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Friday, August 31, 2007

You've got to love pets

Do you have a K-9? That is super-scientifically advanced talk for "dog." If you are a dog owner, where do you keep him/her? Is it an indoor pet, or does he have to stay outside? This will certainly have some effect on your pet's personality. In fact, indoor pets are likely to be happier than ones who're always forced to stay outdoors.

 

They just can't receive the same level of love and affection if kept outside. Now, another concern when owning a dog is dog obedience training. What have you taught your K-9? Does he/she know how to sit, stay, roll over, and stay out of trouble? These are definitely some of the basics, but dog obedience training goes much further than this if you're interested.

 

You've got to love pets. No matter how rough they have it or how much you're gone at work; they tend to still love you more than anything. Okay, so I'm really just talking about dogs here. If you've ever owned a cat, then you must know that they can be quite bitter if neglected. Just try leaving your feline alone for a week with just food, water and a litter box. He/she may just pee in your shoe or poop on your couch out of mere spite. This is common in the cat community.

 

They want revenge on those who neglect them. Dogs on the other hand aren't typically so bitter. Even with out a few dog obedience training classes, your K-9 will still probably do alright. However, if you have what's considered a vicious dog, who may attack someone at random when you're walking them, you may want to acquire dog obedience training. This is for your own protection and the protection of your dog. Hey you don't want your loving pet attacking some child who just happens to look them in the eye. This would be a catastrophe.

 

I recall one man back where I used to live, who had a young daughter that was attacked by a pit bull, while the owner was out walking him. The aggressive dog leaped forward at the child and bit her face. Later that day the man showed up at the owner's home and proceeded to beat the pit bull to death with a bat in his kennel. There were no charges brought against him. This is just something to consider when owning a dog. Although you assume your K-9 is perfectly harmless, he/she may need some special attention or dog obedience training. It's worth looking into.

 

http://www.puppytrainingidea.com/  

 

About the Author

Aldwin owns blogs on http://www.golfidea.org/  http://www.homeworkidee.com/ http://www.puppytrainingidea.com/   

 

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pet Food - A Decision That Will Affect Their Health

By: Lori Matthews

Over time, it has become increasingly apparent that we need to watch what we eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the effects of aging and diseases in the body. Our pets are in the same position as we are. By eating foods that are hard to digest, full of chemicals or contain little nutritional value, we are reducing the quality and the length of life of mans best friend.

Just imagine if we were to live on a diet completely made from synthetic materials and empty calories, or what we would call junk food. Because of this lifestyle, our health would suffer. We would be more likely to suffer from disease and reduce our lifespan considerably. The same applies to our pets, and often without our knowing it, we are the main cause of this problem.

Buying dog foods from the supermarket shelf is much the same as buying junk food for us; many dog foods contain chemical and flavor enhancers, the food which is often poor in quality, and most definitely not suitable for human consumption.

The process in which many dog foods are made includes rigorous cooking techniques, which destroys the natural colorings and flavors in the food. The result is that your pet may be eating artificial colors and flavors as well as missing out on the nutritional value of quality wholesome ingredients needed to live a healthy life.

The best way to find out what it is you are feeding your pet is to investigate the ingredients that are in the dog food; the first five ingredients listed on the label are the main content of the food. If the dog food contains by-products this is usually parts of animals that are low in protein and not really good for your pet, for example, ground feet, bones and intestines.

Look out for chemical preservatives used to keep the food from spoiling; these are often called BHA and BHT. Grains, such as corn, wheat, gluten, and soy are also very difficult for your pet to digest, and are used as a protein source, instead of meat products.

Ideally, a pet food should contain wholesome ingredients that are easy for your pet to digest; the main ingredient should be meat, quality meat that is fit for human consumption. Vegetables, anti oxidants, bacteria cultures, and protenated minerals should also be high on the list. Grains are not ideal for pets, with the exception of whole grain brown rice, which is easy for your pet to digest as well as helping to promote a healthy coat.

All of these impressive ingredients are useless, unless a proper technique free of colorings and flavorings are used. Pet food should be cooked in a way that locks in the protein, minerals, and fibers right from the start, without the need for artificial ingredients to be added.

Your pet deserves the chance to live a healthy lifestyle, just the same as its owners do. By providing nutritional, healthy wholesome premium dog and cat food for your pet, you can show your best friends how much you really care for them.


About the Author:

Lori Matthews studies health, nutrition and wellness. Enjoys writing articles on health for both people and pets. Please visit Lifes Abundance Premium Dog Food for more information.

 

A Pet Sympathy Card Can Lift The Spirits Of A Bereaved Owner

A Pet Sympathy Card is an obvious choice for us to send when a family's or friend's much loved pet dies.

Hallmark one of the leading Pet sympathy card publishers has been printing these cards since 1984. One of their releases states that "Almost six in 10 American households include a pet, compared to one in three that includes a child. No wonder that dogs and cats are more than mere companions - they're part of the family"

They go on further to comment.. Animal Hospital Association research shows that 79% of pet owners celebrate their pet's birthdays. More than half of dog owners (55 percent) view themselves as the parents of their pets, and some 62 percent sign cards and letters from themselves and the pet". It's little wonder then they rose to the challenge of creating a special category to enable friends and relatives to send their condolences on the loss of such a beloved 'family member'. The Pet Sympathy Card category has reached new heights of interest.

There will be few of us who haven't been touched at some point in our lives by the love of an animal. The majority of us have experienced caring for a pet as a child. In fact it may seem almost obligatory to have at least one pet as a youngster. The animal shops are full of an abundance of creatures hoping that a generous passer-by will give them a good home. However, being able to buy and then care for an animal don't go hand-in-hand.

Being the owner of a pet is not easy. It may start out easy enough. We buy a few basic animal care products, create a safe sleeping and playing area and immerse ourselves in animal care books. The libraries and book shelves are full of 'how to care for your pet' books.

Over the years we may well give up holidays because we can't leave our pet. Perhaps we have limited our time away - relying on neighbors or friends to come in and care for our beloved creature. We may make a song and dance of their birthday and have one or two animals from the same family living together as a family unit.

The wealth of animal shows on television confirms that yes, as a nation we are besotted, often caring more for them than our fellow human being.

So we know that caring for an animal takes time and commitment. We almost don't begrudge the cost of vaccinations or pet care. And many of us don't budget for it.

We buy, or acquire our pet and then we give it hours of our unstinting love and attention. We take care to feed it soundly, walk it as necessary. Or at the very least we inquire into how to exercise it and keep it in the peak of health.

Our commitment is so consuming that the end when it comes is hard to bear.

Writing a sensitive Pet Sympathy Card to someone going through this loss can offer them some comfort and support.

It's not just the cat and dog owners who would welcome such a card. Think of all the different species of animals out there from horses to hamsters and goldfish to guinea pigs. Some sites offer Bird Loss and Pet Rat Loss cards, and include Ferret and Rabbit Loss in their extensive ranges.

There will be a card perfect for you to send to any grieving pet owner. If you can't find the perfect printed sympathy card take a look at the thousands of blank cards. There are many options to choose from. There are sites that specialize in animal cards and some of the Sympathy Card sites have sections on animal loss.

You may want to give something more substantial than a card. This can help the owner to remember them in their homes, or help them to mark their final resting spot with a permanent memorial. Our first action though should be the careful selection and writing of a Pet Sympathy Card.

About the Author

Geraldine Jozefiak has written widely on the subject of Sympathy Cards. Greeting Card Guide gives you the latest news, trends and products to make your greeting card selection as quick, fun and painless as possible. http://greetingcardguide.com

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pet Business Ideas

"When all the receipts are tallied, Americans will have spent $13.64 billion on their pets in 2004. And that number is climbing each and every year." If you want to start a business of your own and you are also a pet lover – there are many different pet business ideas to choose from. It is definitely worth it to take some time and do your research!

Pet Business Ideas and profit margins are plentiful - but first you have to find which pet business is right for you. There are many different pet business ideas you can choose from, you just have to find one that will work for "you".

Below are the most popular pet business ideas to give you just a glimpse of what is possible. We didn't even list all of them! Which pet business would make a perfect match for you?

A dog bakery business is by far the most popular of new pet businesses popping up all around the world. If you love pets and you also love baking, this would be a perfect match. The profit margins are incredible as the treats can be made for pennies and sold for twice that and more! One of the great things about a dog bakery business is you can do business online, offline or both leaving you will many options!

A pet sitting business ranks in as the second most popular pet business idea. Just imagine spending your day with your favorite four legged friends and making money too! Pet Sitting is a pet lovers dream.

Pooper Scooping might not sound pretty but it's a viable option. Pooper scooping is one of the fast growing trends in the past two years. With just a few accounts to attend to weekly you can find yourself making a nice paycheck for you and your pet business.

