Healthy Treats for Cats and when to Use Them

You want to keep your cat healthy, why not keeping the happy too – in the meantime. Actually, this is the place where the idea of cat treat comes. You should choose foods for your pet cat where it is healthy and enjoyable as well.

Feeding a cat with proper foods is important. Pet owners usually do not forget to feed their pet. I mean, who leaves that little dude on an empty stomach? The emphasis should be on what are we giving and should we?

Here are some suggestions for your cuddly precious, which will keep her healthy and happy.

Cat Food

There are available cat foods specially made for the kittens. These are usually flavored to meet the expectation of the taste of your pet. Cat foods are of many types, but if we narrow down the list, we will find 3 different categories of cat that you can feed your kid.

-Dry Cat Food-

The cheapest cat food available in the market is basically dry cat food. These are available in a different weighted bag, and one bag can be served for quite a few months. These are usually crunchy. The worst part about dry cat food is it is not very much appetizing or palatable. Your cat may like it or she may not, it is up to her. If you have a cat that you can address as fussy eater, she will not be much interested in dry cat food.

If you get some high-quality dry food for your little furry cat, you can get balanced nutrition. Try to stick with the flavored dry cat foods; otherwise, your kid will turn away his face from dry food.

-Semi-Moist Cat Food-

Semi-moist cat food may seem identical in the face to the dry cat food, but the formula of making is different. Dry cat food is usually crunchy in the formula, but these are very much chewy. These are easy to eat than dry cat food. When it comes to price, it is in between dry and wet cat food.

These may be easier to eat but if your cat is highly selective, do not go for this. These foods are not seen in the selves of the cat owners these days because these are low in terms of nutrition.

-Wet Cat Food-

If you ask us about the best choice as cat food, we would definitely recommend this. Where cats are not interested in dry cat food and semi-moist cat food, your pet will easily lick the bowl clean if you serve wet food. This sort of food is very easy to eat and has a reputation for being immensely tasty.

There are a lot of high-quality wet cat foods available in the market. You can select any of them that match the taste standard of your pet. These are also available in different flavors. For better understanding, feed different flavored wet cat food to your cat and know which one is her favorite.

Wet cat foods are available in tins and packets both. Tuna is very much popular as a cat food flavor as cats tend to love tuna fish. Complete balanced nutrition is very important when you feed your cat. But you have to keep an eye on the weight of your cat here too. No matter how much they love wet cat food, you have to keep control over feeding him excessively. Otherwise, your cat will get overweight for excessive eating.

Now I’ll be talking about some human foods, which are great for cats too! Isn’t it sweet whenever you and your pet eating the same food altogether?

Human Food for Cats

As your kittens are mammals, they usually love some human food we eat. Most of the foods that are specially made for your cat are transferred to cat food from human food.

Not every food we eat is liked by them. And so, without knowing do not try to feed them human food. Here is a specific human food list for your kitten that can make your furry ball happy.

-Fish-

The most common human food that comes in our mind when the story is about your kitten is fish. Nowadays, we do not count it as human food when we talk about cat food. We usually are seen adding it with cat food.

Usually, cats generate a fraction of Omega-3. This needs to be maintained and kept in balance. Also, the fatty acid ratio needs to be maintained. Fish can provide a perfect proportion of all of these nutrients.

Raw fish can be served to your cat, but we do not recommend you do that. We will suggest you go for cooked fish because this will be easy for your kid to eat them. There are some fish which is tough to eat if eaten raw.

You will get so many fish flavored cat food in the market. These cat foods include different flavors of different fish. When you serve fish directly, your cat can enjoy more.

-Eggs-

Eggs, being cheap, these are the most available human food that your cat can enjoy with you. The best part about the egg is it is rich in protein and iron. This usually aids in lessening the intake of the unhealthy foods we eat.

But, never try to stick to raw eggs. If you do not cook the egg, then it can cause your pet E. coli and salmonella. These can cause food poisoning and much more. Raw eggs can make your kitten sick. For serving egg properly, you have to cook them. There are a lot of ways to cook an egg, go for the one that you cat likes most.

The easiest process can be feeding your furry baby scrambled eggs. Whenever you are making a scrambled egg for you, take one part from it and keep it for your little kitten.

-Meat-

Meat can be a perfect choice to intake protein. Moreover, your pet will love chicken as their food. The interesting fact about chicken is you can easily create newer items for your pet and serve it to them as their meal. You can feed chicken, duck or turkey in a properly cooked method. You can also try to go for pre-cooked deli packets.

Meat is called to be a non-negotiable part of cat food. You have to keep in mind that if you feed your cat undercooked meat, it can harm your pet. The same thing goes for uncooked meat. Try not to feed uncooked or raw chicken or turkey which can affect their health.

Another piece of information that you need to remember is cats are not fond of seasoned meat. Avoid serving them seasoned meat and settle on plain and properly sliced meat.

What to Avoid?

It’s time to focus on what foods should be avoided. First of all, no toxic foods. If a food seems to be tasty and healthy for our digestion system – this doesn’t mean that it’s the same for the cat too.

Grapes, onions, raisin might be good for us, but these should be completely avoided for your cat.

As said before, excessive foods are bad. I know the dilemma here. We all love our kitty cat so much and want to give her the best treats. But if you treat your cat disproportionately, at the end of the day, it will bring havoc. Do not do that.

Cats are one beautiful creature. What’s greater than the vibe around, when your pet cat is around? Let’s expand this vibe towards an extension by keeping the cat properly fed. Give your cat healthy treats.


Author Bio:
Jean E. Allen is a pet lover. She loves to be with her pets all the time, and she proudly admits it. Nowadays she is seen towards the progress of pet welfare. She provides comprehensive guides and expert opinion about pet hygiene at Vacuumist.com

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Tips to maintain Joint Health for Senior Dogs that Every Pet Owner Should Learn About!

Most, if not all, aging dogs suffer from joint pain and arthritis just like people usually do. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to help your aging dog’s joint problems. Here are a few ways to care for your senior dog’s joint health.

As you get older, you may likely experience joint pain. This is mainly due to the decrease of lubricating fluid inside the joints. Years of usual wear and tear also cause the cartilage that cushions the bones and line the joint to become thinner. Apart from that, the ligaments also get shorter and lose some flexibility. All of these aspects make joint movement become less flexible and stiffer, resulting in joint pain and inflammation.

Humans are not the only species that experience this? Believe it or not, your beloved pet dog can also experience the same joint problems as they age.

Most, if not all, aging dogs suffer from joint pain and arthritis just as people typically do. Around 60% of all dogs in the US experience joint problems like arthritis or dysplasia which can not only cause limping, pain, and decreased energy levels but can also seriously diminish the quality of life for your pet.

Prevention and recognition of early signs are critical to managing and treating this joint pain. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to help your aging pet. You only need to search Google to find a wide array of dog supplements on the market as well as natural herbs that can help promote better joint health.

If your dog is one of the 60%, here are some tips our expert veterinarian, Dr. Erin West on our board has suggested for you.

Always Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Weight

A large majority of big breeds and overweight dogs suffer from joint problems whether they are old or young. If your dog is quite overweight, help her or him get rid of those extra pounds. The excess weight can cause more strain and stress on the joints health, which in turn will cause the pain. And if your dog already has signs of arthritis, this excess weight can make the situation even worse!

Apart from exercise and keeping your dog active, picking the right food to serve your pet can also help them slim down. One food trick you can follow is to add a little unsweetened and un-canned pumpkin into your dog’s dinner. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals, which help boost your dog’s immune system and improve overall health. This nutrient-dense food has low-calorie content, as it is 94% water. Likewise, it is a good source of fiber which can help make your dog feel full easily and will help your pet curb their appetite. This is why pumpkin is considered a weight-loss friendly food, for humans and pets alike!

Another trick is to give your pet foods that are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and moderate in fat, and some fruits and vegetables that can be safe for your dog, this can be good for the health of our furry friends as well.

One other effective way to help your dog trim down is to cut down meal portions. Think “tapa” plates! But don’t do it abruptly. Instead, do it gradually. Cut down portions little by little each day until such time you reach the desired portion size. This way, it won’t be hard for your dog to adjust and at the same time, you will feel less guilty feeding your pet less food than they usually eat.

Truly, obese dogs can sometimes look cuter and more adorable than lean ones. But, if you truly consider the negative health effects that your overweight dog is likely to suffer from, you will surely think twice.

Give Your Dog the Right Supplements

Dogs typically receive a good amount of nutrition from their foods, but to ensure they receive the right amount of daily nutrients, a good all-around supplement is suggested. This is especially true for aging dogs. Apart from multivitamin supplements, it also helps to give your dog supplements that support pet joint health.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements contain powerful fish oils, which offer a potent antioxidant punch. This supplement cannot only help relieve painful joints; it likewise will promote weight loss and prevent/treat other diseases.

The best pet joint supplements are those that contain MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin. These types of joint supplements help promote a healthy joint and improve joint function while reducing swelling, pain, and stiffness.

