Category Archives: Good Health

Help your dog with its cough using natural remedies

 

By Marilyn Miller

Dog with a bag of cold water on his head

Your best friend went to the bark park or doggie daycare and now he has a little cough. Of course, the first thing you’re going to do is call your vet and see if the dog needs to be seen or requires professional treatment.

But what happens when it’s a simple cough that will go away in its own good time? What if your dog’s coughing is keeping not only him awake, but you, and oh by the way, you have to go to work in the morning.

Here are some natural remedies you can try. Again, clear these with your vet before you try them.

A spoon of (preferably locally-sourced, raw, dark) honey can give both of you several hours of blessed relief. We know in humans honey not only calms a cough but gives some pain relief from the sore throat caused by coughing. Not too much, now. Too much will give your dog loose stool and nobody wants that. Try a teaspoon for a 40-pound dog, see how it goes.

Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme that reduces inflammation and swelling. Some dogs like to chew on the core of a pineapple, and some stores selling fresh cut pineapple will sell you the cores for pennies. The core is fibrous and will keep them occupied for a few minutes. Otherwise, a bite or two of fresh pineapple as a treat or with food. It has to be fresh pineapple, not frozen or canned, because processing destroys the enzyme. Again, too much will give the dog some loose stool, so start slowly.

What do you eat when you have a cough or cold? Chicken soup, of course. Put some chicken broth in your dog’s wet food, or even serve it in a bowl as a first course or snack. It’s soothing to the throat.

Keep the air in the house from being too dry. Especially in winter, the humidity level in our homes can seem lower than that of the Gobi Desert. This dryness will cause your dog’s (and your) mucus membranes to crack, causing discomfort and more coughing and possibly leading to more infection. If you don’t have a humidifier, try skipping the clothes dryer and hang your damp clothes up to dry, or put a tea kettle on the stove to barely simmer (watch the water level, don’t want a fire). Even setting cups or glasses of water around will help a little bit.

Similarly, steam may give your dog a lot of comfort. Run the shower with the bathroom door closed, and then let your dog sit in there for ten minutes or so.

If you smoke, please don’t smoke around your dog when it’s coughing. It’s an irritant.

Ask your vet if there is an over-the-counter cough syrup you can give the dog. Opinions on this seem to vary among vets and it’s not suitable for all dogs. Do not give a cough suppressant without your vet’s okay.

Coconut oil may have some anti-viral properties and is soothing. Most dogs will lick it right out of the spoon. Try a tablespoon for a 40-pound dog and see how it goes.

Take the collar off and replace it with a harness. You don’t want pressure on the throat.

An internet search will show there are a number of herbs that may be useful, but please talk to your vet before trying them. Some of them can make underlying heart, kidney, or liver disease much worse. Please don’t experiment.

Of course, if the dog doesn’t want to eat or drink or seems listless or worse yet, weak, get him to the vet pronto. Kennel cough can turn into pneumonia, and some types of cough aren’t viral at all, but are symptoms of other health problems. But in the normal course of things, this cough will pass and your dog will be back to his usual happy self.

What have you used to relieve a simple cough in your dog? Let us know in the comments section. Thank you!

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Grain Free Dog Food Diet

Grain-free is becoming an increasingly popular dog food diet. Some critics believe humans are simply mirroring their own food habits in their pets, but there are cases where a grain-free diet can be beneficial for your furry friend, mainly: allergies.

So what are the symptoms of a pet with allergies?

  • Itchiness
  • Excessive hair loss
  • Bald patches
  • Inflamed skin
  • Sores
  • Scabs

If your dog is experiencing the above symptoms, it’s possible they’re allergic to something, but don’t assume the culprit is grain. In a recent study conducted by Veterinary Dermatology, only 7 of 278 dog allergy cases were found to be caused by corn; 95 dogs were found to be allergic to beef.

Some pet owners believe that since the ancestral dogs ate a grain-free diet, so should the dogs of today. This is not necessarily true. Modern dogs have evolved, and so have their dietary needs, just as we humans have seen our nutrition needs change.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a grain-free diet for your dog is that the meal provides balanced and complete nutrition. Some dog foods are grain free, but the ingredients used to replace the grains is simply filler, and not ideal nutrition for your pet. If your dog has inappropriate nutrition, he’ll be unhealthy, and as a loving pet parent, this is the last thing you want!

