Thursday, April 19, 2018

Be an Animal's Lifeline (a Special Guest Post)

Would you like to have a fuzzy, funny Chihuahua to sit in your lap and look at you with adoring eyes? Or maybe you're a cat person who wants to dangle a bit of yarn for a frisky Maine coon cat. Dogs and cats are both marvelous animals with a lot of love to give. If you would like to nurture a deserving animal, please adopt one from your local animal shelter.

Because shelter animals are well behaved

It's rarely ever that a dog or cat is ever given to a shelter because something was "wrong" with it. Sometimes, an owner might request that a pet be re-homed due to a change in living conditions, illness in the family or sudden change in the budget. At any rate, it doesn't matter why the animal is in a shelter. It's never their fault. There's still a lot of love in these beautiful animals. The shelter volunteers will work on an individual level with the new animals to learn what difficulties they have, if any, and figure out the best solutions.

Because you don't want to support mills

The mills that breed purebred dogs and cats care more about lining their pockets than lining their cages, resulting in abused, unsociable animals and unhealthy puppies and kittens. Please don't support these reprobates. Adopting is not only the most merciful choice, it's less expensive. It's a common misconception that purebreds are superior to mixed-breeds. The truth is, cats and dogs of mixed heritage tend to be hardier and healthier than purebreds. These hybrids have the best of every breed they're related to!

Because shelter animals are healthy

You can know this for sure; cats and dogs are healthier in shelters than they'd be on the street! The primary thing a shelter does for an animal they've taken responsibility for is to screen for health problems and do what must be done to cure the ailment. The cats and dogs at these shelters receive round the clock veterinary care plus volunteers to make sure they're free of parasites, groomed well and socialized to get along with people. Many shelters will provide assistance and information as a public service. What they want is a healthy animal in a happy home.

Because there's just so many of them

One of the best things about being a pet owner is watching them grow from a minute puppy or kitten and training them yourself. If you want this then shelters are not exactly short on puppies and kittens. If left to breed freely, one cat and her offspring could produce 420,000 kittens in seven years! A dog and her offspring likewise could have 67,000 puppies in six years! However, realize that senior animals need homes too. If you'd prefer a pet who's already been trained and is ready to enjoy the golden years with you, maybe the older dog is best.

If you think you need more reasons, please take a few minutes to read the following infographic.

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Friday, December 8, 2017

7 Top Tips to Improve Your Dog’s Diet

Your dog’s diet isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Just in a similar way that you wouldn’t feed yourself, below-par, substandard food, you should ensure that your dog also consumes only the best.

The biggest contributing factors to a dog’s health and welling are exercise, mental health and you guessed it, diet.

Dinner for One

Your dog’s eating habits can have a very real impact on not only their present health, but also the longevity of their life.

Below are my top tips to follow to make sure your canine companion gets all the nutrients they need to live a long and happy life:

Quality over Brand

Each and every time you turn on the television or open a magazine there’s a good chance that you’ll see an advert for [insert generic dog food brand here]. These companies that mass produce dog food, package them in shiny, colourful foil and relentlessly shove them under your nose spend millions on branding and advertising each year. However, it may be worth them spending some more time on creating a product that’s better for your dog.

Many well know dog food brands include a large amount of grain within their product. This grain is not good for your dog as their digestive system can often struggle to break it down.

By switching to a quality grain free dog food that contains a higher meat content your pup will be avoid many digestive issues.

Fresh Foods

Introducing fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables to your dog’s diet will provide your dog with lots of live enzymes that will contribute to better overall health.

Refined Raspberry 

Fresh fruit and vegetables are also rich in fibre will help to conquer any of your dog’s digestive issues.

Avoid Cooked Meats

We’ve all been known to pop a little bit of our leftovers/extra dinner into the dog’s bowl; and whilst this won’t do much real harm, these foods would be far more beneficial to them if they weren’t cooked.

Organic is Best

This seems obvious, but organic fruit and veg is no doubt more beneficial for you dog than food that is pumped full of preservatives. Even though many non-organic foods are labelled fit for consumption, studies do indicate that they aren’t particularly safe.

