Author Archives: Maxine Elliott

best dog food choices

The Best Dog Food Choices

Deciding for what particular type of food you are going to buy for your pets may seem hard but in reality, it is just an easy task. One of the main arguments in this matter is whether the food you’ll hand to your pet should be a wet food or dry food. Some of the pet owners take sides based on their previous experience on pets, some ask their close friends and relatives, others stick to the advice of the pet’s breeder, while others consult to experts like veterinarians. But, the most influential factors of this argument are campaign advertisements and television commercials that claim their product as the best among the rest. Which among the two is really better?

Dry Food

Dry Food is less expensive than wet food which gives it an edge to owners. Many of the people prefer dry foods also because of its longevity and its convenience. You can just leave it on the food bin for your pet even until the sun rises or until you come back home from work.

But dry food is not good for pets who have small mouths and those that find it hard to chew. Veterinarians’ advice wet foods to older and smaller pets while those in the middle get dry foods.

Wet Food

As a pet owner, you should be aware that not all pets drink much water, thus, causing them to feel dehydrated which is bad for their health. There is no particular reason why some of the pets don’t drink water but giving them wet food might be the best solution. Wet foods can hydrate their body as well as fill their stomachs. Giving wet foods to pets can lessen the amount of calorie intake from the food they are eating.

Another thing is that wet foods are very much efficient for older pets that lost most of their senses. Wet foods, for your information, have a better-off scent than that of dry foods, thus boosting the appetite of your pet. Just like how our grandmothers and grandfathers like soup and not so dry meals, dogs who don’t have enough teeth to chew or those with smaller mouths can benefit to wet foods.

However, having wet food as your food of choice for your pet may be costly. Note that once the food has been opened, you need to have your dog eat it or else it will spoil. It still has to be covered and refrigerated to preserve its life. Also, wet foods are more expensive than that of dry foods and when your pet eats, it will be messy.

A good dog food should contain these following ingredients:

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates and Grains
  • Vegetables (for Vitamins and Minerals)
  • Fruits(source of fiber)
  • Oils and Fats (fatty acids)

Ingredients to be avoided in a dog food

  • Food Dyes
  • Corn and Wheat
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Rendered Fat
  • Grain Meals

If you are uncertain of what particular brand will you use, you might want to look at these popular brands that provide 100% safe and nutritious dog foods

  • Purina One
  • Royal Canin
  • Blue
  • Natural Balance
  • Merrick
special needs pets

Taking Care of Special Need Dogs

Having a special-needs pet is not the end of the world. It could be challenging but most owners of handicapped pets admit that the reward they receive in various ways and forms is way more than the work they put in with their pets. These pets are just like normal pets when it comes to playing, feeling, loving and caring about us but all they need is a little extra care and some special needs to be taken care of. The unconditional love that you get back from them is worth all your time and efforts.

Taking care of a dog with some kind of a disability is not so hard. With a couple of lifestyle changes and some special care tactics, you can have a very happy and healthy pet who would love you unconditionally.

The number of disabled pets and canines with special conditions is increasing every day. Some people take in a disabled animal in their homes while others have to cope with some unlucky accident due to which their pet got disabled. There is a lot of help available including therapies, treatments, and equipment which can help your disabled pet to live a better and unrestricted life.

Let us look at some of the things you need to know which can help you to take care of your disabled dog.

Maintaining a Routine

Coming up with a routine and maintaining its order is very important for your dog. It is quite similar to taking care of a toddler. You should set up a proper routine with scheduled timings for exercise, food, and rest. Try to make your dog familiar with that routine and keep a strict rule to follow the routine. Dogs are creatures of habit and setting up a routine is essential for them to ensure their long-term health, happiness, and well-being.

It is always great to give your pet a “job” which he has to do each day like, for example, fetching the newspaper from the door to you. This can help your dog feel useful and would be happy to do it every day for you for just a little pat on the back and being called a “good boy”.

Special Therapies, Treatments, and Equipment

There are various therapies and treatments available for the disabled dogs which include physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, pets’ chemotherapy or radiation, etc. There are many kinds of walking wheelchairs available for the dogs which give support to the dogs for movement. There are three main categories of the wheelchairs and attachments to help the dog in movement namely rear wheelchairs, front attachments and quad wheelchairs.

Other equipment and accessories that include Rear and Front Harness, Walking Support Sling, Dog Carts, Leg Splints, Pet Boots, etc. which also aid the disabled dog in walking. Acupuncture and Chiropractic care are also available for the dogs. It stimulates the nerves to rewire and to modify the different pathways. This helps the dog in healing. There have been cases where dogs were disabled for 6 months or more and started using their legs again after these therapies.

foods that dogs should never eat

Food that Your Dogs Should NEVER Eat

As dog owners, we all want what’s best for our dogs. The most important thing with taking care of our pets is knowing what is good and bad for them starting with their diet. While it’s recommended that dog owners feed our dogs with food made specifically for dogs, as it already has the nutrients that dogs need, there are dogs that actually don’t like most dog foods.

