Rebel Blog — hot topics

Hot Car Awareness

Hot Car Awareness

Every year dogs die completely preventable deaths from being left in hot cars. While these deaths are not intentional, they are avoidable. 

In a matter of minutes a car with its windows rolled up can become a death sentence. A car acts like a greenhouse and heats up rapidly. Since dogs pant to cool down, with no air circulation they can quickly overheat causing heat stroke, brain damage, and death.  

There are several misconceptions when it comes to leaving pets in the car so we thought we’d share a few, if anything, to help educate and prevent unnecessary death.

Myth #1: It’s only dangerous to leave a pet in the car if it’s hot outside. FALSE. Even when the temperature is 70 degrees out, a parked car can quickly reach unsafe temperatures above 100 within 30 minutes.

Myth #2: Parking in the shade keeps the car cool. FALSE. Because the sun moves continually throughout the day, so does the shade. So parking in the shade can change to parked in the sun within the hour.

Myth #3: Cracking the windows will keep the car cool. FALSE. Multiple studies have proven that cracking a window does not greatly affect the inside temperature, in fact a study by the Louisiana Office of Public Health found that even leaving the windows wide open does very little to affect these temperatures. It does not let in enough air, it does not circulate air, the inside of a car can still reach deadly temperatures even with windows cracked or open.. 

Myth #4: If I run in real quick he’ll be fine. FALSE. Cars can become fatal within minutes. So even just a minute it too long. When it’s hot out it’s best to leave pups at home if you can’t bring them in with you.

Myth #5: It’s safe if I leave the AC on. FALSE. There are many tragic stories of dogs being left in cars with the AC originally on, and due to the hot temperature or other factors the car shut off and with it the AC leaving the dogs to suffocate to death. 

The best rule of thumb is when you’re not in the car, they’re not in the car.

If you see a dog in a car on a hot day, check for immediate signs of distress and call 911.

What You Need To Know About Sagos

What You Need To Know About Sagos

One of our dogs had a little run in with a Sago Palm last week, but because we saw it happen and knew the immediate danger he was in we took quick action and so far everything seems to be ok. In the after math of our own experience as we were recounting our trip to the Pet ER with our friends and family we quickly realized that many people, and even pet owners, do not know about the deadly Sago Palm. So we thought we should bring it to light and hopefully help save some lives.

The Sago Palm is a pretty plant found in many homes and yards, but it is deadly to pets if ingested (and people too, but most people don't go around gnawing on landscaping).  The Sago contains a toxin called cycasin that results in severe liver damage which is what causes such deadly symptoms so quickly. Any ingestion of the sago palm will result in symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal to neurological until the dog ultimately develops liver failure. All parts of the Sago are poisonous but the seeds are the most deadly because they contain the highest amount of cycasin. Just one seed can cause liver failure within 15 minutes, depending on the size of the dog. Death often occurs if emergency treatment is not given.

Fast Facts

-All parts of the palm are deadly, including the branches, leaves, seeds and trunk.

-If you see your dog eat any part or suspect consumption, go immediately to your nearest vet or Pet ER.

-Symptoms can begin as soon as 15 minutes after consumption so quick action is key.

Symptoms in order or progression

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Blood in feces
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Icterus (yellow coloration of skin and gums)
  • Weakness, lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urine
  • Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen)
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding easily (coagulopathy, DIC), abnormal bleeding, internal bleeding, clots in the bloodstream, nose bleeds
  • Neurological signs such as depression, circling, paralysis, seizures, coma
  • Death


Fortunately for us we knew what a Sago Palm looks like and saw our dog eat it, but if you don't see your dog ingest it it can be tricky to pinpoint that the cause of their symptoms is Sago poisoning.

Diagnosis is typically based on a knowledge of ingestion of the plant and on blood and urine test results which will reveal liver issues.


Due to the high fatality rate of sago palm poisoning, aggressive treatment is extremely necessary for dogs that have ingested any part of this plant. The goal is to get all plant matter and toxins out as fast as possible and prevent them from ever reaching the liver. A veterinarian will typically induce vomiting using hydrogen peroxide or ipecac. They will then administer activated charcoal to help soak up any poison.

If liver damage has already occurred, blood and plasma transfusions, vitamin K injections, gastroprotectants, anti-seizure medications, and fluid therapy may be required. Your veterinarian will also evaluate your dog to determine if anti-nausea medications or pain management drugs should be administered.

