Sunday, 20 May 2018

Why Exercise Is Essential for Your Pets

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Exercise is critical to your overall heart health, but it is also very important for mental health, as it helps eliminate stress hormones and helps increase serotonin release that keeps you feeling happy and combats depression. But did you know that exercise is just as important for the physical and mental well being of your Dog?

Dogs and cats and even small pets require physical and mental stimulation. When you look into a bird or hamster cage and see mirrors, wheels, and the like, these toys are for much more than allowing owners to laugh while the animals play with them, they provide a great deal of mental and physical stimulation as well. For cats, something as simple as a toy mouse, some feathers on a string, or a ball that can be rolled around and chased can be quite stimulating for both physical and mental exercise. Dogs have a tendency to need greater stimulation, but the bottom line is that exercise is critical.

Exercising your pet has many benefits. Much like in humans, it serves to help boost mental and physical health, improving the heart and mood and helping to get rid of separation anxiety. Play with owners, dog walkers, and other animals can all offer great benefit to your pet, and the exercise can help keep pets from misbehaving out of boredom and separation anxiety. All animals need exercise in order to achieve true health, and providing the means for your pets to do this is your responsibility as an owner.

Did you know that many dogs need more than just a simple walk? While walking is great physical exercise, you will find that games like fetch or toys that require your dog to use his or her mind to retrieve a treat from inside a toy can provide much-needed mental stimulation. Boredom and pent-up energy can greatly affect your pet's behavior, and inactivity can have long-term health repercussions for your pet. Take the time to consider a dog walking service or a pet sitter if you are away for long hours each day and look into unique toys that you and your pet can enjoy together as well as those that he or she may enjoy alone. With the right mental and physical exercise, you can have a pet that is truly healthy in all ways.

Please, please, please find some way to give your dog the exercise it needs, even if it means finding someone else to walk him. If you can learn to do it yourself you'll build a real bond with your dog and you'll discover that a lot of the problems you may have had with him are a thing of the past.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Common Foods That Cause Allergies in Dogs

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It is alleged that about half of American dogs have some sort of allergy issues. Of this overwhelming number of dogs suffering from allergies, is estimated that 10 to 20% of all dog allergies are in fact food-related.

Warning sign of Dog Food Allergies

Adverse reactions to food ingredients can manifest by skin conditions, respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), neurological or blood reactions. Yet for dogs, the skin and GI tract seems to be the two systems most commonly affected. It's no wonder that many dogs that suffer from skin ailments will also have some sort of GI disease as well.

A food allergy has some common symptoms so it is important to recognize and look for certain conditions in your dog if you suspect a food allergy: itchy skin (this is the most common), excessive scratching, increased bowel movements, chewing and licking of the same area of the body (such as the paw or base of tail), and hair loss. In the most extreme cases of ear infections, chronic vomiting, and hot spots can also develop.

Most allergies that are directly related to dog food usually start when the dog is between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. This may also explain why many pet parents will make the switch to a raw food diet when their pet reaches 5 or 6 years of age.

Food That Cause Allergies

While switching your pet to a raw food diet certainly will improve your pet's overall health, decrease the added stress on the digestive system, and strengthen the immune system, there are certain foods that are more likely to cause allergies than others. The following list of ingredients is the most probable cause of food allergies in dogs:

Dairy Products
Chicken Eggs

You'll notice that the foods listed above are in almost all dog foods. And while 90% of our nation's dogs are able to tolerate these ingredients, it's the remaining 10% that can't handle these foods and will suffer from severe allergic conditions. These pet owners will be the ones desperately searching for relief for their companion animal. Yet unless you take the time to source and make your own homemade food for your dog, you will undoubtedly have a very hard time finding many dog food products that do not contain these 9 ingredients.

It's also important to note that since most commercial dry dog foods contain similar ingredients, merely switching between brands usually has little effect on the actual disease.

However, we have found great success in recommending a switch to a raw food diet. The difference is that the food is fed raw, not cooked. This is the way your dog was designed to eat. Raw foods put far less stress on your pet's digestive system, which allows the body to use its energy to natural fight the allergens that are attacking it.
It is for this reason that a large percentage of the new raw food feeders that we speak with are simply struggling to find a way to reduce the negative effects of feeding their pet a heat-processed food. These pet parents have found that the continuous, long-term ingestion of heat-treated dry food has been shown to trigger the majority of allergy symptoms in their pets.

