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Summary of 2021 – Dogology

In 2021, due to the ongoing pandemic, I had to focus mainly on my online activities. I was able to organize five free live webinars for you and the traditional Christmas Live. It also took me a long time to write my book and prepare for new webinars and a new online course for puppy owners. I hope that all these projects will see the light of day in 2022. If you want to be up to date with what is happening with me, I recommend subscribing to my newsletter. In it, I inform not only about all the news on the blog or the Piesology channel, but also about free webinars and other events that are often available only to people subscribed to my newsletter.

When it comes to numbers, the dogology channel on YouTube has over 147,000 subscribers at the moment. During the year, the blog was viewed by over 842,000 people. The fanpage on Facebook is followed by over 34,500 people, and Piesologia’s Instagram is followed by over 31,000 followers.

The most popular entries and videos

On the blog, you most read the entries:

On the other hand, the most watched films in 2021 were:

One world, many minds

If you have read my 2020 summary or follow my social media, you probably know that in 2020 I participated in the workshops. “Train your chicken first” organized at the Stokrotka ranch. There I had the opportunity to work with chickens using the clicker method and teach them a few simple behaviors. In 2021, I was able to return to the second part of the “One World, Many Minds” workshop, where I was teaching chickens a bit more complex chains of behavior. You can see the effect of my work below. 😀

Table Mountains with dogs

In June, we went with the dogs to the Stołowe Mountains. You can easily book a nearby accommodation with dog-friendly accommodation. The surrounding nature is beautiful. The biggest attraction is, of course, the Table Mountains National Park with many picturesque routes. However, equally beautiful and interesting are the surrounding mountains covered with beautiful spruce forests, which are located outside the National Park.

Hacker’s injury

The end of the year was less kind to us. A hacker unfortunately jumped over a ditch in a field while walking. He whined as he landed and began to limp. The next day, the right front paw swelled and a hematoma appeared. After some time, swelling also appeared on the left front paw. A visit to a dog’s orthopedist and examination revealed torn tendons. For the near future we are to drastically limit the movement, so we love the longer walks we love. I also ordered an orthosis made to measure Haker’s feet from the manufacturer of orthopedic rehabilitation equipment for animals, Admirał. This is not a paid collaboration. However, if you ever need orthoses, prams, prostheses, orthopedic collars or other specialized equipment, I can recommend the Admirał company with a clear conscience. They have a huge selection, fulfill orders quickly, sew to size and in terms of quality, everything is done perfectly. Now we are going to rehabilitate with Haker and I hope that in a few months we will return to our favorite long walks and running in meadows and fields.

Ways to Improve your Relationship with your Dog

Dogs see the world very differently than we do. Their senses work differently from ours. Their brains process information differently. Dogs also have their own means of communication that are often unavailable to us. All this makes trying to get along with the dog can be much more difficult than we think. Therefore, it is good to create a common language that will be understandable both to us and our dogs. Improve your Relationship with your Dog  can be very helpful in creating such a language.

What are markers?

In general, markers are all signals that help us communicate with the dog. These can be sound markers, e.g. words spoken by us or the sound of a clicker, visual markers, e.g. gestures, various objects and tactile markers. The latter are especially useful when working with dogs that cannot see and hear. For such dogs, touching the shoulder blade, ear, or mouth can provide the clearest signal.

The use of markers during training makes it easier for the dog to understand us. Thanks to this, he is less frustrated, better focused on the task and learns new commands much faster. Markers can be used both during training sessions and in everyday communication with the dog.

Types of markers

We can distinguish at least six types of markers depending on their function in communication with the dog.

Readiness markers

The readiness marker is usually the dog’s name. When uttering them during training, we ask the dog, “Hey, are you ready to go?” When the dog looks at us, we have a clear affirmative answer and we can give him an order. When we don’t have the dog’s attention, the chance that it will obey our command drops drastically. We also need to focus on the task in order to do it well. When our thoughts are elsewhere, we may not even hear that someone is asking us for something, and it looks similar in our dogs.

Readiness markers
These dogs are ready to go 🙂

For many dogs, a sachet of treats or toys can be a marker of readiness, i.e. a signal to start work. If these accessories always appear during training, the dog will quickly recognize them. Our clothes can also be a marker of readiness. Dogs know perfectly well in which shoes we go to work and which shoes are intended for a walk or training. For some dogs, entering a designated area is a marker of readiness. There are many possibilities here.

Award markers

Reward markers tell your dog that they are doing something right, may be finished, and that they will be rewarded in a moment. A popular marker for a reward is the clicker sound. It is very precise, so we can mark exactly the behavior we want. It is also unambiguous, repeatable and unique, so the dog will not confuse it with other sounds in the environment.

Award markers

We can also use short voiced words such as “yes”, “si” or “tak” as a reward marker. It is best to chant them differently from the words used in everyday life. We don’t want common words to get confused dog with a reward marker. It is also very important that this award always appears after the award signal. It doesn’t always have to be a treat. Many dogs prefer to work for example for playing with their handler.

You can also have many different reward markers depending on what the reward will be and where it will appear. For example, we can use a clicker as a food marker. The word “have” may mean that food will appear on the ground, and the word “catch” may be an announcement of a toy that we will throw to the dog as a reward for correctly carrying out a command.

No reward markers

The lack of reward marker is a signal for the dog that something went wrong and that this time it will not get the reward. The most commonly used markers of no reward are the words “no”, “ee”, or “ooh.” After saying these words, we simply do not give the dog a reward, which of course is a kind of punishment. It can be compared to playing with the heat of the cold, where warm means we’re getting closer and cold means we’re farther away. Likewise, in communicating with the dog, we can use a clicker or other reward markers to inform him that he is doing something right and markers of lack of reward when he does something carelessly or wrong.

On the one hand, the more feedback you give your dog during training, the better. Try to play with heat cold, using only the word “warm”. Achieving a goal this way is usually much more difficult and frustrating than in play where we get both pieces of information. On the other hand, many people misuse the no reward signal. Words like “no” and “ee” are usually characterized by negative emotions. The no reward marker should be emotionally neutral. You cannot take your frustration or anger out on the dog. If you can’t control your own emotions, you’d better not use the no reward marker. It will also not work for dogs with a very delicate psyche. For such dogs, any dissatisfaction on the part of the handler creates enormous pressure, which these dogs simply cannot cope with.

Also, the no reward signal may not be used when the dog does not know what is required of him or when he does not know what exactly he did wrong. Imagine a situation where you learn a foreign language from scratch and the teacher constantly says “no”, “wrong” etc. This method of learning will not be effective and will quickly discourage you. Imagine a situation where you read a longer piece of text to your teacher and the teacher says “no” at some point. Does it give you clear information when you made a mistake and what exactly was it? Without clear guidance from the teacher, it is not so obvious.

It is similar with the marker of lack of reward when training the dog. The dog often does not know what he has done wrong and how he can correct it. It only adds to the frustration and does not get any closer to achieving the goal. Therefore, when the dog is not following a command correctly, it is usually best to simply go back to an earlier stage in learning. Before demanding anything from a dog, we must make sure that it knows exactly what we mean.

Due to all the reservations and mistakes that are very easy to make, I advise you to be very careful when introducing no reward markers into your training. If you decide to use them, it’s best to do it under the supervision of a more experienced trainer.

Continuation markers

When training a dog, we often not only want him to assume a position, e.g. sit or lie down, but also to keep this position for a long time. This is where the continuation markers are very helpful, that is, popular praise such as “bravo” or “good”. Hearing these words, the dog knows that he is doing well and that he has to continue this behavior in order to get a reward.

Praise is very useful when we want to prolong a dog’s behavior.

Unfortunately, many dog ​​handlers forget about these praises. They say, for example, “sit down”, the dog sits down for two seconds, but nothing happens, there is no human feedback. The dog may feel that he is doing something wrong. So she gets up and sits down again. Nothing again? This begins to give the paw, lie down, and display other behaviors that previously rewarded. This way the dog tries to guess what you really mean. If your dog is behaving this way, it is very possible that your communication during training is not the best and it is worth introducing continuation markers.

Release markers

Another very useful marker is the release marker. I wrote a little more about him in this post. The release marker tells the dog that the exercise is over and that he can do something else. For example, when we teach the dog to sit down and extend this position, it is worth teaching him that a speed marker will appear at the end of the exercise. In my case it’s the word “ok”, but you can also use other words like “already”, “can” or “run”. Thanks to this, the dog does not get impatient, but calmly waits for the release marker. Without this marker, the dog may break commands frequently, as it will never know when the exercise is over.