Gluten is a no no
A lot of generic dried pet food contain gluten. This gluten is included in the food to stop lower class fats from going off and becoming rancid.

Somebody Tooted!

Gluten can be very harmful to your dog’s liver and kidneys as it forces waste products to be retained rather than excreted. On top of this, gluten is one of the main reasons that your dogs ‘passing of wind’ can often kick up such a stench – which is no good for anybody.

No Over Feeding

We’re guilty of over feeding our pups every now and again, but we really shouldn’t. Over feeding your dog will of course bring on weight gain, and as they grow older (and less active) this weight gain will accelerate leading to muscle and joint problems.

If you dog is overweight then feed him/her earlier in the day. This will give them more time to burn it off walking etc. Similarly, if your dog is in a position where they need to gain a little weight, then increase the amount of feeds per day, and feed them before bed time – this means they won’t have the chance to burn off the food.

Is your tap water good enough?

One thing that is rarely considered when it comes to dog’s diets is the quality of water that they take on. In my experience, the vast majority just fill their dog’s water bowl up with tap water; and there’s nothing wrong with that.

so,...iT is a doG

However, tap water contains a number of chemicals that aren’t great for dogs. So, it’s a good idea to either filter your dog’s water before filling up their bowl, or even buy in some quality bottled water for your dog. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

3 Tips for Dog Owners Looking to Groom Their Pet at Home (Guest Post)

Visiting professional groomers is a luxury. Although we love spoiling our canine friends and they do deserve certain indulgences, regular visits to professional grooming studios can be quite expensive. By grooming your dog at home you can increase the period between two professional grooming treatments. Or you can even skip going to salons and do everything yourself.

Oreo Lhasa
Oreo doesn't look happy at all...
Remember that dogs of all breeds need regular grooming. The only difference between different breeds is the time that needs to spent on doing so – from once every few weeks to a few hours a week.

To make things easier, we have compiled a list of 3 simple tips for DIY dog grooming. If you follow these simple steps, grooming your dog at home can be quite an easy process but it will still take a little bit of practice and patience.

1. Educate yourself and your dog

It is advisable to research your dog’s breed and its coat type in order to learn what to expect of the grooming session and which tools you will need.

Different coat types require different tools. If you feel confused, it might be a good idea to schedule an appointment at a professional groomer for a one-time consultation. During the consultation, the professional groomer can teach you how to keep the grooming sessions short and pleasant.

This dog is treated better than me.

You can read every blog and article available online and even purchase the best grooming equipment available on the market, but if your dog does not want to be handled, the grooming session is doomed.

To avoid such situations, train your dog to enjoy grooming during its puppyhood. Use positive reinforcement techniques, like treats and praises, to associate the grooming session with positive experience.

2. Brushing and bathing

It is not advised to bath your dog without brushing it first. Brushing or combing, helps mechanically remove the dirt from your dog’s coat and it also unclogs tangled hairs. If you find a mat that cannot be untangled do not hesitate to cut it out.

When brushing your dog at home, make sure to brush your entire dog. It is true that certain areas like faces, tails and legs can be trickier, but they need to be groomed too.

Even in short haired breeds it is important to brush all areas, because brushing increases the blood circulation in the skin, thus promoting healthy skin, for growth and proper skin oil production.

Once properly brushed, you can proceed to bathing your dog. Start by wetting the coat thoroughly all the way to the skin with lukewarm water.

Bathtub 1

When the dog is wet enough, apply the shampoo and let it stay for a while. Then rinse your dog thoroughly and remove the excess water with towel. You can either leave your dog to dry naturally or you can use hair dryer. When bathing your dog, never forget to clean its eyes, ears and teeth and clip its nails.

Since frequent bathing disrupts the natural balance of the microorganisms on your dog’s skin and leads to skin and coat issues, try to minimize the number of baths and bath your dog only when it is too dirty and before trimming its coat.

