Let’s talk about food allergies today.  Dogs are very similar to people they are both mammals and eat similar food types. Just as in people dogs can have allergies to different food items, such as wheat, and grains.  People may feel some dogs are prone to more allergies than others however this maybe in relation to a breeder or inbreeding. Allergies can be genetic. Just to be clear there is a difference between an allergic reaction and a food intolerance.  Think in terms of a person having an allergic reaction to a food item such as nuts peanuts they can die breathing is cut off or have hives. A food intolerance such as with gluten (not referring to Celic disease) can cause upset stomaches, headaches,  chronic diarrhea.  For dogs such as Cocker Spaniels, retrievers, pit bulls, German Shepard, dachshunds may have allergies. The common foods for allergic reactions are lamb, soy, wheat, eggs, chicken, rabbit, beef.  Dogs can have an allergy to more than one item. 

The big question is how to determine what to feed your dog if they have allergies or how to determine which food item is causing the problem. Dog foods such as California Natural, Innova, Evo, addiction have limited ingredients. California Natural may have only Herring and Sweet Potato or lamb and rice. The dog owner can slowly adjust the foods to determine which item is the culprit. Do not forget the snacks and treats your dog eats. Goodness Gracious has one ingredient treats such as Chicken or lamb jerky. Grizzly treats are just wild Salmon jerky.  The benefit of supplying your dog such as a Rottweiler, yorkie, Chihuahua, Boston Terrier, Bull Dog, rescue mix, with one or two item food is you quickly determine if there is a food allergy.   Do not forget especially if you have a dog who likes to pick up what is around or is fed pizza crust or food items dropped from the table  these will interfere with you determining what is causing the issues. www.funlovingpets.com

My dog will beg for pizza crust. I think he is looking for any extra piece of cheese. Pumpkin is a good gas reducer for your dog, Great Dane, Border Collies, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Greyhound.    With any medical issues your first stop will be at the veterinarians office.  Have your dog/cat checked out for any other issues. 

Good training is also crucial to determine what is the issue. You can be very diligent in keeping certain foods away from you pet, however if the minute they go outside they start eating what is on the ground your hard work was for not.

Good Luck.

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March is Women’s history month so let’s talk about a few of the women in history who have had a significant influence on the animal world more specifically pets.

Elin Prince Speyer -1849-1921 Born in Lowell MA, founded the Auxillary American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This was right before the big depression when people were starving and unemployed. Elin worked hard to help the animals and pass laws to protect them.  Today the Association of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is the largest in the world.

The animal shelters around the US  can always use volunteers and donations of all kinds.  Volunteers walk the dogs, play and socialize the cats and kittens, brush and feed the horses, cows, goats and chickens. They also get a variety of animals too many to mention here.  Volunteers are needed to foster dogs and cats to make them more adoptable. 

The animal shelters such as Salem New Hampshire Animal rescue League and Cape Ann Animal Aid look for donations of foods, treats, old towels, sheets and blankets to make the animals more comfortable while they wait to be adopted.  Dog brushes, shampoos, paper towels and cleaning materials are always a welcome addition.  www.funlovingpets.com regularly donate to the animal shelters food, treats, supplements and old sheets.  They will collect from customers to donate to the shelter of choice.

In 1947 in the United States, the Association for Women Veterinarians (AWV) was founded by Mary Knight Dunlap (1910-1992). At that time, the U.S. had about 120 women veterinarians, mainly in and around New York City and in East Lansing, Michigan. this information came from the USDA.gov website.  More and more women are entering into the veterinarian field. Colleges are more accepting of women and women are interested in becoming vets.  Dr. Linda Dixon Reeve found herself as the only woman in her veterinary class at Cornell University in 1961 today there are 46,992 women veterinarians in the USA per the http://www.avma.org/ American Veterinary Medical Association.

Do you see yourself or someone close to you going to veterinary school or helping out at a shelter?

 Tell us which shelters you visit most.

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~Robin Williams  Do you love spring?  How I love spring the air is fresh note I do not suffer from allergies. The earth is coming to life again after a winter of hibernation.  The sun rises earlier in the morning and sets later in the day.  The idea of spending more time outside playing fetch with my dog. The Winga by Kurgo is a fun way to play with my dog. He loves to catch the frisbee and return it to me.  Does your labradoodle, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd like to play fetch with a frisbee? The Winga allows you to throw the frisbee farther and is the right size.  www.funlovingepts.com carries the Kurgo Winga. It takes the place of a chuck it no sticky drooling mess.

Where do you like to play with your Rottweiler, Great Dane, Springer Spaniel, Labrador, Yorkie? Do you like the beach? Some of my favorite beaches are the Singing beach in Manchester, MA , Cape Cod National parks, Rye Beach in New Hampshire, San Diego Beaches.  Where do you take your Golden Retriever to play?  If you do not live or vacation near a beach a nice field or dog park is also fun to take your furry friend  (Chihuahua, Beagle, boxer, pug, poodle). The Kurgo Winga is good for throwing the frisbee long distances. If this is not feasible the Humunga Stache is fun to watch your dog carry.  Take a picture of your Cocker Spaniel carrying around what looks like a mustache.

Now to a serious side of walking your Boston Terrier, Great Dane, Toy Poodle, Border Collie out in areas with traffic. Make sure they know how to stay with you and not to run out in the street. The high visibility vest are good for both you and your dog. They even have special sizes for a Grey Hound.  You can pick your favorite color hot pink,     bright safety orange, Bright blue, have matching vests.  This will allow the drivers to see you as you walk. There have been people hit by cars because just as the sun is coming up or going down t hey are blinded and can not see the dog walker walking. I have a friend who lost her dachshund to just this. Someone was racing to Dunkin Donuts and did not see her poor little dog at the end of the leash. She now wears the high visibility vest and stays out-of-the-way of people racing for their coffee at Dunkin Donuts.  Maybe you have seen this happen.   What color do you like?  How do you stay safe when walking your rescue dog?

Additional Winga frisbee's

Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu dogs

Image via Wikipedia

How often do you travel with your dog or cat?  Do you travel on a train, plane or car, RV?  Traveling with a pet requires different preparations depending on the type of travel you will be doing , the size of your pet and breed.  If you have a small dog such as a Chihuahua or Shih Tzu, Maltese, small poodles, Italian Greyhounds, Yorkshire Terrier… it can be easier to let them move around or travel under the seat on a plane and train.  Large dogs such as Labadoodles, German Shepherd, Boxer, Bernese Mountain Dogs, English Setter will have to be crated and put in the luggage hold.  If you can there are airlines that are designed for traveling with your dog.  The other consideration is your dog’s breed.  Some breeds are more nervous and can get easily agitated dealing with new and noisy places.  Check with your veterinarian for assistance. 

 Keep in mind the amount of time needed to exercise your dog when traveling.  If traveling by RV or car check out on-line for good dog parks along the way to stop and get out to stretch. This is also beneficial for the driver besides the dog. What a great excuse to meet new people and learn about the area you are traveling through than to walk your dog.  The furry Travelers have a good snack and water bowl for traveling in a car or RV. The food and water can be stored right in the cup holder. (www.funlovingpets.com). Keep your dog restrained in the car or RV, Krugo has a good seat for the small dog and restraints for the larger dog.  The damage and pain that can be inflicted on a dog if they are thrown from the car during an accident or getting something in their eyes when they stick their head out the window.   If you want to be seen by traffic always a good idea check out the high visibility reflective vests for both the dog owner and dog. 

Do you have good tips for traveling with your dog or cat? Which dog parks do you like?