Ending markers

The End Marker can be used at the end of a training session or at the end of a game. An excited dog may not know when a training session is over and will demand our attention long after it is over. Therefore, it is worth introducing an end marker, which means “This is the end of training / fun. You are free, do what you want. ” For me, it is the word “end”, but I also encountered the command “free” or “thank you”. After issuing the end marker, we hide the treats, toys and do not take care of the dog. We don’t play with him. We don’t give any orders anymore.

How to enter markers

It is possible that you are already using some of these markers in a more or less conscious way. It is very important to systematize them and create your own dictionary of communication with the dog. Think in what situations and why you want to use the marker. What word, sound or gesture will the marker mean. If this is not clear to you, how is your dog going to get it?

Of course, all people training with a dog should use the same dictionary. Dogs are very intelligent, and even if one person uses a marker and another doesn’t, the dog will figure out what’s going on over time. However, this is an additional difficulty for the dog, which significantly extends the training and may be a source of unnecessary frustration for the dog. It is as if he had to speak a different language to each member of the family.

It is also important to teach each marker that we use in communication with the dog first. Dogs aren’t born knowing what a clicker sound means or words like “ok”, “bravo” or “finished”. At the beginning, all these sounds are neutral for the dog and only we, during appropriate training, give them meaning.

I am very curious, which markers do you consciously or unconsciously use in communicating with your dogs?

Top 10 mistakes in clicker training

The clicker training method is based on marking and strengthening the behaviors we want. A clicker is used to mark selected behaviors. It is a small box with a plate which, when pressed, produces a characteristic sound. One of the advantages of the clicker method is that we do not use any physical or mental pressure on the dog. We can also teach the dog to carry out new commands remotely. You can read more about the clicker method in my post Clicker method – how to start? Today I wanted to focus on the 10 most common mistakes in clicker training.

1. No clicker condition

At first, the clicker sound is something neutral for the dog. It’s just another sound that occurs in the environment and means little to the dog. So we can’t buy a clicker and start training the dog with new commands right away. In order for the clicker sound to become a prize announcing marker, we must first condition it. Conditioning the clicker is very simple. All you have to do is give your dog a reward with each click. During conditioning, we do not expect any particular behavior from the dog. We just want to pair the click stimulus with the reward. After a few short series of conditioning, you can usually see that the dog is expecting a reward after hearing the telltale clicker sound. This is a clear signal that the clicker has been conditioned and that we can start working with this tool.

2. Poor reflexes

A clicker is a very precise tool that allows you to select exactly the behavior you want. The problem arises, however, when we have poor reflexes and click too fast or too late. Poor timing causes us to send the dog the wrong signals. It is difficult for him to find out which behavior we mark and reward. This can lead to a lot of confusion and a lot of frustration for the dog. Such training will be ineffective. So, before you start using the clicker while training your dog, it’s a good idea to practice dry. You can drop the ball to the ground and try to click exactly when the ball touches the floor. You can also toss the ball up and mark the moment when the ball is highest with the clicker. I also recommend exercises with an assistant who, for example, can tap a finger on the wall, and you can click this behavior with a clicker.

A simple exercise to improve your reflexes

3. Clicking as a command

Some people use a clicker to get a dog’s attention or to call it to them. When we condition the clicker sound well and the dog already has a long history of amplification associated with it, it will of course respond enthusiastically to the sound. However, we cannot use the clicker as a command. A click should always be a signal to the dog that it has done something right and that its reward is about to come.

4. The dog is afraid of the clicker

As I mentioned at the beginning, the clicker sound should be a neutral signal for the dog. However, there are dogs that are extremely sensitive to sound stimuli and are simply afraid of this sound. If you have such a dog, you cannot train with him with the help of a classic clicker. Changing a dog’s association with its sound to neutral or even positive may prove to be too difficult. The alternative is to use a clicker, which makes a quieter sound, or to use a marker in the form of a short voiced word, eg “yes”.

Classic and silent clicker
On the left, a classic clicker, on the right, a silent clicker.

5. Clicking without rewarding

One of the basic principles of training a dog with a clicker is that there must always be a reward after each click. Even if we sometimes make a mistake and click at the wrong time, or if we accidentally select the wrong behavior that we want to teach the dog. The dog should not be held responsible for our mistakes. If we do not give the dog a reward after clicking, we will weaken the clicker. Over time, its sound will cease to be of any importance to the dog and will lose its usefulness in training the dog.

6. Reaching for a treat too quickly

Another principle of clicker training is that the behavior that we select with a clicker must always appear first, and then the reward should appear. Dogs can be very fast, so catching all the desired behaviors is not that easy and requires a lot of reflexes. Additionally, we often want to provide the dog with a reward as quickly as possible, so that he can associate it with his behavior. As a result, it may happen that the dog shows a behavior, our hand starts reaching for the treat and only then clicks. If we repeat this pattern several times, the dog will quickly learn that the announcement of the reward is not really the clicker sound, but the movement of the hand towards the treats. Of course, this will weaken the clicker’s performance over time. To avoid this mistake, I recommend keeping the treat container a little further apart. Thanks to this, in order to reward your dog with a reward, you have to get up, take a step or two, and then reach for the treat.

Clicker errors - Reaching for a treat too quickly
First, I select the behavior with a clicker, and only then do I get the reward.

7. No feedback

At the beginning of learning a new command, we should give the dog a lot of feedback when it is going in the right direction. However, it may happen that for a long time the dog will not display any behavior that we could mark and reward. Long breaks like these without clicking or being rewarded can be very frustrating for a dog. The doggy has no idea what we mean and what he has to do to get the award. In such a situation, it is best to stop training and think about changing your strategy. Perhaps we are asking too much of the dog and need to break down the behavior into even smaller pieces? Or maybe you will have to consider a complete change of the criteria that we click?

8. Clicking for the same thing all the time

Another common mistake is clicking repeatedly for the same behavior and not raising the bar for the dog. If we teach the dog to lie down, at the very beginning we can mark and reward a slight deflection of the front paws. As soon as we manage to achieve this, we should choose and reward only such bending of the paws that lead, for example, to the chest touching the ground. So we are changing the criteria. We no longer click on the deflection of the front paws, but touch the floor with the chest. If we stop there, the dog will think that this is the target behavior. So he will not try to bend his paws more and put his buttocks on the ground, because this is not what he is rewarded for. So we will get a beautiful bow, not a lying position. Raising the bar too quickly will make the dog confused and will not know what we mean. On the other hand, not raising it at all and constantly rewarding it for the same, will make it never progress.

9. Too long sessions

The training session cannot be too long. It is difficult to come up with one correct length of session that will work for all dogs. Much depends on the dog’s age, health, ability to concentrate on the task, motivation or emotions. In some dogs, the session should last several seconds, in others – a few minutes. Of course, prolonging training sessions indefinitely can lead to mental fatigue in the dog. It can also be frustrating or over-agitated your dog. All this worsens his cognitive abilities and makes training less effective. Training with a clicker is also very demanding for you as trainers. You have to be very focused on what your dog is doing, picking up, marking and rewarding the right behaviors at the right times. With too long training sessions, not only your dogs’ concentration deteriorates, but also yours. So it is definitely better to do too short sessions than prolong them too long. I know that during clicker training, keeping track of the length of the session is particularly difficult. We focus on the dog and on clicking at the right moment and giving him a prize. At the same time, we stop paying attention to the passing time. When the dog starts to do something, we want to do one more repetition and one more … and finally there are too many repetitions.

10. Too long use of the clicker

Dog training can be divided into three stages. The first is the obtaining of preservation stage. At this stage, we train the dog to perform a given behavior on our verbal command or gesture. Then we have the behavioral consolidation stage in which we train the dog to obey the command in various distractions and situations. The third step is to maintain the behavior, that is, from time to time remind the dog of the previously learned behavior. The clicker is useful in the first stage of training, which is obtaining behavior. It helps us clearly and precisely explain the behavior to the dog. However, once we have obtained the behavior and teach the dog to perform it on a verbal command or gesture, there is no reason to continue using the clicker in the next stages of learning. Using this tool for too long can make the dog stop trying and start obeying the command more and more carelessly.

Of course, there are many more training mistakes that can be made when working with a dog. In this post, I tried to focus on errors related directly to the clicker method training. I am very curious, which of these mistakes you made, and maybe you still do? I recommend recording and analyzing your training sessions here. When we look at ourselves from the outside, we can see many more mistakes. Or maybe you make other mistakes that I have not listed here, and about which you would like to warn others?

