Are You Feeding Your Dog The Right Food?


When you shop for dog food do you often wonder whether you are feeding your dog the right food or not?

It’s important that you get reliable advice about feeding your dog a healthy diet. If you’re like me, heading for the pet store to buy something healthy and nutritious for your pet dog can be a daunting experience. There are so many brands and types of dog food on the shelves and I don’t have hours to spend reading the long list of ingredients on every single bag.

When my dog was younger I faithfully followed the vet’s advice and paid higher-than-normal prices for my dog’s food purchased from the vet. As the years progressed and my dog’s taste buds seemed to change to encompass anything he could find to eat, I started shopping for his food at both the pet store and the grocery store. If I thought the pet store was a palace of confusion when shopping for his food, I wasn’t ready for the massive selection of dog food and treats vying for my attention from the grocery shelves. Perhaps “leering at me” is a better way to describe the cornucopia of selections at any supermarket I visited. And if you’ve ever shopped at a “super center” grocery, you have a good idea of how choosing what’s right for your dog becomes a massive chore.

When you’re shopping for food for your pet dog, take the time to discover what is REALLY in the can or bag of food you’re buying. Learn how to read the labels to protect your dog from ingredients that are of no value to your pet and may be injurious to its long-term health. Many ingredients in pet food have no nutritional value and are only added to create volume or add flavor when there is none from natural ingredients. Try to avoid products that have wheat or corn as their first ingredient. Meat or meat-by-products should be the first ingredient listed if you care about providing healthy, nutritional food for your pet.

Your loving pet deserves the same consideration you give yourself when deciding whether to buy or not buy a particular food item at the store. Feed your dog the right food by giving it only healthy products that will help it grow correctly. Feed your dog the healthiest food you can afford, and you’ll be rewarded by having your pet around a lot longer to keep you company.

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Nice Mite photos

Check out these Mite images:

Mite on Slug (B)
Mite

Image by NZ Alex
Another go at capturing the mite that was an unexpected visitor with this slug.

Note: Any creative commons license applied to this image is in addition to certain restrictions. See my profile for more information.

Bow mites
Mite

Image by jc5083
My viola bow is coming home soon. I peeked into the case today and found live wriggling mites as well as a couple carcasses. I feel dirty.

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Kooly The Bear And Friends Give Back To America

True American Dog

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69 customers in 30 days

From April 2 to April 29 of 2007, we were able to get 35 new customers for my sister; picked up 34 for myself. They all came through the Internet and this was right after the beginnings of the gigantic pet food recall of 2007.

What did I do and what do I think was the most effective?

  1. Blog – Are you feeding your pets safe pet foods? *** This was linked all by different forums, 1300 hits per day
  2. PlanetXMail Direct AD 30-days ***
  3. GreenPeople Directory Listing – Premium *** This has always done well for me
  4. Yahoo Answers
  5. GotSafelist – 5,000 guaranteed visitors
  6. MadVlad Safelist
  7. Bulldog Safelist – Top Sponsor ad “What the pet food companies don’t want you to know”
  8. Craigslist Ad – Safe Pet Food

The top 3 were good, I wouldn’t say much came out of any of the rest.

Take-home message is that the blog needs to be alive and well.

A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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Pet Safety During Holidays

Do You Know Your Pet’s Holiday Plans?

The holidays are a busy time. For a brief couple of months, there are parties to plan and attend, decorations to take out of storage, gifts to buy and wrap, and family to endure. There is a lot going on, but you’re not the only one going through it – so are your four-legged friends. The holiday spirit can pose many dangers to your pets.

Decorations

Trees: If you set up a tree in your home, you know that it’s loaded with things your pet will find interesting: lights, glass ornaments, tinsel, ribbons, etc. Make sure that you set tree decorations high enough to keep your pet from reaching them. Tinsel and ribbons (in which cats are particularly interested) can cause choking and intestinal blockage. Pine needles can puncture intestines, so keep the area clean. Secure the tree to the ceiling from the top in order to keep it from falling should your pet be truly determined to access those high-up decorations.