How to identify A Food Allergy

One of the most effective ways to pinpoint the source of the allergic reaction is with an elimination diet. The goal here is to avoid the specific allergen that is aggravating the animal. You must find the specific protein source that is causing the problem. It is important to find a hypoallergenic test diet that contains a very limited number of ingredients and that has not been previously fed to the dog. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the best bland diet to start with. Other things to eliminate are treats, chew toys, rawhides, etc. - basically anything else that your dog can get his paws and mouth on.

Once your dog is stabilized and has not had a negative reaction to the bland food diet, you can start to reintroduce other protein choices gradually. Be sure to watch your pet's allergy condition carefully. When your dog reacts negatively to a newly introduced protein, you can specifically isolate the culprit and remove it from your pet's diet to avoid further allergic reactions.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

All You Need to Know About Dog shedding

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Dogs shed hair and shedding is a natural process that a dog goes through to remove dead and unwanted hair. Old fur falls out, and new fur grows in its place. All dogs lose hair from time to time, just like humans do, but some dogs shed more than others.

Dogs that live in the wild remove dead hair by rubbing up against trees and plants. Household dogs are not always able to accomplish this, so they rely on us, their owners, to help them remove excess hair.

Shedding can be a nuisance to some dog owners, especially if their dog lives primarily indoors. Although there is no way to stop a dog from shedding altogether, there are ways to reduce the amount of fur that a dog sheds.
Stages of new hair growth.

New hair grows in three cycles. The first stage, anagen, is the period when the hair follicles are active. Dog fur is in this stage about 90 percent of the time. Next comes catagen, which is after the hair has grown to a pre-determined length. The hair is in a temporary state of transition at this time. Finally, there is telogen, which is when the hair rests or stops growing. Not all fur is in the same stage at the same time. There are times when a dog's coat can be in multiple stages.

How shedding occurs
The shedding process depends on factors such as environment, nutrition, and heredity. Temperature and sunlight are also factors. Dogs that are exposed to the same temperature all year long, such as indoor dogs, may shed all year long, whereas dogs that live outdoors tend to shed only in the spring.
When a dog gets older or becomes ill, shedding patterns may change. In addition, some female dogs may shed more after a heat cycle, especially when they are around 3 or 4 years old. Puppies have fuzzy hair that often does not turn into an adult coat until they have reached 5 months old.

For dogs that are considered "non-shedding," their hair growth is much slower than other dogs. In addition, when the dog does shed, only a few hairs are shed at a time.

Causes of shedding
Most dogs grow a winter coat and then shed it in the spring and summer. Excessive shedding is not normal, however. When a dog sheds too much, there is often an underlying cause for it. The most common causes include the following:

•    Parasites (fleas, ticks)
•    Allergies
•    Diseases involving the liver, kidney, thyroid or adrenal glands
•    Immune diseases
•    Hormone imbalances
•    Tumors
•    Infections
•    Sunburn
•    Cancer
•    Pregnancy and nursing
•    Infections
•    Stress
•    Poor nutrition
•    Certain medications
•    Skin contact with certain substances

Controlling shedding: There are several things you can do to keep shedding under control, such as the following:
•    Brush your dog regularly to remove excess fur. This will keep the fur from flying all over the house. Brushing your dog also keep his fur softer and cleaner. There is nothing wrong with brushing daily, especially if your dog needs it and enjoys it.

•    Give your dog a bath regularly, especially in the summer months. Bathing cleans your dog's fur, which reduces shedding. An oatmeal shampoo used weekly can help make your dog's dull coat much shinier.

•    Make sure your dog eats a high-quality dog food. Everything your dog eats is reflected in his coat. A shiny coat is the result of good food. Bald spots and excessive shedding can be caused by a poor diet. If your dog has allergies, it may be a bit more difficult to find a dog food that your dog can eat without causing irritation.

•    Make sure your dog is protected against fleas and ticks. These parasites can cause scratching and bald patches on your dog's fur. Flea and tick preventatives should be applied to your dog's skin monthly to keep parasites and their eggs of your dog.

