Friday, 29 November 2013
A lack of red meat in a dogs diet can cause health problems. Wolves in the wild do not have as many health problems as our domesticated pets.
There can be risks for humans and dogs with bacteria in the raw diet.
Many pets have depressed immune systems and health problems which are linked to improper nutrition.
This method of feeding is often called Raw feeding. Raw feeding is the practise of feeding your dog a diet primarily of uncooked meat, bones and organs.
Supporters of the raw diet claim that the dogs health vastly improves when eating raw, their coat becomes thicker and glossier ,their eyes brighter, teeth and breath problems are eliminated, their behaviour problems reduced and an increase in energy and alertness.
The critics of the raw food diet say that there are too many risks with the raw food diet such as foodbourne illnesses, nutritional imbalances and intestinal perforations.
With raw dog food you can hope to give your dog healthy and dog palate pleasing meals.
A dogs raw meal should consist mostly of raw meat with extras such as dairy products and vegetables.
You can supplement your dogs diet with dog vitamins to ensure they get everything they need especially while growing.
There are commercial raw food diets available such as Nature Variety's Instint Raw Frozen Formula's
You need to study what nutrients your dog needs before you attempt the crossover from shop bought dog food to home made raw dog food.
A dog should have a large portion of its diet consisting of protein at least 50%.
This protein can be sourced from beef,chicken,lamb and turkey. Vegetables and eggs can also be a source of protein but not a large portion.
Your dog can eat grains and vegetables but they need to be cooked before the dog is fed them.
Dogs are carnivores and are not as efficient in breaking down vegetables as they are meat.
A dog will not thrive if it is fed a diet heavy in grains.
With the raw food diet the dog is less likely to suffer from obesity and obesity related diseases.
The homemade raw dog food includes the raw meaty bone. One must note that a raw bone is not harmful to a dog but a cooked bone is. Don't give your dog a cooked bone as it can splinter and be a health hazard for your dog.
The raw meaty bones that are suited for dogs are chicken necks backs and legs, lamb breast and neck and pork breast and necks. The raw meaty bone can make up 20% to 30% of the dogs diet. Too much bone can cause constipation. If your dog is straining when going to poop or if the poop comes out white and crumbly then reduce the amount of bone in their diet.
Your dogs meals should never be spicy or greasy.
Some small dogs may not be suitable for the raw meaty bone as it may be a choking hazard.
You can also serve the raw meaty bone ground up, it still has all the health benefit's but is easier for your dog to eat and safer.
When you are changing over to a homemade raw dog food your pet may have a change in their poop. Your dogs digestive system needs to adjust to the change.
Organ meats are important in your raw food dog food. They should make up around 5% of your dogs meal. The liver and kidneys provide alot of nutrients. You can also include heart and other organs in your dogs diet.
Muscle meat needs to be included in the raw dogfood plan. Its recommend that it is 70% to 80% of the diet. Use lean meat not too fatty. You can use beef, chicken, turkey or lamb.
There should be a variety in what food you use for your raw dog food diet. Don't feed your dog only on beef. You should never feed one kind of food as more than half the diet.
You can include natural yogurt and cottage cheese in your dogs diet.
Eggs can be fed cooked or uncooked with the yolk or without. Some believe its best to serve the whole egg with shell to get the most nutrition out of it.
Puppies can also benefit from the raw food diet. When dealing with puppies you need to be extra precise in your portions. You can add goats milk to their meal. Don't over feed with bone ensure that there is enough meat on the bone so that they don't have problems with over exposure to calcium. You should include puppy supplements to their diet.
Dogs do not require carbohydrates in their diet.
In the wild carbohydrates would only be a small percentage of their natural diet.
Vegetables should not be a large percentage of the dogs diet. Dogs digestive systems are not able to break down whole uncooked vegetables so its best to cook the vegetables before you feed them to your pet. Dogs do not have the digestive enzymes to break down the cellulose walls that are found in the outer layers of fruits and vegetables. The cooking and steaming of the vegetables help break down the cellulose walls. Some vegetables will be sufficient when they are put through the blender. If some types of vegetables are not cooked they will have little nutritional value for your pet.