Pain and inflammation are not the only problems you need to deal with when your senior dog has a joint disease. You also need to address the root of almost all dog diseases, which is the chronic, hidden inflammation. For this, you will need a joint supplement that contains ingredients that has a rich amount of anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric root. Turmeric is not only beneficial in alleviating low-grade inflammation, it likewise aids in protecting your dogs’ joints and hips, allowing them to enjoy a pain-free, healthier, and happier life.

Make Your Place More Dog-Friendly and Safe

Dogs, even the senior ones, enjoy jumping on different pieces of furniture like tables, sofas, and chairs. Jumping on and off the furniture (most especially the high ones) can take its toll on the joints of your dog. Also, you can read household tips to keep your pets safe. Further, you can prevent your dog from hurting themselves by making it easier for them to get on and off their favorite spot and do things they really love doing.

puppy at home. dog at white

For instance, if your dog loves sitting on the sofa, provide a step or a ramp so they won’t have to exert more pressure on the joints to jump on and off. Also make sure that the ramp or step is not slippery because if it is, it can cause your senior dog to slip or get injured, requiring your pet to exert more foot pressure to avoid a fall, thus making the inflammation and pain worse. A smart idea is to pick a step or ramp with a detachable rubber grip or with carpet attached. This could be a simple DIY project you could install yourself, that will bring long-term benefit to your senior pet.

If you travel with your dog from time to time, it also helps to provide an appropriate ramp or step, making it easier for your pet to get into and out of your vehicle. A folding or carpeted ramp or step is the most ideal option.

Prevention is Better Than an Ounce of Cure

You surely have heard the popular saying “prevention is better than an ounce of cure.” Though you cannot be 100% sure that your pet will not be afflicted with some type of joint problem in the later parts of their life, you can do something to prevent it or at least minimize the risks.

We understand how fulfilling it feels for pet owners to have a very talented puppy… like, “see how high my dog jumps or how fast my dog runs” at a very young age, however, no matter how rewarding this may sound, all these activities have their own risks. Letting your puppy run too hard, jump too high, or exercise too much before their joints and bones are matured enough to handle the excessive motions, can lead to joint injury.

Needless to say, if you want to protect your dog from joint pain and injury now and in their senior age, you should carefully supervise daily exercise routines and don’t allow your pet to do things that can ruin the health of their joints.

Give Your Dog a Mollycoddling Massage

Yes, you read it right! Massage is not only for you but for your beloved pets as well. Massage can help ease pain caused by inflammation, especially for senior dogs. A regular massage can likewise help lower your dog’s risk to various joint and muscle problems, as well as prevent joints and muscle stiffness which is among the contributing factors for arthritis. Not only that, a good massage will help alleviate sore muscles, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure levels for your pet. Try a 5 to 10-minute daily massage, which can help relax and rejuvenate your senior dog.

Giving your dog a mollycoddling massage is not only beneficial for them but also for you! It can also be an effective way to release your stress and tension and to spend quality time with your pet. It is likewise an excellent way to identify what is normal in your dog and what is not.

dog apartment

Massaging your dog on a regular basis enables you to note new lumps, sore areas, or bumps that are unusual. When doing the massage, take note of the different layers of your dog’s body – from their hair to skin, from their fats and muscle down to the bones. See if there are any changes. This also allows you to give more precise information to the veterinarian.

When doing the massage, make sure not to exert sudden or direct force over the inflamed area. Instead, try to warm the tissue first by gently petting the surrounding area. You can then apply gentle compressions (in a pumping motion) over the affected area using your palm. This will help release the tension from the tendons around the joint and move the fluids through the muscles. Finish off by petting the area once again to soothe and relax the nerves.

Lastly, Keep Your Dog Active

Inactivity is one of the contributing factors to joint stiffness and pain. To prevent joint problems in senior dogs, make sure that he or she does not only stay in one place all day long. Encourage your pet to be active and let them move their joints and muscles. Let them exercise or play whenever you are available. Exercise does a body good, in both humans and pets.


Author Bio:

Bobbie is a true entrepreneur. She’s always connecting products and people and building relationships. Her career in media and marketing spans over 20 years, and she has also owned a media agency since 2005. Her ultimate goal was to put together a “dream team” of experts in each of their fields from which support and knowledge could be drawn. This team is dedicated to creating the very best in support nutraceuticals for both humans and pets. More Natural Healing was formed with this goal in mind! It’s not just farm to table, but rather farm to science to a formula, to you.

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Pets On Planes: Avoid These Mistakes While Flying With Your Furry Friends

Flying can be a stressful enough experience without having to load up one of your beloved animals onto the plane. If you’ve ever had to do this, you know how difficult the whole process can be. It can be worrisome to feel, waiting to get your pet off at the other end. Many airlines now allow you to travel with pets, and if you’re relocating abroad or going for an extended stay and don’t want your best friend left behind, it may well be an option you have to consider.

It’s important to remember, however, that flying can be extremely scary for pets, and you should do everything you can to ensure they’re comfortable and happy throughout the trip. It’s easy to overlook crucial details or forget things in the chaos of packing, especially if you’re actually moving, so here are a few tips on things you should avoid to help you make your trip as smooth and easy as possible.

1) Forgetting to Check Veterinary Services at Your Destination

It’s always good to be prepared for the worst, and if the trip proves too stressful for your pet, you ought to have a certain idea of how you can get quick, reliable, and good help at the other end.

Ideally, this means you will have checked out veterinary services before you even consider flying with your pet, and maybe even visited one or two.

You should check the opening hours of your nearest vet, and register your pet with them before you fly. This will ensure you can get quick and easy help if the worst should happen. You should also make sure you have an emergency number if the vet doesn’t offer a 24/7 service, in case you need help outside of office hours.

There’s nothing more stressful than having a poorly pet with nobody to turn to for help, so avoid putting yourself in this position by arming yourself with the relevant information beforehand. This will also help bring you peace of mind before the flight.

2) Failing to Check Airline Policies

Just because you have flown with your pet before doesn’t mean you should ignore this step. Different airlines have very different rules, and you need to make sure you’re clear on what you can and can’t do before you even purchase your tickets, let alone before you get on the plane.

Familiarize yourself with rules about pet carriers and any restrictions on which animals are allowed on board, and check your pet meets all the criteria. “Remember that even if you’re flying with an airline you’ve used before, they might have changed their policies. It would be terrible – and expensive – to get to the airport and then find out that you aren’t able to board because your pet doesn’t meet one of the rules, so make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Printing out policy documents to take with you might prove a wise precaution if you think you’ll run into any issues at the airport” says Eugene Carranza, a Pet blogger at Ox essays and Bigassignments.

3) Not Microchipping Your Pet

If you have a cat or a dog, they ought to be microchipped before you even consider traveling with them. Even a pet that is in a familiar area can get lost if something spooks them, so it’s an important precaution to take at any time, but particularly if you’re traveling. The chances of your pet getting lost in transit are very low, but it could happen, and having a chip will make you vastly more likely to get them back if it does.

Ensuring your pet is chipped prior to travel will also give you one less thing to worry about at the other end, and will reduce your worry about losing your pet due to being in a strange environment. It’s always advisable to keep pets inside/under close supervision after a big change, but this is still a precaution that’s worth taking before you travel. If your pet is already microchipped, do remember to check the chip is fully functional and the information is kept in date so you can recover your pet if it does get lost.

4) Not Checking Vaccination Requirements

This is a really important one, and isn’t specific to particular airlines; your pet must have up to date vaccinations to fly. This does depend to a degree on your destination, but usually, the minimum requirement is a recent rabies vaccination, and there may be others. Some airlines will also have their own requirements, which they should be able to tell you about prior to your flight.

Ensure your pet’s vaccinations are all up to date and that you have evidence with you. Even if your vet has agreed to send copies to the airline in question, it’s always wise to carry a back-up document with your travel papers just in case something has gone wrong. Make sure you have checked all the necessary boxes; it’s important for airlines to be strict when it comes to health and safety, and your pet won’t be allowed to fly otherwise.

5) Forgetting Your Pet’s Health Certificate

Leading on from the last point, remember that your pet must have a health certificate prior to flying. This can be provided by your vet and will let the airline check that your pet’s vaccinations are recent, and that they meet their requirements in terms of breed, age, etc. Be aware that these are generally only valid for 10 days, so if you’re going to need to fly back with your pet after it has expired, you’ll have to make the necessary arrangements while you’re on your trip.

6) Don’t Let Your Pet Travel in the Hold

This is really important, as many airlines do still allow animals in their cargo bays. Unfortunately, this is not safe for the animal, as the bays aren’t temperature controlled, and can be extremely stressful environments with nobody to check on the animal during the flight. They might be suitable storage for suitcases, but you should avoid your pet traveling in them at all costs. There have sadly been recorded instances of fatalities when pets travel in the cargo bay.

