Saturday, August 22, 2009

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Benefits of Fiber in Your Dog's Diet

Benefits of Fiber in Your Dog's Diet

We know the benefits of fiber in our own diet, but is their any benefits of fiber in a dog's diet? Fiber was consider filler and bulk in year's past, but today, the nutritional value of fiber in the dog's diet is finally realized.

What exactly is fiber? It is a part of carbohydrates. Fiber is not highly digestible by the body. Your dog's diet can benefit from fiber in appropriate amounts. Just like humans, too much fiber in a diet can have negative effects on the digestive system. It is always important to monitor your dog's diet to maintain a healthy level of fiber to suit your pet's needs. Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of fiber in your dog's diet.

Obedience is prevalent in both humans and pets. Too often, pet's become overweight. Fiber in your dog's diet is a terrific way to help your pet lose excess weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to the longevity and quality of your dog's life. We know that fiber cannot accomplish weight loss on its own, but it can truly make a difference. Fiber helps to keep your dog feeling full and content without large amounts of calories.

The pets who achieve the desired weight goal may need a little extra fiber in the dog's diet to maintain the desired weight. Combining fiber with strict portion control, you will be able to create a dog diet that is healthy and satisfying for your pet.

Again, similar to humans, constipation does occur in pets. Your dog's diet should contain fiber to help prevent this medical condition from occurring. As your dog ages, his or her diet should contain elevated levels of fiber. Senior dogs tend to deal with issues of constipation more frequently than their younger counterparts. For this reason, you will note higher fiber content in senior dog diets.

How does fiber help keep things moving? Fiber absorbs water. With the absorption of water in the fiber, the contents in the intestine have more bulk. This is what causes the movement along the intestinal tract. The passage time through the bowel becomes more normalized and regular.

Healthy amounts of fiber in your dog's diet will contribute to fecal consistency. You will know when your pet is getting the proper amount of fiber when your dog relieves himself regularly. Too much fiber in your dog's diet will result in loose and messy stools.

Some studies indicate that a slight increase in fiber can assist in the management of diabetes mellitus. The fiber helps to control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar from the intestine.

Take note that excessive amounts of fiber can have negative affects on your dog's health. For this reason, it is important to buy high-quality dog food from reputable companies to ensure a healthy diet for your dog. Watch for these sources of fiber in your dog's diet. Beet pulp, soybean hulls, rice bran, apple and tomato pomace, and peanut hulls. Grain such as oats and rice are also examples of indigestible fiber.

Fiber does have benefits in your dog's diet when used in moderation. Talk to your vet about the best amount of fiber for your pet.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Dog Food Allergies: Don't Blame That Itching on Fleas

Get rid of fleas ticks on your dog or cat

As a devoted dog owner, you're probably on the lookout for even the smallest sign that your pet's life is not as comfortable as you can possibly make it. So when doggie starts scratching at his belly or biting at his back, you may immediately take him or her to the vet for a flea dip. You'll also and use flea bombs all over the house in and attempt to have a flea-free environment for doggie's return.

But what if you've done all of that, and within fifteen minutes of returning home, the scratching and biting resume?

If your dog shows signs of allergies, but you are quite certain it is not from inhalants in the environment, fleas in his coat or other health problems, your dog could suffer from food allergies.

If, for example, your dog has been eating one particular food or a favorite treat for several months or even years, he or she might have developed an allergy to one of the ingredients in that food.

Your dog can go for months or even years eating the same food with no problem, but over time his or her immune system will be accumulating enough antibodies to finally result in an allergic reaction. If your dog has a bad reaction to a food the first time he or she eats it, this is a food intolerance caused by a toxin in the food (and there are, unfortunately, more of them than you'd like to think) but it's not an allergic reaction.

While it's natural to think that if your dog has a food allergy, he or she will exhibit indigestion like nausea or diarrhea, almost all canine food allergies cause severely itching skin, and dogs with food allergies very often chew incessantly at their legs and paws. If your dog has intestinal distress after a meal, you are almost certainly looking at food intolerance and not an allergy.