Pet grooming is yet another popular pet business to start! I know I bring my dog to get groomed every fourth week of the month, imagine if you had just a few regular dog lovers that brought their dog in for grooming sessions!

Many of these pet business ideas can be started right from the comfort of your own home and on a shoe string budget! We suggest before picking your business and jumping in that you first find out the laws and regulations in your county and state for such a business. For instance, some states will not allow you to bake dog treats from your own home kitchen. It is important to find out your laws before starting your business to avoid any mishaps later.

To read more pet business ideas and articles, come visit us on Indulge Your Pet.com where we also have pet lover forums where you can interact with other pet lovers and pet business owners!


About the Author:

Chrissie Cole specializes in Pet Business Ideas, starting a dog bakery business and much more! Stop by the IYP pet lover forums and meet fellow pet business owners! http://www.indulgeyourpet.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Myth Of 100% Complete Processed Pet Food

By: Dr. Randy Wysong

Every day, people by the millions pour food from a package into their pet's bowl. Day in and day out, meal after meal, pets get the same fare. This strange phenomenon is not only widely practiced, but done by loving owners who believe they are doing the right thing. Why? Certainly because it is convenient, but also because the labels state that the food is "complete and balanced," "100% complete," or that the food has passed various analytical and feeding test criteria. Furthermore, manufacturers and even veterinarians counsel pet owners about not feeding other foods such as table scraps because of the danger of unbalancing these modern processed nutritional marvels. The power of the message is so great that pet owners en masse do every day to their pets what they would never do to themselves or their children -offer the same processed packaged food at every meal.

Think about it: Our world is complex beyond comprehension. It is not only largely unknown; it is unknowable in the "complete" sense. In order for nutritionists and manufacturers to produce a "100% complete and balanced" pet food, they must first know 100% about nutrition. However, nutrition is not a completed science. It is, in fact, an aggregate science, which is based upon other basic sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. But since no scientist would argue that everything is known in chemistry or physics or biology, how can nutritionists claim to know everything there is to know about nutrition, which is based upon these sciences? This is the logical absurdity of the "100% complete and balanced" diet claim. It is the reason a similar venture to feed babies a "100% complete" formula has turned out to be a health disaster.

Claiming that anything is 100% is like claiming perfection, total knowledge, and absolute truth. Has pet nutrition really advanced that far? Does a chemist make such a claim? A physicist? Doctor? Professor? Did Einstein, Bohr, Pasteur, Aristotle, Plato, or any of the greatest minds in human history make such claims? No. Has the science of pet nutrition advanced to the point where everything is known about the physiology, digestion and biochemistry of animals, or that everything is known about their food?

Certainly not.

The fact of the matter is that the "100% complete" claim is actually "100% complete" guesswork. At best, one could say that such a claim is the firm possibility of a definite maybe. Each time regulatory agencies convene to decide how much of which nutrients comprise "100% completeness," debate always ensues and standards usually change. This not only proves that what they claimed before was not "100% complete," but this should also make us highly suspicious about what they now claim to be "100% complete."

Additionally, consider that in order to determine the minimum requirement for a certain nutrient - say protein - all other nutrients used in the feeding trials must be adequate and standardized. Otherwise, if vitamin E, for example, is in excess or is deficient, how would you know if the results of the study were because of the effects of protein or due to something amiss with the level of vitamin E?

If the minimum requirements for all 26+ essential nutrients were all set and absolutely etched in stone, then there would be no problem. But they aren't. They are constantly changing. This means each time any nutrient requirement is changed, all test results for all other nutrients using the wrong minimum for this nutrient would then be invalid. Most nutritionists simply ignore this conundrum, feeling like cowboys trying to lasso an octopus - there are just too many loose ends. But they continue to perpetuate the "100% complete" myth, and excuse themselves by saying they make adjustments when necessary.

The point is, don't believe the claim on any commercially prepared pet (or human) food that it is "100% complete and balanced." It is a spurious unsupported boast, intended to build consumer trust and dependence on commercial products - not create optimal health.

Unfortunately most people think animal feeding is a mystery. It is not. Animal nutrition is not a special nutritional science to which common sense human nutrition principles cannot be applied. Use the same common sense in feeding your pets that you use for feeding your family. Nutrition is not about some special ingredient or the absence of some boogeyman ingredient. Fresh foods fed in variety are always superior to processed food artifacts.

If you feed processed foods, use discernment since just about anyone can create a commercial pet food. The pet food industry has hundreds of brands with officious and beguiling labels, all stamped with the approval of the FDA, USDA, State Feed Regulatory Agencies and the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Business profiteers and the occasional movie star are the most common force behind the labels. All one needs is a little money and they can go to any number of toll manufacturers and have them slightly modify a shelf formula. Dress it all up with a fancy package, a clever brochure and some advertising and voilĂ , another brand is added to the 20-billion-dollar pet food industry.

Nutrition is serious health business. The public is not well served by exclusively feeding products from companies without any real commitment to health … or knowledge of how to even achieve that.

For the past 25 years I have been a lonely voice in the wilderness trying to get people to understand the deadly health consequences of feeding processed pet foods exclusively. People want convenience in a bag and the industry wants the flow of billions to continue uninterrupted. In the meantime the scientific literature offers compelling proof that millions of animals have been maimed and died as a result of feeding thoroughly tested "100% complete" foods with the full imprimatur of government regulation. (Exactly the same thing that abounds in the FDA-pharmaceutical industry.) Examples of pet food disasters include dilated cardiomyopathy from taurine deficiency, potassium imbalances, fatty acid and carnitine deficiencies and numerous other problems that would be expected on a steady diet of dead, devitalized, carbohydrate-based processed foods. Moreover, the whole panoply of human chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, obesity, arthritis, autoimmunities, dental deterioration and organ failure are at epidemic levels in the pet population … as should be expected on such a diet.

Not only is feeding the same processed food day in and day out a formula for disease, it is a cruelty to our pets. We take them from their interesting and active wild setting and confine them. That is one thing, but to not even offer them interesting natural meal variety is really quite inexcusable. The answer, like everything else good in life, is a little attention and common sense. Knowledge is the best beginning point.

To learn more, obtain a copy of my book, The Truth About Pet Foods. I will also see to it that you get a free copy of my CD, "The Thinking Person's Master Key to Health," and the brochure, "How to Apologize to Your Pet," which will give you specific guidelines for how to prepare meals and treats to achieve Optimal Pet Health.


About the Author:

Dr. Wysong: a former veterinary clinician and surgeon, college instructor in human anatomy, physiology and the origin of life, inventor of numerous medical, surgical, nutritional, athletic and fitness products and devices, research director for the present company by his name and founder of the philanthropic Wysong Institute. http://www.wysong.net

 

A Successful Pet Grooming Career For The Avid Animal Lover

If you enjoy grooming your pets and the sight of your neighbour's unkempt dog sets your imagination racing, perhaps you need to try your hand at a pet grooming career.

Pet grooming careers are meant for those who are willing to handle both compliant and stubborn pets. You may be lucky to get some pets that are amenable to the grooming process. However, you must also be prepared to face the occasional biting and scratching pet. You will have to be careful and at the same time willing to take risks with certain difficult pets. Remaining alert and following safety procedures during grooming will ensure that you do not end up with cuts and bites.

So, patience and the right attitude are prerequisite traits for those interested in pet grooming careers.

As is the case with all careers, you should have a proper understanding of the subject. This you can achieve by getting a good education through a pet grooming course. You should try to select a quality pet grooming school with the longest course duration because it will mean that you will acquire a greater amount of knowledge as well as practical training, which will be immensely beneficial in a pet grooming career.

After taking a course, it is a good idea to do an apprenticeship so that you learn first hand under the watchful eyes of an expert. This way you will be able to avoid mistakes made by first timers.

So, if you have love for animals, patience and the right approach to boot, you should step into the shoes of a professional pet groom for a rewarding career in pet grooming.

For more such articles visit http://www.home-gyms-fitness.com

Ravi Agarwal is publisher of dating-tips website - http://www.petgroomingtip.com

He has written several informative articles on pet grooming tips topics.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Reflective Dog Collar Or Reflective Cat Collar Could Be A Lifesaver For Your Pet

You know it happens every day. Someone is driving down the road at night and without warning, a dog or cat comes out of nowhere. With no time to stop, someone's pet has just become another tragic statistic. A paper published in 2001 reported that 1 in 5 persons have hit a dog or cat with their vehicle. 25% of those people said they did not stop to check on the animal or report it. That means that millions of dogs and cats die on the road every year, with some left to suffer first.

A reflective dog collar or a reflective cat collar is an affordable level of protection that every responsible pet owner should consider. You could very easily be saving your pet's life. With a reflective dog or cat collar your pet becomes more visible at the critical 100-600 foot braking range.

