• The Dangers of Chocolate for Your Dog

    halloween dog

    We’ve all heard that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but most of us have no idea why.  If a dog can eat a sock without dying, then how can a chocolate Easter Bunny be a problem?  The answer to this question is complex, so read on to learn more about dogs and chocolate:

    Chocolate Is Poisonous for Dogs: Dogs have a poisonous relationship with chocolate.  If your dog eats one chocolate candy, then he or she is unlikely to suffer any consequences.  However, if he eats more than that, then he or she is likely to become ill or even die.

    One reason to avoid giving chocolate to dogs is that it isn’t chocolate itself that’s dangerous to dogs, but rather a chemical known as theobromine The amount of theobromine varies according to the kind of chocolate, which means that your dog could eat a lot more white chocolate than dark chocolate, for example.  You’ll never be able to accurately calculate how much theobromine is in any given treat, so you can’t safely feed it to your dog. 

    Dogs Can Learn to Love Bits of Chocolate: In addition, if you let your dog have just a little bit of chocolate because that amount won’t hurt him or her, then you will have taught your dog to like chocolate—and dogs are not known for their restraint.  Your pet may try to get chocolate wherever he or she can find it and the consequences could be tragic.

    If you have more questions about dogs and chocolate, then contact the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group.  We are dedicated to promoting pet wellness though our veterinary practice, and also offer pet boarding and grooming. For more information, call Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at 877-296-5995 or call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at 972-439-1344 .


  • What Exactly is Your Dog’s Dew Claw?

    Here’s the scoop:  your dog has four toes on each foot – plus a digit that was at one time a “thumb”.  This thumb hasn’t been used for so many generations that it has atrophied and become the small growth on the inside of his leg with a toenail on it.  Your pet may have dew claws only on his two front feet, or he may have them on all four.  Great Pyrenees and Briards require double dew claws on back legs to be shown.


  • What do I do if I think my pet might have allergies?

    In this video, the speaker discusses what you should do if you think your pet has allergies.  Obviously, one of the first things to do is take your pet to your veterinarian to make sure that the condition really is allergies. Adverse food reactions, mange and scabies, for example, can all mimic allergies in pets.  But each of those has a different treatment. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about all the symptoms you’ve noticed, including biting, chewing, licking, hair loss and any changes in bowel habits.

    If you live in the north Dallas area and are worried that your pet might have allergies, then we invite you to visit one of the Chastain Veterinary Medical Group hospitals.  We encourage overall pet wellness through our veterinary practice, pet boarding, and pet grooming programs.  For more information, call Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas at 877-296-5995 or call Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at 972-439-1344 .

  • Are Two dogs Better than One?

    Quite possibly. In Your Dog: The Dog Owner’s Manual, Dr. Marty Becker claims that on average, pets from multi-pet households live longer than those that live alone. And they get sick less often – another benefit.


  • What to do in event of a Dog Bite

    First, get to a safe location. Then, control any bleeding. Next, clean and wash the wound with soap and water. Then contact a physician or seek medical care. Almost certainly the physician will alert local animal control authorities. 

    The offending pet typically must be confined for 10 days of veterinary observation (Rabies Quarentine). 

    If it’s a stray dog without tags, you might try to confine the dog if you can do so safely, and then alert local animal control authorities. 

    Note that as of 2007, under Texas Law, the owner of a dog involved in an unprovoked dog bite or dog attack that results in serious bodily injury can be charged with a 3rd degree Felony


  • Why Does Your Dog to Tremble or Shiver?

    There are several possibilities. One that comes to mind is that the dog might be shivering because she is cold . This seems obvious but it is surprising how easy it is for a worried pet owner to overlook it. Check the thermometer.

    Fear, apprehension or anxiety can also cause a dog to tremble or shiver.  General circumstances and the dog’s surrounding should give you a clue to these causes.

    Pain is the most worrisome cause of trembling. Sometimes the cause of the pain is obvious (like a fractured toenail) and sometimes the cause of the pain is internal or otherwise not obvious (like pancreatitis).

    Finally, there are a number of diseases that can cause trembling or shivering of all or part of the dog. Some possibilities include:  toxins or poisons, old dog distemper, eclampsia, epilepsy, TMJ problems, or Addison’s disease.

    If your dog starts trembling and the cause isn’t obvious and immediately correctable, then he or she probably needs to see a veterinarian. Some of these cases can be challenging to work out.


    Sick Dog

  • Monthly Grooming Tip From Meadow Brook’s Sara Brulet!

    Always brush a pet out before bathing. Washing tangles only makes them tighter and prevents the pet from getting really clean. 


    Sara photo-NEW

  • Why does my pet smell funny?

    The three most common sources of foul odors emanating from a dog or cat are:

    1. Mouth –  tooth decay and gum disease; rarely kidney troubles
    2. Ears – ear infection
    3. Skin – seborrhea and/or skin infection

    Of these three, teeth and gum problems are by far the most common cause of bad odors. So check there first.

    Bad breath is not normal; typically it means infection in the mouth. We have a saying within the vet community about bad breath in dogs: Stink means pus; Pus means Infection; and Infection means Pain

    Bad breath is often a result of periodontal disease and you dog/cat my need to have its teeth cleaned. We recommend a dental examination as soon as possible.  Tooth decay and gum infection can cause many other health problems that are worse than bad breath.




    Senior Complete_s

  • Dog Weight: Determining the Ideal Weight for a Dog

    One of the most important factors is keeping a dog happy and healthy is keeping him or her at an ideal body weight. Even better yet is to keep the dog on the thin side of ideal.

    This video walks you through several tips for evaluating your dog’s weight. You can get a good idea of your pet is underweight or overweight by simply feeling for his or her ribs. If you feel each individual rib, then your dog is underweight. In contrast, if you can’t feel any of his or her ribs, then your dog is overweight.

    For more tips on keeping your dogs and other pets healthy and happy, call Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, at (866) 455-9070 . We are the place where the Health and Happiness of Pets and their People are What Counts!

  • Top Pet Costumes for 2011!

    Need ideas?  Inspiration?  Check out “The Daily Beast” list of the most popular Halloween Pet Costumes for 2011!      

    Also, don’t forget to upload your pet’s photo for our Halloween Contest!