Important !!! Deadly for your dog !

Typical dog reactions to poison:
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pale gums
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Muscle tremors
  • Bloody/painful urination or defecation
  • Bleeding from any orifice

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it is crucial you get your pet to the vet immediately or contact the Dog Veterinarian


This is the number one cause of pet poisonings, whether a bottle of medication was knocked on the floor and eaten, or a concerned owner trying to help only to overdose. It is crucial to keep all medication away and out of accessibility. Never give your dog human mediation without consulting your vet first. Symptoms may vary, but typically include dilated eyes, vomiting/diarrhea, confusion, and irregular breathing/heartbeat, seizures, coma, and death.


Sweet smelling rat poisons that are meant to attract rodents also attract your dog. Insecticides can also be easily accessed by your dog nosing around in the garden, and his flea/tick collar can make him sick if he chews on it. It is crucial you keep rat bait in inaccessible places to your dog, and monitor him if he wears a flea/tick collar or is in the garden. Pesticide poisoning symptoms include: Fatigue, pale gums, internal bleeding, nosebleeds, blood in urine/stool, excessive drooling, breathing difficulty, muscle tremors, and death.

Antifreeze & Other Chemicals

These contain sweet-tasting ethylene glycol, among other dangerous chemicals, highly fatal to pets even in the smallest amounts. Keep all chemicals out of canine reach. Symptoms of ingestion include vomiting/diarrhea, dilated eyes, depression, increased thirst, kidney failure, seizures, irregular heartbeat/breathing, coma, and death.

Household & Garden Plants

Most plants in large amounts can be potentially toxic. These common flowers are particularly dangerous: amaryllis, aconite, azalea, belladonna, buckeye, foxgloves, hyacinth, hydrangea, ivy, all species of lily, night shade, rhododendron, tulip, and yew. Symptoms of ingestion include: dilated eyes, vomiting/diarrhea, irritation around mouth, swelling of the mouth and throat, excessive drooling, excessive thirst, irregular heartbeat/breathing, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, and death.


Theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine, cannot be easily metabolized by animals. Depending on the type of chocolate and your pet’s size reveals how much can be deadly. Just one square of baker’s chocolate is fatal to a 10 lb dog, and 2 squares are deadly to a 20 lb dog. Signs include vomiting/diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizures, cardiac arrest, and death.


Even so much as a drop of beer can cause intoxication. However, alcohol poisoning doesn’t come from just alcoholic beverages, but also vanilla extract, and raw bread dough. The fermented yeast of swallowed dough can cause not only alcohol poisoning, but also bloat or intestinal rupture. Symptoms include: disorientation, vomiting/diarrhea, seizure, coma, swollen stomach, seizures, coma, and death.

Onions & Garlic

Ingested in large amounts can be fatal. A chemical found in these foods, thiosulphate, causes the red blood cells in the blood stream to rupture, resulting in anemia. Baby food containing onion powder has killed puppies. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, vomiting, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and jaundice.


This artificial sweetener is found in sugarless candy and gum and can be potentially deadly to your dog as his blood sugar rapidly drops. Symptoms include fatigue, staggering, irregular heartbeat/breathing, seizures, coma, and death.

Grapes and Raisins

Just a handful of either can be fatal to some dogs. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, foamy or bloody urine, irregular heartbeat or breathing, restlessness, kidney failure, and death.


All products of the avocado plant are poisonous to canines, including avocado fruit and guacamole dip made from it. It destroys the heart muscle and other tissues, including the lungs. Signs of poisoning include difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, swollen abdomen, fluid build up around the heart, seizures, coma, and death.

Macadamia Nuts and Almonds

Macadamia nuts and Almonds, while generally not considered fatal, can cause your dog to experience severe illness.  The actually toxin is not know, nor is the mechanism of toxicity. Ingestion of just a handful of nuts can cause adverse effects in any dog. Signs include vomiting, weakness, depression, drunken gait, joint/muscle pain, and joint swelling. Onset of signs typically occurs within 6-24 hours. Dogs are typically treated symptomatically and recover within 24-48 hours. In-hospital supportive care may be recommend for dogs that become very sick.

