owners here.

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Compassionate Companions

- Dog Life, Lifestyle

My mum had to have an operation last year, she’s thankfully now recovered, but at at the time she was very tender and couldn’t do as much as before. Combine this with an over excited 14 month old Labrador you can understand why we were a little nervous about how Ember would react when mum came home. She had calmed down a lot since when we first got her but it’s still very exciting when someone comes into the house, especially if it’s one of us back from work. She’s not a little dog, she’s pretty strong and is always on a mission to kiss your face by jumping up at you.

I’ve heard many times about the sensitivity of dogs and I should have had more faith in this and in Ember too.

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14 Reasons Dogs are the Perfect Date for Valentines Day

- Dog Life

Who’s a better Valentines date than your dog, right?  Here are 14 reasons why I’m not ashamed to be spending Valentine’s day with my dog.

Dogs are always over the moon to see us.  What’s better than a greeting from a wagging tail?

They’re always up for a cuddle, doggy snuggles are the best.

Dogs keep us warm at night and don’t steal the duvet and they don’t want anything in bed.

Dogs don’t care what you look like and never complain if you want to slob out.

They don’t mind what you do with them, as long as they can spend time with you.

A dog will never judge you. Never.

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Dog Christmas Safety Survival Guide

- Dog Life

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 11.37.28

Christmas is coming (read that in a Jon Snow voice, of course) in fact, it’s only a week until Christmas Day.  It’s Ember’s first Christmas with us and while Christmas is supposed to be stressful, with some fun too, it’s obviously more stressful when you are a dog owner.  In order to make sure that Ember has the safest first Christmas, I’ve been making a list, and checking it twice. So I thought I would share with you to make sure the Christmas period goes smoothly for your dog and you.

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