I comment on TikToki with aggressive dogs

I was browsing through Tik Tok recently and found a lot of funny and really cute dog videos, but I also found quite a few videos that shocked and saddened me. Unfortunately, many people, including those professionally working with dogs, still cannot read the signals sent by them. Ignoring calming signals, also known as early stress or threatening signals, leads to many unnecessary conflicts. So I thought it might be a good idea to give you my comments on some of the movies I found on Tik Toku.

The golden retriever is trying to bite the groomer

In the first video, the groomer looks after a 9-month-old Golden named Brooke as if nothing had happened. She bathes it, dries it, combs it, trims its fur … nothing unusual. However, already during drying, the dog jumps on the groomer, which was a big surprise for her. Later, when the groomer grabs the dog’s mouth with her hand and brings the scissors closer to him, Brooke tries to bite her. This behavior was also not expected by the groom. As he says in the film, the dog hadn’t shown any signs of aggression before, but was it really so good for the dog to take previous grooming treatments and suddenly tried to bite without warning?

Dog Tiktoki - The Golden Retriever is trying to bite the groomer

Not! The video clearly shows a series of calming signals that indicate the dog is stressed. Brooke clearly avoids eye contact with the groomer, turns her head, panting nervously, licks her nose. Additional stress may result in the dog being immobilized on a special grooming table and it is impossible to escape. We also do not know if Brooke was used to all these grooming treatments and grooming before. A dog will behave completely differently when the treatment is performed by a person he knows and trusts well than when it is done by a stranger.

Unfortunately, all signs of Brooke’s stress have been ignored here. If we do not react, when the dog calmly “talks” to us, it begins to “scream” loudly. In other words, when we ignore the calming signals, the dog may begin to show threatening or even aggressive signals, as with Brook.

Rottweiler likes to kiss?

In the next movie we see a girl trying to kiss her little bitch on the face. The bitch clearly does not like it and after a moment of threats she attacks the girl’s face. This scene is juxtaposed with a rottweiler growling loudly at a man kissing his face. The difference is that the Rottweiler does not attack him. In the description of the film, we can read that the dog’s growling is not even a warning signal.

tiktoki with dogs - Rottweiler likes to kiss?

In my opinion, however, this is a clear warning sign. The Rottweiler is tense, avoids eye contact with a man, licks his nose, shows proteins in his eyes, the so-called “Moon eye”, of course, it growls and shows its teeth. So it presents a series of calming and threatening signals at the same time. The only difference is he doesn’t attack… this time. The dog apparently has more patience with this type of human behavior than a small female, but that doesn’t mean it won’t attack in a similar situation in the future. And the consequences of a rottweiler attack can be much more serious than for a small female dog.

Child and German Shepherd

In the third film, we have a small child seated on a dog in the form of a German Shepherd. The child is very happy and so are his guardians, but what about the dog in this situation? You could say that the dog is also happy, because he smiles so widely, does not growl, does not attack the child … Unfortunately, from my perspective as a dog trainer and behaviorist, and from the dog’s perspective, it looks a bit different. The wide “smile” presented by the dog in this film is nothing more than nervous panting. When a child pulls his dog’s ears, bends over him, grabs his head, puts his fingers in his eye, the pooch shows a series of stress signals such as avoiding eye contact, turning the head, “moon eye” or licking his nose.

tiktoki with dogs - Child and German Shepherd

Unfortunately, many dog ​​parents and guardians fail to pick up on all these little signals or consciously ignore them. Because more important than the emotions of the dog is that the child has fun. Because you have to take a funny picture on social media, etc. Fortunately, in this video the dog did not attack the child, but if this happens again, it may eventually lose its patience. Unfortunately, the consequences of such an attack will most likely be borne by the dog, and not by its irresponsible guardians and guardians of the child.

Below I am throwing you a video with my full analysis of these three ticks. If you are interested in the subject of dog communication, please click and watch.

How often do we hear or read in the media that the dog has bitten without warning? Dogs send us various messages all the time. We just need to learn to read them and respond accordingly. I hope that posts like this one will help you understand your dogs even better and avoid the situations that I am describing here.

Why does the dog growl? – dogology

Growling is one way of canine communication. Depending on the context of the situation and the dog’s body language, it can mean different things. This can be a warning sign, but it can also be a sign of normal excitement while having fun. In today’s post, I will try to describe the causes of different types of dog growls and how to deal with a situation when a dog growls.

Warning signal

Growling can be a warning or a threatening signal. The dog says “stay away because I’m ready to attack you” or “stop what you’re doing because I might bite you.” So it is a clear message that something is happening that the dog dislikes very much and is causing him nervousness or fear. A dog never sends out warning signals for nothing. There can be many reasons for a growl, and it can be accompanied by a variety of emotions.

Many dogs growl when they feel anxious or fearful. These emotions can arise when we do something unpleasant for the dog, when we act by force or by surprise. That is why proper socialization and getting dogs used to different situations is so important. Without it, the dog may perceive an attempt to pick it up, put on a harness, bathe or cut its claws like an attack. Many dogs also growl in defense of their territory, their family members, or exceptionally valuable resources. Such resources can be tasty teethers, a bowl of food, but also a favorite toy or, for example, a bed. Some dogs also treat their guardian as such a valuable resource and are able to actively defend them.

the dog growls in warning

Dogs can also growl in frustration when their basic needs are not being met. For example, a dog that is very social, but has no contact with other dogs because it is kept on a leash or behind a fence, may respond to the sight of another dog with a snarl. It is not anger but frustration. However, such a growl can turn into aggressive behavior both towards the stranger and the handler. Some dogs relieve tension in such situations by biting the nearest thing or person within reach of their teeth. You have to be aware of this and be very careful in such situations.

Medical problems can also be another cause of the warning growl. When the dog hurts something, and we touch this sore spot, the dog may react by growling. Dogs are reluctant to show that something hurts them, so if you notice unusual behavior of your pooch, it is worth taking him to the vet and thoroughly examining him.

How to react when a dog growls warningly?

When your dog growls in warning, it’s best to stop doing what’s provoking him and walk away calmly to a safe distance. If a dog growls at people or dogs while walking, avoid them at a wide berth or even change the walking route to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Of course, just avoiding the dog growls will not solve the problem. Therefore, you also need to consider what caused the dog’s growling and work on it best under the supervision of an experienced behaviorist and veterinarian.

how to react when a dog growls sharp

You must not punish the dog for growling. By applying penalties in such a situation, we enter into an open conflict with the dog and we can provoke him to attack. The penalty will not solve the root cause of the problem either. It can, however, teach the dog that this form of communication is unacceptable and that the next time the dog attacks without any warning.

Unfortunately, many people still believe that the dog is trying to dominate us by growling. It’s hard to say, however, that a dog that hurts something or is afraid of touching, lifting, putting on a harness, grooming or neighbors’ dog thinks about domination. There is also no the domination theory to explain each dog’s behavior, which I wrote more about in this article.

Growling while playing

Growling is not always a warning sign, however. Dogs may also growl when playing with people or other dogs in excitement. Play is mock hunting or fighting. It exhibits the same behaviors as in real hunting or combat. The difference is that the dog is in control of its behavior and does not want to harm anyone.

The dog growls while playing with a jerk

Dogs growl especially when wrestling with other dogs or when dragging a shark. Growling while playing is not aggressive. The dog does not want to dominate its guardian in this way. Such a growl shows that the dog is having a great time and is very aroused.

How do you react when your dog growls while playing?

On the one hand, we should be glad that the dog is deeply into the game and will snarl. When a dog likes to play with us, we can use it to learn the basics of obedience. Play is a great way to reward your dog during training. On the other hand, you should always be careful not to over stimulate the dog. The line between having fun and over-excitement leading to aggression can be thin. Therefore, we should control the dog’s excitement level, so that this limit is never exceeded.

It is worth introducing clear rules when playing with the dog and observing them consistently. It is helpful here to enter commands such as “have”, “let go” and “end” while playing with a jerk. By teaching your dog to catch and release a shark when prompted by word, and by communicating clearly when the game is over, it is much easier to keep his emotions at a safe level. I wrote more about how to teach a dog these commands here. I also recommend introducing the rule that each catching the human body with your teeth means the immediate end of the game. Many dog ​​handlers allow the dog to pinch them or even chew them while they play. Some people find it funny. Others say their dog grabbed the hand by accident. Unfortunately, tolerating such behavior and rewarding it with more fun can lead to unnecessary aggression.

As you can see, the signals sent by dogs can be ambiguous. Growling can be a warning sign, but it can also be a sign that your dog is having a great time. If you are not sure what the intent of your dog’s growling is, it is always safer to assume that it is a warning snarl. I also recommend consulting a behaviorist who can help you identify the exact causes of your pooch’s growls.

