Categories
Pet Food

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

It’s important to find a dog food that meets your dog’s nutritional needs.

With that said, you can also supplement your dog’s diet with human food. Of course, it’s important to make sure that the foods that you choose for your pet are safe to feed your dog. If you’re interested in feeding your dog watermelon, you probably have some questions.

You can find the answers you’re looking for below.

Can Your Dog Eat Watermelon?

Some fruits, like grapes and raisins, can be toxic to dogs. Thankfully, watermelon is safe for dogs to eat. With that said, dogs can struggle to digest watermelon seeds. You should give your dog seedless watermelon or remove the seeds from the melon before serving it to your pet [1].

Dogs can safely eat the fruit itself, but they shouldn’t eat the rind of the watermelon.

The rind is difficult to chew, which means dogs may swallow it whole. This can be a choking risk, and it can also cause digestive issues. You may want to give your dog small chunks of watermelon so that it’s easier to monitor what they eat.

If you do decide to give your dog watermelon, you’ll have lots of different options. The easiest way to feed your dog this fruit is to slice up the fruit into pieces your pet can easily eat.

You can also make a smoothie for your pet. You can combine watermelon with other foods that can benefit dogs, like carrots and apples.

What Are The Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Watermelon?

As mentioned above, some parts of watermelon aren’t safe for your dog to eat. If your dog does eat a watermelon’s seeds or rinds, you’ll want to monitor them for symptoms of intestinal blockage.

If your dog is vomiting, or if they seem unusually fatigued, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Your dog may also have digestive issues if they eat too much watermelon. Eating large amounts of watermelon can cause diarrhea in dogs, and it can cause them to experience abdominal pain as well. You’ll want to be especially cautious about the amount of watermelon your dog eats if they’re on the smaller side. Small dogs have small stomachs, which means they’ll only be able to tolerate a little bit of watermelon.

Like with many things, moderation is key. Watermelon can be a healthy treat for your pet, but you might run into issues if you give them too much fruit. Be aware of the risks so that you can give your dog this treat safely.

Are There Benefits To Giving Your Dog Watermelon?

While you should be careful about feeding your pet watermelon, this fruit can actually be very beneficial! It’s packed full of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B6. Watermelon is also high in fiber, which means it can help dogs with digestive issues if it is consumed in small quantities.

Watermelon mostly consists of water. A 12-ounce watermelon is about 92% water [2] Because of this, it can be very hydrating. It can be a wonderful treat to give your dog on a hot day.

Watermelon is low in calories, which means it can be a great treat for dogs that are on a diet. One cup of watermelon contains approximately 45 calories. It also contains lycopene, which can reduce the risk of cancer in humans [3] it’s possible that it could provide the same benefits to dogs.

There are many anti-inflammatory antioxidants in watermelon, such as lycopene and vitamin C. A study conducted on lab rats found that watermelon can reduce oxidative stress, which can lower your dog’s risk for a number of chronic diseases [4]

What Kind Of Watermelon Should You Feed Your Dog?

Generally speaking, seedless watermelon is the best choice for your dog. You can feed your dog other types of watermelon, but you will have to remove the seeds beforehand. Ideally, the watermelon should be cut into bite-sized cubes before it’s given to your pet [Can Dogs Eat Watermelon].

If the weather is especially hot, you might want to freeze the fruit before feeding it to your pooch.

You can safely feed your dog watermelon, but you should avoid any watermelon-flavored products unless they are specifically designed for dogs. Many of these products contain artificial sweeteners, which can be harmful to dogs. Stick to natural fruits; you shouldn’t give your dog processed treats.

Should You Talk To Your Vet Before Feeding Your Dog Watermelon?

You should speak with your veterinarian before introducing a new type of food to your dog. Every dog has its own dietary needs, and it’s possible that your vet will advise against giving your pet watermelon. Your vet will also be able to give you tips on safely feeding your dog watermelon.

