Friday, March 16, 2018

9 Irish Dog Breeds to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

They say, “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough.” And if you’re lucky enough to share St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish dog, then you indeed have the luck o’ the Irish. Join us in this celebration of Irish dog breeds — you may find yourself green with envy!

1. Glen of Imaal Terrier

A Glen of Imaal Terrier is among the Irish dog breeds. Photography by capture light / Shutterstock.

If you saw this fellow on the street, you might assume he was just a jaunty mutt, but the Glen of Imaal Terrier is actually one of the first breeds of dogs recognized by the Irish Kennel Club, back in 1934. The American Kennel Club didn’t recognize this Irish dog breed until 2004, and it’s still one of the rarest AKC breeds.

This Irish dog breed’s claim to fame? He may be the last descendant of turnspit dogs, kitchen-help animals who walked for hours inside a round drum to turn cooking meat on a spit. But this tough guy has also been used for vermin control and can pull a badger from its den.

2. Irish Red and White Setter

An Irish Red and White Setter with an Irish Setter. Photography by Reddogs / Shutterstock.

Everyone knows the exuberant Irish Setter, but far fewer know his direct ancestor, the somewhat more stately Irish Red and White Setter.

The Red and White Irish Setter has been around since at least the 17th century, but by 1900, those who were solid red won out in popularity (and became today’s Irish Setter), and the patched ones were almost extinct. Realizing the breed was about to be lost, efforts were made after World War I to revive it. The AKC recognized them in 2009, but they’re still quite rare in America.

3. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is an Irish dog breed who loves to party! Photography by Ksenia Raykova / Shutterstock.

The rollicking Irish Setter never met a person he didn’t want to party with, and St. Patrick’s Day is definitely his favorite day of the year! In the 1970s, the Irish Setter rose to rank among the most popular breeds in America, but like so many superstars, his popularity has since declined dramatically. The best-known Irish Setter was the fictional “Big Red,” but a real-life show dog named Champion Milson O’Boy captured America’s imagination in the 1930s, and he could be considered the most famous show dog of all time. This Irishman has shared the White House with three U.S. presidents (Nixon, Truman and F.D. Roosevelt).

4. Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is among the Irish dog breeds. Photography by Elina Leonova / Shutterstock.

Aptly dubbed the daredevil of dogdom, the red-haired Irish Terrier — like any self-respecting Irishman — doesn’t back down from a challenge. One of the oldest terrier breeds, he was used for hunting vermin, but later even served as a sentinel and messenger in World War I.

Although he was once one of the most popular terrier breed (probably accounting for his appearance in several Jack London books), this classic is now one of the least popular.

5. Irish Water Spaniel

An Irish Water Spaniel.

An Irish Water Spaniel. Photography by Marcia O’Connor via Some modifications to size have been made to fit the specifications of this site.

This may be the oldest of all spaniels, dating back at least to the 1100s. And in the late 1800s, this Irish dog breed was the third most popular sporting breed in England. But they’re amongst the rarest of breeds now, and most people who see one assume she’s some sort of Poodle derivative with a rat tail. This is a fun-loving sportster always ready to dive right into water or adventure!

6. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhounds are called Cu Faoil. Photography by DragoNika / Shutterstock.

Irish chieftains used this tallest of all breeds to hunt wolves and Irish elk, and to present to foreign nobility as gifts. The Irish name for them was Cu Faoil; “cu” is a term implying bravery. Almost extinct in the 1800s, the breed was reconstituted with crosses to other large breeds and is now one of the most popular of all sighthounds. This cool and calm Irishman has made his presence felt at the side of American leaders such as President Hoover and celebrities such as Rudolph Valentino.

7. Kerry Beagle

The rarest of the Irish dog breeds, the Kerry Beagle isn’t the Beagle we usually think of. It’s much larger, up to 24 inches tall and 60 pounds in weight. It dates back to the 16th century, but its numbers have steadily declined since the 1800s until only one major pack remains, the Scarteen of County Limerick. According to local legend, when Noah’s Ark rested against the highest peak in Tipperary, two black and tan hounds jumped off in pursuit of a fox, eventually giving rise to the breed. Irish immigrants brought Kerry Beagles with them to America, and the breed is probably behind several Coonhound breeds.

