Dog Food Treats – Time For A Snack!

Dog food treats and snacks are a vital part of your communication with your pets.

We use them to reinforce good behaviour, and also as an incentive and reward for successfully completing tricks we are teaching them.

You need to ensure that any type of treat or snack given to your dog is based on healthy, natural food wherever possible.  It should also have some kind of helpful result such as aiding in cleaning teeth. Rawhides as well as beef jerky specifically made for dog food treats are a great means to do this.

While some individuals use table scraps for dog food treats, it is generally not recommended. Many of these scraps often do not provide the nutritional nourishment that the dog needs.

There are a wide choice of good quality treats on the market including healthy, natural ones. Therefore you should have no problem finding suitable treats for
your dog.

Alternatively, you can make your own dog food treats at home.
This option is not only a fun way to connect with your fur baby, but also an opportunity to learn how to make something new in the kitchen that you would
not normally make. You can make sure they are made with healthy ingredients that you choose. Thus no more quality or food recall problems.

The video below details two healthy, tasty, organic recipes presented by Rosanna Pansino which your dogs will love:

THE THINGS YOU WILL NEED FOR ROSANNA’S RECIPES:

Mini Mutt Mints
* (1/2) Cup Fresh Minced Parsley
* (1/2) Cup Fresh Minced Mint
* (2) Cups Oat Flour
* (1/2) Cup Almond Meal
* (1/4) Cup Apple Sauce
* (1/4) Cup Coconut Water
* (1/4) Cup Coconut Oil
* (1) Heart Cookie Cutter Set

Sweet Potato Doggie Biscuits
* (1/4) Cup Fresh Minced Parsley
* (1/2) Cup Minced Celery
* (3/4) Cup Mashed Sweet Potato
* (1) Cup Brown Rice Flour
* (1/4) Cup Chicken Broth
* (1) Cup Oat Flour
* (1/2) Teaspoon Chicken Seasoning
* (1) Bone Cookie Cutter Set

Two other healthy dog treat recipes you may want to try are:

BONGO’S BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp powdered garlic
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Rind of 1 orange
12 tsp butter (do not use margarine as it’s mostly water).
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

METHOD

Combine all the components. Knead till well blended. Split into 6 parts. Roll each part into a log. Wrap loosely in wax paper. Freeze.

When needed, thaw and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (across roll).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie pan. Cook about 12 mins. Makes 6-8 cookies from each roll.

 

BEANIE’S BIKKIES.

INGREDIENTS:

3 1/2 cups simple flour.
2 cups Quaker oats.
1-cup milk.
1/2 cup warm water.
2 beef or poultry bouillon cubes.
1/2 cup meat drippings (beef, turkey, poultry or lamb).
1/2 tsp garlic powder.
Pinch ginger.

METHOD:

Before you begin making this dish, ensure you examine there is no onion in the bouillon cubes. Best to be safe and sure even if it is only a small amount.

Liquify the cubes in hot water. Add the milk and the meat drippings and beat well.

Mix the flour and oat meal thoroughly in a different bowl. Then, pour the liquid ingredients slowly into the dry mixture, with constant mixing as you go. Mix well.until thoroughly blended.
Press onto an ungreased cookie sheet and cut into your desired shapes.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hr. Switch off the heat and leave in the stove to solidify. Refrigerate after baking.

TABLE SCRAPS.

There are certainly many individuals who will declare that table scraps are harmful to your dog and thus should not be offered as snacks. These individuals are only partly correct.

While many commercial dog treats and snacks are formulated to meet the dietary requirements of your animal, there is no harm in permitting your dog to consume some table scraps as long as they are safe for the dog and are not given in excess quantities..

There are human foods that are dangerous and hazardous to your pet. However, most human food is perfectly acceptable for canines to eat. You need to study what foods are acceptable and what ones are harmful.

Things to be careful of:

Easily digestible foods such as prepared rice or chicken, and also turkey (boneless), will certainly be fine to feed your canine. Many fruits and vegetables are well tolerated by dogs. However there are some kinds to avoid such as grapes and onions.

Table scraps should only be used as small treats here and there for your dog. They should not be the major source of nutritional consumption. Unsafe table scraps like chocolate, and also some types of bones, can cause substantial harm or even be fatal to your pet.