Summary

Watermelon is a treat that anyone can enjoy, including your dog! With that said, you’ll want to take a few precautions before feeding this fruit to yourself.

You can definitely let your pooch snack on watermelon, but you’ll want to make sure you take steps to avoid risks.

Resources

  1. Mike Clark, Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Is Watermelon Safe for Dogs? Dog Time. Retrieved at https://dogtime.com/dog-health/dog-food-dog-nutrition/58895-can-dogs-eat-watermelon
  2. Jessie Szalay, Watermelon: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts, Live Science. Retrieved at https://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.html
  3. Ambreen, Naz, et al., Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims, EXCLI Journal. Retrieved at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/
  4. Hong, MY., et al., Watermelon consumption improves inflammation and antioxidant capacity in rats fed an atherogenic diet, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University. Retrieved at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25631716
  5. SuperPets.us
Categories
Dogs

How Long Do Chihuahuas Live?

The chihuahua is a lively, charismatic dog breed and is often noted for its diminutive size.

While each chihuahua is unique, it’s important to understand how long they live and what the main deciding factors are in determining their lifespan. According to professionals, there are several variables associated with a dog’s lifespan and it’s important to consider each one. Some are controllable while others are not.

In general, chihuahuas tend to be on the brighter side of things when it comes to the aging process. They live longer than most breeds and age gracefully.

Studies have shown the average chihuahua can end up living approximately 12-20 years in the right conditions [1]. Assuming the chihuahua is living in a loving home with adequate food, it’s going to fit somewhere in that range. Most smaller breeds tend to live longer than their larger counterparts.

What about chihuahuas that aren’t living in a loving home or don’t get enough food to eat? In those cases, their lifespan is reduced significantly and sometimes pushes them to an early death.

Factors that Can Impact a Chihuahua’s Life Expectancy

1. Diet

It starts with the food they’re consuming just like any dog breed. They will have to eat the right foods to ensure the body is getting enough nutrients throughout the day. If they aren’t eating nutritious meals, this can have a major impact on their health and well-being.

It’s important to organize what they’re consuming and ensure they’re getting the right number of calories. By doing this, most dog owners notice an uptick in their chihuahua’s health.

A mistake some dog owners make is to start giving them chocolates and other treats. These can harm the dog and isn’t good for their digestive system.

2. Healthcare

There is nothing more important than maintaining a routine when it comes to visiting the vet. The chihuahua should be visiting the vet multiple times each year for checkups.

This ensures any issues that pop up are taken care of immediately rather than letting them linger. One of the major issues chihuahuas deal with can be diagnosed by a qualified vet well in advance.

This is why it’s important to take action. As the dog starts to get older (10+ years old), it’s best to increase the number of visits.

In some cases, having pet insurance in place for your chihuahua can help offset some of your health expenses. If you want to  learn more, see our list of recommended pet insurers.

3. Weight Management

A chihuahua’s weight is an essential component in its health. If the chihuahua is being overfed, this is going to put stress on its organs and general health.

The same applies to a chihuahua that’s being underfed. It’s important to keep tabs on what the dog is eating and how much it’s eating throughout the day.

3. Genetic Predisposition

Chihuahuas are noted for having great genes when it comes to the aging process.

They are smaller in size and tend to maintain their energy for longer than other breeds. To get a better understanding of specific dogs and their medical history, it’s best to look at their parents.

If the parents led a good, healthy life, it’s possible for the puppy as well.

4. Oral Care

Dental issues are a common concern when it comes to smaller dog breeds and chihuahuas are no different. They can start to develop dental-related issues and this can lead to gum disease or tooth decay.

According to studies, approximately 90% of all chihuahuas face these issues at one point or another in their lives [2].

This is why it’s important to take action and make sure their dental needs are taken care of immediately. If left untouched, bacteria can start to seep into the system and do a tremendous amount of damage.