The difficulty in diagnosing food allergies in dogs is that most dogs who are allergic will suffer from more than one allergy at a time. So even if you were to attempt to diagnose your dog's food allergy by changing his or her diet, and your dog began experiencing the itching skin of a flea allergy, you might mistakenly think the change of diet was ineffective in treating the food allergy.

Finding the Source of the Allergy

The only way to determine the change in diet has been effective is to eliminate all other possible causes for your dog's symptoms, and put your pet on what is known as an "elimination trial " diet. You will feed your dog a diet which consists of a single protein and a single carbohydrate which you have never fed before, and water, for between two and three months. Because a food allergy takes months or years to develop, your dog will not be allergic to the new foods and should not become allergic to them in that amount of time.

Your vet may either recommend a commercial food which will suit the purposes of your elimination trial diet, or may suggest that you prepare your dog's food at home. While your dog is on the elimination diet, you'll have to be disciplined enough to avoid feeding treats or table scraps, and take away the chew toys. If there are other dogs around, keep your pet away from their droppings. Some dogs will nibble on other dogs' waste, and even that will be enough to invalidate your elimination trial diet.

If your dog's symptoms are seriously improved after two or three months on the elimination trial diet, you'll know that a food allergy was causing them. If they haven't improved, or have worsened, you'll have to look elsewhere for their cause, but you can let your pet return to the old way of eating

One precaution: if you decide to make your dog's elimination trial diet yourself, it won't be fortified with the essential vitamins, trace minerals, and fatty acids necessary to maintain your pet's health. So you'll have to get supplements and add them to the food before feeding your pet.

Nothing is as unpleasant to you, a loving dog wonder as watching your cherished companion suffer needlessly. If your dog is constantly biting and itching, and you are reasonable certain that fleas are not responsible, talk to your vet about what you can do to determine if a food allergy is the culprit!

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios, including the internet best selling "Complete Guide to Your Dog's Nutrition".

Visit the link below now for Sharda's Special Free Dog Food Report.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dogs skin and coat problems

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What's Really Going into Doggie's Dish?

The AAFCO sets the standards for pet food safety and nutrition, and the testing done by the AAFCO is used to determine whether or not specific ingredients are acceptable as pet foods. But the AAFCO will rate both low and high quality ingredients as being nutritionally adequate, because there is a demand for pet food in all price ranges. So you need to learn how to read past the AAFCO approval statement on your dog food labels if you want to know what Buster is really consuming.

Reading a Dog Food Label

The label tells us many important facts and figures that may otherwise dissuade or persuade us from purchasing the food. In short, it is important to read the labels. To actually read that label, and not to just give it a cursory glance, we will have to first know a little something about what can be found there and what it means.

The first thing most of us notice on any label is the product name. The product name may also contain primary ingredient names such as "Beef Dog Chow", or what kind of dog the food is intended for, such as "Puppies, Adult, Lactating", etc.

If, in the product name, an ingredient is listed, say for example that "Beef Dog Chow", that beef must be at least 95% of the total weight if there is no water required for processing, and at least 70% when water is included. So, for dry kibble, 95% of that weight needs to contain beef.

When the title contains "dinner, formula, nuggets," and other similar words, the ingredient named must be at least 25% of the weight. So in a product named Lamb Dinner, 25% of the total weight for the product must be lamb.

But, if only ¼ of that entire product needs to consist of lamb, the lamb may not (and probably is not!) the main ingredient. Ingredients must be listed in a descending order of weight. So, even though the bag says Lamb Dinner, the lamb may be fourth in order.

Example:

* Lamb Dinner Ingredients: Corn, meat and bone meal, wheat, lamb.

In that Lamb Dinner, the main ingredients are really the corn and meat and bone meal. Not desirable for a healthy meal.

On the other hand if the ingredients listed were

* Premium Lamb Dinner Ingredients: Lamb, ground rice, ground yellow corn%u2026

This presents a more desirable meal and one that your dog can actually consume and digest properly.