You should also be careful not to feed your dog scraps which are too rich or are not well tolerated by their stomachs, as they can cause serious digestive troubles. Thus you need to be wary of exactly what table scraps you feed to your dog, and make sure it is not excessive quantities.

Always speak with your vet if you have any kind of concerns or questions about what snacks and treats to feed them. When using store bought brands, always read the labels to ensure you are getting good quality products, and make sure to follow the instructions.

It is important to remember that these are treats, and as such, are not meant to function as a stand along meal. Only use snacks and treats sparingly to ensure you avoid over feeding your dog.

Warmly,

Sharda.

How To Stop Your Dog Pulling On The Leash

How Do You Stop Your Dog Pulling On The Leash?

One of the most annoying experiences when taking your furry friend for a pleasant walk is constantly trying to stop your dog pulling on the leash. He always wants to pull you in a different direction or stubbornly stop to smell his surroundings.

This is a constant trauma for many dog owners. However the good news is that there is a simple solution to this problem.

You can solve the problem quite quickly with a few basic training techniques, together with the right collar or harness for your leash. Plus of course some good old fashioned patience.

To stop your dog pulling on the leash, one of the most important tools to have in your dog training bag of tricks will be either a dog harness or special collar.


We all love our pets and getting to know a new dog is great fun. However most owners will agree that there are times when we have to let them know who the boss is. Otherwise they start to take over.

Whether you like it or not Dog Obedience Training is all part of having a canine companion. It actually doesn’t have to be such a chore, as long as you have a few pieces of special equipment and a good quality guide to dog training on hand.

DOG COLLARS VERSES HARNESSES

When he pulls, immediately stop and stand completely still until the leash relaxes. This can be either by your dog taking a step back or by turning around to give you focus.

When the leash is nicely relaxed, praise your dog and give him/her a treat. Then proceed on your walk. Repeat this as necessary.

Both dog harnesses and collars can be used to control your pet and keep them from pulling on the leash.

SO WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

It seems like a simple choice, but in the world of dog training there are those who think dog collars are cruel because they are relatively tight and can choke the neck.

Then there are others that believe harnesses cause the dog to control the owner and therefore don’t work well as an obedience training tool to stop your dog pulling on the leash.

The truth is both can be used in a variety of different training situations. The one you choose to use will also depend on your dog’s size and character, its physical condition, as well as what you feel comfortable using.

DOG COLLARS

• Choke collar/chain – These are usually made from either leather or built using steel chain. They use a simple loop that goes around the dog’s neck and tightens every time you pull on the leash or each time your dog tries to run.

• Halter collar – This is designed with the same idea as the choke leash, but it is less aggressive in nature. It has 2 straps, one that goes around the neck and another that attaches to the dogs muzzle. The leash connects to the area just under the mouth, or behind the neck.

The idea is that each time your dog tries to run, or each time you pull on the leash, your dog’s head is pulled downwards or to the side so he/she gets disorientated and quickly learns to stop pulling on the leash.

The head halter is a very humane method of restraint because it doesn’t cause any pain. It works much better to stop your dog pulling on the leash than a choke chain or prong collar.

Some brand names of head halters include “Gentle Leader,” “Promise Collar” and “Halti.”

Unlike a muzzle, the nose loop gently moves your dog’s head when he pulls, while still allowing him to pant and bark. The collar sits high on your dog’s neck without putting pressure on the throat.

Head halters are perfect for keeping your dog under control for everything from daily walks to vet visits.


• Pinch collars – These are the least popular types of dog training collars as they can be inhumane. They are only meant to be used for a short period of time and generally not recommended. They are built with small inward pointing prongs that pinch the dog’s skin each time he/she pulls on the leash too hard.

DOG HARNESSES

• Standard harness – The design for this type of lead is basically the same all around, there is a strap that goes around the neck and two that go over the shoulders and under the front legs.

COLLAR OR HARNESS WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

If asked which one is better most first time dog trainers will normally choose the dog harnesses. This is because the force applied to the lead is equally distributed over the front of the dog’s body. Therefore it causes less strain on one single area, such as the neck.

However, some trainers believe that a harness is only best for walking your dog and dog collars are perfect for the quick training of your pet over very short periods of time.