When choosing the right grain-free dog food for your dog, do your research read the labels, and talk to your veterinarian to make sure you’re taking the right steps to help keep your four-legged friend as healthy as possible. dogfoodadvisor.com is a great resource with third-party analysis of every dog food on the market. Your pet food should have a healthy mix of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, even if it is grain-free!

bogo_bagshot_grainfreeBOGO Bowl Grain-Free Chicken Formula and Whitefish Duck dog foods provide the right blend of all natural protein, healthy vegetables, and fruits. We don’t use corn, soy, or weight, or artificial ingredients. Learn more here.

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Elliot the Service Dog

By Lyndsay Marvin

Not only do dogs make amazing pets, many of them make wonderful service dogs. A service dog means “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, as defined by Title II and Title III of the ADA” (https://adata.org/publication/service-animals-booklet).

Ruby and ElliotRuby Jean Furth, 17, started training Elliot as a service dog a few years after she received a diagnosis for bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by extreme episodes of depression and mania. Ruby graciously answered a few questions for BOGO Bowl about Elliot and how he helps her live a better life.
1. Where did you meet Elliot? Was he chosen specifically to be a service dog?

I met Elliot on a rainy day, April 29, 2012. He was not chosen to be a service dog; he was meant to help lift my depression (this was before I was diagnosed bipolar at age 13). I got him from the Humane Society [when he was] 11 weeks old.

2. What led to the decision to train Elliot to be a service dog? What is he (will he be) a service dog for?

What led to the decision to train Elliot to be a service dog was simply the need for one. I read more about Psychiatric Service Dogs and knew having one would benefit me. Elliot is an Australian Cattle Dog, known for their excellence at herding and being good farm hands. We live in the city and Elliot was raised with an iron fist as his breed was one known to be hard headed and stubborn. Elliot proved to be a fast learner, a cooperative friend and someone to teach me how to love again.

Elliot in his gearI didn’t know until he was 4 years old that he would be my service dog. I came across Aurum Canine Services, a small local service dog training business run by a woman named Dana Daniels. She evaluated him and said he’d be a great candidate, a rarity when adopting a dog from the shelter. Within less than two months, Dana realized how much training Elliot had already been given by me and turned the time to train him from 6 months down to only 2. I started teaching him alerts during his Public Access work and he excelled at both.

3. What are some of the things Elliot does to help you?

Elliot is in training to alert my anger episodes, respond to my anxiety by interrupting, interrupting self-harm such as hitting myself, deep pressure therapy during anxiety episodes, blocking me from the front and back when I feel anxious about people around me, and being there whenever I need him.

4. How long does it/will it take to train Elliot? How does he become certified?

Elliot soothesThere is actually no such thing as “certifying” a service dog. The IAADP states that a service dog must know at least 2 tasks that mitigate the handlers’ disability, have at least 120 hours of training, and 30 hours of public access work. This means getting them used to everything and anything, like taking them to crowded areas, passing another dog, going to movies, attending their handler to doctors appointments, all while being focused on their handler/ being relaxed or sleeping when necessary, as well as “tucking” under their owner in public setting to remain as unnoticeable as possible and out of the way.

5. What makes Elliot the best pup ever?

Elliot can be the perfect gentleman when out in public and then be there to be my running or biking partner after his working is done. He is such a versatile dog, I couldn’t ask for anything else

6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about Elliot?

We get plenty of hate from other service dog handlers since I don’t have a “typical breed” for service dog work, as well as judging Elliot before they know him, such as assuming his height, weight, and what gear he wears as well. People assume I use him for mobility, which is not true. I’ve been called a dog abuser, scum, the worst handler ever, but my trainer, Elliot, family, and all my friends know that is not the case. Elliot loves me and loves his job as well as the rest of his family. I just need to stand through the hate.

Thank you Ruby for sharing with us, and we are so glad you have Elliot to help you with every day life!

Each month, BOGO Bowl will be spotlighting a service animal on our blog. Elliot is the first of the series.

Training Video: https://youtu.be/d40Vfl7VmVQ

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