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Archive for July, 2010

Mulch bad for dogs?

Barkley is an adorable 3 month old Beagle puppy I just started pet sitting for. I’m sure you’re surprised to read that she LOVES to chew on anything she can get a hold of including shoes, socks and rugs. Along with these items, she also likes to chew on the dark brown mulch in the backyard. Although I try to pry the mulch from her mouth, she instinctively turns around to nab another piece. While her owner voiced her concern for Barkley’s mulch munching, I remembered reading about the dangers of certain kinds of mulch. Once again, I did a little research, only to find SarasotaDog.com once again answered my question.

Turns out, cocoa mulch contains an ingredient called “theobromine.” This ingredient is used to make chocolate, which we all know very well is toxic to dogs. The mulch has a very enticingly sweet smell, making it very appealing to dogs. This particular mulch is popular because it’s organic (not to mention the chocolate smell) and has been widely sold at Home Depot (Vita Soil is a popular brand). Just a few ounces is all it takes for a dog to become ill. It can start from an upset stomach to an increased heart rate to seizures and from there, possibly death. This all depends on the size of the dog and how much has been ingested.

Thankfully, the mulch at my client’s home is NOT cocoa mulch and we can rest at ease about the subject. But please be aware of what you’re using in your garden and if you use a landscaper, mention your concerns to them. For further info, visit ASPCA‘s website.

Thanks again, Sarasota Dog!


Sarasota Dog Meetup

Dog lovers come one, come all! Sarasota Dog has arranged for a meet-up of fellow dog lovers at the Panini Press on Monday, July 26th (my birthday!) at 6pm. Sarasota Dog states: “If there is a question you have about your dog or information the group is seeking to learn more about, we’ll arrange for a guest speaker at our events. Mostly, we want to get to know other dog lovers in Sarasota and just have fun.” If you’d like to RSVP to this event click here or go to MeetUp.com and search for dog events in Sarasota. Panini Press is located at 301 South Pineapple Avenue in downtown Sarasota (34236). So come enjoy a drink and join in for some friendly chit chat with canine lovers just like you!

And don’t forget to go check out other “dog friendly” events at SarasotaDog.com!


Plastic Dangers & Irony

I’ve been staying at a client’s house for almost a week now. Her three dogs are seperated (two in one room, one in the other) during the day. When I arrive at the client’s house, the two Westies seemed to have gone stir crazy! Their water and food bowls have been completely dumped out with pieces of toys tossed across the room.

I’ve noticed each day, on top of dumping them out, that the dogs continuously keep chewing on their plastic food and water bowls. I can’t imagine this feels good on their teeth or gums. So I started questioning whether they purposely dump their food/water just so they can chew on something other than just the toys they play with on a daily basis.

While online, I found that our friends at SarasotaDog.com had wrote an article the previous day on the dangers of plastic bowls. How ironic is it that? Turns out that within the holes that Bert & Ernie had created in the plastic is the exact environment that nasty bacteria can begin to grow. Of course, this in turn can make your dog sick. Even cats can develop feline acne as a result of being allergic to plastic.

In my own home, I use only stainless steel bowls or thick non-skid plastic bowls with a rubber rimmed bottom, making it impossible for them to knock over the bowl. Then again, my dogs have never had an issue with chewing on plastic, either. Sarasota Dog suggested using ceramic bowls. Although they are breakable, they can be easily tossed into the dishwasher. Luckily, I found a stainless steel bowl in my client’s kitchen that is a temporary fix BUT of course, they still knock the bowl over while no one is home. Having to clean up a little water is a small price to pay compared to a sick dog. Especially when it could have all been avoided.

Although I cannot make my client change her ways, it’s always good to offer the information in case they are not aware. Until a couple of days ago, I was unaware myself and I’ve had dogs for most of my life. Personally, I’ve never owned a small dog breed which may be why I’ve never had to address the situation. Thanks to SarasotaDog.com for having relevant content that all dog owners should be aware of. Who knows, maybe these articles might just save a life.