“Our results show that companion dogs trained with aversive-based methods experienced poorer welfare during training sessions than dogs trained with reward-based methods” the researchers write in their paper.
“Additionally, dogs trained with higher proportions of aversive-based methods experienced poorer welfare outside the training context than dogs trained with reward-based methods. “
This sort of research has been conducted before, and found that aversive training has negative effects, but it’s primarily been on police and laboratory dogs. In addition, the aversive training tends to be shock collar training, which is only one of several tools used.
So, led by biologist Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro of the Universidade do Porto in Portugal, the international team of researchers conducted their new study on companion dogs.
The animals were recruited from a number of training schools in Porto – 42 dogs from three schools that use reward-based training like food treats or play, and 50 dogs from four schools that use aversive-based training, such as yelling, physically manipulating the dog, or leash-jerking. Two of those schools used mild aversive-based training techniques and two were harsher.
Each dog was filmed during the first 15 minutes of three training sessions, and saliva samples were taken to assess stress levels from training – three from each dog relaxing at home to establish baseline levels of stress hormone cortisol, and three from each dog after training.
The researchers also analysed the dogs’ behaviour during training to look for stress behaviours, such as yawning, lip-licking, paw-raising and yelping.
Unsurprisingly, the dogs in the aversive training classes showed elevated stress behaviours, particularly yawning and lip-licking. Their saliva also had significantly increased levels of cortisol compared to when they were relaxing at home.
By contrast, the positive reinforcement dogs were pretty chill – far fewer stress behaviours, and much more normal cortisol levels.
The next step was to assess the longer term effects of this stress. A month after the dogs were assessed at training, 79 of them were then trained to associate a bowl on one side of a room with a sausage snack. If the bowl was on that side, it always held a delicious treat; if located on the other side, the bowl never had the treat. (All bowls were rubbed with sausage to ensure the smell didn’t give the game away.)
Then, the researchers moved the bowls around the room to ambiguous locations to see how quickly the dogs would approach in search of the treat. Higher speed was interpreted to mean the dog was anticipating a mouthful of deliciousness, whereas a slower speed meant the dog was more pessimistic about the bowl’s contents.
Sure enough, the more aversive training a dog had received, the more slowly it approached the bowl. Interestingly, dogs from the reward-based training group actually learnt the bowl location task faster than the aversive-training dogs.
This suggests that reward-based training may actually be more effective, although the researchers suggest this may be because the dogs already understand treat-based training methods. It’s possible that the other group would learn more quickly were an aversive method applied – more research needs to be done to determine this.
Overall, though, the results seem to imply that aversive training doesn’t necessarily have an edge over reward training, and that reward training is much better for your dog’s happiness.
“Critically,” the researchers said, “our study points to the fact that the welfare of companion dogs trained with aversive-based methods is at risk, especially if these are used in high proportions.”
Dangerous Human Foods That Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat – Toxic And Safe Foods For Canines.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor dog, you can be sure he or she wants to eat what’s on your table. Although I support dogs eating dog food, sometimes some human food is allowed. However, if you don’t want to hurt your four-legged house friend, you might want to be aware of what can and can’t be given.
Some human foods are toxic to dogs. Some of them are okay, but only in moderation. And some can be given completely safely. There are also misconceptions about the topic that are worth clarifying. I will cover all three in this article.
Dangerous And Toxic Foods For Dogs
It is better not to give your canine the ones listed below. All of them are dangerous, some can even be fatal. You probably already knew about some, but I tried to gather them all.
Alcohol has a similar effect on dogs as it does on humans. However, dogs tend to tolerate it much worse, for example, because of their size. Under no circumstances should you give your dog alcohol. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, problems with coordination, breathing problems, and coma.
It’s not as dangerous as macadamia nuts, but be careful with almonds too. If not chewed properly, they can block your dog’s esophagus or the windpipe. The salted version is even worse because of the salt content.
For many animals, avocados are extremely dangerous. It is most dangerous for birds, and cause death quite often. Dogs tolerate it a little better, but it is not recommended to give it to them either. The problem is caused by persin, which causes vomiting and diarrhea even in small amounts. The avocado’s pit is full of persin, and it’s a choking hazard. Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog has swallowed it.
The composition of cat food is completely different from that of dog food. If your dog consumes it regularly, he may have health problems.