If you absolutely cannot avoid this problem, choose your flight with care. Avoiding the busiest times, and trying not to fly in extreme heat or cold. If possible, book direct flights to minimize the stress your pet goes through in terms of transfers, delays, etc. Remember, booking early is more likely to mean you can get cabin space for your pet. Do your utmost not to fly with your pet in the hold if you can.

“Familiarize yourself with the requirements for a pet on board (carrier, leash, etc.) and aim for this as the optimum outcome. It’s always better to have your pet nearby when you’re traveling; you can ensure they’re looked after, and there’s far less chance they will get lost if you are responsible for them” explains Brenda Martin, a pet writer at UK Writings and Revieweal.

7) Flying with an Anxious Pet

If your pet is stressed by change and travel, you should consider whether they really need to fly. If you are just going on holiday, find somebody who is prepared to look after them. Remember that excessive stress can kill an animal, so you should avoid anything which makes them uncomfortable for prolonged periods. In some instances, this may sadly mean re-homing a pet that would be unable to cope with the trip.

If you’re concerned about your pet will managing a flight, talk to your vet. Ask if there’s anything they can prescribe which will help. Try a test journey with your pet. See how they respond and let them experience the busy environment without the plane first.

Make a responsible assessment about what is best for your animal, and try to prioritize their comfort at all times. Many animals are less stressed by car journeys. Consider whether this would be a viable alternative, even if it means a longer trip for you.

Conclusion

Flying with animals isn’t particularly easy, and many people avoid it as much as possible. But sometimes you will have to do it, so it’s best to prepare as much as possible. Think about your pet’s experience, and find out exactly what paperwork you will need well in advance of the flight.

Talk to your vet if you need advice and help, and ask friends if they have any tips. Your airline may also be able to offer some information which will make the process easier for you; do everything you can to get informed and avoid hiccups along the way. Whether you’re going on vacation or moving house, you want to minimize the stress for both yourself and your pet, so research thoroughly, prepare carefully and do your best to ensure you, and your pet both reach the other end calm and happy.


Author Bio:

Nora Mork is a lifestyle journalist at Research paper writer and Speach writing services. She loves doing yoga, attending conferences and writing essays for magazines and blogs, such as Write my UK essay.

 

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Pros and Cons of Hiring a Groomer vs DIY

Some people say that taking care of a dog isn’t much different than taking care of a baby and that’s about right actually. Saying that having a dog isn’t difficult at all would be far from true because it requires responsibility, patience, free time and last but not least money. And since grooming represents one of the more important aspects of properly caring for your dog, it should never be overlooked or neglected.

Since taking your dog over to the professional dog groomer takes a considerable amount of time and they sometimes do charge a lot of money for the provided services, a fair number of dog owners prefer to do the grooming by themselves in the comfort of their own home. Both of these choices aren’t wrong and are perfectly acceptable, but even so, each one has its own set of flaws and downsides as well as advantages and perks. Having said that, it’s important to know what those differences are and how they may affect both you and your dog and that’s precisely why we want to point out all those pros and cons of hiring a professional groomer or doing the job yourself. Well then, let’s begin with the explanations.

Dog Hair Types

Before we start talking about the grooming process and the differences between professional and home grooming, it’s important that we touch on the subject of common hair types because that factor greatly influences the grooming of a dog. Breeds determine which kind of hair the dog will have, and they come in a large number of variants obviously, so subtle distinctions do exist. However, we can split all of them into five major categories, depending on the main characteristic of the hair.

Long Hair

Dogs that have very thick, rich and long hair might be the most demanding kind when it comes to grooming. They must be regularly and adequately brushed, cleaned, dried and occasionally clipped or else they may develop certain health issues and infections. If you take a look at the Collie or an English Setter, you’ll easily notice if they’ve been properly brushed or not. When shedding, they discard an extremely large amount of hair on a daily basis, and if you don’t get rid of it properly and get it all out of the dog’s fur on time, their hair strands will get entangled relatively quickly which will lead to matting and later on, to more serious issues.

If you have a dog with this hair type, make sure to properly trim the hair around the paws and armpits as well as the backside area because these spots tend to get filthy rather fast. Wash the dog with water and a good shampoo when needed but try not to do it too rarely to keep the hair pretty and clean. Excessive bathing isn’t recommended either because that may lead to a shortage of natural oil found on the dog’s hair, thus making the strands sticky and getting them entangled.

Double Coat

These dogs basically have two coats of hair one on top of the other. The lower coat consists of short and densely packed hair while the top coat consists of longer, lighter strands. The first layer provides insulation and allows the dog to feel comfortable in both hot and cold conditions while the upper layer repels water and dirt. Brushing these dogs is a bit bothersome because it’s hard to reach the undercoat and remove the dead hair from it, due to the upper coat blocking the approach. Which is precisely why special de-shedding tools exist, so that these breeds can be adequately brushed.

Wooly Hair

Dogs that have this kind of coating resemble stuffed toys and are quite interesting to look at. Taking care of that pretty hair isn’t easy though, which forces a lot of owners to just cut it instead of brushing and washing it. This isn’t a wise choice; however, because these dogs have gentle skin and the wooly hair actually protects it. Also, once you’ve clipped the coating, it will never again grow like before.

Brushing this hair requires a special brush that’s specifically designed to be used on these dogs and their thick coat. Don’t miss out on this activity because that might lead to matting and then you’ll have no choice but to take your dog to a professional groomer.

Corded Hair

This is a very demanding type of coat when it comes to both brushing and washing. Before it turns into a sort of dreadlocks, this type of hair must be properly taken care of so that it doesn’t become entangled or matted during the cording process. And even though you should keep it as clean as possible at all times, you won’t be able to wash this kind of coat often simply because drying it takes a lot of time and patience.

Wiry Hair

This kind of coating is very similar to corded hair type, and the only thing that separates them from each other is the method of maintenance. You do everything just like you would with the corded hair, brushing and washing it adequately while avoiding clipping if possible. However, to achieve the curly visual appearance, you’ll have to do something that’s called stripping. Stripping is a process in which you gently pull out the strands of hair from the top coat. This produces a manicured coat instead of a swiftly cut one.

DIY Grooming

Now it’s time for us to see what kind of benefits and advantages of home grooming offers. But first, let’s mention the necessary tools you should get before attempting to groom your dog by yourself. First up is the brush and you need it both when you cut the hair and when you don’t because either way you need to get rid of all those loose strands that are stuck to the dog’s coat due to static.

Next comes the comb. You can manage without it, but if you need to cut the hair with scissors, it’s much easier to use the comb first and straighten and separate the hairs you’ll be clipping. Then comes the most important tool, dog hair grooming scissors. Electric clippers make an excellent addition to the regular ones. And the third kind of clippers you’ll be needing are the dog toenail clippers. The rest of the tools consist of dog hair shampoo, ear cleaning solution, detangling products and a couple of old towels.

After getting all of that, it’s time to start grooming. You can take a quick dog grooming course if you wish, but you can also consult the internet instead of to learn the basics.

As far as advantages go, there’s a decent number of them when it comes to home dog grooming. You don’t have to leave your dog with strangers. No traveling means no stress for the dog and more free time for you. You can groom your dog anytime. And last but not least, you’ll be acquiring a new skill which is always a good thing.

Professional Grooming

People who offer professional grooming services are usually very experienced in this field of work, and that is quite possibly the greatest advantage they boast when compared to home grooming. They’ll know how to react in unexpected situations, but more importantly, they’ll know what to do to calm your dog and help it relax. Of course, the fact that they possess a full set of high-quality tools also means a lot. It doesn’t matter what kind of breed your dog is and what type of coating it has, they’ll have the appropriate tools for sure.

So, let’s take a look at the benefits that professional grooming provides. Since the trimming process won’t be taking place in your own house, you won’t have to bother with cleaning and tidying up the place. The groomer will know how to handle all of the wiggling and sudden movements the dog will most likely be doing. They’ll have no problems dealing with complicated coating types or matted areas.

Leave it to the Pros

Removing or cutting the mats by yourself is very dangerous because you can easily hurt the dog, but when a professional does this, there’s practically no risk involved. And since we’re talking about accidental injuries, we can’t overlook nail clipping. When clipping the toenails on a dog, it’s very important to know how and where to cut. Otherwise, you may cut the vein which goes through the nails and causes real discomfort to the dog. Professionals have a lot of experience with this, so they never cut too much and hurt the animal. Lastly, you’ll receive some very useful advice from the groomer, which will help you keep your dog healthy and happy at all times.

Now you know everything you need to know regarding the differences between professional dog grooming and the DIY version of the same thing. They both have their own advantages, but they also have certain downsides. It’s up to you to decide which one suits you and your dog the best and go with that choice.


Author Bio:

Tara Edwards is the founder of Trim Epil, a grooming blog providing lots of useful information and amazing tips/tricks about the topic. There you can read everything about trimming and keeping hairs in check – from the latest grooming trends to honest reviews of the top grooming tools!

