Dog Treats 101: What Kind, When, and How Many

Admit it, you’ve never met a dog that didn’t like treats. And who can blame them? Even we humans enjoy a tasty treat from time to time – even if our treats are very different from theirs. Or at least, we hope they are. And just because Fido can’t have ice cream or Oreos, it doesn’t mean he can’t have something tasty and good for him too.

Dog treats on the marketThere is an endless variety of dog treats on the market, and while you want to make sure you get something your dog enjoys, you should be aware of what’s in those treats as well. You may remember that there have been a number of recalls within the last few years involving jerky treats with ingredients sourced from China, for instance. Knowing what’s in your dog’s treats, as well as where these ingredients come from, is very important.

tasty treats for dogsBut I know, it can all be a bit confusing for someone who doesn’t know what they’re looking for. And that’s why we’re here to help. Hopefully this article will give you some insight into what kind of dog treats are best, when you should use them, and how many you should give your furry friend. After all, just as with cake and ice cream for humans, too many treats can cause problems of their own for your dog.

dog treats ingredients First things first though. You should always look at the ingredients in your treats. If at all possible, find brands that are made in the United States, and avoid any that source their ingredients from China. Also, due to the potential for allergies or reactions, the more natural the product the better. Just like with human food, a whole lot of fillers aren’t healthy.

Fillers include ingredients like corn, wheat, or soy which some dogs have trouble digesting properly. Also, anything that adds in sugar, salt or artificial flavors should be used sparingly, as these ingredients can also cause reactions in dogs, just like they can in humans.

See, in many ways we’re not that different than dogs, are we? It makes buying food or treats much simpler when you think about it like that.

So knowing that, what are your options for healthy, but tasty treats?

If you’re training, you should look for small, soft treats that the dog doesn’t have to spend a lot of time chewing. Just a quick little bite so they’re ready to continue training without much distraction. DogForDog Dogstreat Mini’s are great for this, and they come in two great flavors – peanut butter (http://www.dogfordog.com/dogstreat-mini-peanut-butter/) and duck (http://www.dogfordog.com/dogstreat-mini-duck/).

These are also great for small mouths even when you’re not training by the way!

If you have a medium-sized or large dog, and you’re not training, you may want something more substantial to give as a treat. There are many great soft and crunchy treats out there on the market, but again, you’ll want to be mindful of the ingredients and always include treats as part of a healthy diet, not as a replacement for high-quality kibble. Many dogs enjoy peanut butter, just like we humans do, and it’s why you’ll find it in a number of treats such as this one  from DogForDog. And for the dog that enjoys meatier treats, these bars also come in chicken.

There are other treats which last longer, perhaps giving your dog something to do while you’re away (you know, other than destroy your house). Freeze-dried or jerky treats fall into this category, as well as dental chews, pig ears, and other bone-like treats. It’s best to be cautious with treats like these. Not that they’re all bad, but before purchasing any kind of jerky treat, do some research about any possible recalls and find a brand with high standards when it comes to ingredients.

Dogs Eating TreatsFor treats that are meant to be chewed like dental chews and bones, you also need to watch out for the dog ingesting large pieces they may happen to gnaw off. Many owners believe that if it’s made for a dog, it’s automatically safe for them, but that’s not necessarily true. Many of these specifically say that these treats aren’t meant to be eaten, and that you must supervise your dog so you can remove the treat if they happen remove large chunks. The reason for this? These large pieces don’t digest easily like food would, and can lead to blockages within the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. A blockage is a life-threatening emergency, and not something to take lightly. For heavy, hardcore chewers, it’s best just to avoid these types of treats completely, and always supervise even the gentlest of chewers just to be safe.

Also, anything too hard can damage your dog’s teeth, especially if they’re an aggressive chewer. So be aware of that when picking out treats for your pooch.

Or just give your canine friend a resilient toy with some Dogsbutter frozen inside. It’ll keep them busy for hours and you don’t have to worry about blockages!

You may be asking, “What about giving my dog human food as a treat?” and yes, there are some human foods you can safely feed your dog. However, I urge you to be very careful when it comes to giving them food off of your plate – no matter how adorable they make look. You dog may love bacon and hot dogs, but these things can cause health problems down the road including pancreatitis (which can be fatal and can occur with even a small amount of human food). Also, some of our favorite foods are toxic to dogs including grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, nuts (except peanuts, they’re legumes actually), and anything with caffeine.

Instead, stick to fresh fruits and veggies like carrots, raw green beans, banana slices and even pieces of watermelon (without seeds). These are also low in calories – which leads us to our next point.

