Archive for May, 2017

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When it comes to dog food, a lot of people take advantage of how undiscerning a dog’s taste is. After all, a bag of whatever is being advertised on television and presented in abundance at national grocery stores seems to make your pup happy, right? Why think too much about it?

The problem is that a lot of the most popular dog food brands are actually pretty unhealthy for your furry friend. In fact, it’s basically junk food. Most of the stuff from P&G isn’t that good, and perennial food-business villains Nestlé have some pretty low-quality stuff that’s among the best-selling dog food in the country.

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So what’s a dog owner to do? Perhaps the best thing you can do is take matters into your own hands. Which, yes, means cooking your dog’s meals yourself! You may think this couldn’t possibly be simple – after all, there’s always a big line being drawn between “dog food” and “people food” – but it’s actually a very smart and realistic move. It’s not just about pampering your dog – it’s about keeping your dog healthy! Here are the things you need to keep in mind if you’re interested.

Speak with a vet

Vets have sometimes been known to tell you that home cooking for a pet is way too complex. This is usually for one of two reasons: it’s easier to dismiss the idea instead of actually outlining methods to the pet owner (vets often aren’t very trusting of the owners!), and the clinic wants to get you to buy the food they sell on-site! But, for the most part, vets will be very responsive and will help you figure out a food strategy.

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Preserving nutrients

When it comes to home cooking for your dog, the key is in making sure the food has all the nutrients that a dog needs in abundance. Magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, copper are just a few of the minerals it needs. Carbs and fats are also essential, as is plenty of protein! That’s why you need to be pretty precise when you work with recipes. Those recipes are carefully constructed, from the ingredient choice to the cooking method and time. This helps preserve all the necessary nutrients!

Keeping it safe

Before you serve up a home-cooked meal with a side of dog tea, you need to make sure you’re using safe ingredients. Pasta, rice, meat, most vegetables, bread – there’s plenty of “people food” out there that dogs can handle (and love!). But you need to make sure there are no ingredients that are famously toxic to dogs, such as tomato, garlic, onions, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners. You should also ensure you’re weighing your dog so you’re not overfeeding or underfeeding it.

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A watchful eye

Most people who home cook for their dog usually do so four or five times a week, and this is perfectly fine. (Many do so pretty much exclusively, which can work!) However, you must make sure you’re keeping an eye on your dog’s health and weight over the first few weeks when you change up their diet in any way. This will help alert you to any potential problems as soon as they appear, so you can start making suitable tweaks to the diet.

 

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It’s easy to dog-proof your home. Most of us carry this out before even bringing a puppy back. A lot of it is common sense: don’t leave loose wires about, keep medication up and out of the way in a locked cupboard, don’t leave bars of chocolate in reach. But sadly, you can’t guarantee that everyone else will be so canine aware. When you leave your home with your dog, it is your responsibility to ensure their safety. Here are a few precautionary measures you might like to consider taking.

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Harnesses and Leads

Always keep your dog on a lead when you leave the house. Even if your pet is well trained and will walk at your heel, harnesses and leads are an essential. Firstly, you never know how someone else’s dog might behave. You may have to pull your dog away at any time. Secondly, your dog might see a squirrel or cat and take chase. Thirdly, something could spook your pooch, which could result in them bolting across the roads or out of sight.

Muzzles

If your dog is liable to snap, or may be entering a stressful or uncomfortable situation, then invest in a good quality muzzle. This isn’t only essential for other people’s or dogs’ safety. It’s for your dog’s wellbeing too. Basket style muzzles are great for active dogs, as they allow them to pant freely when exercising.

Seat belts

You wouldn’t drive your car without putting your seatbelt on. You also wouldn’t pull off without ensuring that any children on board are clipped in. So why should your dog be any different? Most people won’t even consider a dog seat belt, but if you take your pooch out in the car, they’re an absolute essential. Most varieties can simply fasten onto the back of your pet’s harness. They will keep your pet in one place and help towards protecting them if you happen to get into any accidents. Never leave your dog unattended in any vehicle.

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Supervision

Never leave your dog unattended in general. It’s as simple as that. You might think there’s no problem with leaving your dog tied to a post outside of the pub while you pop in for a pint. Or tying them up outside the corner shop while you go in for a few minutes to pick up essentials. But dog theft is at an all-time high. When in public, never take your eyes off your pet.

Look Out For Glass

We walk over sharp objects regularly every day. But we don’t notice at all. Why? Because when we leave the house, we protect ourselves by putting shoes on. Now, we aren’t suggesting that you force your pup to wear shoes. But you should keep a lookout for any broken glass on the floor in areas where you are walking. Dogs have tough paws which can deal easily with all sorts of hard or rough terrain. But glass can cause wounds, which could need veterinary attention and cause them pain when they walk.

To all of us dog lovers, it’s pretty impossible to plan to go anywhere without bringing our pets along. Whether it’s a 10-day holiday in a resort or just barbequing with our friends on a Sunday night, we’ll bring our furry friends and we’ll love every second of it!

