Tips for Keeping Your Dog Happy

happydogKeeping your dog happy can be tricky depending on the type of dog that you have and how much time you have to spend with your dog. Taking your dog for a walk in a different neighborhood might stimulate the senses and keep your dog interested. A territorial dog might be less dominant in a neighborhood that is less familiar and therefore easier to walk. Continue reading →

They’re coming….weeds! How to control them naturally

Photo Credit: Aplum

Photo Credit: Aplum

The days are getting longer and the weather is warmer making it the perfect time for….weeds! Just because you have children or pets doesn’t mean your yard should be overrun by those dreaded yellow flowers. Here are three options to keep your lawn healthy without using harsh chemicals or having to removing weeds by hand. Continue reading →

Can Dogs See In Color?

According to Psychology Today, dogs do see in color just less colors than humans. Dogs tend to see hues of color that are not as rich as humans. Even though most dog toys are red or bright orange, dogs are likely to see these colors as brown or even black and may be difficult to distinguish on a lawn that appears as the same color to dogs. The colors that dogs can see are yellow, blue, brown, black and gray. They see the colors green, yellow and orange as yellowish, and they see violet and blue as blue. While blue-green is seen as a gray or brown.

Tips For Caring For A Sick Pet

Photo Credit: Yoel Ben-Avraham

Photo Credit: Yoel Ben-Avraham

Once your pet has been to the vet, it’s not easy to come back home and care for your sick pet. However, the following tips might help you to weather this difficult time until your pet is up and about. When your dog has to take pills and you’re not comfortable placing the pill on the back of the dog’s tongue there are alternatives. For example, you can crush the pill and feed it with food. However, some savvy dogs might refuse to eat if you do this, so you can try hiding the pill in peanut butter, cheese, or meat and have them lick it off your hand. Another way is to hide the pill in a small piece of oatmeal bar; the fruit filling usually disguises the pill smell. If your dog won’t drink, try floating pieces of meat in the water; as your dog bobs for the meat, he/she is likely to start lapping up water as well. Feeding your dog cooked veggies such as potatoes and carrots will also add water to your dog’s diet. If your dog has lost his/her appetite, you could try scrambled eggs, soft pieces of cooked chicken, white rice, or even baby food.

Some toys that may entertain your sick dog could include chew toys, such as deer or bison antlers, teething rings, or ice cubes. Playing quiet classical music or wrapping your dog in an old t-shirt might provide the comfort your pooch needs to start feeling better.

Don’t forget to look after yourself to prevent burn out; get some sleep, take breaks, and don’t skip meals when you’re looking after a sick pet. Have a family member or friend take over the care for a while, if your pet has an extended period of illness.

In Brief: Caring For Your Dog’s Teeth

Caring for your dog's teethStart brushing your dog’s teeth when they are puppies and continue into adulthood. You can use a soft human toothbrush if you don’t want to buy a special dog toothbrush but do not use human toothpaste because they are not formulated for dogs. Instead, there are many inexpensive dog toothpastes that will do the job.

If your dog is not used to having their teeth brushed there are alternatives such as chewing on bones. Bones are a natural way to clean your dog’s teeth. However, some vets are against giving your dog bones because they are concerned that it may cause injuries. If this is your view as well, then you might consider using a dental product; there are several on the market that you can spray into your dog’s mouth. These products are formulated to loosen the plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.

If your dog’s teeth are really brown with tartar, or at least every two years, you should have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by your vet. Your vet will be able to remove the tartar below the gum line and prevent bone loss. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean could save you money down the road!

In Brief: Omega-3 Fatty Acids & Dogs

Omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids are two types of unsaturated fats. Dogs with allergies and other inflammatory conditions may benefit from adding omega-3s to their diet.  There are a number of supplements on the market especially for dogs or you can try adding fresh fish, flax seeds, or omega-3 eggs to your dog’s diet. Always check with your vet regarding the best dose of omega-3 to meet your dog needs; in some cases over supplementing can lead to a decrease in the vitamin E stores in your pet’s body.

Treats That Are Actually Good for Your Dog

Healthy Dog TreatsDogs are omnivores not carnivores and this means that they can eat almost anything. That being said, it’s important to give your dog a balanced diet and this means healthy snacks. Store bought snacks are handy but can be high in fat or sugar. Good alternatives include the following list of fruits and veggies as recommended by PetMed:

  • Apples – without seeds or core
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon – without seeds
  • Frozen bananas
  • Green beans
  • Carrots – raw or cooked
  • Sweet potato – cooked or regular potatoes but in small amounts because they are high in sugar and can increase weight
  • Squash, zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Popcorn – unsalted and unbuttered

5 Tips to Help Keep Your Dog Fit

Photo: Rachael Prins

Photo: Rachael Prins

Many dogs are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. When making your new years’ resolutions, why not make keeping your pet at a healthy weight one of them? Here are 5 tips to help you reach that goal.

  1.  Don’t allow your dog to free feed– Free feeding makes it difficult to determine how many calories your dog is actually consuming
  2. Measure your dog’s food using a measuring cup – Using a measuring cup rather than other less precise methods will also help you figure out how many calories your dog is consuming. Also, ignore the feeding recommendations on the package and use a calorie calculator for dogs to get an idea of how much your dog should be eating
  3. When treating your dog, stick to real meat – Instead of using cookies that contain mainly carbohydrates and fat, use dehydrated meat treats that are readily available in any pet store (or you can even make your own)
  4. Just 20 minutes a day – A 20 minute walk will greatly improve the health of both humans and canines..but if your dog isn’t used to going for walks you may need to start slow and work up to a brisk pace and longer time
  5. Add Veggies – If they can tolerate them, adding some dog friendly veggies to their meals or as treats can help your dog to feel full (due to the water content in the veggies)

If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, it’s best to check with a vet to rule out any possible medical causes prior to beginning a weight loss.