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A dog throwing up blood is suffering from hematemesis. If your dog is puking blood, don’t panic. This is an alarming site, but it’s crucial to remain calm so as not to cause your dog further stress. Hematemesis in dogs is more common than you might think, and likely indicates an injury to the upper digestive tract. Here’s what you need to know to keep your dog safe and help him feel better soon.

Why Is My Dog Puking Blood?

For a dog, throwing up blood is an indication that he’s bleeding somewhere along his digestive tract. In Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, James M. Griffin, MD, and Liisa D. Carlson, DVM, say, “Red blood in the vomitus indicates an active bleeding point somewhere between the mouth and the upper small bowel.”

The brighter the blood, the closer to the mouth the bleeding likely is occurring. Light, bright red blood is likely occurring from a bleeding point in the mouth or throat. Dark red blood in your dog’s vomit means the bleeding point is probably slightly farther down the gastrointestinal tract. If your dog is vomiting mucus and blood at the same time, this means the issue is in the stomach or upper intestines. Dark, tarry vomit, which can sometimes look like coffee grounds and might have a fecal smell is digested blood.

Reasons a Dog Throws Up Blood

Here are a few of the reasons why a dog might have blood in his vomit. Remember: If your dog is puking blood, it’s helpful to be informed, but you shouldn’t diagnose this issue yourself. Instead, call your vet to seek professional help.

What to Do if My Dog Is Throwing Up Blood

There are so many reasons why a dog might be vomiting blood, many of them serious, so it’s important to call your vet as soon as possible. Be as clear as you can about any of your dog’s other symptoms, paying close attention to what the blood looks like in the vomit (color, presence of mucus, etc.), and collect a sample of the vomit to bring in if possible.

Until your dog can be seen, it’s best to withhold food and water (unless your vet instructs you otherwise). Keep your dog warm and calm and give him lots of love, of course!

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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Limited ingredient dog food is a trendy term in the pet food space. Some pet owners turn to a limited ingredient diet (sometimes called a LID) to address health concerns like itchy skin, behavioral issues, or digestive problems which they link to food allergies. The concept behind limited ingredient dog food is that it restricts your dog’s diet so you can isolate and understand what might be causing the trouble. Sounds good in theory—but in practice, does limited ingredient dog food really work?

What is Limited Ingredient Dog Food, Anyway?

A limited ingredient diet typically contains one protein source (often a less common one like duck or kangaroo) and a single carbohydrate (like corn or potatoes). However, some kibble brands market themselves as limited ingredient dog foods, meaning that they contain fewer additives than other recipes. In the middle of these two extremes: a limited ingredient dog food can mean a recipe that focuses on whole foods with a single meat source in the mix.

All of this is to say that like much of popular dog food lingo, “limited ingredient” has an extremely loose definition if it really has a definition at all. If you are considering this sort of diet for your dog, it’s important to understand that not all “limited ingredient dog foods” are created equal.

The Risks of a Limited Diet for Dogs

The primary reason dog owners look for a limited ingredient dog food is that they think their dog is suffering from a food allergy. Gary Weitzman, DVM, President of the San Diego Humane Society and author of the book The Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness warns against these sort of assumptions. “A very small percentage of dogs actually have food allergies,” he says. By treating your dog with a limited diet, you run the risk of not addressing underlying issues like “horrible skin allergies or gastrointestinal issues,” says Weitzman.

Putting your dog on a strict diet without a good medical reason also takes away a potential source of puppy joy and could even put their health at risk. Weitzman says, “Food is one of the things that dogs love the most!” Additionally, very restrictive diets run the risk of creating nutritional deficiencies in dogs. This is especially common when pet parents try to make their dog’s food at home.

If you are thinking of trying a rare protein source, do so with caution says Shawn Messonnier, DVM, author of The Allergy Solution for Dogs. “I do not recommend feeding unique protein sources to pets without food allergies. Not only are most of them quite expensive and difficult to obtain, if your dog develops food allergies to any of these unusual protein sources, your choices of what to feed at that point are severely limited.”

Before you make any dramatic changes to your dog’s food, it’s important to check first with your vet. She will be able to tell you if your allergy concerns are real or if there is another health issue that you might need to address.

The Benefits of Limited Ingredient Dog Food

For dogs who do have food allergies, a limited diet is a good idea. Weitzman says, “Limited diets can be really helpful for the small percentage of dogs who have allergies.” Diagnosing food allergies can be difficult, so it’s critical to work with a professional.

