Rabu, 29 Juni 2011

Homemade Ice Cream for Dogs

You love ice cream, and so does your dog. But all that sugar and fat isn't good for dogs, and dairy products can upset dogs' stomachs. You can purchase special ice cream-like products for dogs at pet stores and some grocery stores, but it's almost as easy to make these frozen treats at home. By making homemade ice cream for your dogs, you can control the ingredients and feel good about giving your dog a treat he'll enjoy that's also good for him.

Creamy Base

    Ice cream starts with cream or a custard-type base that stays creamy even when frozen. Duplicate this by using yogurt. The good bacteria in yogurt is healthy for your dog's digestive system, and low-fat or nonfat yogurt won't add extra fat your dog doesn't need.

    You can also use soft tofu for the same effect. Tofu is low in fat and high in protein. Mash the tofu well until it's a creamy consistency.

Fruits and Vegetables

    Add flavor and nutrition, plus boost the creamy consistency of the finished product, by adding fruit. Stir in mashed banana, applesauce or ripe pear. If your dog prefers vegetables, you can use cooked pumpkin, sweet potato or carrots.

Other Flavors

    Most dogs love peanut butter. Stir a spoonful of peanut butter into the yogurt or tofu and fruit or vegetable mixture to boost flavor and add more protein to the treat. You could also flavor the ice cream with molasses. Don't add chocolate, as this can be toxic to dogs.

Freezing

    You can freeze the doggie ice cream treat in a regular ice cream maker, or spoon the mixture into small paper cups or ice cube trays. To serve, pop out one cube or peel the paper off a cup and let your dog enjoy his own ice cream.

Senin, 27 Juni 2011

How to Make Homemade Dog Food With Chicken Bones

Most dog lovers are keenly aware of the dangers that chicken bones can pose to his best friend. However, bone marrow is chock full of calcium and other nutrients. You can cook your own homemade dog food with chicken bones in such a way that the bones are rendered harmless to your pet. The tasty stew will be irresistible, and the benefits of the bone marrow will be added to your dog's diet.

Instructions

    1

    Cover the raw vegetables with 6 cups water in a large pot and cook them until they're tender. Drain them, reserving the vegetable broth. Set both aside.

    2

    Pour 4 cups of the reserved vegetable broth into the pressure cooker. Cut the chicken into parts and add them or an equal amount of chicken bones and scraps to the cooker. Add enough water to cover the contents of the cooker, if necessary.

    3

    Cook the chicken for about 2 hours, then test for how done it is. Check the meat and the bones by squeezing them with your fingers. The goal is for the bones to become soft and easy to squash by hand, at which time they'll be safe for your dog. Remove completely cooked chicken and bones, but leave sharp or undercooked bones in the cooker. Replace the lid and cook the remaining bones until they're soft and squishy.

    4

    Break all of the cooked chicken and bones into bite-size pieces by hand, checking one last time for any hard pieces of bone. Discard those. Put the cooked meat and bones into a large pot.

    5

    Whisk two eggs together with a cup of the reserved vegetable broth in a small mixing bowl. Stir in a cup of cooked wild or brown rice. Pour this mixture into the pot of meat and bones. Blend it thoroughly. Fold in the cooked vegetables. Cook the chicken bone dog food for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat to thicken it, stirring often. Cool it at room temperature.

    6

    Ration out enough of the dog food for the following week and refrigerate it in an airtight container. Pack the remainder in plastic food storage bags, each portioned for 2 or 3 days, and freeze the chicken bone stew until needed.

What Do You Feed a Nursing Dog?

What Do You Feed a Nursing Dog?

Lactating mothers of all species need extra nutrition to feed their babies, recover from birthing and meet their own bodies' needs. A nursing bitch needs extra calories and nutrition to care for and feed her puppies.

Greater Amounts and Calories

    A lactating bitch needs at least twice the amount of food than when she is not pregnant or lactating. She should have three large meals a day, plus be free-fed kibble.

Easy Access to Water

    It is important that a nursing bitch have easy access to a plentiful supply of water. She needs to be well-hydrated to produce enough milk for her puppies.

A Need for More Fat

    She needs a diet with at least 17 percent fat. A bitch's diet can be supplemented with grease, lard, tallow and/or vegetable oils. One tablespoon of fat per cup of dry food is a good rule. Or she could be fed a richer, more nutrient-dense commercial food than her usual diet.

Higher Protein Requirements

    Nursing bitches need extra protein. The extra protein goes to the growing puppies via her milk and to her increased metabolic needs due to nursing. Puppy food is a good source of extra protein.

Calcium is Very Important

    The nursing bitch has increased calcium needs. A lack of adequate calcium for a lactating bitch could result in her death, as her body will give up its stored calcium to help feed her pups. Cow's milk added to a bitch's diet is an excellent source of extra calcium.

The Ways to Help Dogs Gain Weight

The Ways to Help Dogs Gain Weight

It can be distressing to realize that your dog isn't gaining weight, despite the amount of food you give him. Before pouring food in your dog's bowl, you should determine that the cause of his lack of weight is not due to a medical problem. If your dog doesn't have any major health issues, you can feed him more food so he can take in extra calories and gain weight in a healthy manner.

A Visit to the Veterinarian

    Before you put your dog on a meal plan, take her to your local veterinarian. There might a medical reason as to why your dog isn't gaining weight. The veterinarian can determine if your dog has a medical condition that is preventing weight gain.

Prescription Dog Food

    The veterinarian may prescribe a special formulated dog food that will help your dog gain weight. Prescription dog food contains more calories than the standard dog food -- it also has an increase in protein, which Vetinfo claims is known to help dogs gain weight. When the veterinarian gives you the prescription, they will also direct you to a pet shop that will have that particular brand. It is best to follow the feeding instructions given to you by the veterinarian.

Increasing Calories

    If the veterinarian doesn't give you a prescription, you still have the option of increasing your dog's caloric intake. You will need to give your dog a larger serving of food. The more food the dog eats, the more calories the dog will consume. Dry food is best when trying to get your dog to gain weight. Vetinfo states that dry food contains carbohydrates, which promotes weight gain. You can rotate from dry food to wet food occasionally to prevent possible digestive problems.

Weight Gain Supplements for Dogs

    Weight gain supplements for dogs can help your dog gain more pounds. Your veterinarian can recommend these to you or you can purchase these supplements over-the-counter without a recommendation. These supplements can increase your dog's appetite and, in turn, make your dog gain weight. You can purchase these supplements at a pet store. Follow the instructions when giving it to your dog.

Exercise

    Exercise is important when a dog is trying to gain weight. Without exercise, according to Vetinfo, the weight that the dog would gain will be distributed disproportionately on the body. Weight gain without exercise can also cause health problems. Exercise will give your dog the opportunity to use his muscles, which will allow the dog to gain muscle mass. Playing at least once a day will provide your dog with the necessary exercise.

Minggu, 26 Juni 2011

The Best Dog Foods for a Great Pyrenees

The Best Dog Foods for a Great Pyrenees

Although the Great Pyrenees is a large dog, it actually has a relatively moderate appetite. In summer months, these dogs eat the least since they prefer to be mostly inactive in the heat. In the winter they will increase their activity, burning more calories and thus eating more. On average, these dogs eat up to two 40-pound bags of dog food a month.

General Feeding Requirements

    Although the Great Pyrenees may need fewer calories than another dog of comparable size, the calories it does consume need to be quality, not empty calories. Both protein and fat are necessary for a healthy dog, but vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and fiber are also extremely important. Whatever type of food a Great Pyrenees receives, it should consist of a balanced diet, with both meats and vegetables. Products containing corn, however, are not recommended, because most dogs find corn difficult to digest.

Dry Food

    High-quality commercial dry food is the most recommended type of prepared food for the Great Pyrenees. Owners should look for brands that have large dog varieties, but also pay close attention to the ingredient list. Meats should be listed at the top, and foods with "byproducts" included as part of the meat description should be avoided. Additionally, while natural preservatives like vitamin E are acceptable, foods that use large amounts of chemical preservatives are not good for any dog.

Homemade Food

    Dog food made fresh by the owner is often thought to be the most healthy alternative, though it is usually more expensive and time-consuming than the commercially made options. Fresh food is made daily using the same fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and meats used to cook human meals. Dog owners have to be more mindful of proper nutritional requirements, including which foods should be left raw, when preparing at-home meals for their dogs. A vet should be consulted before choosing this meal plan.

Wet and Semi-Moist Food

    Both wet and semi-moist food are generally not recommended as the main food source for the Great Pyrenees. Semi-moist foods, which contain about 40 percent water, tend to have more chemical preservatives than either wet or dry food. Wet food, also called canned food, is high in sugar and tends to cause plaque build up and dental issues. Since both are generally more palatable for dogs than dry food, small quantities can occasionally be mixed in with dry food as an added treat for the dogs.