•    Vacuum your home often. Keeping your home vacuumed and swept daily is the best way to keep hair out of the home. Try to keep your dog off furniture, as dog hair can be tricky to remove from upholstery. If this is impossible, cover the couch or seats with throws that can be easily washed. This will keep your furniture looking and smelling good.

•    Regular vet visits can help detect any health problems that can lead to skin and coat issues. While you're there, you may want to ask your vet about the use of supplements. Fatty acids help promote a shiny coat.

When you need to see a veterinarian
Shedding is typically not a condition that requires veterinary care. However, conditions that persist for a week or longer should be looked at by a vet. These include the following:
•    Rashes, scabs and other types of skin irritation
•    Bald Spots
•    Scratching
•    Rubbing the face or licking feet
•    Dry hair
•    Open sores

Monday, 7 May 2018

Dog casually walks through live weather broadcast

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We all love to take our pet to work– but this is what happens when it backfires spectacularly.

A weatherman was halfway through his forecast when a big dog casually strolled past him in the background, in full view of the cameras.

We can only assume that means it’s going to rain cats and dogs.

WMUR Meteorologist Josh Judge managed to keep his composure despite the uninvited visitor interrupting his forecast in Manchester, New Hampshire, for WMUR-TV.

He says: ‘so the system is pulling away right now and the sunshine increasing and…there is a dog behind me.’

After chuckling at the strange scene, Josh adds: ‘It’s not the dog days of summer just yet, but it will be at least warmer than you’d expect for this time of year.’

The presenter comments that the pup belongs to a colleague named Amy, and finds out its name is Bella after asking someone off-screen.

He later added on Twitter: ‘While I was doing the weather this morning…a dog walked by behind!!! ‘Caught me off-guard…I didn’t realize Amy had brought her dog to work! LOL.’

Lion asking dog for forgiveness

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An interspecies friendship is a bond form between animals of different species. Domestication of animals has to lead to very strange interspecies friendships between two (or more) species that would naturally never exist together otherwise.

This is a story of a lion and a dog. These are just some of the many animal friendships we’ve seen lately where two animals that shouldn’t get along unexpectedly do. It’s amazing! It’s heart-warming! The New York Times article “Learning from Animal Friendships” tried to explain these relationships and it was great food for thought.

There are a lot of dog pairings out there, and I don’t find it surprising at all. Dogs are awesome! Also, I think it’s because dogs have been domesticated and bred by humans to be more docile. That also applies to horses, sheep, cats, and any other domesticated animal -- including that chicken. Animals that we’ve domesticated are more open to relationships because we’ve conditioned them to be in a relationship with us.

Watch an incredible bond between two friends since they were young, a chocolate lab and a mighty white lion and, the lion goes and kisses the dogs paw.

Tips On How To Make a Healthy Dog Food

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There are many concerns that have come up today about the dangers of feeding out dogs and other animals commercial food. These concerns have made us as dog owners want to start preparing our dogs food the natural way. We do not feel safe feeding our dogs those harsh chemicals that are contained in a bag or can of dog food. Preparing the food by hand in our home is the safe alternative.

So, today, you are going to find a lot of people that cook for their pet and there is nothing wrong with this. In the paragraphs below, we are going to guide you step by step on how to make healthy dog food for your beloved furry four-legged friend.

First, we are going to start with meat - that's the good stuff that dogs enjoy. You should choose meats that are fresh. You can purchase these from the local butcher or meat processor. These type of meats are going to be fresher and you can buy them in bulk, which will give you better pricing.

If you need the butcher to cut up and grind the meat for you, then just ask. For the meat, you can have stewing meats, lean beef, beef heart, boneless steak, boneless roast, beef liver, leg of lamb or skinless/boneless chicken breast.

Now, just because the dog loves meat does not mean that he or she cannot have vegetables. Believe it or not, canines require vegetables as well. The best veggies you can give your dog include pumpkin, squash, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, yams, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. These vegetables will give your pup the necessary nutrients. Just like with meats, you should select the fresh vegetables.

You should avoid giving your dog beans, beet greens, peas, spinach, garlic, tomato, potato, bell peppers, chard or onions.