When it comes to the words "flavored" or "flavor" such as Lamb Flavored Nuggets, no exact percentage of the named ingredient, the lamb, needs to be present, but enough of that ingredient needs to present as to be detectable

Often times, the main ingredients will not be present in the title. In such a case, these foods often include items such as: ground yellow corn, meat byproducts, tallow, and other items that are not particularly digestible for your pet. The actual named ingredient will probably be down the list and make up only a very small part of the product.

Besides naming an ingredient with the product name, other phrases and adjectives are used.

Premium Dog Food, or X Premium and other like titles are making a justified boast, as these products complied with the nutritional standards for a complete and balanced dog food. This is definitely something to take into consideration when shopping.

Natural Dog Food means that there are no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.

If a product has given the calorie content on the bag, "Premium Beef Dinner: now with lower calorie content," this is done so voluntarily as a service to the consumer. Because the calorie content of pet foods does not have to be displayed in their labels, however, here's a formula to help you make sure Buster is not eating too much:

Multiply the carbohydrate by 4.2kcal (kilocalories) per gram, the protein by 5.65, and then the fat by 9.4 kcal per gram. If you need to convert the kilocalories to kilojoules (another unit of measurement for energy) simply multiply the total by 4.184. Of course, rounding to the nearest ten might be helpful, as long as you keep in mind that it's an approximation erring on the low side.

Where's the Fat?

A good way to find the higher quality dog foods by reading the ingredient list is to search for that first source of fat. Everything that is listed before that fat source, and including it, is the main part of the food. Everything else is generally used for flavor, preservatives, vitamins, and minerals.

For example:

* Food A:Ground yellow corn, meat meal, chicken fat, ground wheat, chicken byproduct meal, dried beet pulp %u2026

* Food B:
Turkey, chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, chicken fat, apples, carrots, sunflower oil%u2026

The importance of finding the source of fat and where it is listed is so you can find ingredients that may or may not be harmful to your pet, such as beet pulp or corn gluten meal.

Learning to read the labels on dog food is the single most important thing you can do if you intend to feed your pet a commercial diet. Buster may be the smartest dog who ever wore a collar, but he can't read, and he needs to rely on you to keep him healthy.

If what's in that can or bag doesn't sound like something you'd want to eat, it's probably not something your dog would eat if there were an alternative. So take the time to learn the language of labels!

Sharda Baker has published several dog ebook and audios, including the internet best selling "Complete Guide to Your Dog's Nutrition"

Visit the link below now for Sharda's Special Free Dog Food Report.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Dog's Diet Influences Oral Health

Your dog is your very best friend. Every single time you walk through the door your dog is so happy to see you that he wags his tail and practically smiles at you. How can you show your pet how much they mean to you? Well, one way is to take care of that smile for your pet. Did you know that your dog's diet can influence their oral health?

Humans need to brush and floss their teeth regularly to keep their teeth, tongue, and gums in good condition. Research has recently shown a link between good oral health in humans and a lower risk of heart disease. If good oral health can have such a profound affect on people, then it only makes sense to consider the impact it can have on man's best friend.

It is important to brush your dog's teeth frequently to keep plaque and tartar from becoming an issue. Even wiping his gums with a clean, damp cloth can be beneficial.

Your dog's diet also plays a role in your pet's oral health. Do you typically feed your dog canned or dry dog food? What kind of treats and toys do you provide for your pet? All of these things can affect the likelihood of trouble with your pet's teeth.

When your dog's diet is nutritionally sound, containing essential vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes, your pet's oral health will be at its very best. Feeding dry dog food rather than a moist canned variety is best for your dog. The tiny kibbles' hard surface rubs against the teeth to remove and reduce plaque. The simple act of moistening the dry dog food with water or gravy eliminates this property from dry dog food.

The treats you give your pet are part of your dog's diet just like snacks are part of a person's diet. As humans, we tend to want to overlook our snacking habits, so it can be easy to overlook the treats you give your dog. This is not a good idea. Carefully consider any and all items your dog will consume.