Home Canine Liver Diet

Home Canine Liver Diet

Many canine liver problems can be managed if you're willing to make changes in your dog's diet. The liver is designed to eliminate toxins from the body, but disease can affect the organ's ability to filter out harmful substances. In addition, many commercial dogs foods contain chemicals that add bulk and shelf life, but are harmful to your dog. A diet that steers clear of preservatives and additives will benefit your best friend.

Goals and Benefits

    Fats and proteins are beneficial in combating liver disease and aiding new tissue growth. According to doghealthguide.org, the goals of the home canine liver diet are to provide your dog with adequate energy and nutrients to fulfill basic requirements and prevent undernourishment; limit further liver damage by preventing accumulation of copper and free radicals; support liver cell renewal; and prevent or minimize possible complications, such as abnormal brain function, and the buildup of fluid in your dog's abdomen.

Proteins

    The home canine liver diet should consist of 18% to 22% good quality proteins, unless your dog has advanced liver disease that is affecting his brain. Protein foods with amino acid content close to levels your dog requires derive from a combination of lean animal meat, plant protein (soy based and wheat gluten) and dairy. Proteins such as cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and yogurt may be easier for your dog to digest and produce less ammonia than meat products. Eggs and white fish are also excellent protein sources.

Fats

    Dogs with liver disease can tolerate more fats, such as Omega 3 fatty acids or salmon oil (not cod liver oil). The diet should consist of 55% to 60% fats.

Fiber

    Your dog only needs 3% to 13% carbohydrates in his diet. Soluble and insoluble dietary fiber can help with liver disease. Soluble fiber such as grains, rolled or instant oats, rice and pasta lowers the production and absorption of ammonia and helps the growth of beneficial bacteria. Fiber helps your dog rid itself of bile acids, and helps to normalize transit time for feces, prevent constipation and bind toxins.

Vitamins/Supplements

    Avoid any foods or supplements that contain copper, and supply anti-oxidants to help reduce any liver damage. Some important supplements for the home diet include vitamins B, C, E & K, zinc, SAMe, milk thistle, potassium and minimum amounts of sodium.

Home Cooking

    Here are two healthy home recipes for your dog: chicken breast with skin, boiled rice, boiled carrots, wheat bran and rapeseed oil; and minced beef with 15% fat, tofu, boiled rice, boiled carrots, wheat bran and rapeseed oil.

Sabtu, 25 Juni 2011

How to Get Your Finicky Dog to Eat

How to Get Your Finicky Dog to Eat

Some dogs are picky eaters and others get tired of the same old kibble. Don't get frustrated if you can't figure out what to feed your pet. Do your best to determine why your dog isn't eating, then adjust the diet to maintain its health and well-being.

Instructions

    1

    If your dog has recently become finicky about food, lost weight or exhibited other physical changes, head to the vet for a checkup. Make sure a medical condition isn't behind its refusal to eat before you starting changing your dog's diet.

    2

    Determine whether family members are sabotaging your dog's meals by slipping it treats. A dog that is too full from between-meal snacks is less likely to empty its bowl at mealtime.

    3

    Switch to a different brand of dog food. Try new ingredients that may be more appealing to your dog, or change from dry kibble to moist canned food.

    4

    Mix an especially tasty ingredient into your dog's food. Add tuna, cheese or chicken.

    5

    Warm up the food. Microwave your dog's moist meal for a few seconds or add warm water to dry food. The smell may entice your dog to eat more.

    6

    Don't leave dog food around all day. Schedule a set time for your dog to eat; if the food doesn't get eaten in half an hour, put the food away for the next meal time.

Jumat, 24 Juni 2011

Safe People Food for Dogs

Safe People Food for Dogs

We are all tempted at least sometimes to feed our pets, especially dogs, food intended for humans. Sometimes doing so is harmless, but it cannot be stressed enough that some foods that are fine for us can be extremely harmful to dogs. Here are a few human foods that are safe for man's best friend.

Lean Meats

    Dogs are descended from wild canines, such as wolves, that enjoy a meat-rich diet. A dog raised on raw meat might not suffer any problems from such a diet, but raw meat is not a good idea for a dog raised on kibble. Instead, feed your dog lean, thoroughly cooked meats. Get rid of whatever fat is visible on the meat, and remember to remove any small bones, as dogs can choke on them.

Fresh Fruits

    There are many fresh fruits that are perfectly healthy for dogs to eat. Apples, oranges, bananas and watermelons are all fruits that your dog should not have any problems digesting. Grapes, raisins, avocado and currants should be avoided. Remove any seeds, stems or leaves, however, because some can cause problems for a dog, just as they might for a human.

Vegetables

    Like fruits, most vegetables are also perfectly healthy for a dog to snack on. Carrots, cucumbers, green beans and zucchini can all be safely fed to your dog. Do not feed your dog raw potatoes, onions, chives and garlic, however, though a cooked potato is fine. If you have a vegetable garden, make sure it is dog-proofed, or you may find your pets eating everything in sight once they make the association between the garden and food.

Rice, Bread and Pasta

    Dogs are also capable of digesting rice, breads and pastas. However, your dog may not be that interested, because plain rice, bread and pasta do not have much flavor. If you are trying to get rid of leftovers, combining a few things, like pasta with meat, may make your dog more interested. Remember, your pets have taste buds, too.

Diets for Pitbulls

Diets for Pitbulls

The pit bull, also known as the American pit bull terrier, is characterized by its powerful body. The muscular, well-defined neck supports a large brick-like head that houses a mighty jaw with razor sharp teeth. This all sounds intimidating, but for the most part, pit bulls have a strong desire to please their masters through good behavior. Part of raising a pet like this is feeding it a well-balanced diet. Typically, you have three types of diets for bit bulls: raw meat diet, dried food diet and natural diet.

More About Pitbulls

    The pit bull gets its nasty reputation as a killer from its brutal history of pit bull fights. Savage displays of the pit bull's unmatched strength and tenacity was once a source of entertainment. This colorful history has given the breed it's bad reputation and has prompted a nationwide witch hunt to exterminate the animal altogether. However, people are starting to realize that pit bulls make excellent companion pets who are eager to show their unshakable loyalty. Best of all, they're not fussy eaters and are happy to eat a broad array of raw and dried foods.

Raw Meat Diet

    The pit bull gets most of his nutrition from raw meat. In fact, a raw meat diet should consist of 85% meat and 15% vegetables. Your pet gets many health benefits when eating a raw meat diet, such as a cleaner digestive tract, shinier coat and stronger immune system. When introducing your pit bull to a raw meat diet, start slowly, feeding it raw beef only as small treats. Gradually increase the amount of raw meat until it's getting most of its nutrition from the meat. Portions should be about 8 oz of meat per meal. Supplement meat with a side of veggies. Feed your dog a variety of veggies in a small salad, anything from lettuce, potatoes, carrots or cucumbers will do. Avoid feeding your dog pork because it contains trichinosis, which can destroy your dog's digestive system, or raw salmon because it contains liver fluke, a nasty virus that annihilates the liver. Most meat products are good to feed to a pit bull. Chicken, beef and raw eggs are all excellent choices. For the best result, choose free-range, chemical-free, organic foods.

Dried Food Diet

    The dried food diet is the easiest and most inexpensive way to provide a pit bull with nutrition. The best dried foods for pit bulls come in the form of a kibble and should be meat-based. Dried food kibbles contain a dehydrated cornucopia of meat and vegetable products. When selecting which dried food is best for your dog, look for dried foods that contain human-grade products; for instance, the dried food should contain meat products that humans would be happy to consume, not thrown-away unappetizing scraps. Furthermore, ensure that the dried food was preserved naturally and doesn't contain any carcinogen chemicals like BHT or BHA. Some dried food products known to contain such dangerous qualities are Orijen, Acana and Taste of the Wild. A daily dried food diet for a pit bull consists of two cups of kibble, one in the morning and one during dinner.

Natural Diet

    The natural diet is the most time-consuming get right because it involves figuring out exactly what your pit bull likes to eat. Every pit bull has different preferences and dietary desires, just like humans. The natural food diet, similar to the raw meat diet, gives the pit bull most of its nutrition from eating raw meat, supplemented with a vegetable side. The natural diet differs from the raw meat diet in that it takes into consideration that not all pit bulls require the same amount of protein. If you dog prefers to eat beans, for example, instead meat, make beans the main source of protein. The raw diet is about finding out how to provide the best nutritional diet for your dog through natural, chemical-free ingredients the dog will happily eat. Pit bulls require a large amount of protein to sustain their powerful bodies, so if your dog prefers a vegetarian diet, be sure she's getting enough. It's always a good idea to consult a vet about a healthy natural diet, especially since you're going by what your dog likes to eat.