Fruit Pits and Seeds

Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, and plum pits contain the toxin cyanide. Signs of cyanide poisoning include vomiting, heavy breathing, apnea tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, skin irritation. In some cases, antidotes are available. Other treatments include oxygen therapy, fluids and supportive care. Also take note that the leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Also, the fat content is not healthy for dogs.

Rotten or Moldy Foods

Moldy or rotten foods can cause many problems for your dog, some more serious than others. Any food that seems “past its prime” should be kept out reach. Be especially careful to keep your dog away from trash cans. Botulism, often from garbage, can cause paralysis, slow heart rate, constipation, and urine retention. An antitoxin is effective only if poisoning is caught early enough. Rotten fruit produces ethanol, causing the same effects associated with alcohol or dough ingestion. Moldy foods contain toxins that may cause muscle tremors, convulsions and drunkenness. Therapy depends on the toxin. Your vet may induce vomiting. Sometimes, treatment includes activated charcoal. Supportive care with fluids and medications is often necessary.

Law and your dog

If you die or get ill, your Lucky’s luck may run out. Animals are considered property – like a house, or money – and unless you’ve made provisions, your doggy could end up living out its last days ownerless.

When you die, your pet becomes part of your estate and if you haven’t made any plans, their fate is in someone else’s hands. Most often no one steps in and they end up at the local animal shelter. In Canada we love our pets – mostly cats and dogs. One study found that more than half of all Canadian homes own a cat or a dog. More than any other pet, they are the subjects of will provisions. The most important step is to choose a long-term caregiver in case you become disabled and for when you die. Once you’ve taken interim measures to protect your pet, then develop a permanent plan.  Besides naming someone, leave funds for costs. Plan in advance of disaster and put plans in place to benefit yourself, your family and pets…

Just think about this…

Canine Vaccine Guidelines. Revised

In 2005, AAHA’s Canine Vaccine Task Force met to re-examine and revise guidelines on the use of vaccines in dogs. The results of the Task Force’s work are summarized and tabulated in this article and are published in their entirety on the AAHA website ( The 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines contain information on new technological developments in vaccines, an introduction to conditionally licensed vaccines, and detailed recommendations on the use of available vaccines. Perhaps the most noteworthy addition to the guidelines is a separate set of recommendations created for shelter facilities. Vaccines are classified as core (universally recommended), noncore (optional), or not recommended. The Task Force recognizes that vaccination decisions must always be made on an individual basis, based on risk and lifestyle factors.

Important !!! Poisonous Plants for Dogs.

A lot of plants we surround us with might be poisonous to our beloved pets, plants you take for granted in your home and in your garden. For your information we have gathered information about the plants, together with images so you can easily identify them just by looking at the pictures. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned you should take it to a vet immediately! Don’t hesitate. It’s better with one vet bill too many than a pet that might end up dead from eating one of the plants. Note that there might be other plants that might be poisonous also.

Snug and safe throughtout chilly periods…

It’s been a bitterly cold winter for much of the country and it’s not over yet. That’s why it’s important for pet owners to take the proper precautions to keep their animals snug and safe throughout chilly periods.

When it comes to managing your pet’s health, a good place to start is looking at your dog or cat as an individual. “You have to know your pet and the environment that you live in. For instance, if you lived in Florida your pet probably couldn’t handle weather below -5°C for more than a few minutes. You really have to look at the breed and observe,” explains Dr. Gary Landsberg, a veterinarian behaviourist who has been practicing for more than 30 years.

According to Dr. Landsberg, the dangerous weather threshold for outdoor play is around -10 to -15°C no matter what kind of breed you have.

Although certain sled dogs can remain outside for hours, not all dogs fare as well in the snow. “Breeds with short hair, smaller breeds and breeds that aren’t used to spending time outside are usually more susceptible to the cold conditions.”