8. Kerry Blue Terrier

The Kerry Blue Terrier. Photography by vgorlitsky / Shutterstock.

The Kerry Blue was the first breed recognized by the Irish Kennel Club. It originated around the Ring of Kerry in Ireland in the 1700s. It was an all-purpose farm dog, hunting vermin, small mammals, and birds, and also herding cattle and sheep. It’s even been used as a police dog. Irish nationalist leader Michael Collins had a famous Kerry Blue Terrier named Convict 224, which he exhibited at the first Irish Kennel Club show in 1920. At that time, the breed became fashionable as a macho symbol for young men. It’s still plenty macho and mischievous — like any good Irishman!

9. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Photography by Kate Grishakova / Shutterstock.

In Ireland, the breed is known as the Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. After all, it would just be dumb to give up the claim to ownership of this leprechaun of dogdom. Established by the 1800s, this Irish dog breed was an all-around farm dog, exterminating vermin, guarding the homestead and rounding up livestock. The Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier was officially recognized as a breed in 1937 in its native Ireland, but only in 1973 did the AKC recognize it. The dog’s playful nature has endeared the breed to people around the world.

Of course, as you know, on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish — even the dogs!

Thumbnail: Photography by DragoNika / Shutterstock.

Read more about Irish dog breeds on 

About the author: Caroline Coile is the author of 34 dog books, including the top-selling Barron’s Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. She has written for various publications and is currently a columnist for AKC Family Dog. She shares her home with three naughty Salukis and one Jack Russell Terrier.

The post 9 Irish Dog Breeds to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day appeared first on Dogster.

Could Grain-Free Diets Cause Issues for Dogs?

We often see human trends trickle down to pets, so it’s no surprise that grain-free and gluten-free pet foods have become popular. However, this latest food fad of grain-free diets might have created a problem that wasn’t there before.

Closeup photo of grains.

Grain-free diets may cause health issues for dogs. Photography ©cmannphoto | Thinkstock.

The number of Golden Retrievers diagnosed with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) seems to be on the rise, and at least one researcher, Josh Stern, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, who receives funding from the Morris Animal Foundation, is investigating a possible link between certain grain-free diets and taurine deficiency and DCM. A genetic component is also suspected.

Thumbnail: Photography ©androsov58 | Thinkstock.

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Read more about dog health on

The post Could Grain-Free Diets Cause Issues for Dogs? appeared first on Dogster.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries, Grapes and Apples?

I’m sure it’s occurred to you to wonder, what fruits can dogs eat? Can dogs eat strawberries? Can dogs eat apples? And can dogs eat grapes, mangoes, pears and raspberries…? Dogster has the lowdown on some of the most popular fruits and whether things like apples, grapes, strawberries, mangoes, pears, raspberries and other fruits are safe for dogs to have at snack, treat or mealtime.

Can dogs eat strawberries?

A dog with his tongue out next to a bowl of strawberries.

Can dogs eat strawberries? Photography by duxx/shutterstock.

Can dogs eat strawberries, and are strawberries safe for dogs to eat? You should probably remove the leaves and any stem that remains on top of the strawberry, but strawberries should be okay for your dog to eat.

Can dogs eat grapes?

Two dogs in a grape barrel.

Can dogs eat grapes? Photography by Artem Kursin / Shutterstock.

This is one of the most common dog-fruit questions out there, and for good reason. For reasons that remain almost completely obscured to science, dogs experience violent adverse effects when they eat either grapes or their shriveled cousins, raisins. Purple or green, seeded or seedless, it doesn’t seem to matter. Within mere hours of ingesting grapes or raisins, dogs have been observed to begin having fits of vomiting and excessive urination. Within just a few days, dogs have experienced kidney failure, lapsed into comas, and died from eating grapes.