5. Neutering/Spaying

Getting the chihuahua spayed/neutered is a good decision and is noted for prolonging its lifespan. The reason for this has to do with potential issues involving prostate/testicular cancer in male chihuahuas and uterine/ovarian cancer in female chihuahuas.

There are several advantages of doing this including minimizing the chances of running away and/or aggression.

6. Gender

There are gender-based variables involved with how a chihuahua ages. In general, the average female chihuahua outlives her male counterpart by approximately 1-2 years. There are no specific health reasons why this occurs.

7. Vaccinations

It’s best to speak to a qualified vet as soon as possible regarding vaccinations and booster shots. These vaccinations can go a long way in helping prolong the chihuahua’s life while battling against conditions such as Leptospirosis, parvovirus, distemper, rabies, and canine influenza.

8. Physical Activity

Just like most dog breeds, it’s important to keep the chihuahua active throughout the day. This can be done with something as simple as going for a walk or playing fetch. The idea is to keep them active to ensure they’re burning fat and staying fit.

Summary

These are the most important variables when it comes to a chihuahua’s lifespan. While the world record is set at 20 years old, most chihuahuas aren’t going to reach this age.

However, with the right approach to the variables mentioned above, it’s possible to make sure they end up on the higher end of their life expectancy.

Resources

  1. Meg Marrs, How Long Do Chihuahuas Live For? K9 of Mine. Retrieved at https://www.k9ofmine.com/how-long-do-chihuahuas-live-for/
  2. Periodontal Disease Is the No. 1 Health Problem in Chihuahuas, Purina Pro Club. Retrieved at Periodontal Disease Is the No. 1 Health Problem in Chihuahuas
Categories
Pet Food

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating?

While you might be aware of how important food is to humans, you might be wondering how long a dog can survive without food.

Food is just as, if not more important for dogs as it is for humans. A healthy dog under ideal circumstances should be able to survive anywhere from 5 days to a couple of weeks without eating [1]. If the dog is not eating for preexisting health conditions, the time they will be able to survive can be considerably less.

In this article, we will be going over some things to know about your dog, the importance of keeping your dog fed while sick, and some tips to keep your dog eating properly while sick.

How Much Does a Dog Need to Eat?

There are a variety of things that can contribute to a pets’ energy needs to maintain a healthy weight. Some of the most significant factors are the energy needed to perform various and essential bodily functions including but not limited to heart, brain, respiration, and digestion functions [2].

Along with this, it depends on the amount of exercise and activity of the breed in question. For instance, a much more active dog breed is going to require a lot more calories/energy to maintain a healthy body.

How Long Can a Healthy Dog Go Without Eating

A healthy dog is likely to be able to last anywhere from 5 days to a couple of weeks without eating [1]. That being said, this is only true if they are continuing to hydrate themselves with sufficient water intake.

The amount of time they are able to go without eating comes down to several factors including how active they are, how hot it is outside, how much water they are taking in, and more.

You never want to allow your dog to go without eating more multiple days as it is only going to present more troubles and lead to a worsening of their condition.

Why Did My Dog Stop Eating?

If you are asking this question because your dog is refusing to eat, it is very likely he or she is not eating because he or she is sick [3]. Therefore, you will want to look out for signs if a dog isn’t eating for over 24 hours. There are plenty of reasons your dog might be refusing to eat.

1. Your Dog is Sick

It could be something as simple as having an upset stomach. However, it could be a viral infection, parasites, allergies, or even a serious condition like cancer.

Because avoidance of food is one of the most common symptoms of a sick dog, you want to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice he or she is refusing to eat.

Dogs that are sick generally stop eating altogether. If they don’t completely stop eating, they will decrease the amount they eat.

Therefore, if your dog swallows something like a sock and you notice they are sluggish and avoiding food, you want to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

2. Your Dog is Picky

Believe it or not, but dogs can be just as picky as humans. If you notice that you have switched foods recently or that your dog is simply not eating enough, the solution might be as simple as switching up the food. You should attempt to give your dog one of his or her favorite treats to rule this out.

