Category: General Dog Info

What Plants are Toxic?

There are many plants that are toxic to dogs and can cause a variety of symptoms. This post will highlight the most common ones with pictures to help you identify if you have any lurking in your home or yard!

Any plants that grow from a bulb, the bulb will be the most toxic part of the whole plant. This doesn’t mean the rest of the plant is not toxic, just that getting a hold of the bulb itself could be very detrimental.

Autumn Crocus

Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver and kidney damage and erratic heartbeats.


In severe cases, ingestion can cause a blood pressure drop, coma and possibly death.


Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeats, convulsions and a serious drop in blood pressure

Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)

This common house plant can cause oral irritation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.


Ingestion can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling and nausea.


Ingestion can cause vomiting and diarrhea. In rare cases, irregular heartbeats may occur from poisoning.

Sago Palm

Ingestion can cause extreme reactions including bloody vomiting and diarrhea, bleeding disorders, liver failure and death.


Ingestion can cause oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, heart abnormalities, seizures and death.


Ingestion causes fatal heart abnormalities, muscle tremors, incoordination, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.


Ingestion can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.

Hypoallergenic Dogs – is there really such a thing?

No dog is truly hypoallergenic. People can be allergic to a dog’s hair, dander and even saliva. It is always encouraged to meet and interact with a dog you are interested in to see if you have a reaction to them. You may also develop a bit of resistance to your own dogs once they have been around you for a while. (It is not generally recommended by allergists to be in constant contact with your dogs at home if you have allergies to them!) The dog breeds listed below don’t shed as many breeds do. Their hair tends to only fall out when brushed or broken.

Any dog that is crossed with a poodle doesn’t make it hypoallergenic. The poodle fad right now with crossing breeds is supposedly because the poodle creates a mix that doesn’t shed. This is not true. Because there is no standard (according to the kennel clubs) for any of the poodle crosses, there is no consistency in the breeding. You can get 4 different dogs that look very different from the same parents. Some will shed and some won’t, depending on whether they got the poodle’s hair or the other dog’s fur.

Pictures are pulled from Google Images and list was sourced from Homes Alive Pets

Tibetan Terrier
Portuguese Water Dog
Bichon Frise
Scottish Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Irish Water Spaniel
Yorkshire Terrier
Shih Tzu
West Highland Terrier
Cairn Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Brussels Griffon
Chinese Crested
Border Terrier
Silky Terrier

Remember to always do your research into the breed you are leaning towards. Take into account their activity levels, grooming needs, potential genetic issues and the space you have for a dog.

Why is a dog good for my health?

We already know that dogs make great companions. Humans have lived along side dogs for many thousands of years. In many times or cultures, each species depends on the other for different purposes. But why is a dog good for your health?

Stay Active

Owning a dog encourages you to get out and do something! Not many dogs are content to be lazy all day. Some days, maybe, but not all day every day! Getting up and out with your dog keeps you both active and healthy!

Improve Heart Health

Studies show that having and caring for a dog is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and decreased triglyceride levels. Each of these things helps to contribute to the health of your heart and contributes to the lowered likelihood of a heart attack!

Reduce Stress

Spending just a few minutes a day with a dog can help reduce anxiety and blood pressure. This little bit of time can also increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine which both help you feel happy. We would hope that you would spend more than just a few moments of your time with a dog of your own!

Help Prevent Allergies

You might be allergic to dogs, but having a dog (or cat) while your children are growing up is shown to help lower their chances of developing an allergy to their pets. Really young children might even benefit to the point of developing stronger immune systems!

There are many more ways that dogs help keep us healthy, but these are the most common ones! Make sure you get your dog out for their daily walks and interact with them throughout the day. They will love it and so will your body!

List modified from HuffPost

How to Select the Right Pet for Your Family

Choosing to bring home a new family member is a big deal! Are you bringing home the right fit for your family’s lifestyle? Here we will talk about a few key things to consider when going to select your new furry friend.

