All Dog Foods Are Not The Same

October 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dog Needs

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Your dog’s health and well-being is important to you and your family. Not to mention keeping down the cost of veterinarian bills! So you need to carefully consider the food that you give your dog. People sometimes just pick the first dog food bag they see at the store. It’s easy to overlook the importance of dog food but it is essential to pick the right one for your dog.

To keep your dog healthy he needs plenty of fresh water and should be fed good quality dog food in amounts just right to meet his energy requirements. Always follow the guidelines on the dog food package for recommended feeding amounts.

 

Picking a dog food

The first challenge in choosing a dog food is picking one that has overall quality. The term that comes up a lot about dog food is human grade. Human grade implies that the dog food is good enough for us to eat. Many commercial dog foods are made from materials unusable or less desirable for human consumption. Often the meat that is used in dog food is of a quality considered unfit for humans to eat.

Major dog food companies try to provide balanced proportions of vitamins and minerals for maximum benefit to your dog. Although you may see that many brands of dog food have almost identical labels, a reputable dog food company will provide an explanation for each supplement and how it benefits your dog.

Always read the label to see what proteins, vitamins and minerals are being provided to your dog. Try not to use store brand dog food they may short change your dog on much needed nutrition.

Studies have shown that the primary ingredient in dog food should be meat-based protein, not corn meal, flour or corn gluten meal. According to reviews a better quality dog food results in a healthier coat, fewer digestive problems and firmer stools. Pet-nutrition experts agree that the best dog food is made from human-grade ingredients like meat, whole grains and vegetables. Premium dog food is so important because good nutrition is essential for a long, healthy life.

Types of dog food

There are many varieties of dog food to choose from. The three most popular types of dog foods are dry, semi-moist and canned products. Check the color of your dog food. Usually dog food made from natural ingredients will have soft earth tones and contain no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.

Raw dog food is becoming more popular. More and more veterinarians recommend feeding your dog with raw dog food. They feel that this is the best choice and is the healthiest food for your dog. After all, you’ve never seen your dog enjoy commercial dog food the way he enjoys a good meaty bone.

Raw food advocates concede the diet costs more than traditional dog food, but they argue it’s worth it. You may find that locating free natural home made dog food recipes is not easy. Try making a mixture of ground turkey, rice and carrot as your own dog food. Your dog will thank you for it.

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If you decide to go the commercial route, try and choose a good premium dog food since it contains more energy and protein than an economy brand. Unfortunately not all dog food brands contain high quality and natural ingredients, so always check the label. It is best if you seek advice from your veterinarian before deciding on which dog food to feed your dog or puppy. He will know your dog’s dietary needs and you will find that veterinary offices and feed stores often carry excellent and natural dog food.

All Natural Dog Food

Many natural dog foods contain only fresh, natural and wholesome ingredients for your dog. Not only are the protein ingredients digestible, but the carbohydrates in the dog food are digestible. Natural dog food has 100% nutritional value which is important for healthy strong dogs. Chicken, egg and fish are examples of protein that is provided in natural dog food. There are also ingredients in natural dog food that really help the health of your dog’s skin and also your dog’s coat. One of the main draw backs of natural dog food is that it has a shorter shelf life and may spoil before it is used.

Dried Dog Food

A good high quality dry dog food will work out to be more economical than the generic brands even though they cost more per pound. A vast majority of dog owners go for dry dog food for its convenience and ease of storage. The cheaper dry dog foods are made from soybean, corn or rice, while many premium dry dog foods are made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients.

Vegetarian dog foods

There are dog foods specially formulated for dogs that are allergic to wheat, corn, and/or chicken. There are also vegetarian dog foods marketed to owners who do not want their dogs to consume meat products. Most vegetarian dog foods use soy as a protein source. If your dog has allergies consult your vet before putting him on a specialized diet.

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Dog Grooming – Maintaining A Posh Pup

October 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Dog Needs

Dog Grooming – It’s Not Just for Poodles Anymore

Dog grooming is not simply an aesthetic bonus for our canine friends. Maintaining a regular grooming schedule will help to keep your dog both happy and healthy. Routine dog grooming will ensure that your dog is free of parasites, has healthy skin and a shiny coat, and has good dental health. Of course, the aesthetic benefits are also a plus. Only a true dog lover wants to be around a dirty, stinky dog with bad breath. Proper dog grooming will bring out the best in man’s best friend.

