DOG for DOG is a movement to help as many dogs as possible. With every purchase DOG for DOG gives an equal amount of food to dogs in need.

Lorna Ladd

Can Coconut Oil Improve My Dog’s Health

by Lorna Ladd 14 Comments

manAndDog

We hear a lot about the benefits of coconut oil from the human holistic community. They share tips like: a tablespoon of coconut oil ingested regularly (or rubbed into our skin or hair) bring a variety of benefits; everything from healthy, supple skin and glowing hair to raising the natural insulin levels of diabetics and improving overall 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 digestive enzymes that absorb 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

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

SK-Peanutbutter-Jar-propped-225x300

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.

How do dogs help people in Stress Reduction?

by Lorna Ladd 0 Comments

Chances are, if you’re here reading this, you’re a dog lover. And if you’ve ever had a canine (or feline) companion in your life, you don’t need us to tell you that pets are great at relieving stress. Most dog lovers can’t imagine their life without their best friend, and they say that dogs simply bring more joy to their lives.

dog-lovers--dogs-stress-relieversImagine this: You just had a stressful day at work. Your boss yelled at you for a simple mistake. Your co-workers are talking about how layoffs are coming. Maybe you were so busy, you rushed through lunch, barely having time to taste your tuna sandwich. Or maybe you were so busy, you missed lunch altogether. The phone was ringing off the hook. Nothing seems to be going right.

I’m sure everyone reading this has experienced a day like this at least once in their life. Some live it daily. And overall, humans are more stressed now than ever before. Not only can stress give you a headache, too much stress can also kill you. High blood pressure is a dangerous problem, far too many people face. Sure, some if it comes from poor diets, but too much stress can also be a culprit.

How can dogs be a natural stress reliever copyAnd it’s no wonder that so many people are looking into natural stress relievers. Yoga. Exercise. Herbal remedies. All of these have been touted as natural stress relievers, and have been credited with having some degree of success. But you can also add one more item to that list. Dogs.

Go back to the scenario above. Now picture yourself coming home, defeated, stressed, and utterly worn down. When you get home, you probably just want to crash on the couch, flip on the TV, and forget about life for a moment. But then, once your key hits the lock on the front door, you hear the scampering of paws or the sound of a familiar bark. And as the door opens, your best friend is there waiting for you, their tail wagging nonstop, and their tongue out, ready to cover you with kisses. Your dog is there to tell you they love you no matter what, and they’re so happy to see you!

How can you not feel at least a little better after that?

There are many health benefits associated with owning a pet, not the least which is a reduction of stress. And while many of us probably knew that owning a dog or cat could lead to a happier life, based solely on our own lives and experiences, we now have science backing this up.

A 2001 study found that patients with high blood pressure were able to keep their blood pressure down during periods of high stress simply by owning a pet. In fact, you don’t even have to own a pet to experience the natural relaxation an animal can bring.

The reason for this is when you interact favorably with an animal, the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin is released, while your body decreases production of the cortisol – what is often called the stress hormone.

And there’s more good news for pet owners. Another study showed that people who owned pets were more likely to survive at least a year after having a heart attack.

Natural Stress Reduction- with dogs copyAs far as how to reap the benefits of having a pet, all you really have to do is play with one or pet one. Or spend some quality time with them, sharing some yummy treats  or laughing when they get DogsButter  stuck to the roof of their mouths! This is, of course, good news for all of those folks who can’t have a pet right now. Volunteer at a shelter or hang out at the dog park for an hour or two, and you’ll reap the same benefits and feel much better physically and mentally.

5 Unique Dog Bowls to Treat Your Pup

by Lorna Ladd 0 Comments

by Lo Lankford

Your pup might not truly care what their bowl looks like (as long as the thing has food, who cares!?) but you have to look at it everyday too, taking up space in your house and (possibly)wrecking havoc on your floors. The good news is that there is a seemingly endless amount of dog bowls available for purchase out there, both in local shops both large and small near you and online. It’s never been easier to find something that works well for both your pup and you! Display both of your personalities while finding a bowl that’s functional and appropriate for your space.
We started the hunt by tracking down five unique and fun bowls we hope you’ll like too. Now it’s just up to you to decide between them. Happy shopping!

1. For the speedy eater

Bloat stop dog bowlIf your dog charges his meals like its the last drop of water in the Sahara, it might be time to purchase a slow feeder. These inexpensive bowls help slow an animal’s intake by creating aunique eating experience that requires them to work a bit for their food. Highly rated on Amazon and Petsmart, the bowls have quickly gained in popularity recently as they’ve been a breakout fixer for bloat and regurgitation due to quick eating. We love this pink bowl from SloBowl, the top rated company for this type of bowl on Amazon. Looking for something more simple (and cheaper?) JW Pet makes one for $5! (Amazon, $17)

2. For the pups who need some height

If your dog is a tall one, reaching a bowl on the ground might be straining for his back and neck. Help him out with an elevated feeder, which allows him to amble over for dinner time and barely bend down to reach his food and water. Bonus points for you less sloppy mess on the floor to pick up after, though we do still recommend keeping a mat below the feeder. Get the height you need in a color you love and take a load off you just made life a little easier for your favorite furball. (Petsmart, $27-45).