Lights: The danger with holiday lights is clear: risk of electrocution. Even if your pet isn’t ordinarily a chewer, new and interesting things in the home may persuade them to make an exception. As with your tree decorations, ensure that decorative light strings have been securely anchored into position and out of your pet’s reach.

Plants: Many common holiday plants, such as poinsettias, lilies, holly, and mistletoe are poisonous to both humans and animals. Because as humans we generally avoid eating household plants, we may forget that having them accessible to our curious pets can pose the hazard of poisoning. Keep them out of your pet’s reach, or if at all possible, substitute them with a silk or plastic version.

Other decorations: Some other hazardous decorations include: lit candles, snow globes (which may contain toxic substances such as Salmonella or antifreeze), spray snow, potpourri, and ceramic knickknacks. The same principle applies; make them as inaccessible to your pets as possible.

Food and Drink

Chocolate: The stigma around chocolate and dogs has been around for so long that some believe it might just be an urban legend. In fact, chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine. When humans ingest theobromine, we experience a slight increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and sensitivity of the nervous system. Our pets cannot process this alkaloid as efficiently as we can, so the same effects are multiplied. The increased heart rate alone is enough to be fatal. Of course fatality depends much on the amount ingested and the size of the animal, but even small amounts in a large dog can cause intestinal distress (vomiting and diarrhea), seizures, and dehydration. Keep anything with chocolate in it sealed and away from your pets.

ChocolateTable food: Guests may be tempted to feed old begging Fido some of their plate’s leftovers, but do what you can to discourage it. Table scraps can cause stress to your pet’s sensitive digestive system, and in some cases cause pancreatitis. Do not feed your pets food from your table, and ensure that you and your guests do not leave plates unattended.

Alcohol: This goes without saying, but those delicious holiday cocktails should be kept away from your pets. As with theobromine, cats and dogs do not process alcohol with the efficiency that we do. Even small amounts can be harmful, and can go so far as to cause respiratory failures. Keep those drinks in your line of sight and do not leave them unattended.

Pet Anxiety

You may be under a lot of stress knowing your in-laws are on their way from out of town, but your pets have it worse. Holiday gatherings thrust household pets immediately out of their usual comfort zones. Dehydration, intestinal upset such as vomiting or diarrhea, and “accidents” in the house are known reactions to animal stress. Make sure your pet has a safe, quiet place to go in order to escape the chaos. Have an off-limits room with the door open, many dogs enjoy the den-like seclusion of a plastic crate. Take small moments away from your hosting duties to attend to your pet – soothe and calm them alone with your voice. You will also want to ensure that your pet is registered and wearing proper, current I.D. in case they bolt out the door while guests are coming and going.

Small DogSave yourself from expensive vet bills, painful pet behavior, and all of the other traumas that come with an unhappy pet by taking the time to make your home as safe for them as possible. Should your pet ingest a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP. Safe and happy holidays to you and your pets!

Jay Acker heads up a team of writers producing safety training courses and other materials for business customers. They make safety training kits, courseware and safety posters for www.safetyservicescompany.com.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Can the scabies mite be killed with freezing temperatures?

Question by Rachel: Can the scabies mite be killed with freezing temperatures?
I am using permethrin cream, and washing all my bedding and clothes, but I am concerned that my old dryer may not get hot enough to kill the buggers. I have heard that freezing items such as pillows for 48hours can kill the mite, but I have also heard that there is a chance that colder temperatures can make them go dormant and live even longer without a host. Does anyone know the answer either from experience or knowing all there is to know about this parasite?

Best answer:

Answer by Aqwa
Mite survivability:
•Human and canine scabies mites can survive and remain infestive (capable of penetration) for 24-36 hours off-host under room conditions (21°C and 40-80% relative humidity). Lower temperature and high relative humidity may increase survival time up to 19 days for canine scabies mites. At temperatures below 20°C S. scabiei are virtually immobile whereas at 35°C their activity is greatly increased. Dislodged mites respond to host odor and thermal stimuli by actively seeking their source.
•Seasonable trends of occurences of scabies that have been documented in the Israeli Army for over 20 years have shown a higher incidence of scabies in winter than in summer. This can be partly explained by increased survival rate of the mites in cooler temperatures in the environment away from the host, whereas, cold weather encourages ovecrowding of the mite on the host. Mites also can be sensitive to human sweat that contains microbicides.