It’s very important as a pet owner to recognize the telltale signs that your dog or cat needs to come inside. “Look at their feet, see if they’re starting to walk on three paws. It’s important to be with your pet outdoors so you can observe shaking or stopping of movement. Extreme signs can include frostbite on the tips of the ears or discoloured paws.”

Another way to protect your pet against the frigid air is to bundle them up in warm clothing. “Depending on the breed (particularly short hairs), it’s not a bad idea to consider a sweater, vest or booties.” However, Dr. Landsberg warns that not all pets will take kindly to clothing. He says you may have to spend several days or weeks training your animal to accept this practice.

Not only do booties keep your dog insulated, they can also guard against rough road salt. These pellets can stick in between your pet’s paws, making it uncomfortable to walk or irritating for the animal in general. Dr. Landsberg says it can be difficult to remove these chunks of ice or salt but a basin of water will likely do the trick. “Get a bucket of lukewarm water (size of the bowl depends on the dog) and soak your pet’s feet until all the salt comes off or the ice melts.”

If you discover that your pet has become chilled, Dr. Landsberg recommends treating your pet like you would a young child or baby. “If your dog is small enough, wrap it in a big towel or blanket and cuddle it and dry it off as thoroughly as possible. When the animal wants to play and move around again, that’s when you’ll know everything is back to normal.”

Dr. Landsberg offers these other tips for keeping your pet safe in cold weather.

    * Do not leave your animal alone, unsupervised in cold weather.
    * Make sure to check the weather and find out if there’s a cold weather alert in your area.
    * Don’t leave your pet in a cold vehicle.
    * Observe your pet for any cold-related symptoms.
    * Keep your pet active when they’re outside. They’re likely to maintain normal body temperature this way.

Think like a Dog.

By Steve Duno.

One stormy night, your six-year-old daughter awakens to the sound of thunder. She runs to you, scared, shaking. You comfort her and tell her that it’s just giants bowling, up in the sky. She smiles, calms down, and crawls into bed with you. You read her a story, then, as she nods off, you carry her back to her bed, tuck her in, and hope that the weather cooperates. This is what parents do; this is good.

On the same night, in the home next door, a six-month-old German Shepherd awakens to the same thunder and runs about, whining, whimpering. Doris, a grandmother of four, says; “It’s okay, Missy. Don’t worry, I’m here,” stroking the dog as thunder rattles the windows and Missy shivers and whines.


Your reaction to your daughter’s fear was natural and appropriate. You helped get her through the fear and even put a funny face on the event. But what of Doris and Missy? Ah, Doris. A kinder soul there has never been. But as far as Missy’s wellbeing was concerned, she couldn’t have done a worse job. Doris thought like a human instead of like a dog and, in the process, convinced Missy that thunder was a thing of the underworld, and that shaking, peeing, whimpering, and hiding were the appropriate responses to it.

Doris, by stroking and consoling Missy through the event, inadvertently praised the frightened dog for her fear, and her reactions to it. In Missy’s canine mind, if showing fear gets rewarded, then doing so every time will elicit the same response. Missy got attention for being scared.

We can’t help humanizing our dogs. I’ve been guilty of it myself, especially with my old superdog, Lou, who was as close to human as a dog could get. They comfort us and, over time, we almost forget that they are dogs. But things are more concrete with canines; if showing fear gets rewarded, that dog will keep shivering and shaking every time the windows rattle.


Dogs were once our utilitarian partners, bred to work and to share the duties of life. Herders, hunters, protectors—dogs earned their keep and, with it, our thanks. As a reward for their diligence, we gave them shelter, companionship, and love; at the end of a day, we both came home and appreciated each other. But today, most dogs don’t do much save keep us company. Their jobs are to be companions, period. What they used to get for a job well done has become their sole raison d’etre; they exist now only to please us, to serve as petting posts. You know what? They liked the old model better.

In their bones, dogs are workers, and engines of purpose. They strive to do; that’s how they think. They live in the moment, and communicate with looks, postures, vocalizations, and behaviors, and learn through smells, sounds, and interactions. Dogs are reliable, predictable, trustworthy, and thoroughly pragmatic. Abstractions don’t register with dogs.

