For Safety & Health Information Please Visit
Animal Poison Control Hotline # (888)426-4435
Pet 1st Aid: CPR
American Red Cross and the Humane Society of the United States
If you are having trouble affording veterinary care, visit humanesociety.org for a list of assistance programs
Train your dog the smart way
Learn three myths that could harm your pup—and alternative approaches that work
Myth 1: You must dominate your dog
Research shows that fear causes a pet to withdraw and can even lead to permanent changes in the animal’s brain. Physical force or choke collars make you dog anxious—and can be painful. It’s best to work with your dog, not against it. Think of the relationship as a partnership, and you have seniority.
Myth 2: Negative reinforcement gets results
Punishment might work in the short term, but it can make your pet a nervous wreck. Instead, show what you expect. When your dog behaves, give it an “emotional biscuit” (say, “That’s a good dog!”) or on occasion, a treat. Your pet shouldn’t be able to predict when a treat is coming or the motivation to earn it might disappear.
Myth 3: An old dog can’t learn new tricks
Dogs crave stimulation well into old age. One way to keep them spry is by using a food puzzle. The chewable treat dispensers make pets work for their reward and keep them mentally and physically engaged.
Source: Marty Becker, DVM, author of Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual
Another fun game you can play with your dog is like an old magic trick; hide a treat under one of three plastic cups with holes punched in for the scent to be released, interchange them, and then line them up to display to your dog to sniff out the cup with a treat under it. This game activates their nose and brain!
Alcoholic beverages: Can cause intoxication, comas, and death.
Animal fat and fried foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.
Avocados: The fruit, pit and plant are toxic (all parts). They can cause difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation in the chest, abdomen and sac around the heart. The toxic ingredient in avocado is called persin (toxic amount unknown).
Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and damage a dog’s internal organs. A raw bone should always be supervised when eaten as a piece can always break off and cause problems.
Bread: Not white bread or other breads because it converts to fat and sugar
Broccoli: In large amounts
Cat food: Generally too high in protein and fats.
Chocolate: Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Cocoa powder and Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous. A dog can consume milk chocolate and appear to be fine because it is not as concentrated, but it is still dangerous.
Coffee, coffee grounds, tea and tea bags: Drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes
Fruit pits, seeds, and cores: Apples, cherries, pears, plums, peaches, apricots- contain cyanogenic glycosides. Consuming these can result in poisoning and/or can get lodged in the intestines and kill the dog.
Grapes and Raisins: Can cause kidney failure in dogs. A couple grapes or raisins can kill a dog.
Macadamia nuts and Walnuts: Can cause locomotor difficulties; weakness, pain in muscles, muscle tremor and paralysis. Limit all other nuts; they are not good for dogs in general. Nuts have high phosphorous content and may lead to bladder stones. Exception to this rule seems to be PEANUT BUTTER. It is recommended to use Salt/Sugar free organic peanut butter (sugar encourages cancer growth).
Meat cold cuts: They are high in salt and nitrates and can lead to kidney and digestive problems.
Milk and other dairy products: Some dogs do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in gas and diarrhea. Also high in fat and can cause pancreatitis. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Mushrooms: Can be deadly- never let your dog eat mushrooms found in your yard, may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death. Only safe “food” mushrooms are shitake, maitake and reishi.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death in large amounts
Onions: Onions are toxic, destroy red blood cells and can cause haemolytic anemia.
Potato: The green plant, peelings and green looking potatoes are toxic and contain oxalates. Affects the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Raw eggs: Can cause salmonella poisoning in dogs. Scrambled is best. Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin, vitamin B. Can lead to skin and hair coat problems.
Raw fish: Can result in a thiamine deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Rawhides and animal hooves: Most rawhides have chemicals that cause cancer. They can chip or splinter and sharp pieces can kill dogs. Also gets lodged in their esophagus and choke. As many as 40% of all dogs are allergic to cow skin rawhide chews.
Rhubarb leaves: Can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Salt: Excessive intake can cause kidney problems.
Sugar and Corn syrups: Even organic is bad. Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes. Not including Honey or Molasses, although they should only be in small amounts and never fed to dogs with cancer.
Tomato leaves & stems: The green parts of the plant are the most toxic and contain oxalates, but tomatoes themselves can be unsafe. Can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Affects the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
Tuna: Has a high mercury content and small bones.
If any of these dangerous foods have been consumed or you see unusual symptoms and are concerned, call your veterinarian. Tell him what your dog ate, how long ago, and what the symptoms are. If you can, bring a sample of the food and a sample of what your dog vomited or passed: these things may help your veterinarian determine what poisons are involved in the illness and its severity.
If you can’t get to a veterinarian quickly, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There may be a small fee for the service.
Chicken: Skinless, boneless chicken breast
Turkey: Skinless, boneless turkey breast
Fish and Pork: Must be well cooked
Most are great for your dog and are encouraged. But dogs have shorter digestive tracts than humans and cannot digest most vegetables whole or in large chunks. Cut vegetables or put them through a food processor.
Best veggies for your dog are:
Green Beans, Lettuce, Yams
Carrots: for healthy dogs, not for dogs with cancer because they are high in sugar
Grains should not be given in large amounts or make up a large part of a dog’s diet, but these foods are generally safe in small amounts
Nonfat plain yogurt: Safe in small amounts
Cottage cheese: Safe in small amounts
Milk: Lactose-free is recommended
Cheese: Safe in small amounts
Stuffable, hard rubber toys: Fill them with frozen meat, cheese, peanut butter, premium canned wet dog food, or natural pumpkin purée for a long lasting, safe treat.
Poisonous Blossoms – Flowers and their negative health effects on dogs and cats
Azaleas and rhododendrons: Vomiting, diarrhea, leg paralysis, coma, heart failure
Daylilies: Kidney failure in cats
Geraniums: Vomiting, depression, dermatitis
Hydrangeas: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea
Source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Various sized balls are good toys. A dog can retrieve it or bury it in the snow and dig it up.
Hard rubber toys that bounce unpredictably having various sides are great toys because they test your dog’s senses by being less predictable in where they will land. And they are typically very durable.
Squeaky toys or any toy that makes noise when a dog bites it or plays with it is appealing because your dog thinks that it sounds like an animal. Make sure the squeaker is durable and not able to be bitten out and swallowed. It may be a good idea to supervise play with these types of toys.
Plastic flying discs are fun because your dog can chase and retrieve it. The best kind for a dog is soft; cloth or plastic, so it does not hurt their mouths.
Toys and Bones made to fill with peanut butter, cheese, or small treats to keep him busy for a long period of time and get small food rewards with his continued persistence. Freezing these toys or bones in advance, will make the dog work harder and treats last longer.
Having a variety of toys for your dog is suggested so he can play based on his mood. If he wants to take out his aggression in a constructive manner he can play with a toy to bite and shake. If he is in a curious or playful mood he can roll a ball around. If he just wants comfort, he can get out the cuddly toy to lie with.
Toys with strings are not good because they can be ingested and get stuck in the digestive tract.
Stuffed animals or toys with filling, stuffing, or beads are not preferred because of the possibility of choking, toxicity, or inability to digest the material.
Avoid items like rubber bands, ribbons, small children’s toys and game pieces. Also balls that are too small for the dog and can get lodged in his throat, old or torn toys.
* Supervision is always recommended. Some toys can be ripped up and swallowed.
There are many reasons to play games with your dog. It can bond you. Games can make him healthier; keep him from becoming bored and potentially being bad. Games also help train your dog. It’s still important that you remain in control of your dog while playing. Have fun with your dog. He’ll have fun if you are!