What I once thought was a place for brides-to-be and crafters to collect ideas is now a great place to share information about dogs. In fact, I use my Pinterest account to share Little Dog Tips posts and content from other users that I think my readers would find helpful.
There’s no shortage of amazing homemade toys, DIY projects, and healthy treat recipes on Pinterest. You’ll even find some great training tips on there. But you’ll also find false information that could ultimately lead your dog’s death.
Why Pinterest Can Kill Your Dog
Pinterest’s image-heavy style means that false information is often presented in an attractive, believable way. If an infographic exists of the information, you may forget to look for sources, or evidence that the information came from a veterinarian, a professional trainer, behaviorist, or otherwise, someone you can actually trust for advice.
Never give your dog OTC human medications!
There’s an extremely popular pin that advises how you can use over-the-counter human medications like aspirin for common dog ailments. It even tells you how much to give according to your dog’s weight.
The problem? It’s not just about weight. Your dog’s breed, body condition, medical history and medical issue are all factors your veterinarian will consider before they prescribe a canine medication, specifically formulated for dogs.
If you mess with OTC medications, your dog could suffer from internal bleeding, kidney failure, heart failure, vomiting, diarrhea and other side effects. Then, you’ll end up with an even bigger vet bill.
When your dog is in pain or has gastrointestinal distress, it could be mild ailment, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. If you’re trying to treat an issue yourself, you could be wasting time as your dog’s condition worsens.
There’s plenty of medication-free ways to relieve your dog of mild conditions. A spoonful of canned pumpkin puree can clear up constipation or diarrhea. A warm compress can ease pain. A tiny amount of ginger can help nausea. Even natural remedies can backfire – always check multiple sources and start with a small dose if you must attempt to treat a very mild ailment at home.
Don’t Rely On Pins To Make Homemade Food!
Making homemade dog food is a good thing. But kibble is better than an unbalanced diet. Our guest post on raw feeding is a great place to start, but you’ll need to do much more research before you’re ready to ditch the processed foods.
Heat cooks away vitamins and nutrients, but a home-cooked, balanced meal is still better than kibble – you may have to use supplements to get those nutrients back. Just like a raw diet, a home-cooked diet should be thoroughly researched.
I’ve seen a devastating amount of pins about creating dog food that is completely unbalanced. Dog food should be lightly cooked, at most – not tossed into a slow cooker for hours. It needs to include bone or some calcium source. It should contain very few carbs, and it should consist mostly of meat.
Don’t Use Pinnable Essential Oil Recipes On Your Dog!
Essential oils can be used to repel fleas and ticks, and to calm an anxious dog. But they have to be diluted properly to ensure your dog does not get poisoned. Some oils are always unsafe for dogs. For example, tea tree oil causes paralysis, seizures and death, yet when I searched “Tea tree oil dogs” in Pinterest, I found a lot of recipes for creating an ear cleaning solution.
If you don’t know how to use essential oils properly on your dog (I know I don’t!) just purchase a pre-made blend specifically designed for pets. Only use products from a company you trust with plenty of positive online reviews.
Keeping Your Dog Safe From Pinterest Ideas
Many dog treat recipes on Pinterest are excellent. They contain very few ingredients, each of which you can easily Google to ensure they’re safe for your dog.
If you’re unsure if something you found on Pinterest is true, bring it up with your veterinarian. If you don’t have a vet visit coming up, you can find many dog professionals on Twitter – just tag them in a tweet and send over a link to the pin. If they’re not too busy, they might take a moment to offer their opinion.
The big idea: research, research, research! If any idea is truly worth Pinning, you’ll find it from multiple reputable sources. Anything else is a gamble on your dog’s life.