If you see your dog eat some grapes, the best course of action is to proceed directly to a veterinarian, who will induce vomiting. Not all dogs react in this way to grapes or raisins, but is it really worth taking the chance? Since the cause of dogs’ reaction to grapes is unknown, it is best to keep grapes, raisins, or any of their products or byproducts completely away from all dogs.

Can dogs eat apples?

A dog balancing on apple on his head and holding books.

Can dogs eat apples? Photography ©damedeeso/Thinkstock.

Wondering if apples are safe for dogs? With many fruits, seeds, cores, stems or pits often contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs. Dogs may not particularly care for the outer skin of an apple, but as long as the seeds are removed, apples are safe for dogs to eat.

Can dogs eat mangoes?

Mango is one of those fruits with a pit large enough to cause digestive blockages and with toxic contents. Peel the thick mango skin and remove the pit, and your dog may enjoy a bit of tender mango flesh.

Can dogs eat pears?

Same as above with apples, with all the associated warnings about seeds and cores.

Can dogs eat raspberries?

Dogs aren’t accustomed to the sugar content even of normal, non-canned fruits, so as long as it’s a special treat and not the entire meal, these berries are okay by dogs.

Can dogs eat bananas?

Bananas aren’t a typical dog food, but they’re safe for dogs in small amounts. Photography by Nancy Dressel / Shutterstock.

If your dog has the desire and a taste for a nice, peeled banana, then feel free to allow your dog to eat it in moderation.

Can dogs eat oranges?

Oranges, peeled and de-seeded are fine for dogs. Aside from the reactions that many of us have in eating lemons and limes, which dogs share, even the sourest citrus fruit seems to work okay for dogs, if they’re so inclined.

Can dogs eat peaches?

The flesh of a peach is delicious, no one questions that. However, the pit of a peach contains cyanide, which is deadly to pretty much everyone. Cynaide may seep out from the pit into the tender peach meat that is closest to the center. The same can be said of plums and other fruits with a solid, centralized core or seed at the center. The risk to a dog’s digestive tract is also high with pitted fruits. Aside from the natural poison in the core, that seed is large enough to obstruct or block the intestines of your dog. Thinking of canned peaches? Probably better to avoid store-bought canned fruits and fruit-cups, too, which often contain way more sugar than a dog is normally accustomed to processing.

Can dogs eat watermelon?

Dog eating watermelon.

Is watermelon safe for dogs to eat? Photography by Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock.

It is advised that you remove the seeds before giving your dog a taste of watermelon. Better safe than sorry.

Can dogs eat blueberries?

I wouldn’t recommend giving your dog a whole bowl of them, but a few here and there are more than acceptable, as long as the dog likes them!

Can dogs eat pineapple?

Pineapples are fine for dogs, provided, of course, you’ve removed the prickly outer husk of this island favorite.

Can dogs eat coconut?

A puppy dog biting a coconut.

Is coconut good for dogs? Photography by DAE Photo / Shutterstock.

Both the coconut meat and milk are all right for dogs, as long as they don’t have too much of either. Coconut oil for dogs is actually great for a variety of things — coconut oil can help a dog’s itchy skin and coconut oil is good in recipes for dogs, too.

Does your dog eat fruit?

One caveat, of course, even for the fruits that are safe for dogs, is everything in moderation. In John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath, one thing that still sticks in my mind is that eating too much fruit — in the absence of other foods during the Great Depression — often gave characters recurring bouts of “the skitters.”

Tell us: Does your dog eat fruit? What fruits do your dogs seem to enjoy the most, if any? Are there fruits aside from those mentioned above that you’re curious about? Starfruit, perhaps? Or are you a “we call it dog food because it is food for dogs” traditionalist? Share your dog’s favored fruits in the comments!

Thumbnail: Photography ©damedeeso/Thinkstock.

Learn more about what your dog can eat with

The post Can Dogs Eat Strawberries, Grapes and Apples? appeared first on Dogster.

Can Dogs Eat Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios and Other Nuts?