Don’t worry – washing and drying will kill ALL MITES for sure, even under optimal conditions they do not survive more than a few days.
Scabies mites do not have dormant stages. When they die, they die

http://www.metapathogen.com/scabies/

Give your answer to this question below!

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Do you ever feel like a plastic bag

The call came yesterday evening, when I was sitting on the couch trying to block the sounds of the upstairs neighbor’s daily dance exercises out of my cranium. He or she was dancing to “Firework” on this fine evening, jumping up and down to the beat on top of my head.

Do you ever hate (jump) walls so paper thin (bump)

Like the ceiling’s bout (smash) to come caving in (crash)

Neighbor you’re a piece (thump thump) of work- (thump thump)

C’mon let your ear (tap tap) drums burst – (splat splat)

The cacophony was such that we almost missed my husband’s phone ringing.

We have been waiting on pins and needles to see whether or not our home loan would be approved- these days, even the most squeaky clean amongst us are are subjected to dissection, dismemberment, and CSI levels of antemortem scrutiny at the hands of a troop of pencil pushing lending assistants who hem and haw and question your integrity while you sweat under the lamps. We’re down to the wire, having been pushed to the limits of our deadlines by Thanksgiving and apathetic paper pushers.

We put an offer in on a house a couple of weeks ago. Strangely enough, it was in neither Ticky Tacky Town nor Crazy Town. It was somewhere in between, a place I have yet to really be able to describe. It’s suburban but quiet, with a yard for the dog and lots of trails nearby. The house just kind of showed up on Redfin one day, the previous buyer having fallen out of escrow. And there it landed in my inbox, the exact sort of place I had wanted. Did I mention quiet? We went and looked at it, I fell into a state of infatuation, and we decided to move forward.

The offer is the easy part, these days. The rest of it, the piles of papers and hoops to be jumped through, now that was the fun part. In the midst of all of this, tense and brittle, I of course started to panic. Remorse set in. Did we do the right thing? Is Apollo going to mark up the place? Will Koa even want to move back in with us after being spoiled at Grandma’s for two months? Should we have waited to try and find just the right casa by the beach after all?

Hoping to assuage my doubt, we ventured back over there last weekend to revisit the neighborhood, me hoping that something would jump out at me to underscore the fact that I had chosen the right place to relocate my family for the next two decades. After all of this drama and stress, I wanted to really be sure.

We wandered over to the shopping center, me eyeing the grocery store with interest. Is it a good grocery store? Does that pet store next to it carry Apollo’s special food? And as we drove by the pet store, me twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to jump out at me, something jumped out at me.

About 15 somethings, to be exact.

I rubbed my eyes. 15 Goldens in festive wear.

On the day I was trying to convince myself that this town was my kind of town, the local Golden Retriever rescue shows up at the local pet store to spread some holiday cheer.

So some of you know me better than others, but in terms of the universe trying to send me a sign that this is a place I’d be happy, a gaggle of Goldens in holiday regalia materializing in my moment of doubt is the Dr V equivalent of a deity in a grilled cheese. Signal duly noted, universe.

Maybe I should call our new digs Golden Town.

And the call, of course, was to update us that yes, we were pretty much approved, though of course there were just a few more people to review the documents and another 5,000 or so pages to sign. But so far, so good. Which pleases me to no end, as I’m quickly approaching the “bang a broomstick on the ceiling” phase in my upstairs neighbor relations.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Ear Problems in Dogs


Ear problems in dogs range from allergies to infections. Ear Infections are the most common problem that dogs have with their ears.

If your dog has floppy ears that hang down, ear infections are often a continuing problem. The warm, moist environment created by the fold in the ear flap is ideal for the growth of bacteria. When yeast and bacteria accumulate they cause an unpleasant odor in the ears.

Dogs with ears that point straight up or those with short “perky” ears don’t have as many problems with ear infections. If you notice your dog vigorously rubbing one or both ears on the floor or carpet, it can be an indication of either an ear problem or simply the need to have its ears cleaned. If it’s an infection and confined to only one ear, your dog will tilt its head in an attempt to equalize pressure between the ears.