3. Always use appropriate tools

The first rule to DIY dog grooming is to never use human clippers. Human clippers have only one length of blade and since that length is often too short for dogs, it can cause skin burns.

Human clippers also produce much more heat and are less powerful when compared to dog clippers. If you plan on grooming your dog at home on a regular basis, it is of paramount importance to obtain a good dog clipper. High quality dog clippers cost around $100 and above, but at the end you get what you pay for. Dog clippers are an investment that pays off.

It is important to remember that certain areas of your dog’s body are thinner and those areas should be clipped with extra care and caution.

These areas include the face, eyes, ear flaps and edges, armpits, belly, underside of the neck, sanitary areas, toes and tendons on legs. Improper handling of these areas causes the skin to pull up quickly and catches into the grooming tools, thus causing bruising and cutting.

dog at the groomer having nails clipped

The second most important tool is the scissors. There are many types of scissors and they all serve different purpose. For example thinning scissors are used for extremely thick coats that need to be thinned out; curved scissors are used to trim and shape the fur around the contour of the dog’s body; rounded tipped safety scissors are used for cutting the hairs in delicate areas. The straight scissors are the most universal tool and can be used on most coat types.

Last but not least, think about getting a dog grooming table. Placing your dog on a table makes it easier to restrain it and it is also easier on your back.

Chooey's Note: The pack would like to thank a Miss Jenny for this guest post contribution because Haopee is currently "preoccupied" and too busy to tend for the blog.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dogs and Holiday Traditions, What Say You?

Speaking of Holidays... I know I'm supposed to talk about the Christmas Season, but I'm sure it'll be perfectly fine to just dabble a bit on the past.

The Lenten Season begins on the first Wednesday of March and ends on Easter Sunday. In reality, bunnies don't poop jellybeans, nor do they leave chicken eggs behind. If they did, they'd probably have battle scars from battling for that egg. And I think with the current taxes and remittances to our social security system, it'll be hard for the rabbits to buy paint brushes because they have to take care of baby bunnies and pay for food.

Pug St. Patrick's Day Diva
No Easter Bunnies here, just one St. Patrick's pug!

Kidding aside, for devout catholics, the Lenten season means no pork, beef, or meat. Within this period, our diet is limited to all kinds of fish dishes and vegetables. Fortunately, these traditions do not affect Chooey and the pack.  So it's no surprise that after eating, they end up plopping on the floor and sleeping like there's no tomorrow. You'd think they were doormat for dogs.

Just out of curiosity, do you guys have a tradition like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and St. Patrick's Day? If so, which of these do your dogs celebrate with you?

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Easy Crockpot Chicken Homemade Dog Food Recipe

When we talk about dog food, we usually think about canned food or food that comes in a bag.

But, did you know that homemade dog food is much more nutritious and good for your doggy friend? 

It’s true!

And making food for your dog is really easy. It’s also a healthier and a cheaper alternative to the store bought dog foods. The recipe that I’ll teach you today is freezer-friendly, so let’s start cooking! I’ll share my dog’s favorite crockpot chicken recipe with you today!

Let’s get started!

Chicken Noodle Soup Crockpot by Lesley Show, CC-BY 2.0

Ingredients: Crockpot Chicken Homemade Dog Food

The things that I really like about homemade dog food is that all the ingredients that you use come from a trusted source. 

And a lot of trusted dog food brands have been recalled over the years for bad ingredients and what not. 

So, making your own dog food at home does have a lot of advantages. And dogs love it! And this recipe is a known high protein dog food for pitbulls! For this recipe, you’ll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown rice
  • 2 1/2 pounds of ground chicken
  • 1 can of drained and rinsed kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup of peas, frozen or canned
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped butternut squash
Make sure that all the ingredients are fresh and are fit for human consumption. 

There’s one more thing! If you’ve been feeding your dog strictly store-bought dog food, chances are that your doggy friend might not like the homemade dog food or may not even eat it at all! 

So, like every other new dog food brand, slowly introduce your puppy to the homemade dog food and I promise he’ll grow to love it!