Perhaps this is the best known of the list. Theobromine (methylxanthine) and caffeine in chocolate do not have a good effect on the nervous system and heart rate. Of these two substances, if dogs eat a lot, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased urination, tremors, increased heart rate, seizures, and death. The more cocoa the chocolate contains, the more dangerous it is for your puppy. In this article, I covered this topic more detailed.
While cinnamon is not toxic for dogs, you better omit it from your puppy’s diet. It can irritate the inside of dogs’ mouths so they won’t be able to chew comfortably. It can also lower dogs’ blood sugar too much, which can also cause health problems.
It is worth giving dogs a bone. It is healthy in many ways. It keeps their teeth clean and they get a lot of nutrients from it. However, never give your dog boiled bones. It can be dangerous because it breaks and splinters into small, sharp pieces. It can cut your friend’s mouth or stomach. In addition, it can cause many more health problems. Examples include choking, vomiting, broken teeth.
Corn With The Cob
Corn alone is not dangerous to dogs. However, if you give your dog it along with the cob, that can cause a problem. The danger of suffocation and intestinal obstruction awaits your puppy.
Some dogs are lactose-intolerant. Listen to the signs, and if that proves to be the case, you should rather not give your puppy dairy products. Lactose can cause diarrhea and other indigestion in susceptible dogs.
Although you may think your dog deserves it, do not give him fat trimmings from leftovers. Fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.
Garlic, onions, chives, and leeks are part of the Allium family. However, garlic is five times more toxic than the others I mentioned. It can cause anemia by killing dogs’ red blood cells. A very small amount shouldn’t be a problem. However, pay attention to your dog if he accidentally ate food that contained garlic.
Grapes are extremely toxic to dogs. Even a very small amount can harm them. It can cause kidney failure, so by no means give your puppy grapes. Of course, the same goes for raisins. Other symptoms that grapes can cause: vomiting, depression, low energy.
It is no coincidence that there is a separate version of these for dogs. Never give your own supplements or medicine to your dogs. Human supplements can contain amounts of vitamins and minerals that can even lead to an overdose in dogs. Prenatal vitamins, for example, contain dangerous amounts of iron for dogs. Products containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also be extremely dangerous for dogs.
Giving your dog a liver can be a smart idea. It contains many useful nutrients. However, it contains a lot of vitamin A, which in large amounts is not good for your puppy.
Macadamia nuts are also dangerous. Already a few pieces of it can make your dog sick. Watch for these symptoms: muscle shakes, vomiting, increased temperature, and weak back legs. If your dog eats chocolate that contains macadamia nuts, the situation can be even worse.
My view is that this should not even be an issue. Do not give marijuana to your dog. There is not so much research on the subject. But experience has shown that dogs respond worse to this drug than humans. The most common symptoms are slow response times, dribbling urine, heart rate change, neurological stimulation, hyperactivity, coma, and even death.
Onion, Chives, And Leeks
Although they are not as toxic as garlic, it is better not to give them to your dog. They are dangerous to your little friend in every form.
In general, colored peppers are edible for dogs. However, strong versions should be avoided, as should black pepper. Dogs are much less tolerant of these than humans.
Peach, Persimmon And Plum
You also need to pay attention to the quantity of these fruits. If your dog eats a lot of them, that can cause problems in his small intestine. And let’s not forget that peach and plum pits are not only choking hazards but also contain cyanide.
Raw Meat And Fish
Raw meat and fish can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. And some fish (especially salmon) may be full of parasites that can cause so-called “fish disease” or “salmon poisoning disease”. By cooking, however, both fish and meat can be safely given to dogs. However, if you want to give these to your dog raw, make sure you get them from a secure source.
Tomato And Rhubarb Leaves
The edible parts of these plants are not dangerous. However, their green parts contain large amounts of oxalates, which are very toxic to dogs. Oxalates can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, tremors, and bloody urine. Be more careful that if your dog goes to the vegetable garden, he should not eat the tomato along with the green parts.
Too much salt can also be a problem for humans, and this isn’t different for dogs. Moreover, in many cases they are even more sensitive to it. Too much salt can cause sodium ion poisoning, which can have several serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, increased temperature, seizures, and even death.
Too much sugar can lead to dental issues, obesity and even diabetes. Always check the ingredients when you give something to your dog.