When considering a reflective collar for your dog or cat, keep in mind that there are two variations. One type of reflective collar is just what it says it is. It is a collar that reflects light that shines on it. The other type of reflective collar not only reflects light, it also glows in the dark after being exposed to light for a period of time. This added feature increases the visibility of your pet even if a light is not shone on it.

Matching reflective leashes are also available with many reflective dog collars. For early morning or evening walks or jogs or on days when the weather is rainy or foggy, a reflective dog collar along with a reflective leash will add visibility not only to your pet but to you as well.

Reflective dog collars and reflective cat collars should never take the place of good safety practices. You should never let your dog or cat run loose unattended. When the unthinkable happens though, and your dog or cat escapes or is lost, a reflective collar could not only save your pet's life, it could also help you locate him when it is dark.


About the Author:

As owner of MyPetSpecialties.Com Karen Mclean has focused on providing painless training aids and pet safety products like our reflective dog collars and reflective cat collars.

Homemade Pet Food Is The Best Option For Your Pet

Cost may often be a determining reason why many a pet owner may baulk at preparing homemade pet food for his or her pets. However, making homemade pet food is not necessarily expensive and you can follow a few handy tips in order to keep the outlay within budget. To begin with, you need to think seriously about what kind of meat to give to your pet. If you visit the pet food store, you should look around for any items that are on sale and choose the meat that is being sold at a discount with which to make your pet's food at home. Also, rotating his food with different meats will add some variety to the food and make your dog look forward to different dishes.

Buy In Big Quantities

You can also control costs of the pet's food by considering buying it in bigger quantities. And, you would be better served in purchasing cheap meat for your pet's homemade pet food by visiting warehouse stores that will sell you a little extra for a bit less. These saved pennies can add up to quite a saving in the long term.

You will also find that you can control the costs of your homemade pet food by adding some leftovers from your own meals and this is not as bad an idea as you may be thinking because many of the foods eaten by humans are quite like those that pets eat. So, with such tips in mind, you can get over your initial hesitation about preparing homemade pet food and rustle up different chows for the pet that he will come to relish and also expect more of.

With a lot of pet food being recalled, preparing homemade pet food is another good way of ensuring that your pet is not fed with contaminated food. If you are able to make the food with some amount of adeptness, it can prove to be more effective than many of the pet foods that have God only knows what ingredients that can even be contaminated or otherwise unhealthy for your pet.

According to some people, the whole exercise of preparing homemade pet food can be fun, not at all difficult and very effective as well as cheap too. However, you must be prepared for your pet rejecting the food sometimes, and so you must exercise patience and also not take it to heart. Sometimes, it helps to get expert advice on what to prepare for the pet and you should also ensure that the food contains plenty of nutrition as well.

The bottom line is that homemade pet food means being able to provide your pet with food that has been made with loving tenderness and care, and if all is well with the preparation, your pet may even thank you for your efforts.

Caroline Bourke is a full time beauty therapist in Florida. Check out these great Pet Food resources and articles or the more general Pet Shops Online advice and info.

 

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dog Food - Which Diet Is Best For Dogs?

Why The Food You Give Your Dog Matters!

If you're like most dog owners, you probably assume that commerical dog foods with brand names that are easily identifiable - Purina, Iams, Pedigree, etc. - must be good for your pets, right? After all, millions of pet owners buy them and feed them to their beloved pets, and surely they wouldn't all give their dogs something harmful. Unfortunately, this may just be the case.

Now, before I get any further along, let me make it clear that I am not a veterinarian. I do, however, have a science background and education, and I've had more dogs in my care in one year than most people will have in a lifetime. As an observant and naturally curious person, I've paid close attention in the past 20 years to the general health of my pets and those I've had in my care through a rescue shelter I was involved with for several of those years. I've also picked the brains of several top vets in my state in my quest to get to the heart of the matter concerning the best dog diet.

What has become abundantly clear is that one type of diet stands well above all others in terms of fostering good health and long life. More on that later...

I've seen dogs fed commercial foods, both wet and dry, from the cheapest brands to the so-called "premium" brands. I've also seen dogs who were fed vegan or vegetarian diets, as well as those fed raw meat and bones (known popularly as the BARF Diet). While individual dogs will do just fine on any of these widely divergent diets, what I've looked for are general trends in population subsets. How do these 10 dogs fare in their lifetimes when they eat cheap kibble every day? How about those 12 dogs who are getting a vegetarian diet all the time? And what happens to those 25 dogs who are being given a raw meat and bones diet? These are the types of questions I've asked as I've dealt with large numbers of dogs and their owners or keepers over the years.

These have in no way been controlled experiments, and I would never attempt to pass them off as authoritative or as adhering to any strict interpretation of the scientific method. In other words, take my conclusions with a large grain of salt. I'm really just out to get the wheels turning in the minds of all dog lovers who read these words.

After all of this careful observation and tracking, clear patterns have emerged time and time again...

Dogs that eat commercial kibble or wet food have lots of health problems later in life and tend to die youngest. This is even true when they've been fed "premium" dog foods, sadly.

Dogs that are fed vegetarian diets do better, but must be given large amounts of alternative protein sources to make up for the lack of it in standard vegetarian fare. A purely vegetarian diet is difficult to provide that will satisfy a canine's basic nutritional needs, but it is healthier and leads to slightly longer lifespans than any commercial brand diet.

Without any doubt (based on what I've seen over many years and hundreds of dogs), the best possible diet to feed your dogs is raw meat and bones with an occasional slop made up of vegetables, fruits, and organ meat. I've seen clear and compelling evidence that this diet leads to three amazing results: much better overall health, excellent dental health, and longer lifespans.

Countless times, I've seen dogs with repeating, nagging health issues (obesity, allergies, etc.) turn completely around on a raw meat and bones diet. And it doesn't take long to see how much whiter and cleaner their teeth become. This is actually very important (dental health), because a growing number of vets suspect a link between the bacteria produced by poor dental hygiene and internal complications as dogs age. Because dogs have to crunch through raw chicken, beef, or pork bones daily, they get and keep very clean teeth in short order.

It still amazes me to hear the feedback from a dog owner who has converted to the raw meat and bones diet. Virtually without fail, they all become true believers. In some cases, the improvement in their dogs is nothing short of startling.

A common fear voiced by many owners is the worry over the bones getting caught in their dog's throat or splintering and cutting them internally. This is a common misconception that actually does apply to COOKED bones. Never give your dog a cooked bone (especially chicken bones)! Raw bones, however, are no more of a threat than any other mouthful of food your dog chews. I have yet to deal with even one case of a dog on this diet having any kind of serious problem with the bones (out of hundreds).

Yes, handling raw meat and bones requires a commitment many are uncomfortable with. You have to get over the 'yuckiness' and embrace the benefits to your dogs! Another issue is finding a good source of affordable products. It's a good idea to locate a chicken processing plant nearby. They will often sell chicken cages (breast bones and related parts). Chicken cages are ideal because they provide a good balance of meat and bone - not too much of either in proportion to the other.

However, you should not always feed chicken. Mix things up to vary their protein sources a bit. Get some pork and some beef now and then to keep things lively and to provide your dogs with important nutrional elements that the chicken alone probably isn't providing. And don't forget to mix up a slop of green veggies, carrots, apples, bananas, and some raw livers or hearts at least twice a month. [*Note: have your pet checked for allergic reactions to any of those ingredients before trying this for the first time. Adjust accordingly.]

This is the main idea behind the success of the raw meat and bones diet: it comes closest to simulating the exact types of foods dogs ate all during their evolution. Think about it. Did dogs eat processed commercial food from bags or cans? Did they grow and harvest vegetables, fruits, and grains? Did they dine on cooked meats? Of course not! They evolved eating prey the pack took down and scavenging the carcasses of former kills. All raw!

You might be wondering, given this evolutionary perspective, why I'm suggesting that you prepare and feed a veggie-fruit slop every now and then. Good question! It's a bit unsettling to ponder, but consider the state of the prey (or dead bodies) that dogs ate all those years they were evolving. The animals they ate also ate, and more often than not, that meant their stomachs contained undigested vegetables, fruits, and other plant matter. The dogs dining on them didn't ignore that stuff - it got eaten along with everything else that could be stripped from the body.

So you see, this diet works because it mimics what dogs naturally fed on for tens of thousands of years. It really is that simple. There's nothing deep or esoteric about it at all.

Just try it. Take this challenge: give your dogs a raw meat and bones diet for 60 days. Try to find a meat and bones source that is close to a 50/50 meat-bone ratio (chicken breast cages from a processing plant are great, but you can also try pork necks or beef ribs from any grocery store). If you go the pork or beef route, give your pet plenty of time to wear down the raw bones. Chicken bones are soft and easily chewed up, but pork and beef bones take much longer. If you don't see any noticeable improvements - healthier coat, more energy, better teeth, excellent blood work-ups - go back to his former diet.

