Month: March 2018

Top 5 Easter Dangers For Pets


Easter dangers for pets

March 31, 2018, by Ryan O’Quinn


While everyone has been busy painting Easter eggs this week, we’ve been hard at work removing all the brown ones from our clients’ yards. We wouldn’t want anyone to inadvertently choose the wrong egg on your hunt tomorrow.

That said, with all the prepping for the big day, just make sure your lil’ four-legged furballs don’t accidentally get into something they’re not supposed to. Depending on how you celebrate or decorate on Easter day, be aware of these items that could be dangerous or potentially fatal to your pets.


Easter Lilies


First on the list are those beautiful Easter lilies. Beautiful as they may be, the Easter lily is one of the most dangerous flowers you can have around your cats.  Along with several of the other lily varietals, it can easily cause kidney failure. They’re toxic and often fatal, even if your cat takes only a small nibble on a petal or two. All parts of the lily plant can be deadly to cats, including the leaves, pollen, flower, and even the water the lilies are stored in. It can also happen when your cat grooms lily pollen off their fur or paws. Given the high risk and the devastating consequences, the safest thing you can do is to keep these lilies out of homes with cats.




Easter wouldn’t be Easter without those yummy chocolate bunnies. As most folks are already aware, chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and unsweetened, bitter chocolate are the most toxic types because they contain the highest amount of a chemical called theobromine (and also caffeine) that must be avoided. Chocolate can also be toxic to cats, however, they tend to stay away from sweet foods.


Easter Basket Items


Plastic eggs, plastic grass, and foil wrappers may be good basket fillers for kids, but all too often look like a tasty treat to your pets. They can be a choking hazard and should be kept away from dogs and cats. These items can cause serious health problems such as airway or mechanical obstruction, gastroenteritis, even pancreatitis. In some cases, these items must be surgically removed. Be sure baskets are kept off the ground, or pets are kept in another room while baskets are being unwrapped.




Fresh, hardboiled eggs are not dangerous, but eggs spoil quickly. If days later your pet finds and eats an egg that was undiscovered during the Easter egg hunt, it can make them very sick. The best thing to do is keep track of the number of eggs hidden and make sure all are accounted for at the end of the hunt.


Candy Containing Xylitol


Xylitol is a sweetener most often found in sugar-free baked goods, sugar-free candy, and sugar-free gum.  According to PetMD, Xylitol rapidly releases insulin into a dog’s bloodstream, causing an extreme drop in blood sugar. It has also been known to cause liver failure and death.  Dogs are actually the only species reportedly affected by xylitol toxicity. The ingestion of xylitol should be considered a medical emergency, and pet owners should contact an emergency center as soon as possible.

Keep your dog safe this Easter by avoiding human food and/or treats. Spending some extra time playing with him/her, going for a long walk, or just a good cuddle session will make his holiday just as special.




8 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Their Own Poop And How To Stop It

Why dogs eat their own poop

March 18th, 2018, by Ryan O’Quinn


If you’ve ever stepped into your backyard only to discover your dog enjoying a fecalicious (sounds like it’d be a real word) midday snack, I’m sure the last thought running through your mind would be; some salt and pepper might make that taste better. Nope, probably not. Initial thoughts would be more along the lines of disgust. Immediately followed by, “you’re sure as hell not kissing me with that mouth!”


Of all the awkwardly gross habits we see our dogs engage in like drinking from the toilet, scooting their butt across the carpet, or just licking their butts—eating poop is the icing on the cake. Nothing tops it as far as the gross factor goes. They may not intend to gross us out, but it sure does the trick. Believe it or not, the gross-factor can be enough for some folks, that poop eating—scientifically called coprophagia—is, unfortunately, often a reason people will try to rehome a dog or even opt for euthanasia in some cases.


Reasons dogs engage in coprophagia


Since it’s pretty safe to say dogs aren’t eating their poop because of its sweet, savory taste, what would be a legitimate reason they’d engage in such a disgusting behavior? According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), in many cases, dogs start to eat their own poop because of some kind of environmental stress or behavioral triggers, which include:


1.  Isolation: Studies have shown that dogs who are kept alone in kennels or basements are more likely to eat poop than those dogs who live close to their people.

2.  Restrictive confinement: Spending too much time confined in a small space can cause the problem. It’s not uncommon to see coprophagia in dogs rescued from crowded shelters.

3.  Anxiety: often a result of a person using punishment or harsh methods during house-training. According to this theory, dogs may eliminate and then eat their own poop to get rid of the evidence, but then they are punished more. It becomes a vicious cycle.

4.  Attention-seeking: Dogs eat their own poop to get a reaction from their humans, which they inevitably will. So if you see your dog doing this, don’t overreact.

5.  Inappropriate association with real food: Dogs who are fed in close proximity to their feces may make a connection between the odors of food and those of poop and will be unable to tell the difference.

6.  Scenting it on their mothers: In some cases, puppies will get confused by sniffing fecal odors on their mother’s breath after she has cleaned them. Sometimes mothers may regurgitate food that is mixed with puppy fecal matter, which may set a puppy up to develop this bad habit.

7.  Living with a sick or elderly dog: Sometimes a healthy dog will consume stools from a weaker canine member of the household, especially in cases of fecal incontinence. Scientists hypothesize that this may be related to the instinct to protect the pack from predators.

8.  Just Because: Finally, some puppies and adult dogs will eat their own stool just because they like to do it. There is not always a satisfying explanation for the behavior, and the best you can do is to try to prevent your dog from doing it by distracting him and getting the stool picked up as quickly as possible.


Ok, so there are plenty of reasons your dog may be an avid connoisseur of coprophagia. But now the million dollar question: how exactly do you nip the problem in the bud?


Try these methods to end the poop-eating


1.  Always keep things clean. Pick up after your dog immediately. Don’t give him the opportunity to even consider how that fresh, steamy stool tastes. If you have other pets, clean up after them right away, too–especially litter boxes. In other words, keep temptation at bay by keeping all stools away.

2.  Keep your dog mentally and physically engaged. Make sure you set up a  regular playtime and give him/her plenty of daily activity. This is especially important for more energetic breeds of dogs.

3.  Make sure he/she is eating a whole, varied diet of quality proteins. Raw food has those digestive enzymes your dog needs to help him/her process meals. If you’re feeding cooked food only, you’ll definitely want to add digestive enzymes. Raw, green tripe is particularly high in digestive enzymes, as well as probiotics.

4.  Try adding some kelp for trace mineral deficiency. And, for a hydrochloric acid deficiency, try some apple cider vinegar. This may help mimic the missing acid and help the body compensate for the deficiency.

5.  Check your dog’s stool regularly for parasites. This can often become an undesirable and time-consuming task. By signing up for dog poop pickup service, part of the service is immediately notifying our clients if we find anything unusual in your dog’s stool upon each pickup.

6.  Avoid punishment: according to a study at the University of California, Davis involving 1,500 online surveys of pet owners, it is ineffective. The study also found food additives used to stop poop eating are only effective up to 2 percent of the time. Positive reinforcement training was not very effective either.

7.  Keep on top of the digestion situation of all the pets in your household. Remember, your dog may be attracted to another dog’s or cat’s stool, not only because he is deficient in something, but because they are not absorbing their food and their stools may be extra enticing.


The gross, but seemingly simple act of coprophagia may be somewhat complicated. If you’re noticing your dog’s starting to take a liking to poop, look for medical causes and if he/she is clear of any problems or issues, then make sure to keep things clean, your dog engaged and well fed. Be patient and most importantly always be consistent. Consulting your vet is always the best and should be the first move when dealing with a furry, four-legged poop-eating family member.