Directions: Crockpot Chicken Homemade Dog Food 
Orange Garlic Chicken by Joel Kramer, CC BY 2.0

I really love how crockpot recipes are simple! For dogs and humans alike. 

Aren’t they just perfect for lazy people (like myself!)? All you have to go is gather all the ingredients and the slow cooker does all the work for you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments section…

Let’s look at the directions:
  1. Stir the ground chicken, carrots, kidney beans, brown rice, butternut squash, peas and also add 4 cups water to a 6 qt crockpot.
  2. Cover with the lid and cook the ingredients on low heat for about 5-6 hours. You can cook it on high heat for 2-3 hours depending upon the time you have. Stir the pot as much as needed.
  3. Let the dog food cool completely.
Macros and Calorie Count for this Crockpot Chicken Homemade Dog Food Recipe

As you may already know, you need to keep your dog’s calories and macros in check. And, for that, you need to make sure you feed them just the right amount of food which depends on the dog’s age, breed, and lifestyle. So, following are the nutritional facts for this recipe:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 
Servings Per Container: 1 cup

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 417.9
Calories from Fat: 217.8

% Daily Value*
Total Fat: 24.2g (37%)
Saturated Fat: 9.8g (49%)
Trans Fat: 0.6g
Cholesterol: 62.5mg (21%)
Sodium: 171.0mg (7%)
Total Carbohydrate: 28.9g (10%)
Dietary Fiber: 3.4g (14%)
Sugars: 1.8g
Protein: 20.5g (41%)

*The Percent Daily Values (PDV) are based on an average 2,000 calorie diet. Your dog’s PDV or daily values may be lower or higher depending on your dog’s calorie needs.

This recipe is higher in fat so keep in mind that this isn’t really the healthiest recipe for inactive/lazy dogs, or for older dogs. 

Make it a point to consult your vet before you make any big changes to your doggy friend’s diet!

Final Words!

I really hope that your doggy enjoys this easy crockpot chicken homemade dog food recipe! Mine just love it! 

But, there are a few thing you should keep in mind.

Let’s go over them, shall we?
  1. This recipe is not ideal for old, inactive, and lazy dogs as it’s high in fat and relatively lower in protein.
  2. Make sure that you slowly introduce your doggy friend to homemade food. Don’t make an abrupt change!
  3. Always consult your vet before making any major changes in your dog’s diet!
Let me know how you doggy liked the recipe in the comments section below! 

Author's Bio:

Hello, everyone, my name is Paula Hughes, Foundation of blog I know a lot about dogs from experience so I provide my readers with first-hand, helpful information on how they can take care of their pets. I have prepared a lot of free information just for you.
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tips for Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth Clean (Guest Post)

Are you taking care of your dog’s oral hygiene? Are your pet’s teeth clean? We often ignore the importance of oral hygiene of our dog. The first sign of the dental disease is bad breath. Periodontal disease can lead to serious health issues in our pet. Therefore, it is very important to take care of your pet teeth. 

If proper care is not taken, it can lead to painful abscesses, tooth loss, and infection in the dog’s body. It can also lead to increased risk for heart disease and permanent jaw damage. Look at his teeth and gums on a regular basis. I do the regular check-up of my dog’s teeth.

Dog’s teeth must be clean and white. Gums must be pink in color. Consult your vet if his teeth are brown and gums white or red. If the teeth are not cleaned properly, the situation can worsen.

So, it is very important to keep our dog’s teeth clean. Here are few tips to keep our dog’s teeth clean

1. Brush your Dog’s Teeth
  • Brushing his teeth is quite important to prevent from the building of plaque.
  • Brush his teeth often. Although your dog will not like to brush, you have to train him.
  • Use toothpaste that is made for the dog. The chemicals present in the normal toothpaste can be toxic to the dog.
  • Dog toothpaste comes in their favorite flavors of peanut butter or chicken.
  • It helps to break down plaque and fight against bacteria.
  • You can pick canine toothbrush.
  • You can analyze that which your dog likes toothbrush.
  • Start cleaning the teeth of your dog since his childhood.
2. Use Tooth Wipes for your Canine