3. For the designer dog

Henri Bendel Bone Dog bowlYour pup might not know who Henri Bendel is, but if you do (and you love the place!), why not get your dog bowl there too? This ceramic bowl is designed with the company’s signature brown and white stripes and features gold accenting for a fashionable finishing touch. Bone Appetit? Heh. Pretty good, Henri. (Henri Bendel, $58).

4. For the messy eater

neater feederDoes your dog eat his food like he’s making an art project with each bite he takes? Never fear there’s a bowl for that! Neater Feeders are a line of patented “mess proof pet feeders” that offer a mess proof and pleasant dog dining experience. With stellar reviews on Wag.com and Amazon, you have to think they’re working! Protect your floors and walls from water and food morsels and never look back from mopping the floor after each feeding. (Wag.com, $50).

5. For the handmade lovers

handmade loversIf you love buying handmade or simply want something monogrammed and/or totally unique,Etsy should be your first stop. A simple search for “dog bowl” yields over TK results, and you could easily spend an hour sifting through the pages of choices. Everything from elevated wooden feeders to ceramic bowls and everything in between. It was hard nearly impossible to pick just one, but if this is your thing we strongly suggest seeing what all the site has to offer and finding your own treasured handmade pick. Obsessed with what you find? Etsy is also a treasure trove of handmade leashes, collars, dog tags, food canisters, you name it! (Claylicious, $32)

BONUS: Looking for an automatic feeder? We recommend the Dog Mate D3000, available from Petsmart for $80.

 

Are Giant Breed Dogs a Giant Responsibility?

by Lorna Ladd 3 Comments

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.

 

Help Feed the Dogs of Villalobos Rescue Center

by Lorna Ladd 0 Comments

 

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

 

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

by Lorna Ladd 0 Comments

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?

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

by Lorna Ladd 0 Comments

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

Healthy Treats For Small Dogs

by Lorna Ladd 0 Comments
Healthy Treats For Small Dogs

If you’re the pet parent of a miniature or toy dog, you know that finding doggy treats for small dogs that are easily chewable, yet still nutritious, can be problematic. Most dog treats are too large and too hard for tiny teeth and are manufactured with chemicals and fillers that have no nutritional value. However, a solution can be found right in your own refrigerator or pantry.

Treats for small dogs  already in your frige

Baby carrots fit perfectly into smaller dog mouths and, with their crunchy texture, help keep your dog’s teeth clean while adding the fiber to her diet that benefits a strong digestive tract. Believe it or not, my maltese can’t eat enough carrots. So carrots have been a great snack for our entire family! Additionally, the beta-carotene that gives the carrot its bright orange color is an anti-oxidant that builds the immune system and converts to Vitamin A during digestion. Vitamin A works to supple the skin, improve hair growth, and maintain your dog’s healthy eyesight.

Small bites of peeled apple or pear are a rich source of Vitamin C (necessary for a healthy immune system), all of the B-Complex Vitamins (key elements in maintaining red blood cells), and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Studies have shown that apples and/or pears help dogs with heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and lowering bad cholesterol.

Broccoli contains high levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber and is a rich source of Vitamin C that is necessary for the over-all health of your dog. Broccoli is also rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, blueberries are known to alleviate and protect against various forms of intestinal inflammation in dogs, including diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and colitis. Blueberries are rich in polyphenols, which have an antimicrobial and antioxidative effect and are necessary to help increase your dog’s immune system.

Green peas are low in fat and calories, and high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids that make them a perfect treat for the little dog that doesn’t need to gain weight. The generous amounts of Vitamin B1 and folate, B2, B3, and B6 reduce your dog’s risk factor for heart disease by lowering an amino acid in the blood that can cause blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

The perfect treat for small dogs

If you’re pressed for time and the chopping of fruits and veggies seems endless,   try an all-natural peanut butter mini-treat that is made with all the nutritious ingredients listed above. Dogs love the taste of peanut butter and these mini-treats are made to fit in a smaller dog’s mouth. Additionally, they have a soft, moist consistency suited for older dogs, are low in fat and calories, and are wheat, corn, and soy-free. This smaller size is also perfect to use as training treats when working with a new dog or puppy.  Check out DOGSTREAT mini, you’re small dog will love them!