If your dog still refuses to eat his or her favorite treats you will be able to rule out your dog being picky as the reason.

3. Mental Health

Another big factor that can contribute to your dog’s willingness to turn his or her nose up to food would be mental health issues. Believe it or not, but dogs can suffer from a variety of mental health issues just like humans.

Whether they are suffering from depression or anxiety, these conditions can decrease a dog’s appetite. Because of this, you want to consider whether or not there have been any significant changes in their lifestyle that would lead to a change in their mental and emotional state.

These changes can include adding a new member to the family, adding a new pet to the family, making the move to a new home, or something else entirely.

4. Boredom

Another reason your dog might refuse to eat is due to boredom. While it might sound silly, your dog can grow tired of the food that he or she is eating.

Therefore, you might confuse your dog avoiding eating with something else when it’s really due to them being bored with eating the same food. That being said, your dog is not likely to get bored of the food he or she is eating unless another food is introduced or they experience some external factor that gets them tired of it.

As mentioned by having a picky dog, you can test out whether or not boredom is the cause by simply switching the formula of the food that you are feeding them.

This will allow you to see if your dog is simply tired of the same formula that you have been feeding them.

Is it Good for a Dog to Stop Eating When Sick?

While it might be good for a dog to avoid eating when they are sick for a short period of time, it is generally better for a dog to continue eating. This is especially true when they are dealing with a digestive system problem like pancreatitis.

How to Help Your Dog Who is Avoiding Food Due to Health Reasons

If your dog is suffering from a specific health condition, you want to follow the vet’s orders. They should be able to tell you exactly what to do to help your dog recover.

However, in general, you want to reduce the food they are taking in to avoid overfeeding [4]. You also want to stick to feeding a diet strictly of dog food. You should also look to switch up their diet to a low-fat diet to minimize the stress put on the pancreas.

You want to look to feed smaller amounts at a time to avoid placing too much stress on the pancreas during the digestion of food.

You can try a bunch of alterations to their feeding schedule to see if it makes a difference, you can add water to their dry food, switch to canned food, try a raw diet, or even adding something like cheese to the top of their food to get them more interested in it.

References

  1. Laura Day, How Long Can a Dog Go Without Eating? PupBox. Retrieved at https://pupbox.com/training/how-long-can-a-dog-go-without-eating/
  2. Basic Calorie Counter, The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. Retrieved at https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/basic-calorie-calculator
  3. Dog Not Eating? Possible Causes and Appetite Solutions, WebMD. Retrieved from https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dog-not-eating-possible-causes-and-appetite-solutions
  4. Jennifer Kvamme, DVM, Why Won’t My Dog Eat His Food? PetMD. Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_why-wont-my-dog-eat-his-dog-food
Categories
Pet Food

Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Finding the right foods for your dog can play an important role in keeping your dog healthy. Because each dog is different, your dog might respond better to a certain diet.

Therefore, you want to try to identify what kind of diet works best for your dog.

If you are wondering whether or not canned tuna is safe to include in your dog’s diet, we will be answering it and providing more information on adding fish to your dog’s diet below.

Is it Safe For Your Dog to Eat Canned Tuna?

What do the experts say? The simple answer is, yes [1].

When consumed in moderation, it is safe for your dog to consume canned tuna . That being said, tuna is a fish that is regularly deemed to be high in mercury.

Therefore, it would be wise to avoid giving your dog too much tuna.

Instead, you should supplement their fish intake with other fish known to be much lower in mercury content such as whitefish, flounder, and salmon [1].

Benefits of Fish and Canned Tuna for Dogs

1. High-Quality Protein

The fact is, your dog requires protein sources. Fish and even canned tuna are actually one of the highest quality protein sources that you can incorporate into your diet.