If you do take the challenge, I'm betting you'll be fairly amazed and continue. About 90% of those I know who've tried it stick with it. Give it 60 days. Isn't a healthier, happier dog who lives longer worth it?


About the Author:

John Schwartz has written extensively about dog health issues, safe dog products, and humane dog training practices. He is a passionate advocate for ethical dog adoptions and promotes spay and neuter education. His website can be found at http://www.puppies-dogs-supplies.com

 

Dog Behavior Training For Your New Pet

By: Tim Lee 

Some of us might remember that old song, "How Much Is That Puppy In The Window?" Even those that don't recollect this once popular tune can certainly relate to the experience of simply falling in love with every cute little puppy you encounter.

It doesn't take long to figure out where the phrase "puppy dog eyes" comes from. Unfortunately our animal shelters, swollen with older relinquished pets, are a sad testimonial to the fact that too many instances of "puppy seduction" end up in a household disaster because well intending folks simply do not understand the basics of dog behavior training.

Dog behavior training should the first concern of new puppy parents. Put the crates, bedding, leashes and food aside for a moment. Your dog behavior training resources must be in order if you are to effectively transform that sweet little puppy into a functional member of your household.

Responsible breeders and pet shop owners should take the time to instill this requirement in the minds of new dog owners before you leave their facility. Too often, the excitement of a new pet and the completion of sale or adoption formalities distracts both parties from addressing dog behavior training as the highest priority of pet ownership.

On the surface one might conclude that dog behavior training is a process which benefits the new dog owner. While this is most definitely true from the perspective of owning a well disciplined, controllable pet, one ultimately comes to learn that it is the dog which benefits more from proper training than the owner. Simply put, an untrained dog quickly becomes a nuisance rather than a welcome addition to the home.

Owners unfamiliar with the basics of canine behavior and who have not pursued a path of effective dog behavior training quickly become frustrated with their newly acquired animal. This stresses the dog and seriously compromises the pet's future potential for learning what is expected of him. The relationship of owner and pet quickly becomes a relentless downward spiral and eventually the animal ends up in a shelter.

Quality dog behavior training is the ultimate gift you can give to your dog. It ensures the dog's experience will be positive and catalyze a long lasting, irreversible bond between your family and their new pet.


About the Author:

My site (http://www.1st-in-dog-training.info/) provides information on solving your dog's behavior problems

Training Dogs: Tips On Breaking Bad Pet Habits

By: Ashish Jain
 
You want a nice, disciplined dog, who doesn't chew on anything and everything in the sight and doesn't deafen you with his needless barks. These are one of the most common dog problems and can be really irritating at times. They can, however, be corrected by proper training. Here are a few effective ways of bringing in correction in your dog's habits:
 
Barking
Barking come naturally to them, and what use is a dog that doesn't even bark. However, at time dogs overdo it and keep barking without a reason and sometimes even after their barks have been taken cognizance of and the offending element removed. Then, it is high time he had his lessons in "barking habits."
 
Most often dogs bark to tell the owner what they feel he must know, like an intruder, any unusual moving object, any unusual activity or sound. They feel that it is important for them to inform you at the earliest. This kind of warning bark is perfectly alright, but if your dog keep barking even after having been told not to, he needs to be trained about it.
 
In such situations take a squirt bottle filled with water, and every time the dog barks unnecessarily squirt the liquid right in his face after telling him not to bark in a loud "No". The liquid or the squirt wouldn't harm the creature but he wouldn't like it and would get the message eventually. This is disciplinary action and must be adopted only when the dog doesn't respond to your verbal commands. Keep it as a second option and not the first.
 
Chewing
Chewing is not only destructive but is potentially dangerous to the dog as well, because they might ingest pieces of plastic or wood or any other harmful object that could block their intestines, which could be life threatening. Puppies' chewing is acceptable because that's part of teething, but if the habit is retained into adulthood, it needs to be corrected.
 
It is better to start early. So, you need not wait till the dog grows up to teach him not to chew on things that are not meant for his chewing. The strategy for the pup as well as for the dog remain the same. Get some toys for the dog to chew on, and train him to restrict his chewing to them. Watch him carefully and if he chews on things other than his chew toys, look into his eyes at close quarters and say in a loud voice, "No!" and then offer one of his chew toys. He would get the message as to what has to be chewed on and what not.
 
Begging for food
Never give the dog to eat from your dinner table or your plate. Make him learn that he gets nothing by begging for food but gets to eat at the proper time. And if, unfortunately you already have a dog who has such a habit lock him up in another room while you eat.
 
You want dogs to behave well, but good behaviour is not something one is born with. One-- be it a human or a dog-- has to learn to behave. So, right training is the key.
 
About the Author:
 
To get more information on pet dogs, dog breeds and dog training and care visit http://www.thepetdogs.com/

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pet Friendly Travel – 10 Tips For Hassle-Free Travel With Your Pet

In the United States alone, over 60 million households have one or more pets. Pet owners in 15 million of those households travel with their pets, and the majority stay in pet-friendly lodging. Fortunately, pet friendly hotels, condos and vacation home rentals do exist. If you will be traveling with your pet, here are some pet friendly tips to remember for safe and trouble-free travel.
 
1 - When you make your reservation, double-check that pets are allowed. An important advantage of reserving online is that you can see - in writing - whether or not pets are permitted and any restrictions. Online, you can print out your reservation receipt that includes the "pets allowed" information. Verbal reservations leave more room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. If reserving by telephone, ask the reservation person to mail you a confirmation receipt that includes the "pets allowed" information.
 
2 - Is your pet an experienced traveler? If not, you should begin getting your pet more accustomed to traveling. Begin by making your car a fun place for your pet. Get in the car with them, play with them, give them a treat – have them enjoy being there with you. Then take a short drive with them. Gradually increase the length of time and distance that you drive with them. Before making a long trip with your pet, the idea is to have them comfortable with being in the car for extended periods of time.
 
3 - Remember that securing your pet while traveling in the car is crucial for their safety and yours. Consider purchasing a dog safety harness for your pet to use while traveling in the car. If you have a station wagon or SUV, you can purchase a vehicle barrier that keeps your pet confined to the rear area. They are usually sold at pet stores or are available online.
 
4 - Be sure that your pet has an identification tag and wears it while on the trip. The tag should have your pet's name, your name and phone number. If possible, use your cell phone number, a home number and the number of where you will be staying.
 
5 – Carry a photograph of your pet with you on your trip. If your pet should ever become lost, you'll be able to show others exactly what your pet looks like instead of just relying on a verbal description.
 
6 - Check with your vet for any recommended vaccinations appropriate for your trip - exposure to ticks while hiking, exposure to other dogs while boarding or heartworm prevention if your dog will be exposed to mosquitoes are examples of important preventative measures to take before your trip. If your pet is a dog, have an up-to-date rabies tag for your dog's collar. If you decide to day board your dog while on vacation, you may be required to show paperwork proof of the rabies vaccination.
 
7 - Once you arrive at the pet friendly lodging, inform the check-in person that you have your pet. You can inquire if there are any restricted areas where your pet should not be taken. Pet friendly lodging staff should be very accustomed to answering these kinds of questions and will appreciate your awareness.
 
8 - In your hotel room, condo, cabin rental or vacation home rental - never let your pet use the furniture or beds to sit, lay or sleep on unless you've covered the furniture or bed with your own cover. Place your pet's food and water containers on a mat or newspaper in the bathroom, where cleanup will be easier. When staying in pet friendly accommodations, you may choose to feed your pet outdoors.
 
9 - If you'll be leaving your pet alone in the room or vacation rental, make sure the front desk or rental agent knows. Be sure that you leave your pet secured in their travel container or crate if housekeeping staff will be entering the room at any time to clean. You certainly don't want a housekeeper to enter and be surprised or even attacked by your pet! A pet may also run out of the room when housekeeping enters if left unsecured.
 
10 - Be very careful in warm or hot weather with leaving your pet in the car. Even when the outside temperature is only in the 70's or 80's, the interior of a vehicle can reach 100 degrees and higher, especially when parked in the sun. It doesn't take long at these temperatures to cause serious or even fatal harm to your pet.
 
Traveling with pets and staying in pet friendly lodging can be lots of fun - after all, your pet is part of your family too. Just using common sense and planning ahead makes for an enjoyable and surprise-free vacation.
 
Copyright 2005 David Buster
 
About the Author:
 
David Buster is Vice-President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of http://www.bestvacationrentalsonline.com - visit the website for more on pet friendly lodging and to find vacation home rentals, condos and chalets, places to get married, discount hotel rooms, adventure travel and more.
 

