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

Show Comments ()
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!)

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Gestational Surrogacy Legalized in New York State

The Child-Parent Security Act, which legalizes commercial surrogacy in New York State, was included in the 2020 New York State Budget signed by Governor Cuomo

Yesterday, a years-long battle about the state of compensated gestational surrogacy came to an end in New York when the Governor signed into a law the Child-Parent Security Act in the 2020 as part of the state budget.

The effort stalled last year after opponents, including several Democrats, successfully argued that the bill didn't go far enough to protect women who serve as surrogates — even though it included a surrogate "bill of rights," the first of its kind in the country, aimed at ensuring protections.

"Millions of New Yorkers need assistance building their families — people struggling with infertility, cancer survivors impacted by treatment, and members of the LGBTQ+ community," the Family Equality Council said in a statement about the victory. "For many, surrogacy is a critically important option. For others, it is the only option. Passage of the Child-Parent Security Act is a massive step forward in providing paths to parenthood for New Yorkers who use reproductive technology, and creates a 'surrogate's bill of rights' that will set a new standard for protecting surrogates nationwide."

Opponents, led by Senator Liz Krueger, had once again attempted to torpedo legalization efforts this year by introducing a second bill that would legalize surrogacy in New York, but also make it the most restrictive state in the country to do so. "A bill that complicates the legal proceedings for the parents and potentially allows them to lose their genetic child is truly unfortunate," said Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, referencing to the bill's 8-day waiting period. He also took issue with the bills underlying assumptions about why women decide to serve as a surrogate. The added restrictions imply that "they're entering into these arrangements without full forethought and consideration of the intended parents that they're partnering with," he said.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay man who became a father via surrogacy, and Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who has been public with her experiences with infertility.

"My husband and I had our two daughters through surrogacy," Holyman told Gay City News. "But we had to travel 3,000 miles away to California in order to do it. As a gay dad, I'm thrilled parents like us and people struggling with infertility will finally have the chance to create their own families through surrogacy here in New York."

"This law will [give intended parents] the opportunity to have a family in New York and not travel around the country, incurring exorbitant costs simply because they want to be parents," Paulin said for her part. It will "bring New York law in line with the needs of modern families."


Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Just Like Dad: Ways My Kids and I Are Alike

Joseph Sadusky recounts the ways he and his adopted sons are cut from the same cloth.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Keep reading... Show less
Expert Advice

4 Tips for Single Gay Dads Raising Daughters

Here are some ways to create a safe space for your daughter to discover who she is, with you by her side.

There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse