Posh is a State of Mind!

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The Belly Rub

Does your dog enjoy a good belly-rubbing?  My dog Lucy absolutely loves it!

Photo provided by http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/
Photo provided by http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/

Not all dogs like it but for those that do, it’s a bonding thing says Sophia Yin, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist from California in an article I read in Parade Magazine last week about just this topic.

When you rub your dogs belly, your dog also undergoes a neurological reaction. Not only do dogs have a hard time reaching all areas of their bodies and because they are so sensitive on their bellies, human fingers feel great rubbing them there, but I’ve learned that dogs have a particular brain neuron that responds exclusively to the stimulation of hair follicles.  This means, that when you rub your dogs belly, the stroking of his fine belly hairs is actually providing a specific type of stimulation in your dog’s brain. This neurological stimulation is only possible through stroking, which makes belly rubs especially satisfying.

A couple things you should watch out for however:

  1. When a dog rolls over, that can be a sign of fear.  If you approach a dog and it rolls over, it may not be wanting a belly rub but in fact, it could respond with aggression.
  2. When your dog rolls over to present his or her belly and allow you to engage in a belly rub, it requires submission and trust on the part of your dog.  If he isn’t ready for that, don’t try to force your dog to go along if you roll your dog over to rub her belly it can actually upset your dog and break down the trust you’ve worked to establish.

The bottom line is this.  If your dog is like mine and loves a good belly rubbing, go for it!  If you don’t know the dog well or you haven’t yet established a trusting relationship with your or a friend or family members dog yet, save it for later when your dog is feeling more secure.


List of Foods Toxic to Your Dog

sick dogWe often talk about the fact that our treats don’t contain sugar and salt but there are lots of other things you should be aware of that aren’t good for your dog.

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of foods that are toxic to your dog and that they should not eat.  In alphabetical order, these foods are bad for your dog and in many cases considered poisonous.  The list contains both foods that should either NOT be fed or in some cases, limited to the amount you can safely feed them.  You might be surprised at how many of the foods we eat that are actually harmful and dangerous to feed our fur babies.

Alcoholic Beverages:  This should go without saying but I’ve seen people giving their dogs beer especially (See Hops below).  Dogs should not drink alcohol.  It can cause intoxication, coma, and even death!

Avocado: The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Bones: Bones from fish, poultry, or any other meat.  These can be swallowed and cause an obstruction or a laceration in the digestive system.

Chocolate and Coffee: Both contain theobromine and caffeine.  These affect the heart and can be toxic to dogs.  Can result in death if too much is consumed.

Fat trimmings from people food:  Fat can cause pancreatitis.

Hops: Causes increased heart rate, seizures, and even death.

Liver: Although we do feed liver, large amounts of liver should be avoided.  It can cause vitamin A toxicity which can affect muscles and bones.

Macadamia Nuts: These tasty nuts contain an unknown toxin that can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscles of dogs.

Milk: Because dogs do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Moldy or spoiled food/garbage:  This is another one that just makes me cringe.  Why would anyone think of giving moldy food to their dog?  Yet they do!  There can be any number of toxins in moldy, spoiled food that cause vomiting and/or diarrhea along with toxins that affect other organs in the dogs body.

Mushrooms: All mushrooms contain toxins.  Many of them can affect the body systems that result in shock and/or death.

Onions, Garlic, & Chives:  All members of the onion family contain sulfoxides and disulfides.  These damage red blood cells and cause anemia.

Peach, plum, or other pits: Can cause digestive track problems.

Grapes & Raisins:  In large amounts can cause damage to kidneys.

Raw Eggs: You may have heard this will give your dog a shiny coat.  Don’t do it.  Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin.  Avidin decreases the absorption of biotin, a B vitamin.  This can actually cause skin, hair, and coat problems.  Raw eggs may also contain salmonella.

Raw Fish: If fed regularly, raw fish can result in a thiamine (B vitamin) deficiency which can lead to loss of appetite, seizures and sometimes even death.  It’s a good idea to avoid feeding raw fish at all.

Salt: Salt can lead to an imbalances of electrolytes.

Sugar and sugary foods:  Sugar leads to obesity, dental problems, and diabetes.

Table scraps: While these aren’t dangerous, they should never make up more than 10% of the diet.

Tobacco: I’m sure nobody would feed this voluntarily however precautions should be made to put tobacco products out of the reach of our furry friends.  Tobacco contains nicotine, which damages the nerous and digestive system.  Side effects are rapid heartbeat, collapse, coma, and death.  If your dog ingests tobacco.  Call your vet immediately!

Xylitol: Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure.

Yeast Dough:  This might seem silly but yeast dough can expand and create very painful gas in your dog’s stomach that can lead to possibly rupturing of the stomach and intestines.

If you believe your dog has ingested something he shouldn’t have, call your vet or animal hospital immediately.  Signs of poisoning include vomiting and/or diarrhea, seizures, trembling, salivating or drooling, swollen red skin or eyes, bleeding from any body cavity, ulcers on the skin, listlessness, and depression.  Consult with your vet if you see any of these symptoms.

To your dog’s good health,


Dog Dreams Interpreted

dreaming sleeping dogsThe experts believe dogs dream.  Do you?  I’ve seen my dog twitching and even barking softly in her sleep and I think she must be dreaming.  Dogs brain wave patterns are pretty much the same as in humans in that dogs go through sleep cycles very much like our own with periods of deep sleep and periods of REM, or rapid eye movement.  Dreaming happens during REM sleep in humans and during REM sleep in dogs is when we notice them twitching their legs, and moving their mouths like they are eating or trying to vocalize.

But what about humans dreaming of dogs?  There’s a lot to learn about what those dreams mean.   Did you know for example, that if you dream of owning a dog with fine qualities, it means you will be possessed of solid wealth?  Or…

If you dream of dogs biting you, it foretells of a quarrelsome companion in either your marriage or business?  Or…

To dream of a friendly white dog approaching you suggests there might be a victorious engagement ahead whether in business or love.  For a woman, this is an omen of an early marriage.

Out of curiosity, I started flipping through the pages of “10,000 Dreams Interpreted.  A Dictionary of Dreams”,  a book my granddaughter had left on my coffee table.  The book’s author says that the language of dreams is made up mostly of visual symbols that often seem incomprehensible.  The symbols are what we dream of and each of the symbols has it’s own unique meaning that will help us understand and interpret the meaning of our dreams.

I of course, had to check out what dreaming of dogs was all about.   Aside from the dreams above, do you know what it means if you dream:

  • Of a vicious dog?10k dreams
  • If a dog rubs up against you?
  • A bloodhound is tracking you?
  • You dream of small dogs?
  • Of dogs biting you?
  • Lean, filthy dogs?
  • Of a dog show?
  • Of hearing dogs barking?
  • Of dogs chasing game?
  • Of fancy dogs?
  • Of being afraid of a large dog?
  • Hearing a dog growl?
  • Hearing a lonely dog baying?
  • Dogs and cats fighting?
  • A dog with many heads?
  • A dog following you?
  • A mad dog?
  • Of a dog swimming?
  • A litter of puppies?
  • and more!

As the name suggests, there are 10,000 dream symbols interpreted in this book on just about every subject matter.  I found it very interesting to see what many of them meant and I especially enjoyed the section on dreaming of dogs.  I wish I could share them all here with you but you know how these copywrited things are.  If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy the book or borrow it from your granddaughter like I did.  The link above takes you to Amazon where you can purchase the book and start learning what dreaming of dogs or anything else you dream about means.

Happy dog dreaming!