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5 Pet Food Brands that Use Enzymes

Enzymes have been administered by veterinarians for years, while they are still relatively new in pet foods. Scientists have been studying their benefits and uses for quite a while. They have given praise to these natural molecules for their positive effects in both humans and animals. Since enzymes can be found living naturally inside of all organisms’ bodies, ingesting them with food is a great way to catalyze the body’s natural performances. Enzymes help to speed up chemical reactions and are easily incorporated into any diet. They have become an increasingly popular trend in aiding in digestion, especially for pets!

Few dispute the benefits that digestive enzymes offer to animals. Increasingly, pet food brands are offering products that advertise enzymes within the food mix, which can directly break down food molecules, helping animals better digest their food and absorb more nutrients. Veterinarians may suggest enzyme-rich foods or enzyme supplements for pets experiencing digestive problems.

Certain brands lead the way in this regard. In the growing U.S. pet food market, these brands have looked to carve out a niche in offering additional value to conscientious consumers who are placing extra consideration on the nutrition of their household pets. These are some brands that use enzymes in their pet food and advertise their benefits to customers.

1. Holistic Select

Holistic Select has been in the business of producing pet food for almost two decades, focusing on providing natural, healthy foods for cats and dogs. The company advertises probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and natural fiber as key ingredients to aid digestion in pets.

The company promotes itself as using guaranteed levels of digestive enzymes in their products with the goal of making sure that household pets receive as much nutrition from their food. Some of the enzymes the company uses include alpha-amylase, protease, and cellulase sourced from Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Holistic Select also uses papaya in some of its products, which contains the enzyme papain.

The company offers a range of flavors, including chicken meal, anchovy, lamb meal and more. In addition to these, they also have grain-free options for animals with specific dietary requirements. Grain-free options include meats and meat meals, as well as pulses, such as lentils.

Holistic Select’s marketing clearly put the company forward as a premium pet food producer. Their products suggest a balance of food types, and they even include pâté options in their range. These product names imply additional nutritional value for their intended canine and feline recipients.

2. Nature’s Logic

Nature’s Logic offers both dry and wet food for dogs and cats. Their product range features a variety of meats, including beef, chicken, duck, lamb, rabbit, sardine, turkey and venison. This amount of choice draws a comparison to the selections offered to humans in supermarkets and restaurants. It reinforces the idea that pets are given premium treatment with their options.

Nature’s Logic provides milligram-accurate nutritional information on the vitamins and minerals present in each of its products.

All of Nature’s Logic pet food products include enzymes, which they visibly advertise. They state that their pet foods use “a multi-enzyme blend of plant-based enzymes” including protease, amylase, cellulase, and lipase. A quick analysis of their ingredients lists reveals that they source their enzymes from Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus oryzae, and Trichoderma longibrachiatum.

The protease in Nature’s Logic pet food is an enzyme that catalyzes protein hydrolysis, breaking down long protein chains into their smaller contingent molecules. These smaller molecules are known as amino acids, and the bodies of humans and other animals use them for cell growth and repair.

3. CORE by Wellness

Wellness formed in the 1990s, working alongside veterinarians, animal nutrition experts, and scientists. Their stated goal at the time was to “revolutionize the pet food industry.”

Although Wellness owns several different pet food brands, the CORE brand offers the most comprehensive enzyme-rich options. CORE RawRev is boosted by raw pieces that include extra protein and enzymes for dogs and cats. It is part of a trend towards raw food that offers consumers a safer option by confining the raw food to a sterile bag, minimizing the chance of bacterial infection.

These raw ingredients are freeze-dried, which leaves enzymes in an inactive state. Once exposed to moisture and warmth in the animal’s saliva, the enzymes reactivate and can begin digesting food molecules in the kibble.

CORE by Wellness is a good option for consumers looking to bestow the benefits of enzyme-rich food on their pets while participating in the raw food trend. It has an advantage over other raw meat options in that it remains sterile, thus posing a lower risk.

4. Raw Paws

This relatively new company began operating in 2014 with a stated mission to provide “practical, affordable and accessible” pet food to owners. Even as the market trends towards premiumization, brands are still finding success by marketing value for money.

Raw Paws does maintain a strong emphasis on nutrition and has additional marketing that encourages consumers to think of their pets as natural carnivores. They encourage buyers to consider the impact their pets’ natural feeding habits should have on their diets.

Their range of products is huge, including foods, treats, and chews. Raw Paw does, as their name suggests, provide raw options for pets. Their website offers frozen patties and organs of many varieties, stressing the potential nutritional advantages of raw foods.

Studies suggest that raw food diets are potentially dangerous, both for animals and their owners. Despite this, professional breeders use raw foods in the diets of sled dogs and racing greyhounds for a long time. If kept sterile and given due precaution, there is no reason it cannot be a safe option.

Raw Paws advertises enzymes in some of their treats. They claim to contain five “carefully selected dog digestive enzymes” that restore digestive health.

5. “I and love and you.”

This brand has an original name and primarily advertises its food as grain-free, using sweet potato, garbanzo beans, and lentils instead of rice or wheat. Their quirky image represents their humble beginnings as a pet food store in Boulder, Colorado.

Many of their products contain enzymes, as part of their HAPPY TUMMEEZ marketing, suggesting improved digestion for pets. Their “NUDE FOOD” product line contains enzymes that “I and love and you” purports help deal with more pronounced digestive issues.

“I and love and you” has a wide catalog of products in multiple lines catered to both cats and dogs. Their basic approach emphasizes the idea that their pet food is natural and healthy. Their marketing makes references to superfoods and premium ingredients, indicating that the brand is part of the broader movement towards premiumization in the pet food industry.

Trends and Observations

Most brands advertising enzymes in their products gear themselves more towards the premium end of the market. This potentially means they can achieve higher mark-ups on a per-product basis, partially by including enzyme blends or using other enzyme sources in their pet food.

The prevalence and prominence of advertising enzymes suggest consumers view the inclusion of enzymes positively. Despite this, there still appears to be relatively few brands that use enzymes in pet food. This suggests there may be a gap in the growing U.S. pet food market that other companies can fill.

Pet Foods for The Future

The future of pet food looks positive, as current trends show improved consciousness towards better quality products. Many brands have been improving their food’s nutritional components. Leading consumers to know what is in their pet’s food by making the facts readily available on their product’s label. Protein hydrolyzing enzymes are one of the most popular ways companies are working towards better products, since they increase pets’ ability to absorb nutrients in the food they are consuming. As we look into the future, there is a greater chance we will see more enzymes in pet food. An increase in market share, are all in the name of better pet health.

This trend has taken a positive upswing for pet owners on a multitude of levels. Beyond the food, they’re starting to become more aware of how different components of a dog’s lifestyle affects their overall health. Specifically, it is becoming increasingly prominent among veterinarians to promote higher quality food choices in an effort to stop diseases and other issues in dogs. Owners can be especially thankful for this, as a healthier dog means less future vet bills and costly medications. Above all, healthier pets are going to lead to longer and more meaningful lives!

Conclusions

In recent years, nutrition has become a greater priority for humans as well as their pets. It is becoming increasingly more important to feed both ourselves and our furry friends with the right foods. Digestion is certainly no exception to this trend, as shown by the large upswing in brands offering higher quality food products with digestive-friendly compounds.

The booming U.S. pet food industry, which is currently valued at $25 billion, with a projected increase to $30 billion by 2022, shows no signs of slowing down. With an increased focus on healthier options, especially with enzymes; manufacturers are doing research to find new ways to properly feed their pets. The future of pet foods remains uncertain. But if one thing’s for sure, it’s that our furry friends are getting the attention and quality ingredients they deserve!


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A Comprehensive Guide To Lupus In Dogs: Can It Be Cured?

Two types of lupus can occur in dogs. DLE, being the second most common autoimmune disease to affect the skin of dogs. Some dogs have a predisposition for developing lupus, but any dog can be affected. It’s essential for owners to be aware if their dog is predisposed, what symptoms look like and what to do to get the best care for their pet. Ultimately, a dog with a predisposition for lupus won’t necessarily develop the disease and can make a great family pet. Even dogs that do develop lupus can lead fulfilling lives, providing they have the right treatment.

What is Lupus in Dogs?

There are two types of lupus that can occur in dogs. These two types are autoimmune diseases and are believed to be genetic. Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), commonly known as collie nose, affects a dog’s face, particularly the bridge of their nose, their lips and ears. Sometimes DLE can also affect their feet and genitals. The other type is system lupus erythematosus (SLE) and is more serious to the health of a dog than DLE. SLE not only affects the skin but also the organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. Some dogs can experience painful joints, lameness, and lethargy too. Any autoimmune disease in a dog, such as lupus, is the body attacking itself, which will result in pain and discomfort for the dog.

Common Symptoms of Lupus in Dogs

There are several health conditions in dogs that can present similar symptoms to lupus, so it’s important to know what to look out for. Common symptoms for DLE include extreme redness, skin sores, cracked skin, itchiness and ringworm and/or loss of pigment on their nose. SLE’s symptoms include joint and muscle pain, which can be seen when they walk, lethargy, a loss of appetite, their fur falling out, swollen lymph nodes and seizures. Both types have the potential to be fatal.

