Hot and Spicy Foods Day

In celebration of International Hot and Spicy food day, we look at what foods are safe for dogs. Specifically, can you feed your dogs foods that humans would find spicy.

First, what makes a food spicy? It is the capsaicin oil in the food that binds to receptors in our mouth that give us the “hot” sensation.

According to this article in Psychology Today, dogs have around 1700 taste buds, significantly fewer than humans – with approximately 9000.

So, their ability to taste is much more diminished than humans, but what about capsaicin?

The Canine Journal lists Spices (including those containing capsaicin) as an irritant, and not a toxin. 

Based on this information, yes, dogs can taste spices, they probably can’t taste it well, and of ingested will be more irritating than dangerous, but since dogs wouldn’t naturally gravitate toward eating spicy foods it wouldn’t be a good idea to feed it to them.

As always, before feeding things to your dog please consult your vet.

If you encounter an emergency situation, call poison control immediately.

There are a number of hotlines available, at different costs, but the ASPCA 24-hour emergency poison hotline can be reached at 1-888-426-4435.

The Pet Poison Helpline is available 24 hours per day and 1-855-764-7661. 

For day to day peace of mind, consider having a Pet First Aid kit, such as this one by the AKC, available.

Top Automated Pet Feeders

Take the stress out of routine pet feedings with these top automated pet feeders! Open the box, pop in some batteries, pour in your bulk dry food, set when your feeds should occur, and you’re good to go!

Check out my write-up here about what you should look for in a “store ‘n feed” dispenser, and start your search here:

1. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

2. Petnet SmartFeeder

3. Crown Majestic Diamond Series V3

4. Home Intuition Portion Control 6-Meal Feeder

5. OxGord Automatic Electronic Timer Programmable Dog Feeder for Large to Small Dogs

6. Aspen Pet Lebistro Programmable Food Dispenser

7. Feed and Go Automatic Pet Feeder with Built In Webcam

8. PYRUS Automatic Electric Pet Dry Food Feeder with LCD Display

9. BABADIO Automatic Pet Feeder with Remote Controller

10. topPets Large Automatic Pet Feeder with Programmable Portion Control

11. GemPet SmartFeeder, Automatic Pet Feeder controlled With Your iPhone, Andriod

12. HoneyGuaridan A26 Automatic Electronic Pet Feeder with Voice Reminding and Programmable Timer

13. PetPal WiFi Automatic Pet Feeder

14. Animal Planet Programmable Electronic Pet Feeder

15. QPets 10 Lbs Automatic Programmable Pet Feeder

Be sure to leave your comments below with the pet feeder you use, and any helpful advice for fellow readers.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links which, when you buy something, provide this site with a small percentage of your purchase; this is at no cost to you.

short hair spotted dog watching food off camera

What to look for in an automatic pet food feeder

In today’s hectic life, with people having more commitments than ever, giving the routine tasks to automation can free up valuable time. Buying an automatic pet food feeder can alleviate the daily routine of feeding your pets. No longer will you have to ask “did you feed the dog”, “will Fluffy be fed this afternoon if I am late from work?”

Listed below are key features to look for when you are shopping for an automated pet food self feeder. These will helped you make an informed decision when you compare the ever-expanding variety of these feeders.

One caution before you continue, is that these feeders can only feed dry bulk food; if you are looking to feed moist food (like you would find in cans, plastic containers, or pouches), these feeders would not provide a solution to that problem.

  • Capacity. Take a look at how much your dog or cat eats, and how many portions will be fed per day. Remember, that if you have multiple dogs or cats, you will need to adjust your calculation accordingly. You will want to ensure that the hopper or bin of the product is large enough to allow you to avoid refilling it frequently. For example, if you have a small dog who eats two cups of food per day, a machine with 24-cup capacity will give you 12 days between refills. If you have two dogs, each eating two cups of food per day, that brings you down to 6 days between fills.
  • Programming. All automated feeders will dispense food on a schedule that is either preset or user defined. Most feeders give the option to preset a schedule specific to their pets needs, and some allow up to 6 specific feeding times. Check the user manuals online to see how easy programming the machine is. Controls vary widely and can range from basic LCD displays with few buttons, to full-color displays with clearly labeled buttons. Some models are WiFi enabled allowing the user to program times using a smartphone or web interface.
  • Dispensing Quantity. Most machines have a standard size ‘portion’, for example 1/8 of a cup. You can dispense as many 1/8 cup portions as you need at each feeding time. Note, that if your pet requires less than the minimum portions size, you may end up accidentally overfeeding your pet.
  • Ease of Cleaning. Look for dishwasher safe parts, and easy disassembly. Especially in the summer or during warm months, you will want to ensure you follow the recommended cleaning schedule to prevent pests, and to keep the machine running smoothly.
  • Power Source. Does the unit you are considering come with a wall outlet, or does it require batteries? Most are designed to utilize battery power, but do not come with batteries in the box. Consider adding some to your purchase, or look into a wall outlet to avoid replacing them. The common battery life is six to eight months before they require replacement. Is there a wall outlet located close to where you will be installing the pet feeder?
  • Durability. The purpose of a timed release pet food feeder, is to ensure your pet only has access to the food at regular intervals. Food-motivated pets, larger dogs, strong cats, or smart pets of any kinds, may be able to defeat the food containment bin. When looking for a solution, think of the skill and strength level of your pet, and the construction of the feeder, to determine if you pet can obtain early access to the food.
  • Hopper size. With new sizes and formats of food pieces from all food manufacturers, can the unit you are considering dispense large pieces, food with mixed sizes, light freeze dried pieces, or all of the above
  • Connectivity. Newer options on the market can allow you to program your automated feeder from your smartphone or a web interface. Some allow you to record a voice message to your pet to alert them to feeding time. Several models have live voice and video allowing you to communicate with your pet in real time. Think of how the device will be used, and the amount of technology you are looking for.