Do dogs feel guilty? Commenting on TikToki

Nobody would like to see a mess or a large pool of urine in the middle of the living room when they return home. Unfortunately, dog handlers sometimes have to face this reality. Many people get angry in similar situations. They tell the dog that he did wrong, they put bitten objects under his nose, etc. The dog reacts in such a situation with fear and shows a number of so-called calming signals, also known as stress signals. The dog crouches, avoids eye contact with the handler, puts his ears back, licks his nose, yawns. Some dogs raise the front paw or wag their tail nervously. If the stress level is very high and the dog feels that his life may be in danger, he can trigger one of five survival strategies. Most often, the pooch will just try to escape from a difficult situation, but he can also noticeably slow down his movements or even freeze motionless.

I have recorded a video for you with my commentary on tiktoków in which dogs show such behavior. However, do they prove that the dog feels guilty and knows that he did wrong? Will he exhibit undesirable behavior in the future when we punish him?

Do dogs feel guilty?

Dogs possess most mental abilities, including emotions, about the level of a two-to-a-half-year-old child. So they feel excitement, anxiety, contentment, disgust, fear, anger, joy, shyness, or attachment. On the other hand, emotions such as guilt, shame, pride or contempt are completely alien to dogs. What we often read as a dog’s guilt is actually fear. The dog, seeing our reaction, knows that something is wrong. However, he does not necessarily associate our anger with his previous behavior.

The development of emotions in a dog - graph

It is worth remembering that for the punishment to be effective, it must occur when the undesirable activity is performed by the dog or a few seconds later. Punishing a dog a few minutes or hours after the fact does not make any sense. The dog simply will not associate its behavior with its consequence, i.e. punishment. However, he will learn that when the guardian comes home and is very angry, it is better not to get in his way.

Research on guilt in dogs

Professor Alexandra Horowitz conducted an interesting experiment. The dogs’ keepers would put the treat on the ground and forbade their pupils to eat it, after which they left the room. Only the observer, who filmed his behavior, remained in the room with the dog. The dog could obey the guardian’s prohibition and leave a treat, or disobey and eat it. In addition, the observer sometimes took the treat from the ground himself without the knowledge of the dog’s handler. Before returning to the room, the handler was informed whether his dog had broken the command or not. This information was not always correct. Upon hearing of the obedience, the guardian was to greet the dog in a friendly manner, while the disobedience was to be punished with a verbal reprimand.

The dog gives up the treat

It turned out that the dogs’ behavior did not depend on whether they were obedient or not. It depended, however, on the behavior of their guardian. When the handler greeted the dog in a friendly manner, the dog was happy even when he ate the treat lying on the ground. On the other hand, when the handler punished the dog with verbal reprimands, the dog displayed behaviors interpreted by many people as guilty even when the dog obeyed and did not eat the treat.

Based on a similar study by a team of researchers in Hungary and Scotland, it has been established that the behavior of dogs when greeting a handler cannot be a reliable indicator of whether the dog has committed a “crime” or not. What about punishing dogs for destroying, pampering themselves at home or stealing food in our absence?

Destroying various items

When a dog has not been taught to be independent and stays home alone for many hours, it will look for ways to cope with increasing stress and anxiety. When biting or tearing objects apart, serotonin is released in your dog’s body. It is a hormone responsible for improving the dog’s mood, among other things. Destroying objects is therefore one of the stress coping strategies for dogs. If, after returning home, we scold the dog for the damage, we will not teach him this behavior. We can, however, increase his stress level and intensify unwanted behavior in the future.

The dog destroys the pillow on the bed

The dog can also destroy objects in the house out of sheer boredom. If we do not provide him with the right amount of movement and mental stimulation, he will be looking for ways to meet these basic needs. In this case, punishing the dog will also not stop it from destroying the apartment. Disease can also be a cause of chewing things. Many dogs find solace by chewing on various objects when they have digestive problems. Biting is also more severe in puppies who replace their teeth permanently. Neither punishing a sick dog nor a teething puppy will solve the problem of destroying items in your home.

Taking care of yourself at home

Another problem that dog handlers face is killing a dog while the handler is absent. There can also be many reasons for this behavior. Perhaps the dog has never been properly trained to clean and simply doesn’t know that he shouldn’t pamper himself at home. It is also possible that the dog had to wait too long for the next walk. Often, changing the diet, times of meals and walks causes the pooch to relieve himself at other times than usual. Many dogs kill themselves at home in the absence of their owners due to stress. You cannot forget about the diseases that make the pooch have to go outside more often.

The puppy took care of the carpet

Punishing a dog that is relieved of stress, because he is ill, because he has not been taught cleanliness or because he is taken too rarely for a walk will certainly not solve the problem. It can, however, aggravate your dog’s stress and make him pee at home even more often. A dog that is punished for taking care of himself in the house may also learn to eat his droppings. When there is no excrement, the person is not angry and there is no punishment. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to teach your dog this behavior later on.

Food theft

Some dogs just wait for the handler to disappear from sight to steal food from the table, kitchen countertops, or the garbage can. It’s important to know that this is a natural behavior for many dogs. In the canine world, as long as the dog eats or stands over food, the food belongs to him. However, when the pooch leaves him and ceases to be interested in him, everyone can come and take them. In the human world, the rules are slightly different. When we leave the sandwich on the table and go to another room for a while, we expect food to be waiting for us when we return. Due to these differences in human and dog habits, we often have unnecessary conflicts.

Of course, you can teach your dog not to move any food that is left for a while. However, it should be remembered that this behavior is not natural for the dog. We also cannot expect the dog to guess what rules prevail in the human world and to follow them perfectly. We cannot demand behaviors from the dog that we have not taught him before.

The dog wants to steal a chicken from the kitchen counter

If we have a dog that has experienced hunger in his life, his need to constantly get food can be very great. Punishing a dog for this behavior will not make it stop stealing food. Some dogs are constantly looking for food because they are just hungry. If we feed our dog with highly processed, poorly digestible food, even giving him large portions will not satisfy his nutritional needs. Punishing a dog that is hungry, lacking in its diet, or is sick will not suddenly make it stop stealing food.

How to fix the problem?

If your pooch destroys various items, takes care of things at home or steals food, the key to solving the problem is always finding its causes. Only when you know the causes of your dog’s undesirable behavior, you can try to change them. If the pooch destroys the apartment because he suffers from separation anxiety, it is worth taking him to the vet and to a behaviorist who will develop an individual plan for further therapy. On the other hand, if the dog destroys various objects at home out of boredom, increasing the number and intensity of walks and introducing additional mental stimulation in the form of olfactory games or learning the basics of obedience should solve the problem.

Likewise for dogs that mess around in the house or steal food. We first identify the causes of the problem, and only then consider how we can change the dog’s undesirable behavior. We will work differently with a dog that has not been trained to clean, and differently with a dog that has a sick bladder. One thing is for sure, yelling at your dog will not solve the root cause of the problem and will not change its behavior. However, it can negatively affect your relationship and your dog’s sense of security.

Sources

Coren S. (2013). Which Emotions Do Dogs Actually Experience? Psychology Today

Hecht J, Miklósi Á, Gácsi M (2012) Behavioral assessment and owner perceptions of behaviours associated with guilt in dogs. Appl Anim Behav Sci 139: 134-142.

Horowitz A (2009) Disambiguating the guilty look: salient prompts to a familiar dog behavior. Behav Process 81: 447–452.

Can Dogs Eat Pomegranate? It Is Good, But Is It Good For Your Pup?

The question for today’s article – can dogs eat pomegranate? Or is it best to avoid it like some other fruit?!

If your dog has eaten pomegranate, he or she should be all right, no need to rush to the nearest veterinary emergency unit. However, that doesn’t mean it’s recommended that you feed your dog large quantities of the fruit. In fact, most experts recommend not feeding your dog pomegranate at all.

It is believed that due to the high quantity of tannins in pomegranates and / or the high acidity level of pomegranates, it has a tendency to upset your pooch’s stomach. Symptoms from eating pomegranate may include stomach ache, diarrhoea (diarrhea for our readers from the United States of America), vomiting shaking and shivering.

If your dog has eaten pomegranate and starts vomiting, there is no need to panic, just keep an eye on your dog and make sure he / she has access to plenty of clean drinking water. In this instance, vomiting is good thing because it helps the dog’s body get rid of the pomegranate it just ate. However, if vomiting persists, your dog becomes dehydrated and / or loses its appetite, you should ring up your vet asap.

Another concern with pomegranates, is the fact that your dog may struggle to digest the seeds.  Dogs ordinarily won’t spit the seeds out and, due to dogs’ dental anatomy, they are also unlikely to crush the seeds before swallowing. Ingesting too many seeds can cause diarrhoea, as a dog’s intestines are not able to cope with breaking down the seeds. You will likely notice the whole (undigested) seeds in your dog’s poop.

