How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Dog owners watch your pet’s weight

Dogs can easily become overweight, especially since we are sometimes too busy to really spend time ensuring they have an active lifestyle. While we’re at work, they hang out around the home because they don’t have much else to do. Combined with once-a-day feeding habits, it is very easy for our dogs to become a little chubby.

Of course, a dog’s health is essential to their happiness, and although they love it when you feed them a little extra, that doesn’t mean that it’s good for them. So, it is up to dog owners to help their dogs lose a little weight so that they can get back to being healthy and happy.

Realizing your dog’s present condition

Are they obese? Maybe they’re just a little pudgy on the sides. But identifying your dog’s condition will give you a good idea of where you need to start. The most convenient test is to run your hands along your dog’s rib-cage. If you can’t easily feel their ribs, then they’re obese (take into consideration fur thickness). Next you must consider what a healthy weight is for your dog. Their body type, size, and breed must all be included as factors. You don’t want to set a goal that your dog can’t healthily achieve. If you are going by weight, you should check your dog’s weight against a respectable source. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention provides a good reference in their site:

To get your dog’s weight, it is easiest to simply use a bathroom scale. If you know your weight, all you have to do is pick up your dog and subtract the difference. Then compare it to a chart and start planning your dog’s fitness goals.

Plenty of exercise

Regardless of your rush to get your dog healthy, you need to start slow. Despite your good intentions, rushing an overweight or unhealthy dog into a rigorous exercise plan could do more harm than good. Realize that overweight dogs who are not accustomed to frequent activity normally have higher blood pressure and are susceptible to injury if they become radically active too fast.

The best place to start is to take them for regular walks. Regular activity is important to a dog’s health for many reasons besides simply working off the extra weight. It also helps their digestive tract function properly. Walking helps move their bowels and eliminate waste properly so that it doesn’t accumulate in their body. As their body begins to function properly again, they’ll begin to lose weight and become healthier.

Healthy Diet

While exercise is important, what and how you feed your dog will make a world of a difference to their weight. Choose a dog food that is formulated for weight control and avoid puppy formulated foods for less active dogs. These have an abundance of additional carbs and proteins that growing dogs need.

Part of a healthy diet includes feeding them on a regular schedule. Several small meals throughout the day will help regulate their body functions better. It will also provide energy when they need it most, such as in the mornings before exercise or playtime in the afternoon.

As far as proper feeding time is concerned, don’t feed your dog right before bedtime. In addition to being a potty risk, it also means that the food they’ve just eaten will simply be stored as extra fat later on. Also refrain from feeding them just one big meal a day. This often results in a low metabolism and lower insulin secretion, resulting in a higher body weight and a higher risk for diabetes. When feeding, use a measuring cup to keep serving amounts at a steady and reliable quantity. Making guesswork of your dog’s servings can end up countering your entire health plan goal.

A treat?

Treats are often a pet owner’s biggest weakness. Dogs love a treat, and we love to see that tail wag. But treats are not always good for them or their weight. What types of treats are you giving them? How many and how frequently? You don’t have to cut out all treats, you just have to make sure they get them at the right times. Make them earn their treats. It also helps to choose healthy or all-natural treats. Also keep in mind that the best treat of all is your attention. Table scraps are not treats.

Monitor your dog’s weight and physical changes each week. They may not drop their extra bulk quickly, but the idea is to do it safely and in a healthy manner. Regular exercise and proper diet are crucial to a dog’s health. As your dog’s owner, you are responsible for their well-being, and with the proper technique, you can provide your faithful companion with a happy, healthier lifestyle that both of you can enjoy.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

Categories Dog CareTags ,

Leave a comment on How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

How to Over Come Bad Dog Breath

Though we love our dogs, we often pull away in disgust after we get a whiff of some bad breath. There are several reasons a dog has breath issues, ranging from diet to disease. All of these issues can be addressed properly as long as you know what to look for. Because dogs look to their owners to ensure a healthy and happy life, it is imperative that precautions be taken to ensure that bad breath and it’s causes are dealt with properly.

Causes of bad breath

The leading cause of bad breath is when bacteria begin to build up in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or even digestive tract (including throat and stomach), many of which give off a foul or sulfur based odor that so many dog owners are familiar with. If left untreated, these bacteria can progressively get worse, causing tooth decay and gum disease as they begin to cause infection or break down tissues.

Dogs are commonly prone to plaque and tarter, which are renowned for causing bad breath in the oral cavity. This can be caused by certain diets (low quality dog food or even consumption of human foods) and also a lack of oral care. Because dogs can’t readily use a toothbrush, plaque buildup can quickly become a problem if left unaddressed.

Taking care of your dog

This makes it important for every dog owner to know how to manage their dog’s oral health. There are many methods to maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene, a combination of which is necessary to maintain a healthy and happy smile.

Doggy dental bones are great for oral health and nutritional value. There’s a large variety of dental treats on the market, making it hard to decide on one particular brand or type. Some rely on all-natural substances, which is a definite plus when chemicals are a common practice in dog related foods. There are even some that utilize multiple methods for keeping teeth clean, including an outer coating that surrounds a rawhide bone. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, be sure you’re aware of what their dental treats contain. They aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance.

Rawhide bones are the classic way to help brush a dog’s teeth by taking advantage of their natural chewing motions. When you do give your dog a treat of any kind, make sure you maintain consistent observation, and be careful not to let them swallow large pieces whole, since that can cause digestive issues.