What Causes Lupus and Can it be Prevented?

In general, it’s believed that lupus is a genetic disease, but environmental factors can play a part too, such as sun exposure, viral infections and having a reaction to certain medications. While a lot of research supports this as the cause, it’s not definitive. Previously, lupus was believed to come from a wolf’s bite, which is why it was named lupus, as it’s the Latin word for wolf. As there’s no concrete evidence to support the cause, it can be difficult to know how to prevent lupus, but most experts and vets will recommend a healthy lifestyle, consistent activity levels and avoiding excessive direct sunlight.

Are Some Breeds More Likely to Develop Lupus?

Any dog can develop lupus, but because it’s a genetic disease, some breeds are predisposed to it. DLE is more likely to occur in German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, Shetland Sheepdogs, German Shorthaired Pointers and Brittany Spaniels. On average, it’s likely to present itself in dogs over 6 years old, but onset can begin at any age. DLE is more likely to occur in the summer, as the sun will make symptoms worse, especially scaly skin and sores.

SLE, a predisposition, is seen in Shetland Sheepdogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Afghan Hounds, Beagles, Collies, Irish Setters, and Poodles. Owners with any of these breeds as pets should be aware of the symptoms of lupus and any other illnesses that are common in them so that spotting the symptoms early on is easy, and veterinary care is sought as soon as possible.

Should predisposed dogs be avoided?

Deciding which breed of dog to get is an important part of bringing a pet into a family home. Some of the breeds that are predisposed to lupus are great breeds that make wonderful pets and shouldn’t be dismissed because of this. The chance of developing lupus is relatively low, and any breed will be predisposed to developing certain illnesses. For example, German Shepherds are predisposed to lupus but are known for being smart, friendly and loving dogs that make an ideal family pet.

Similarly, Poodles have very few other predisposed health conditions and make loyal pets that are easy to train and will quickly become a valuable part of the family. Anyone buying a dog from a breeder should ask about the parent’s health to get an indication of their dog’s future health. It’s advised by vets that dogs with lupus shouldn’t be used for breeding to reduce how common it is.

Spotting Lupus and What to Do

Firstly, it’s important for owners to know if their dog is of a breed predisposed to developing lupus. Knowing the signs and symptoms of the condition can help them to spot it early on, which means treatment can be started sooner to prevent symptoms from becoming severe. It’s also essential to understand other diseases and illnesses that breeds are predisposed to that may have the overlapping symptoms. This can prevent owners from jumping to the conclusion that could get in the way of the correct diagnosis and treatment. If an owner ever suspects that their dog has lupus, they should make an urgent appointment with their vet. Keeping a diary of symptoms can be helpful for vets to make a correct diagnosis and start treatment.

The Big Question: Can it be Cured?

Sadly, the short answer is no. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done to help a dog with lupus. Without treatment, both types of lupus can be fatal. SLE symptoms can be relieved with corticosteroids, such as prednisone, and antibiotics. Keeping dogs out of  sunlight will help with the severity of symptoms, as well as keeping them active and healthy.

Sometimes vets may recommend chemotherapy. It can suppress the abnormal responses that the immune system is having. Also reducing how much the body attacks itself, as well as reducing pain. DLE is easier to treat, but still cannot be cured. Topical corticosteroids are to be used to reduce inflammation of the skin and sores. Prednisone and antibiotics are also used to prevent and treat secondary infections, such as from skin sores.

Alternative Treatment Options

Sometimes the traditional method of treating lupus won’t work. Some owners would rather try natural approaches to avoid nasty side effects. Alternative treatment options for lupus include massage therapy, acupuncture, and dietary changes. Vitamin E and Omegas 3 and 6 fatty acids can also be added to the diet. They can help to relieve symptoms, particularly pain. The ultimate goal is to get dogs with lupus as healthy as possible. Giving their body a better chance at healing and functioning well.

How Dogs Daily Lives are Affected by DLE

DLE mainly affects a dog’s skin. The hardest parts for owners, is that they will likely be uncomfortable from their skin being sore, itchy and cracked. This irritation can have an effect on their personality and temperament. Owners may find that their dog becomes aggressive out of frustration, so it can be best to keep them away from children and strangers that could set them off, especially during a flare-up. DLE symptoms are generally worse when dogs are exposed to too much sun. It can benefit them to be walked early morning or evening when the sun isn’t as strong.

 cute red dog border collie lying in the snow, portrait

How Dogs Daily Lives Are Affected by SLE

SLE is more severe than DLE. SLE can have a much bigger impact on a dog’s life, as well as their owner’s. While symptoms can improve, lethargy and pain can make it difficult to achieve or maintain this. Short, frequent walks will be best for dogs with SLE, and if they’re on pain medication, it’s best to exercise shortly after it’s been taken when it’s most effective. Ideally, this will also be in the morning. When they’ve had a long night’s sleep, energy levels are at their highest. Seeing a dog have a seizure can be very stressful for an owner, and also means they have to take full responsibility for their dog’s safety. This means owners need to be with their dog at all times in case of a seizure. They may need to be cleaned up if they lose control of their bladder or bowels during a seizure.

A breed with a predisposition to lupus isn’t guaranteed to develop the disease and can still make a great pet. Even dogs that do develop lupus can still have a good quality of life with thorough and prompt treatment. Some adjustments will need to be made, but they’re always worth it as owners get a loyal companion in return.


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Natural Remedies for Pain & Anxiety in Dogs

It can be hard to soothe our furry family members when they are experiencing pain or feeling anxious. When they are anxious, they may be pacing, cowering, or exhibiting obsessive behaviors like licking, whining, or jumping. When they are in pain, they may be irritable, lethargic, or needy. Because humans and dogs can’t communicate effectively with each other, it can be hard to find solutions. Though there are some medications to treat issues with pain and anxiety, some have problematic side effects. While some dogs do need those medications, others may react positively to natural remedies, instead.

The first step is always to consult your veterinarian to address your dog’s health-management needs. They can discuss the best solutions for your pet’s pain and anxiety to make sure they aren’t suffering. It’s also helpful to understand if your dog is high-risk for these ailments in order to prepare for their needs. Oftentimes, natural health supplements can help with feelings of pain and anxiety. You can also practice soothing techniques, creating a safe space, and helping them exercise in a way that can offer relief.

Check With Your Vet

If you notice your dog may be experiencing pain, it’s important to talk to your vet right away. Your dog may not show pain in an obvious way, so it’s good practice to take your dog to the vet if they are exhibiting any new behavior. Your vet may prescribe a pain relief medication in order to help them feel comfortable, but it’s okay to ask about natural remedies if you’re concerned about potential side effects. Some behaviors that could mean your dog is in pain include:

  • Increased Urination: Frequent urination could be a sign of a bladder infection, kidney failure, or an allergy.
  • Obsessive Grooming: Dogs tend to lick areas that hurt them.
  • Aggression: Pain can cause a dog to feel threatened, so a newly aggressive dog should be taken to the vet.
  • Insomnia: Just like people, dogs find it hard to sleep when they are in pain.
  • Loss of Appetite: A disinterest in food could mean they are experiencing pain or feeling sick.

If you realize certain triggers are causing your dog to feel anxious, you should talk to your vet about potential remedies or rule out any serious health issues that could be causing your dog to feel this way. Some behaviors that could mean your dog is anxious include:

veterinary examing cute beagle dog

  • Compulsions: Compulsive over-grooming, pacing, or jumping could be a sign your dog is feeling anxious.
  • Hiding: An anxious dog may hide under something or curl into a ball.
  • Aggression: If a dog is suddenly aggressive, it may be a sign of anxiety.
  • Barking: Excessive barking and howling is a sign of anxiety in dogs.
  • Chewing: Chewing furniture, bedding, or other household items could be a sign of an anxious dog.

Identifying Risk Factors

Some risk factors for dogs who may experience pain or anxiety have to do with their breed, age, background, and health history. Identifying some of these risk factors can help you to prepare for the possibility of your dog experiencing these issues and how to help them. For example, some dogs may be more prone to anxiety depending on their breed. Working breeds may become anxious without enrichment and exercise. A dog who has experienced neglect or abuse will be more susceptible to separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, feeling overwhelmed around a lot of people, etc. Identifying these risk factors can help prepare you for the possibility of treating them for anxiety.

Older dogs experience a lot of health problems that can cause pain. Dogs who have health issues may also be more susceptible to pain than healthier dogs. Things like arthritis, dental issues, and injuries can result in your dog experiencing pain. Knowing this can help you, and your vet keeps an eye out for signs that your dog is hurting and help you to make a plan for pain management.

Natural Supplements

If you and your vet have decided that your pet’s pain isn’t so severe that it requires prescription pain medication, or that the side effects are problematic for your dog’s health, you may try looking into natural health supplements for pain. Similarly, if you’ve decided you want to try a natural remedy for their anxiety, there are some natural methods you can try.

