Podcast

Raising Healthy Puppies; Raising Healthy Babies

Listen to our first podcast in partnership with Yanir Dekel of DaddySquare.com, talking about how to run a happy household for both our two-legged and four-legged children.

Dog and cat lovers! This one is for you: babies and puppies are a winning combination for cuteness, but it's a hell of a combination to keep them all happy and healthy. This week we talked to Mark Hiebert, Medical Director at VCA TLC Animal Hospital in West Hollywood, about our pet-babies, about introducing a new baby into a house with pets, and – of course – about health and safety of our babies and puppies.



Chocolate is not as toxic as you might have thought!

Veterinarian Mark Hiebert blows up the chocolate-myth and says that it's dangerous relatively to the dog's weight and would require a whole lot more than you might think to do harm!

"Chocolate is not toxic in itself much more for your pet than even for you," the veterinarian confirms. "The problem is – and the type of chocolate is very important, so let's pick milk chocolate – the toxic dose is about an ounce per pound. This means that you have to eat a certain amount before it affects you. If I ate 164 ounces of milk chocolate I would be really ill. So if you dropped a chocolate chip on the floor – don't panic. But don't wrap your solid dark chocolate bar and put it under your Christmas Tree because the dog will smell it, they'll eat the wrapper and the chocolate and they will need to come see me in the ER."

What is more concerning to veterinarians is consumption of raisins and grapes.

"Raisins and grapes were banned from my house when we had dogs," Dr. Hiebert says. "They can potentially be fatal. Even a tiny box of them for a medium-sized dog can potentially cause kidney failure. The same with grapes. Another thing that people don't know about is the sweetener Xylitol. It's in many sugarless gums; it's in a lot of sugar-free gummy bear type things. It's very safe for people and in diabetics it's a very common sweetener. Very little [for dogs] can potentially cause liver failure, low blood sugar and so forth."

The Pet Food Industry is Insane

"You've probably seen the 'grain free' symbols on dog food. It's not nutritionally driven. it's not under AFCO which is an organization that looks at nutritional quality for pets," Dr. Hiebert reveals. "It started out as an advertising gimmick by one company. They put a grain-free logo on their bag and it soon took off and now the general population believes that 'grain free' has come from somewhere [because dogs are supposedly wolves and wolves eat meat]."

"[Dogs] are no more wolves than we are our predecessors thousands of years ago. So genetically through selection, what wolves eat and what our pets eat is a little different. But there's a whole marketing ploy, I mean, the pet food industry is insane. What you feed your dog is as controversial as what religion you are."

Protecting your Kids by Protecting Your Pet

"For parents who have young children I really swear them away from [dogs'] raw diets," Dr. Hiebert says, "because of the risks to human health. The Center for Disease Control has information on it's website about feeding raw food diets to your pets because of the type of pathogens that are in the raw foods. Salmonella would be an example."

"Everybody washes their food and vegetables before they give them to the kids but they are not worried about the child going over and petting the dog. So if the pet has Salmonella in the stool and they're going in the back yard, in the grass, the environment may have Salmonella organisms. That's just one example. There are also other types of parasites that dogs and cats can get that can effect children so those would be things that I talk about with people with children. I try to address routine intestinal parasite control, flea control, things like that."

About Mark Hiebert

Dr. Hiebert's family had a menagerie of pets and farm animals in northern Canada. After the first time their veterinarian came to their farm to examine one of the cows, Dr. Hiebert decided that he wanted to become a veterinarian too. He studied veterinary medicine at Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Canada and has been practicing since 1990. In 2001, Dr. Hiebert joined the medical team at our hospital and shortly afterward became a partner. VCA TLC Animal Hospital has since become his home away from home.

Early in his career Dr. Hiebert started a branch of the SPCA in his hometown in northern Canada. He became involved in the BC Veterinary Association and eventually served as president for a term. He is currently licensed to practice in California.

Editor's note: After we ran this piece, we were contacted by the good people at Your Dog Advisor, who passed along this updated, free guide on how to care for dogs recovering from surgery or an injury!

Episode Credits:

Co-Hosts: Yan Dekel, Alex Maghen

Guest: Dr. Mark Hiebert, Medical Director at VCA TLC Animal Hospital

Music: Hercules & Love Affair, "Leonora" buy here

Articles referred to in this episode:

My Son Has Two Dads. This Is What Happened When He Started Calling Every Woman He Met 'Mommy' (Fatherly)

ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

For any questions, comments or advise, please do not hesitate to contact us at hello@daddysqr.com or on Twitter @yanirdekel

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Podcast

Traveling With Kids

If you feel that after a vacation with the kids YOU need a vacation (or a short stay in a mental institution) – you're not alone!

Traveling with kids is not always easy, sometimes we want them to have so much fun that we forget to have fun ourselves. We brought on Instagram-celebrity traveler and blogger Devon Gibby to share his experience and give us some tips on traveling with kids (and also without!)

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Understanding the Legal Process of Surrogacy for Gay Men

Next up on the Daddy Squared podcast! Yan and Alex talk with a fertility lawyer, Richard Vaughn, about the legal elements of the IVF process

When thinking about having kids via surrogacy, the legal part is just as important as the IVF process itself. Making sure that the agreements with the surrogate and the egg donor are set up properly is a solid base for the whole process itself. And then there are issues like legal guardianship and birth certificates that are also crucial for finishing the process with babies that are completely, legally yours. We turned to Fertility Lawyer and gay dad Richard Vaughn of International Fertility Law Group, to set the record straight about the legal steps that must be taken when having babies through IVF.

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Podcast

The Daddy Square Guys Talk with Men Having Babies Founders

In Daddy Square's latest podcast, they shed a light on the history and work of Men Having Babies, on the conference and on the Canadian surrogacy option.

In this special episode, we flew to New York City to experience the annual Men Having Babies Conference. MHB provides unbiased surrogacy parenting advice and support for gay men worldwide. The Conference featured parenting options in the USA and Canada, in-depth panels — including on insurance, budgeting, and teen surrogacy children, and an Expo of surrogacy parenting info. In this episode we shed a light on the history and work of Men Having Babies, on the conference and on the Canadian surrogacy option.

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Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

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Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

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