As far as how often you should give treats, the general rule is that treats should not make up more than 10% of a dog’s calories in a given day. You may need to consult with your vet to get a specific number since each dog has different caloric needs.

Remember, just like humans, dogs need to get most of their nutrients from real food, and treats should be a sporadic thing. Just like we can get sick from having too many cupcakes, dogs can develop tummy issues (and other problems such as malnutrition) if their diet is focused more on treats than it is on quality kibble.

 

Are Giant Breed Dogs a Giant Responsibility?

There are big dogs, and then there are the giants. And let’s face it, giant breeds aren’t for everyone. Just because you might be a dog lover doesn’t mean you want a Godzilla-sized dog romping through your house, clearing off tables, counter tops, and leaving a trail of slobber everywhere they go.

But for those of us who love the giant breeds, we can’t think of anything better than curling up in bed with a dog who takes up most of it. While there are no official height or weight requirements that differentiate a giant dog from – well – just another large dog, there are certain breeds that are known for being larger than life (truly). These are the dogs that get attention wherever they go due to their size (and often the size of their heart as well). Great Danes, St. Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, Newfoundlands, and Mastiffs are just a few of the more well-known breeds that are often classified as “giants”.

Huge dogs - English Mastiff Learn the basics in taking home a Giant Breed dog

In order to reach their massive size, giant breeds usually take longer to mature, growing more slowly than their smaller canine cohorts. Also, because many of the giant breeds often have health-disadvantages smaller dogs don’t, it’s important to pay extra special attention to their health and nutrition. Problems like hip dysplasia, digestive issues, and bloat are common problems for these breeds. Because of this, many may even require a specific diet that focuses on weight and joint management in addition to every day nutrition.

Great Dane puppyBut first, let’s start from the beginning. Let’s say you just brought home your Great Dane puppy. He’s 8 weeks old and is currently, a manageable size. Of course, he won’t stay that way for long, but believe it or not, he won’t be fully grown until he’s about two years old. As he grows, it’s important to find a diet that’s suitable for his growing body, to make sure his joints and bones can handle his body weight when he reaches his adult size. Also, you want to make sure that your puppy doesn’t grow too fast because it puts more pressure on his bones and joints, which is something you definitely don’t want since it can lead to serious problems later on and even shorten your dog’s life span.

With any dog, no matter the breed or age, choosing a high-quality kibble is incredibly important. But with a growing puppy, you need to go the extra mile when looking at food labels. And don’t think you can just pick up any random puppy food and call it a day. Mainly because while puppy food may work for most dogs, you need to look at the label. Oftentimes, even puppy food made specifically for large breeds contain too much protein, fat and calories, which can accelerate growth – which as we mentioned earlier, is something we don’t want to do.

There are large breed puppy formulas out there that are fine, you just need to read the labels. Finding a large breed puppy food that says it’s “Approved for all life stages” is one way you can cut down on issues, since these foods are intended not only for puppies, but also adult dogs as well.

So what should you look for in a puppy food? Many of the same things you’re going to look for in an adult dog food as well.

St. Bernard - adults and puppies

For both adults and puppies, you’ll want to start with the list of ingredients. The first item listed should be some sort of protein source. And while you may be scared away by pork or chicken meal, don’t be. Meat meal is often a better source of protein than just chicken or pork itself. Typically, looking at the first five ingredients gives you an idea about the quality of the food. The more meat ingredients listed within those first five, the better.

From there, you should look at the protein levels. Unless you’re feeding a raw or grain-free diet, protein levels should not be higher than 24%. Fat levels need to be between 12-14% at most. You can find this information on the label, and for an example of a dog good that fits these requirements, check out DogForDog Pork and Brown Rice.

If you are feeding raw or grain-free, a higher protein content isn’t likely a concern as the food is less likely to contribute to weight gain (think of it like a high-protein diet in humans versus one high in carbohydrates). While many pet owners fear protein, it’s not so much the protein that causes the issues – it’s the weight gain. If you feed your beloved pooch a high-quality, grain-free kibble such as DogForDog Ocean Fish and Salmon Meals, you should be golden.