Dog training collars shouldn’t really be used for periods longer than a month. Otherwise the collar could cause serious damage to your animal’s spine and neck.

There are also instances where using a training collar is not recommended. An example is on dogs who naturally have difficulty breathing or who are born with weak respiratory systems. In these cases a dog harness should be used.

Whether you choose a training collar or a harness to stop your dog pulling on the leash, the choice is very personal. However I hope the above summary goes some way toward helping you make an informed decision.

Warmly,

Sharda

Potty Train Your Dog – Problems And How To Fix Them

Often there are little bumps along the road while trying to house train or potty train your dog or puppy.

Picture taken from from www.vivagoal.com

When trying to potty train your dog, sometimes your pet may actually delay the training process. This can make life much more challenging for the owner.

Also, some people often find it difficult taking their puppy outside to go to the bathroom especially city dwellers and people with limited mobility. In these cases the easiest way may be to train your puppy to use a potty pad inside the house. The pad is usually an absorbent cloth or paper material, or a synthetic grass mat with drainage tray underneath.


To potty train your dog using a pad, it is important to place the potty pad in an area that is easily accessible to your puppy. Decide on a convenient place to put it and do not to move it while they are learning.

When playing with your puppy it is important to make frequent trips to the potty pad to ask them to relieve themselves. This could be every 15 minutes with young puppies but will be longer for older dogs.

When you bring your puppy to the potty pad use a word such as “go potty”. This helps train them to urinate/defecate on command. It is also important to reward your dog with a treat or praise immediately after they are finished relieving themselves to positively reinforce the activity.

Some common potty training problems and questions that owners experience with their dogs or puppies are discussed below.

MESSING IN THE CRATE

Often dogs or puppies get into the habit of messing in the crate because they have been left in the crate for too long.

Start with a fresh liner, and work with the puppy or dog to get them outside or onto their potty pad sooner.

In addition, if the crate is much larger than the dog, he or she may see part of the crate as their den and part of the crate as the bathroom.
Inserting a board or wire mesh into the back of the crate, and making it smaller, can correct this.

Dogs will generally not go to the bathroom in the area where they sleep. Thus a smaller crate will only provide enough room for the dog to be in, not enough room for them to relieve themselves in part a of it.

MESSING IN THE HOUSE WHEN YOU ARE AWAY

This can be very frustrating when learning to potty train your dog. It is usually caused by either boredom or anxiety. Try taking the dog for a good, long, brisk walk before leaving them alone.

If they have been crate trained you may wish to use this again, provided you will not be gone for prolonged periods of time.

If your dog has been trained to use a potty pad, there is much less chance of it leaving a mess in unwanted places.

Also Leave lots of toys for the dog to play with, or try leaving an old, unwashed t-shirt in their sleeping areas so they know you are around.

TIME IN THE CRATE

Time spent in the crate is important when trying to potty train your dog. This time can be roughly equated to the dog’s age. A good guideline is one hour in the crate per month of age, up to a maximum of four hours.

Therefore a puppy of 2 months can stay in the crate a maximum of two hours after going outside to relieve itself before it will need to go again. Provided of course that it is not fed in between.

No dog should be crated for more than four hours without the ability to signal to you they need to go outside, or to have access to a potty pad.

FEED AND WATER SCHEDULES

By controlling the amount of food and water your dog or puppy has, you can regulate the times they need to go outside to relieve themselves. Generally dogs will need to go outside between 15 and 30 minutes after eating.
They will need to urinate every three to four hours during the day. Mature dogs usually do not need to go out during the night once they are housebroken.
Therefore it is important to feed at least 45 minutes prior to leaving the dog or puppy alone. Be sure to follow crate-training procedures, or supervise them between eating and going to relieve themselves.
It is better to take them out too soon than too late. Thus you need to be carefully timing and watching for changes in behavior.

Water should be free access during the day. Most dogs won’t drink at night once they are mature. However it may be necessary to remove the water from a puppy’s crate or bed area when you go to bed.

Be sure to give them fresh water immediately in the morning, and allow free access when you are there to monitor. Remember that dogs and puppies, like humans, will need to relieve themselves when they first get up in the morning or when they wake up from a nap.