One should aim to provide their dog with organic produce as the less additives and preservatives your dog is exposed to the better.
Vegetables that are dog friendly are carrots, broccoli but don't feed broccoli in large amounts as it can depress the thyroid function, kale, green beans, pumpkin which is great for your pet if they are prone to constipation or diarrhoea only one or two tablespoons in your pets diet make a great difference, sweet potatoes, cucumber and celery.
Some dogs really turn their noses up at vegetables if this is the case you could try to use fresh food supplements that are catered for dogs.
Most fruits just need a spin in the blender then they are ready to serve for your pet.
There is a long list of fruits that are viable for your pets diet.
Cantaloupe, apples, papaya watermelon, blueberries, cranberries, pears, bananas and mangoes to name but a few.
But you must be aware of the fruits and vegetables that need to be avoided for the health of your dog.
Avoid onions, onions can cause a severe reaction in some dogs.
Avoid grapes and raisins, grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to dogs and can lead to acute renal failure.
Spinach can affect calcium absorption in dogs.
Peppers can aggravate arthritis in dogs tomatoes and eggplant can also be problematic. Use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes as potatoes can aggravate arthritis in dogs.
Grains can cause many health problems in dogs. Grains may be less expensive but a dogs health will be improved with the reduction of grains in his diet and an increase in animal based foods. This is the problem with many cheap shop bought dog foods. There is a high grain content and a small amount of meat content.
Over feeding of grains can cause IBD, arthritis, allergies, incontinence, digestive disorders and chronic ear infections.
A dog on a high grain diet will be over weight and have a poor muscle mass.
Raw Dog Food Recipe
175g Raw meaty bones
225g Lean muscle meat
60g Liver or Kidney
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 tsp Bone Meal
1/2 cup Blended
1/2 tsp Flax Seed Oil
1 lb Beef
1-1/2 Cups Greens and Carrots
1 tsp Kelp Flakes
1 tsp Flaxseed Oil
Half Cup Cottage cheese
Half Cup Grated carrot
5 Chicken Wings
1tsp Flaxseed oil
The amount of ingredients in your raw dog food depends on the weight of your dog.
You should be feeding the dog 2% to 3% of the dog body weight or 1/2lb of food to 25lb of body weight.
Puppies should be feed 10% of their body weight.
Suggested in the preparation of raw feed diet.
80% of muscle meat
10% of organ meet
10% of raw meaty bone
If there is a good amount of meat on the raw meaty bone it can take a higher percentage in the diet.
1 egg, some think that an egg a day is too much.
Green tripe can make up to 15% of the overall diet.
Your dog will go through a detox when changing to organic raw homemade dog food.
There are dog supplements available. If your dog is getting a well balanced diet they may not need these. But adding them into the diet could add extra health benefits.
Keep an eye on your dogs weight ensure that its appropriate for their breed and age.
Consider adding kelp, chia seeds or flax oil to your dogs meals.
You should fast your dog for 24 hours before introducing the raw food diet. But ensure that your pet has access to water.
You can give your dog raw honey for its antibacterial benefits.
Do not mix kibble and raw as it takes longer for the dog to digest the kibble and this can cause stomach upset.
You can buy readymade raw dog food http://dogsfirst.ie/raw-dog-food/
Remember meat not grain for a healthy, happy hound.
Thursday, 17 October 2013
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
Just like humans dogs can catch a cold . Even though there is a difference in the type of viruses that cause human colds and dog colds, they suffer from the symptoms just as much as us.
The symptoms of a dogs cold are some or all of the following watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, stuffy noses or a runny nose and a general feeling of unwellness. These can also be signs of other problems such as allergies and infections.
One good thing is that that you can not catch your dogs cold and your dog can not catch yours.
You must be able to differentiate between the dog cold and other more life threatening conditions that a dog could contract. Such as kennel cough and canine distemper.
