Home Blog Page 2

10 Tasty People Foods You Can Safely Feed Your Dog

0

By Jackie Newton

We’ve all done it, even though we’re not supposed to– we’ve all fed Fido table scraps when no-one was looking. How can you resist those cute puppy eyes?

Rest assured, you’re not alone, all doggie parents seasoned and not have done the same thing.

Apart from additional nutrients and variety, human foods are a useful tool for your dog’s training, reinforcing good behaviour.

So let’s jump right into it. Below is our recommended top 10 dog approved people foods to feed your furry friend for a varied and healthy canine diet.

Yogurt

Packed with protein, calcium and friendly bacteria yogurt makes a great snack not just for humans but for dogs too. Especially when used in a frozen KONG! It will help keep their bones healthy and digestive system running smoothly. Here’s a tip: choose the unsweetened version – it’s a healthier option and lower in calories too. We don’t want any unnecessary weight gain!

Green Beans

Ah, another rich source of protein are beans and dogs just seem to go crazy for green beans. Mine does! They are a rich source of iron and other minerals and vitamins A, C and K. Essential for you but also your pup and besides being yummy they’re also low in calories and happen to be very filling.  Win-win!

Salmon

Oily fish such as salmon are a superfoods of which your dog should not be deprived. These fish are packed with omega fatty acids, protein and healthy fats. They’ll help your pup with his energy levels, his coat, joints and brain health. Have we mentioned how tasty it is as well? Your dog’s taste buds, like ours, will beg you for more. Tip: don’t feed your dog raw or uncooked salmon since in its raw form it sometimes contains parasites that will make your dog sick.

Sliced Apple

An apple a day will keep the doctor away! Same is true for dogs, but stick to feeding your dog apple slices and remove the core and seeds since these can be toxic. Apples are another healthy snack for dogs since they’re rich in fiber. Fiber helps keep the doggie digestive tract in check. In addition to being a rich source of vitamins A and C, it’s also great for cleaning your pup’s teeth and promoting fresh breath. A natural dog breath freshener and cheap too!

Peanut Butter

You’ve guessed it – peanut butter makes for a healthy delicious snack and a great treat especially in a KONG toy. This food is a healthy source of protein and healthy fats that you can safely give your dog. Packed with vitamins B, E and niacin your dog will devour it. But like with humans, limit how much you give your dog since it’s a densely calorific food too. Tip: buy the unsalted version since it’s a healthier option.

Cheese

Cheese is another great treat that we’re sure your dog will love, that is unless he is lactose intolerant. Cheese is a great source of calcium that will help keep their bones and joints healthy. Tip: choose the low-fat version or cottage cheese since these have lower fats and are healthier alternatives.

Carrots

Don’t be afraid to feed your dog baby carrots since these are rich in fiber and beta carotene. Carrots will help clean your dog’s teeth, promote good eyesight and healthy skin. Both raw and cooked carrots are safe for dogs to eat.

Sweet Potato

A great source of easy-to-digest complex carbohydrates for your dog which slowly releases energy throughout the day. It’s lower in calories that white potatoes too and similar to carrots it’s packed with vitamin A, fiber and other nutrients. Try feeding your dog cooked sweet potato, or mix it directly with their other food.

Oatmeal

Yup – dogs love it, that is if they are not grain intolerant. It’s also a great alternative to wheat which so many dogs are allergic to. Oatmeal is a rich source of soluble fiber so it helps keep their GI tract moving and is another great slow-energy releasing food.

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein which are easily digestible and will also help keep your pup’s coat healthy and shiny. Serve as either scrambled or boiled and cut into edible chunks. Eggs are very filling, so just keep it to one egg per serving 2-3 times per week.

These are just a few of the canine-friendly human foods that you can help supplement your dog’s diet.  Remember though to keep servings small as part of their total calorie intake since this is not a free for all.

Jackie Newton is a dog-lover and blogger at IconicPup.com and she can be followed at www.facebook.com/iconicpup/.

3 Pet-Friendly Pest Control Practices

0

Your pet is important to you, which is why when pests invade your home, your top priority is keeping your furry friend safe. You want to get rid of the pests, but you also know that some pesticides will harm your pet. To help you keep your pet healthy and keep your home pest free, below are three pet-friendly pest control practices.
 

Prevention Is the Key

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the same goes for pest control. It is much easier and safer on your pets to prevent pests from ever getting into your home in the first place than to get rid of them once they have gotten in.