Diet for Puppy With Coccidia

Coccidia are microscopic parasites that infect the intestine. The possibility of coccidiosis should always be considered when a puppy has loose stools or diarrhea. When a puppy presents at the veterinarian with watery, possibly bloody, diarrhea, a routine fecal test should be done to detect parasites. If the diagnosis is coccidia, the medication most vets prescribe is one of the sulfa-based antibiotics. Eliminating coccidia from the intestine takes time. Untreated, or not treated for long enough, coccidia can be life-threatening to a puppy.

Hydration

    After your dog has been checked by the vet, if she still has diarrhea, withholding solid food for a day can be a good way to give the intestines a rest. Fasting is not recommended for very young puppies. Never withhold water from your dog or puppy unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian. A puppy can die of dehydration, so if it will not drink water, then try a product like Pedialyte (a rehydrating liquid often used for babies and young children). Sometime puppies will not drink water or Pedialyte but they will drink chicken broth. Try filling ice cube trays with diluted chicken broth. A sick puppy who won't drink may be willing to lick frozen ice or broth cubes.

Typical Treatment

    Typical treatment takes about two weeks, but medication should be continued until a few days after the diarrhea stops. This can take up to a month and, while diet cannot prevent or stop coccidia, feeding a bland diet is an important adjunct to pharmaceutical treatment. According to Dr. Terri McGinnis in her book, "The Well Dog," you should "withhold food for 12 to 24 hours and then offer a restricted, bland, easily digestible diet for three to five days."

Rice Only

    All suggested diets and recipes for puppies with coccidia begin with plain rice. The puppy should be fed rice only for 24 hours. Prepare the rice by boiling it with a chicken breast for flavor, using one cup of rice, two cups of water and one chicken breast. The flavor of the chicken makes the rice more palatable for the puppy.

Add Protein

    Veterinarian Terri McGinnis recommends "nine parts cooked white rice, pasta or potatoes mixed with one part low fat cottage cheese or cooked skinless chicken. Feed small meals three or four times a day. Be careful to ... return to a normal diet gradually over at least a week, by mixing small quantities of puppy's normal food with the bland diet. A change back to the regular diet before the bowel is healed will result in a relapse."

Encouraging Your Puppy

    Puppies will eat warm food more easily than they will eat cold food. If a puppy won't eat from the bowl, try hand-feeding. Be patient and talk in a soothing voice while you try to feed sick puppies.

Include More Variety

    Continue feeding small portions of bland low-fat food three to six times daily, if possible, for about a week. Recommended foods include home-cooked boiled hamburger, chopped up skinless chicken breast, cottage cheese, tofu, boiled rice, plain yogurt and mashed sweet potato or 100 percent pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling). After a week, you can add chopped hard-boiled egg or cooked liver.

Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

Large Breed Puppy Foods

Large Breed Puppy Foods

While shopping for your puppy's food, you may have noticed that special food is available for puppies of large breeds. This is because recent studies suggest large breed puppies require a diet that is lower in protein and fat. Large breed dogs grow much faster and run a higher risk of development problems, specifically those associated with hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia usually plagues large or heavy dogs and occurs when a dog's hip structure is abnormal and insufficiently supported by surrounding muscles

Diet

    According to food manufacturers, puppies who will grow to weigh more than 50 pounds need reduced calcium, reduced calorie food with a balanced calcium-to-phosphorous ratio. Some brands, like Iams, includes 5 percent or less crude fiber and moderately fermentable fiber for health of the intestine. The company reports that too much calcium can lead to poor skeletal development and bone diseases, and that limiting calcium is especially important in puppies less than six months old. Because these puppies are already growing at a faster rate, ingesting the same amount of calcium and protein as other dogs could promote a growth rate that is excessive.

Choosing a Brand

    While most, if not all, large breed puppy foods agree on the low-calcium, low-protein, low-calorie standard, other brands feature additional nutritional methods. Purina One, Eukanuba and Nutro large breed puppy formulas contain Glucosamine for healthy joints, real chicken protein and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a nutrient found in mother dogs' milk, which can enhance brain development. Chelated minerals for general health, linoleic acid for the skin and coat, grains for maintaining blood sugar and energy, antioxidants for the immune system and FOS (fructooligosaccharides) for digestive tract health are other things you may see as ingredients in your large breed puppy's kibble.

Schedule

    If you're caring for a five-week-old, large breed puppy (or younger), he will likely eat about 1 cup of food everyday. Being so young, the little one may have sore gums and probably does not have sufficient teeth to chew dry dog food, so it must be moistened and fed to him frequently. At six weeks, the puppy may be able to handle dry food, and his appetite will increase to two cups. As he grows, his food intake will continue to grow, but his number of meals per day can decrease. Depending on his weight, his largest appetite will occur between six and eight months. After that, he will approach his adult size, and his hunger will subside slightly.

Considerations

    Read your food bag or check with your veterinarian regarding how long to feed your dog puppy food. Some breeds take longer to reach adult size than others, and their special diets could last anywhere from six months to two years. Dogs who are eating large breed puppy foods don't need any additional dietary supplements; giving these to your puppy could throw off the nutritional balance provided by the food. Also, these foods are for puppies only and should not be given to pregnant or lactating mother dogs.

Criticisms

    The veterinarians at PetEducation.com are skeptical of special large breed puppy formulas. According to the website, although a link may exist between bone illness and protein, these problems are inherited, and feeding your dog a special food isn't enough to off-set a genetic pre-disposition for them. The site also explains that the actual nutritional makeup of the large breed formulas is pretty close to regular, cheaper puppy foods. A little bit of research could get your dog paired with a quality food that will meet his needs and isn't as expensive.

Is It Safe to Give Puppies Baby Formula?

Is It Safe to Give Puppies Baby Formula?

It is only safe to give very young puppies baby formula if it has been modified for the nutritional needs of puppies. This should only be used as a temporary solution when commercially made dog milk is not available.

Concern

    According to the U.S. National Research Council, puppies lack the ability to properly digest the lactose in cow's milk or goat's milk because the puppies do not have the enzyme lactase.

Nutrition

    "Dog Owner's Veterinary Handbook" states that both cow's milk and goat's milk contain about half the calories of dog's milk. Puppies need the calories in order to grow and stay healthy.

Significance

    A puppy given infant formula may get diarrhea. Since the puppy is not getting enough calories with baby formula, losing more calories through diarrhea may be lethal.

Modification

    For each cup of whole-milk liquid baby formula, add three egg yolks (no whites), one tablespoon of corn oil and one drop of liquid baby vitamins.

Warning

    Puppies less than eight weeks old cannot only be fed modified baby formula. They need to switch over to dog's milk, which is available in pet stores and at veterinarians' offices.

Rabu, 22 Juni 2011

The Causes of Dogs Eating Dirt and Grass

The Causes of Dogs Eating Dirt and Grass

Dogs sometimes do some strange things. One of the actions that often baffle dog owners is seeing Fido eat dirt or grass. Even if a dog is well fed, it will sometimes take part in this unusual pastime for reasons that are not totally apparent. Unfortunately, we are unable to tell what our dogs are thinking, but there is a good chance that their motives can be described by one of a few sensible explanations.

Mineral Deficiency

    Some dogs eat dirt because their bodies tell them to. This can be because of a mineral deficiency that is somehow improved by consuming dirt off the ground. Unless the dirt is contaminated by something harmful to the animal, this practice of eating dirt may actually be good for them.

    If this is the reason the dog is eating dirt, it may be remedied by giving the pet a regimen of supplements. There are a variety of vitamins and minerals available at pet stores that may replace the dirt as a means of getting what the dog's body needs. Another option is to switching to a higher quality of dog food, according to PetWave.com.

Boredom

    If your dog spends a lot of time alone or it is not played with and exercised regularly, it can become quite bored. Especially in the case of dogs that are chained outdoors and have access to dirt, it may simply feel like there is nothing better to do than to gobble it down. Animals sometimes exhibit this same type of behavior when left alone in a house. The owners come home to find cat litter has been consumed or the legs of furniture have been chewed up.

They Are Omnivores

    According to Pet Library, dogs are unlike cats in that they are not predators by nature. These creatures are omnivores and scavengers. Most dogs will eat just about anything you put in front of them. Meat and plants are a regular and natural part of a dog's diet. So if your dog is eating grass on occasion, it might simply be because the grass is there and it is edible.

Vomiting

    Dogs may eat grass because they want to vomit, or they may vomit because they ate some grass. According to Pet Library, it's impossible to tell, really. However, the idea that dogs eat grass in an attempt to make themselves regurgitate is not far fetched. If dogs gulp down grass without chewing properly and in large amounts, it will often make them vomit. This may not mean your dog is simply being a glutton. It could be because the dog has eaten something that doesn't agree with it and it wishes to purge the irritant from its system.