A parasite infection can also mimic the symptoms of a dog cold with coughing and breathing problems.
Dog asthma and allergies can cause coughing and sneezing fits in dogs.
You can help prevent your dog from catching a cold by keeping the dog inside during cold and wet weather.
Ensure that your pet lives clean with a nutritious diet and plenty of exercise.
If your dog gets wet while out in the rain ensure that you dry your pet off well when you return home.
How To Treat Your Dog's Cold
- If your dog is having mild symptoms and is not very ill you can treat the cold with lots of liquids.
- You should keep your dog warm and comfortable.
- Check their temperature.
- You could give your pet access to a humidifier.
- When your pet is sick you will need to clean his bedding, area and bowls more often.
- If you are unsure about anything its always best to contact your vet so that something more serious does not go uncovered
- You can make a nice chicken broth for your dog leaving out the dog unfriendly ingredients
- A course of antibiotics may be needed in some cases
- The cold should clear up within a week
- Like humans the very old and young suffer more and may need more care and attention with vet intervention to clear the cold
- Keep your sick dog away form your other dogs so that they don't catch the cold
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
The right amount of exercise will improve their health and behaviour.
Dogs have lots of energy and they will release this energy constructivly through exercise and active play or distructivly through barking, digging, ripping up furniture etc.
The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on the age, size breed and general health. All dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Active dog breeds will need at least one hour of hard aerobic exercise a day.
You should aim to exercise your dog physicaly and mentaly. Have variety in your exercise routine. Go hiking in new areas, try different streets to walk on, use different toys find a dog buddy for your dog to exercise with.
Inactive dogs are usually overweight. Overweight dogs are prone to many health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, worsening arthritus and respiratory diseases. The dogs joints and musels are stressed when they are overweight also. An overweight dog is a miserable dog.
Dog parks are a great place to exercise your dog, ensure that your dog is fully inoculated before you bring him/her to the dog park.
Dont exercise your dog outside if the weather conditions are extreme.
Puppies have lots of energy but they need to have frequent but short exercise sessions.
Puppies need rest for their bodies to grow. Exercising your puppy is a great bonding experience.
Like humans there are many different ways your dog can be exercised they can go hiking, swimming, play catch or frisbee, do agility courses, go jogging or running with you etc.
Trying different activities this will make it more exciting for you and your dog.
Dont over do the exercise with your dog, learn your dogs limits and know when he/she is overtired. If your dog is panting heavily or falling behind let the dog rest for a little and then resume the fun.
Keep your dog hydrated while exercising. Older dogs prefer shorter but more frequent exercise sessions.
When your dog is getting enough exercise they will sleep well, have a good appetite, a relaxed apperance and will look great.
When you are exercising your pet in different terrain keep an eye on their paws. Check their paws for injuries such as foregin objects.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
Homemade puppy popsicles are great for keeping your puppy cool on long hot summer days. They are economical and easy to prepare.
1 cup of plain yogurt
2tbs natural peanut butter
Mash up the banana and blend all the ingredients together. Place in ice cube tray. Freeze in freezer.
1 tin of tuna
2 cups of natural plain yogurt
1/2 cup of shredded carrot
Mix all the ingredients together and place in small paper cups. Freeze in freezer.
Spoon some cottage cheese into ice cube trays or small paper cups. Sink small pieces of chicken into each space. Freeze in freezer.
You can put dog treats in icecubes. You can also give your pup plain ice cubes to knaw on. Mixing some gravey and water and placing the mixture in icecube trays to freeze is a quick economical treat.
Sunday, 24 February 2013
A dogs white coat can be difficult to maintain. Even after a good wash there can still be brown stains left behind on the fur. The white shows off the colour stains and some soiling can be difficult to remove from the coat especially if it is thick fur.
Dog tears cause brown stains on the face fur and are difficult to remove. The dog uses the tears to clean their eyes. The dogs tears leave an iron sediment on your dog which can rust, hence the brown stains around the eyes.
