Dog Treats – Good or Bad?

Oh those puppy-dog eyes . . .who can resist them? There’s a reason that turn of phrase “puppy-dog eyes” is used to describe the very deliberate emotional blackmail specifically tendered by basically anyone with the wherewithal to ride the cute train to anywhere. The phrase most assuredly originates with its namesakes. You know the look — the slight head tilt, the pleading eyes, perhaps a barely perceptible whimper, just for emphasis.

From your pup, that look can say a lot of things, but often it’s a transparent plea for a treat. He seems to be saying, “see how cute I am? Don’t I deserve something special?”

So of course you yield to his entreaties, because what kind of a dog owner would you be if you didn’t agree wholeheartedly?

Read more

Why Do Dogs Bite? Some Answers and Conclusion

This is not really a ‘natural health’ article but is an article that having the knowledge may save a beloved pet’s life. Too many dogs lose their life and freedom because of biting and if you are armed with the knowledge, you may be able to do something.

This is from For the Love of the Dog; read and learn, the life you save with the knowledge may be your dog’s or a child’s. Don’t take a chance!

Scary DogThe idea of being bitten by an aggressive dog is scary for anyone, even dog lovers and dog owners. If you Google ‘dog news’ you will see stories of maulings and bites and attacks. My impression has always been the most dog bites could be attributed to owner negligence or improper training (actually training a dog to be aggressive), victim instigation, or in the case or stray dogs, pack behavior. Dogs can and do bite. Smaller dogs actually dish out the most bites, statistically, but there is seldom much, if any damage, which is why when you hear ‘dog bite news,’ it will most often be larger breeds because the damage they can do is much more significant. Due to a recent study that I read, it looks like I really am not off the mark but there was at least one surprise. Read on for more…

Recently there was a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and published by the Journal of Injury Prevention, looking for the answer to the question, ‘Why do dogs bite?’ They study, encompassing four years of analysis, looked at 111 cases involving 103 dogs that bit children. The data came from a one specific veterinary behavior clinic and looked at bites involving children under the age of 18 and included such data as age, familiarity with the dog and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Their findings show that what prompts dogs to bite children is generally underlying anxiety, pain and other behavioral or medical problems. This study was not confined to specific breeds, showing that all dog breeds have the potential to bite. The most common triggers, according to the study in the journal Injury Prevention were “guarding of resources and territory.”

Read more

Building Trust with your Dog

It actually is funny how few people really realize something so basic as this. If your dog does not trust you enough to come to you on an every day basis, what will happen when you are in a situation when it is important for you to be able to get the attention of your dog and get them to come to you.

From For the Love of the Dog

Just a quick tip on building trust with your canine companion…. whenever your dog comes to you, always be nice and welcoming. This way if there is ever a problem and you call, he won’t be hesitant to come to you.

When something unpleasant is involved, giving a pill, clipping nails or bath-time, anything your dog would be averse to, go to him, give him a treat first then the bath, pill, etc. Otherwise if you call him to you then proceed to do something he doesn’t like he will be hesitant to come next time you call.

This is something I know from experience. My Jezzie needs to have her ears cleaned quite frequently and obviously this is not a treatment she is fond of. Being the softie I am with my little girl, I passed this chore to my other half. For a time he didn’t understand why I told him to go to her rather than call her to him and it didn’t take long before she hid every time he called her. Finally he understood and it’s taken a while, and an awful lot of pampering and treats on his part, but now he goes to her for her ear treatment and she doesn’t run when he calls her to him anymore. :D

Just goes to show that sometimes the dog isn’t the only one who needs to be trained!! Laugh

Let’s Talk Dog Food – ‘Dog Food 101’ – Part 3

In Part 2 of my ‘Dog Food 101,’ I discussed some meat/protein sources, now I’d like to go over some information on carbohydrates.

The first thing I would like to say is that dogs, being carnivores, do not require grains and cereals in their diets. Secondly, they are not well processed by their bodies which means nutritionally, they are of little value. If you recall, in Part 1, I said that dogs “have short digestive tracts and their bodies lack certain enzymes which make it difficult, if not impossible for their bodies to process grains and vegetables unless they are ‘predigested’ by processing; cooking, mincing, grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria.”

Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the carbs; cereals and grains, that are in our pet’s food.

One of the most prevalent is corn in a variety of forms. Most are ‘by-products’ left over after processing what can be used for human consumption and are usually to add bulk or fiber and are seldom of much if any nutritional value. They are basically just cheap fillers. Another thing to keep in mind is that corn is one of the highest reported food allergens in dogs.

Read more

Scary – The Vaccine that doesn’t even WORK

Just got this information and it bothered me. We’re told that our pets need this vaccination and that vaccination but do you ever stop to wonder if they really need all the vaccinations that we’re told they do and if the vaccinations really work?