 

How do I know if I am exercising my dog enough?

boxer on floorExercising your dog is one of the key elements to dog ownership. Dogs have been our best friends for years, working at our sides and helping us do specific jobs for centuries. That being said, in this modern day era if you can’t provide a space or take the time out of your day to exercise your dog, you are going to have problems and so is your dog. Exercise is about more than just physical health for dogs, it’s about their mental health as well and I can promise you, if you’ve got a dog chewing up things they’re not supposed to or digging or running away— they’re probably not getting enough exercise. Dogs have to burn off energy, especially young dogs, and most especially puppies. So how much exercise does your dog need? Well, let’s talk breed and age.

So how much exercise does your dog need? Well, let’s talk breed and age.

Obviously, a 5-month-old lab is going to have more energy to burn off than a 9 year old basset hound. This is where you’re actually going to have to do some research on your dog’s breed because some breeds naturally require less energy while some require more. This all goes back to how we as humans bred our best friends to do specific jobs. That being said, a walk around the block on the leash for pretty much any dog isn’t going to make the cut. No matter how much energy the breed has, 30-60 minutes of exercise time is recommended daily.

dog runningHigh Energy Breeds 

  • CorgisLabs
  • RetrieversTerriers
  • Pit bulls
  • Pointers
  • Stag Hounds
  • Irish Setters
  • Dalmations
  • Border Collies
  • most toy breeds

Low Energy Breeds

  • Great Danes
  • Grey Hounds
  • French bulldogs
  • Chow Chows
  • Shiba Inus
  • Mastiffs
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Bulldog
  • Akitas

So what it really comes down to when wanting to properly exercise your dog is not size, but rather, breed. And once you research their breed, you will find out what exactly their breed’s specialty is. For example, if you research a Border Collie, you will find out that it was made to herd and be agile. Upon finding that out, an owner of a Border Collie would obviously know that their dog is high energy and on that page, it recommends agility training for exercise. There’s your answer! Border Collies are probably the smartest dog breed and are excellent at agility training. Get your Collie involved in this and you’ll never find a chewed up shoe in the house again.dog playing frisbee

However, we don’t all have the time, nor the money to sign up our dogs for agility training. Walking your dog is great! But seriously if you’re going to walk your dog, you have to commit. If you don’t feel like walking around the neighborhood for about an hour, try taking your dog to the dog park if he or she is properly socialized. This is a great opportunity for your pup to get some energy out while also socializing which is great for your dog’s mental health. And don’t worry, almost all dog parks have separate areas for small and large dogs (and plenty of seating for humans!)

And now contrary to popular belief, not all dogs are made for long runs, so you can’t just take any dog for a ten mile jog and expect it to react the same way that you do physically. The truth is, some dogs are runners and some dogs aren’t. Weimaraners, Vizslas, and Golden doodles are perfect for people who like to run long distances (over 10 miles). Greyhounds, Pit bulls, and Beagles are great for any distance under ten miles. This is the perfect exercise for dogs of this type, however for dogs like German Shepherds, this could quicken the onset of hip dysplasia and arthritis and so you should stick to Kong toys and fetch for your German Shepherd in that case. Word of warning to runners, don’t forget that dog’s don’t have shoes so be wary on hot days because dogs can actually sustain serious burns on their paw pads if running on hot concrete.

If you have a smaller dog, say, under 15 pounds, you can probably get away with exercising your dog indoors. You’re really going to have to devote some time to your dog one on one though. Smaller dogs have smaller circulatory systems so playing fetch in the living room will wear them out much quicker than it will a 120lb American Bulldog.

So you don’t live near a dog park and you have a large dog? Well, put that backyard to use! Get some toys and interact with your dog! Teach your dog to play fetch and “let go”. Exercising the brain is also important. Teaching your dog simple commands like “sit” and “shake” and etiquette like “no begging” and “no jumping up on people” are all things you can teach your dog little by little and these things will keep your pup’s mind spinning.

It’s that easy. Do a little research on your dog’s breed to find out exactly how much and what kind of exercise he or she needs. And to keep your pup healthy, make sure to visit dogfordog.com to not only feed your dog some of the healthiest food there is, but to help feed shelter and rescue dogs. For every item you buy one is given to a dog in need.

dog for dog with slogan

Ten Toxic Foods You Shouldn’t Give Your Pet

by Amber Kingsley

Pet Toxic Foods

Toxic Pet Foods

We all love our pets and want to make them happy. However, sometimes the best intentions can have unfortunate results. The good news is that, when it comes to foods for your pets, a little bit of knowledge can guarantee your good intentions are rewarded. Before slipping your dog or cat that extra morsel under the table, it’s important to know which human foods your beloved pet can digest, and which ones could result in a hasty trip to the vet.