If you have a pomegranate tree in your garden, it is recommended that you should take care to keep the fruit out of Buddy’s reach. If Buddy comes across the pomegranate tree when left alone in the garden, his doggy senses will probably tell him that those fruit are yummy and he will try and eat some.

Some people on pet forums aver that they have been feeding their dogs pomegranates for a long time and their dogs are old and healthy with no ill effects from the fruit. But then again, there are people that smoke and live to be over a hundred years old. That doesn’t mean that the experts will stop telling everyone smoking is bad for your health. The same goes for pomegranate and dogs.

But There Are Pomegranate Based Treats?

Can Dogs Eat Pomegranate

Can Dogs Eat Pomegranate

Pomegranates are packed with anti-oxidants, fibre, folic acid, potassium and vitamin C. This makes pomegranates very healthy, not only for humans but for dogs too. As already mentioned, pomegranates aren’t really good for dogs, due to their high content of antioxidants (tannins). Therefore, pomegranate in dog treats are processed into a healthier and less toxic form that is safe for dogs whilst retaining the good nutritional qualities of the fruit.

These treats still have some anti-oxidants in them as well as the other good qualities of pomegranate, without the risks. Research shows that the right amount of anti-oxidants are good for dogs. In fact, many pet food manufacturers add anti-oxidants to their products.

Whilst on the topic of fruit seed, many of the seeded fruits, (pears, apples, grapes) the seeds contain a small amount of cyanide. As we all should know, cyanide is rather toxic, both for humans and to dogs. Even a tiny dose of this poison will result in complications in canines. Fortunately, pomegranate seeds do not contain any cyanide.

You can also opt for pomegranate extract.  According to recent studies, pomegranate extract is effective in reducing the risk of canine heart disease. In a statement made by Healthy Pets, “pomegranate extract could be effective as part of a multidimensional dietary strategy to reduce the onset and progression of oxidative stress-induced canine disease.”

What if you have access to plenty of pomegranates (for example, you have a pomegranate tree in your garden)? Isn’t there some way you can harness the goodness of the fruit without the harmful side-effects or incurring the costs for special treats? Some veterinary experts suggest that you can give your dog pomegranate seed, in small quantities (relative to the dog’s size).  To do this, remove the fruit’s flesh, then crush up the seeds in your dog’s bowl or mixed with food (see here for more info).

What About Other Fruit and Vegetables?

The latest research shows that, based on their intestinal characteristics, dogs lean more to being carnivores than omnivores. However, dogs have specially adapted to eating grains and some vegetation.  Therefore, it is perfectly safe to feed your dog some dog friendly fruit and vegetables.

One of the key benefits of plants is that they contain much needed fibre. If you see Buddy eating grass regularly it may be because Buddy needs more fibre in his diet. Grating up some carrots in with your dog’s pellets is one easy way to enhance the fibre content of your dog’s diet, particularly if your dog is already on a special diet that doesn’t provide a high fibre content.

Fruit and vegies also are rich in vitamins and other nutrients. In addition, vegetables tend to be low in calories. Thus, replacing a small percentage of the dog’s regular food with some grated veggies such as carrots is a good way to add nutrients for dogs that are overweight or on a calorie restricted diet. If your dog always seems hungry, some veterinarians recommend replacing a small percentage of the dog’s regular food with some grated up vegetables such as carrot. Doing so will bulk up the meal without raising the calorie-count. Fruit however tend to be higher in sugar than vegetables and should be limited in diets of overweight pets

Although the concept of giving fruit and vegetables may be foreign to people who only feed their dogs pellets, dog owners who have their dogs on a “raw diet” will probably be familiar with adding fruit and veg to the canine diet (read more about raw diets for dogs here). Many owners maintain that their dogs appear to be in great health on a raw diet that contains small quantities of fruit and vegetables.

If you like to give your dog treats but your dog is overweight, a small slice of fruit or vegetable could also serve as a good alternative low calorie treat. However, there are lots of dogs that will rather say “no thank you” to a slice of carrot or apple. That is perfectly normal, not all dogs like vegetation as food.

Good and Bad Plants – Some Options You Give You Pup and Some You Shouldn’t

Plants considered suitable to give to dogs include: Bananas, berries (such as blueberries and cranberries), carrots, pumpkin, sweat potato, watermelon and zucchinis.

Plants to avoid, include: Avocados, all citrus fruit, cherries, coconut, garlic, grapes (including , raisins, and currants and their juices; grapes have an unknown toxic mechanism that adversely affects the kidneys of some dogs and cats), some nuts such as pecan, macadamias and wallnuts  (peanuts are fine though and often used as a treat, but then again, peanuts are not nuts as the name suggests, they are actually legumes), rhubarb, starchy foods such as corn, potatoes and unions (see here for some more info – see rule #6).

This is not an exhaustive list, for more detail on what plants you can and cannot give your dog, visit dogsaddict.com.  Also remember to wash the fruit or veggies and remove husks, inedible skins and seeds before feeding them to your dog.

A final reminder, although fruit and vegetables are a good way to ensure a nutritionally balanced diet, they should be given in moderation, even if considered safe. Buddy is after all still a carnivore.

So….Can Dogs Eat Pomegranate or What?

Okay, so what is the final answer…can dogs eat pomegranate or not? The short of it, while they probably shouldn’t eat pomegranate it won’t be the end of the world if your pup accidently ingests a little pomegranate. If you are keen on feeding your little fur-baby some healthy fruit and vegetables, there are some other alternatives that you can give it.

My Dog Has Diarrhea – What To Do?! – The Everything Dog Site

 Home > Dog Health > My Dog Has Diarrhea – What To Do?! My Dog Has Diarrhea – What To Do?! January 31, 2015 Dog Health

Most of us love our dogs almost as much as our children. Many childless people and couples even think of their dog as their substitute child, so it’s to be expected that when your dog becomes ill, you start to panic and feel guilty thinking that it must be your fault that your dog is suffering. Even the healthiest of dogs will get bouts of diarrhea from time to time, in the same way that adults do. Also, dogs feel the world through their mouths in the same way that adults feel their world through their hands. Naturally, you dog would be more susceptible to diarrhea, even in the most cleanest of houses. It’s also inevitable that they will also use their mouths when investigating anything of interest when you take them for walks. So try not to feel guilty. Instead, read on to find out how to get your little (or perhaps not so little) friend get back on their feet.

How do I know my dog has diarrhea?

Firstly, you are likely to smell diarrhea well before you see it! Dog poo is never nice to smell, but doggy diarrhea is something else! When you spot some stools, it will be very runny (a chocolate pudding consistency) or may even be liquid. Your dog may also strain when passing faeces, and may need to pass faeces much more frequently than normal. The faeces may also contain mucous, blood, foreign objects and parasites. Other signs are more flatulence from your dog than normal, lethargy, vomiting, fever, lack of appetite, weight loss, and signs of abdominal pain (your dog looks bloated, groans or moves away from you when you touch his belly, or pants rapidly).

What exactly is diarrhea?

Diarrhea itself is not a disease; it is simply a symptom of a dysfunctional gastrointestinal tract. The diarrhea is an attempt by the gastrointestinal tract to get whatever bad food or pathogens out of it so they cannot be absorbed into the blood stream where they can cause a lot more damage.

It can be a sudden thing, but can also last weeks or even months. A sudden, single bout is nothing for you to worry about. Simply read on to find out how you can help your friend get back to peak health. However, if you find your dog has diarrhea that lasts for more than a day, please go to a vet as it will be experiencing dehydration. Also, if your dog is experiencing additional symptoms such as frequent vomiting, fever, lethargy, refusing to eat, abdominal pain, or sudden weight loss, this may be an indication of a much more serious health issue. So please go to your local vet straight away. If the stools are black, your dog could be bleeding internally from his small intestine or stomach. Do not wait for a day, but take it to a vet immediately. Also, if you have a puppy, again do not wait 24 hours, as diarrhea in young dogs can be a serious issue.

What can cause my dog to have diarrhea?

Your dog simply ingesting food that he is unknowingly intolerant or allergic to, or eating food that has gone off in bins may cause diarrhea in your dog. Even just abruptly changing your dog’s diet can cause diarrhea. Of course, dogs feel their world through their mouths and will attempt to lick and chew anything. So, if your dog ingests toxic plants when out for walks, or manages to swallow foreign objects such as rubber bands, plastic bags etc, it’s likely that he will get diarrhea as the gastrointestinal tract tries to get rid of the bad stuff.