Do you give your dog bones, rawhides, jerky treats, or dog biscuits? Maybe your pet prefers greenies or corn starch chews. You may not have considered it, but tossing Spot a rawhide chew is like giving him a candy bar. The rawhide, for example, contains calories and is often provided between meals.

Many of the treats and snacks you provide in your dog's diet can be just empty wasted calories. Some treats, alternatively, provide excellent opportunity to improve oral health. Greenies, rawhides, bones, and hard dog biscuits all help to keep tartar at bay. The softer snacks, such as jerky treats, do not provide much relief from plaque. The healthy treat, on occasion, will also prevent your dog from having bad breath.

Your dog's diet must be healthy to ensure excellent oral health. Dry dog food is best whenever possible. Don't forget to select treats for your pet that will enhance your dog's diet. Consciously monitoring your dog's diet will positively influence your best friend's oral health.

Dog Sitter DVDs to entertain your dog or cat

The Dog Sitter Videos are specially designed to stimulate and entertain your dog while you are away. They feature scene selections with a continuous loop so your dog can stay entertained all day long. Since dogs can hear 10 times better than humans, these DVDs are loaded with up to 8 layers of sounds.. your dog will love hearing the subliminal messages of "Good Dog! Good Dog!"

Your Dog's Health



Your Dog's Health: Are You Innocently Feeding These Eleven Foods That Could Kill Your Dog?
by SandraGBailey

Since diet is the foundation to your dog's health, you want to feed the best diet possible. I for one believe that the whole foods raw diet is the best. It consists of raw, organically raised meats and organic fruits and vegetables. By feeding this quality food to your dog, you will improve his health, quality of life and extend the length of his life.


But along with knowing what is best to feed your dogs, you must also be aware of what NOT to feed your furry companions.


The old saying is true - you are what you eat. If you feed poor quality dog food to your dog, his digestive system will bear the consequences. The organs that are affected are the liver, pancreas, kidneys and skin. The liver and pancreas are affected as part of the digestive system and the liver, kidneys and skin as part of the elimination system. The most damaging thing about the majority of dry commercial dog foods on the market today is that they contain toxic dyes, chemicals and preservatives. Those toxins build up in the body and over time cause damage to the liver and kidneys.


The number one killer of dogs today is cancer. In 1997, oncologists from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine published diet recommendations to help combat cancer. Since cancer cells thrive on sugar and create lactate as a waste, they recommend excluding lactate-containing and glucose-containing fluids. The lactate poisons the dog by depleting its energy, making it weaker. So, limit sugars and simple carbohydrates. A diet that can meet the anti-cancer recommendations is a homemade species appropriate diet. That diet is the whole raw foods diet.


The 1997 study also provided knowledge of some other foods to avoid.


Chocolate - I hope that you already know to never, never, NEVER feed your dog
chocolate. It contains theobromine, which is toxic for your dog.
It also contains caffeine which is a nerve irritant. Your dog can
go into a coma and die from eating chocolate.


Sugar - Sugar in whatever form, is addictive, causes damage to the pancreas, and
depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.


Dairy products - Milk has foreign hormones and lactose, which is a sugar.
Most dogs do not have the lactase enzyme that is needed to digest
lactose.


Grain - Dogs do not need the carbohydrates in grains for nutrition and energy.
Fats and protein in a natural dog diet provide the fuel that your dog
needs. Grains break down into sugar in the body and they can also add
to many health problems. They can cause your dog to have skin allergies,
hot spots, bloating, ear infections, joint problems, and digestive disorders.
Some vets believe that they weaken the immune system and the pancreas.


Raw Salmon - Be careful in feeding salmon. In fact, it is better and safer to give
your dog Norwegian Salmon Oil. Salmon poisoning is an infectious disease
caused by a parasite fluke on salmon. Although it is mostly found in Pacific
salmon, it can occur elsewhere.