1. Chocolate

Most people have heard the “don’t feed your dog chocolate” mantra before. But you’d be surprised by how many pet owners give their dogs the occasional bite chocolate anyway, thinking it to be as much of a reward for their canine friend as it is for them. You’ve probably heard it before: “Well my dog had chocolate, and he was fine afterwards. It’s just a myth.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Even if your dog has had chocolate once and digested it without severe side effects, you’re still putting his/her health at risk.

Why? Chocolate contains theobromine, an alkaloid that dogs can’t metabolize in the same way that humans can. When a dog eats too much chocolate too fast, it can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys, lungs and heart. In puppies, toy dogs and senior dogs, the risk is the greatest, and death from theobromine poisoning is a real possibility. To keep your dog as safe as possible, keep him or her clear of your chocolate stash. If your dog has a sweet tooth that just won’t be denied, try making him or her a doggie-safe sweet treat.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is dangerous to most pets, so keep your dogs, cats and small animals caffeine-free. Like chocolate, caffeine is more difficult for animals to process, and its side effects can be deadly. While most of us would never give our pets caffeine intentionally, we don’t think twice about throwing used tea bags and coffee filters in the trash. Since many dogs love nothing more than to raid the trash can when no one is home, catastrophic levels of caffeine consumption can often happen unintentionally. Protect your pets by disposing of caffeinated products safely, and never leave an unfinished cup of coffee, energy drink or caffeinated diet pill on an easy-to-reach surface.

3. Milk and Eggs

Contrary to popular myth, milk and eggs are both dangerous for your cat. Why? Cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning that their digestive system can’t break down the sugars contained in milk properly. Although a small amount of milk probably won’t kill your cat, it can cause digestive issues, dehydration and diarrhea. In kittens, excessive milk consumption can prove deadly. Similarly, raw eggs are a big red flag. As well as posing a salmonella risk, raw eggs contain avidin, which inhibits the absorption of vitamin B in cats. Over time, this can cause skin problems and fur loss.

4. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are snacks that you wouldn’t want your dog to get their paws on. This type of nut is 100% off-limits for dogs. Most dogs experience different kinds of symptoms if they consume a decent amount of these. Macadamia nuts aren’t often deadly to dogs, but they can cause hypothermia, joint pain, tremors and weakness.

5. Onions, Garlic, Chives and Leeks

Although most pets aren’t inclined to feast on them, onions, garlic, chives and leek are all of the Allium family, and are toxic to both dogs and cats. In any form, these foods can cause red blood cells to rupture, resulting in anemia, lethargy and weight loss. Certain Japanese dog breeds, including Akitas and Shiba Inus, are more susceptible to this kind of poisoning, so take special care to keep them away from any foods that may have been seasoned with garlic or onion-based products.

6. Avocado

Some breeds of dogs have negative reactions to eating avocados. It’s not really recommended for pets and is sometimes considered unsafe for them. Avocado contains Persin that may cause illness to different types of pets. For canines and felines, we don’t expect to see serious signs of illness. However, rabbits, birds, rodents, and some other large animals are very sensitive to the substance that can be found in it.

7. Grapes, Raisins

Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts are the kind of little tidbits that most pet owners don’t think twice about feeding to their dogs. Unfortunately, they are all toxic to canines. Just 4-5 grapes can make a dog sick, causing side effects such as vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and dehydration, and possibly even resulting in kidney failure and death.

8. Raw Eggs

We should be careful when giving our pets food that’s meant for human consumption. For humans, eating eggs can provide you vitamins and minerals. But we can’t say the same for our pets. Raw eggs contain a substance called avidin. It lessens the consumption of vitamin B. It can also cause skin and fur coat problems.

9. Alcohol

Alcohol is dangerous for almost all types of pets. When a dog or cat gets exposed to alcohol, the effects that it causes to the pet’s nervous system is similar to that of a human’s. They become drowsy and lose coordination. If they get exposed to a higher level of alcohol, their breathing and heart rate slow down.

10. Bones and Fat

Dangerous to dogs, cats and small animals alike, never give your pet scraps with the bones still attached. Dogs in particular will not think twice about chewing on a turkey carcass, but the fallout can be fatal. Small, brittle bones and bone shards can splinter, choking your pet, or even causing abdominal perforation. Raw meat and bones can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, carrying dangerous salmonella and e-coli bacterium. Similarly dangerous, fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis.

If you suspect that your pet might have ingested a toxic food, then call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison helpline immediately. If you don’t have an emergency vet in your area, then the Pet Poison helpline can aid you to identify the level of toxicity that your pet is experiencing, and walk you through the appropriate response procedure.

