Monday, March 11, 2013

Dogs and cold weather

Dogs and cold weather

7 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Warm in the Winter

7 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Warm in the Winter

By Emmy E Bill

When it's cold outside, all you want to do is go home, curl up in a warm bed and sip on hot chocolate? But what about dogs, how do they feel about the cold winter months? Some dogs live their lives primarily outdoors so they need and want to spend time outside every day. However, certain dogs are more negatively affected by the cold than others; particularly older pets or those with certain conditions like arthritis. There are plenty of ways for you to keep your dog warm this winter, follow the steps below!

1) Consider adopting a cold weather dog.

If you don't have a dog yet and you live in a cold climate, you could consider getting a dog that is bred to handle well and enjoy cold weather. Alaskan malamutes, Siberian huskies, and chow chows are great dogs for cold climate dwellers.

2) House your dog indoors.

Even though you may keep your dog outside when the weather is nice, you may not want to do this when it's cold. Housing your dog inside the house is the best way to keep him warm during the winter.

3) Pet jackets and sweaters.

It might sound silly, but there are cute garments like jackets and sweaters you can purchase to keep your pets warm; there is even waterproof clothing you can put on them for play time in the snow.

4) Invest in proper outdoor housing.

If your dog absolutely has to spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure he has proper shelter. Consider getting a doghouse with a sloped roof, insulation and possibly a heater (make sure the heater is 100% safe and meant for being run outdoors).

5) Soft bedding off the floor.

Keep your dog warm by placing soft bedding a few inches off the cold floor.

6) Make sure he's getting enough food.

Some dogs burn more calories during the winter while they're trying to stay warm. This may make him hungrier, so feed him a little more in the winter months if it seems he needs it.

7) Don't forget to give him attention.

Nothing keeps a dog warmer than a caring, playful, and attentive owner. Make sure you don't forget about your pet if you put him outside, and when the weather is really cold, let him stay inside.

Cold weather isn't always fun to deal with, especially for animals. Although they love playing in the snow, it's not as fun when they are cold. Also remember, dog's can get colds and various illnesses like humans. Keep your dog safe and healthy by keeping him warm this winter season.

We love pets! knows your pet deserves the very best care possible, and we're here to help. Visit our blog for more information, tips and stories on all things pet nutrition and health and our site for all the pet supplies you need to help keep your pet happy and healthy!

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

How do you make your dog poop

How to make your dog poop

Home Remedies For Dog Constipation

Home Remedies For Dog Constipation

By Ethan Allen

There comes a time in everyone's life when constipation rears its ugly head. The same holds true for dogs, unfortunately. Lack of exercise and proper diet can lead to bouts of constipation (sound familiar?). While you may seek a variety of ways to "eliminate" this problem in your own life, let's explore some home remedies for dog constipation which can be utilized in the eventuality it occurs in theirs.

As mentioned earlier, a proper diet and exercise are key components in ensuring your dog has the ability to move his bowels as often as necessary. House dogs usually need to be walked twice a day while maintaining a proper diet. If your dog becomes constipated, one method to alleviate this problem is by adding one to two teaspoons of bran to his meal. This allows for extra moisture in the stool.

Another method to soften the stool would be to add psyllium (Metamucil in the adult world) to his diet. Half a teaspoon twice a day, in addition to drinking plenty of water, will suffice. A third option would be mineral oil. This may be used in cases where there is a large build-up of hard stool. Two teaspoons, twice a day should be added to his meal, but for only a week. There are several other steps you can take to alleviate your dog's constipation. Keep his food moist by adding a bit of water. If your dog is getting on in years, add some raw meat and vegetables to his diet.

There are certain signs which can alert you to potential problems, and for which you can take immediate steps. Long hair on dogs can cause feces to become entangled; therefore, keep your dog properly groomed. Dogs tend to eat everything in sight, ensure no bones or other material has been ingested. Just as we experience constipation due to certain medications, dogs are no exception. Psychological stress is another indicator relating to constipation.

While it has been suggested that all breeds and dogs of any age are prone to constipation, there are other aspects which you may need to consider, and for which many dog owners are culpable. Never feed your dog from the dinner table. While you may indulge the dog with a few scraps here and there, you are contributing to his constipation.

Foods that contain flour, sugar, rice, dairy and high protein are the main source of the problem. Ice cream, cookies, bread, chocolate, or other unhealthy food items can cause your dog unnecessary pain. As mentioned earlier, a lack of fiber and dehydration are common causes. Another cause for concern would be a condition known as mega colon. This simply means your dog has an inflamed colon which prevents the discharge of feces.

The time to visit the vet will become evident when your dog's inability to defecate is hampered by a decreased appetite, passing blood in minimal amounts, and overall lethargy. Keep in mind, contributing to the overall health of your dog should be of the utmost importance. A dog's love is unconditional, therefore, he or she is totally dependent upon you to maintain a healthy and harmonious life. Be ever vigilant to any signs of stress and ensure his diet and exercise regimen is appropriate and on-going.

Concerned about your pet's health? Ethan recommends "boning up" on holistic pet health care [] right away at: []

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Commercial foods are bad for your dog's health and can get your dog constipated

We’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of putting our dogs on a raw food diet . I bet a lot of you have even considered trying it or are wanting to try it, but are worried about the cost in time and money, and the issue of food contamination.