As humans, we seem to have an inherent desire to share the things that give us pleasure, especially foods. With a world of information available at our fingertips, it only makes sense to inquire what foods are safe for dogs to eat before we offer them to our pets. Dogster has looked into various food groups and asked if dogs can eat fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Now, we turn our attention to popular snack nuts. So, can dogs eat almonds? What about peanuts, pistachios, cashews and other nuts?

A general word on dogs and almonds, peanuts, pistachios and other nuts

A dog licking a jar of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is mostly fine for dogs, so why are most nuts bad for dogs? Photography by Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock.

Although they may not contain native toxins that adversely affect dogs, the shells of all nuts present the risk of tearing tissue as they move through a dog’s digestive tract. The meat of many nuts contains high quantities of fats that can cause upset stomachs. Many store-bought, commercially-available nuts are also packaged with salt and other chemicals, which can dehydrate or even poison dogs.

Nuts covered in chocolate or other candy coatings are even more dangerous. On the whole, even raw nuts seem to be unwise food choices for dogs, even if they are given in moderation as treats. Old nuts that have mold on them present a whole load of other problems and should be kept away from dogs. Mold toxins can cause seizures, neurological distress and liver problems for dogs. In fact, moldy foods of any kind or variety — no matter where they sit on any version of the food pyramid — should be disposed of properly. With all these cautions and provisos out of the way, let’s look more closely at the question: Can dogs eat almonds, peanuts, pistachios and other nuts?

Can dogs eat almonds?

Can dogs eat almonds and if so, are almonds good for dogs? As with most of the nuts we’re looking at here, almonds are not … technically toxic for dogs. However, as with most of these nuts, almonds are high in fat, making them difficult for dogs to digest in large quantities. Fatty foods can be dangerous for dogs because they exceed the capability of their pancreas to break them down and process them. Too much fat in a dog’s diet can lead to pancreatitis.

Can dogs eat peanuts?

If they are raw or roasted, removed from their shells, and unsalted, dogs can safely eat a few peanuts. Dogs don’t tend to experience peanut allergies as frequently or as violently as humans do, but those allergies do exist. Peanuts do contain more fat than is usually good for dogs, so a few peanuts should be okay, but proceed with caution. This is especially true if your pet tags along to dog day at your local baseball park, where peanuts may litter the bleachers.

Can dogs eat peanut butter?

Whether dogs can eat peanuts and whether they can eat peanut butter seem to be different questions altogether. Creamy peanut butter, with as low of a sodium content as possible and in limited quantities tends to be a safe and entertaining treat for dogs. If amusing YouTube videos are any evidence, dogs really seem to enjoy a spoonful of peanut butter. Here at Dogster, though, we wouldn’t recommend feeding a dog anything simply for entertainment. Also, make sure any peanut butter you’re feeding your dogs does not contain xylitol.

Can dogs eat pistachios?

Removed from their shells, pistachios can be okay for dogs, but are not recommended. Pistachios are not toxic to dogs, but have too high a fat content for dogs in large quantities. Do not give dogs pistachios that are still inside the shell, which, like other nuts in the shell, can cause digestive blockages that can be dangerous in their own right.

Can dogs eat cashews?

Cashews are high in fat, and it doesn’t take many for a dog to reach the limit of their recommended fat intake. Too many can lead to weight gain and pancreatitis.

Can dogs eat walnuts?

No. As with most of the nuts here, walnuts are too high in fat for dogs. That aside, walnuts also tend to be larger than nuts such as peanuts or pistachios. Dogs don’t chew their food as thoroughly as humans do, so larger nuts, like walnuts, are more difficult to digest. Unprocessed, larger nuts can obstruct a dog’s bowel movements.

Can dogs eat pecans?

No, and for all of the same reasons as walnuts. Not only are they too high in fat, but too large and difficult to digest. Another frequent problem for dogs and nuts is stomach upset if they eat too many.

Can dogs eat sunflower seeds?

If they are unsalted and removed from their sharp shells, yes, sunflower seeds are okay for dogs in small amounts. Another one to watch out for on the ground or in the bleachers at ballgames.

Can dogs eat macadamia nuts?