To keep your dog healthy feed  a grain-free diet, like DOGSFOOD Ocean fish and Salmon  which is the pefect diet to keep your dog’s weight in check and to help eliminate food allergy-related itching.

Help Feed the Dogs of Villalobos Rescue Center

 

villalobos brick dogfordog

Need to buy some dog food? Why not choose DOGSFOOD from DOG for DOG?

Today, when you buy a bag from PetSmart.com, Villalobos Rescue Center will receive a matching donation of food from DOG for DOG!

In addition, later this month DOG for DOG will be donating even more food to this truly awesome rescue group. 10,000 pounds will be delivered to feed hungry dogs, which really makes such a huge difference to rescue groups which are often struggling to make ends meet.

During 2015 alone, DOG for DOG has donated over 60,000 pounds of food.
dogsfood and check

Join the Movement & Help Us Spread the Word!

The number of dogs in shelters is growing daily to the point of over crowding and sadly, dogs are suffering from a lack of proper nutrition and care. It’s our mission at DOG for DOG to feed as many shelter dogs as possible!

Here’s how it works: You buy a bag of our food or treats, and we give a meal to a dog in need. You have to feed your dog anyway, right? So why not choose healthy food and treats that also give back? All of DOG for DOG’s food and treats are made in the USA using only high-quality meats, fruits and vegetables. Want to learn more? Sign up to receive information about our mission and products here: http://www.dogfordog.com/newsletter-sign-up/

Follow this link to feed the dogs of Villalobos Rescue Center! http://goo.gl/nlJshA

 

 

Why Savvy Pet Parents Are Mixing Raw Goat’s Milk in their Dog’s Kibble

Raw Goats Milk is nutritious for dogs

Organic. All-natural. Raw. What do these words bring to mind? If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking of food. Health food in particular. You can’t go anywhere these days without food companies tossing those buzzwords out left and right. And there’s a reason for that.

Not only are we more conscious of what we’re eating, we’re also paying more attention to the foods we feed our pets. After all, they’re our best friends, and if we deserve the best, don’t they deserve it too?

Raw milk has been in the news for a while now, but for those pet owners in the know, the next big thing is not raw cow’s milk, but raw goat’s milk.

If you just gave me the side-eye right now, I understand. For many, the concept of goat’s milk is a strange one, but bear with me for a second. You’ll be glad you did.

Sure, most of us grew up getting milk from a carton in the refrigerator that came from the supermarket. And more than likely, that milk came from a cow. Relatively few people have had the luxury of drinking raw cow’s milk. But for those who have, there really is no going back to the pasteurized stuff sold in stores.

But if that’s all you know, you’re truly missing out. Goat’s milk has been hailed as one of the most complete, natural food sources known to man. It’s full of vital nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, electrolytes and more – all while being more digestible than cow’s milk and lacking the complex proteins that are often associated with allergies.

And if goat’s milk is so amazing for us, why not share it with our canine (and feline) companions? Not only is it safe to give your pet goat’s milk, it’s also incredibly good for them. Although raw milk for human consumption  is illegal, if the milk is sold for pets, it’s ok if it’s sold for dogs. We recommend the raw goats milk from Primal Foods.

A few of the highly touted benefits of including goat’s milk as part of a regular, healthy pet food diet include:

* Help with digestive issues. Goat’s milk is full of natural probiotics – those little buggers that help prevent problems like colitis, diarrhea, IBS and more. Those are all problems that can make your dog or cat miserable (and give us more messes to clean up as well). Goat’s milk is better than probiotic pills or powders because it absorbs quickly, usually within 20 minutes, and is gentle on the tummy.

* Alleviate allergies and itching. Another benefit of probiotics is that they fight off yeast. Goat’s milk also contains high levels of caprylic acid, which is also a natural yeast destroyer. If you’ve ever had a yeast infection, you know how awful it can be. Believe it or not, your pets can get yeast infections too – and not just in their girl or boy bits, but also in their ears and other parts of the body, including their paws. Have you ever watched your dog chew and bite at their paws, sometimes leaving hot spots? It very well could be yeast or allergies. And goat’s milk can help you stop that itching once and for all.

* Relieve arthritis symptoms and joint paint. The same enzymes that help with digestion can also help alleviate inflammation and pain in the joints. It also helps improve circulation, which can reduce (or eliminate) arthritis symptoms, giving your sweet pooch some much needed pep in their step.