Taste

    If you've never eaten any grass, then you wouldn't know. However, dogs enjoy a little variety in their diet and grass sometimes fits the bill. Depending on the type of grass, it can be sweet smelling and tasting and have an interesting texture for a dog. In other words, according to Pet Library, they may simply be eating grass because it tastes good to them.

    Dirt may fall into this category too. The insects and worms and such that crawl around in the dirt may leave behind some odors or tastes that are pleasing to the animal, according to PetWave.com, and getting a few bites of dirt may be just the thing for an afternoon snack.

How to Make Bread Machine Dog Biscuits

If you have a bread machine, but you're still making dog biscuits the old fashioned way, you're missing out on a major time saver. Next time you get ready to make some treats for Fido, get our your bread machine.

Instructions

    1

    Place all the ingredients in a bread machine according to the directions included with it.

    2

    Turn the bread machine on the dough cycle, and let the machine knead the dog biscuit dough.

    3

    When the dough finishes kneading, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into shapes with a cookie cutter.

    4

    Place the dog biscuits on the oiled baking sheets and let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

    5

    Bake the dog biscuits in a preheated 325 degree F. oven until they're brown and firm--about 30 minutes.

    6

    Remove the dog biscuits from the cookie sheet and let them cool and harden on wire racks, or turn the oven off and let the biscuits cool overnight.

    7

    Store the dog biscuits in an airtight container.

The Diet of the Iditarod Dog

The Diet of the Iditarod Dog

As one of the world's top endurance athletes, an Iditarod sled dog has extremely specialized dietary needs. Requiring a diet of nearly 10 times the calories of a non-working dog and huge amounts of protein and fat, the Iditarod sled dog must be carefully fueled.

Calories

    A sled dog who's not working requires far fewer calories.
    A sled dog who's not working requires far fewer calories.

    While calorie needs vary from sled dog to sled dog, a rough estimate by the Iditarod Sled Dog Racing Association notes that a dog at peak race times can consume and burn up to 10,000 calories a day. Younger dogs, faster dogs, and heavier dogs burn more. During the offseason, a sled dog may only consume 800 calories. No dog can eat 10,000 calories at once. Therefore, the dog must be fed several times throughout the day.

Fat

    Fat makes up the primary portion of a sled dog's diet. It has more than twice the amount of calories as any other nutrition source, making it easier for the dog to get the calories he needs in a smaller, denser form. Sled dogs in peak condition easily require a diet consisting of 50 to 60 percent fat. This gives them a ready source of energy, an ability to stay warm and consistent energy levels.

Protein

    Protein is crucial for muscle growth and maintenance. While the primary source of energy for a sled dog is fat, protein provides the quick "get up and go" source of energy. Protein works in dogs much like carbohydrates work for humans.

Vitamins and Minerals

    Just like humans, dogs need a variety of minerals and vitamins. Of special interest to sled dogs are the B vitamins and vitamin E. B vitamins provide energy and help the brain and muscles communicate. A deficiency in any B vitamin can cause lethargy, seizures and clumsiness, none of which is welcome in an Iditarod sled dog. Vitamin E helps the sled dogs maintain their body heat and gives them healthy fur, skin and pads. Sled dogs' feet taking a brutal beating from running every day. Vitamin E helps their body repair the damage.

Hydration

    Nothing that a sled dog eats matters if that dog isn't properly hydrated. A dog can run without food but he absolutely cannot function without water. Sled dogs cannot "eat snow" in order to stay hydrated because it takes a significant amount of energy and calories to melt the snow and get any substantial amount of water. Sled dogs must be offered clean, fresh water as often as possible.

Selasa, 21 Juni 2011

The Best Dog Food for Sheltie Puppies

The Best Dog Food for Sheltie Puppies

The Sheltie, or Shetland sheepdog, puppy should be fed a diet closely resembling its native roots in the Shetland Islands. According to Sheltie expert William Cusick, a homemade natural blend of barley, pork, lamb, fish, potatoes, carrots and cabbage is ideal for Sheltie puppies and mature dogs. Beef, beet meal, soy, yellow corn and avocados should be avoided for all Shelties. Consumersearch.com provides a list of dry and canned puppy food that is appropriate for Sheltie puppies.

Dog Food Regulations

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates all pet food products sold commercially, labeling requirements and recall information. The FDA regulations are based on a model produced by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Homemade Food

    According to Per Schonbeck, DVM, the best puppy food initially is the food the breeder provided the new pup during the weaning process. He suggests a slow change to alternate diets when the puppy feels at home. Homemade puppy food or canned puppy food should not be allowed to stand for any significant period of time and should be thrown away. William Cusick strongly advises using calcium oyster shell because the Sheltie assimilates this form of calcium. He discourages the use of Vitamin C supplement due to concerns of liver and kidney damage.

Dry Food

    Orijen Puppy (Dry) is awarded a five star rating by Dogfoodadvisor.com because it meets AAFCO nutrient standards and is free of controversial grains and preservatives. A complete list of five star rated dry puppy food is available on the Dogfoodadvisor.com website.

Canned Food

    Dogfoodscoop.com offers a five-star rating system for determining the best canned puppy food for your Sheltie. Wellness Just for Puppies is rated in the top 10 of all commercially sold puppy food. The products are free of wheat, corn and preservatives, ideal for a Sheltie puppy.

Certified Organic Food

    Certified organic puppy food is free of pesticides, antibiotics or other chemicals, according to Vetinfo.com. The puppy food contains 100 percent nutritious ingredients with no preservatives or controversial fillers, additives, food coloring or corn syrup. The label for certified puppy food clearly states "certified organic." Castor and Pollux Organix Puppy Formula is an example of certified organic puppy food, according to Safe-dog-food.com.

Advisories

    Pet food recalls occur with some frequency. Dog owners can receive auto recall alerts from Dogfoodadvisor.com by providing an email. A complete list of all pet food recalls is available on the FDA website.

When to Feed Your Shitzu Hard Dog Food

When to Feed Your Shitzu Hard Dog Food

The Shihtzu is a special breed of dog in more ways than one. Their boisterous personalities, silky fur, pug faces and high energy make them bundles of loving fun. They are notoriously slow to develop, however, so it is important to know when it is appropriate to feed them regular hard dog food.

Verify the Age of Your Shihtzu

    It is important you know the exact age of your Shihtzu puppy when you adopt or purchase him. In most cases, this will not be a problem, but if there is a question, have a veterinarian examine the puppy and give you an age for it. Shihtzu's need to remain on a milk supplement until at least eight weeks.

Soft Food First

    When your Shihtzu has been more or less weaned from milk at around eight weeks of age, you can begin to offer them soft canned puppy food, or a puppy dry food moistened with warm water or milk. This will need to be a staple of their diet for the first eight months of their life. After three months, the puppy food can be fed in dry form or only lightly moistened. Keep in mind, food should be available at all times for the puppy, as they are growing and will need to be able to eat on demand.

Hard Kibble

    After eight months, the Shihtzu's jaws and teeth will have developed enough that eating a dry kibble should not be a problem. Have a bowl available with a dry kibble dog food in it at all times so the dog can munch whenever he is hungry.

Healthy Homecooked Meals for Dogs

Healthy Homecooked Meals for Dogs

Dogs are omnivores. They need protein for good health, as well as carbohydrates for energy and fruits and vegetables for vitamins. Avoid feeding your canine friend onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes or raisins. If your baby has a sweet tooth, cater to it with molasses, applesauce or pumpkin. Carob can be substituted for chocolate.

Kibbles

    Kibbles are convenient on busy mornings and can be left out as a snack; but more importantly, the crunchy bits help clean tartar off your dog's teeth. Mix together 4 cups whole wheat flour, four eggs, 1 cup wheat germ, 2 tsp. food-grade bone meal, 1 cup vegetable oil, and 4 cups cooked ground meat. Add 2 cups pureed yellow vegetable, 2 cups cooked green vegetable, and a cup of dried apples or similar fruit. Mix together in a large bowl with enough water to moisten the mixture enough to hold together. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake in a slow oven (250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit) for about one hour. The mixture should be about the texture of a chewy cookie. Let it sit out on a rack till it is dry and cool. It will keep in a refrigerator for about one week.

Beefy Stew for Your Dog and You

    Place stewing beef or a small roast in a crock pot. Salt lightly. Add carrots, sweet potatoes and chopped pumpkin or squash. When this mixture has finished cooking, add peas or green beans to the mix. Serve with biscuits or pancakes. Yeast dough isn't good for dogs.

Chicken and Apple Soup

    Cook a whole chicken in a crock pot, using directions that come with the appliance. When the chicken is done, remove the bones and add homemade noodles, quartered apples, celery, carrots and parsley flakes. Simmer together till the noodles, apples and vegetables are done.