All-in-all, there are several brands and models available to choose from, with new feeders coming to market all the time. Consider the points above to make the best decision for you and your pet.

Vacations, long weekends, late work hours, or even the stress of day-to-day life can cause pets to miss their feeding times. This can add stress to their lives, and may cause health issues, especially if your pet is on a veterinarian prescribed feeding schedule.

One of the units that meets several criteria is the PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed 12-Meal Automatic Feeder. It has a large capacity with translucent walls to monitor usage, can dispense both large and small food pieces, has a default Dog and Cat setting (but allows you to program custom times), and features dishwasher safe components.



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orange and yellow rubber duck sitting on rocks celebration national rubber duck day

National Rubber Ducky Day

Today is #NationalRubberDuckyDay and what better way to celebrate than with dogs and duckies!

I wonder when #DressYourDogLikeADuckDay is!

Stop by the National Day Calendar to see what “day” it is tomorrow!
Sincerely, Paula
two cute yorkie puppies laying down

Bring your pet’s prescription to this surprising place

According to the FTC’s Competition In The Pet Medications Industry 2013 report, consumers spent $7.6 billion on prescription and non-prescription medication for cats and dogs. That’s a huge amount of money that has traditionally stayed in the veterinarian’s office, however, there are now far more places to buy your pets medication, and at an increasingly lower cost.

The obvious choice is to find an online pharmacy that specializes in pet medications. You will need a valid prescription from your regular veterinarian for some of the products, but the website 1800petmeds.com claims they can save consumers up to 50% off vet office prices. Other online pharmacies include PetCareRx, and Doctors Foster and Smith.

But online pharmacies take time to validate prescriptions, you need to wait for medications to be shipped, and temperature-sensitive medications require bulky packaging.

The most surprising place that you can get your pet prescription filled is your local grocery store pharmacy!

The following grocery store chains offer pet medications in their pharmacies! Simply take your prescription to the counter (or drive-thru) and they will put together your order while you shop or run errands! They stock a good selection of medications and you get savings and immediate availability.

The following grocery stores offer pet medications in their pharmacies. This is not an exhaustive list. Be sure to ask at your local grocery store what pet medications they can compound or stock.

Hy-Vee

Wegmans

Albertsons

Kroger

Winn-Dixie

Food Lion

Meijer

Weis

Fred Meyer

Vons

Farm Fresh Supermarkets

D&W Fresh Market

A way to save even more is with a PetDrugCard. You can download it for free from www.petdrugcard.com. Simply enter your pets name to customize the card, download, text, or save the card, then present it the next time – and every time! – you buy prescription pet medications from any of 68,000 participating pharmacies. PetDrugCard has negotiated discounted pricing for many popular drugs. Check it out and take your savings even further!

Is it safe for dogs to drink milk?

In short, the answer is yes. It is not toxic but some dogs may be allergic, and even in dogs without an allergy, milk can cause digestion problems including vomiting and diarrhea when consumed in moderate to large quantities.

Most dogs can drink milk in moderation, however dog owners need to be aware of the symptoms of lactose intolerance if they plan on giving their dog milk. The most common symptoms are:

-AKC

Also, check out this AKC article about “Can Dogs Eat Cheese?

These Himalayan Yak Cheese Chews are made with three ingredients. Yak Milk, Lime Juice, and Salt. They are nice and hard to keep your buddy occupied for hours. They are lactose free and grain free!

Chewy.com shipping cartons leaving the distribution center with dog food and toys

Why I keep ordering from Chewy.com

Last week I came home to another pleasant surprise, my recent Chewy.com order!

As you can see from the picture below, we were all excited that it had arrived! Read more of our experience below!

Two dogs, a sheltie and shihtzu, smelling food and treats in a box from chewy.com

This is a repeat order from this great company. I browsed the site looking for a brand of food that wasn’t offered in the grocery store. Both dogs were getting picky, and it was time to change their food, but I had tried all the brands in the store and wanted to try something new.

After checking out the wide variety of brands available, I settled on a 5-pound bag of Nutro Adult (Lamb and Rice), a bag of Zukes Mini Naturals Roasted Chicken training treats, and a bag of Blue brand Blue Bits training treats.

They have a free shipping offer when your order reaches $49.00, but my order did not pass it. The shipping charge was only $4.95, less than if I had used a local delivery company to go to the pet store for me. The low shipping charge was surprising given that I had a giant bag of food. Regardless of how big your order is, or how many pounds of food you buy, your shipping charge for orders under $49.00 is $4.95. Shipping for orders over $49 is free!

Checkout was nice and easy, and I got a fancy postcard from them last year for being a customer! Its easy to get lost on Amazon with their extremely wide selection of products, but browsing Chewy.com was nice and easy because of their highly focused, curated, selection makes it nice and easy.

There are even helpful videos to give you more information about your favorite brands.

On the desktop site, hover over “Shop by Pet”, hover over the type of pet (dog, cat, bird, reptile, horse), and you will see the headings, Food, Treats and Supplies. It’s like the site knows me, and answers my questions of “how do I find” before I ask it.

The AutoShip selection gives you a 5-10% discount when you sign up to have products shipped to you on a regular basis. No need to “remember to buy dog food” because- it comes to you!

Will I be buying again? The answer is yes!

UPDATE: I just learned that Chewy.com has a philanthropic effort called the Chewy.com Rescue and Shelter Network. It is open to all registered non-profit organizations that specialize in assisting pets in need. Joining the Rescue Network is free, and gives non-profit organizations access to programs providing donations and fundraising opportunities. Check out their About Us page for the details!