If a limited diet means one based on whole foods, almost all dogs can benefit from meals like that. A fresh, balanced diet can do wonders for your dog’s health. Research shows that diets like the ones from Ollie helps dogs to sleep better, live longer, and to get a shiny coat. (Check out other science-backed benefits). If you are searching for a whole-food diet, make sure that its AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages like all of Ollie’s recipes.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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My Ollie by Danil Ovechkin - 1M ago

If you’re steaming some zucchini or pumpkin for dinner, you might wonder if it’s safe to feed squash to your dog. Can dogs eat squash or is it toxic? The answer is yes! Dogs can eat squash and in fact, the vegetable (technically a fruit) has a number of health benefits for dogs, and it’s a smart staple for a dog’s balanced diet.

Benefits of Squash for Dogs

Squash is high in fiber, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and nutrients that are great for dog’s long-term health. In The Natural Pet Food Cookbook, Wendy Nan Rees and Kevin Schlanger, DVM, say that squash “has lots of beta carotene and vitamin A…Plus, it’s naturally sweet which dogs love. Many kinds of squash are also rich in potassium, which helps to maintain electrolyte balance. Ollie includes freshly cooked squash in a number of its recipes so that dogs can reap these excellent health benefits.

Risks of Squash for Dogs

When it comes to squash for dogs, the only real danger is difficulty digesting. Remove the rough bits (seeds and skin) and cook the squash before feeding it to your dog. Squash is tough and very high in fiber, raw squash may be tough on dog’s stomach, causing diarrhea or vomiting. It’s best to steam or light bake squash before giving it to your pup. Leave out unnecessary butter or oil and skip garlic or onions, which can be toxic for dogs.

Best Kinds of Squash for Dogs

Dogs can eat all different sorts of squash. Here are some of the benefits of the most common varieties you might find in the grocery store.

Butternut Squash for Dogs

This slightly awkwardly shaped squash has a boatload of health benefits for dogs. It’s especially rich in potassium (one cup contains more than a whole banana!), which is critical when it comes to the functioning of kidneys, muscles, nerves, and enzymes.

Pumpkin for Dogs

Pureed pumpkin is a popular anecdote for dogs experiencing constipation. The soluble fiber helps to get things moving without adverse effects. Pumpkin is also rich in carotenoids for better skin and eye health and the anti-inflammatory vitamin E. Try making these healthy pumpkin dog treats that your pup will love.

Zucchini for Dogs

Easier to digest than most squashes, zucchini is usually well-tolerated by dogs and can be eaten raw with the seeds. The long green squash is rich in potassium, beta-carotene, and folate, which is important for cell health and maintaining a quickly ticking metabolism.

Acorn Squash for Dogs

This cute little squash is rich in vitamin V, folate, and vitamin B-6. Vitamin B-6 helps promote healthy digestion and a shiny coat. Acorn squash is especially high in vitamin C as well, which is best enjoyed by dogs in moderation and excessive amounts can lead to calcium oxalate stones.

Remember, any time you add a new food to a dog, it’s best to do so slowly! Try mixing a spoonful of cooked squash into your dog’s food and see how he fares. If your dog loves, squash and it agrees with his digestive system, this is a great vegetable to include in his healthy diet.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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My Ollie by Danil Ovechkin - 1M ago

These healthy, homemade dog treat recipes are super easy to prepare. You will love that you know all of the healthy, whole food ingredients that go into them—dog treats you buy at the pet store are often filled with unhealthy additives and preservatives—and your dog will just love how they taste! Making homemade dog treats are one of the best ways to bond with your dog, and you avoid the hassle, time, and potential dangers associated with making your dog’s food. Just remember that treats shouldn’t account for more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. Ready, set, bake!

#1 Blueberry Oatmeal Treats

Blueberries are baked with antioxidants, making them a superfood for dogs! Try these treats from The Little Epicurean or one of other Tdelicious superfood treat recipes!

#2 Blueberry + Coconut Oil Biscuits

Double up on the superfoods in these baked biscuits from Sprinkles and Sea Salt where both blueberries and coconut oil play starring roles! For even more blueberry dog treats check this awesome roundup!

#3 Peanut Butter Carrot Cake

This cake from Put On Your Cake Pants looks straight out of the case at your local bakery, but it’s actually designed for pups! The honey helps dogs fight off seasonal allergies. It’s perfect as an Easter treat or for any time of year!

#4 No-Bake Sweet Potato Peanut Butter & Oats Treats

No oven, no problem! This crazy-easy recipe from 17 Apart combines potassium-rich sweet potatoes with tasty peanut butter. If your dog can’t get enough sweet potatoes, find more healthy yam-based treat recipes here!

#5 Minty Green Bones

If your dog suffers from bad breath, these treats from Eating with Emmy Lou will help his halitosis. The green here is actually spinach and parsley, combined with coconut. Check this treat recipe list for more stinky-breath fighting ideas using activated charcoal and peppermint.