Some of the most common ear problems in dogs and the causes are:

(1) Debris in the ears.
Bristles that project from the tip of plants or even the grass from your lawn can easily become lodged in a dog’s ear. This debris can wedge itself quite deeply inside the ear so you’ll need to look inside the dog’s ear with a flashlight.

(2) Allergies.
A common cause of problems with a dog’s ears is an allergic reaction which can be caused by ingredients in your dog’s food or environmental irritants such as pollen or dust. If you notice your dog’s ears or paws are itchy or inflamed, these are typical symptoms of an allergy. Your dog may be allergic to manufactured pet foods containing wheat, soy or corn. You can try switching to a better quality dog food and if that doesn’t help, you should ask your vet for a recommendation on which dog food to buy for your pet. If you suspect the problem is environmental, try to keep your pet away from grassy areas or lawns that may have recently been reseeded or fertilized. If your dog is an indoor pet and spends most of its time inside, check your air conditioning or furnace filters to see if they need replacing.

(3) Parasites.
Ticks, mites and fleas can cause crusty skin, hair loss and swelling. Ear pain and itching due to parasites can cause serious ear problems in your dog.

(4) Trauma.
Injury to your dog’s ear can cause a semi-solid mass of blood to collect in the tissues of the ear (called a hematoma) and fluid to accumulate between the cartilage and the skin of the ear flap. Vigorous scratching or shaking of the head can also cause trauma to the ears. Hematomas of the ear should be drained and surgically corrected by your vet because your dog’s ear will be permanently disfigured if not treated surgically.

(5) Hormone Disorders.
Certain hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism and adrenal malfunctions can also cause ear problems. Symptoms include excessive loss of hair, poor coat condition, changes in behavior and itchy, reddened skin around the ears.

In rare cases, some ear problems in dogs are hereditary such as connective tissue disorder affecting Collies and Shelties, or seborrhea which causes hair loss and scaly skin. Cancers such as squamous cell or malignant melanoma may also affect the ears.

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What is the BEST thing for fleas on dogs and cats?

Question by Nintendo is my Nindo: What is the BEST thing for fleas on dogs and cats?
I have been having a problem with fleas on my animals. I tried Capstar. I tried PetArmor. I tried tons of natural remedies and I am just sick of wasting money on things that aren’t working. I have a small kitten a few months old and a year old puppy about 13 lbs or so. Everyone says Advantage works best but do you have any reccomendations for certain types of Advantage that help fleas go away and stay away for the month that it is supposed to?

Best answer:

Answer by El Gato
Front line

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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Holistic Diets for Dogs : Not Just for Humans Anymore

Dogs know two things: our love and the love you can’t eat. For many dog lovers, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the two, especially when berated with a pleading look from those soulful, manipulative eyes. However, just as it is not good for humans to eat certain ingredients ourselves, it is the same  for dogs, which can have sensitive stomachs, and physical reactions to their food. (itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, bladder infections, bladder stones, diarrhea, and seizures) Whether after meals your pet’s rear becomes a noxious weapon of doom, he exhibits diarrhea or vomiting, or appears to have no adverse reactions at all, one thing is certain; a healthy, balanced diet will allow your pet to live a longer, healthier  life and allow for a less toxic living space. Win-win. 

            But where do you start? Well, the phrase “holistic food” gets thrown around a lot, but what does that mean? And how can you be sure it is what you’re getting?

First, a holistic diet for dogs is simply one in which all nutrition requirements are met, in quantities which the body can absorb and utilize. Essentially, holistic foods don’t mess around with extra stuff like dies, animal by-products, or chemical preservatives.  Feeding dogs processed “people food”or allergenic ingredients is not a good choice, because it tends to have items that inflame the body or don’t break down very easily. They either wreak havoc with the digestive system (most notably the pancreas) or get stored as extra weight. Dogs, like people, need six basic nutrient types for energy, proper growth, and overall well-being (no sluggish, depressed mutant puppies for us!). These nutrient classes are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

 Proteins

This will be the Schwarzenegger portion of your dog’s diet, sans the impressive biceps. As the basic building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, proteins are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction, repair and energy. Proteins can be obtained from a number of sources. Animal-based proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish and egg have complete amino acid profiles, meaning they contain all of the amino acids (the building blocks for proteins) that your dog needs.