However, caring for a dog when you’ve got a ton of other things to think about isn’t a piece of cake really; you want to manage to multitask everything – your personal comfort and, obviously, your dog’s comfort, too.

To all of you who are absolutely determined to bring your best friend everywhere you go, here are some helpful tips to make it a comfy ride for them and a carefree experience for you.

 

Carefully plan the trip with your dog

With all the time that you’re spending with your dog, you already must know the type of transportation they are most comfortable with. Further, you also know how often your dog needs to go, so you can plan your breaks around their needs. If you are going on a longer trip, have in mind that, unlike people, dogs need to stretch and run around a bit, so make sure you ensure their physical comfort and happiness. Let your dog experience the new environment you are traveling to. If you are traveling by car, it would be great if you could stop at pet-friendly places where your dog could enjoy themselves.

Book accommodation that’s pet-friendly

Don’t make the mistake of not double-checking if the hotel you are booking is pet-friendly or not. You don’t want to come there and have your dog be banned. Explore your options, double-check everything and then book. Better safe than sorry, right?

Do not let your dog lack anything

You should bring everything that your dog normally enjoys at home on this trip ? from your dog’s favorite toys to food and drink containers, water bottles and their bowls, an extra blanket, cute little dog accessories, brush and shampoo. Further, given you are going on a trip, you can’t be sure how the weather can change while you are on the road. With this in mind, bring protective clothes for your dog to insure they aren’t cold. Don’t wait for the last day to go shopping for the essentials. Whenever you have the opportunity to buy your pet’s favorite details, do it on the spot! Try not to overcrowd your luggage though, especially if you are traveling by plane. It’s hard not to buy them everything we see, but we have to try to be at least partially practical.

Prepare your dog for a wonderful trip

If you’ve been a dog owner for a while, you are then familiar with the fact that most dogs don’t handle car rides well. The remedy? Well, there are a few. Feed your dog a couple of hours before the trip so that the food can sit for a while and digest. Also, before you start your journey, take your dog for a long walk – that way, your beloved pet will get some rest and relax before the journey.

We hope our tips helped and that you’ll enjoy every moment spent with your pet on this wonderful journey!

 

Oral hygiene is an often overlooked yet significant factor in the overall health of your dog. When your dog is suffering from sore gums or a toothache, you might not even detect any signs that he is dealing with stress and pain. And when this is left untreated, bacteria can go into the bloodstream and affect his liver, kidney or heart.

Common Dental Problems In Dogs

·       Loose Teeth – This is not a problem for puppies, but for an adult dog, this can be a sign of illness. Also, this may be a result of trauma to the mouth or from gum loss because of periodontal disease. Often, a loose tooth will not correct itself, and your vet might suggest an extraction.
·       Misaligned teeth – This is characterized by your dog having difficulty in chewing. The vet will realign the teeth or perhaps provide relief by capping or extracting a problem tooth.
·       Periodontal Disease – Your canine’s toys might give a clue to his dental health. When he leaves spots of blood on them, this indicates bleeding and swollen gums, and these are symptoms of periodontal disease. Removing tartar through professional tooth cleaning can prevent the occurrence of such disease.
·       Tooth Trauma – This may be a result of your dog chewing on the wrong objects, specifically those that are solid and rigid. As such, it is very crucial that you monitor what he chews on. Whenever you see a broken or cracked tooth, visit the vet immediately.
·       Tooth Root Abscess – This happens when the root of the tooth is exposed to bacteria. Signs indicating that your canine is suffering from this problem include difficulty eating and tipping his head to one side. Let the vet deal with such a problem quickly.
Dog owners must be aware that all of these problems can be prevented with regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

 

 

Tips for Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

1. Brush your dog’s teeth

Brushing your canine’s teeth will be difficult at first, but with enough patience and many yummy rewards, you can definitely turn tooth brushing into an excellent bonding experience with your pet. Begin by allowing him to smell the toothbrush and pet toothpaste. Gradually, work your way to brushing for at least 30 seconds on each side of his mouth every other day.

2. Visit your dog’s dentist regularly

Going to the dentist on a regular basis will help you discover small problems before they become worse. By taking your dog to the vet at least once a year for dental exams and cleanings, different signs of dental disease that cause pain to your furry friend can be checked. These will include inflamed gums, bad breath, broken teeth, and tartar.

 

During the dental exam, your pet’s medical history will be asked by the vet. He will also ask if you have noticed any signs of bad breath. After that, he will examine your pet for any abnormalities. Lastly, he will check out your canine’s teeth and gums for bleeding, inflammation, and redness. He will also check for cracked teeth, tooth loss, tartar, plaque, and potentially cancerous bumps and lumps.

 

There are instances wherein the vet will sedate your pet. This may be scary for you, but it is not actually as bad as it seems. Bear in mind that prior to sedating your dog, the vet will recommend pre-screening tests to make sure that your canine is healthy enough to be sedated.