#6 Spinach and Green Apple Biscuits

Spinach-rich biscuits from Pretty Fluffy are fun to make for St. Patrick’s Day… check here for more St. Patty’s-specific treats. But your dog will appreciate the healthy fats from coconut oil any time of year.

#7 Pumpkin Puppacino

How adorable is this dog-friendly PSL from Damn Delicious? Pumpkin is a superfood for dogs, and actually helps to cure and prevent both dog constipation and in some cases diarrhea. While this up for your basic pup or find more pumpkin treat recipes here.

#8 Oat and Apple Pretzels

Apples are an excellent source of fiber, which supports a dog’s healthy digestion, as well as vitamins A and C. Try one of these fall-friendly apple treats or make these pretzel dog bites from The Rookie Cookie that taste as good as they look.

#9 Watermelon Popsicles

When the weather turns steamy, an icy treat can be just the trick to prevent your dog from getting too hot. Grr Feisty developed these crazy-simple treats (just watermelon and coconut milk). If your dog prefers other fruits or savory flavors, check our list of other DIY pup-sicles.

#10 Peppermint Patties

When Halloween rolls around, we like to treat our dogs with pup-friendly homemade candy (find the full list here). These peppermint treats from Dalmation DIY are easy to make and have the bonus of making your dog’s breath nice and fresh.

#11 No-Bake Super Snacks

These sweet and easy treats couldn’t be any more simple. Chia seeds provide a superfood boost, while the rest of the ingredients you almost certainly already have in your pantry. Get the recipe!

#12 Satisfying Fruit and Nut Bars

Did you know that you can make trail mix for your dog? Try one of these fun recipes the next time you’re out hiking with your dog. Or whip up a trail mix bar like these treats from Newf and Hound.

#13 Peanut Butter Bacon Ice Cream Sandwiches

You’d never know from looking at them that these decadent ice cream sandwiches contain two of your dog’s favorite foods! Whip up these ice treats from The Cookie Rookie on a hot day or any other of these dog ice cream recipes from our summer-fun list.

#14 Strawberry-Yogurt Hearts
Ollie Knows: How to Make a Healthy Valentine's Day Treat - YouTube

Find the way to your puppy’s heart with antioxidant-rich strawberries and probiotic-rich yogurt. These pretty treats are great for Valentine’s Day or any day. Get the recipe!

#15 Ollie Dog Treats

You don’t have to DIY it to have homemade treats filled with fresh ingredients your dog will enjoy. Ollie’s Dog Snacks like Savory Beef Strips, Sweet Potato Slices, and Tasty Turkey Strips are made with human-grade meats and produce for a healthy dog from the inside out.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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My Ollie by Danil Ovechkin - 1M ago

Holistic dog food, all-natural dog food, premium, gourmet? With many different dog foods available all with a variety of information on their labels, it can often be confusing to know what’s best for our pets. When you see “holistic” on dog food packaging, what does this mean and is it really any healthier?

What is Holistic Dog Food?

In general terms, “holistic” means considering parts in relation to the whole. This is why we use the term “holistic medicine” when we are talking about an approach to medicine that takes into account a person’s general well-being when it comes to a specific ailment.

In the pet food world, however, “holistic dog food” means nothing at all. It’s used on packaging to imply that the food takes into account a dog’s full scope of nutritional needs, or that the food is more natural. In reality, the word “holistic” is not regulated by either the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when it comes to dog food or the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Pet food companies add this label to their food to convince customers to purchase their product. But don’t be fooled. “Holistic dog food” doesn’t truly mean anything more than “cool”! Check out other misleading labels here.

How to Purchase “Holistic” Dog Food

If you are a dog owner looking for holistic dog food, chances are what you’re really after is a more natural dog food that will keep your dog happy, healthy, and well-fed. A balanced diet for your dog will have benefits including...

Ignore the label, and instead look for a food that has high-quality ingredients, with extra attention being paid to both the protein, fats, and calorie content. It’s critical to find a food that meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

What Else Should You Be Looking For?
  • A high-quality source of animal protein
  • Digestible, high-quality carbohydrates
  • Healthy fats (think sunflower or fish oil)

High-quality animal protein will ensure the correct nutrients are consumed by your pet, while digestible carbohydrates preventing stomach issues, improves digestion, and provides easily-accessible energy for your dog. Healthy fats provide essential fatty acids which will aid and support your pet’s skin, coat and even the health of your dog’s brain.

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The holistic dog food label won’t tell you much, but “human-grade” will. Human-grade dog food means that the food is formulated with whole foods, and that it’s legally suitable for human digestion. Want your dog to be his healthiest self? Looking for recipes like Ollie’s with fresh ingredients (think chicken, kale, lamb, and chia seeds). These are the labels that matter the most.

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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