And this is only the beginning. Other research has shown that carotene found in the milk can also prevent cancer, while the fat known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is believed to shrink cancerous tumors in some cases.

But beyond that, it also makes for a nutritious, yummy treat that your pet is sure to love. After all, when have you known a dog to turn down a new treat? Case closed.

How to Serve Goat’s Milk to Your Dog.

While some call goat’s milk the world’s most complete food, we obviously don’t suggest feeding only that to your pet. Make sure to include it as part of a well-rounded and nutritious diet. Try adding it over their kibble (we recommend DOGSFOOD- Grain Free with Ocean Fish and Salmon ), taking an already nutritious meal above and beyond.

After all, doesn’t your best friend deserve the best nature has to offer?

36 questions to ask BEFORE choosing a new doggy day care, dog walker or dog sitter

36 questions for dog walker

Modern pet parents are typically busy with jobs, school, and children and often rely on doggy day cares, pet lodging facilities, and/or professional dog walkers/pet sitters to help board and entertain furry family members when they can’t. Thinking about leaving your pup in the care of a dog sitter, day care or dog walker? Here’s a checklist of 36 questions to ask before making reservations.

Print out this list and take it with you when you interview your prospective service provider.

-Are the boarding and play areas clean and free of any overwhelming, lingering odors?

-Are there separate facilities for dogs and cats?

-Are there separate quarters for big and small dogs?

-Are you able to bring your pet’s own food and toys if staying overnight or for an extended period of time?

-Are you allowed to visit your dog at any time during the day?

-Do all outside play areas have high, secured inescapable fencing?

-Will the facility management allow a full tour of the daycare/boarding area prior to your making reservations?

-Is there a vaccination protocol that all visiting pets must adhere to in order to prevent the spread of disease?

-Does facility management have an evacuation order on hand in case of natural disaster or a facility catastrophe?

-Is there a veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic on call in case of a medical emergency?

 

Discuss the people who will be taking care of your pets, and don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions.

-What kind of training and/or certification does the staff receive?

-Are they expected to get continuing education considering the changing nature of modern pet care?

-Do they know how to read a prescription and how to give necessary medications?

-My dog tends to get nervous, will you administer a calming tonic I provide

-My dog won’t take her pill unless it’s hidden in peanut butter, will your staff provide that accommodation?

-Does staff know how to give meds orally, by SQ injection and topically?

-Are any of the staff members veterinary trained?

-What kind of supervision do the workers receive during each shift?

-Do they know how to recognize and handle canine aggression of all kinds, including food aggression, territorial aggression, and fear-based issues?

-Does anyone on the staff understand the special needs of senior pets?

-Are the workers trained to watch for signs of disease or a veterinary emergency?

 

You’ll want to determine if the daycare or boarding facility adheres to daily or weekly schedules and how that works with your employment and your pet’s comfort levels.

-Are you able to pick-up and drop-off at times that fit your work schedule?

-Is your dog scheduled to play and socialize on a regular basis?

-Are feeding times regular and will your pet be fed separately from other animals? (This cuts down on possible food aggression problems.)

-Is a trained staff member supervising canine socialization 100 percent of the time?

-Is the facility open on the weekends?

-What provisions will be made if, for some reason, you have to work extra hours?

-Does the facility pick-up and drop-off your pet at home and, if so, is the driver bonded, insured, and trained on transporting crated animals?

-Will any necessary medications be administered at the times designated by your veterinarian (once, twice, or three times daily)?

 

Dog walkers and pet/house sitters need to be able to answer these additional questions to your satisfaction?

-How is the sitter trained or certified?

-Will they be handling more than one pet, or more than one family’s pets, at a single time?

-Are they bonded and insured?

-Do they have references?

-Did the facility manager who hired the sitter run a criminal background check?

-Do they know how to handle emergency situations?

-Is the sitter trained to watch for signs of illness or trauma?

-Will the house/pet sitter be sleeping overnight in your home, and does he/she have a regular day job?

-Does the dog walker regularly vary the route she/he travels with your pup?

Can Coconut Oil Improve My Dog’s Health

Coconut Oil Can Improve Your Dog's heatlh!

We’re hearing almost daily about the benefits of coconut oil from the human holistic medical community telling us how a tablespoon of coconut oil ingested regularly (or rubbed into our skin or hair) brings us benefits from healthy, supple skin and glowing hair to raising the natural insulin levels of diabetics and improving metabolism.

But can coconut oil have the same effects for our dogs? Many holistic veterinarians are studying the human research and saying “yes” to recommending coconut oil for our pets.