If your dog dislikes brushing his teeth, then tooth wipes are the best solution.
  • These tooth wipes are rubbed on the teeth to remove plaque.
  • It will also remove bacteria and food from his teeth.
  • They are not able to reach tiny nooks and corners else they work similar to brush.
  • Easier to manage as compared to toothbrush and toothpaste.
3. Offer him Dental Treats
  • Dental treats remove plaque. It contains ingredients that clean your dog’s mouth and keeps his breath fresh.
  • They do the efficient cleaning of your dog’s mouth.
  • Treats are available in different shapes, sizes, and flavors.
  • My dog loves to clean his mouth with a dental treat.
4. Give him Dog Chews

There are many chews that have teeth cleaning properties and taking care of overall oral health.
  • Chews are made from meat containing enzymes.
  • Chews also help in removing plaques.
  • There are many chews like cow ears, dry tendon, chicken strips and bully sticks.
  • Your dog will enjoy chewing them.
  • Zero calorie chews in rubber or nylon are also the best option to promote dental health as they help in cleaning his teeth by scraping the plaque.
P.S. Observe your dog when he chews to avoid choking.

5. Offer your Dog Fresh Food

Promote your dog to eat fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat as they form less tartar on teeth.
  • It is an effective tool to improve their eating habits.
  • It will keep their teeth healthy.
  • Encourage him to eat homemade dog food.
  • Whole foods will make his teeth stronger.
  • In breakfast, you can give your dog slices of carrot, pumpkin or squash.
  • Chewing these foods will scrape the food from his teeth.
  • Avoid giving him the food made from By-products, cereal grains, and meals.
I avoid giving food rich in sugar and fats to my dog as they can stick to his teeth.

6. Give me Bones to Eat

Allowing your dog to chew the bone for 10-20 minutes after the meal is really necessary as it will help to reduce building plaque in upper and lower molar. This method need to be repeated for several times in a week.

After your dog has chewed the bone, wash it carefully, place it in the fridge and boil it before giving him next time; boiling the bone will make it softer to chew.

You also have to avoid the bones that are made from starch like corn, rice flour, and potato. But remember that starch-based bone can stick in teeth.

P.S.: My dog follows this practice every alternate day as it likes to chew the bone after the meal. Your dog will also like to chew the bone.

7. Use Teeth and Gum Cleaning Solution

You may use this method by mixing teeth and gum cleaning solution and applying to the teeth and gums. This mixture softens the plaque and helps to fight against bacteria as well as prevents the risk of gum disease.

In the case of bad breath, you can add baking soda or liquid chlorophyll in the solution then Apply it to upper molars. With the help of gauze sponge rub the solution on stained teeth.

This process need to be followed for 2-3 weeks. After that, you can scrape the plaque from the teeth by using a soft towel, Q-tip, and fingernails. For small dogs, you need to use a q tip to apply the solution on gums and teeth.

8. Offer him Professional Cleaning Sometimes

You can also go for a professional cleaning. It maintains your dog’s dental hygiene. Professional teeth cleaning become essential:
  • If your dog is suffering from oral disorders such as excessive drooling, swollen red, painful gums, and growth in the mouth
  • If there is a broken, crooked, or discolored tooth
This treatment is expensive, yet helpful if any of tooth problem goes unnoticed from your eyes.
Can cats eat dog food? The cat foods is different from the dog food. For proper nutrition, feed your cats on the food that are meant for them. Cats have different nutritional requirements when compared with dogs. Feeding your cat on dog’s food can result in malnourishment and illness in the cat.

For this method, you must:
  • Make a habit to clean your dog’s teeth on a regular basis,
  • Try to incorporate any of the cleaning mentioned above habits in your pet.
  • Train your dog.
  • Clean his teeth with the technique he is comfortable with.
With all your care, still, the dental problem can occur. The first symptom is the bad breath. It can result in other serious dental problems like drooling, lack of appetite and difficulty in eating. If your pet encounters any of the following symptoms, take him to vet for medical help.
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