What’s Involved in Dog Grooming?

While dog grooming can be performed at home, the best results can be achieved via a professional dog groomer. A thorough dog grooming session takes care of all the hygienic needs of your dog. The grooming process generally takes a hour or two to accomplish, but the results are well worth the time spent. A typical dog grooming session consists of the following treatments for your dog:

* A thorough bath including flea dip (if applicable)
* A complete coat brushing to eliminate tangles and matted hair
* Styling as requested (can include accessories such as bows, rhinestones and bandannas)
* Nail trimming
* Ear cleaning and examination for parasites
* Teeth cleaning

How Often Should Dog Grooming Take Place?

The frequency with which your should groom your dog is dependent on the breed and coat quality of your dog. Some breeds are considered high maintenance in terms of dog grooming, while others need only periodic care. Before you purchase or adopt a dog, it’s a good idea to find out how much grooming it will require. A basic guide to dog grooming by coat type is as follows:

* Curly-Coated – Dogs such as Poodles have a dense and curly coat that is fairly resistant to water. These dogs will require dog grooming at least once every two months, or six times a year.

* Short-Coated – Dogs with short dense coats, such as Corgis and Boxers need a weekly brushing, but do not need to be bathed more than once or twice a year unless a problem arises.

* Long-Coated – Long coated dogs, such as Collies and Sheepdogs, require a daily brushing to keep their coats in good condition. Additional dog grooming including regular bathing, should be administered once every other month.

* Silky-Coated – Afghans, Cocker Spaniels and Pekinese dogs belong to the silky coated dog group. These dogs require daily brushing and a thorough dog grooming session four times a year.

* Wire-Coated – Wire coated dogs require considerable dog grooming. Dogs such as Terriers and Schnauzers should be bathed every three months and have their coat clipped every six to eight weeks.

* Smooth-Coated – The smooth-coated class of dogs includes Labrador Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers and Dachshunds. These are very low maintenance dogs and require only weekly brushing and bathing as necessary.

Keep Your Dogs Safe

October 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Health and Safety of your Dogs

Dogs have been “man’s best friend” for thousands of years. Since dogs watch over their owners, it’s only right that dog-loving humans keep their pets safe in return. And now, dogs need our extra attention more than ever. With a little thought, you can easily create a safe home for your precious pups.

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As you know, dogs have a keen curiosity. Take a look at your home from your puppy’s perspective and you’ll likely find all sorts of interesting items to check out. You may not realize that dogs first sniff, then mouth things to inspect them. So it’s especially important that you keep the following out of your dog’s reach:

insect traps
phone and electric cords
ashtrays and cigarettes
open doors and windows
rubber bands
housecleaning chemicals
candles
Christmas tree ornaments
uncovered trash cans
medications
foodstuffs like: chocolate and grapes
plastic bags
batteries
anti-freeze
valuable items, like jewelry, photos, and books

Don’t forget the great outdoors when inspecting your dog’s area. Dogs, especially puppies, find plants fun playthings. They love to dig in the dirt or pull branches off shrubs. Because of this, make sure the plants in and around your home aren’t a health risk to your dog. The following common house and garden plants are toxic to dogs:

English ivy
dieffenbachia
mistletoe
philodendron
elephant ear
caladium
boxwood
holly berry
azaleas
chinaberry trees
oleander
wisteria
hydrangea

Other ways to protect your pup include keeping him or her safely confined to your home. Wandering dogs are more likely to be injured by vehicles or meet up with unkind people.

Make sure your yard is fenced and the fencing is tall enough and strong enough to keep your dog from roaming. Many dogs try to dig out under the fence, so it’s crucial you regularly check for gaps around the fence perimeter. Teach everyone in your family to carefully close doors and keep gates latched.

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Additionally, it’s important that your pet wears a collar with an identification tag at all times, in the event he or she gets lost. In fact, most cities require that all dogs wear a collar and tag. This way, it’s more likely your dog will be returned home safely to you. You may also consider microchipping, where a small silicone chip containing your contact information is painlessly inserted under the dog’s skin. Most animal shelters and veterinarians automatically scan lost pets in search of a microchip. However, an identification tag will be useful if your puppy is found by an average citizen.