Fats

The most concentrated form of food energy, fats provide your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats are essential in the structure of cells and are needed for the production of some hormones. They are also required for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E. They are also essential for healthy skin and coat. Essential fatty acids are divided into two groups—Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Ingredients like chicken fat and sunflower oil are great sources of Omega-6 fatty acids while flax seed, herring oil and salmon oil are key sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. The correct balance of fats can be found in top rated healthy dog food. Because while people come in all shapes and sizes, dogs really should stay dog-shaped, not stumpy and round.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a key source of energy for dogs. Whole grains, like whole ground brown rice, and whole ground barley and oats, are all low-fat sources of highly-digestible complex carbohydrates. Whole grains are also a rich source of dietary fiber—both soluble and insoluble—which is crucial for healthy intestinal function (limiting deadly fume emissions). Whole grains are also helpful with the common problem of constipation in dogs, which can be caused by a diet that is lacking in fiber. So basically, the perfect amount of poop.

Vitamins and Chelated Minerals

Vitamins and minerals work together, in conjunction with your pet’s natural enzymes, to help with digestion, reproduction and muscle and bone growth. They are also essential for healthy skin and coat and support immune system health, too.

 Here are some of the key vitamins your pet needs on a daily basis: vitamins A, B12, C, D, and E. A higher-quality dog food contains nutritious fruit and vegetables which provide many key vitamins. For example, peas, potatoes and carrots are great sources of Vitamin A, while blueberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Pretty much all the stuff you can’t get your kids to eat, except that they’re mixed with chicken or beef, so your dog is all about it.

Also, the better the food, the more likely it is to contain these minerals: manganese, iron, potassium, copper, and calcium and phosphorus. But, because these minerals are hard for dogs to absorb, it’s important their food be supplemented with “chelated” minerals (which sounds made up, but bear with me…).  A chelated mineral is one that is “attached” to easily absorbable amino acids, which means they will get into your pet’s bloodstream more readily.

Water (Duh)

A vital nutrient, water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet’s body weight. While food may help meet some of your pet’s water needs (dry food has up to 10 percent moisture, while canned food has up to 78 percent moisture), dogs need to have fresh clean water available to them at all times. Water is the medium for all chemical reactions in the body that produce energy. Plus, how else would they manage to pee all over your garden/house/yard?

So how do you know all this is in your dog’s food? Well, it’s a long-held secret: you read the label. Magic, I know.

Conversely, if the label lists any of these products, try and avoid them: chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy proteins (glutens), and artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. There is a lot of science as to why these items aren’t good for your dog, but the bottom line is they are non-essential and difficult to break down. And they are yucky (mmm, ground, processed chicken feet…).

So, there it is, a quick-and-dirty guide for a happier, healthier pup. Don’t forget though, that like humans, dogs can be born with digestive abnormalities, and can develop allergies. The best way to establish a nutrition plan is to run your research by your local vet.

This article comes from NerdWallet.com, a consumer-focused, data-driven website.

A reader asked me yesterday if I were anti-grain, because in my eBook, “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” and in my book, “Dog Dish Diet”, I start with meat and veggies. Many dogs seem to have sensitivities to wheat gluten and that is a known allergen. So I usually avoid wheat and barley until we are sure that they are  comfortable with meat and veggies. Another reason is that many dogs are overweight and don’t need the additional carbohydrate calories in grains.

In the article, the writer comments about “human food” not being as easily digested. Most people assume quality dog food is better for dogs. Raw food and home cooked food are whole food ingredients that are healthy for dogs. I agree with the writer, it is all about ingredients. For example, overweight dogs may not be able to handle the high percentage of carbohydrate in dry commercial foods.

That’s why I wrote Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet. I want to help you make the right choices in how to feed your pet. No marketing or hype, just common sense.

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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