Because of this, it is a good food consideration to add to your dog’s diet [2].

Not only will it add healthy protein to their diet, but it can minimize the intake of other unhealthy ingredients that generally come with high protein intake. many dog foods on the market contain a lot of unhealthy fats and carbohydrates that you would do best to avoid.

2. Minerals

Another excellent reason to consider adding fish and canned tuna to your dog’s diet would be the fact that it offers them a lot of essential minerals that they might not be getting enough of through traditional dog food.

By supplementing traditional dog food with canned tuna, it will allow you to add a lot of essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and even phosphorous to their diet.

3. Better Ratio of Healthy Fats

Along with the high-quality protein intake, giving your dog canned tuna or other sources of fish can really help you provide them with a better ratio of healthy fats. Having healthy fat in your dog’s diet is key to maintaining optimal heart health.

A lot of dog food on the market contains healthy fat, but it contains far too many unhealthy fats which can increase inflammation throughout the body. This increased inflammation can directly contribute to poor heart health which is increasingly important to avoid in larger dog breeds.

Not only will it benefit their heart health, but it can also help minimize inflammatory skin conditions that they might have.

Many breeds are susceptible to various inflammatory skin conditions and these conditions can be exacerbated by the inflammatory responses that occur when there is a disproportion of unhealthy fat intake.

Keys To Keeping Your Dog Safe When Eating Fish

1. Make Sure the Fish is Cooked

a pile of cooked tuna

One of the main things that you want to be sure that you are doing when you are trying to keep your dog safe when giving them fish would be to cook it thoroughly [3].

For canned tuna, you are safe to give it to them, as is. As long as you are feeding them canned tuna in moderation, you can add it to their diet.

For other fish, you want to be certain that you are cooking it. That way, you can ensure that it is safe for them to eat.

2. Ask Your Dog’s Vet

Another important thing that you should be doing if you are looking to add fish or canned tuna to your dog’s diet would be to ask your dog’s veterinarian.

You want to be sure that your dog doesn’t have any specific allergies that would make it unsafe to feed them fish.

Along with this, you want to ensure that you have discussed making significant changes to your dog’s diet prior to making them.

3. Variety is Key

While canned tuna and other fish sources are perfectly fine for your dog, they shouldn’t be the only thing that they are eating.

Your dog requires a lot of different food sources to ensure that they are getting in the proper amount and the requisite nutrients that they need to survive and thrive.

4. No Added Ingredients

When you are going to be adding canned tuna to your dog’s diet, you want to be sure that you are not giving your dog tuna that has been seasoned or tuna that has any added ingredients.

Another thing that you should be looking to avoid is tuna with oil. It would be wise to avoid trying to give your dog tuna that has been sitting in oil because it could cause them stomach discomfort.

Likewise, the onions, garlic and other spices that could be found in tuna cans can be toxic to dogs. Therefore, you want to avoid them entirely.

Bland/plain tuna cans are your best bet for keeping your dog safe.

5. Keep it as a Treat

While you should be looking to add fish as one of the primary food sources for your dog, you want to keep canned tuna as more of a treat for your dog.

It shouldn’t be a huge part of their diet because it does contain a lot of mercury that should be avoided in people as well as dogs.

Because of this, you want to stick to giving canned tuna on occasion rather than as a staple in their diet.

Not only does it contain a lot of mercury, but canned tuna also features a lot of sodium which is another reason you want to keep canned tuna as a treat rather than a staple of the diet.

Summary

Overall, there are plenty of different things that you should be considering if you are considering adding canned tuna to your dog’s diet.

It, along with other fish sources, can be a great addition to your dog’s diet.

However, be sure to discuss adding it to their diet with your dog’s veterinarian to be sure that it is a suitable addition.

Resources

  1. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-fish/
  2. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_can-dogs-eat-fish
  3. https://www.purina.com/articles/dog/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-fish