3 Simple Dog Care Tips From The Pros

Having a pet dog is no easy responsibility. Every dog parent should always be on top of their pet’s physical and emotional well-being. The goal is to have a healthy and happy pet which makes both your life and his life better. Taking care of a dog is a continuous learning process – you learn something new from time to time. While each dog owner has their own approach on how they prefer to raise their pets, here are some easy dog care tips from the pros you can consider:

Have your dog checked by the vet regularly

Like us, as dogs grow older, they become more prone to health issues. It could be as simple as a toothache or as serious as a heart problem. The symptoms doesn’t always show or it’s too late when they do – that’s why it’s important to bring your pet to the vet regularly to have a general check up. Annual check ups should also cover dental care, health screenings, vaccinations, parasite control as well as recommended vaccinations. According to the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians president Dr. Kara M. Burns, regular exams are the single most important way to keep pets healthy.

Prevent your dog from getting parasites

The most common parasite that can affect your canine’s health are fleas. When they’re exposed to other dogs who has them, your pet can easily be plagued by the external parasite. Fleas can cause skin irritation, infection, hair loss, hot spots and more. If your pet swallows a flea, other parasites can easily be introduced to his body like a tapeworm. To help prevent both external and internal parasites, make sure that your dog and the environment he moves in are clean. Year-round prevention is ideal by getting regular flea and internal parasite control.

Keep your dog mentally and physically healthy

According to Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center professor and veterinary nutritionist Dr. Tony Buffington, an enriched environment is key to the long-term health and welfare of both canines and felines. A daily walk or run or a regular game of fetch will keep your pet physically active and healthy. Mental stimulation is just as important, so try a game of hide and seek, a toy or a treat hunt and other similar games at home.

Follow these effective dog care tips from the pros to contribute to your pet’s health and happiness!

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Top Five Dog Breeds For Senior Citizens

Dogs are natural companions for seniors. Dogs are good company. They can help seniors feel secure by keeping the house under watch. They also have the added bonus of giving seniors a reason to be more active. But when considering a dog for a senior, there should be several things taken into consideration in order to find the best match.

First, the dog should be suited to living in an apartment or small space. They should be able to get most of their exercise indoors and grooming should not be too demanding, since most seniors are on a fixed income and can not afford to pay for such services. I tried to stick with breeds that are reliably easy to train and do not need a strong pack leader.

Taking all those things into consideration, I've devised a short list of the Top Five Dog Breeds that would work best for Seniors.

The first on the list is my favorite breed; the Chihuahua. This breed is perfect for seniors because they are easy to keep and maintain and their exercise level will easily adapt to that of their household. They do need to be socialized thoroughly so that they do not become fearful or too yippy. They are a loving dog, but they need rules and boundaries, just like any other.

The second dog is the Chinese Crested. This may seem like an unusual choice, but they are very loving dogs and get along well with other pets. They are a true companion dog. As with the Chihuahua, the Chinese Crested needs to be socialized properly to prevent timidness and they do need to be protected from the sun and cold weather.

The third dog is the Pug. They are very happy and playful dogs and they get along well with other pets and people. They do need to be protected from the heat, as they tend to overheat quickly, but they do benefit from short walks. The fourth dog is the Lucas Terrier. This cute little terrier is sweet and easy to train. They are a very friendly terrier. They do require a weekly brushing, but they have a low doggie odor and shed very little.

Another one of my favorite breeds is the sweet little English Toy Spaniel (King Charles Spaniel), which ends the list at number five. This is a breed that LOVES to be around people. They get along great with children and are friendly with other dogs. They are happy and playful; a real treat to be around.

There is no reason why a senior can not enjoy the companionship of a canine, but they need to be sure to choose a dog that will be happy in the environment and lifestyle that they live. Make sure the dog is easy to keep and maintain and both the dog and the senior will be happy for many years.

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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 added to 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.

Corn / Ground Corn – AAFCOGround Corn is the entire corn kernel, ground or chopped.

Corn Bran – AAFCOThe outer coating of the corn kernel, with little or none of the starchy part of the germ.

Corn Cellulose – AAFCOA product obtained from the cell walls of corn.

Corn Germ Meal – AAFCOGround corn germ which consist of corn germ with other parts of the corn kernel from which part of the oil has been removed and is obtained from either a wet or dry milling manufacturing process of corn meal, corn grits , hominy feed, or other corn products.

Corn Gluten / Meal – AAFCOThe dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.

The corn germ meal and corn gluten meal both do actually contain protein but are mainly used as binders and cheap protein boosters in low quality food.

Next, you see a lot of 'rice' products in ingredients lists. Until I did some research I thought this was 'good stuff,' just like the manufacturers want you to think.

Brewers Rice – AAFCOThe treated extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spouts hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent. The small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice.