Friday, August 24, 2007

How to Save Money on Your Pet Insurance

Here in Britain we are a nation of pet lovers and treat our pets like we do ourselves and our children, this includes giving them the best food, treats, toys, care and of course the best in health care by way of a vet. However when it comes to our pets they can also cost us a fortune, especially if you should have to visit the vet. However much we love our pets the bills for x-rays and medication can be sky high, however you can insure your pet. Insuring your pet doesn't have to as expensive as you might think and could save you money in the long run.

Insurance for your pet isn't limited to paying out when it comes to vet bills, most insurance taken out for your pet includes for other eventualities that can arise. For example should your pet be stolen then most insurance companies will pay out for a reward offered.

One way of having money for any eventuality to cover your pet, is to not actually go with an insurance company but instead set up an account which is solely for your pet and deposit money either as a lump sum or put away a little each month and allow it to build up in case you should need it. This can often work out cheaper than paying actual premiums through an insurer.

However if you wish to go with an insurer then shop around for the best deal with the cheapest premium, things you should take into account when it comes to purchasing insurance include the amount of excess that you pay. If you pay more excess then your premium will be lower.

Also watch out for hereditary conditions being excluded, many breeds have certain conditions which are know to be passed from generation to generation so make sure your pet doesn't fall into this category or insurance could be worthless.

Finally take into account if there is a maximum pay out limit per year. Some policies will only pay out to a set limit, if you have an older animal that needs regular treatment then it might not be covered.

About the Author

Jason Hulott is Business Development Director of Protection Insurance, an internet based insurance business dedicated to getting consumers the best rates and the best products. Visit our Pet Insurance Directory.

 

How to Solve Common Housecat Problems

rare sight to see a furry little cat all curled up across your lap. Seeing this often leads people to believe that their beloved pet is all innocent and does nothing wrong. Well when there are claw marks in the furniture and scratches up their arm they tend to change their minds. All pets even cats have their behavioral problems. The good news is all those behavioral problems can be remedied with a little knowledge together with a little patience and consistency.

Before putting forth any disciplinary action or training programs you cat should first be taken to the veterinarian to check for any health issues that may be causing the behavioral problem. At times your beloved pet could be in pain and that could lead to personality issues. Also if something new such as a new baby comes in their lives it can cause stress and in turn they will lash out. If your cat is sick it may be difficult for them to make it to their litter box in time.

Not Using the Litter Box

When it comes to their litter box cats are quite particular. They are not willing to use a dirty litter box anymore than we're willing to use a dirty toilet. If you can clean their litter box twice a day it's highly recommended. Also if you could scrub out the litter box and let it air dry about once a week then you'll see a remarkable difference. If that doesn't seem to help, the type of litter your using may be the problem. Certain types of litter or the scent of it may be a huge turn off to your cat. The clumping, and unscented litter is most recommended.

Litter Box Pickiness

Then in some instances cats don't like to urinate and defecate in the same litter box. So this would call for multiple boxes. This may also be the problem if you have multiple cats. Some cats don't like using the same box as other cats. Cats are just a little fussy of wear they do their business.

Cat Urine

When a cat isn't using their litter box and instead is using a piece of your furniture, the carpet, or curtains it becomes a real nuisance. When you clean these areas be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner. This cleaner will assist in removing smells and the stains. If you go down to a local pet store you can find these cleaners and even a combination that will repel a cat as well. (If you want to try the internet first it's recommended. Sometimes they have a discount price).

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying or neutering your pet is always a safe and healthier idea. It helps prevent spraying up to 90% but not only that it helps with over poplulation and helps aggression in male cats.

Reduce Clawing

Some cats are natural clawers, which makes it important to keep their nails trimmed with the use of a claw clipper. The proper way to trim their nails is to gently press on the footpad to extend the claw. The tip of the nail should be snipped without cutting into the pink portion of the nail. When the pink part becomes compromised, the nail will bleed, often spooking your cat into running away. To satisfy the clawing in your cat, you may give them a designated place to do so, such as a scratching post or tree trunk. Rubbing catnip on the place you have selected is a good way to encourage them to accept your suggestion.

Cats Don't Like Foul Smells

When you want your cat to avoid a space or piece of furniture simply spray an unpleasant smell. Cats are smell sensitive.

About the Author

Julia Camden - Have a cat behavior problem that needs solving? If so, you'll want to visit www.secretsofcats.com today to get expert information on how to train your cat and eliminate cat problems quickly.
 

Thursday, August 23, 2007

6 Dog Training Tips For A Well Trained, Well Behaved Pet

By: Shannon Lueck

Dogs are considered man's best friend. Throughout the ages and of all animals, dogs have been man's companion. More than companions, dogs serve a variety of functions. There are working dogs (e.g., police dogs) and dogs that are used as guides for the disabled. Farmers and livestock owners use dogs for herding, and some home owners get dogs specifically to guard their property.

Whatever the primary purpose of a particular breed of dog is, it's important that it receive proper training. Many dog training professionals will attest to the importance of having a well-trained dog. You don't have to be a professional dog trainer to train your dog. You can do simple activities to teach your pet how to behave.

Dog training tip #1: Curbing your dog's digging behavior

As a dog owner, you need to understand that dogs are social animals. When they are lonely or alone, dogs resort to digging. Loneliness isn't the only reason dogs dig, though. In some instances, dogs that dig are experiencing some sort of nutrient deficiency. To make up for this condition, dogs oftentimes would eat the dirt they dig. If your dog tends to dig a lot, spend more time with him. It also pays to have your dog checked up to make sure that his health is in good condition.

Dog training tip #2: Potty training your dog

A reward-based method works best when potty training your dog. To use this method, give your dog a treat after it potties in the right place. Following up good behavior with a reward will make it easier for your dog to remember doing good behavior.

Dog training tip #3: Repetition is key

Whenever you are trying to teach your dog something -- whether it's a trick or making your dog obey a command -- repetition is important. Repetition and consistency are keys that will help your dog understand a command. To test if your dog knows a command after so many repetitions, test him without any assistance. Do this at least three consecutive times to make sure that your dog's grasp of a command is not simply a fluke.

Dog training tip #4: Communicating with your dog

When training your dog to follow a certain command or do a certain thing, it's vital that you not just issue the command out. It's also important that you direct your dog how to perform a command or drill as well as correct your dog if he doesn't follow the command properly. Be consistent when you are issuing out commands and trying to teach your dog to develop certain behaviors. For instance, if you are trying to teach your dog not to chew on slippers or shoes, do not praise him one day when you see him chewing on a slipper.

Dog training tip #5: Proper timing in training your dog

It's always best -- and professional dog trainers will recommend this -- to train your dog when it is still a puppy. When it comes to training dogs, it is indeed true that old dogs can't learn new tricks. So start training your dog early.

Dog training tip #6: Let your dog know you're the boss

Dogs are pack animals, which means they follow a hierarchy. Thus, when training your dog, it's important that you establish yourself as the alpha dog (the leader). Your dog needs to understand that he is the submissive being. Avoid showing any fear when your dog snaps back. Doing so will break the established hierarchy you have with your dog. When your dog is doing his exercises, never allow your dog to stop mid-way or not complete the exercise. Firmly let your dog know that it should do what you, the alpha dog, wants him to do.

Dog training tip #6: Act around your dog

Your puppy will naturally want to chew on things so give your puppy an outlet for his chewing urges. You can give your puppy a chew bone to chew. If your puppy tries to chew on you, yelp loudly, fold your arms and ignore your puppy for about ten minutes. When a puppy becomes too rough on other puppies, the others yelp and tend to ignore the puppy. However, you may need to assess your puppy's personality because he may react to the yelping by biting more and even harder. If this happens, you may need to apply a more aggressive approach.


About the Author:

I have owned dogs for most of my life and can't imagine living without them. I've put together a site with free information about dogs for dog owners. Please visit: Dog Obedience Training Review

 

Adopting A Pet Pomeranian

If you are looking for a toy dog that is intelligent, curious, lively and cuddly, then the Pomeranian could be the dog for you! Before you enter into dog ownership of any breed, however, you must ask be honest with yourself about if you are ready for the commitment of money and time that it takes to be a responsible dog owner.

The first thing you must do is make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Are you ready to spend time training and grooming your Pomeranian? Is your family agreeable to the decision? Are you aware of the expense associated with responsible dog ownership and are you must insure your Pom has the appropriate veterinary care?

If your answers are yes, then all systems are go!

Before you pick out your perfect Pom, think about where you want to get him from. There are 2 basic places you can use to find a Pomeranian that suits you – A rescue organization or a Pomeranian breeder.

