Fred, chocolate cocker spaniel puppy in the snow photographed by Natalia Ashton (C) Perfect cocker spaniel / Copyrighted / English cocker spaniel guide to how to choose, find, raise a puppy, grooming and hand-stripping english cocker spaniel, cocker spaniel diet, nutrition, health advice

Does a cocker need a coat?

This weather is no joke, so I got an adorable photo of Fred and his irresistible bum as a part of the “let’s keep smiling” package deal.

And talking of packages… Do you ever wonder if your dog needs to wrap up? Or got him to wear a coat already?

Most cocker spaniels can be pretty weather-proof even in sub-zero temperatures. Their double coat serves them well.

However, some dogs may benefit from a stylish top up if…
… they are young & have to be outside for longer then their typical short walk (a two month old pup would only need 10 minutes, so will be fine playing in the snow without a coat or jumper);
… they are senior & developed sensitivity to cold or suffer from arthritis;
… they are recovering from an illness or have an underlying health condition, for example underactive thyroid;
… the pooch is over or underweight;
… the dog was neutered – the overproduction of gonadotrophic hormones caused by the op affects thyroid stimulating hormone – and the gland function. Thyroid helps the body maintain its temperature. If this function is altered, so is the body’s response to the temperature changes;
… the coat of a cocker was clipped, which removes the undercoat and also makes the resulting coat attract and trap the moisture;
… you walk in a thick wet snow that can cover the fur with huge snowballs and make your spaniel uncomfortable.

Shivering is a sign that your pooch is cold and needs to be taken to a warm place as soon as possible.

The coat needs to be comfortable for your cocker. Remember that dogs see anything that covers and presses on their back as a possible dominant object. Make sure that the coat fits well, let the dog sniff it, be gentle when putting it on and whenever possible – take your spaniel for a walk straight away. No dog will ever enjoy wearing a coat but they can learn to associate a coat with a positive experience (i.e. a walk) & accept it in anticipation of something great and fun.

 

Photo credit: Fred photographed by me

 

Beyond the doughnut, ultimate cookbook for healthy gluten-free treats and meals for happy dogs by Natalia Ashton is featured in Town & Country

Beyond the doughnut is featured in Town & Country

I am so happy today. Just received the news that Beyond the doughnut is featured in Town & Country! A moment of absolute joy that I will treasure forever. It’s good to see my “Doughnut” going places and getting the love it deserves.

Food photos are by me, and the portrait is by wonderful Elizabeth Clarke / I am family photography  

ben & jerry doggy desserts ice-cream nutritional review and toxic ingredients that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, gut irritation and diabetes in dogs / Perfect cocker spaniel (C) dog blog, English cocker spaniels tips, advice, grooming, puppy care / canine pet nutritionist, pet nutrition coach, diet advice for pet owners

Ben & Jerry’s very dodgy doggy ice-cream

This is the irony of life… Yesterday I was talking about potentially unsafe ingredients in dog food only to wake up this morning to the news about a  dog ice-cream that’s about to hit supermarket’s shelves.

For a second, I was excited. I really, really was! Then I looked at the ingredients label and felt a wave of fear creeping into my brain like a fog.

This is the fist time I will have to mention the brand with a warning sign attached to it. But I have no choice here because…

Ben & Jerry’s doggy ice-cream can be toxic to your dog! 

They market it as “Fairtrade”, “dietary certified” and “non-GMO” and the packaging is very pretty, but this is where the good stuff ends.

The ingredients in these doggy desserts are not good. At all.

First of all, it’s full of sugar and corn syrup, which make the base of the ice-cream. In no dietary land, human or animal, this would be good. But hey, they also put some annatto extract that may reduce hypoglycaemia in dogs after a meal, so I guess they thought it would be a kind of balancing act (unless the dogs have diabetes and on medication… not that it was mentioned anywhere on the packaging)

Next, it contains “spices”. Which aren’t even identified.

Plus “natural flavour”… Which is also a mystery.

But it is not even the worst part.

First of all, the ice-cream is made with sodium bicarbonate, which can irritate dog’s gut and cause vomiting.

Carrageenan is another ingredient that has been linked to gut inflammation, lesions and ulcers in both animals and humans.

Peanuts that make a huge chunk of Pontch’s Mix are difficult to digest and can contain aflatoxins that pose a serious health risk to both dogs and humans. Just to give you an idea, one study discovered that 10 out of 11 peanut butter samples were heavily contaminated with various types of aflatoxins. And if you think “fair trade” ingredients mean a better choice, here is another study showing that contaminated peanuts can be found all over the world.

However, the worst part of the recipe is the lemon juice concentrate. Even though it sounds innocent enough, it is a known source of psoralens, natural compounds that are toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy if eaten.

Shame that with all the resources and amazing opportunities, the brand managed to create a nutrition disaster… And the most worrying part is that many people will never look past the pretty packaging and happily feed their dog with the most dodgy dessert I’ve ever come across…

What is the alternative? Make your own dog treats! If I can do it, so can you.

 

Photo credit: Free-Photos from Pixabay