This is just another left over. It's the bits and pieces that are left over after whole grain and brown rice is processed for human consumption and actually is nutritionally depleted.

Rice Hulls – AAFCOThe outer covering of rice.

Another by-product used as a cheap fiber and filler.

Rice Flour – AAFCORice Flour consists principally of the soft, finely ground and bolted meal obtained from milling rice (containing essentially the starch and gluten of the endosperm) together with fine particles of rice bran and the offal from the 'tail of the mill. '

A highly pre-processed rice product that through processing has most if not all nutritional properties leeched from it.

Are you getting the idea? Left-overs, by-products, cheap fibers, fillers and protein boosters, of little to no nutritional value.

When you look at the above, would you expect anything of higher quality in the wheat, oat, soy and other miscellaneous cereals and grains? You can also be sure that even when you find 'whole' products listed such as brown rice, whole grain rice or potato, they are what is leftover after the products are processed and what can be used for human consumption is removed.

And here's a side note on soy products, soybeans have been reported to be the number one food allergen for dogs. Soy is essentially unusable by an animal's body because they lack the essential amino acid to digest soy products. Soy has also been linked to bloat and gas in many dogs.

So there's a bit on the carbs; Cereals and grains, that manufacturers put in your pet's food. Not only does your dog not really need them, most are highly indigestible and of such poor quality that there is little, if any nutritional value to even be derived from them. They can mostly be classified as cheap fibers, fillers and protein boosters.

Next time we'll go into some of the chemicals that dog food is just chock full of. It will be yet another eye-opening exposure to the world of 'commercial' dog food.

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Engaging Your Dog

So you can tell your dog is bored but it's way too hot out or it's pouring rain, or maybe you've done a cold.

There are many reasons why you may have to skip your walk today, but now your dog has much excess energy and you need a way for him to let loose.

Provided you are not just making an excuse so you can be lazy, although a day or two here and there of being lazy does not hurt anyone, here are a few ways to keep your dog occupied and allow him to burn off some of that energy.

1. Play Hide and Seek

No do not go and hide and expect your dog to come find you, after all he'll probably just follow you there anyway. Put your dog in another room, then go and hide some food in certain areas around the house.

Not too much food that he eats too much and becomes over weight, but a little here and there. Make sure the places are easy to get to, but have one or two that may require a little effort.

At first you may have to show your dog what you are doing, by taking him around and acting all surprised by what you find. Then after, after some practice, your dog will catch on and it will be a fun game for him to play.

2. Call up a Play Mate

Now this is assuming you do not have another cat or dog for your dog to play with. Simply call a friend or family member who has a dog, that your dog gets along with and likes to play with.

Now the two of them can chase each other up and down the hall, burning excess energy and having social interaction at the same time.

3. Food Dispensing Toys

Here's another fun way to keep your dog occupied. Get a few food dispensing toys, a couple that are not so complicated and then a few that are a bit tougher.

Then start off by giving your dog the easy ones and let him figure out how to get the food out, as he rolls it around to the floor or tries to tear it open. Next as he starts to get used to it and finds them easier and easier to get into, up the complication a bit and make it a bit tougher.

This not only burns off his energy, but builds on his intelligence as well. Although a smarter dog may not be what you looking for if you want to keep him from doing such activities, such as climbing on the counter.

4. Go for a Drive

Yeah it's not much exercise for your dog, but if he likes car rides, this option at least will provide your dog with plenty of amusement.

5. Do Some Training

Yeah it may not be a whole lot of fun for some dogs, but if you remain positive and give plenty of treatment rewards then your dog may soon learn to like it.

Plus this way you are, hopefully, improving your dogs behavior and at the same time providing your dog with some much needed exercise and one on one time.

6. A Good Old Fashion Game of Fetch

Get a ball and find a hallway and then just have some fun. Now your dog may not want to bring the ball back but eventually he'll learn that if he brings it back you'll throw it again. Or maybe your dog will just find the fun in keeping the ball away from you.

These are all good ways and there are plenty more. You can even make up games and other activities yourself. But what you want is something where you know you'll stay positive, burn that excess energy your dog has and something that is generally fun for your dog.

Personally, depending on the dog, money situation, etc., I'd recommend getting your dog a friend. That way your dog will always have someone to play with, whether you are around or not, sick or whatever else.

You do not needlessly need another dog, as some dogs like playing with cats just as much as another dog.

But then most cats do not like to play once they get a bit older. Although there is the odd exception, such as a Savannah cat, one of those will where your dog out and still have plenty of energy.

But that all depends on whether you want and / or can afford another pet. If not just use these and other fun ways to keep your dog occupied on those days where you come up with an excuse not to go for a walk.

And that's the lets Face it Facts.

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