Pain:

  • St. John’s Wort: St. John’s wort can help reduce pain in the muscles, joints, and nerve endings and is applied topically.
  • Cayenne: The cayenne herb has capsaicin which can block pain receptors and increase circulation. There are cayenne creams you can apply topically.
  • Turmeric: This anti-inflammatory has a similar effect to cortisone and can be fed to dogs by adding it to their food.

Anxiety:

  • CBD oil: CBD oil has anxiety relief and pain relief properties. It can be added to their food or purchased as a treat. Just be sure it’s CBD oil meant for dogs that doesn’t contain any THC.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile is an herb that works as a sedative. You can use it as a tea that you can pour into their water, or in the form of a calming spray to apply topically.
  • Lavender: Lavender has calming properties. You can apply lavender to your dog topically as an essential oil.

Personal Closeness

Another natural remedy to help your dog with pain or anxiety is just to be near them. Again, if your dog is in severe pain, it’s not enough to be near them — they need to visit the vet. Otherwise, for many dogs, their owner’s presence is calming for them. For dogs experiencing anxiety, your affection can help them to cope and may calm them even better than many medications or natural supplements. Our animals offer us many positive mental health effects, and we have the ability to offer the same to them.

You might try sleeping with your pup in your bed in order to help them stay calm at night or if they are feeling anxious. Not only can this help them, but it can also be beneficial for you as well. If they are triggered by something making them anxious, like fireworks or visitors, stick close to them, so they feel safe. If you notice your dog is experiencing pain, you can try sitting with them and speaking in positive tones so that they begin to feel calm. You might even try petting them or massaging problem areas. Just be aware that not all dogs feel calmed by their owner and may get aggressive under these circumstances, so use caution.

Creating a Safe Space

Many dogs feel much more at ease when they’re experiencing pain or anxiety when they can retreat to their own space to feel safe. Help your dog feel safe by creating this space for them in your home. This area should be only theirs, filled with their scent, and away from overwhelming sounds or stimulus. Often this safe space can be exactly what a dog needs, which is a natural remedy that can mimic a dog’s natural extinct to be in a den.

 smiling dog on bed

  • Kennel Training: Proper crate training is important in making sure your dog associates their crate with comfort. Once you’ve done this correctly, your dog can retreat to this space whenever they need.
  • A Comfy Bed: A comfortable bed can help dogs who experience pain due to arthritis, sore muscles, or injury.
  • Practicing Avoidance: If you know your dog’s trigger, you can use their safe space to help them avoid the thing that causes pain or anxiety.
  • The Power of Music: In your dog’s safe space, you might try to play music in order to promote feelings of peace. An added perk is that it can also help to drown out anxiety-inducing sounds in or around your home.

Exercise

Exercise is a great natural remedy for your dog who experiences pain or anxiety. If dogs were to create a list of self-care activities to help their mental health, exercise would be on there. Dogs love to run, complete tasks and explore the world around them. For dogs who experience pain, it’s important to find ways to exercise that won’t exacerbate their discomfort. Swimming is a great option for dogs who experience arthritis or other similar ailments.

Exercise can also help dogs who are anxious. It taps into their natural instincts, allows them to interact with you, and expands their energy. Because so many dogs feel anxious as a result of boredom or a lack of enrichment, exercise can really help to reduce anxiety and the side effects that result from it. For example, if your dog is destructive when they are left alone, it may help to play a few minutes of fetch with them before you leave.

Just because your dog is experiencing pain or anxiety doesn’t mean they should immediately be put on a prescription medication that could have harmful side effects. However, it’s also important to note that natural remedies don’t always work for extreme cases and it’s not okay to leave your pet in pain if they need to be medicated. Talking to your vet about your dog’s needs should always be your first step. In terms of natural remedies, there are many options that may work for your pooch. Natural supplements, providing them with attention, creating a safe place for them, and providing them with sufficient enrichment and exercise are all natural remedies for pain and anxiety that can help your dog live a happier life.


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The Essentials of Doggy Daycare

We all need to leave our pups behind from time-to-time. It may be because we have to put in some long hours at work. Or it could be because we’re finally taking that vacation we’ve saved up for. Either way, leaving our dogs alone in the house can often lead to pent up energy and unruly behavior. For many of us, a dog door with a big backyard isn’t an option, so we end up with the occasional mess because the dog-sitter doesn’t make it there in time to let them out. Luckily, doggy daycare centers are increasing in popularity, and are popping up all over the country. The only downside is that doggy daycare can lead to a dog ear infection or other common ailments that can be common to shared spaces. However, with just a few simple precautions and some smart daycare research, we can keep our pups healthy, well socialized, and well-behaved.

What To Look For When Shopping Doggy Daycare Facilities

Some of us use doggy daycare as a way to help our pups pass the time and enjoy themselves while we work our nine-to-fives. Others just like to give their pups some fun with furry friends, while we have dog-free get-togethers. Whatever the reason, the wrong doggy daycare will send home a frightened or even sick pup. The right doggy daycare will send home a happy, well-adjusted, and hopefully tired pup from playing all day. This quick reference checklist can help anyone understand what to look for when shopping locations and investigating whether daycare is a great fit.

Facilities tour:

Walk in and ask for a tour. It’s the easiest way to get a good look at where dogs are kept all day. Is it dark, bright, spacious, or cramped? Chances are, if we feel uncomfortable there, our dog will too. Be extra careful to check for unsupervised areas or blind corners where a doggy daycare leader may not be able to see some dogs while observing others. And look for comforts like a variety of clean toys. There should be lots of fresh water available from fountains, rather than bowls that can run out of water and can collect saliva and germs. Also, look around for practical design features like non-skid surfaces so playful dogs won’t injure themselves while running and jumping.

Cleanliness Check:

Some facilities boast cameras with a live internet feed, but nothing can replace actually walking through a facility. We can check for foul smells that cameras just can’t show us. A bad smell means they aren’t cleaning up after the dogs often enough. Does it look like they sweep and power wash often? If they don’t, we risk exposing our dogs to the many diseases and infections other dogs can bring with them. Do they have an indoor and an outdoor area? If so, are they both kept clean? And what about the dogs themselves? Are they pretty clean? Or are they running around an outdoor area that has mud puddles? Every facility should have an indoor and outdoor space, or at least a covered protected area. All spaces and everything in them should be clean at all times.

Intake and Orientation:

What does the intake or interview process look like? Do they take anyone as long as they can pay? Or do they have strict rules about the dogs they allow into their facility? Also, what is their process for eliminating problem dogs? We want our dogs to be as safe as possible, which means the intake process should be more than checking a vaccination record and getting a check. Do they insist on a trial period where they will test dogs to ensure they are sociable? Do they have relationships with local trainers so those who need a little work before being allowed into daycare can get a referral? The more interested they are in serving their community and keeping the dogs happy, not just the guardians, the better.

Ratios and Risks:

Even the most experienced dog sitter can only handle so many dogs at once. Some states have rules, but others do not. Many associations have made rulings about what they think is an okay ratio. On average, 15 dogs for every human guardian dedicated to keeping their eyes on the dogs is considered acceptable. More careful doggy daycare facilities will have smaller ratios to break up the occasional fight while keeping an eye on the other dogs. We all need to decide on what we’re comfortable with but listen carefully to the reasons the facility manager gives. Do they say, “it’s the best number because it’s the law” or do they say, “it’s the best number because we care about every dog getting the right amount of supervision?”

Training and Philosophy:

Sometimes we can make an educated assessment of the best ratio and weigh the risks if we understand the training each staff member has and their philosophy about animal welfare. Some are certified trainers. Others are high school students earning a few extra bucks working under a manager who has training, but who isn’t physically present with the staff member and the dogs. We can also ask them why they do what they do. Is it just a job? Or do they really love spending time with dogs every day? Do they believe dogs just need to fend for themselves as long as they don’t fight? Or do they want the dogs under their care to enjoy themselves, play, socialize, and have a good experience? The answers matter when it comes to the wellbeing, health, and safety of our canine companions.

Division and Details:

Dividing the dogs into groups and categories can be just as important as bringing them together into play areas. Puppies shouldn’t be placed in the same areas as full-grown dogs. Senior dogs need to be in a slower-paced area where they won’t be balled over by more youthful dogs running around at full speed. Big dogs and small dogs aren’t necessarily placed together because small dogs can look tempting to dogs who like to critter. And smaller dogs can be intimidated and frightened if they suddenly find themselves surrounded by several large dogs. Many facilities will require a temperament test to make sure a dog is fit for the very social atmosphere of doggy daycare, but that isn’t necessarily enough. Double check that the facility has rules about how pups are divided and the details behind their reasons.

Permits and Policies:

Many facilities will have rules and policies about the dogs they accept. They need to make sure the dogs are in good health, have all their vaccinations, are spayed and neutered. They’ll often have a limit on the number of days a dog can spend at a daycare in 1 week. This is because even though humans need a safe place to send their pups for a variety of reasons, dogs also need some downtime, away from the constant politics of group socializing. Otherwise, they run the risk of some dogs growing irritated over time. It’s also advisable that we all check the permits and licensing of doggy daycare centers. We can check with the chamber and the better business bureau. And we can look at reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. These can be a critical guide when seeking a high-quality center with a good track record.