You need to determine how much you need to feed your canine each day. Take the body weight and multiply it by 0.4. The resulting number is the number of ounces your dog should be consuming each day. You can either give it in one big meal or divided into a breakfast and a dinner meal.

Take the meat and vegetables and chop them into chunks that is small enough for your pet to easily eat. You can serve this to them raw. While it is not necessary that you cook the meat and vegetables before you feed it to your four-legged friend, some people prefer to do it, especially when they are having chicken. If you do cook it, then cook the meat slightly so that it is still juicy. Cooking it too much can kill many of those nutrients that your pet needs.

For the vegetables, you can lightly steam them and add the meat in with them. Make sure you only add the vegetables that are recommended for dogs. When you serve it to your canine, make sure there are no hot spots. You should always let the food cool off before you serve it to them

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Tips for Bringing a New Dog home

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Bringing a new dog home, introducing it to you, your family, and residence is an exciting first step in establishing a sound and loving relationship with your pet. I'll try to offer essential, basic advice to make sure you bring your new dog home successfully.

To start off, I have a shortlist of supplies to have on hand when your puppy arrives at your house:
•    leash
•    collar
•    I.D. Tags (as soon as possible)
•    food
•    food and water bowls
•    a few toys
•    bedding
•    a place for your puppy to sleep
•    a space to confine your puppy when you can't be there to watch it.

Personally, I get a huge kick out of introducing a puppy to its new home, and I even like to have a camera on hand to save a few mementos for years down the road. My wife and I have experience with larger breed dogs such as Labradors and German Shepherds as those just seem to suit us.

First--The very first time you bring your puppy home, give it a grand tour of your house or apartment or dorm room. I advise leading the dog on a leash as you do this. Make sure that you identify as many of your belongings as possible that you don't want the puppy to have access to. Put those items out of reach.

Second--As you lead the puppy on its tour, give a gentle but sharp tug on the leash when it shows interest in items that are off limits. This is not to be punitive, and do not say "no." You can make a sharp, distracting sound, but do not at this time use the word, "no." At this stage, you are starting to familiarize your pet with limits. Be sure to lavish praise on your puppy for all right actions.

Third--After you have shown the puppy around the house, introduce your pet to its food and water bowls. It is important that you do not change the location of the feeding place. Let the puppy say "hello" to its bedding. If you have a crate, you can let the dog start sniffing and investigating it. If the dog is 8 weeks, you may want to start crate training. The object of crate training is to let the dog assume ownership of the crate so that it will consider it as a sort of den.

Fourth--When you feel that the dog has become accustomed to the residence, after a day or two, you can begin introducing it to the surrounding environment. However, if your puppy is under 8 weeks, you might want to wait a bit before you walk it around busy urban environments. Also, before you introduce your puppy to the outside environment, it would be a good idea to wait until the essential immunizations have been done so as not to risk violating city codes.

Selecting and bringing home a furry-friend should not be taken lightly. While it is an exciting and fun experience, it also comes with responsibility. Mainly keep them healthy and give them a lot of love and then some.

Japanese priests hold funeral for all abandoned toy robot dogs

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How did you say goodbye to your old toys?  Given them to a younger relative? Dump them in your parents’ loft? Throw them in the bin without a second thought?  If yes, think about it, you are heartless.

In Japan, more than 100 deceased Sony Aibo robots got the sendoff they deserved when they were given their own traditional funeral.

The dogs were lined up at the Kofukuji temple in Isumi last week while the monks chanted sutras to send them peacefully on their way.

Japan Times reports that they receive hundreds of old Aibo dogs every year since the dog is no longer in production so people send their old / broken ones to Electronics repair company A-Fun Co which specializes in fixing vintage products so they can use the parts.

It's typically like organ donation for a toy, and it’s lovable. However, before A-Fun Co ‘operates’ on the dogs, they organize a funeral for them because they believe that robot-dogs have souls and that they must return the souls to their owners, thus turning the toy into a mere machine.

The dogs arrive at the company with letters that give details of their name and previous life.
One letter reads: "I feel relieved when I know there will be a prayer for my Aibo,” as another says, “Please helps other Aibos." Tears rose in my eyes when I decided to say goodbye.