Also, keep an eye on any medications you give your dog. Some dogs may be allergic to certain drugs, much like some humans can be allergic to, for example, penicillin. If you notice a pattern where your dog has diarrhea soon after giving it a certain medication, try to swap it for a different medication with a different active ingredients.

Another factor is stress. Dogs love routine, and changes to routine, such as new people in the house, sudden changes in family life, all can make for one stressed dog.

More serious reasons for diarrhea could be parasites inside your dog, such as coccidian, giardia or roundworms, an inflammation of your dog’s bowels, a viral or bacterial infection, liver disease, kidney disease, colitis, hemmorhagic gastroenteritis, and tumours within the digestive tract (cancerous or benign). Diarrhea can be a symptom of one of these underlying serious illnesses, so if you dog has diarrhea for more than a day, see your VET as soon as you can, even if it is just to put your mind at rest.

My dog is not a puppy, has not had diarrhea for more than a day, and does not have additional symptoms – how do I help my dog?

If he is not vomiting, then:

For the first 12 hours, only allow your dog to drink water and give it plenty of it to stave off dehydration. Do not allow it to eat any food. After the initial 12 hours, give him a couple of mouthfuls of bland food (e.g. white fish, cooked chicken or soft rice balls). Keep an eye on your dog’s faeces and, as soon as they start to become less liquid and more formed, very gradually introduce him back to his normal diet.

An additional source of nutrition, if your dog has diarrhea during the fasting period, is to make it drink rice water. Rice water is the white liquid left over once you have boiled rice. Use good quality rice (try the rice sold on the ‘ethnic’ aisle in your supermarket). Do not opt for the convenient microwaveable or ‘minute’ rice pouches, and don’t use brown rice either, as it has lots of fiber in it which will not help your dog’s gastrointestinal tract firm up his stools.

Simply boil a cup of white rice with 4 cups of water for around half an hour. The water will turn creamy white. Drain off the liquid into a separate container and wait for it to cool. If your dog will not drink the rice water, try mixing a teaspoon of meat flavoured baby food (e.g. chicken). Make sure it is only a teaspoon though, as your dog should be fasting and you don’t want it eating solids just yet.

If your dog is vomiting mildly:

Remove food completely and give it small amounts of water or rice water (only a few tablespoons at a time) for around 22 hours. If vomiting stops after this, give it small mouthfuls of bland food and, when his faeces are less runny, gradually introduce him back to his normal diet. If the vomiting does not stop after 22 hours, call a vet.

Is there anything I can give my dog from the medicine cabinet to help him/her?

Simply making your dog fast for a while should bring most bouts of non-serious diarrhea under control. But if he’s really suffering, some experts suggest try giving it some KaoPectate suspension, which is a combination of pectin and kaolin clay . This is an intestinal protectant which can relieve your dog’s symptoms. Alternatively, you can give it some PeptoBismal, which contains bismuth subsalicylate. This has an additional anti-inflammatory action, which could be ideal if your dog is having abdominal pain. Check out this article from Dr. Mark Papich on giving PeptoBismal/KaoPectate to your pet here, which includes dosage guidelines.

Another option that is suggested by experts is that if your dog has diarrhea that is excessive, and you are worried your dog is becoming dehydrated, is to give it some Imodium as it can help reduce fluid loss (here is a article dedicated to giving Imodium to dogs). Also, never give any of these medications to cats as they all contain salicylates which are toxic to felines!

Lastly, to aid your dog’s recovery naturally, you could consider giving your dog some probiotics. You can find these easily in your local supermarket or health food stores, as they have become increasingly popular with people who want to have a healthy digestive system. They are sold as yoghurts and yoghurt drinks, and contain living bacterial cultures. Make sure that the one you buy is pure and not a ‘mixed’ product, such as a strawberry flavoured milkshake style yoghurt drink with probiotics. You want the ones which are a pure probiotic yoghurt or yoghurt drink with nothing else added to it. Or you can opt to get high-potency powdered culture direct from your vet. These tend to be more powerful than the supermarket versions designed for human consumption, and will work faster and more effectively in relieving your dog’s symptoms. Add your chosen probiotic to the water you give your dog during fasting (or add it to the rice water)

You can continue to give your dog probiotics once he is feeling better and gradually eating solid foods. Aim for around 2 to 10 billion viable bacterial organisms in each meal to help his digestive system get back to normal.

My dog’s condition is more serious – what can I expect at my vets?

If your dog has diarrhea that lasts more than a day, or he has additional symptoms (such as frequent vomiting, fever, lethargy, refusing to eat, abdominal pain, or sudden weight loss), your vet is likely to take a stool sample at first, to check for parasites and dehydration, as well as take some blood to try and identify any underlying causes for your dog’s diarrhea.

More rigorous tests might be carried out depending on how severely ill your dog is and how long he has had diarrhea, such as endoscopies, ultrasound, radiographs, biopsies and cultures.

Try your best not to worry. You vet is an expert medical professional. Tell them everything you know about your dog and allow them to help your dog.

My dog has diarrhea quite frequently – why?

As long as you have checked with a vet that there is no underlying illnesses to be concerned about, then it simply could be that the breed of dog you have is more susceptible to diarrhea. For example, German Shepherds are known to suffer more than other breeds. Just ensure each bout does not last more than a day and treat your dog as described above. If it lasts more than a day, then do go to your vet – you can never be too careful. Also, puppies, much like human infants, are also prone to getting ill more frequently. However, we do not recommend waiting a day with puppies when it comes to diarrhea. See your vet immediately.

My dog’s fit and well again! But I don’t want my dog to go through all that a second time. How do I make sure my dog never gets diarrhea in the future?

Dogs will be dogs, and, just like with a child, you can’t keep an eye on them all the time. But you can reduce the chances of your dog getting diarrhea by following a few rules.

First of all, ensure your dog is up-to-date with all of his vaccinations, worming and is free of parasites (book regular health check-ups with your local vet). Also, avoid changing your dog’s diet suddenly. If you really like to change to a new food, try introducing it gradually by mixing some of the new food with the old food. In other words, ‘wean’ your dog off the old food.

Don’t give your dog small objects to play with, or leave small objects lying around where he can start investigating (with his mouth!) Another good idea is to have bins with locking lids so your dog cannot gets scraps of spoiled food out. Train your dog not to expect to get scraps from family dinners as you simply do not know what your dog could be intolerant or allergic to, as well as making sure you do not leave food out on kitchen surfaces and tables that your dog might get access to. Allow the experts who create dog food to create food that is suitable for your dog.

When taking your dog out for walks, keep an eye on your dog. Try to stop him from biting or chewing plants, drinking from puddles, or licking other animal’s faeces. Lastly, try to minimize any stressful situations your dog might experience. Sometimes, this can’t be helped, such as moving houses. Try to make some time for him and let him know he is loved. After all, what would life be without our adorable dogs?

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  • March 13, 2022
  • Blog

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones? The Wrong Kind of Bone Can Kill Your Dog

Can dogs eat rib bones? With their wolf ancestral roots, dogs love chewing bones. But not all bones are good for your dog. Cooked rib bones are on the unsafe list. In general rib bones are not ideal for your dog. Smaller breeds could chew on raw rib bones, but larger breeds can crunch them too easily. Knowing the safe type from the dangerous can potentially save your dog’s life. Or at least save you unnecessary vet bills.

Some believe that you shouldn’t feed your dog any type of bone, but as long as you follow the safety guidelines of which type of bones to feed your dog, you can occasionally give your dog a juicy bone to chew on.

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones? The Dangers of Cooked Bones

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

Cooked bones are the most dangerous type of bone to give your dog. A dog’s jaw is much stronger than a human jaw. You won’t be able to crack through a rib bone with your most vicious bite, but for your dog it’s ridiculously easy to do.

Choking Hazard and Internal Injuries

Once you’ve cooked a bone, it becomes extremely brittle. One big doggy bite and the rib bone will start to splinter. By the time your dog is ready to swallow the bone, sharp shards and chunks would have been created.

Firstly this could cause your dog to choke when attempting to swallow the pieces, easily becoming lodged in its throat. Bones can also cause damage to your dog’s mouth and tongue. But the more dangerous element of these shards, is when the pieces of bones hit your dog’s intestines, literally poking holes into your dog’s insides. This will cause excruciating pain as well as internal bleeding. Additionally it can cause Peritonitis, a tricky bacterial infection.

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas is caused when a dog’s diet consists of too much fat. Especially pork rib bones have very high fat content. Plus, when you cook meat, you add various spices that are also harmful. Symptoms of Pancreatitis include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting and appetite loss. It can be fatal if not treated, so if you suspect that your dog is suffering from this condition, you need to visit the vet immediately.