Amenities and Extras:

Amenities can set one facility apart from all the rest. And most centers don’t charge for their ‘extras’ because they want to advertise a minimum level of care. They know what canine companions deserve, rather than risk looking like they are trying to nickel-dime their patrons. Extras may include fresh, clean bedding provided for dogs who want to take a little mid-day nap. They may have a swimming pool with additional staff members available. Some facilities will offer up to two private-time meals per day with owner supplied food. They’ll usually also administer prescriptions if needed. And some facilities will even offer an exit bath at the management’s discretion, just in case dogs end up extra disty, have an accident, or are covered in playtime slobber.

Conclusion

From grooming to boarding, training to daycare, simple dog-sitting to resort-style spas, doggy daycare can offer a range of services and an array of options. Some may be a big room with some water and toys and where pups can play for a few hours while their guardians run errands. Others can end up being a canine companion idyllic home-away-from-home, where they are spoiled and love nothing more than to play with their beastie besties. Whatever we decide, we just need to make sure we make the best decisions for our fur-baby’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. We may need to choose something that will be easy on our wallet’s, but let’s also make sure our final choice is a place that will keep our pup’s tails wagging long after they’ve left, and with excited anticipation for their next visit.


Author bio:
Maria Harutyunian is the PR team lead at Vet Organics. She writes about dogs and pets, in general, to help pet owners like her take better care of their furry family members.

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Home Remedies for Dogs: What Works and What Doesn’t

If your pooch is under the weather, your first port of call must be your vet. However, some minor maladies, such as cuts and scratches, can be treated at home. You may also want to supplement your vet’s ministrations with some supportive home care. Luckily, some common household products can be used in particular situations to help your dog. Always check with your vet first to ensure you are doing the right thing.

dog welcome home on brown mat

I often see posts on social media from desperate dog owners, asking the dog community for advice regarding their sick or injured pet. Since most dog owners are not scientists or vets, they cannot be called upon as experts in dog medicine. As a result, the answer thread is usually a mire of pseudoscience and anecdotes that are as well-intentioned as they are dangerous. How is the original poster supposed to distinguish between useful and harmful? The following list is based on the most commonly suggested home remedies I have seen. With their efficacies backed up by scientific research, clinical studies, and logic.

Coconut oil: An Excellent Moisturiser, But a Poor Medicine

Its high smoke point does not give it magical properties.

Coconut oil is revered for its supposed ability to improve your dog’s skin and coat, help his digestion, fight infection and irritable bowel, and even heal wounds. Some people add coconut oil to their dog’s food; others rub it into the skin and then wash it off. While small amounts of coconut oil in your dog’s diet won’t do him any great harm, podgy pooches can do without the added calories. Research on the effects of coconut oil on dog health is scarce; most studies have been conducted using petri dishes or mice.

There is no evidence that feeding coconut oil to your dog will have any effect on his skin, coat, or digestion. Claims of antibacterial properties are based on studies investigating bacteria from human mouths or petri dishes. Whilst lauric acid, the main source of saturated fat in coconut oil, has some limited antimicrobial properties in a petri dish, those properties are not carried by coconut oil. There is, therefore, no reason to feed your dog coconut oil, except as a treat if he likes it.

Coconut Oil: Benefits

So is coconut oil of any use at all? Potentially, yes. Coconut oil penetrates human hair better than mineral oil does, so it may improve coat health and shine if used in a shampoo or rubbed into the coat and washed off. One good source is CocoTherapy Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.

However, it should not be applied to open sores or wounds. Doing so may trap dirt, inhibit wound cleaning, or cause your dog to lick the wound more since he may like the flavor! There is no evidence that coconut oil is more effective than standard antiseptics, or simply cleaning and dressing the wound. And rats in a lab do not translate to your dog at home: a clean cut on a clean rat in a clean environment is less likely to become dirty or infected than a dog who likes to roll around in the garden and lie down in puddles.

Turmeric: a delicious spice, and nothing more.

An ancient Ayurvedic treatment for many ills, but sadly it will not help your dog.

Touted as a wonder spice, I have seen turmeric recommended by dog owners as a treatment for pain, inflammation, and even some serious conditions such as cancer. You can even buy or make “golden paste,” a suspension of turmeric in various wholesome-sounding oils, often mixed with other spices to improve the (otherwise poor) absorption of curcumin by the body.

Turmeric contains curcumin, the supposed active compound. Curcumin gives mixed results in clinical trials, sometimes giving scientists hope in developing a wonder-drug by showing signs that it has done useful things when it hasn’t. Research in curcumin is prolific and sometimes promising, but never definitive. While it may appear to cause various effects on living tissue in the lab, no double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in humans or dogs has ever shown curcumin to be effective as a medicine. If your pet is suffering from painful or inflamed joints, applying a cold pack (make sure it is not uncomfortably cold) or giving him a gentle dog massage may help him feel better.

Turmeric: Benefits

However, the curcumin in turmeric may reduce inflammation and can be good for your arthritic dog. One good source is Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin Bites. It can also have a calming effect.

In the study, the dogs were given 8 mg of curcumin per kilogram of body weight. My 25 kg herding dog mix would, therefore, need 200 mg per day. Since turmeric powder only contains 1-4% curcumin, that translates to 3-10 generous teaspoons of turmeric a day sprinkled on his food, and that’s assuming that all the curcumin in the turmeric is bioavailable (able to be absorbed by the body), which it is not. Curcumin and turmeric have been shown to be toxic in humans and lab animals if ingested in large quantities, and long-term use as a dog supplement carries risks. Feeding large quantities to dogs is therefore not advisable until further research has determined how much is too much.

Even two teaspoons of turmeric is a lot for one meal.

Garlic: can help to heal wounds, but should not be given orally

Don’t feed this to your dog.

Garlic is not something I see recommended very often, except as an oral supplement for parasite control. This is unfortunate, as it has great potential as a home remedy – though not as a parasite preventor. Garlic is poisonous to dogs in moderate to high doses (15-30g per kg can cause serious illness or death), and even small amounts should probably not be fed long-term. Garlic should not be fed to your dog as a vitamin supplement or antibiotic, or to treat or prevent cancer, due to the availability of more effective, well-researched, and safe alternatives. Feeding your dog a balanced meat-based diet, supplemented with a small amount of safe fruit and vegetables, should be enough to preclude vitamin deficiency.

If you shouldn’t feed garlic to your dog, what use does it have as a remedy? Garlic contains some powerful antimicrobial properties which can help prevent infection and promote wound healing. For small, fresh wounds, applying a tiny amount of garlic mixed with water on a clean cloth or dressing may help prevent it from becoming infected, provided that you also keep the wound clean and prevent your dog from licking it.

Apple cider vinegar: delicious in salads, but useless as a medicine

Your dog may enjoy a slice of apple as a treat, but he won’t appreciate the vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is popular among humans for treating all manner of minor complaints. That is their choice. But to recommend it as a dog medicine is irresponsible, as there is little evidence that apple cider vinegar does anything medically useful in any animal. Furthermore, there is no evidence that apple cider vinegar is more medically useful than any other kind of vinegar. If you pour vinegar directly onto cancer cells, they die (it is acid, after all), but that does not mean apple cider vinegar cures or prevents cancer in dogs.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Good for Dogs?

There is some evidence that vinegar reduces blood glucose spikes in diabetic humans and rats, and reduces the appetite, promoting weight loss. However, that does not mean you should give it to your dog, as it does not decrease glucose absorption, and these studies were in humans, not dogs; there is no evidence that apple cider vinegar has any beneficial effect on dogs. Additionally, feeding acidic liquid to your pet is not good for his teeth, and may cause issues with the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Applied topically, any vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, its acidic profile can irritate or even burn skin, especially after frequent or prolonged skin contact. Vinegar is not recommended for use on wounds or damaged skin. This may hurt your dog and irritate the area. It does not prevent or heal allergic reactions. A diluted solution of any vinegar may help keep your floppy-eared dog’s ears free of bacteria and fungi, but test it on a small patch of his delicate ear skin first to ensure it won’t cause any reaction, and don’t get it into his ear canal or any places where you can’t rinse it off.

Honey: as good on wounds as it is on toast

Drizzle it on ice cream, a gammon joint, or your dog’s grazed paw.

Dogs often suffer minor cuts and scratches, for example from poking their noses into cat-related situations. Keeping the wounds clean and dry is usually enough to allow them to heal fine. Large wounds and those that have become infected should see a vet. However, sometimes you may feel like applying something to the wound to prevent it from becoming infected. As mentioned above, vinegar and coconut oil are not good things to apply to wounds, but a mixture of garlic and water might prevent infection or cure addictions, and is harmless so long as your dog doesn’t keep licking it off.