RETURNING TO THE SAME SPOT TO URINATE IN THE HOUSE

This usually occurs because the dog can still smell urine, even if you cannot. If it has gone in an area other than a designated potty pad, try using a deodorant with orange peel or even better ask your vet to recommend a product with active enzymes that will eliminate and not just mask the odor.


If at all possible, restrict the dog or puppy’s access to the area and continue on with the housetraining program.

Warmly,

Sharda

Importance Of Pet Dental Health

Pay Attention To Pet Dental Health Before
Your Dog Encounters These Problems!

Pet dental health is an important aspect in pet grooming but this process is often neglected by many dog owners around the world.

The result of this negligence includes several infections and dog diseases caused by poor pet dental health.
Let’s take a closer look at our dog’s teeth in this update.

PET DENTAL HEALTH – THE FACTS

Did you know that over 80% of all dogs under the age of three have some sort of oral disease?
This fact comes courtesy of the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). It also makes it the most common problem amongst young and old dogs alike. Why?

There are any number of suggested reasons as to why teeth are amongst the biggest problems out there for dogs of all ages. However the biggest one is the lack of care and attention that owners pay to pet dental health.

Looking after your dog’s teeth is an essential element of pet grooming. It should be done on regular basis. This will prevent the oral problems that afflict so many other dogs from affecting your dog.


PET DENTAL HEALTH – ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS

When it comes to teeth, there are plenty of elements of pet grooming to consider. This is because there are so many problems associated with teeth. However the irony is that pet owners should be very familiar with these issues and know how to prevent them to a certain degree. The reason is that dog teeth are prone to the same problems as human teeth.

Human and canine teeth both suffer as a result of the build-up of plaque. The main difference is that humans clean their teeth regularly. This avoids having residual food and saliva build-up in gaps, thus also avoiding the plaque turning into tartar.

Unfortunately the same is often not true about our beloved pets. It is due to the lack of care and attention that owners pay to pet dental health.

This can lead to a whole range of complications in dogs. thus it is incredibly important to ensure that your dog has his or her teeth cleaned regularly.

PET DENTAL HEALTH – GINGIVITIS

One of the most common teeth problems in dogs is gingivitis. You may recognize this as the problem that causes dog bad breath. However, it goes above and beyond that.

Gingivitis is actually the inflammation of the gums because of food not being removed effectively from between the dog’s teeth. The gums will bleed in turn and you may notice that your dog stops eating. This is not because of a loss of appetite but rather because it is painful to chew.

Unfortunately for your dog, it does not end with gingivitis but instead can lead to peritonitis, if untreated, which is far more serious.

PET DENTAL HEALTH – PERITONITIS

Peritonitis is actually an infection that affects the tissue and jaw bone, before actually moving onto more serious health problems that can affect your dog’s long term well being.

It is irreversible so you have to stay on top of your dog’s oral health from the start. After all, any dog affected may lose more than just their teeth. Of course, broken teeth are also a major problem for many dogs because they insist on chewing hard objects, such as bones.

As with human teeth, canine teeth have a breaking point and will snap if caught slightly off centre on a bone. They need to chew such objects to maintain teeth and jaw strength so you cannot prevent this but you do need to be vigilant. Good quality, natural dog chews are one way of minimising this problem, whilst still caring for your dog’s teeth,

So broken teeth aside, how can you spot issues with oral health in your dog?

SOME COMMON SIGNS TO LOOK FOR

• Tartar, which may be either yellow or brown in nature
• Bleeding gums
• Bad breath
• Red and inflamed gums, especially around the teeth rather than above them
• Difficulty in chewing food
• Changing the eating habits to accommodate the pain
• Pawing and scratching at the mouth area

With all these signs in mind, it is essential that you are aware of the possible problems and do your best to prevent issues with your dog’s teeth at home.

As always, prevention is much better than having to look for a cure.


Warmly,

Sharda.

Dog Grooming Tips – Be Prepared With First Aid Kit!

One of the most overlooked Dog Grooming tips is always have a  First Aid Kit handy when grooming your dog.             

This is one element of dog grooming that most people do not even consider because they wrongly take it as a given that nobody will get hurt during the process.

After all, grooming is harmless, right? Wrong. Anything can happen at any given time and when you think about it, you will be using scissors and other sharp objects when grooming your dog.