Some dogs prefer actual human food than dog food so a lot of dog owners give dogs table scraps as food. While it is less expensive to feed dogs leftovers, it is not always safe for the dogs. Apparently, not all human food is safe for your dog. Some can actually be bad for them including some that are perfectly healthy for us humans.

Here are some of the foods that your dog shouldn’t eat:

  1. Chocolate – For humans, all chocolates are a sweet treat. For dogs, it deadly and definitely not a treat. Chocolates act as a stimulant which makes your dog’s heartbeat irregular that may cause seizures and even lead to cardiac arrest. It also induces frequent urination, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you even suspect your dog to have eaten chocolates of any sorts, it’s best to take the dog immediately to the vet.
  2. Milk – Like for some humans with lactose intolerance, milk, and other dairy products can cause harm to dog’s system too. Although we all know that as pups they breastfeed milk for food, dogs can still become lactose intolerant. Milk contains sugar that dogs don’t have the enzymes to break it down. For some dogs, consumption of milk could lead to diarrhea, vomiting and gastrointestinal problems.
  3. Grapes and Raisins– These fruits causes disorder in the dog’s kidneys and digestive system. Some of the havoc’s symptoms include frequent urination, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  4. Onions and Garlic – Onions causes the breakdown of dog’s red blood cells which affects the supply of the much-needed oxygen. If you are to feed your dogs with table scraps make sure to take out the onions or the dish was not prepared with onions. The effects of onions to dogs can be cumulative over time. Symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fever, and exhaustion. Since garlic is from the family of onions, it takes after onion’s effects to dogs. Garlic has components that have high toxicity levels.
  5.  Alcoholic Beverages – Giving alcohol to dogs can lead to alcohol poisoning.
  6. Caffeinated Drinks – Like Chocolates s, they act as stimulants to dogs and may cause cardiac arrest.
  7. Raw Fish – Fishes that are usually consumed raw like salmon can contain parasites which can hatch on your dog’s digestive tract.
  8. Avocadoes – For most animals, avocados are toxic. The toxins damage internal organs like the heart, lungs and other tissues.

Not all foods that we humans eat are good for our man’s best friend. It pays to know what is good and not good to our pets since this is all about their health. A healthy dog is definitely a happy dog with a happy owner.

fostering rescue animals

Fostering Rescue Dogs

If you are an animal lover and thinking of bringing a dog or cat into your family, consider getting them from an animal shelter, as it’s probably the noblest thing to do. While no one wants to see any dogs or any other animals beaten, abused, or abandoned, many animal shelter pets have these animals. It’s because animal shelters take dogs and cats there were probably abandoned, abused and neglected.

Some of them even die on the streets from hunger, illness, or injury. The ones that are lucky get picked up and sent to animal shelters for possible adoption. So, if you’re thinking of getting a dog to take care of, go to animal shelters and adopt a dog or a cat. This way, you’re helping the domestic animal population in general.

Although fostering a dog is highly encouraged than buying one, fostering a dog isn’t just for anyone. Dogs that are from the shelter are different from dogs that you get to buy on the pet shop. These foster dogs are dogs with experience of mostly abuse, mistreatment, and abandonment. And you must bear in mind that being fostered and finding new owners is a huge thing and new hope for their lives.

Fostering a dog is a huge responsibility and it requires more patience and real commitment from the owner. Since these dogs mostly have bad experiences, anyone who wants to foster must have experience with dogs. Most shelters usually make sure that the people who are adopting the pet are ones that actually care and would be responsible owners for the cat or dog.

Dogs that have experienced abuse or were abandoned are often the most difficult to foster as they have developed fear, trauma and a lot of anxieties from their past experiences. They often have trust issues and it would take for someone to have a lot of patience to actually get the dog to follow and give trust to the owner to take care of him.

One must need to encourage them to have confidence and patiently teach them to be social. It should be in a foster owner’s capacity to be patient and give love and care for these dogs who haven’t felt it before.

During the process of adoption, here are some of the questions that you need to ask the shelter before taking a dog:

  1. How did he come to be with the shelter or rescue group? How long has he been there?
  2. Does he have any medical concerns or need medication?
  3. Has the dog been given vaccines for anti-rabies, heartworm and other diseases?
  4. Does he have any behavioral issues or concerns? How are they dealt with?
  5. How can you take care of the dog?

This is only some of the information that you need to know about the dog. It’s important to have a background of how the dog ended up in the shelter. That way you will have an idea of how you can take care of him or her and you’ll be able to know what makes the dog anxious and eventually help him overcome it. That way you will be able to gain his trust and he or she will let you take care of them.

dog grooming types

Grooming for Different Types of Dogs

Dogs come in different coat types depending on their breeds. That’s why understanding their coat type or fur will give you an advantage when it comes to making them look at their best. As a dog groomer, you must learn the right techniques of grooming. You should also take into consideration the pet owner’s preferences, lifestyle, and the dog’s coat characteristics. For future references, it would help if you keep a photo album of the different mixed breed hair styles you’ve provided. That way, you can easily share them with pet owners and set their expectations about the results.