Sweet Treats

    Mix together yogurt, rolled oats, blueberries, and applesauce. You can also add cottage cheese and wheat germ. This can make a quick breakfast for you and your puppy, or serve as an after-dinner dessert.

Minggu, 19 Juni 2011

How To Make Your Own Low Residue Dog Food

How To Make Your Own Low Residue Dog Food

Low residue dog food is food that creates very little stool or residual remains from eating. While large amounts of protein and fiber are normally considered part of a healthy diet, low residue dog food is meant to provide your pet with complete nutrition that requires very little digestive work. This food contains very little fiber and easily-digestible protein. Low residue food is easily metabolized and gives your dog's digestive system a break. The Pet Place website provides this recipe from "The Pocket Companion to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition."

Instructions

    1
    Your vet will help you determine the best diet for your dog.
    Your vet will help you determine the best diet for your dog.

    Check with your veterinarian to determine the correct ratios of the ingredients for your pet and whether or not additional components are needed. This will depend on the reason for the low residue diet.

    2
    White rice is easy to digest.
    White rice is easy to digest.

    Cook the rice and hard-boil the egg.

    3
    Eggs provide the protein your dog needs.
    Eggs provide the protein your dog needs.

    Chop the egg into the rice.

    4
    Vegetable oil provides necessary fatty acids.
    Vegetable oil provides necessary fatty acids.

    Add the calcium carbonate, cottage cheese, salt and vegetable oil to the egg and rice mixture and mix well.

    5
    Some dogs will take vitamins orally.
    Some dogs will take vitamins orally.

    Pulverize the vitamin and mix with the food before serving.

Sabtu, 18 Juni 2011

How to Feed a Mini Pinscher

How to Feed a Mini Pinscher

The Mini Pinscher originally hails from Germany where it was employed on farms to catch rats. Generally weighing no more than nine pounds, and standing 10 to 12 inches in height, the Mini Pinscher is thick-boned"; therefore it requires different bone-building minerals than other small dogs. In fact, William D. Kusic, animal researcher, says that what you feed your dog, and how, should be breed-specific as different breeds have different nutritional requirements.

Instructions

    1

    Pour 1 tbsp. of water over beet pulp and allow it to soak overnight.

    2

    Peel the potato and remove any green areas. Place it in a pot and cover with water. Boil the potato until it is soft. Stick a fork in it. If the fork goes in easily, the potato is done. When it is cool enough to handle, chop it into tiny bite-sized bits. Place the chopped potato in a large bowl.

    3

    Place the ground pork and ground beef in a frying pan. Saute the meats until they are slightly brown. Allow to cool and drain the fat. Place the cooked meat into the bowl with the potato.

    4

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a small casserole dish.

    5

    Add corn, shredded cheese, beet pulp, wheat germ, brewers yeast and tomato soup to the bowl. Mix the ingredients well.

    6

    Pour the mixture from the bowl into the casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before feeding. Store leftovers in a container in the refrigerator.

Homemade Dog Food & Treats

Homemade Dog Food & Treats

Understanding the nutritional needs of a dog is the key to making healthy, tasty food at home. According to the Gourmet Sleuth website, dogs are omnivorous creatures requiring a balance of meat, carbohydrates and vegetable-based foods in their diet. Homemade pet food chefs must understand that there a several foods which are toxic to a dog including: raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, chocolate and artificial sweeteners. Be sure to cook all meat dishes carefully as dogs are susceptible to salmonella, E. coli and other food-borne illnesses.

Instructions

Homemade Dog Food

    1

    Brown 3 lbs. of ground meat in a large skillet.

    2

    Place 4 cups of rice, 9 cups of water, 1/4 cup of oats and 1 tsp. of salt in a large Dutch oven of sauce pan and bring to a boil.

    3

    Add 1/2 cup of low fat milk, 2-1/2 cup of frozen vegetables and cooked meat to the Dutch oven pan. Cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed. Stir consistently.

    4

    Remove cooked mixture from the heat and allow it cool until it a comfortable temperature to handle.

    5

    Scoop cooked mixture into 1/2 cup measuring cup. Press the mixture together. Flip the cup upside down on to a cookie sheet. Tap gently to release the 1/2 cup servings of dog food. Store food in plastic storage containers in the refrigerator.

    6

    Serve dogs a 1/2 cup serving per 30 lbs. of dog's weight.

Homemade Dog Treats

    7

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    8

    Mix together 2-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup powdered milk, 1 tbs. wheat germ and 1 tsp. beef bouillon cube granules in a large bowl.

    9

    Stir in 1/3 cup of meat drippings and one egg.

    10

    Use a tablespoon to add in water, one spoonful at a time. Keep adding water until the dough begins to stick together.

    11

    Lightly flour the cooking surface. Roll out dough using a rolling pin until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick. Press cookie cutters into the dough to create the biscuit shapes. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the biscuits are firm. Allow the cooked biscuits to cool before serving to the dog.

Jumat, 17 Juni 2011

Dry Food Feeding Guide for Dogs

Taking care of your dog requires steady grooming, loving affection and proper feeding. Many pet owners choose to feed their dogs dry foods, as opposed to homemade or canned foods. Too much dry dog food will cause laziness and weakness from extra weight. Not feeding your dog enough will lessen your pet's strength to play and run. Feeding specific amounts is equally important for metabolism and glucose levels, as they are both necessary for health and happiness.

Small breeds

    Smaller breeds that only reach about 10 pounds, like the chihuahua and the yorkie, need to be fed at least 1/3 cup of dry food, and no more than 1 cup once a day. The slightly larger breed, like the Scottish terrier at a standard 20 to 25 pounds, will recieve at least 1 cup of dry food, and no more than 2 1/4 cups. The next size breed, 25 to 50 pounds, is the last small dog group, containing the beagle and the spaniel. This group will get 2 1/4 cups of food, never giving more than 3 3/4 cups a day. You can halve the amount to feed your dog twice a day if you wish.

Large breeds

    For larger dogs, like the retriever and labrador, feed anywhere from 3 3/4 to 5 cups of dry dog food once a day. You can feed twice a day if you desire, just halve the amount so you do not overfeed your dog. These dogs are typically 50 to 75 pounds in weight and are the most common family and water loving breeds. The next size, including the great dane, malamute and mastiff, are standard at over 75 pounds and are the tallest and heftiest dogs known. They will usually eat 5 to 8 cups of dry dog food each day; spacing thier feedings will help control their desire to chew on other inedible items. Two, 4 cup feedings, or three 2 to 2 1/2 cup feedings are appropriate.

Healthy Ingredients in Dog Food

Healthy Ingredients in Dog Food

Choosing a good brand of dog food may turn out being a daunting task for many dog owners. With so many ingredients listed and words of unknown origin, deciphering such lingo may sometimes appear to require an expert nutritionist. A good place to start may be learning how to recognize healthy ingredients in dog food. However, it is always good practice to consult with a veterinarian before starting a new diet regimen for your dog, in order to ensure it contains the right nutrients for your pet's health status and lifestyle.

Protein

    Protein is the most important ingredient in dog food. The dog's digestive tract is purposely made to digest meat and fat. However, protein is also the most expensive ingredient found in dog food and this is where dog food manufacturers may try to cut corners. Ideally, the first ingredient listed should be a specified fresh type of meat or fish, according to veterinarians Foster and Smith's Educational Staff. Good sources of protein are chicken, lamb, beef and fish or meals that specify the source of protein, such as chicken meal or beef meal.

Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates are often frowned upon for being ''fillers,'' used by manufacturing companies to use less meat, and for not being easily digested by dogs. However, when cooked correctly carbohydrates may be easily digestible and valuable sources of energy. Good sources of carbohydrates are whole ground grains such as rice, barley, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas.

Fats and Oils

    Fats and oils are necessary in a dog's diet for the health of skin and coat but also to ensure proper brain development. As in humans, there are good and bad fats. Beef tallow and lard for instance, are rich in harmful saturated fats. Look for specific natural sources of fat such as canola oil, flax oil, chicken fat or herring oil. Valuable fatty acids are the Omega 3's and Omega 6's. Look at the ratio's between the two: for each percent of Omega-6 there should be at least 0.13 percent of Omega-3 according to the Dog Food Project website created by Sabine Contreras, certified in Animal Care from the University of Guelph, Canada.

Other Ingredients

    Quality fiber sources help dogs maintain good bowel health. Beet pulp, for instance, once the fibrous material has been removed from the sugar beets, is a beneficial, well tolerated source of fiber that is also a good source of nutrition for the beneficial bacteria that resides in the dog's intestinal tract. Healthy dog foods also use natural preservatives among the ingredients, such as Vitamin E, citric acid, and rosemary to slow down spoilage.