Macadamia nuts are the grapes and raisins of the nut kingdom. They are highly toxic to dogs, even in limited quantities, but no one is yet certain why. Of course, unless you live in Hawaii, Australia, or certain countries in Africa or South America, a dog’s risk of accidental ingestion is probably small. A few macadamia nuts can cause real short-term neurological problems for dogs — tremors, dizziness and even temporary paralysis. Your dog is better off without macadamia nuts.

It is important to remember that, voracious eaters as dogs can be, they are generally much smaller than people. This means that dogs will often have trouble processing and digesting things that present humans with relatively few issues. Based on our research, it seems the best course of action when it comes to dogs is to keep them away from nuts.

Thumbnail: Photography by dogboxstudio / Shutterstock.

Plus, are nuts truly healthy for YOU? Come find out >>

Learn more about what dogs can eat on

The post Can Dogs Eat Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios and Other Nuts? appeared first on Dogster.

14 Ways to Deal With Muddy and Dirty Paws

Even living in Los Angeles, with our terrific weather, I’ve dealt with my fair share of dirty paws. In fact, my pup seems to believe getting dirty is an Olympic sport! I’m used to pulling him to the hose before allowing him in the house. The hose works just fine for us, but I realize it isn’t a great solution for our readers living in colder climates.

Here are a few tips we can all use to help combat dirty paws during the winter to spring transition:

1. Restrict access to muddy places.

Dog paws and human rain boots in mud.

Dog paws and human rain boots in mud. Photography ©victorass88 | Thinkstock.

Cut back on dirty paws by stopping your pup from digging in the yard and fencing off any areas that can get muddy, like flower beds.

2. Make a wash station.

Inside the door of your entry area, keep a big, washable rug and a basket of dog towels. For wet days, you may want to add a hair dryer.

3. Keep wipes in the car.

Cleaning dirty paws in the car not only makes getting into the house easier, but it also helps keep your car clean.

4. Condition your dog to foot touching.

Not all pups like their feet touched. Until he’s familiar with getting wiped down, take it slow, and use lots of encouragement and treats.

5. Shampoo and moisturize those dirty paws.

Because you’ll be wiping your dog’s paws at least once a day, use a gentle soap. Try dry shampoo or one that’s used for show dogs and safe to be used daily. Finish off with a paw conditioner or moisturizer.

6. Get some dog booties.

The right “shoes” can help keep your pup from bringing in dirt and mud. Choose booties meant for the type of outdoor activity your pup is doing, and take it slow at first. Use positive reinforcement to make it a good experience.

7. Try indoor socks.

Get your dog the equivalent of bedroom slippers. This is especially helpful on laminate floors that tend to pick up paw prints easily.

8. Keep things trimmed.

Don’t just trim your dog’s nails. Keep an eye out for any hair poking out between the pads. Trimming that back will not only make any cleaning effort easier but will cut down on the amount of dirt that your pup picks up.

9. Do some basic training.

Teaching your dog the “sit, stay” cue will help a lot! He may have the urge to run through your living room and expensive rugs, but a well-trained pup will stay put when told. “Walk around” or “go in a circle” commands can help get your dog to dry off his own paws on your entry mat.

10. Meet microfiber.

There is such a thing as a paw-cleaning mitt! Google it! This glove is usually covered with microfiber material that grabs onto the dirt or mud and is easy to wash. Simple microfiber cloths work, too.

11. Let floor covers do the work for you.

Put an absorbent mat outside the door, and add a runner inside that your dog must walk on. This should help brush off dirt and help dry paws.

12. Protect those paws.

Put natural dog wax products on your pup’s paws before you head outside. The wax barrier will help keep dirt and mud from getting too deep into the fur and sides of the paw pads.

13. Save your furniture.

A cover on your sofa and other furniture that you can easily take off and wash can help if your dog enjoys lying on them and rubbing his dirty feet all over the place.

14. Be careful of salt/sand.

Dog paws about to step out into snow.

Salt or sand used on snow or ice is an issue, too.

Material like salt or sand that is used on snow and ice can be trouble. Wipe all this off your dog’s dirty paws as soon as possible. Not only will it keep your dog from ingesting it when he licks his feet, it also keeps that abrasive material off your floors.