This sugar alcohol is found in a lot of sweets. You’re best off not giving your dog anything sweet at all. Or if you do, make sure this substance definitely not in that food. Xylitol is very poisonous for dogs.It can cause blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, and even death.
Yeast is not good for dogs for two reasons. On the one hand, it can cause digestive problems in the dog’s belly. It can cause a lot of pain or gas. On the other hand, yeast forms alcohol in the stomach due to fermentation, which in turn can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Safe Food For Dogs From The Table
Of course, there is a lot of human food that can be safely given to dogs. Since there are far more of these than of the dangerous ones, I won’t list them all, but I’ve gathered quite a few.
If you remove bone and excess fat from meat, there can be no problem. This also includes too thick fatty skin.
Eggs are a great source of protein and contain many valuable nutrients and vitamins for your dog. However, be careful not to serve it raw. This will prevent salmonella infection. Leave the seasoning as well.
You can safely give most of your fruit to your dog. Examples of such fruits are:
If possible, give these to your dog without seeds. This will prevent suffocation or various stomach problems.
Vegetables are very healthy, even for your canine friend. They can even be used as a treat. The following vegetables are safe for dogs:
Cooked rice is recommended by many people for dogs who have stomach problems. It solidifies the stool and, along with cooked chicken, feeds the dog properly.
Quinoa is an important ingredient in a lot of dog food. It can be a great alternative to rice, corn, wheat, and soy.
Foods That You Can Give Your Dog In Moderation
There are foods that don’t cause a problem for your puppy, but you still need to pay attention to the quantity.
Cashews And Peanuts
Dogs can eat cashews and peanuts. These are great sources of calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and protein. However, they are high in calories and fat, so large amounts of them can cause obesity and other problems.
Ham is not the healthiest food, but it is edible for dogs. Although it should not be a regular meal due to the salt it contains.
Misconceptions About Giving Human Foods For Dogs
The internet can be extremely useful as a lot of information is available. However, there are many misconceptions and it is worth separating them from the facts.
Of course, there are also a few misconceptions about the topic of this article. The following foods are rumored to not be given to dogs. However, this is not necessarily true.
Apple Cores And Seeds
Of course, none of us would give our dogs these separately. However, you don’t even have to cut it from the apple.
Yes, apple seeds contain cyanide. Virtually every plant contains toxins at some level. If these are below a certain level, your dog will have nothing wrong with it. A medium-sized dog would have to eat about 85 grams of apple seeds completely chewed to make it toxic to him or her.
This means a lot of apples that your dog will definitely not eat at once. Also, if your dog’s liver is working well, the toxins will not accumulate. Apples can be safely eaten with kernels and seeds.
Surely everyone has heard this “fact” that dogs should not be fed pork. This is usually justified by the following: porks are fatty, eat disgusting things, and contain some mystery component that is toxic for dogs.
Although none of these are really real claims. Pork is less fatty than beef. A well-kept pig doesn’t necessarily eat disgusting things. Or if so, why do we humans eat?
There is nothing in the pork that would have any negative effect on our puppy. There is little chance our dog will be allergic to it.
Plenty of manufacturers put pork in their dog food, which could not happen if pork really had a negative effect.
Of course, many dogs are allergic or sensitive to grains. As sometimes this can happen with meat too. The truth is, your dog can safely eat wheat, corn, soy if it doesn’t cause a problem.
Although I tried to include everything in the lists, I may have missed something. It is best to do your own research on the topic as well. Or the other one I emphasize every time: Talk to your vet!
The metabolism of animals can be very different from that of humans. That’s why it’s not worth risking just because your puppy looks nice on you. We save the health of our dogs by paying attention to them and giving them what does best for them.
I honestly admit, a few years ago I had no idea that CBD existed. I mean, sure, they taught me in school what chemicals are in marijuana besides THC. But that somehow didn’t stay in my head. Then I came across CBD products. I tried it personally and I really liked the effect. Only later did I find out that CBD products were made for animals too. I guess I’m not alone in wanting the best for my pets. So I went over the topic a little bit.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (known as CBD) is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s nonpsychoactive. You or your pet won’t get high. It’s important to mention, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana. This compound is under continuous testing and research. But already, some studies have proven that it may be helpful with some conditions. Anxiety, pain, cancer, and arthritis, these are examples where CBD has been useful.
CBD For Animals?