Water that contains a high mineral content can also cause brown colouration of the fur. When the dog drinks water with a high mineral content and then drools and licks her lips iron sediment is deposited on the fur which rusts causing discolouration around the pets jaw. This problem can be solved by giving your pet quality water.
Shampoos that are not suited to your dog can cause discoloration of the fur.
Some dogs loose their beautiful white coat shine as they get older.
Regular grooming will greatly improve the appearance of your dogs white coat.
A good dog diet will ensure that your pet will have the healthiest and brightest coat possible.
There are special dog shampoos that are great for whitening and removing stains.
Wash your dog as he/she gets dirty.
Use gentle products that will not strip your dogs coat of essential natural oils.
Apply a conditioner after shampoo to prevent drying and damage.
Ensure that you rinse your dogs coat well.
Use a hypoallergenic shampoo and purified water as tap water may contain hard minerals that dull the white coat.
Cornstarch is a product that most have in the kitchen and can be used to improve the white shine of the dogs coat.
First you should wash condition and thoroughly dry your dog with a high quality whitening shampoo.
Apply some cornstarch through your dogs fur until it is not visible. You can apply the cornstarch once a week.
Friday, 15 February 2013
Bee and wasp stings can have different effects on a puppy and dog. Like humans some puppy's can have an allergic reaction to the sting. The effect of the sting can vary from not serious to very serious and even death. Some puppy's and dogs love to chase bees and wasps. One bee sting may not do much harm but if the puppy gets several stings or stung in the mouth a trip to the vet is needed.
If your puppy is allergic it will have different reactions depending on how allergic it is to the bee sting. The most common symptoms are some irritation, hives and swelling. But in the more severe cases your puppy may vomit have diarrhoea and have breathing problems.
In your puppy emergency kit always ensure that you have pet antihistamine. Speak with your vet on the best antihistamine for your pet and how to administer it.
- Administer the antihistamine to your pet
- Using a tweezers remove the sting from your pets skin to prevent more venom being released into your pet
- Wash the wound and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Apply the cold compress for 5 minutes at a time.
- Applying a mixture of baking soda and water to the sting area will bring some relief to the puppy.
- Keep a close eye on your pet if they start to show signs of a severe reaction of anaphylatic shock contact your vet and get to the vets office straight away. Keep your dog conscious and wrapped in a blanket on the way to vet.
- Signs of the severe reaction are weakness, shakes, trouble breathing and pale gums and a large amount of swelling.
- Contact your vet also if your pet vomits and has diarrhoea
Monday, 11 February 2013
Puppy's and dogs can suffer from stress and anxiety just like humans. The puppy's anxiety can be triggered by loud noises like thunder and fireworks,changes in environment and routine,separation from owner,travel and many more disruptions in their lives.
Your puppy needs to be calmed and given comfort during stressful times. Parents swaddle and wrap their baby to comfort them and get them to sleep soundly this same method of swaddling and can be used in a puppy version. The constant gentle pressure of the wrapping will sooth and relax your puppy elevating the anxiety.
There is a particular way to wrap your pet using a bandage there are also particular products that you can purchase such as the anxiety wrap.
- Have your pet in standing position.
- Fold the bandage in half place the middle of the bandage across their chest below his neck above his two front legs
- Bring the ends of the bandage up and cross them above the shoulder blades and take them underneath the body behind the front legs and cross them again
- Bring the ends of the bandage up again and tie the ends over the top of the lower back. Ensure that the wrap feels snug but not tight.
Friday, 18 January 2013
A well organised introduction will ensure that your puppy and older dog will get along well. Its a good idea to have the first introduction in a neutral place like a park, friends place etc. This will prevent the older dog from getting aggressive trying to protect his turf.
- Have both dogs of the lead. Be relaxed you don't want your older dog to feed of your tension and fear. IF you fear your older dog may aggressive have their first meeting with a chain fence between them for safety of the puppy.
- Do not hold the puppy in your arms when you are introducing pup to older dog
- Do not put them in a small space together
- Once you are comfortable with the safety levels take both dogs for a walk beside each other with a friend.