After care is very serious as well. Typically your pet will leave with a prescription of Denamarin to help protect and strengthen the liver. Your vet will most likely require careful monitoring of the liver values through blood work over the next few days and possibly weeks following Sago poisoning.


If you have pets and have any Sago Palms in your yard or house immediate removal is recommended. It's just not worth the risk.

*Sources: VCA Animal Hospital, PetMD

Get Your Dog To Love Nail Time

Get Your Dog To Love Nail Time

How to Get Your Dog to Love The Dremel:  A Step By Step Guide

Giveaway closed. Congrats to the winner Marc Howard and his dog Remi.

As we wrap up our Toe Trim Tuesday giveaway (there's still time to enter, giveaway ends tomorrow!), we hope to continue to inspire you all year long to keep up consistent nail care with your dogs. Trimming your dogs nails doesn’t have to be a daunting task, just take it slow and try to think of it as a bonding session with your dog instead of a traumatic event. We have trained several dogs in the manner so we believe in it’s success and want to pass along what has worked for us. We’ve put together a step by step guide for getting your dog used to, and even possibly enjoying, Dremel day.

** Do each step until your dog is very comfortable at each stage. No need to rush, it’s not a race. If you can get your dog super comfortable with the Dremel you will have a lifetime of easy nail care ahead of you. 

Step 1:  Get your dog familiar with the Dremel. We started this when our dogs were puppies, so it’s never too early to start. You can also use this method on older dogs and every age in between. But if you have the benefit of starting early on with a young pup, DO IT! Start now. 

First you’ll want to pull out your Dremel along with treats (peanut butter or high value treats work best) in front of your dog. You can even put peanut butter on the handle of the Dremel and let them lick it off. *Just make sure the Dremel is unplugged or has the battery pack removed when doing this step. You are not even going to turn it on. You just want them to associate the Dremel with good things. You can touch the Dremel to their nails while treating them but just don’t turn it on yet.

Step 2: Now it’s time to turn it on. This step is similar to the first step, except no touching the nails to the Dremel while it’s on. Just treating and lots of praise and letting them hear the Dremel. You can ask them to sit and lay next to you while holding the Dremel that is turned on. 

Step 3: Actual contact. We suggest two people for this step. It just makes it easier and safer. Even now when our dogs are socialized with the Dremel we typically tag team nail day and both assist in the process. We usually do this step outside as the nail dust tends to fly, ew. Lay a blanket or towel down on the lawn and ask your dog to lay on it. You generally want them laid out on their side so they are less likely to try to get up. One persons job is to distract the dog with treats and love and pets. A spoon full of peanut butter works well here as they are so intently focused on licking that they forget whats going on with their feet. Don’t be stingy, you will go through lots of peanut butter at this stage but it will be worth it we promise.

The other person’s job is to Dremel as efficiently as possible. It’s go time! Firmly hold one paw at a time so there is no wiggling and do one nail at a time with the Dremel. If at any time your dog becomes distressed just stop and try again the next day. You don’t want to have any negative association with the Dremel. 
We slowly phased out the usage of treats. Usually petting, rubs and cuddles will do the trick just fine. But of course each dog is different and may always require some extra incentive.

Step 4: You’re done. Repeat once a week and your dogs nails will be in tip top shape.

The key here is to go slowly through all the steps to build a positive connection with what the Dremel represents. When our dogs see the Dremel they literally follow us to the backyard and lay down themselves because they know they’re about to get a massage. 

This method has worked for us and many others so we hope it works for you too. If you have any questions feel free to email us directly, we’d be happy to discuss with you. Happy nail trimming!

And don’t forget to tag your photos with #toetrimtuesday on Instagram or Facebook.

Hot Asphalt Awareness For Dogs

Hot Asphalt Awareness For Dogs

 As the summer gets hotter, so does the pavement. You might not realize because you’re wearing shoes, but the asphalt soaks up heat all day and can severely burn your dogs paws. At 125 degrees Fahrenheit, skin destruction can happen in just 60 seconds.

An easy way to test the temperature of a surface is to put the back of your hand to the ground for 7 seconds, if it’s too hot to leave your hand against the surface then it’s too hot for your pups pads. Many surfaces can heat up quickly throughout the day, if you are walking your dog on sand, cement, or asphalt on a warm day be sure to test it first.