Humans, on the other hand, are complex, and introspective. We understand metaphor and satire and can read between the lines. We are also vengeful, spiteful, and irrational, especially in the eyes of dogs, who never hold grudges, and can forgive the worst ruffian his sins. We need validation, and strive for equality and justice. Admirable things, all. But when we fail to recognize the species-specific differences between dogs and us, problems start.


There is no democracy in the canine world. Breeds are inherently unique and, as such, meant to be profiled, and treated differently. Train a Rottweiler like a Toy Spaniel and, well, you’d end up with a really big, troublesome Toy Spaniel. But many owners today try to do just that; they ignore the needs of the species and breed, and instead humanize, homogenize, and democratize their dogs, to the pet’s disadvantage.

Over and again, well-meaning owners try to turn their dogs into proxy people. By doing so, they teach their dogs that they have parity with everyone in their homes, giving them license to contend, disobey, or even discipline—all normal behaviors for a dog who thinks it is equal in stature to a human. It’s unfair to the dog and disrespectful to the species; would you want to be treated as anything other than a human?


Instead of trying to turn your dog into a proxy person, why not turn yourself into a proxy dog, and try to see things from a dog’s-eye view? It’s easier for us to embrace their mindset, than for them to embrace ours. I call it effective canine empathy, a system whereby you emulate the way your dog processes information and interacts with her world. Here’s how to become more attuned to your dog’s perspective:

Live in the canine moment. Your dog lives from moment to moment, processing information and acting upon it. She does not daydream about coming summer vacations; she thinks about the smell of a barbeque a mile off, or the sound of a Poodle barking down the block. To better understand your dog, try to emulate this. Become intimately aware of your surroundings; really listen, smell, touch, and see everything as it happens. Be the dog. What is the neighbour cooking? Why is that crow circling? What dug the burrows in your yard?

Understand posture. Dogs communicate with their bodies. You should understand and emulate this. When a dog jumps on someone, it’s not because she’s happy; it’s because she wants to control the greeting and set the tone of the relationship. When a dog won’t make eye contact with you, it means she feels intimidated. When a dog bumps another dog at the park, it’s not play; it’s control A good owner knows what his or her dog is thinking from what the dog does with her body. Master this and you’ll be better able to predict her behavior.

Use your body as a dog would; if you want to turn left while walking your dog, do so, even if it entails using your body to cut off your dog’s forward motion. Don’t let your dog jump on you, and, with an assertive dog, avoid roughhousing games which might teach her that she can vie with you physically.

Be an elder. Dogs are tribal, with loyalty to their family packs and an inherent sense of social position. If you let them take over, you risk disobedience, and sometimes even aggression. This kind of dog will often disobey commands if she thinks something else is more worthy of her attention. In my mind, a well-trained dog is one who wants to do “A” but does “B” because she knows you want her to. That’s leadership and trust. A truly good owner becomes a sage elder to his or her dog; like a third-grade school teacher, you love, but also direct and teach. You do not make excuses for an unruly student. Dominant dogs understand this; you should too.

Practice calm indifference. Watch a dominant dog interact with subordinates; what do you see? The head dog rarely fawns all over the others; rather, the subordinates pay more attention to the head honcho, who stays calm and casual. That’s how you should act with your dog. Stay thoughtful yet calm to prevent your dog from overreacting.

Be predictable. Dogs are creatures of ritual. Yet some owners can be unreliable in how they interact; one moment you let your dog up onto the bed, the next you yell at her for the same action. Try to be more like a dog in your predictability. Set rules and routines, and stick to them!

No grudges. Dogs don’t understand grudges. You should be that way too; if your dog gets out of line, deal with it, then move on. It’s the doggish thing to do.

Dogs have rights and responsibilities. Your dog is not a trust-fund baby, but a trusted member of your pack. She has the right to your attention and a responsibility to behave. Bad behaviour from your dog isn’t always your fault; as beings with free will, dogs sometimes make the wrong choices, so it’s your job to deal with that. But always remember that you and she belong to the same clan; she rates your deference.