Do your research on what pests are common to your area and how to keep them out. Most pests are attracted to food, water, or warmth. Don’t leave any food out uncovered, and remove any sources of standing water. Elmhurst Pest Control recommends having routine home inspections to make sure that you catch any problems early on. You can also use plants that discourage pests. Lavender, marigolds, peppermint, and rosemary are very effective in discouraging pests, with the added bonus of making your garden pretty.

Use Pesticides Safely

If, despite your best efforts, pests do manage to get in, you do have pet-friendly options for clearing them out. Natural herbs and oils, such as peppermint and cinnamon are very effective in discouraging pests. You can also use diatomaceous earth to kill pests. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, so it is safe to use outside and inside.

If you decide to use a pest control company, look for one that specializes in green pest control. Green pest control companies use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic treatments that won’t harm you or your pets. Make sure you ask these companies what they plan to do to make sure their products really are pet-friendly. Ask for a Materials Safety Data Sheet, which lists the potential hazards or and how to safely work with different products. If the company does not have a Materials Safety Data Sheet, do not let them start treatments until you have time to review their products.

Properly Store and Dispose of All Pesticides

You can also keep your pet safe by taking care in how you store and dispose of leftover pesticides. To prevent accidental poisoning, keep chemicals in the original container. Read any safety labels thoroughly. There are instructions on safe use, storage and disposal. Make sure you store any chemicals in an area that your pets cannot access, like high shelves in cupboards or closets.

In short, it is possible to keep your home free of pests without harming your pets. If you practice prevention and use, store, and dispose of all pesticides properly, the only extra occupant in your house will be a healthy and happy pet.

10 Amazing Benefits of Massage for Dogs

0

By Gene Rukavina, RVT, CCMT

The number one misconception I come across is the notion that only elderly dogs need massage therapy. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is certainly the case that massage is excellent for elderly dogs, since one important benefit is the reduction of discomfort from arthritis (painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints).

However, canine massage therapy has so many other benefits, with improved blood circulation being the most important. As with humans, a dog’s muscles and fascia undergo microscopic damage on a daily basis that needs to be repaired through increased blood flow (blood delivers oxygen and important nutrients throughout the body). Here are 10 other key benefits:

  1. Reduces stress and relaxes the body. Think about it, the typical city dwelling dog must deal with all types of external stressors in their environment. Stress is bad for your dog’s health just like it is for us.
  2. Increases the flexibility of soft tissue. Your dog’s ability to move its joints depends on the soft tissue that surrounds each joint. When this soft tissue becomes tight and loses flexibility, it can cause pain and injury.
  3. Aids in the elimination of bodily waste products and toxins. Through improved circulation, chemicals are released that help eliminate toxins from your dog’s muscles and other tissues throughout its body. Dogs must be encouraged to drink water after their massage, and they will most likely have to go to the bathroom sooner than expected.
  4. Helps to maintain good posture and body balance. Poor posture and body imbalance can have a domino effect on your dog’s body. I can always tell when a dog I am massaging is walked with a leash attached to their collar. One side of their body inevitably has more stress than the other. Dogs instinctively compensate for pain or injury by bearing less weight on the injured or painful area, while bearing additional weight on the opposite side. Proper posture and body balance can help avoid further injury to your dog, while also helping to reduce injuries in the future.
  5. Helps injured muscle heal faster. Dogs can’t tell you when or where their muscles hurt. Massage brings relief to injured muscles, and it’s very rewarding when a dog lets me know with a look or deliberate change in body position that I have hit the right spot!
  6. Improves athletic performance. This is particularly important for working dogs, show dogs, or dogs that compete on agility courses.
  7. Loosens and softens scar tissue. Scar tissue is a normal reaction to injury. Even simple everyday actions can lead to a buildup of scare tissue. Adhesions are small bits of scar tissue that bind the tissues around them, leading to stiffness and a reduction in strength and range of motion. It is important to remove these scar tissue adhesions on your dog in order to reduce pain and restore strength and good range of motion.
  8. Prevents atrophy in inactive muscles. Let’s face it, many city dogs spend much more time on soft cushions and pillows than they do walking and exercising. Increased blood flow delivers much needed oxygen and nutrients to these underused muscles.
  9. Releases endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers, sometimes called “nature’s Novocain”, that provide relief from chronic pain or discomfort (e.g., arthritis, hip dysplasia) your dog may be experiencing.
  10. Improves muscle tone and range of motion. I always marvel at how my own dogs instinctively stretch when they know they are about to go on a walk. They remind me of athletes stretching before their competition begins. Massage can help facilitate the return of full movement potential to a dog’s joints. Massage can also help prevent loss of tone (flaccidity) or exaggerated tone (spasticity) in a dog’s muscles. I often encounter muscle spasms during a canine massage therapy session that slowly dissipate as the massage therapy takes effect.