Onions - Raw or cooked, one quarter cup of onions can make a 20 lb. dog sick.
Onions cause toxicity by oxidizing hemoglobin in the red blood cells.
When this happens, it forms clumps in the red blood cells which prevent
them from carrying the oxygen that is needed. These small clumps are
called Heinz bodies and when veterinarians see them, they strongly
suspect onion toxicity. The signs of onion toxicosis are the same as
anemia and low oxygen in the body - lethargy, weakness, red urine,
decreased stamina, and pale or bluish gums.


Raisins and Grapes - Can cause toxicity in dogs. Some dogs may never be
affected, but for the ones who are, it is best to avoid feeding to any dog.
Some dogs will develop kidney damage within the first days of eating
grapes and/or raisins, which can lead to kidney failure and death. So, it
is in the best interest of your dog to avoid this food altogether. If you dog
should accidentally eat grapes or raisins and have a reaction to them, their
first reaction will be vomiting. Get them to a Vet immediately in that if
they are treated early, they can recover. At this time, it is not known what
the toxin is.


Macadamia nuts - They are toxic to dogs and create hind limb weakness,
tremors, depression, vomiting and fever. Dogs usually recover.


Moldy food - Dogs can have indiscriminating taste, as we know. And moldy
food can produce tremor syndrome that can result in seizures.


Peach pits - The pits and seeds of most fruits are toxic to dogs. Signs of
poisoning are drooling, vomiting, and lethargy. If you suspect that
your dog has eaten a peach pit or pit or seed of any fruit, take him to the
veterinarian as soon as possible.


Bread dough - A ball of dough can obstruct your dog's gastrointestinal tract.
Also, the yeast can ferment in your dog's stomach and cause signs of
ethanol ingestion or drunkenness.


I hope that you find this article helpful, and that it has helped raise your awareness that not all foods that may be good for you are appropriate for your dog's health. Many can cause very severe health problems. By avoiding potentially dangerous foods, and providing healthy foods, you can add to the quality and joy of your dog's life.


I wish you the best of life for you and your dog.



About the Author

Sandra Bailey, who has raised dogs for over 50 years, is the author of "Real Dogs Don't Eat Kibble!" She is a member of the National Center for Homeopathy,a Professional Member of the Animal Wellness Association, and a member of Canine Health Concern. She is the owner of the website http://www.TheNaturallyHealthyDog.com, and blog http://TheNaturallyHealthyDogSeries.blogspot.com.



Article Source: Content for Reprint

Dryer sheets are toxic to dogs and cats


PLAY TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER
Did you know dryer sheets are toxic to dogs and cats? If you use fabric softener sheets, keep them away from your pets. These sheets contain detergents known as cationics that are potentially harmful, especially to cats.

Fabric softener sheets and laundry can smell sweet to curious pet. These can cause serious digestive problems, irritation of the mouth and tongue, and even death. It may be tempting to put a fabric softener sheet in a pet's bed or kennel but don"t do it.
Here are some Cold Weather Hazards
Antitifreeze
Liquid potpourri
Ice melting products
Rat and mouse bait

Common Household Hazards
These can be toxic to animals. Human medications such as pain killers, including aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen,diet pills
cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, anti-depressants, and vitamins.

Poisonous household plants include marijuana, sago palm, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), lilies, oleander, castor bean, tulips and narcissis, cyclamen, yew, azalea, geraniums, mistletoe, and philodendron.

Be careful with the rawhide doggie chews, they may be contaminated with Salmonella, which can infect pets and humans who come in contact with the chews. They also pose as a choking hazard as well.

Rubber bands,string, yarn, and dental floss are easy to swallow and can cause intestinal blockages or strangulation.

Be careful fo collars that are too tight they can become imbedded into the skin of pets. The best way to measure is two fingers slip under collar.

Stuffed animals with plastic eyes, toys with removable parts, like squeaky toys can pose a choking hazard to animals.

Fabric softener sheets, mothballs, and pennies because of high zinc concertation.

Here are some Non-toxic Substances for Dogs and Cats
They are considered non-toxic, but may cause mild gastrointestinal upset
Water-based paints
Toilet bowl water
Silica gel
Poinsettia
Cat litter
Glue traps





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