Be confident, and curious. All great dogs have an air of confidence about them that is infectious. To be a great owner, emulate this. Also, be curious in front of your dog; when she sees you investigating new things, she’ll be more likely to emulate you.

Pretending that your dog is a child sounds fun, but it will only serve to confuse and disrespect her. Instead, be more like your dog. She sees you as a big, lovable, elder pooch; is there any reason to act otherwise?

Barking Dogs and Other Noisy Animals

In accordance with the City’s Animal Care and Control By-law, pet owners must prevent their pet from constant barking or other noise that disturbs the peace. Such noise may also signal behavioural problems that the pet owner should address.

For example, barking or whining is your dog’s way of communicating. Respond immediately to your dog’s barking and do not let it continue. Train your dog not to bark needlessly. Also, ensure that your dog’s basic needs (food, water, shelter, companionship) are met, and give it a toy or good quality chewing toy to reduce barking caused by boredom.

5 Reasons Why You Should Stoop and Scoop

Dogs are good buddies. Whatever the season, they’re ready… playing fetch, sleeping in front of the fireplace, hanging out with the kids or going for a walk.

As a dog owner, by complying with the City of Ottawa’s Animal Care and Control By-law and removing waste left by your pet, you will help eliminate a source of pollution. You will be making a difference!

Here’s why:

  1. Dog waste adds up
    • The 93,000 dogs in Ottawa produce an estimated 45,000 pounds (20,500) kilograms) of waste per day!
    • When you stoop and scoop, sidewalks, parks and green spaces are much cleaner.
  2. It is a health hazard
    • Leaving your dog’s waste in areas where children play exposes kids to parasites such as roundworms, as well as bacterial infections.
    • Dog waste can transmit diseases to other people’s pets.
  3. It is an environmental hazard
    • No matter where you live, spring run-off or heavy rainstorms dilute dog waste and wash it into streams and storm sewers.
    • Water from storm sewers generally flows untreated into the rivers.
    • At these times, dog waste contributes to the river’s bacterial content, polluting beaches and waterways, and degrading the natural environment for fish, wildlife and people.
  4. Removing dog waste is responsible
    • If we all clean up after our dogs, public opinion of dogs and dog ownership will be much more positive.
  5. Dog waste can cost you
    • The City of Ottawa’s Animal Care and Control By-law requires that dog waste be removed from public property. If you do get caught “in the act”, you may be fined.
    • The by-law also requires that dog waste be disposed of at the dog owner’s home – so don’t leave it in park or street waste receptacles! There’s a fine for that too.

Dog Waste – It’s your business

  1. Pick it up
    • Use a bag or a shovel to pick up the waste and take it home for disposal.
  2. Disposal
    • The best method of disposal is to flush waste down the toilet. BUT DON’T FLUSH THE BAG! Toilets flow to the sewage treatment plant or septic tanks. Both systems are equipped to handle this kind of waste. Flushing poop also helps us divert waste from the landfill site.

Cats are included too

  • Flushing cat waste is also the best method of disposal. Check the cat litter package for disposal instructions for the rest.
  • Discourage your cats from wandering.
  • Effective January 1, 2004, cat owners will be required to take responsibility for their pet’s whereabouts.
  • Keep kids’ sand boxes covered.

Pet Owners

We need your help to clean up our environment. Responsible pet ownership is part of the total solution.

Stoop and Scoop!

Limits on the Number of Dogs and Cats

The limits on the number of dogs and cats, over 20 weeks of age, per household within the city of Ottawa are as follows:

  •  three dogs in all areas of the City
  •  five cats in areas not zoned agricultural
  •  where both dogs and cats are kept, a total of five animals, with a maximum of three dogs
  •  no restriction on the number of cats kept in areas zoned agricultural

 Discover how to protect yourself and others from vicious dogs and which communities allow dogs to have their day in the park. Do you have more creatures to care for? Find out which provisions apply to exotic animals.