Cleaning tips for dirty or muddy paw prints:

  1. For small areas of grout, try using the eraser of a No. 2 pencil.
  2. For tougher grout stains, use special grout cleaning products or a paste made of baking soda and water. Apply with a tooth- brush or grout cleaning brush.
  3. Sweep any hard surface before you mop.
  4. Daily mopping with warm water should work for most paw prints.
  5. If you do use a cleaning solution or vinegar on your floor, go over once more with plain water and a dry mop to finish.
  6. On carpet, let the mud dry to make cleaning easier.
  7. Dry mud on carpet should be vacuumed up slowly first. Hit the mud at all angles, and take your time.
  8. When doing your final cleanup on carpet, blot, don’t rub, so you don’t harm the fibers.
  9. Remove tracked-in water from flooring as soon as possible.

Tell us: What are your tips for dealing with dirty paws?

Thumbnail: Photography ©Willbrasil21 | Thinkstock.

Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned dogsitter, which keeps her busy being a dog chauffeur, picking up poop and sacrificing her bed. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area. Learn more about them on Facebook at The Active Pack and on Instagram at @wnewell.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Read more about spring and dogs on

The post 14 Ways to Deal With Muddy and Dirty Paws appeared first on Dogster.

What to Feed a Dog With Diarrhea or Other Stomach Issues

One of the most common questions I receive is about what to feed a dog with diarrhea or other stomach issues, like vomiting and gas. We’ve all been there, and we know how unpleasant it is. The good news is that we can help our canine companions feel better faster. First, we need to identify the cause of the distress and determine whether it’s a serious condition requiring veterinary attention or an acute situation that can be treated with some at-home TLC.

If symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting persist for more than 24 hours, or are accompanied by other worrisome signs such as lethargy or lack of appetite, I err on the side of caution and advise taking a trip to the vet. However, an acute flare-up resulting from a dietary indiscretion or stress colitis, for example, can typically be addressed at home and recovery helped along with proper nutritional management.

Using Traditional Chinese Medicine Principles to Determine What to Feed a Dog With Diarrhea or Other Stomach Issues

A sick white dog wrapped in a green blanket.

Wondering what to feed a dog with diarrhea? Traditional Chinese Medicine might help. Photography by Anna Hoychuk / Shutterstock.

In these acute cases, I like to draw from the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) food therapy, which optimizes the individual’s qi (life force) by balancing the internal energies of yin (cold) and yang (heat). According to TCM, all foods have properties that either warm the body, cool the body or are neutral. When the body’s yin and yang are out of balance, disease results.

“Most acute gastrointestinal problems relate to excess yang, or heat, so we want to treat them with cooling yin foods,” says Marc Smith, D.V.M., a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) practitioner and owner of Natchez Trace Veterinary Services in Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, and co-owner of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products.

Here are some of Dr. Smith’s advice on what to feed a sick dog. His favorite TCVM food remedies seek to address your dog’s acute upset stomach and get his qi back in balance as quickly as possible:

1. Fasting

Dr. Smith advises withholding food — but not water — for 12 to 24 hours, depending upon the severity of the situation. “Digestion takes energy, which can further deplete an already compromised organ of its qi,” he says. Allowing the GI tract to rest prepares it to better receive the nutrients that are then introduced. Be sure to provide your dog with water or ice chips to avoid dehydration.

2. Cooling proteins

Many people feed chicken when their dog has an upset stomach, but Dr. Smith warns that chicken is actually a “hot” protein that can further deplete yin energy. He recommends introducing lean cooling proteins, such as rabbit, turkey, white fish, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, pork or organic tofu. Dr. Smith also advises avoiding yang proteins such as beef, salmon, venison, lamb and goat until the dog’s symptoms fully subside.

3. Millet

White rice is perhaps the most “prescribed” food by veterinarians for dogs with acute gastrointestinal distress, but white rice is actually warming. While brown rice is cooling, some dogs experience difficulty digesting it, so Dr. Smith recommends feeding millet instead. “Millet is a cooling food that is also high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and manganese, making it an excellent choice in times of acute GI distress,” he says.