We need to understand that for the time being, these are little results in deciding how effective and safe CBD is. It is also important to mention that most of the researches discussed above were conducted in humans. There are no CBD products approved by the FDA for use in animals. For now, we can mostly rely on the experience of the owners. However, in many cases, they are linked to human cases.
Human studies have shown that CBD helps with the following diseases. Let’s see what about pets!
Arthritis is the abbreviation for osteoarthritis. This is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs. One in four dogs has arthritis at least once in their life. And many more of them have some degree of this disease. Research has shown that CBD can reduce pain in dogs with arthritis. You should give your dog CBD twice a day at the right dose.
As with arthritic complaints, we can treat our dogs with CBD for other inflammatory pains. Human experiments have proven that products containing both CBD and THC are more beneficial for pain relief than when either is given alone. But as I will mention below, it is not advisable to give THC to dogs.
Most CBD research in humans is on seizures. Unfortunately, limited research exists for pets. Nonetheless, there are correlations. Especially in epileptic seizures, CBD has been found to be useful in dogs. However, these benefits were noticeable when dogs were given traditional anti-seizure medications.
Like seizures, there are many types of cancer with different treatments. There are also CBD researches to treat cancer directly and alleviate secondary symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, little research has been done on dogs, but it seems promising. However, chemotherapy-induced nausea was reduced in CBD rats. This gives us reason to trust that the results will be the same with dogs.
The most commonly reported effect of CBD is to reduce anxiety. Unfortunately, the situation is not too bright here for dogs. There is no evidence that CBD would help them in this case. More research is needed.
Other inflammatory diseases, aggressive behavior and loss of appetite. These are just a few examples of where CBD can still be effective.
Is It Safe?
When it comes to THC, the answer is clear. It does not have the same effect on pets as humans and can be dangerous to them. But what about CBD? Is it better? Probably yes.
According to a 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) report, it’s safe and well-tolerated by animals. Vets, on the other hand, agree that CBD should not be given to a pet who has liver problems. The situation is similar when an animal is taking a medicine that’s metabolized by the liver.
There is no scientific data on the side effects of CBD on animals. Still, we can infer from examining side effects in humans. These side effects are dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness. Always adhere to the recommended dose and, if possible, start with a smaller amount and increase gradually.
What To Look For?
Alright. You know the potential advantages and disadvantages. Then you decide if you want to give CBD to your dog. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Chances are you will buy CBD online. Remember, on the internet, they want to sell you a lot of things. Don’t fall for the marketing stuff. Look for online reviews. It’s not a bad idea to start with negative reviews. Check the company. How long have they been in business? Have they been sued? Do they work with veterinarians?
If your dog accidentally comes across an unlocked CBD box, rest assured he won’t eat the prescribed daily amount of it. To keep your dog safe, be sure that you keep any CBD products out of your dog’s reach. Also, do not keep it together with other treats.
Always Choose High-Quality Products
The price of the product should not be the deciding factor in your choice. Higher prices usually mean higher quality. Look for organic, so it’s less likely to have pesticides, fungicides, or solvents. Make sure it is free of additives.
The manufacturer also should provide the documents that tell you the amount of CBD in the product. You also need to make sure there is no THC in the product.
CBD products come in many forms. Treats, oils, creams, like human products, there is a wide selection here too. There is some evidence that the oil form was more effective than the others. Dosing is also much easier with this form.
According to one study, the most effective dose with arthritis was 2 mg per kg of weight. However, be skeptical and do not take it as a basic recommendation. Each dog will react a little differently. Most products will offer dosing suggestions. But keep in mind that these are only the manufacturers’ recommendations. Since CBD isn’t regulated, no one will be able to say for sure how safe or effective it is.
The best thing you can do is start with the smallest amount possible. Then increase the dose gradually. Pay close attention to your dog’s reaction. This will help prevent possible overdose reactions.
Always Talk To Your Vet
Last but not least, it is very important to talk to your veterinarian. He will know your dog’s medical history and breed information. He may not recommend giving CBD to your dog. I’m not saying you have to listen to him in this case. But at least you played a sure game and talked to a professional about the problem.
As you can see, it is very difficult to give clear advice on CBD. It is a very little researched product, especially for dogs. This is likely to change in the future, as demand for it is already high. Personally, I may be going to give it a try in the future. At least if my dog is going to suffer from any of the problems discussed above.