If you sit there with wide eyes and wonder what the hell is going on, priest Bungen Oi has some words for you.
"Everything has a bit of soul, he explained, after the service at the 450 years-old temple.
It's adorable, So pure, so runs home to drop all old toys off at the local church.

Puppy without front legs finally gets to run around thanks to his new wheelchair

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A disabled dog is born without its front legs and now has its own wheelchair, having been rescued from a horrible hoarding situation.

Loki, 3 years old, was born without any front limbs due to close breeding. He was one of 30 animals rescued from a hoarder.

Loki, the Chihuahua and Beagle combination was adopted by office manager Katie Orsenigo, 24, and car business owner Ron Petruska, 26, in May last year.

They brought Loki 1000 miles from Alabama to their New York home but soon realized that the way the pup walked on his chest was hurting his back.

The veterinarian informed the engaged pair to get the puppy fitted for an animal wheelchair so he can walk and run without causing long-term damage to his spine.

The puppy fell in love with his wheels and now counts down the hours until he can hit the road with the couple’s other dog, Marley, a six-year-old Havanese.

According to Katie, Loki adoptive mom, the pup makes everyone smile, and the pup is the happiest animal despite everything that has happened to him.

Katie, from Mahopac, New York, said she fell in love with Loki after seeing his photo and reading his sad story on Petfinder.

According to Katie, "He looked so happy despite everything, and we were delighted when they told us we could adopt him.

Although he seemed happy to scoot on his chest, the vet said it would hurt his back in the future if he continued to do so, so we started the plan of getting a new wheelchair.

At first, it was very difficult: he keeps tripping over it and falling on his neck. But we have made some adjustments now and it works well.

"It's great because he certainly associates his wheels as something happy."

She said the pup wheelchair draw a lot of positive attention when she is out with her puppy and inspired her to establish her own organization From Hope to Home, a network of animal foster parents who help dogs in need.

"It's like Beyonce is on the street, people stop me and ask me questions about Loki, they just cannot resist her big smile," she said.

It's very nice, people cannot resist him. Even though my other dog, Marley, is really angry, they have become friends.

"Even Marley cannot resist Loki's positive attitude.

How Do Dogs Get Heartworms

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Dirofilaria Immitus is the scientific name for the parasite that causes canine heartworms. It is a parasite that has a complicated life cycle and one that needs a mosquito and a dog to complete it. Many people wonder how dogs get heartworms. Here are some answers to the more commonly asked questions about this all too common dog disease. If you need further information you should talk to your veterinarian.

Carrying these worms within the dogs' bodies can result in heart failure, weight loss, vision impairment, shortness of breath and eventually death. Since the symptoms are different from one dog to the next, the only way to protect your dog from heartworm is a regular visit to the veterinarian. Normally, when your dog starts showing physical symptoms, the disease has possibly reached an irreversible and uncurable point

Dogs get heartworm infections after they are bitten by mosquitoes that are infected with this parasite. Mosquitoes become infected with this parasite after biting an infected dog. So as you can see it a constant cycle between mosquitoes and dogs transmitting this parasite back and forth.

Here are some signs to look for to possibly treat your dog before it is too late.

1. Previously highly active dogs tend to tire quicker than before.

2. A normally healthy dog starts to gasp harder and struggle to breathe.

3. Coughing becomes more common.

4. Hunting or running dogs can no longer keep up their normal stamina.

5. A sudden problem in vision.

6. Sudden and quick loss of weight and body mass.

One common myth among who contracts heartworms is that only long-haired breeds get them. The fact is any dog is prone to them. No matter what breed you have, get your vet to check the dog out for heartworm.
The easiest way to prevent your dog from getting this disease is to keep them on a monthly heartworm preventative, like Sentinel, Heartgard, or Interceptor.

If your dog has never been on a preventative before, your veterinarian will do a simple blood check to be sure that your dog is not infected with Dirofilaria Immitus already.

Heartworms can be a very devastating disease in dogs and even cats. It is very important that you keep your dog on a monthly heartworm preventative if prescribed by your veterinarian. In most southern states, pet owners are often told to keep their dogs on all year prevention.

Missing just one monthly dose can mean exposing your dog to this deadly disease, so make sure you remember to give the dose at the same time every month.