Unfortunately, that can lead to an awful lot of injuries to you or your dog and that is obviously not a good thing!

You have to be prepared for all eventualities when grooming your dog because not all events are avoidable.

If you have a dog and human first aid kit to hand then you can soon have any injury patched up and good to go again!

So what do you need in a first aid kit for dog grooming purposes? Well, the following should always be easily available and to hand:

  • A muzzle
  • Aspirin
  • Large and small non-stick bandages along with bandage scissors and tape
  • Sterile gauze wrappings
  • Pressure bandages
  • Betadine antiseptic solution
  • Tweezers
  • Blood-clotting gel or styptic powder
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Triple antibiotic ointment, which should not contain benzocaine or lidocaine
  • Electronic ear thermometer for dogs
  • Vaseline
  • Cortisone cream
  • Disposable latex gloves
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Syrup of ipecac
  • Kaolin product for dogs
  • Mineral oil
  • Unflavored pediatric electrolyte (Pedialyte)

All of the above are readily available at drugstores up and down the country. Most are inexpensive so this will not cost you a fortune. However, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry so make sure that everything is easily accessible just in case.

There are many reasons as to why you may need a first aid kit to hand. The following are just a few of the illnesses, ailments and issues that may well arise during the grooming process at one stage or another. As such, you should be on the lookout for all of them:

Cuts

Cuts come in two main types. The first is the scratch variety. This can be treated with antiseptic solution and a little gauze until the bleeding stops.
However, if it is a deeper cut then you will have to take your dog to the vet’s office immediately. The vet will either stitch or staple the wound in addition to cleaning it up effectively.

If there are any hairs remaining in the wound after the vet has finished, then use the tweezers to remove them carefully and ensure that it is completely clean.
If bleeding begins again when you do this then use the styptic powder to stop it. Then treat it again with antiseptic just to be on the safe side.
To prevent secondary infections,  the dressings should be changed regularly until the stitches are ready to be removed.

Skin Irritation Or Rashes

Skin irritation is quite common in dog grooming situations and can occur for a number of reasons. For example, it may be because the clippers burn your dog or it may be a result of a product you use, such as shampoo.

Either way, it must be treated to prevent it getting worse. Clipper burn can be treated using Aloe Vera or even a clipper coolant.
However, if you make sure that the irritation is treated immediately and it then gets worse, you will have to take your dog to the vet for a prescribed solution to the issue.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is effectively a problem when your dog’s body temperature drops below the average. It occurs far more often in winter than it does in summer and can occur during grooming if you groom your dog outside or in a cold house. It is relatively easy to spot because your dog will shiver and appear listless.

If the illness progresses too far then your dog will fall into a coma so make sure that you move him or her immediately to a warm room. Use a blanket to warm him or her up and slowly bring the temperature back up to normal. If you fail to do so then you need to call a vet immediately to remedy the condition or else your dog may die.

Allergic Reactions To Products

Allergic reactions to all sorts of dog grooming elements is not uncommon. You may face this in the early stages of grooming because of the various new products that you would be using on your dog. However, there are all sorts of different allergic reactions to watch out for.

For example, the reaction may be as mild as a rash but as severe as diarrhea and vomiting. How it appears determines how exactly you should treat it.

You should treat any minor allergic reaction as you would skin irritation. Ensure that you remove the product that caused the issue from your grooming regime.
If it is a more severe reaction then you should call the vet for advice. It may be that you need to administer medication, in which case you will need to consult a vet first.

Dehydration

Dehydration is not uncommon during the first few stages of grooming. Your dog may not drink enough water on account of nerves or getting too excited.
You can check to see whether your dog is dehydrated via the gums.

If they are dry or sticky then dehydration is present. Try to get your dog to drink a little or, if he or she refuses, then you should most definitely visit the vet for a quick solution.
If your dog does not begin to drink again soon then he or she could die so it is definitely essential to take your dog for treatment immediately.

These are the situations and necessary actions you need to do in case something happens, especially when you are using new dog grooming supplies you still need to master.
Bear in mind that you are grooming your pet. Be careful all the time!

Warmly,

Sharda

To Learn the Secrets To Simple and Effective Dog Grooming check out The Secrets to Easy Dog Grooming Here