- After 15 minutes of walking allow a snout to snout meeting.
- Let them sniff each other and give great praise. Give them each a special treat.
- If they are showing signs of a fight intervene
- Let them play together the puppy more than likely will understand to be submissive to the older dog.
- The first meeting should not be too long. Its best to end the first meeting with both dog and puppy leaving feeling happy.
- Once the meeting has been a success in the neutral place they can then meet the next day in your garden.
- There should be only one dog and puppy meeting at a time. Not two or more dogs and a puppy
- Don't let them get too excited.
- When you bring your pup inside have him alone first to sniff around. Remove anything that your older dog might guard before you bring the older dog in like a blanket, bones etc.
- Then bring in your older dog. Let him see the pup inside the home
- Don't leave the puppy alone with the older dog until you are confident that they get along. And know how to play safely. Some older dogs play rough not meaning harm. You do not want to have the terrible tragedy that Miley Cyrus had with her dogs. They should be supervised for a week or two
- The odd gnarl or lip curl is normal for the older dog as they might get annoyed by the pup at times.
- Keep the older dogs routine the same.
- Have alone time with both dogs so you can bond with the puppy and your older dog feels secure.
- If you leave the puppy with the older dog all the time it may not bond with you
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
You should keep extra care when in the countryside with your pet during the lambing season. Keep your pet on a lead in the public rights of way where there are pregnant sheep present.
Sheep worrying is a problem for the sheep farmer. It is major problem during the lambing season which is usually from December to April.
If your pet chases the sheep it can injure or cause death. Sheep are very nervous and if they sense danger they run in a pack. If a sheep is chased or runs while pregnant the ewe could abort their lamb. This is a big loss for the farmer. The sheep can develop a fear of dogs which is a problem for the sheep farmer who uses the trained sheep dog to herd their flock.
If sheep are worried by a dog they can become separated from their lambs. If it is a very young lamb it could die from the hunger and cold.
Also if a sheep is in the process of giving birth and is interrupted it could lead to the death of the lamb.
Any breed of dog big or small trained or untrained can be involved in sheep worrying. Dogs still have their basic instincts. The chase instinct can be triggered by the slight movement of an animal. Once your pet becomes transfixed on the chase its difficult to get them back through recall. You just have to hope that they become bored, see something else that interests them or tire themselves out. If a farmer sees your dog chasing his sheep it could be a big problem for you and your dog. Prevention is the best port of call.
In some places it is legal for farmers to shoot and kill dogs that are seen trespassing on their land. Some trigger happy farmers do not need much prompting to shoot and kill your beloved pet.
The dog owner is liable for any damages occurred during sheep worrying or kill. Even if your pet is a saint at home if it joins a group of dogs they could do alot of damage.
Also you don't want be held responsible for someones else's dogs attack. When a farmer finds a dead sheep they want to find a culprit. If you are known for having a dog off lead in a sheep area you could get the blame and face the wrath of an angry farmer.
Monday, 14 January 2013
If your puppy suddenly goes off their food then the first point of call is to contact your vet if all illness has be ruled out then you can set about solving the problem. Make sure that your puppy is not getting access to the neighbour's dog food or food from the rubbish bin.
If your puppy will still eat human food and not his own kibble then more than likely the puppy is not unwell. It could be a sign of behavioural problems that need to be addressed so don't give in to those cute puppy dog eyes. Dogs are smart and if they realise that they can get lots of extra attention by not eating and being fussy with their food then they will master this habit. When they discover that by holding out and not eating their boring kibble they will get tasty human food then they will.
- Stop petting your puppy while they are eating
- Do not hand feed the puppy
- Soak the kibble in water
- Heat up the puppy kibble
- Don't let your puppy beg at the table
- Feed during family meal times in their own area
- Great praise when they eat their food
- Only leave the food out for 15 minutes
- Perhaps they have an upset stomach feed them boiled rice, cottage cheese and chicken for 24 hours and then try their regular food
- The food you are giving them may be out of date ensure that you feed your puppy a high quality pet food