At a rescue organization, you will be able to find Poms that have been left homeless either to abandonment, death of owner or simply because they got lost. Some of these Poms may not have had a happy life before getting rescued and may have some problems, but there are many others that have no issues at all. You may have to wait a while before one that fits your criteria comes up, but it is a great way to give a needy animal a loving home.

If it's a puppy you want to buy, or you plan to show the dog, you probably want to go straight to a breeder. If you do plan to buy from a breeder, make sure you use one that has the good of the breed at heart and not just trying to make a quick buck. Some things to consider when reviewing breeders are:

- Length of time in business and how many puppies they produce every year – too many may be an indication that they are more interested in money then in enhancing the breed.
- Ask if they are involved in rescue for the breed- it shows a compassion and caring for the breed.
- Make sure they know the standard for the breed.
- Find out if their breeders are registered.
- Ask if any of their dogs have been found to have genetic defects – they should not still be breeding these dogs.
- A reputable breeder will be most concerned that his puppies are going to good owners. If the breeder is grilling you about your family schedule and living environment then this is a good sign!

Once you have found your perfect pet Pomeranian, make sure you dedicate the time to proper training and grooming so that your dog can be a happy healthy companion for life!


About the Author:

Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.pomeranian-pages.com where you can find out everything you need to know about Pomeranians. Looking for a Pomeranian? Find out about Pom rescue at http://www.pomeranian-pages.com/Pomeranian-Rescue.html

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pet Supply – More Than Food Bowls

By: Ken Snoddy

Your pet supply may consist of a variety of items for a variety of pets. There are many different kinds of pets, and they all have unique needs and personalities. You may have more than one kind of pet, or unusual pets. Then you have an even bigger array of pet supply items.

The basics in pet supply needs are pretty obvious. No matter what kind of pet you have, you have to meet its basic needs. You have to have feed, and something to feed and water your pet out of. For dogs and cats, this chore has been made easier by pet supply manufacturers. You can now purchase large canisters with bowls attached to the bottoms. It is the same principal that made silos work, but on a smaller scale. But it cuts the work down for you so that you don't have to feed as often.

There are many places that you can get all of your pet supply needs. There are even stores that are dedicated solely to this purpose. These are great places to get items that you never even knew you needed. You know – those things that you've never heard of, but once you see them you buy them.

Farm supply stores can be a great place for your pet supply needs. Because these stores are usually based on wholesaling, they are often cheaper than other places. The downside is that you may have to buy larger quantities than you intended. But if you plan on keeping your pet, it may be worth it in the long run.

Online auction sites can be great places to buy some pet supply needs. For those items that you don't have to buy over and over and are higher priced items, this is a great way to get a bargain. As with other items on auction sites, these items may be a great deal if not many people bid on them. One thing that you need to remember is to check shipping prices. It may seem like a great deal until you add in shipping. Find all costs before buying.

Some of your pet supply needs can be found at any of your general retailers. Food, dishes, shampoos, and toys are a few of many items to be found. One thing that you need to make sure you buy with dogs or cats is a collar. Make sure that you keep current tags on your pets. These are your best chance for recovering a lost pet, and therefore one of the most important things on your pet supply list.


About the Author:

To get your questions answered about Pet Supply visit http://www.great-pet-supply.info

 

Dog Food Allergies: Saving Your Pet From Discomforts

Are you fond of sharing your food with your dog? According to experts, giving your dog some of your food may not be a good idea. Some of the tasty food that we like to eat and even those dog food that we often buy in the market could cause a lot of miseries to our pets.

In fact, dog food allergies have been tagged as one of the leading cause while many dogs get sick every year. If your dog happens to be one of those breeds that are sensitive to food, you need to be extra careful when giving him or her any times of food. Dog food allergies can bring about some complications that could be very harmful to your pet.

Preventing Dog Food Allergies

Almost all types of dog food allergies can be easily prevented by proper care. Different dogs may be different allergy triggers so be sure that you know what types of foods could cause dog food allergies in your pet. You can easily determine the types of food that are harmful to your per through a process of elimination.

If you have been giving your dog a specific brand of food for sometime and you noticed that your dog keeps scratching itself even when it does not have any pest infestations, there is a big probability that your dog is having some kind of allergic reaction to the food. Try to stop giving your dog that same kind of food and see what happens. If your dog stops scratching itself after a few days, then do not give attempt to give it that brand of dog food anymore.

When trying to find out what triggers dog food allergies in your pet, you should keep a record of your findings. List down all the types of foods that does not cause any allergic reactions from your dog as well as those types of foods that caused some allergic reactions.

If you happen to have somebody who takes care of your dog while you are away, make sure that your dog caretaker knows that your pet has dog food allergies and what are the types of foods that triggers the allergic reaction. In case you have to go away on a trip for a couple of day, give a list of things that could trigger dog food allergies in your pet to your caretaker along with the name, telephone number and address of your vet. Instruct the caretaker to take the dog to the vet immediately if he or she notices that the dog is not feeling so well.


About the Author:

Ann Marier writes informative articles on general health issues providing helpful tips and advice. Her latest articles are about different allergies including food allergies

Five Cat Food Factors That Discourage Feline UTD

One of the most common causes of Feline Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is what your cat eats. A feline diet that is too high in carbohydrates and magnesium, and low in protein can lead to FLUTD. When their cat is initially diagnosed with FLUTD, feline owners will usually first try to get their kitty to eat the prescription food recommended by their vet.

But what if the cat rejects their offering? As an alternative, there are specific, non-prescription cat foods available to maintain your cat's urine pH balance at 6.6. A high urine pH value indicates struvite crystal formation in your cat's urinary tract. The challenge is to find the right cat food that appeals to kitty, contains the proper amount of protein and magnesium, and has few or no by-products.

If you turn out to be one of those owners who has to find an alternative cat food, then here's five things to evaluate when selecting cat food to prevent future FLUTD occurences in your kitty:

1. What's the Most Common Ingredient?

The first and most common ingredient that should be listed is protein - meat or fish. Read the label carefully - here's some variations you could see:

Canned cat food:

Beef
Chicken Liver
Deboned Chicken
Beef Broth

Dry cat food:

Chicken
Organic Chicken
Herring Meal
Chicken Meal

Some other good ingredients that will help your kitty maintain good urinary tract health are blueberries and cranberries. Vegetables such as carrots are good, and rice is a good grain for your kitty to consume.

2. Are There Any By-Products?

Are by-products listed as one of the ingredients? If so, put that food back on the shelf and keep looking. By-products are filler material, and have limited nutritional value for your kitty. By-products are typically carbohydrates, and since cats are carnivores, they need protein, not carbs, for proper nutrition.

Here are some examples of by-products:

Canned cat food:

Corn gluten meal
Ground yellow corn
Soybean meal
Beef By-Products
Meat By-Products

Dry cat food:

Ground Yellow Corn
Chicken By-Product Meal
Corn Gluten Meal
Wheat flour
Corn Meal
Soy flour

3. How Much Moisture Is In the Cat Food?

What's the percentage of moisture in the cat food you're evaluating? The higher the number, the better for your kitty. More moisture means your cat will urinate more. Increased urination will flush out any crystals that may be trying to form in your cat's urinary tract. Canned cat food has a higher moisture content than dry.

4. How Much Magnesium Does the Cat Food Contain?

An excess of magnesium will contribute to struvite crystal formation (FLUTD). Some magnesium is necessary, but generally look for cat food that has a maximum of 0.025% magnesium to prevent struvite crystals.

5. Does the Cat Food Contain DL-Methionine?

DL-Methionine is an amino acid with sulfur, which helps regulate ammonia formation in urine. This amino acid helps maintain your cat's urine pH balance around 6.6, which is normal and does not encourage crystal formation.

And... since cats are cats (which means they are in charge!), be aware that what you select for them may not be what they want to eat, if they don't like the taste. If this happens, you'll need to start over again until you find a wholesome, nutritious cat food that merits two paws up from your feline!

Keep these five factors in mind when shopping for cat food to maintain your kitty's urinary tract and prevent FLUTD.

And remember, when you're considering changing your cat's diet, consult with your vet. She or he will give you expert guidance and information to make the transition easier for you and your kitty.


About the Author:

Nancy stopped the cat urine odor problem at her home, and kept the kitty that caused it. "18 Ways to Stop Cat Urine Odor Problems" saves you money, time and frustration by solving your cat urine odor problem - permanently. http://www.stopcaturineodor.com

 

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How To Help Your Dog With Food Allergies

Because every dog is unique, it's sometimes very difficult to determine what causes food-related allergies and what doesn't. Common pet food culprits include wheat, corn and soy. Various proteins also create their share of problems in certain dogs. I was shocked to learn that some dogs are allergic to chicken, while I know from first-hand experience that my Jack Russell Terrier Lucy used to be allergic to beef. Here's an approach worth trying if your dog is exessively itching and scratching.