If you reside in an area prone to natural disasters, keep an emergency pet supply kit handy. Include a week’s worth of food and water, as well as any medication your dog needs. Don’t forget a photo of your pet too, in case you’re separated at any time.

Dog Care – How To Care For Your Dog

September 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Dogs


A dog will require care, attention and a commitment to look after it during its life which could be 10-15 years or longer. The commitment required includes not only routine feeding, care and time spent with the dog but also the provision of veterinary treatment if the dog becomes ill. Written below is some thing about dog caring:

 

Brushing your Dog’s Teeth
How to brush your dog’s teeth?

Step one is to pick an appropriate pet toothbrush. Save yourself time by not buying a child’s toothbrush which is usually too hard for dogs. The ideal dog toothbrush will have a long handle, an angled head to better fit the mouth and extra soft bristles. Another option is the finger toothbrush that fits over the tip of your finger.

Step two is to select appropriate toothpaste. The best pet toothpastes contain enzymes that help control plaque. Try to avoid toothpastes with baking soda, detergents, or salt sometimes found in human pastes. Fluoride may be incorporated to help control bacteria. Rather than placing the paste on top of the brush try to place it between the bristles. This allows the paste to spend the most time next to the teeth.

Step three is to get the brush with paste into your dog’s mouth and all the teeth brushed. Most dogs accept brushing if they are approached in a gentle manner. If you can start when they are young, it’s quite easy, but even older pets will accept the process. Start slowly, you can use a washcloth or piece of gauze to wipe the teeth, front and back in the same manner you will eventually be using the toothbrush. Do this twice daily for about two weeks and your dog should be familiar with the approach. Then take the pet toothbrush, soak it in warm water and start brushing daily for several days. When your dog accepts this brushing, add the pet toothpaste.

 

Dangerous Toys

Sticks and bones can splinter and cause choking or vomiting or they can perforate the mouth, throat or intestine. Hard bones can easily damage teeth. Instead, use hard, non-splintering chew toys to play fetch or to allow your pet to gnaw.

A chewing pet can shred soft, latex toys. If the toy includes a squeaking mechanism, the squeaker can be easily swallowed or cause choking.

Towels, socks, underwear and other similar clothing or materials can be swallowed by a rambunctious pet, causing intestinal obstruction.

Some dogs like to chew on or eat rocks-bad idea! Rocks can cause broken teeth and serious intestinal obstruction if swallowed.

Be careful if you offer your pet rawhides, as these can also cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed, and some are preserved with arsenic, which is toxic to pets.

Be aware of sharp objects that can cut skin, feet, eyes or ears.

Paint and wood preservatives can also be toxic to your feathered friend.

 

Exercising Your Pet

Whenever you are near a road, or wherever your dog is likely to cause a nuisance if he runs free, you should keep him on a lead. Both you and your dog will be much happier if he’s well trained. Remember that not everyone is as fond of dogs as you are and you must respect their feelings. Keep your dog under control at all times. Part of your walk should take your dog over hard ground, as this will help to keep his nails short.

Don’t make the mistake of over-exercising your dog if he’s still growing, as his bones aren’t yet strong enough to cope with the extra stress this puts on him. Little and often is the rule until your dog grows to full strength. Remember that large breeds mature later than small breeds. Ask the breeder or your vet for their advice.

Regular and varied walks are not just essential to keep your dog fit. They also give him the chance to explore and to experience new stimuli, including meeting other dogs. This will help him develop into a contented and well-adjusted dog, and avoid developing problem behavior. Make sure you supervise your dog’s exercise. Do not allow him to stray and never put him outside for the day to fend for him while you’re gone.

 

Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy

Once you’ve brought home your new pet, you’ll want to have a long and happy life together. Here are some ways to make that happen.

Eating well and getting enough exercise are as important for dogs and cats as they are for people. Unfortunately, too often pets pick up the same bad habits, and health problems, as people do. Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity related arthritis are problems that are often preventable with a good diet and regular exercise.

A high quality dry pet food is a good centerpiece for a healthy diet. If your pet is active enough to burn the calories, most dogs and cats love canned food. It can be mixed with dry food or put out separately as a treat. Some people like to leave food out all the time so that their pets can nibble when hungry while others prefer to have regular feeding times. Either way, make sure that pets always have access to clean drinking water.

To learn more about dog training and dog care visit www.dogownersguide.org.