The bottom line is that ALL dogs certainly benefit from improved blood circulation, along with many of the other benefits mentioned in this article. It doesn’t matter if it’s a growing puppy or a pampered pooch. Whether it’s a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, their musculature is the same. Whether a dog is active or inactive, the benefits still apply.

Canine massage therapy also helps to socialize a dog (especially puppies and rescues) to the positive aspects of human touch. Canine massage isn’t just for the old dog with stiffness and arthritis– it can be an important prophylactic therapy that promotes health and wellness while extending a dog’s quality of life. If you’ve ever had a massage, then you know firsthand how good you feel afterwards. Your dog deserves to feel the same way!

We already know that one year for our dog equals seven years for us. But, there is more to it than that. A small dog with an average life expectancy of 14 years will reach middle age at seven, while a very large dog may only have an average life expectancy of 10 years with middle age coming at five. Should we, as humans, wait to receive the benefits of massage (which are the same for dogs) until we reach the age of 70? That’s the equivalent of a 10-year old dog! When I put it this way, most skeptical dog owners that have been experiencing the benefits of massage for themselves finally have that light bulb moment. They realize, in that moment, that they have been depriving their own dog of the many benefits that massage therapy provides. Give your dog the ultimate gift and seek out a certified canine massage therapist. Seeing the look on your dog’s face when that knot they couldn’t tell you about is massaged away, the signs of relief from their arthritis or stiffness, or that big doggie smile as their stress slowly melts away are well worth the cost of the massage session! 

Gene Rukavina is a Registered Veterinary Technician, Certified Canine Massage Therapist, and owner of Dancing Dog Massage. For details visit: https://www.dancingdogmassage.com/ or follow Gene on Facebook @dancingdogmassage, Instagram @dancingdoggene, or Twitter @DancingDogGene.

Bone Appetit for Older Dogs

0

By Rick and Paula Gardner

The pup days of endlessly chasing balls and squirrels are long past. These days, when you move toward the kitchen, your graying canine companion looks to you expectantly between the little siestas on the couch as if to say, “So, what’s for dinner?”

If he could talk, he might say, “I’ll have what you’re having!” or “I’ll have the usual (same stuff I’ve been eating for seven years).”

But is this what you should be feeding your older dog?

“Every geriatric pet is different and unique,” says Dr. Stefanie Batts, DVM and Medical Director of VCA Apex in Apex, North Carolina. “The best food for your older dog is a recommendation based on a regular physical exam, blood work, and the pet and owner’s needs.” In general, a highly-digestible, high protein, nutrient-rich kibble made especially for older dogs is in order.

Dr. Korinn Saker, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Clinical Nutrition program at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine asserts it all has to do with what the dog is telling us. Changes are not usually dramatic, so careful observation is in order. “Older dogs need a nutritionally balanced and complete diet. Owners must take into consideration the physiological aspects such as a decline renal, liver, dental, joint and/or heart function; digestive enzymes not being as robust; and a slowing of metabolism.”

A regular veterinary checkup can assess any needed interventions. Some dogs age in a healthy manner while others develop cancer, disease or other debilitating problems. Many age-related problems, if identified early, can be mitigated by simple changes to diet and exercise.

Batts and Saker offer the following considerations for the owners of older dogs:

  • Use a measuring cup to control how much your dog is eating. If your dog is overweight, decrease the amount you are feeding. An overweight dog surely will have joint issues.

  • Portion control of treats and the type of treat need to be adjusted for size and weight. Consider splitting or quartering the treat/bone. Snacks and treats should not exceed more than 10% of the dog’s daily diet.
  • Pieces of plain, cooked chicken with no bones, cheese, and peanut butter are OK in moderation for administering medication.
  • Diets high in fish help decrease inflammation and mobility as well as provide a better quality of life. Ask your vet if omega-3 and/or glucosamine supplements can help as well.
  • Try fresh produce safe for dogs– carrots, green beans, broccoli– or ice cubes as healthy snack alternatives.
  • The problem with making your own food versus buying commercially prepared food is that there may be too much calcium or phosphorus in home cooking. This can be just as bad for a dog as fast food which is loaded with sodium. An older dog’s diet needs to be balanced. Vegetables and vital minor nutrients are essential. Talk to your vet if home cooking is important to you so that you can supplement appropriately.
  • Avoid chocolate, grapes, garlic, bacon, and chicken skin as well as anything fatty, greasy or spicy. All of these are unhealthy or dangerous for all canines.
  • Encourage exercise as this helps your dog maintain weight and overall muscle tone. Allow the older dog to walk on grass instead of pavement.
  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of water as it prevents constipation triggered by a slowing metabolism.
  • Older dogs sometime have bad dentition (teeth). They may have hard time chewing and need soft food. One sign may be food falling out the side of their mouth while eating. Consider moistening dry food with water or no-salt broth.
  • If your dog likes to graze on grass, do not be concerned that she has stomach problems– some dogs just like grass. Be careful to avoid any grass that has just been treated with fertilizers or weed control. Consider using pet-safe products on your lawn, or only treat half of the pet’s play area at a time so there is always “safe grass” to play and graze on.