If excessive itching and scratching are the problems, that may simply be the lack of Omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids in your dog's diet that's making their skin and coat dry. Winter indoor heating may also be exacerbating the condition. Adding simple food additives to your dog's food may be the key without switching diets. Supplements like Mrs. Allen's Shed Stop, Flaxseed Oil, Pet Botanics Skin & Coat supplement, Royal Coat from Ark Naturals or Health & Shine from Dr. Harvey's are all viable solutions for supplementing your dog's diet with the needed Omegas that dog's and cats need to lubricate their skin and coats.

Excessive and compulsive foot licking, or chewing and biting other parts of the body, are generally a sign that allergies are to blame.

Assuming it's food allergies and not environmental, many vets and pet nutritionists recommend substituting a protein source that your dog doesn't normally eat. Lamb is often used for this purpose, because it's not as common a dog food ingredient. Lamb, in and of itself, is not "non-allergic", but it's less common than chicken and beef so it enables you to introduce something new into your dog's diet, in effect, starting with a clean slate.

Some vets sell expensive "allergy free formulas" but there are ways to figure this out on your own and a lot less expensively. Increasingly, pet owners who have dogs with food allergies are feeding various pet food mixes like Dr. Harvey's or Solid Gold Holistique Blendz. Dog's with allergies related to grains can try The Honest Kitchen's FORCE formula, which is grain free, or Sojourner Farms' new grain free Europa formula.

Mixes, while a bit more work, allow you to more closely control what your dog is eating by beginning with a good "base" that contains the proper nutrients and vitamins especially formulated for dogs. Then, you can experiment by introducing your own protein sources (whether raw or cooked) and seeing how your dog reacts over the next few days.

Because The Honest Kitchen FORCE Formula is grain free but chicken-based, I would stick to the Dr. Harveys or the Europa which have no protein or grain sources. The Solid Gold Holistique Blendz formula is also a good choice but that already contains fish protein. Because fish-based protein is an unlikely protein source for your dog to begin with, it's unlikely that it will cause allergy problems now -- same theory with the lamb or any other uncommon protein like venison or buffalo or rabbit. If later you find that chicken is ok, I would give The Honest Kitchen FORCE Formula a second look, too.

Beginning with one of these neutral, grain-free formulas, try adding chicken for a week. If that goes well, than your dog is probably ok with chicken. Then try beef. Then lamb. Try, fish, too. If that goes well, than it was probably one or more of the grains.

Now a picture is starting to form. Your dog's allergies have improved with a grain free diet that includes certain proteins.

As we mentioned before, the point of introducing a different protein source to test your dog's tolerance is because if your dog is suffering some type of food-related reaction, common sense tells you it's something she's already eating. Can't be having reactions to something she never had yet, right?

Please note that when switching a dog's food, do it gradually over 5 to 6 days. Begin a 4 to 1 ration, old to new food, than 3 to 2 on day 2, than half and half on day 3, than 2 to 3 on day 4 and 1 to 4 on day 5. Day six, you're switched over completely. Than the real allergy testing can begin in earnest by sticking with the new protein source for a week and than introducing a new one every week taking note of your dog's reaction or, hopefully, lack of one.

As you've probably figured out by now, there's no one answer or "Silver Bullet" that will miraculously solve all your dog's allergy problems overnight. You have to break the cycle by moving your dog to a neutral, grain-free food and begin experimenting with different proteins. Once you find a protein or combination of proteins that work, try slowly introducing grain formulas back into the diet to see if there's a reaction or not. Using this gradual, common sense method combined with a good quality dog food should have your dog on the road to a happy, itch-free life.


About the Author:

Gene Sower is the author of the ebook "The Dog Food Report: Do You Know What You're Feeding Your Dog?" Download your free copy here: http://www.lucythewonderdog.com/dogfoodreport.htm Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved. This article can be reprinted as long as this resource box along with the link remains intact.

 

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pet Grooming For Your Pet's And You Own Sake

Pet dander and hair often cause human allergies. So, if you suffer from a sudden bout of allergies with no apparent underlying cause, you know who is to blame. Sticking to a regular pet grooming schedule ensures that dander and dead hair are removed so that both you and your pet can enjoy good health. Pet grooming is particularly significant in winter and fall seasons when you and your pet are confined to your home for most of the time.

Advantages of frequent pet grooming:

Dead hair, dander and other related debris is removed by thorough brushing and washing of your pet. This will also help remove odour, which can otherwise be a big put off factor for pet owners and any guests who come visiting. Brushing ensures increased blood circulation and lymphatic flow due to the massaging movements. Air circulation through a clean coat is better. Pet grooming will lead to removal of fleas, mites and ticks etc. The cumulative effect of all these factors is that the pet skin remains clean, free of diseases and the coat shines with good health.

There is an emotional aspect to pet grooming too. The interaction between the pet and its owner during the grooming process leads to strengthening of the bond between them. Knowing that you care for him will make him feel greatly secure in your hands. While rubbing and massaging him you will find out where he likes to be touched and which are his discomfort zones. This will also help you detect any lumps or any other health conditions not visible to the naked eye.

Home pet grooming tips:

Follow these guidelines and you will be able to provide a reasonably good grooming treatment to your pet
Shampoo your pet regularly to rid the skin and hair of unwanted dander and debris. There are special shampoos for pets so do not try to use your own shampoo on him or it could cause irritation.
Use a conditioner on after every shampoo. This will prevent allergens from collecting on your pet's coat.
To remove tangles in the coat spray a conditioning liquid.
The importance of brushing and combing your pet's coat cannot be emphasised less. This will keep the coat glossy and clean.

So, for the better health of your pet as well as yourself, plan out a pet grooming schedule and follow it closely. The physical benefits and emotional attachment with your pet will be worth the trouble.

For more such articles visit http://www.home-gyms-fitness.com

Ravi Agarwal is publisher of dating-tips website - http://www.petgroomingtip.com

He has written several informative articles on pet grooming tips topics.

 

Always Feed Your Shih Tzu The Highest Quality Of Pet Food To Avoid Pancreatitis

The disease of pancreatitis can occur in your Shih Tzu if you feed the Shih Tzu table scraps and/or garbage. It is important to feed your Shih Tzu a well-balanced diet of high quality pet food. Pancreatitis presents itself from a severe inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that aids in the digestion of the Shih Tzu's food.

Symptoms of pancreatitis in the Shih Tzu include:

• A Shih Tzu who suddenly starts to vomit
• The vomiting may cause dehydration and the Shih Tzu may become lethargic
• The Shih Tzu may also experience diarrhea

The above symptoms are of course common to many diseases in the canine population as well as your own beloved Shih Tzu puppy or Shih Tzu adult. To help your vet make an appropriate diagnosis, be prepared to give him or her a good past history of events of your Shih Tzu eating patterns and what you been feeding the Shih Tzu as well as other health related history. A good history from you, the Shih Tzu owner, will help your vet determine whether or not the Shih Tzu has pancreatitis due to improper eating or some other disease.

If you have been feeding your Shih Tzu high a pet food that is high in fat, or a high-fat meal, or the Shih Tzu has actually been getting into the garbage can and eating from therein, the diagnosis could very well be "pancreatitis."

Certain pesticides and some drugs have side effects that will cause an episode of pancreatitis in your Shih Tzu. However, studies show there is higher incidence of pancreatitis among miniature Schnauzers and in obese animals. If your Shih Tzu is on the "fat" side, the symptoms described above could be an episode of pancreatitis. Your vet will need to make the final diagnosis. If your Shih Tzu vomits repeatedly, call your vet immediately as you do not want him or her dehydrating. Force water and some Pedialyte if repeated vomiting and diarrhea occurs during the time you await your vet's appointment or in route to the emergency vet clinic.

Episodes of pancreatitis requires vet examination. The pancreas of a Shih Tzu makes digestive enzymes in an inactive form. These are then changed to the active form when they enter the small intestine of your Shih Tzu. When a Shih Tzu develops pancreatitis, the active enzyme is made in the pancreas and the organ digests itself. Damage to the pancreas may lead to diabetes and loss of liver function.

When your Shih Tzu is diagnosed with pancreatitis, the intestinal tract will require rest. All food and water should be withheld from the Shih Tzu for a period of time. If your Shih Tzu is dehydrated he or she may require vet hospitalization so intravenous fluids can be given. Pain medication may also be prescribed for your Shih Tzu during this time.

The Shih Tzu normally responds to treatment for pancreatitis within a few days and can be put back on food. Slowly introduce an easily digestible diet to avoid diarrhea again. Remember, the Shih Tzu's digestive tract has been "irritated."

When a Shih Tzu has repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis or other signs of diabetes, the final diagnosis may be "chronic pancreatitis." Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and does not last long. There is no permanent damage to the organ when "acute pancreatitis" occurs in the Shih Tzu. However, in "chronic pancreatitis" the pancreas does undergo permanent damage and possible loss of function may occur.