Kamis, 16 Juni 2011

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

When you make your pooch homemade snacks, you control the quality of ingredients you use while exercising your culinary skills and letting your dog know just how much you love it. Homemade pumpkin treats are tasty and nutritious, as pumpkin gives your dog fiber and other necessary nutrients. Instead of running out to the store and buying treats, make your pet some delicious homemade snacks.

Instructions

Wafers

    1

    Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2

    Mix together one 15-oz. can of pure mashed pumpkin, 3/4 cup wheat cereal and 1/2 cup powdered milk in a bowl. Use plain pumpkin and not pie filling that contains spices. Use rice cereal if your dog has wheat sensitivities.

    3

    Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Bake the treats for 15 to 20 minutes.

Biscuits

    4

    Use a mixer to combine 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour with 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, 2 tbsp. dry milk, 1/3 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin and 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. of water. The dough will be thick, so use an appropriate beater.

    5

    Roll the dough into rectangular sheets that are 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.

    6

    Place the squares on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake the biscuits at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. The biscuits brown rather fast. Check them often to prevent burning.

    7

    Turn off the oven once the treats are golden brown. Leave the treats inside the oven overnight to allow them to finish drying.

Selasa, 14 Juni 2011

How to Choose Healthy Dog Food

Choosing healthy dog food is important for any pet owner. You may be surprised to find out that dog food is not regulated the same as human food. Knowing the specific ingredients that make any type of dog food will help you choose a healthy and nutritious brand. Read on to learn how to choose healthy dog food.

Instructions

    1

    Don't think that a brand of dog food that calls itself "Premium" means that they have used premium ingredients. Pet food cannot claim the quality or grade of ingredients on their label. "Choice" or "Premium" or "Select" is just a marketing term to entice customers to buy that product.

    2

    Flip a bag of dog food and find the list of ingredients it's used. It's not recommended to buy anything if the first five ingredients include meat by-product, meat by-product meal, chicken by-product, poultry by-product, chicken by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, or meat and bone meal.

    3

    Try and avoid dog food that has soy, corn, or wheat in any variation. Chemicals may be included to make these grains which could harm your pet.

    4

    Avoid dog foods that have chemical preservatives. Some examples of these include BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin.

    5

    Call brands of dog food and ask if they are APHIS European Certified. If they are, then all of their ingredients are human grade. If you just call a brand and ask if they are human brand, they may answer yes when only a few of their ingredients are. It's not required for dog food to be certified, so it shows that a company has gone out of their way to ensure they giving their customers a quality product.

Canine Symptoms of Excessive Food & Water Consumption

Canine Symptoms of Excessive Food & Water Consumption

Your dog has a voracious appetite and yet never seems to gain any weight. Or maybe your dog drinks a lot of water and you suspect there's something going on. While many dogs vacuum food up faster than a Hoover and some dogs drink an extraordinary amount of water, there is a limit to what's healthy. Overeating or drinking too much may be a symptom of a more serious problem.

Overeating can be defined as being ravenous and eating more and more food without gaining weight, despite being fed the correct amount for the size, age and activity level of the dog. Overdrinking is drinking and urinating to the point where your dog has accidents in the house due to the amount of water consumption.

Malabsorption

    If your dog is eating everything in sight and still underweight, your pet may have malabsorption syndrome. Basically, it's a problem with the pancreas or small intestine where the dog simply can't digest the food. The dog will also have diarrhea and large, greasy-looking feces because the dog can't digest the fat.

    A variety of diseases can cause this problem, some of which are hereditary. Pancreatic insufficiency is one cause of this problem, as is an overabundance of bacterial growth in the small intestine. Dogs who are sensitive to gluten or who have hereditary problems with protein-losing enteropathy and protein-losing nephropathy, such as Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and certain lines of Irish Setters, may show signs of overeating while still losing weight. Idiopathic villous atrophy, a disease of the small intestine found in German Shepherd dogs and others, has to do with the malformation of intestinal villi and does not allow dogs to absorb their food properly.

    In each case a veterinarian will need to diagnose the condition and treat the disease. Treatments depend on the disease, and may range from special diets to surgery.

Diabetes

    Dogs who drink excessive water and eat excessively without gaining weight may have diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes. In its early stages, the dog may eat excessively. Your veterinarian will have to test for diabetes and if your dog has it, treatment will involve a special diet, medications and perhaps insulin injections.

Cushing's Disease

    Excessive thirst can be a sign of Cushing's Disease. Cushing's Disease occurs when there is too much corticosteroid due to a malfunction either with the pituitary or adrenal glands or tumors on either. Excessive drinking is one of several symptoms, including bilateral hair loss, loss of muscle tone, a pot-belly and lethargy. A veterinarian can diagnose Cushing's Syndrome and prescribe medications to treat it.

Kidney Failure

    In older dogs, excessive thirst combined with excessive urination may be a sign of kidney disease or even kidney failure. A veterinarian can diagnose this disease through blood and urine tests. If your dog is diagnosed with this disease, your veterinarian will prescribe a special diet to support the kidneys.

Senin, 13 Juni 2011

What Is the Recommended Quantity of Food for a Small Dog?

What Is the Recommended Quantity of Food for a Small Dog?

Small dogs may not necessarily have small appetites. They tend to have big personalities and high energy, and that means big hunger. Still, you have to be careful not to overfeed small dogs.

Time Frame

    Many veterinarians recommend feeding your small dog two times a day.
    Many veterinarians recommend feeding your small dog two times a day.

    Although some pet experts recommend feeding small breed adult dogs two to four times a day, many veterinarians suggest feeding only twice a day.

Expert Insight

    Ask your veterinarian about the quantity of food. He may tell you to follow manufacturer guidelines but may vary it slightly, depending on whether the dog is overweight.

Features

    The quantity of food depends on the dogs weight. Look at the recommendations on the food package and divide that into two to four meals.

Identification

    Your dog's activity level affects food quantity.
    Your dog's activity level affects food quantity.

    Small adult dogs--such as a Westie--in the 10-pound range should eat about 180 grams (about a cup) per day.

Size

    Dogs ranging from 10 to 20 pounds should eat anywhere from one to two cups of food. Most vets urge going with less feed rather than more because of potential weight problems.

Information on Feeding Human Food to Dogs

Information on Feeding Human Food to Dogs

It can be difficult to turn down Fido's sad eyes while you're preparing dinner. However, feeding human food to dogs can have many negative consequences. While not all people food is bad for dogs, table scraps should usually be avoided. If you are unsure if the diet you are feeding your dog is safe or nutritious, discuss it with your veterinarian to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Dangerous Foods

    Human food must be given to dogs with extreme caution because many foods are dangerous for dogs. While many of these foods are very healthy for humans to eat, some can be toxic and possibly lethal for dogs. Some examples of these foods include grapes and raisins, onions, garlic, walnuts, chocolate, and caffeine. Sharp bones can puncture organs or cause problems with digestion.

Weight

    Feeding your dog too many human foods can lead to obesity in some dogs. This is especially true if you feed table scraps to your dog that are high in fat or carbohydrates. A dog that carries too much extra weight can develop problems with its joints or heart. Commercial dog foods are designed with a dog's dietary needs in mind. While portion control and regular exercise are still necessary, these foods are usually a better fit for a dog's diet.

Behavior

    Feeding table scraps can lead to behavioral problems such as begging. If a dog begs for human food and you give in, this only reinforces this bad behavior. It can also make the dog more likely to steal unattended food or try to get food out of the garbage. Feeding human food can also make a dog more picky about what it eats, so it will be less likely to want to eat the dog food you leave out for it.

Other Problems

    There are other problems that may arise by feeding people food to your dog. Human food could cause a dog to have stomach problems, such as diarrhea, and even to develop food allergies. An improper diet can cause a dog's coat and skin to become dry. Digestive disorders may result from feeding different types of people food, and the dog may experience bad breath or gas.

Good Foods

    Not all human foods are bad for dogs. Some foods, such as carrots, sliced apples, green beans, lean meats, and plain cooked rice, can be fed to most dogs safely and are even good for them. These foods should still be fed with care; discuss your dog's diet with its veterinarian to see how these extras may fit into the diet you are feeding.

Jumat, 10 Juni 2011

How to Wean & Feed Puppies

How to Wean & Feed Puppies

As with humans, puppies need to wean off their mother's milk. If the mother is still present, she will start the weaning process herself. As the caretaker of the dog, you need to provide an alternative source of food that both the mother and the puppies recognize. When the puppies are two weeks old, pay attention to when they nurse so you know when to provide the puppy kibble. Puppies are old enough to start eating kibble when they are between 3 1/2 and 4 weeks old.

Instructions

    1

    Fill a food bowl with puppy kibble. Pour 1 tablespoon of water per 1/4 cup of kibble into the bowl. Mix the water and kibble with a spoon. The kibble absorbs the water, making it softer.