4. White potato

White potatoes are a cooling food that are also bland and easy to digest, making them perfect for helping to settle upset stomachs and provide energy without taxing an already stressed GI system. Dr. Smith advises boiling, steaming or baking the potatoes and mashing the flesh. Remove the hard-to-digest skin prior to serving.

5. Banana

A dog eating a banana.

Bananas are among the foods to feed your dog when he has diarrhea or other stomach issues. Photography by Nancy Dressel / Shutterstock.

“Bananas are both a cooling and moisturizing food, which helps to restore yin energy as well as tonify a dehydrated digestive system,” Dr. Smith says. Bananas also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps bind water in the colon and coat the GI tract. An added bonus: They’re rich in potassium, an important electrolyte that can become depleted during bouts of diarrhea or vomiting. Dr. Smith recommends giving about 1 teaspoon of mashed banana per 10 pounds of body weight.

6. Applesauce

Like bananas, apples are an excellent source of pectin to alleviate loose stool and soothe the intestines. Opt for applesauce, which is far easier to digest than raw apples, and be sure to use only plain, unsweetened products. As with banana, give about 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

7. Peppermint

Peppermint is a cooling herb that can soothe upset stomachs and ease indigestion. It helps alleviate spasms and calm the muscles of the intestinal tract, enabling trapped gas to pass. Peppermint may also contain antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It is strong, so a little goes a long way. Dr. Smith recommends giving peppermint in the form of fresh chopped leaves. Feed about ¼ teaspoon to a small dog, ½ teaspoon to a medium dog and 1 teaspoon to a large dog. Never give your dog human peppermint products, which can contain toxic ingredients like xylitol. Avoid peppermint if your dog has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as it can worsen symptoms.

The Bottom Line on TCM and What to Feed a Dog With Diarrhea or Other Stomach Upsets

Dr. Smith notes that TCM therapy for an acute upset stomach differs from a chronic gastrointestinal condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). “In cases of a chronic illness or when symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, veterinary evaluation is essential to determine the proper treatment protocol,” he says.

But if your dog is down in the dumps from an acute case of stomach upset, applying the ancient wisdom of TCM food therapy can help balance his qi — and get him back on his feet — faster.

Tell us: What do you feed your dog when he has diarrhea or other stomach issues? What foods have worked for you?

Thumbnail: Photography ©Lindsay_Helms| Getty Images.

Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, MS, is a canine nutritionist and co-author, with W. Jean Dodds, D.V.M., of two books, including Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health. Their online course, Complete Canine Nutrition, can be found at

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!

Read more about dog health care on

The post What to Feed a Dog With Diarrhea or Other Stomach Issues appeared first on Dogster.

Good Dog, Bad Zombie Board Game

Good Dog, Bad Zombie Board Game

If “Homeward Bound meets The Walking Dead” sounds appealing to you, then Good Dog, Bad Zombie is probably right up your (likely dark and zombie-infested) alley. This is how board-game developers Make Big Things describe their new tabletop game, which is currently seeking funding for production through a Kickstarter campaign. In GDBZ (which is fun to say fast), players work cooperatively (read: everyone wins, or everyone loses) to save a post-apocalyptic city from a zombie attack. In the story-based game, game players are members of a heroic dog pack rescuing humans from a zombie apocalypse; using their special powers (such as snuggling, protecting, or being grumpy), the pup pack searches the city for human survivors and herds them to safety in Central Bark — all while occasionally pausing to, you know, lick themselves. Extra coolness factor: GDBZ is ethically produced by a worker-owned cooperative using environmentally friendly and sustainable production methods, AND the Kickstarter campaign will also help benefit One Tail at a Time, a no-kill rescue and adoption center. Sniff out more about Good Dog, Bad Zombie over at Kickstarter.

Share This: Twitter | Facebook | Don’t forget that you can follow Dog Milk on Twitter and Facebook.
© 2018 Dog Milk | Posted by Katherine in For Humans, Other | Permalink | No comments