So I was excited to have come across this book by Maggie Rhines called “Going Rawr! Dog Lover's Compendium". Forget about stuffy old textbooks. This book, which is available in downloadable format, goes into the practical nitty gritty of feeding your dog raw food. It has great lists and tips on how to start and keep your dog on this type of diet – from sourcing your food, handling, preparing, storing and serving it. And no matter if your dog is a day-old pup or a grand daddy, you’ll be feeding him healthy raw food in no time at all!

Definitely something you should read BEFORE you start your dog on a raw food diet. Get the full scoop here:

Smartest breed of dogs

Smartest breed of dogs

Most breeds of dogs are born to work. They’d be miserable if you just let them pass the day by without any kind of exercise or activity to do. Dogs function best if they are given a responsibility, something which not all dog owners agree with. They prefer seeing their dogs playing all day than give them some sense of purpose. This is one reason why owning a dog goes beyond just buying one because it’s cute. Dog owners should be committed enough to train and exercise their best friends. Here are the top 10 breeds that are best for committed dog owners.

10. Australian Cattle Dog – This breed of dog is very easy to train but they require a lot of exercise. They were originally bred as herding dogs, to drive wild cattle over long distances, which is also one reason why it has developed powerful jaws for biting. As a herding dog, this breed is very agile and energetic.

9. Rottweiler – This breed has an unfairly negative reputation caused by irresponsible dog ownership. The truth is that this large breed is actually very lovable. They can be very attached to their family and friends. Just like any man’s best friend, they are very protective of their loved ones and strangers will be wary to approach if they haven’t been properly introduced yet. They require minimal grooming but as active breeds, they need to be exercised regularly.

8. Papillon – Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of this small breed. The papillon can be very scary and tough if it wants too. The butterfly ears are one of the breed’s most distinct characteristics, fluttering once it runs and plays around in the field. This companion dog is perfect for the indoors but it also loves to play in the outdoors.

7. Labrador Retriever – Aside from being the 7th smartest dog breed, the Labrador Retriever has been one of the most popular breeds in America in the past years. In fact, the American Kennel Club ranked it as the most popular breed for both 2010 and 2011. Labrador Retrievers make excellent guide dogs for the blind and they are also masters of the search-and-rescue operations of the law enforcement.

6. Shetland Sheepdog – This highly trainable breed is also lovingly nicknamed, “Sheltie.” With loyalty and alertness as its top qualities, the Shetland Sheepdog is very smart and intelligent that its owners can swear they can rival those of humans. This breed is so agile yet it’s very sturdy. While they excel most in farms, herding flocks of farm animals, it is still adaptable to many living conditions as long as its regular exercise needs are met.

Stop Unwanted barking by training your dog. Exercise your pet regularly and keep him stimulated by exercising his mental faculties. Obedience training is something pet owners can accomplish themselves, as long as they are dedicated enough to spend hours and hours teaching their pets the right behavior and attitude.

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Continuing from our previous post, here’s the remaining list of the 10 most intelligent breeds of dogs.

5. Doberman Pinscher – This breed is large and very muscular, enough to intimidate anyone who comes near it. If properly bred and trainer, Dobermans will not just be your best friend. They will protect you with their lives too. Also used as police dogs, Dobermans possess great endurance, making running for criminals a probably fun activity for them.

4. Golden Retriever – A golden retriever’s temperament is perfect for kids, making it the ideal family dog. It ranks as the 4th most popular breed in the US by AKC and not without reasons. Golden retrievers are not only smart, but they are so eager to please their owners, which is why they can do a wide range of dog duties – guides for blind people and members of search-and-rescue teams, just to name a few. Like any large breed, golden retrievers need to be exercised regularly. Its water-repellant double coat sheds seasonally, making grooming a regular bonding activity with his owner and him.

3. German Shepherd – German Shepherds are often seen accompanying policemen during search-and-rescue operations but regular citizens can also attest to the endearing qualities of this breed. Ranked as the second most popular breed in America for the last two years, this breed is considered as “the world’s leading police, guard and military dog.” German Shepherds are perfect for families too because they love children and their energy makes them ideal companions for growing kids.

2. Poodle – If you think Poodles are just for show, you are very wrong. This exceptionally smart breed excels in obedience training, making it the second leader in the bunch. The hypoallergenic coat is perfect for those who have allergic reactions. It’s the ideal family pet because its energy can equally match those of active kids who like running around and playing with anything they come in contact with.

1. Border Collie – The most intelligent breed in the pack, the Border Collie is extremely energetic, acrobatic, and athletic. They were bred to herd sheep, excelling in sheepdog trials. It made history when a Border Collie was said to have learned over 1000 words in January of 2011. This breed requires daily exercise and owners are required to train collies to exercise their mental faculties. As herders, they have the potential to chase anything that moves so making them pets in busy cities may not be the best idea.

These breeds were ranked as the smartest, most intelligent breeds by Stanley Cohen, author of the bestselling book, The Intelligence of Dogs. Dog owners, with the right attitude and dedication, can stop dogs behaving badly and displaying bad behavior by training them as soon as they get past the puppy stage. Unwanted dog barking, toy chewing, and poop-consumption can easily stop if you are committed enough to train your best friends.

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