Coconut oil is almost exclusively (more than 90%) saturated fat and is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood”.  A medium chain triglyceride (MCT), coconut oil consists of a series of fatty acid molecule chains that are easily digested and absorbed, without causing the pancreas to go into overdrive producing the digestive enzymes needed to absorb regular saturated oils.

This is of particular importance to dogs suffering from digestive disorders (Irritable Bowel Disease, Pancreatitis) and metabolic disorders (Diabetes Mellitus, Cushing’s Disease) as it puts less strain on the animal’s digestive system.

Additionally, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects your dog from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil can improve dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions

 

DOGSBUTTER-Peanut-Butter-for-dogs

DOGSBUTTER Skin & Coat Contains Coconut which can improve your dog’s wellbeing

Giving coconut to your dog is easy! You can either buy dried coconut and sprinkle it on your dog’s food. They might not even know it’s there. Alternatively, DOGSBUTTER, an all natural peanut butter for dogs, is infused with coconut oil which makes it really easy. Not all dogs love coconut but most dogs adore peanut butter!

Some of the other benefits of giving your pup coconut oil with a meal include…

For healthy skin and coat:

  • Clears up eczema.
  • Aids flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin.
  • Minimizes doggy odor.
  • Reduces allergic reactions.
  • Creates sleek and glossy coats
  • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections.
  • When applied topically, coconut oil promotes wound healing.
  • Also can help with hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings.

To improve digestion:

  • Improves digestion.
  • Increases nutrient absorption.
  • Helps with colitis and inflammatory bowl syndrome.
  • Reduces or eliminates bad breath.
  • Helps with coughing.

“Superfood” benefits:

  • Assists with weight loss.
  • Provides powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agents.
  • Balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function.
  • Helps prevent or control diabetes.
  • Aids arthritis and ligament problems.
  • Helps prevent infection and disease.
  • Increases energy.

Veterinarian Karen Becker, known for her holistic wellness veterinary practice, recommends administering ¼ tsp. of coconut oil for every 10 lbs. of body weight twice a day for optimal effect.

14 Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy While You’re At Work

14 Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy

Most modern pet parents lead very busy lives with jobs and children, and our dogs often end up spending a good portion of the day home alone. A lonely, bored dog will find a way to occupy her time that can be destructive to your furniture and clothes and potentially harmful to herself. If you give you dog “jobs” to do when she’s by herself, she’s much less likely to raid the trash or chew on your favorite pair of heels. Here’s a list of 14 ways to keep your dog busy while you’re at work!

1. Let your dog watch television.
Turn on your TV to the Animal Planet™ station and up the volume. The sights and sounds of barking dogs and mewing cats helps to stimulate your dog’s brain in a quiet house, keeping her from finding ways to get in trouble.

2. Provide ways your dog can look through a window or door.
Open the curtains or blinds to a back window in your home so that your pooch can watch whatever is going on outside your back door. If you have a small dog or a toy breed, set a cushion or chair by the window so that your pup is comfortably able to see out.

3. Fill a hollow toy with peanut butter
Stuff the toy with your all natural DOGSBUTTER. Most dogs love the smell and taste of peanut butter and can take hours finding every last dollop in a Kong®. To provide an extra challenge, freeze the toys after stuffing them. Some examples of food puzzle toys you can find at your local pet store or on-line include the Kong® Toy, the Buster® Cube, the Tricky Treat™ Ball, the Tug-a-Jug™, the Twist ‘n Treat™, the Atomic Treat Ball™ and the TreatStik®.

4. Scavenger Hunt

Make your dog hunt for her meals by hiding stuffed food puzzle toys or small piles of her kibble around your house.
Scatter a couple of handfuls of kibble in the areas where your dog hangs out during the day and she’ll have fun hunting her treats while you’re at work. You can also hide one of her meals or puzzle toy right before you leave home so that she learns to associate your leaving for the day with a positive – as opposed to a negative – emotion.

5. Calm your dog!
If your dog becomes nervous, anxious, or overactive when you’re not at home, you can try these ideas:

-Apply a combination of calming essential oils (lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, wild orange, and frankincense – whichever smells best to you) on your pet’s bedding.

-Add Sleepytime Tonic, an all-natural herbal tonic to your dog’s breakfast meal and she’ll calm down after about 20 minutes. Keeping your dog relaxed while you’re gone may help alleviate any barking issues that disturb the neighbors.

