Tag Archives: Caffeine

Where In The World. . .

Learning geography doesn’t have to be boring.

Although, honestly, dudes, just typing that sentence above has me yawning. Stuffing your head full of facts and figures and geospatial relationships can put anything to sleep, no matter the caffeine dose or the biochemical load of stimulants.

Or so I’ve heard.

From other people.

Moving on.

Despite the boredom inherent in the academic learning of geography, the global citizens of today (that’s you folks and your young dudettes and young dudes) need to know more than the nearest neighborhood. It helps to understand that when news talking heads are discussing Ukraine and Russia fighting, we know where they are in relation to each other.

The best way I’ve found to instill a if not love of, then tolerance for geography, is maps.

My dad and his wife travel. A lot. What I like to do is find where they’re going to be and then do a little research. My young dudes used to talk with their grandfather before he set off, he’d tell them where he was going and then they’d hit the maps with me to find the country.

We would look at that country’s information and physical layout to think about what he might want to do while he’s there, or what other countries he might want to visit.

The young dudes actually loved doing that and still, to this day, remember some interesting facts about various countries that had played host to their grandfather, yet still exist today.

You don’t have to have a globetrotting relative to play this game, though. While watching some of the World Cup matches, I realized we could be doing the same sort of game, only with countries participating in the tournament.brasila_1000

The good folks at Wired Magazine had the same idea. They went out and secured satellite pictures of every country participating.

That’s Brazil, by the way. It’s a nice little travelogue flipping through the various satellite images. Get your little dudes with you when you sit down to look and see what questions you can answer.

Who knows? You might even learn a thing or three.

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Digestive Dangers Dog Dogs

There’s a reason human food is called that.

You’re supposed to feed human food to, well, humans. Same thing with dog food. Although, I did grow up with a girl who enjoyed nothing more than snacking on a dog biscuit, but I think that was more along the lines of a cry for attention than an actual appreciation for the crispy taste.

A recent article in the Huffington Post went on about twelve human foods that can harm dogs. And I’m not talking about dropping a huge wheel of Cheddar cheese on your dog’s head. Don’t do that, either. No, these are foods that are dangerous if digested.

In yesterday’s post, I went over the first part of the article, which included foods like chocolate, milk, cheese (see?), avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins, garlic and onions.

This go round, I start with something I’ve been doing to Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, with a distressing regularity.

The humans in our family love apples. Their favorite is the Honey Crisp varietal, which is pretty expensive. Because of the cost, I’ve encouraged the young dudes not to share their cut-up apples with the dog, no matter how much he begs. However, they and I have a tendency to give in to those puppy-dog eyes and drop the dog the apple’s core.

Turns out, that’s not such a smart thing to do. Apparently, apple cores (as well as the cores of plums, peaches, pears and apricots) contain cyanogenic glycocides, which you might know better as cyanide. Yeah, the poison. It’s not enough to drop you in your tracks if you eat just one, but it can build up and dogs weigh less than a human, so it builds up quicker.

Another no-no is feeding the dog active bread yeast or dough. If a dog ate active yeast dough, it can ferment in his stomach producing toxic alcohol or could expand in the digestive system, producing dangerous levels of gas and rupture the stomach or intestine.

One of the reasons we’re told not to give a dog chocolate is that chocolate contains caffeine, which is bad for them. (Us, too, but no way am I giving up my Diet Coke.) So it should go without saying that you shouldn’t actually let your dog drink the leftover half-caff, skinny latte. Or any coffee. Or Coke. Or Monster or other energy drink.

Caffeine overstresses the dog’s nervous system, leading to vomiting, hyperactivity, heart palpitations and even death.Bacon, yes, bacon, is bad for dogs. The poor dears.

Finally, most surprisingly, and most horribly, the food we’re not supposed to share with our doggie friends is. . . wait for it. . . not yet. . . bacon.

Yes, bacon.

I’ll pause here while we contemplate the appalling wasteland of the future without bacon. All right, enough. It’s not like we’re being told no more bacon, just don’t give it to Spyke.

Bacon, like most foods high in fat, can cause a dog’s pancreas to become inflamed (called pancreatitis) and stop working. Once that happens, the dog’s digestion gets all wacky and derails nutrient absorption.

All in all, that’s a pretty heavy and extensive list of human foods that are explicitly not for dogs.

Just to be safe, and prevent a lot of table-side begging, maybe we should just not feed Spot any human food at all.

Well, other than broccoli. Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, loves his broccoli and those greens are good for everybody.

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Doggie Danger

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Apparently, I’ve been (slightly) poisoning our beloved Buzz, The Garbage Disposal Who Walks Like A Dog.

In a recent column at the Huffington Post, I read about 12 human foods that were dangerous to feed to your dog. While I knew several of them, I was completely gobsmacked by a lot of the items on the list.

I thought I’d share them with you dog-loving dudes out there who might have been as ignorant about this as was I. Although, to be fair, several of these are new additions to the list.

It’s pretty well-known that dogs can’t abide chocolate and the darker the chocolate, the more the danger. That’s because chocolate contains  caffeine and theobromine, known as methylxanthines. Dogs eating this can experience dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea and possibly death. So, no chocolate treats.Cute puppy

Milk and cheese also make the list because they have properties that dog digestive systems can’t break down. These can lead to some pretty nasty consequences, one of which is bad gas. Now, if you’ve ever owned a dog, you know doggy poots are toxic even at the best of times. Knowing that cheese and milk can make mammals poot up a storm, we’ve been keeping these away from Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, just to be safe.

Onions and garlic both make the list for the damage they can do to the dog’s blood cells, leading to either death or a necessary blood transfusion to mitigate the damage. The dogs’ reaction to these foods can take a couple of days to show up, but include dark-red urine and extreme lethargy.

We don’t know what it is about macadamia nuts that hurts dogs, but it certainly is dangerous. Eating them can lead to hypothermia, vomiting, staggering and tremors.

The first big surprise on the list, for me, is grapes. Our dog loves grapes, loves to catch them and then eat them. So now that’s right out the window because I don’t want our cutie pie suffering from extreme and rapid kidney failure because he ate grapes or raisins.

Now, I sort of assumed that an avocado pit would be bad for a dog because it could block up all sorts of tubes. What I didn’t know was that the flesh of the avocado, which contains a toxin called persin, also was dangerous to canines . Eating guac can cause upset stomachs, fluid buildup in the chest and difficulty breathing.

I’d hoped I could get through this in only one post, but it’s not looking likely. So I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the list.

Until then, why not just give Fido food and snacks that actually are intended to be eaten by dogs. Keep the human food to humans. And those reptiloids masquerading as humans, of course.

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