While these temperature correlations represent extreme conditions they demonstrate the possibility of the ground becoming way too hot for your dogs paws. Just like leaving your dog in the car when it’s hot out can quickly be fatal, taking your dog out can be just as detrimental. 

If your dog must be out and about when it’s hot, pick up some dog shoes to help protect those precious paws.

Be smart, check before you walk.



Pet Fooled: Why What You’re Feeding Your Pet Could Be Killing Them

As pet parents we are constantly trying to do what we believe to be the very best for our pets. We buy them the softest beds, the funnest looking toys, the prettiest collars, we take them to the dog beach, to the dog park, to doggy day care and on play dates with other dogs.  And when  it comest to meal time, we feed them what we think is the very best food and treats. We try our best, but sometimes we still fall short. And sometimes we feed them pet proclaimed products that are absolutely terrible quality without even knowing. This has nothing to do with being a bad pet parent, and has everything to do with the pet food industry promoting misleading slogans and beautifully packaged products that simply house the subpar food and treats they are selling. Over the course of time, we as a society nutritionally abuse our pets and cause overall health decline by not feeding a biologically appropriate diet and we have no idea we are doing this.

If you have a free night we highly recommending making it a point to watch the Netflix documentary PET FOOleD.

If you don’t have time to give it a watch we’ve summarized the wealth of information it contains for you. In short, most all pet food is not species appropriate for our cats and dogs and over time causes many ailments that would not come about if they were fed more wholesome meals of raw meat. Dogs and cats are carnivores, they require and thrive from eating meat. 

But why does my vet tell me not to feed my pet raw food? For the most part, Veterinarians are not educated in the realm of pet nutrition. They receive minimal classes pertaining to pet nutrition and this education has primarily been hijacked (i.e. funded) by huge pet food corporations so the information is not biological but rather skewed so that vets actually believe kibble is better for a dog than raw. It’s not. 

In 2016 pet parents spent an estimated $23 billion on pet food in the United States alone.  Pet food companies are a huge industry. One of the scariest parts about this is that big corporations like Mars, Nestle, and P & G manufacture dozens of separate brands under their company’s umbrella. When you’re deciding between dog food brands, there’s a good chance that the two “brands” you’re comparing are really the same main company.

But what is really inside the bag? Is what’s inside a bag as healthy as the shiny outside label would like you to believe? 

Beneful brand kibble by Purina has won many packaging awards for their stunning packaging.  They consciously mislead the consumer with their blatant tag line  “playful life”, yet the first four ingredients in Beneful are ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal (which is highly allergenic),  and whole wheat flour. Nothing about nutritionally lacking fillers says “playful life”.

The pet food industry survived about 100 years with no incident and no questioning from the public. In 2007 dogs started dying. This high rate of incident was linked to dog food and it was discovered that the super toxic substance melamine, which is used in fertilizer and plastics, was present in dog food. This is the first time people started to realize how grossly unregulated the pet food industry really is. Unlike food for human consumption there are few standards or regulations on what goes into pet food. There is no regulation on the grade of meat that can be added to pet food and no accountably or documentation on where this meat is sourced, meaning it can come from anywhere and be in any state of death or decay. The pet food industry is a self regulated industry that sets their own requirements, which means no one is accountable and no one is ensuring the safety of our pets.  Integrative veterinarian Karen Becker who feeds and recommends raw feeding reveals, “There’s a problem in the pet food industry but most pet owners don’t know there are significant issues.”

So why is nothing being done about it? Why aren’t pet food companies more concerned with making better food? Pet food companies are already making billions of dollars a year so there is no reason for them to spend the time and money to do the research to better their food. Profits, not your pet, are their main goal and our pets are suffering because of this.

Dogs evolved from wolves, so although they have been domesticated on the outside they still share 99% of the same DNA as their wild ancestors. They are still carnivores and require such nutrition. Dogs and cats are equipped to process whole living protein, their teeth and highly acidic stomach acid provides the perfect environment needed to process pathogens potentially present in raw meat. 

A huge problem with feeding dry food is that it is completely devoid of moisture which puts your pet in a constant state of dehydration. Raw fed pets actually drink very little water because they are hydrated from the inside out. An expensive kibble is still kibble, it ultimately is not going to provide the maximum nutrition for your pet that raw feeding will.

Life is already short for our furry best friends, and providing them with a poor diet can make this unnecessarily shorter. As pet guardians it is our responsibility to feed the very best species appropriate diet we can afford. It is our job to educate ourselves to select the best foods for our pets.