Regular brushing should be done at least every two weeks. Keep in mind that a dog’s body is very different from ours, so be sure to use dog tooth paste to keep your dog healthy. Luckily, there are a large variety of tooth brush styles readily available to make the process easier for both of you. Consider utilizing finger-brushes, which are easier to control than a traditional toothbrush.

The dog care market has also seen a new rise in other bad breath treatments. Some of them are spray chemicals, while others may come in a powder form that needs to be applied orally. While some rely on completely natural ingredients, others can contain miscellaneous chemicals or additives that can have negative effects on your dog’s health. Be cautious when choosing any additions to your dog’s oral care, and consider asking your vet about recommending certain types of oral hygienic care.

Severe cases of plaque may require professional cleaning in order to remove the problem. The scraping process can be uncomfortable for dogs, and challenging for the practitioner. It’s best to leave this technique to the professionals.

Know when to see the vet

Persistent bad breath can often indicate underlying medical problems that need to be addressed quickly. Keep a nose out for fruity or sweet breath which can be an early sign of diabetes. Urine-like smelling breath can be a sign of kidney disease. Foul breath, accompanied by vomiting and yellowing gums and eye corneas are signs of liver disease. While most bad breath is oral or dental related, these specific types of bad breath are signs that can help every dog owner quickly identify serious problems, ensuring a timely response for a hazardous situation.

Dog lovers around the world enjoy giving their faithful friend a great big hug, but it can often be a little unpleasant to endure some bad doggy breath. With plenty of attention and the right oral hygiene, your dog can enjoy a healthy smile and breath that says, “Give me a big kiss!”

Categories Dog CareTags , ,

Leave a comment on How to Over Come Bad Dog Breath

Pet Food Recall Still Weighs Heavy on Hearts

Most dogs don’t get to choose what they eat, but rely on their caring owner’s ability to provide them with the necessary nutrition to live a healthy life. Dog foods and treats come in a variety of brands with some being imported from other countries such as China.

The dangers of substandard dog food

Five years ago on March 16th, a contaminant known as melamine was found in many different dog foods and assorted treats. Melamine, which is a similar complex to cyanide, was found in rice and wheat gluten being exported from China. A large number of pet food products utilize wheat gluten to aid in digestion, but unfortunately the melamine was causing kidney disease and Renal Failure in a vast number of dogs. Menu Foods, one of the suppliers responsible for the distribution of contaminated products, announced a recall on all their pet food products, but it was too late for many beloved pets.

But the trouble didn’t stop there. While many pets were in danger, farm animals such as cattle were also in danger of consuming melamine contaminated products, leading to questions concerning human consumption of such animals. While the FDA has stated that the melamine consumed by other animals won’t affect the consumer of those animals, we may have begun to see issues again, as numerous products, including Jerky Treats, have been refused importation on the basis that the product contained the dangerous melamine contaminants.

Since 2007, many pet owners have begun raising awareness and demanding better control on dog food manufacturing and importing. Up until then, quality control had been left up to manufacturers, but since then, the importance of health for both pets and humans has increased attention given to pet foods, based on what is in them, on their origins, and on manufacturers of the ingredients.

What are you feeding your dog?

In both mammals and some plants, melamine can be metabolized from certain pesticides and fertilizers that are used on crops. Because of this, melamine can be found in various products, such as pork, jerky, chicken, and assorted plant products. To make things worse, melamine is often illegally added to food products to increase the protein level content ratings. However melamine is not actually a protein at all, but rather a nitrogen based compound which will trick tests that are searching for protein content by rating the nitrogen levels in the food. This has become a problem that dog owners need to be aware of to ensure that their dog is getting the nutrients they need, and to keep the toxins that can harm them out of their diet.

While imported items can be utilized in dog foods across the world, many ingredients containing melamine are being sourced and rejected from China. These can include soy based proteins, wheat gluten, jerky and even some food products for humans. Some dog foods have even begun plans to mask their low quality dog foods with perfumes and aromas that make the food attractive despite lack of nutrition and quality content.

Quality dog-food

One of the best possible solutions for this escalating problem is to find quality dog food sources that provide natural ingredients, as opposed to wheat glutens utilized as fillers. One such dog food manufacturer is Life’s Abundance Premium Health, which was formulated by a veterinarian with dog-care at the top of their list. The food is manufactured in small batches to ensure quality and freshness, something that many dog-food manufactures have overlooked in previous years.

When searching for quality dog foods or treats, consider avoiding any content that utilizes wheat, wheat gluten, or corn meal. Instead, seek out natural ingredients, such as vegetable and whole grain content that add nutritional value, such as vitamins and fiber, rather than just filler.

Another thing to look for in a product is the AFFCO approved endorsement. This is the Association of American Feed Control Officials which is empowered to regulate quality, sale, and distribution of animal feeds and drug remedies within the United States. While it does not have regulatory authority, it does provide approval guidelines regarding the quality and content of pet foods to ensure both human and animal health and safety. (Many dog foods must meet standards for human consumption as well.)

Dog lovers throughout the world know how hard it is to lose their precious friends. With some manufactures creating dangerous food products, we have to be ready with awareness and knowledge so we can provide our four-legged friends with the nutrition they need to live a long and happy life with us.

Categories Dog CareTags , ,

Leave a comment on Pet Food Recall Still Weighs Heavy on Hearts