First, there is SO MUCH conflicting information on this issue..It really is difficult to know exactly WHAT to do.

Different experts are advising different things..

Some are BIG vaccine advocates, while others say to NOT give anything.

I am of the belief that you should give ONLY the vaccines that are necessary, as infrequently as possible.

Read more

EWWW! Urine samples, Anal glands, and Dandruff: The truth about your dog’s dirty little secrets

When most people get a dog, they think of the fun times they will have with their new furry companion. But there are many things that aren’t so pleasant that we as dog owners must consider to keep our friends happy and healthy.

So you go to the veterinarian, and your doctor asks you to bring along a urine sample from your dog. Your first question is probably, how do I do this? The easiest way to accomplish this is to tape a Tupperware container to the end of a yard stick. While your dog is out doing his business, get the container underneath his urine stream. This is easier to do with male dogs than female dogs but you can usually get a sample with one or two tries. Your veterinarian will want as fresh a sample if possible. If you will not be taking the sample to the vet right away, keep it refrigerated until you bring it in. Your veterinarian will be checking the sample for a variety of things like bacteria and crystals. If bacteria is found, this might mean that your dog has a urinary tract infection, and most likely your vet will put your dog on a course of antibiotics. Crystals form in the urine whenever minerals bind together. There are several different kinds of crystals and these are most often treated with prescription diets.

Read more

Is Secondhand Smoke Killing Our Pets?

To be quite honest, that’s a really stupid question! If it’s killing us, how can it not be harming and killing our dogs and cats?

So from Science Daily, here’s some more info on the harm we’re causing by continuing to puff away around our furbabies.

It has been in the news for years about how secondhand smoke is a health threat to nonsmokers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that secondhand smoke is attributed with killing thousands of adult nonsmokers annually.

If smoking is that harmful to human beings, it would make sense that secondhand smoke would have an adverse effect on pets that live in the homes of smokers, said Dr. Carolynn MacAllister, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service veterinarian.

Read more

Let’s Talk Dog Food – ‘Dog Food 101? – Part 2

The pet food industry is a 15 billion dollar year money maker for the manufacturers. Their commercials and tag lines tell you you’re getting products made with such wonderful ingredients as plump chicken, fresh beef, whole grains, and vegetables. But what are you really getting? And what are you really feeding your dog?

If you look at the ingredient list on your average bag or can of dog food, you’ll find of list that include things that may sound like they might be good and you’ll also find quite a number of incomprehensible ingredients that you have no clue what they are or what they’re for.

Let’s take a few minutes to break some of these down so you know what you’re really feeding your beloved canine companion.

First let’s take a look at some meat/protein sources. If you read Part 1 of this, you’ll remember that protein “is essential because it is utilized as the building blocks for tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, etc. and a body cannot manufacture the necessary amino acids without protein.” Protein, specifically digestible protein, should be one of the primary basis of your dog’s diet.

Read more

Ever Heard of CMO – Craniomandibular Osteopathy?

This caught my attention and I thought I would pass it along.  From For the Love of the Dog an interesting article on a medical condition that is possibly not too well known.

I certainly hadn’t, not that I am in the medical field or claim to be much of a ‘know-it-all’ when it come to much of anything beyond the basics. I read and research and try to learn but this was a new one and when I read this story it about broke my heart. Read the story and learn a little bit about CMO!

The comes from The Nation Leisure out of Thailand

A Dog Locked in Suffering

Through an owner’s ignorance, a golden retriever has spent more than a year in needless suffering.

Champ was only a puppy when his owner purchased him, along with two other goldens. A beautiful dog, he was as generous as any golden can be, a charming boy who lived only to please his owner.

By the time Champ was eight or nine months old, however, his owner noticed that the dog wasn’t eating. “He’s too fussy about his food,” the owner thought, and put the dog in a cage along with the dog food.

Instead of giving in, Champ gradually ate less and less. His once lovely coat turned dull and dry. His body lost muscle. He was depressed and inactive. His owner lost interest in him, simply leaving him in the cage.

Read more

Curing Bad Cat Breath

Cat owners know for a fact that bad cat breath can be downright awful.  It isn’t that much different from bad human breath, as both are caused by bacteria found in the mouth that breaks protein down and releases the sulfur compounds out into the air.  Sulfur smells really bad on its own, which is why breath containing it smells bad as well.  The bacterium that causes bad breath with cats is normally associated with a buildup of tartar around the teeth.  Tartar is yellow in color, known as a coating of bacteria, food, and minerals.

To cure your cat from bad breath, you’ll need to remove the buildup of tartar.  There are several cat foods out there that are designed to reduce the buildup of tartar, many containing enzymes that will literally dissolve it.  You can also give your cat treats as well, as many of them will help eliminate and prevent tartar.  If the buildup of tartar is bad, you may need to have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned.  Once the tartar has been removed, the bad breath will go away.

Read more