No human ointment should be applied, as many are poisonous. However, honey possesses powerful antibacterial properties and is safe for (non-diabetic) dogs to ingest in small quantities. In fact, some vets apply honey to wounds that won’t heal. My dog recently had a tumor removed, and the stitches became infected. His vet applied honey under the bandage as a topical antiseptic. He is also on antibiotics, as honey is not a magical cure-all. It only works on the surface, but for a minor wound, honey alone may be effective at preventing infection.

A little bit of honey goes a long way to heal a small wound.

Many people, when talking about honey, recommend that you buy organic, raw, or manuka (tea tree) honey. However, you can save a few bucks buying regular honey. All honey is antibacterial, as it contains a lot of sugar and a little hydrogen peroxide. (it is worth noting here that hydrogen peroxide, while effective at killing bacteria, and promoting wound closure, can delay wound healing even in low concentrations, and should never be directly applied to wounds). Manuka honey may be slightly more effective at lower concentrations than regular honey. But if you’re going to slather it on undiluted, it doesn’t matter what kind you. There is little evidence to suggest that manuka honey is more effective than other honey types. Certainly not enough to justify the price difference.

Conclusion

When considering your dog’s health, you want to make sure that any substance you use will help him without harm. If you are unsure about any particular substance, always check with your vet before using it on your dog; many things that are safe for us are poisonous to them. Natural substances are as likely to be harmful as artificial stuff. Wasp stings and snake bites are a testament to that. Just because somebody used a particular ingredient on their dog and they believe it worked; does not mean that ingredient will heal your dog. While most of the substances listed above are not the miracle cures, research continues into the healing properties of kitchen ingredients.


Janet Miller is a dog trainer, former AKC judge and lifelong dog lover. She writes regularly for Your Dog Advisor, The Bark and a number of other dog-related blogs.


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Dog Bites: Prevention & Liability

We all want what’s best for our dogs. We raise them to be outstanding, friendly, and well-behaved community members. Some dog owners may think that their sweet pups are harmless. Regardless of their general behavior, they experience such personal relationships with their furry friends, as we all do. However, a dog’s sweet demeanor does not always mean they’re incapable of biting unsuspecting people or other dogs.

Injuries

Dog bites are actually relatively common. Every year, almost 5 million people are bitten by dogs; and 30,000 of these cases are so severe that the victims needed reconstructive procedures, often needing to find a way to manage chronic pain for the rest of their lives.

These staggering injury statistics are proof that all dogs are capable of biting. Especially, when they aren’t properly trained and are provoked by children or adults. When a dog bites someone, dog owners are placed in a very complicated situation. They can even be at risk of losing their best friend.

However, dog bites are preventable. As long as dogs are given the proper tools to learn positive behaviors and acceptable boundaries. Dog owners should spend time learning about their dogs’ personality in order to understand how to prevent dog bites from occurring.

Preventing Dog Bites From Occurring

Preventing dog bites is all about giving your dog the time and attention they need to learn what behaviors are acceptable for them to engage in, as well as doing your part as a dog owner to make sure they always feel safe and comfortable. Training your dog can’t begin early enough; this is especially true if you adopt them as a puppy. In this case, you have the opportunity to socialize them, build their confidence, and provide structure for their interactions with others.

Some ways to help prevent your dog from biting include:

  • Being Aware of Their Limits: Dogs often bite when they feel threatened, physically unwell or are protecting their owner, food, or favorite possessions.
  • Going Through Obedience Training: Your dog is less likely to bite if they’ve been taught to obey basic commands.
  • Spaying or Neutering Your Dog: Some research has indicated that spayed or neutered dogs are less aggressive than those who are not; this is also just a responsible choice for pet owners to keep pet populations down.
  • Getting Them Accustomed to Petting: Train them to behave when they are pet and touched on their head, paws, and tail, so they don’t feel surprised when a stranger does this.
  • Socializing Your Dog: Use treats and exposure to a familiar child to teach them to be extra gentle around kids and adults in general.
  • Using Positive Reinforcement: When your dog behaves well around children and strangers, give them treats to let them know they’re doing a good job.
  • Letting Your Dog Growl: Dog owners often train their pets not to growl because it is a threatening behavior; however this is a good warning sign that they’re uncomfortable.
  • Hiring a Professional Dog Trainer: If you can’t seem to get your dog’s behavior under control; hire a professional who will know how to adjust their behavior properly.

Red Flags

When red-flag dog behaviors begin to occur, you can take action by helping them learn that these habits or actions are not appropriate. For example, dogs who chew excessively can often bite or gnaw on people when they don’t have toys around. As a dog owner, it’s best to give them plenty of toys for them to chew on; and if they begin to chew on anything else, reprimand them with a stern, “No.”

Dogs are also more likely to bite if they are wound up and unable to release some energy, as this can cause them to become frustrated and physically uncomfortable. For dogs who require a lot of exercise, be sure to take them outside and give them plenty of playtime.

If you feel in over your head about how to handle bad behaviors in your dog, consider hiring a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They will have the knowledge and experience to help stop your pup from gnawing on hands or excessive biting of other items. This will give them the training foundation they need to learn obedience and continue life-long training to ensure model behavior.

Misconceptions of Averse Training

Although there are many different ways you can help your pup break bad biting habits, averse training techniques should  be avoided by dog owners. Averse dog training techniques are sometimes used by dog owners and even some trainers, including Cesar Millan — the TV personality, The Dog Whisperer.

These type of training techniques involve using unpleasant stimuli on a dog to encourage a reaction and inhibit their behavior. It can involve anything from the use of electric shock collars, pinch collars, and even restricting a dog’s air supply by using rope or pinning them down to the ground. All of these averse training techniques involve the use of force, which causes the dog pain and distress during training.

Bad Training

Certain training techniques have been rejected by animal welfare organizations. They have stated that averse training techniques are not only unacceptable; but also not the most effective way to modify a dog’s behavior. In fact, research shows that there is actually a connection between the use of these techniques in dog training, and undesired behaviors in dogs that appears eventually after this type of training is used.

According to the Dog Welfare Campaign, averse training techniques have implications such as:

  • Increasing the dogs fear or anxiety about the situation in which this training is used.
  • Decrease the dog’s ability to learn.
  • Associate other, coincidental events with a fear-provoking event.
  • Inhibit behavior, but leave the underlying emotional response unchanged, increasing the chance of future problems.
  • Induce new avoidance or aggressive responses.
  • Confusion as to which behavior is required.
  • Causing physical injury to the dog.

Averse dog training techniques use fear to train dogs into becoming obedient. This type of training can make them feel as though they are being physically forced to behave rather than deciding to do so on their own. Eventually causing them to act out further if they feel like they are being put in a threatened position.

Good Training

The most effective way to change a dog’s behavior is through positive reinforcement training techniques, and talking to them in a way that helps them understand what is good and bad. It involves rewarding your dog’s positive behavior with food, praise, toys or play to encourage more of it. By establishing rituals, a dog will learn what behaviors will result in the things they enjoy in life and will do more often. Teaching a dog to exhibit certain behaviors is why positive reinforcement is seen as the best and more effective training method.

Liability of Dog Bites for Owners

In the past, if your dog bit someone, they would be held to the “one bite rule.” This rule means that the law protects dogs and dog owners if the bite was a first-time offense. This was done to give dog owners a chance to correct this behavior in their dogs. With the idea that after the dog owner learned that the dog has a tendency to bite, they would prevent it from happening again.

However, this is now only the law in Colorado, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In other states, depending on the exact situation, dog owners will be held accountable for their dog’s actions. They will also be required to pay any expenses associated with them.

Today, liability is determined through jurisdictions of either negligence or strict liability. In a case of negligence, the dog owner would be liable if they knew or should have known that the dog might bite and took precautions to prevent the bite from occurring based on that prior knowledge.

Strict Liability

Strict liability can hold dog owners liable. Even if their dog bites someone when there was nothing the owner could have done to prevent the situation. However, there are some circumstances in which a dog owner will not be liable for civil damages if their dog bites.

In order for a dog owner to be liable, the following circumstances must be true:

  • The dog must have attacked or tried to attack and injure the person.
  • The person who they attacked had a lawful right to be where they were.
  • The dog was not provoked by the person they bit.

Owner Responsibility

If any of these circumstances aren’t true, a dog owner may very well not be liable for the dog bite. This means that if a dog bites someone during a break-in, the dog owner will not be held liable. It also means that if a person kicks, antagonizes, or otherwise hurts a dog; the animal has a right to defend itself.

However, if those circumstances are true, a dog owner can be held liable for any medical bills associated with the attack; as well as income lost; on top of the pain and suffering that occurs as a result of the attack.

Dog bites can be a very stressful and scary situation to find yourself in as a dog owner. You may feel that you did something wrong for this reaction to have occurred from your dog. However, it’s important to stand by your pet if they were provoked. Take preventative measures to avoid dog bites in the future. Using positive training techniques, you can help teach your dog not to bite. Show them the benefits of being a very good boy or girl.


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