-Use a dog pheromone.
If you sense that being alone causes anxiety in your dog, try using a dog-appeasing pheromone collar, spray, or diffuser. The pheromone released by these products is similar to one that a lactating mother would emit to calm her newborn puppies. This pheromone will be familiar to your pup and create a sense of relaxation. You can place the diffuser in a room that is usually occupied by your dog, apply the spray to a dog bed, or have your dog wear the collar.

6. Give your dog a puzzle

There are loads of interactive dog toys on the market that will keep your dog occupied for hours. The one’s we like best are from Nina Ottosson.

7. Get your dog a furry brother or sister.
Adopting or rescuing another dog as a companion to your furry friend helps both animals. You give your existing animal someone to socialize with during the day and you save a life. This is entirely a personal choice on your part, but you need to ensure that any new animal coming into your home is healthy, has been vaccinated and vetted, and gets along with your dog. Reputable rescues will often allow you to foster first, and then adopt the dog of your choice to make sure the animal fits well with your family.

8. Give your dog a block of ice to play with.
Place your dog’s treats or some suitable food in an ice-cream container, fill with water, and freeze. Alternatively freeze a toy like a knotted rope in some water. As the ice melts, toys and treats become available for your dog.

9. Schedule a Puppy Playdate!
Schedule playdates with the pets of a trusted neighbor or family member. Allow a pet parent you trust – and who owns a dog that your pet knows well – to come over and have a playdate with your pup. Make sure that both animals enjoy each other’s company and play well together before trying this activity. Leave your veterinarian’s name and phone number with the other pet parent just in case of an emergency.

10. Enroll you pooch in doggy daycare.
If your dog is well-socialized and enjoys the company of other pets, send her off to doggy daycare while you’re working. Reputable pet care facilities employ staff trained in ways to keep your pup safe and active. Find one in your area that fits your schedule and schedule a tour and an interview with management and staff. Make sure you get references and recommendations from pet owners that use the facility before you leave your precious companion for the day.

11. Employ a dog walker to exercise your pet daily.
Many reputable pet care facilities include a dog walking service. They send a bonded, experienced person to your home to walk your pooch on regularly scheduled visits. For those pet parents whose workdays run long, a dog walker may be the only way your pooch can get some much needed exercise.

12. Purchase dental chews
Giving your dog plenty of her own toys and dental chewies will help prevent her from gnawing on your things. Additionally, dental chews help to keep her teeth clean and freshen her breath.

13. Introduce a new toy.
A new toy can add some excitement during the day while your dog is home alone. A tough chew toy that can’t be torn apart while you’re gone is best, just in case your dog likes to gobble things up. Also rotate her toys…after a day or two, put one toy away so it’s out of sight and mind, and bring out another to replace it. This will keep all of your pet’s toys fresh and exciting.

14. Add a fountain.
Making sure your dog has enough water for the day while no one is home is very important, and a dog fountain can provide a constant supply of clean fresh water while also piquing your dog’s interest. Many dogs love water and the running water of a fountain can create a diversion for your dog. Be sure to have the regular bowl of water out just in case your dog does not take to the fountain while you’re away.

Ask the Vet: Is Grain Free Food Helpful for an Overweight Bulldog?

fat bulldog w dog for dog logo

Question:

I have an 8 year old extremely over weight bulldog. She also suffers from acid reflex. I am looking into changing her food. Would it be helpful for her digestion to try grain free and gluten free food?

Answer:

Undoubtedly, a grain-free, gluten-free dog food would help her digestion.

Acid reflux in dogs is usually congenital, caused by a condition known as hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is a protrusion of abdominal contents into the chest cavity through the esophageal hiatus, a natural opening through the diaphragm. Younger pets are at greater risk of developing this condition because their esophageal sphincters are still developing. Your older dog may have an undiagnosed hiatal hernia and that should be checked out by your vet.

Many holistic veterinarians recommend starting dogs with acid reflux on a low-residue, balanced, home-prepared diet consisting of cooked bland veggies and meats to avoid any underlying food sensitivities. Eliminating allergenic ingredients like gluten, rice, soy, and all genetically modified (GM) foods also seems to help. Additionally, getting rid of all preservatives, colorings, additives, and emulsifiers used in commercial dog foods is recommended.

I would suggest looking at the grain free food here: http://www.dogfordog.com/grain-free-with-ocean-fish-salmon-14-lbs/

The link I gave you shows you all the natural ingredients and tells you how to transition your dog safely from her old dog food to the new food.

I hope this helps.

Cate RVT