    2

    Place the bowl near the puppies and the mother. Show the bowl to the puppies so they can smell it. As the puppies' teeth grow stronger, decrease the amount of water you mix in the food. By the time the puppies reach six weeks old, they can eat the food without you wetting it.

    3

    Decrease the times you bottle feed the puppy, if the mother is not present. Offer the puppy the bowl of food when it's time to eat. Decrease the amount of times you bottle feed each day.

Kamis, 09 Juni 2011

What Are the Causes of Why Dogs Have Trouble Eating Hard Dry Food?

What Are the Causes of Why Dogs Have Trouble Eating Hard Dry Food?

There may be any number of reasons why a dog would have trouble eating dry food. It may not always be obvious, so the quickest and most definitive way to figure out the problem is to seek the help of a veterinarian.

Causes

    Causes may be physical or psychological. Physical problems run the gamut from mild to severe, and psychological problems can cause intense frustration for owners who must try to remedy them.

Physical Causes

    The most common physical causes involve the dog's teeth, mouth or jaw. A fracture, sprain or even mild pain in any one of these areas may make it difficult for a dog to chew dry food.

Psychological Causes

    Dogs who have been given table scraps, neglected, abused or housed in group situations may find it daunting to tackle a bowl of dry kibble. These issues must often be trained out of the dog over a period of time.

Warning

    In cases of rapid onset, a dog's inability to eat dry food may stem from a life-threatening allergic reaction that can close the dog's throat. If a severe problem is suspected, emergency veterinary care should be sought immediately.

Considerations

    Small dogs may find large pieces of dry dog food hard to chew, while large dogs may be perplexed by small pieces. The flavor, taste or texture may be off-putting if a brand has been switched or if the dog has switched from wet to dry food recently. Ask yourself if anything has changed when a dog has trouble eating his or her dry food.

Rabu, 08 Juni 2011

How to Make Homemade Liver Treats for Dogs

Fresh liver has many health benefits for pets. However, few dog and cat owners are willing to serve raw liver or cook it alone. Incorporating liver into tasty treats is an easy way to provide healthy snacks for your pet. Choosing organic complementary ingredients creates an even healthier treat.

Instructions

Preparing the Dough

    1

    Mix the organic flour and eggs together in a food processor or mixing bowl.

    2

    Slowly incorporate fresh chopped or pureed organic beef or chicken liver (or a mix of both) until the dough is fully mixed. Add teaspoons of water as needed to moisten the mixture. Hand mix if the food processor or mixer cannot accommodate 4 cups of ingredients.

    3

    Add extra ingredients to taste, if desired. Good additions include shredded organic cheese, shredded carrots and peanut butter. Avoid onions, raisins and chocolate, as these are toxic to dogs.

Baking the Treats

    4

    Line a large jelly roll with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

    5

    Slowly pour in the dough out and smooth it level in the pan. The dough should be no more than 1 inch thick in any part of the pan.

    6

    Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    7

    Allow treats to completely cool. Then cut into bite-size portions.

    8

    Store treats in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze immediately.

Is Raw Beef Liver Good for My Pit Bull Puppy?

Is Raw Beef Liver Good for My Pit Bull Puppy?

Pit Bull Terriers are known for their muscularity and strength. High-protein diets are popular for such an athletic breed, and some owners have been known to supplement some of their pet's diet with fresh organ meats, like liver. Growing puppies need higher levels of certain nutrients than adult dogs do. Low in fat and high in protein, vitamins and minerals, liver can make for a healthy snack, but you should cook it before feeding it to your puppy.

Raw Versus Cooked

    Typically, liver is cooked or specially processed before it's eaten, but some dog owners insist on feeding it raw to their pet. Many advocates of raw feeding believe that such diets are higher in nutrition and closer to a dog's natural diet. However, there are no legitimate scientific studies to date that confirm that feeding raw pieces of meat has more long-term health benefits than feeding cooked pieces of meat.

Inadequacies of a Raw Diet

    According to a study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, raw diets are more likely to have essential nutrients that are below the minimum recommendations of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The study also showed that some had excessive concentrations of some vitamins as well as inappropriate ratios of calcium and phosphorus -- minerals that are essential to growing bones, like those of a puppy.

Bacterial Infections

    Raw meats such as liver can be a source of dangerous bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli or Campylobacter. These types of food-borne bacteria can cause a severe intestinal infection, and potentially be lethal in a puppy with a developing immune system. An adult dog with a mature immune system may not show illness, or develop only mild signs of diarrhea, if infected.

Dangers to Humans

    An adult Pit Bull or puppy that eats raw meat containing bacteria and is fortunate enough to not become sick has a higher chance of eliminating the dangerous bacteria into the environment through its feces, potentially infecting other animals or humans. For example, cleaning an area where a dog has soiled or even frequent cleaning of dog bowls that routinely hold raw meat is probably not sufficient to eradicate food-borne bacteria, according to a study in The Canadian Veterinary Journal.

Senin, 06 Juni 2011

How to Interpret the Guaranteed Analysis on Pet Food Labels

The guaranteed analysis chart on all bags of pet food represents the recommended profiles for nutrient requirements, established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). As a pet owner, you need to know how to read between the lines of this chart!

Instructions

    1

    Understand that while it may look like a scientific statement of product effectiveness, the guaranteed analysis chart really only represents the food's minimum crude amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate and water. But it makes no statement as to whether or not your pet's body can absorb and use the nutrients provided.

    2

    Look for the guaranteed mineral content on the chart. You'll want to know that dog food contains calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and linoleic acid, while cat foods should contain taurine and magnesium.

    3

    Compare wet and dry food choices by using the chart values and this formula: First, multiply the crude percentages listed on the wet foods by 25 percent (wet foods contain only about 25 percent dry matter). Then, divide the percent guarantee listed by the percentage of dry matter, and multiply by 100. The answer will be the percentage that tells you how much of the dry matter in the wet food is really in a protein form.

    4

    Read the ingredients list for yourself to determine the product's quality and digestibility. After all, if the food is completely indigestible for your pet (with the inclusion of animal by-products meal and other grain meals and chemicals) none of the nutrients will be absorbed into your pet's blood stream. Instead, they will be excreted as waste in the form of higher stool volume and excess gas.

How to Make Pumpkin Dog Treats

How to Make Pumpkin Dog Treats

Homemade pumpkin treats are a healthy way to pamper your pet. Many dogs enjoy the rich flavor of pumpkin, especially paired with a little molasses. Pumpkin is particularly beneficial for dogs because it is full of fiber, beta carotene and vitamins E and C. One of the many benefits of making your own dog treats is that you know exactly what ingredients went into the recipe. Store-bought dog treats are often full of chemicals and additives as well as mysterious ingredients such as by-products.

Instructions

    1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease the cookie sheet.

    2

    Combine all the ingredients in a large-sized bowl, then mix together. The mixed batter should resemble the consistency of cookie dough.

    3

    Depending on how big you want the cookies to be, use a teaspoon or tablespoon to drop the dough onto the greased cookie sheet. Drop them approximately 1 inch apart.

    4

    Bake for 14 minutes or until the cookies are firm.

    5

    For crunchier cookies, turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven to cool for one to two hours. This recipe makes approximately two dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them.

How to Feed Yorkies With Sensitive Stomachs

How to Feed Yorkies With Sensitive Stomachs

Yorkshire terriers, often known as "Yorkies," are a breed of small lap dog. It has characteristics such as a zeal for exploring the world and sometimes becoming territorial over its owners. The dogs can also have sensitive stomachs on occasion, so if your Yorkie has a problem in this area there are things that you can do to help it eat better or more regularly. If the problem persists no matter what you try, take your Yorkie to its veterinarian to rule out more serious conditions.

Instructions

    1

    Feed your Yorkie dry dog food, sometimes known as kibble, that has a high nutritional content. Read the label to find out this information and make sure that the first two ingredients are meat. Do not buy food that contains corn or soy beans and make sure that the food was inspected and passed by the USDA. Avoid fillers, artificial preservatives or by-products as well. All of these ingredients can irritate a Yorkie's sensitive stomach, aside from being less nutritionally sound than other types of food.

    2

    Change to a different brand of dog food if your Yorkie is experiencing problems with its current brand. Try two to three brands before taking your dog to the vet to see if there are any underlying reasons why it is not eating properly.

    3

    Add a small amount of beef broth to the dog food to make it tastier for your Yorkie to eat. Yorkies have sensitive palettes as well as stomachs and your dog may simply be a picky eater, requiring extra flavor in its food.

    4

    Feed your Yorkie twice per day at the same times. Yorkies, as well as most other dog breeds, prefer a set schedule that is reliable. This helps to calm its nerves so that it eats better when food is available.