Activity Level

How active is your family? Do you want an energetic dog that is constantly on the move? Are you more laid back and want a dog that will just laze around on the couch with you? Do you want a breed somewhere in the middle? Make sure you are honest with yourself as to how much activity you are willing to provide for your new pet. Falling in love with a specific breed is great, but only if you are willing to put in the effort that they require. We have dogs on our wish list that will likely never be part of our family for exactly the fact of exercise.

Below is a table of popular breeds and what kind of energy level they have. 3 stars, on average, is your laziest breeds. 5 stars is your high energy, go all day breeds. All information and pictures were sourced from

3 Stars

English Bulldog
Shih Tzu
Cocker Spaniel

4 Stars

Shetland Sheepdog
French Bulldog
King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

5 Stars

German Shepherd
Yorkshire Terrier
Boston Terrier

If you are looking for a rescue dog to adopt, make sure you talk with the home that has been working with them. They are likely to know what kind of energy level the dog has. Be honest on your adoption applications about how much exercise you are likely able to give the dog. Adopting a dog with too much energy is setting everyone up to fail and the chances of you having to return the dog will be high.


What size of dog will your lifestyle accommodate? Look at the here and now, not the future. Below are recommendations of what we figure would do well in common living situations. Obviously, if you live in an apartment or condo but are out all the time being active, a dog with a higher energy level would be a good fit. Most of the time, apartment and condo living is best suited for smaller dogs with less energy to burn. On the other end of the spectrum, having a home with lots of land available doesn’t mean you can’t have a small dog, but you may need to watch out for them more because of large birds of prey and other predators.

Appartment/CondoTownhome/House with yardAcreage/Farm
Small to Medium
Easy going energy
Small, Medium, Large
Easy going to moderate energy
Medium to Large
Any energy level

Who will look after the dog?

Kids want a dog? They have proven that they can look after the dog? That’s wonderful! Please take into consideration if you will want your kids walking the dog and what size of dog they can physically handle. Asking a 10-year-old to walk a pulling, high energy large dog is not a safe scenario. Training your new family member is always recommended, but looking at the worst case scenario will help you choose a dog that will be manageable for all those involved. Always keep in mind that the dog will ultimately be the responsibility of the adults in the household, and if anything were to ever happen while a child was walking them, you will be held responsible.

Genetic Health Issues

If you are getting a dog from a breeder, knowing what health issues are common to the breed will prepare you for any surprises down the road. Obviously, when rescuing a dog you are less likely to know what mix of breeds they are. Visual identification of the breeds in your mutt is a very accurate way to predict what health issues may crop up. Do your research on what breeds have what genetic likelihoods before you start looking for a furry friend so that you kind of know what you are able to financially take on the potential burden of. Just a few genetic conditions are listed below to give you an idea of common health issues that may affect your chosen breed.

Information below was taken in part from PetMD


Dogs that are classed as Brachycephalic are dogs that generally have the shorter noses and their nostrils are not as open as dogs that don’t have this condition. Often times dogs that are brachycephalic will need to have surgery to open their airways so that they can breathe better. These dogs are at a higher risk for overheating when exercising, especially during the warmer months.

Dogs that are prone to brachycephalia include boxers, bulldogs, boston terriers, pugs, shih tzus, bull mastiffs, chow chows and lhasa apsos.

Prone breed list taken from Oakhill Veterinary Centre

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is when the dog’s hip joint doesn’t work properly for one reason or another and causes your dog pain when they walk, go up and down stairs, jump or simply get up from laying down.

Dogs that are prone to dysplasia include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Bulldogs, Great Danes, Saint Bernards and Retrievers.

Heart Disease

There are multiple types of heart diseases and each one will affect your pup in a slightly different way. Some of the common heart diseases are Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), Myxomatous valve disease and Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Below you will find a few breeds potentially affected by each of these types of heart disease

Myxomatous valve disease: cavalier king charles spaniels and Dachshunds

DCM: doberman, great dane, boxer

ARVC: boxers, bulldogs

A lot of different factors go into picking a dog that will mesh well with your family. Picking a dog based on looks alone can get you into trouble if you aren’t prepared to put the work or money in to have your dog be happy and healthy.

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