Intestine Blockages

Can dogs eat rib bones? Your dog might be able to break a rib bone into small chunks, but the chances of even small pieces becoming stuck in its intestines, are quite high. The problem is that the rib bone pieces might be too big to move through your dog’s gut and it will then cause a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract.

These kinds of obstructions are very dangerous and can be fatal if not treated quickly. A blockage can start to cut off circulation to the surrounding tissue area and the areas will start to die. If your dog starts vomiting or suffering from diarrhea for a prolonged period after eating rib bones, you need immediately take it to the vet. These blockages can’t be dealt with at home on your own. Another problem caused by the blockage occurs in the descending colon. This means your dog will have difficulty defecating and could also start vomiting. Again, this problems needs to be dealt with by a vet.

Which Bones Are Safe For Dogs To Eat?

Can dogs eat rib bones? Because they usually fall under the cooked bones category, it’s not advisable to give your dog rib bones. A healthy alternative, is raw bones. But these should only be added into your dog’s diet occasionally, and only after you’ve double checked with your vet.

Raw bones can offer your dog much needed nutrients from the bone marrow and the bone itself. It’s also good exercise for your dog’s jaw muscles and provides great mental stimulation. But it should only be an occasional treat, not a daily diet addition.

Edible bones are hollow, non-weight bearing bones such as chicken wings or turkey necks. These don’t contain marrow and you can easily crush them in a meat grinder. You should not feed these to your dog, because they can easily splinter. Rather add the grinded bones into your dog’s food as an occasional supplement – they are rich in trace minerals, phosphorus and calcium.

Recreational bones are big chunky ones such as a beef femur or hip bone with marrow. Although they don’t really add any nutritional value to your dog’s diet, they do have some other great health benefits. Firstly, it will keep your dog entertained, a fun mental and physical challenge. It will also provide your dog with a great dental clean up, breaking down the tartar formed on its teeth and preventing gum disease.

Do’s And Don’ts of Recreational Raw Bones

The most important thing to remember when feeding your dog bones: stay away from cooked bones. The bones need to be raw – not even boiled, baked or steamed. And you need to keep a close eye on your dog while it is enjoying the chewy treat.

Make sure to remove the bone before it is chewed down to the brittle part where it will start to splinter more easily. Also, if you notice any excessive blood on the bone or your dog’s mouth, immediately remove the bone. It’s crucial to remove the bone before it becomes the size that your dog can swallow it. It’s best to give your dog a fresh bone in a space you can easily clean up, like in its crate or on a towel. The bone will become very greasy and gooey before your dog is finished with it.

Tip: if you have more than one dog, make sure you separate them when feeding bones. Dog can become very territorial when busy with a juicy chewing treat.

Make sure you check with your vet before feeding your dog raw bones. If your dog has a predisposition towards pancreatitis, you need to stay away from feeding it bones because of the rich marrow. You could create a “low fat” version, thaw the bone and scoop out the marrow.

Giving bones to bigger dogs are tricky. Their jaw strength give them the capacity to easily crush a bone and attempt to swallow it whole. Try to find a big knuckle bone that matches the size of your dog’s head. This way the dog can’t open its jaw wide enough to crunch down on the bone. Knuckle bones or soup bones can be bought at your local butcher or found in your local supermarket.

The best time to give your dog a bone, is after a meal. A hungry dog will not just leisurely chew on the treat, it will try to gobble it down in one go. Stay clear of leg bones, the cut bones will splinter more easily.

Can dogs eat rib bones? Not as a recreational bone, no. These bones fall into the category of bones that splinter too easily.

A Healthy Alternative to Feeding Raw Bones

If you feel uncomfortable with giving your dog raw bones due to health concerns, a great alternative is an edible dental bone. These are completely digestible. The high-quality chewing treat will give your dog the same great mental and dental benefits as a raw bone.

But stay away from low quality chewing bones. These are usually not completely digestible and often contain harmful ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, gelatin as well as cancer-causing additives and preservatives. Check on the packaging that it says 100% natural ingredients. Also make sure it does not contain soy, corn, gluten, extra fat or sugar and animal byproducts.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

Rib bones are not ideal for dogs. Unless you have a very small dog and you give it raw rib bones, you should refrain from feeding your dog rib bones. And don’t feed your dog any kind of cooked bones. But dogs do need the regular jaw exercise and dental cleaning sessions, luckily there are healthy alternatives to provide this stimulation.

What’s your experience with offering your dog a chewy treat? Ever experience any bad consequences from the wrong type of bone?

My Dog Has Diarrhea – What To Do?!

My dog has diarrhea quite often. It is because he is still a pup that is eating things he shouldn’t when he is out playing. But I want to know when the diarrhea is just small issue or when is it something serious that needs a visit to the vet!

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*To see any of the above options on Amazon.com, simply click the link to see its price and user ratings.*

Most dog owners have gotten the unpleasant surprise: “My dog has diarrhea!!!”. Most of us love our dogs almost as much as our children. Many childless people and couples even think of their dog as their substitute child, so it’s to be expected that when your dog becomes ill, you start to panic and feel guilty thinking that it must be your fault that your dog is suffering.

Even the healthiest of dogs will get bouts of diarrhea from time to time, in the same way that humans do. Also, dogs feel the world through their mouths in the same way that humans feel their world through their hands.

Naturally, you dog would be more susceptible to diarrhea, even in the most cleanest of houses. It’s also inevitable that they will also use their mouths when investigating anything of interest when you take them for walks.

So try not to feel guilty. Instead, read on to find out how to get your little (or perhaps not so little) friend get back on their feet.

Quick NavigationHow Do I Know My Dog Has Diarrhea?What Exactly Is Diarrhea?What Can Cause My Dog To Have Diarrhea?My Dog Is Not a Puppy, Has Not Had Diarrhea For More Than a Day, And Does Not Have Additional Symptoms – How Do I Help My Dog?Is There Anything I Can Give My Dog From The Medicine Cabinet To Help Him/Her?Diarrhea Treatment Options For DogsMy Dog’s Condition Is More Serious – What Can I Expect At My Vets?My Dog Has Diarrhea Quite Frequently – Why?My Dog Is Fit And Well Again! But I Don’t Want Why Dog To Go Through All That a Second Time. How Do I Make Sure My Dog Never Gets Diarrhea In The Future?Wrapping Up

How Do I Know My Dog Has Diarrhea?

Firstly, you are likely to smell diarrhea well before you see it! Dog poo is never nice to smell, but doggy diarrhea is something else!

When you spot some stools, it will be very runny (a “chocolate pudding” consistency) or may even be liquid. Your dog may also strain when passing faeces, and may need to pass faeces much more frequently than normal. The faeces may also contain mucous, blood, foreign objects and parasites.

Other signs are more flatulence from your dog than normal, lethargy, vomiting, fever, lack of appetite, weight loss, and signs of abdominal pain (your dog looks bloated, groans or moves away from you when you touch his belly, or pants rapidly).

What Exactly Is Diarrhea?

Diarrhea itself is not a disease; it is simply a symptom of a dysfunctional gastrointestinal tract. The diarrhea is an attempt by the gastrointestinal tract to get whatever bad food or pathogens out of it so they cannot be absorbed into the blood stream where they can cause a lot more damage.

It can be a sudden thing, but can also last weeks or even months. A sudden, single bout is nothing for you to worry about. Simply read on to find out how you can help your friend get back to peak health.

However, if you find your dog has diarrhea that lasts for more than a day, please go to a vet as it will be experiencing dehydration. Also, if your dog is experiencing additional symptoms such as frequent vomiting, fever, lethargy, refusing to eat, abdominal pain, or sudden weight loss, this may be an indication of a much more serious health issue.

So please go to your local vet straight away. If the stools are black, your dog could be bleeding internally from his small intestine or stomach. Do not wait for a day, but take it to a vet immediately.

Also, if you have a puppy, again do not wait 24 hours, as diarrhea in young dogs can be a serious issue.

Serious Symptons – Take Your Dog To The Vet

  • Black stools
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Refusing to eat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Has pale gums

What Can Cause My Dog To Have Diarrhea?

Your dog simply ingesting food that he is unknowingly intolerant or allergic to, or eating food that has gone off in bins may cause diarrhea in your dog. Even just abruptly changing your dog’s diet can cause diarrhea.

Of course, dogs feel their world through their mouths and will attempt to lick and chew anything. So, if your dog ingests toxic plants when out for walks, or manages to swallow foreign objects such as rubber bands, plastic bags etc, it’s likely that he will get diarrhea as the gastrointestinal tract tries to get rid of the bad stuff.