I’ve personally worked as a dog groomer at Mobile Dog Grooming Simi Valley for three years. So here are some brief dog-grooming tips I can give you that you can apply:

Long-Haired Coat

There are various problems associated with dogs that have a long-haired coat. Regular check-up on their coat is important to prevent ticks and fleas which are common with this type of dogs. More grooming, care, and maintenance are required compared to short-haired breeds. Be sure to check their matted hair around the anus as well as around the ear to prevent unhealthy skin conditions and other serious illnesses.

Short-Haired Coat

Dogs with this type of breed require less grooming. However, you need to get rid of dead hair and debris that are often found in their coat using a slicker brush or a soft brush. Meanwhile, breeds with a dense undercoat would require occasional grooming using a shedding rake.

Smooth Coat

Smooth-coated dogs do not need to be brushed daily, but brushing is still beneficial to help preserve the natural moisture of their skin. Maintaining a clean coat that is free from shed hairs and dirt is possible using a bristle brush. Examples of dog breeds that have a smooth coat are the Weimaraner and the Great Dane.

Wirehaired Coat

A wirehaired coat is often rough and bristly, thus it requires a groomer to pluck or strip out the breed’s straggly hair using the fingers or a stripping knife. Doing such will stimulate the breed’s skin and allow new hair to grow. Fox Terrier and the Border are two examples of breeds that have this kind of coat.

Single and Double Coats

Dogs with single coats lack a layer of undercoat, but they do have an outer guard fur. It’s essential to always spray single coats with water or conditioner before grooming to prevent breakage.  Afghan Hound is an example of a dog with a single coat type.

On the other hand, dogs with double coats have outer guard hairs with an inner layer of undercoat. This characteristic allows them to endure any type of weather outside. Working breeds and some sporting dogs often have double coats.

Corded Coat

These breeds have curly coats that require regular baths to keep their fur clean. Matting their coats similar to dreadlocks will create a weather-resistant shield in some hunting breeds. Unfortunately, corded coats will take long hours to dry after each bath.

Wooly or Wavy Coat

Curly or wavy coats can easily get knotted and tangled. It is, therefore, important to always spray some conditioner or water before brushing this type of coat to prevent breakage.

Hairless Coat

Although breeds with this type of coat have no hair, their skin must still be maintained the same way as other breed coats. They still require regular baths, moisturizer, and sunscreen in places with hot climates.

End Animal Suffering: Stop Puppy Mills

What are Puppy Mills?

A puppy mill is regarded as a dog-breeding facility with the nature and purpose of which is primarily commercial; to breed a large number of puppies for higher profit rates and without taking into genuine consideration their health issues and care.

Most puppy Mills are undoubtedly a profitable business but it’s considered ethically incorrect and inhumane. The reason for this being the treatment under which the puppies are kept, bred and raised in these facilities.

Why Are The Puppy Mills Inhumane?

There are multiple reasons why Puppy Mills are considered inhumane. These are listed as follows:

  • In Puppy Mills, female dogs are bred at every possible opportunity with little or no recovery time in between. And after years, when they get physically depleted and can no longer serve this purpose, they are often killed.
  • Puppy Mills are more like jails to the dogs. In most of them, dogs are kept in heavy cramped metal cages and are barely let out to play. This deprives them of the freedom and exercise they deserve which is synonymous to snatching away their very basic rights.
  • The food and water quality in the Puppy Mills is not satisfactory. These are often contaminated and have bugs crawling in them. The dogs can even die of malnourishment in severe cases.
  • Puppy Mills do not make the health of their dogs a priority. If visited, a Puppy Mill displays a site of dogs with swollen limbs hanging out of cages, infected ears, and decaying teeth! This is totally inhumane to keep a living thing in conditions this pathetic which may even in certain cases drive them towards fatal diseases and ultimately death.
  • The Puppy Mills normally don’t have any veterinary care center or protection for pets in unfavorable climate. Therefore, animals have to suffer through everything and anything of that sort that comes their way!
  • With no or very limited cleanliness rules, puppy mills have no cleanup control for its maintenance. This way, the dogs normally live in urine and feces for a time period which is indefinite!
  • The brutality is sometimes taken to levels, so advance, that you often come across dogs, with collars literally embedded in dog’s neck and must be cut out using sharp tools!

Keeping in consideration, the reasons mentioned above, we should boycott the Puppy Mills for the way they treat and raise dogs. A dog should be identified as to where was it raised, and those raised in a Puppy Mill should not be purchased as pets. This will bring the Puppy Mill business owners to reconsider the way they breed and care for the dogs.