To avoid Pancreatitis, avoid feeding your Shih Tzu table scrapes and keep him or her out of the garbage can. Always feed the highest quality of pet food you can afford. I recommend feeding HealthyPetNet Life's Abundance pet products. You can see what HealthyPetNet has to offer your pet by following this link: http://www.healthylife27.com

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.


About the Author:

Connie Limon. Visit us at http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com and sign up for our newsletters. We provide adorable Shih Tzu puppies for pet or show in a variety of colors at reasonable prices

 

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dog Food Types - Are Any of Them Good for Dogs?

By Savanah Douglas

A dog is more than a pet for many of us, it is a part of the family. For many dog owners this is a very true statement. We do everything that we can to take care of our fur friends and to make their lives as comfortable, healthy and long as possible. The best that many of us can do is to provide our dogs with a comfortable place to live, proper medical care when needed and to feed them well. Many people strive to give these things to their dogs, and in the process they do some research of the different dog food types that are out there on the market. If you dig deep enough you might be shocked at what you find.

On the surface, many of the dog food types will seem that they are perfectly healthy for your dog to eat. Some of them will have different main products, some will be meat based and others vegetable based (mainly corn) and most pet owners base their dog food buying decisions on this fact alone. However, there is more to the story than meets the eye. Dog food companies are not under the same regulations as the companies that process the food that we eat. For example, if a dog food bag is marked as having no chemicals added, or chemical free, this simply means that the food that is brought into the factory has no chemicals added to it once it arrives for processing. The product that is brought in, however, is full of chemicals and ingested with hormones. Not only that but many of the dog food companies also process road kill animals and the diseased carcases of dead animals as well as the bodies of euthanized animals from the shelters. This leaves your pets with an unhealthy soup that makes up the food that they eat.

The dog food and dog care industries are out to get your money, not to help your dog live a healthy life. By making simple changes to the way you feed your pet you could help them to live a much healthier and longer life. Download our Special Report at http://www.healthy-fur-friends.info/

Dog Food is Killing Your Dog an Online Special Report, Now Available to Download.

Quick Cheap and Healthy Dog Food Recipes

By Allison Thompson

If you feed your dogs manufactured dog food do you really know what you are feeding them? I recently came across a class action lawsuit that been filed against various pet food manufacturers, having read the details and done further research I decided that I couldn't safely feed my dogs any manufactured food so I needed to research some healthy homemade dog food recipes. The priorities when looking for good recipes was to ensure that the food would be healthy, it would be quick to prepare and it would be cheap.

My first stop was my local butcher who I use every week. I explained to him that I was going to make my own dog food and asked him what he could supply that was cheap. He now happily provides me with a large bag of off cuts and meat that would soon be out of date every Saturday evening. I you don't have a local butcher speak to the local supermarket and see what they can provide you with. You'll often find that they drastically reduce prices on meat that will soon go out of date.

After sourcing the meat I then managed to source a supple of cheap vegetables from the local farmers market. Many farmers use to throw away misshaped or bruised vegetables at the end of the market, not anymore! The final ingredient I sourced was large catering packs of brown rice. The rice is very nutritious and helps to bind the food together.

Now that I have assembled all the ingredients it's time to prepare the food. A really quick and simple recipe is to take 2 cups of cooked rice, 1 cup of meat which can be raw or cooked and a cup of grated vegetables, carrots and cabbage are good but try to avoid onions. Mix all these together with a small bit of lard or vegetable oil and feed to your dogs. I can guarantee that after only a few weeks on a menu like this your dogs will be fitter and healthier than before.

There are a few things you need to be aware of before you start to change your dog's diet. Firstly their digestive systems aren't as advanced as human ones so you'll need to change their food gradually over a few days. Start by adding a small amount of your homemade dog food to your dog's meal mixing it with the normal food. Over a period of three to four days gradually increase the amount of homemade food and reduce the manufactured food. Always ensure that you keep plenty of fresh water available for your dog to drink with his meals. Small dogs need only to be fed once a day while larger dogs should be fed twice.

By choosing simple homemade dog food recipes it is possible to extend your dog's life span significantly and to save money. Why not try it for a month and see the improvement in your best friend.

Allison Thompson who is an expert author and owner of several different breeds of dogs including a Spanish Mastiff and a Boxer has dedicated time to finding out everything she can to ensure that hers lead healthy and happy lives. She has also dedicated a large amount of time to finding out what is the best kind of foods that you she is able to feed her dogs. If you would like to learn more about all aspects of owning a dog then please visit http://www.healthypetsarehappypets.com/food

Buying Equipment for Your Dog Grooming Salon

By Connie Limon

In today's busy life, it is easy and convenient to order pet medications by mail. Many pets require long-term medication for chronic conditions. Pets also require regular vaccination kits, flea powders, and supplements. Mail order retailing helps us buy the medicines and other such products in bulk. This could mean a lower cost. And since it is delivered to your doorstep, it saves you both time and energy.

Discounts on medicines help owners offer a better quality of life to their pets. Monthly heartworm and flea preventives can be given regularly. Anti-inflammatory medicines, vitamins, and calcium supplements could help a pet live a long and healthy life. Grooming products like shampoos, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and sprays are also available at discounted rates. Some mail order stores offer discounts on treats and toys for your pet, too!

Most stores offer free shipping when the order is above a certain amount. Many also offer advice on pet care. However, do consult a vet before ordering because he or she knows the animal, and can make a qualified judgment.

Natural product-based companies could also offer you holistic health supplies. These would include food, supplements, treats, chews, flea control powders or solutions, and more.

Along with pet medications, some mail order companies also offer travel accessories, leashes, and collars. Some may offer specialized products like skijoring equipment, backpacks, ramps, and more. All these could be available to you at special discounted prices.

On receiving a mail order product, make sure that it is the one you have ordered. Look at the brand name as well as the company name. It should be USDA or FDA-approved. Take a close look at the expiration date before accepting the product.

PetMeds.com (www.1800petmeds.com), National Pet Meds, PETCO (www.petco.com), and Doctor Foster and Smith (www.drsfostersmith.com) are some of the companies that offer you pet medication by mail. Visit these sites and others for a choice of pet medications that could be mailed to you.

Pet Medications provides detailed information on Pet Medications, Pet Medications by Mail, Pet Medications Online, Cheap Pet Medications and more. Pet Medications is affiliated with Holistic Pet Medicine.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Advice For Avoiding Bad Pet Food

The immune system's strength, in people as well as animals, is affected by the quality of nutrition. A dog's behavior, happiness, health, longevity and overall well-being are direct result of the nutrition offered in the daily diet. Each dog has special nutritional needs that vary from animal to animal.

There are several easily noticeable symptoms of nutritionally caused deficiencies: allergies, hot spots, lack of energy, joint problems, arthritis and poor behavior. Nutritional balance is the key to a healthy pet and not giving the dog bad pet food will help with the inflammation of arthritis and other major health problems.

Quality Of Good and Bad Pet Foods

Poor quality pet foods are common in grocery stores and pet supply stores. The low price tag may be tempting and seem like a bargain for what is often advertised as a "premium" product, but the items really contained in your pet's food may be surprising.

Dogs need meat and protein, being carnivores, and they also need carbohydrates, vitamins, fat, minerals, and water. Essentially, they need all six of the basic types of nutrients. Manufacturers of pet food have the choice of the types and amounts of proteins, minerals, and vitamins that they put into their products. Chicken, lamb, and beef, which contain higher amounts of protein, are needed by active dogs. Plants or grains such as corn, soy, wheat, and rice have enough protein for less active dogs. Most dog food is made with ingredients that are edible by humans, such as rice, chicken, liver, vegetables, etc, which is not bad pet food.

Dogs have specific nutritional needs, but most pet owners do not realize that all dogs and most good or bad pet foods are not alike. Many commercial dog food brands are lacking in key nutrients, which are edible for humans, and even other species of animals, can pose hazards for dogs because of their different metabolism. Some may cause only mild digestive upsets, whereas, others can cause severe illness, and even death.

However, there are a few common food items that are bad pet foods to give to dogs. Chocolate, for instance, is very toxic to both dogs and cats. Baking chocolate contains more toxins than milk chocolate does, but both forms are potentially lethal. Two or three squares of baking chocolate could prove fatal to a smaller dog. Tea and coffee are likewise toxic, as they contain the same chemicals. Warning signs of food poisoning in dogs are excitement, nervousness, muscle spasms, seizures, and increased body temperature. Veterinary treatment is recommended as soon as possible.

Caroline Bourke is a full time beauty therapist in Florida. Check out these great Dogs Advice resources and articles or the more general Pets Advice advice and info.