3. Buy him some dental chews

Brushing chews will have ridges and nubs that will clean like bristles on a toothbrush. This will also contain ingredients that will help fight tartar and plaque formation to ensure healthy, strong teeth. Moreover, these dental chews are primarily designed to help clean the back teeth of your dog, which can be very hard to reach.

4. Invest in vet-approved toys

Dogs love to chew on toys. It is highly advised that you must get him toys and other dog accessories that will also help clean his teeth. However, you must not buy just any toy because some can be hard on teeth and may even break them. Consider asking your vet to suggest a dental chew toy that is best suited for your canine.

 

5. Give him therapeutic dry kibble

Your vet might recommend feeding him a customized dental diet in order to improve his oral health. This kibble type is usually larger and has an abrasive texture to help prevent plaque build-up. Some dental foods also contain ingredients that will help minimize tartar formation. You can further boost his immune responses by giving him vitamin treats.

6. Mix medicated rinses with his water

Medicated rinses can help make the surface of your dog’s teeth less vulnerable to bacteria and plaque. Your vet may recommend the best products and point you to the best place to buy it. All you have to do is to add it to your furry friend’s water or perhaps spray it in his mouth. These medicated rinses can also aid in combatting stinky breath. Remember, though, that this is not a substitute for brushing.

 

Caring for your dog’s teeth and gums is not as daunting as you might think. With these tips, you can definitely help keep your pet’s adorable smile healthy and his teeth shiny at all times.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pets Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSC in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brand including P&G, Savic, Zolux, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.

Most people that have pet dogs will live with other people. Either they live with friends, a partner, or family. This makes owning a dog a lot easier as there are always other people around to help out. If you’re not there to look after it and feed it, then you’ve got helping hands to ensure your dog doesn’t get neglected.

Having said that, there are loads of people out there that live on their own and still have a dog. It’s not impossible to look after a dog on your own, it’s just a little bit harder. You have to do everything yourself, and you run the risk of making your dog feel neglected when it’s on its own, and you’re at work for most of the day.

You shouldn’t be discouraged from not getting a dog if you live on your own. They’re wonderful pets and can provide you with constant company. What you should do is focus on ways to make dog ownership easier when you’re on your own, for the sake of both you and your dog.

So, here are some essential tips you should look at if you live alone and own a dog or are considering owning a dog:

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Find A Dog Walker

Right off the bat, you should address a big issue for people living alone with a dog; how will you walk your dog? If you’re out all day and there’s nobody home, your dog is left inside all on their own without any way of getting out for some exercise. Remember, dogs need to be walked at least once a day, some breeds even require more walks than that.

 

So, the easy solution is to find a dog walker to take care of this for you. They can pop round your house while you’re out (give them a spare key) and take your dog for a walk. You could possibly look for a dog walking team in your area too. I know there are lots of companies offering dog walking services specifically for people that can’t find the time to walk their dog. It doesn’t matter whether you get a neighbour to do it, a family member, a friend, or a dog walking company. All that matters is that someone can walk your dog while you’re not there.

Always Leave Food & Water Before You Leave

Another huge problem with living alone is that you don’t have any way of feeding your dog while you’re at work. Some people might think it’s fine to feed them before you go and just leave them until you get back for their second feeding. The thing is, your dog might not be hungry before you go to work, and they also might get hungry during the day.

 

The solution is simple, always fill their food bowl up with food before you head to work. Make sure you leave enough in there for more than one meal. This way, your dog can eat some of the food whenever they’re hungry. They can leave some for later during the day and go back to it when they need to. Also, water is an absolute must. Fill up a big bowl full of water to ensure they can stay hydrated throughout the day.

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Get A Dog Door

You’ve all heard of cat flaps, well, a dog door is essentially a bigger version of a cat flap made for dogs. They’ll ensure your dog can go outside whenever they want without you needing to open a door for them. This is essential for anyone with a back garden, you need to get a dog door installed on your back door.

Dogs aren’t meant to be stuck inside all day, and they might want to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Especially if it’s warm and they’re getting hot in the house. Side note: also ensure that you leave windows open and the heating off during hot weather, you don’t want to leave your dog inside your house when it’s warm. Back to the point, with a dog door, they can go into your back garden if they get bored of being outside. It gives them a sense of freedom, and they’ll feel less confined and trapped.

Consider A Dog Sitter

If you’re really worried about leaving your dog alone, then you can get a dog sitter. This is someone who’ll come to your house and look after your dog while you’re at work. It’s best to employ someone you can trust to do this job, as you don’t want a random person alone in your house all day long.

It shouldn’t be hard to find a dog sitter you trust as loads of people love dogs and would kill to spend the day with one. Saying that you don’t need to get one to stay the whole day. Instead, you could ensure someone pops to your house and spends an hour or two looking after your dog and making sure they’re okay. They could even refill the water and food bowls if your dog has eaten everything.