Jumat, 03 Juni 2011

Dog Food Protein Requirements

Dog Food Protein Requirements

A canine's body is incapable of naturally making all the needed amino acids for good health. Therefore, they must be obtained through supplementary means, such as dog food. Proteins, which are made of amino acids, are important when it comes to feeding a dog. The amount of required protein from your dog's food depends on the age and activity level of the dog.

Feeding Mothers and Pups

    The protein requirements for dog food designed for growing puppies and lactating dogs is higher than the requirements in the average dog food. Because the amino acids that make up proteins play a critical part in development, growth and the immune system, it is essential that puppies and nursing mothers get the nutrition they need. Dog food designed for this group should be 28% protein.

Feeding Working Dogs

    There are different levels of working dogs. Some dogs expend much energy during their daily jobs. However, no matter what type of job the dog carries out, dog food for working dogs requires more protein than food for the average pooch. Performing dogs require 25% protein from their food; sled dogs need 35% protein.

Feeding the Average Dog

    Dog food for the average adult dog requires less protein than food for any other type of canine. This requirement for good nutrition and health sits at 18%. The level is lower because these dogs use less energy and have lower nutritional needs than dogs in other categories.

Diabetic Recipes for Dogs

Diabetic Recipes for Dogs

Controlling diabetes in dogs is similar to controlling it in humans and requires these steps: eliminate sweeteners; reduce fat; reduce simple carbohydrates; increase complex carbohydrates and protein; and make sure your dog gets more exercise and loses excess weight.
Dogs are primarily carnivores, which means that at least a third of their diet should be high-quality protein. They also like vegetables, grains and fruit, all of which can add interest and nutrition to their diets.
One of the most effective ways you can help your dog after he's been diagnosed with diabetes is to stop feeding him commercial dog food and prepare it yourself.

Benefits

    Keep your dog healthy with homemade food.

    Your veterinarian may prescribe a commercial canned food made especially for diabetic dogs. However, with the many recalls of tainted pet food and the high cost of prescription food, doesn't it make more sense to make it yourself? Here are some reasons to consider.

    Yes, the first couple of times you make food for your dog, you'll use every pot in your kitchen and make a big mess. But you'll get the hang of it and become more efficient. Large batches can be frozen in individual portions.
    You'll know exactly what's in your dog's food and feel confident you're giving him the best nutrition possible.
    You will probably find that high-quality ingredients in these recipes, ingredients that you would serve to the human members of your family, cost less than buying the canned food prescribed by your veterinarian.

Considerations

    Healthy, well-nourished dogs love to play.

    What's wrong with commercial food? According to "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats" by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, commercial food is loaded with artificial flavor and color, sweeteners such as corn syrup and sugar, heavy metal contamination, tainted meat and grains that have been rejected from the human food chain because of disease or spoilage, and other ingredients such as feathers, gristle, tendons, hoofs, hair and fur. Some of these are poisonous, some are empty calories with no nutritional value and some are barely digestible and provide little nutritional value.

Recipes

    These recipes were formulated by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, and are taken from book titled "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats."
    Start with a healthy powdered supplement that is mixed into batches of food and into individual meals.

    Healthy Powder
    2 cups nutritional or brewers yeast
    1 cup lecithin granules
    1/4 cup kelp powder
    4 tbsp. KAL brand bone meal
    1,000 mg vitamin C crystals
    Mix the yeast, lecithin, kelp, bone meal and vitamin C thoroughly and store in a quart-sized container in the refrigerator.
    Add the powder blend as directed to recipes and to individual meals as follows:
    1 to 2 tsp. a day for toy, small dogs
    2 to 3 tsp. a day for medium dogs
    3 to 4 tsp. a day for large dogs
    4 to 5 tsp. per day for very large dogs

    This recipe is about 32 percent protein, 17 percent fat and 47 percent complex carbohydrates. It yields about 5 cups of food.

    Diabetic Dinner
    2 cups unsalted cooked brown rice
    2 cups (about 1 lb.) ground lean turkey
    1 cup unsalted home-cooked kidney beans, OR low-sodium canned kidney beans
    1 egg, beaten, uncooked
    1 tbsp. healthy powder supplement (see recipe above)
    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. KAL bone meal
    1 to 10,000 IU vitamin A and D capsule
    1 to 400 IU vitamin E capsule
    1 tsp. tamari soy sauce OR 1/8 tsp. iodized salt
    1 small clove of garlic, minced fine

    Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet, using a spoon or spatula to break up the chunks. Cook until all the pink is gone. Pour the cooked turkey and its fat and juices into a large stainless steel bowl and set it aside to cool for 5 minutes.

    With a pair of clean scissors, snip the tips off the vitamin A and D and E capsules and push the oil out of the capsules and into the cooked turkey. Discard the capsules.

    Add the brown rice, kidney beans, beaten egg, healthy powder supplement, olive oil, KAL bone meal, tamari soy sauce OR iodized salt and the garlic to the turkey . Blend all of the ingredients thoroughly.

    Serve it to your diabetic dog in the serving size recommended by your veterinarian, or using the portion sizes in the next section as a guideline.

Feeding

    Eating well pays off with a shiny coat and bright eyes.

    Diabetic dogs suffer from blood sugar spikes that can cause long-term damage to their vision, nervous systems and circulatory systems. To keep blood sugar steady, try feeding your diabetic dog smaller meals 2 or 3 times per day instead of one giant meal every day. Consult your veterinarian for portion sizes or use this guideline:

    Toy dogs: slightly less than 2 cups Diabetic Doggy Dinner per day
    Small dogs: 4 cups Diabetic Doggy Dinner per day
    Medium dogs: 6 to 7 cups Diabetic Doggy Dinner per day
    Large dogs: 8 cups Diabetic Doggy Dinner per day
    Very large dogs: 9 to 10 cups Diabetic Doggy Dinner per day

Planning Ahead

    You can make preparing your diabetic dog recipe simpler by making some ingredients in advance and freezing them in recipe-size quantities. The rice and beans, for instance, can be made ahead in large amounts. Beans can be pressure-cooked for fast use, with the excess going into the freezer. You can also double this recipe as many times as you like and freeze it in individual portions. To serve frozen food, heat it in the microwave to thaw and bring it to room temperature.

Warning

    A romp in the water is fun for hunting dogs.

    Discuss changes to your diabetic dog's diet with your veterinarian.

    Many veterinarians are opposed to homemade food, so come prepared with your recipe and the recipes of any supplements you are giving your dog, such as the healthy powder recipe. It's not that veterinarians have any special affection for pet food companies; most want what's best for your dog. However, until recently, animal nutrition and its role in health and disease received very little attention in veterinary training programs, and you might have to gently educate your veterinarian. Be firm and ask for an explanation if your veterinarian is adamant that commercial food be fed.

Kamis, 02 Juni 2011

How to Care for a Drinkwell Automatic Dog Watering Bowl

How to Care for a Drinkwell Automatic Dog Watering Bowl

What if you could supply your dog with fresh water without having to refill the container constantly or worry about dirty water? The Drinkwell Big-Dog Fountain lets you do just that. Its a handy little mechanism that has a charcoal filter that filters out debris and can improve your dogs health. Not only that, it allows your dog to enjoy a waterfall of fresh water. Some even like to drink right from the water flow. It can seem like itd be hard to care for but with a few easy steps to remember, you can keep it running as well as the day you bought it.

Instructions

    1

    Always check the bottom of the Drinkwell to be certain that the motor is securely attached. Remove the housing cover lid and put the filter cartridge down into the well in the housing diagonally. The bottom of the filter is narrower than the top so the black side will face outward towards the spout. If its too tight, then that means you have placed it in upside down or with the wrong groove in the front. Always rinse the filter before using it to remove charcoal debris.

    2

    Before you fill the reservoir and place it into the Drinkwell, put the base of the unit wherever youd like to have your water bowl. Its better to place on a protective surface when using on hardwood floors and carpet since spillage can happen when your pet drinks from it. The Drinkwell doesnt splash but pets do tend to allow water to drip after drinking. Also if someone bumps into it you can have splashes onto your floor.

    3

    Fill the bowl and the fountain housing with water till the water reaches the fill level thats indicated. Do not overfill or you can have spillage.

    4

    Make sure your cord and plug are dry before you plug them into an outlet. Use a polarized outlet and plug in the cord to the Drinkwell. There is a notch in the back of the unit that allows the cord to pass through without being smashed.

    5

    Fill the reservoir with water and check to make sure to O-ring is in place and close with the lid provided. Do not close the lid too tight because it makes it harder to open when its time to refill the unit. Hold the reservoir over your unit and place it in the hole in the back upside down.

    6

    There is a flow rate slide into the water bowl area that you can use to adjust the flow of water. Always keep your bowl with enough water to ensure that you do not let the pump dry out. This will also keep the noise level to a quiet hum instead of a loud rattle. If you pump is making louder than usual noises, you can put some non-toxic lube onto the motor.