A final consideration is to make any dietary changes slowly. Just as in humans, dogs can develop gas and other intestinal side effects from a sudden diet change. Batts tells the story of one of her clients who feeds her dog broccoli as a regular snack. The client said, “Oh my gosh! My dog will let one go and it will run me out of the room!” So remember to take things gradually, regardless of the dog’s enthusiasm for new diet or snack options.

With your help and attention to changing nutritional needs over his lifetime, your beloved dog can have many happy older dog days. Carrot or green bean, anyone?

Rick and Paula Gardner support great dog-friendly causes at https://www.facebook.com/BinkyandBell, check them out!

10 Tips for A Dog-Friendly Vacation

0

By Jayne Martin

For many dog owners their pet is a much-loved member of the family, so when it comes to going on holiday, leaving them behind is not an option. Thankfully holiday home owners are wising up to this and you can now find fantastic dog-friendly properties in stunning locations so your four-legged friends don’t have to miss out.

dogs-on-sand

1) There’s a big difference between “we accept dogs” and “dog-friendly” so it is wise to do your research. Call up the booking agent or owner and find out exactly what the dog policy is. How many dogs are allowed? Which rooms are out of bounds? And remember, if you allow your pet on the sofa at home they’re not going to stop when they’re on holiday, so check what the rules are with regards to furniture.

2) Check what dog essentials are provided in your holiday home. Some well-equipped homes will provide everything from dog bowls, beds, old towels to help rub down muddy and sandy paws, food serving forks, poop bags as well as treats and/or balls. You may also like to check if there are blankets or throws to help cover and protect furniture if needed.

3) It may be seen as a bit of a luxury but does your holiday home have under-floor heating? Dogs love to curl up on a warm floor and it’s an effortless way of helping to dry off damp paws quicker.

4) Consider your dog’s safety. Does the property you’re considering have an enclosed garden or gates that can be closed to prevent our four-legged friends going AWOL? Also while out and about exploring, be vigilant for potential hazards such as cliff edges, farm animals and busy roads. If in doubt, keep them on a lead.

dogs-on-water

5) Most properties will allow dogs on the ground floor but not upstairs. If the property is more than one floor, ask if a stair gate is provided to help prevent our pups sneaking off upstairs to find a comfy duvet for a snooze.

6) If you’re heading to the coast, make sure you clue up on which beaches allow dogs before setting off. Many dog-friendly beaches do have restrictions that change depending on the time of year. Tourist information offices are great places for finding maps of dog-friendly beaches, but if you’re lucky, there may be a map available in your holiday home.

7) Before you go, it is worth doing some research into which nearby restaurants and cafes allow dogs. You don’t want to spend hours trekking from pub to restaurant to find one that does. Similarly, with tourist attractions, you don’t want to turn up only to find dogs are not allowed. A good dog-friendly holiday home should supply such information and tips within their information pack.

8) While no-one wants to think about things that could go wrong on holiday, sadly accidents do happen. Get to know where the nearest vet is in the vicinity of your holiday home in case of an emergency. Search for it online and print off a map or directions and leave it in your car.

dog-on-rocks

9) When traveling long distances with your pet remember to keep them secure and safe in the vehicle so they don’t distract you while you are driving, or injure themselves if you need to brake sharply. When you arrive at your destination, take your pet out for a long walk so they can become familiar with their new surroundings. And after a long car journey it’ll be good for the whole family to get a breath of fresh air!

10) Possibly the most important message is NEVER leave a dog in a car on a warm day for any amount of time as it can be dangerous and deadly. If you see a dog in distress in a car while on holiday, dial emergency.

Jayne Martin runs Gwelmor, a three-bedroom holiday home in Widemouth Bay, north Cornwall, which accepts up to three dogs. For details visit https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/cornwall/north-cornwall/gwelmor or follow them on Facebook @GwelmorWidemouthBay, Twitter @gwelmor or Instagram @gwelmor.

FOLLOW GOODDOG

0FansLike
7,007FollowersFollow