Also, keep an eye on any medications you give your dog. Some dogs may be allergic to certain drugs, much like some humans can be allergic to, for example, penicillin. If you notice a pattern where your dog has diarrhea soon after giving it a certain medication, try to swap it for a different medication with a different active ingredients.

Another factor is stress. Dogs love routine, and changes to routine, such as new people in the house, sudden changes in family life, all can make for one stressed dog.

More serious reasons for diarrhea could be parasites inside your dog, such as coccidian, giardia or roundworms, an inflammation of your dog’s bowels, a viral or bacterial infection, liver disease, kidney disease, colitis, hemmorhagic gastroenteritis, and tumours within the digestive tract (cancerous or benign).

Diarrhea can be a symptom of one of these underlying serious illnesses, so if you dog has diarrhea for more than a day, see your VET as soon as you can, even if it is just to put your mind at rest.

My Dog Is Not a Puppy, Has Not Had Diarrhea For More Than a Day, And Does Not Have Additional Symptoms – How Do I Help My Dog?

If he is not vomiting, then:

For the first 12 hours, only allow your dog to drink water and give it plenty of it to stave off dehydration. Do not allow it to eat any food. After the initial 12 hours, give him a couple of mouthfuls of bland food (e.g. white fish, cooked chicken or soft rice balls). Keep an eye on your dog’s faeces and, as soon as they start to become less liquid and more formed, very gradually introduce him back to his normal diet.

An additional source of nutrition, if your dog has diarrhea during the fasting period, is to make it drink rice water. Rice water is the white liquid left over once you have boiled rice. Use good quality rice (try the rice sold on the ‘ethnic’ aisle in your supermarket). Do not opt for the convenient microwaveable or ‘minute’ rice pouches, and don’t use brown rice either, as it has lots of fiber in it which will not help your dog’s gastrointestinal tract firm up his stools.

Simply boil a cup of white rice with 4 cups of water for around half an hour. The water will turn creamy white. Drain off the liquid into a separate container and wait for it to cool. If your dog will not drink the rice water, try mixing a teaspoon of meat flavoured baby food (e.g. chicken). Make sure it is only a teaspoon though, as your dog should be fasting and you don’t want it eating solids just yet.

If your dog is vomiting mildly:

Remove food completely and give it small amounts of water or rice water (only a few tablespoons at a time) for around 22 hours. If vomiting stops after this, give it small mouthfuls of bland food and, when his faeces are less runny, gradually introduce him back to his normal diet. If the vomiting does not stop after 22 hours, call a vet!

Being Prepared With Diarrice

I don’t know about you, but I am not the best in the kitchen. Even cooking something as simple as rice can be a challenge for my culinary skills. In fact, I do not even have rice in my house! For that reason I like to keep a bit of Diarrice for Dogs in the cupboard for when my pup is having some diarrhea. It is a all natural rice and priobotic formula with a chicken and pumpkin flavor. It has a long shelf life, so I can keep a tub in the cupboard for when my pup is having a bout of diarrhea.

Is There Anything I Can Give My Dog From The Medicine Cabinet To Help Him/Her?

Simply making your dog fast for a while should bring most bouts of non-serious diarrhea under control. But if he’s really suffering, some experts suggest try giving it some KaoPectate suspension, which is a combination of pectin and kaolin clay . This is an intestinal protectant which can relieve your dog’s symptoms.

Alternatively, you can give it some PeptoBismal, which contains bismuth subsalicylate. This has an additional anti-inflammatory action, which could be ideal if your dog is having abdominal pain. Check out this article from Dr. Mark Papich on giving PeptoBismal/KaoPectate to your pet here, which includes dosage guidelines.

Another option that is suggested by experts is that if your dog has diarrhea that is excessive, and you are worried your dog is becoming dehydrated, is to give it some Imodium as it can help reduce fluid loss (here is a article dedicated to giving Imodium to dogs). Also, never give any of these medications to cats as they all contain salicylates which are toxic to felines!

Lastly, to aid your dog’s recovery naturally, you could consider giving your dog some probiotics. You can find these easily in your local supermarket or health food stores, as they have become increasingly popular with people who want to have a healthy digestive system. They are sold as yoghurts and yoghurt drinks, and contain living bacterial cultures. Make sure that the one you buy is pure and not a ‘mixed’ product, such as a strawberry flavoured milkshake style yoghurt drink with probiotics. You want the ones which are a pure probiotic yoghurt or yoghurt drink with nothing else added to it. Or you can opt to get high-potency powdered culture direct from your vet. These tend to be more powerful than the supermarket versions designed for human consumption, and will work faster and more effectively in relieving your dog’s symptoms. Add your chosen probiotic to the water you give your dog during fasting (or add it to the rice water)

You can continue to give your dog probiotics once he is feeling better and gradually eating solid foods. Aim for around 2 to 10 billion viable bacterial organisms in each meal to help his digestive system get back to normal.

Diarrhea Treatment Options For Dogs

If your dog is not having a severe case of diarrhea that necessitates a visit to the vet, there are some treatment options you can give your dog, which is specifically formulated for the treatment of dogs with diarrhea.​

Diarrhea TreatmentOur RatingAmazing Probiotics for Dogs Pure All-Natural4 starsOlewo Carrots Digestive Dog Food Supplement4 starsProbiotics for Dogs with Natural Digestive Enzymes4 starsPet Wellbeing Dog Diarrhea Support4 starsDiarrice – Natural Probiotic for Dogs with Diarrhea4 stars

*To see any of the above options on Amazon.com, simply click the link to see its price and user ratings.*

My Dog’s Condition Is More Serious – What Can I Expect At My Vets?

If your dog has diarrhea that lasts more than a day, or he has additional symptoms (such as frequent vomiting, fever, lethargy, refusing to eat, abdominal pain, or sudden weight loss), your vet is likely to take a stool sample at first, to check for parasites and dehydration, as well as take some blood to try and identify any underlying causes for your dog’s diarrhea.

More rigorous tests might be carried out depending on how severely ill your dog is and how long he has had diarrhea, such as endoscopies, ultrasound, radiographs, biopsies and cultures.

Try your best not to worry. You vet is an expert medical professional. Tell them everything you know about your dog and allow them to help your dog.

My Dog Has Diarrhea Quite Frequently – Why?

​My dog has diarrhea quite often, but that is because he likes to eat things he is not supposed to when out playing! As he gets older that should stop and I will hopefully find less “surprises” waiting for me when I get home.

As long as you have checked with a vet that there is no underlying illnesses to be concerned about, then it simply could be that the breed of dog you have is more susceptible to diarrhea. For example, German Shepherds are known to suffer more than other breeds. Just ensure each bout does not last more than a day and treat your dog as described above.

If it lasts more than a day, then do go to your vet – you can never be too careful. Also, puppies, much like human infants, are also prone to getting ill more frequently. However, we do not recommend waiting a day with puppies when it comes to diarrhea. See your vet immediately.

My Dog Is Fit And Well Again! But I Don’t Want Why Dog To Go Through All That a Second Time. How Do I Make Sure My Dog Never Gets Diarrhea In The Future?

Dogs will be dogs, and just like with a child, you can’t keep an eye on them all the time. But you can reduce the chances of your dog getting diarrhea by following a few rules.

First of all, ensure your dog is up-to-date with all of his vaccinations, worming and is free of parasites (book regular health check-ups with your local vet). Also, avoid changing your dog’s diet suddenly. If you really like to change to a new food, try introducing it gradually by mixing some of the new food with the old food. In other words, ‘wean’ your dog off the old food.

Don’t give your dog small objects to play with, or leave small objects lying around where he can start investigating (with his mouth!) Another good idea is to have bins with locking lids so your dog cannot gets scraps of spoiled food out. Train your dog not to expect to get scraps from family dinners as you simply do not know what your dog could be intolerant or allergic to, as well as making sure you do not leave food out on kitchen surfaces and tables that your dog might get access to. Allow the experts who create dog food to create food that is suitable for your dog.

When taking your dog out for walks, keep an eye on your dog. Try to stop him from biting or chewing plants, drinking from puddles, or licking other animal’s faeces. Lastly, try to minimize any stressful situations your dog might experience. Sometimes, this can’t be helped, such as moving houses. Try to make some time for him and let him know he is loved. After all, what would life be without our adorable dogs?

Wrapping Up

My dog has diarrhea more than I would like, but that is because it is still a young dog learning about the world through tasting and eating things it should not be. Fortunately it has always just been mild diarrhea that lasted only a very short period of time. However I keep a close eye on my dog to make sure that it is not something more serious that might need a visit to the vet.​

  • March 13, 2022
  • Blog