LUV My dogs: diet

LUV My dogs

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Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2017

5 Tips for Healthy Dog Teeth and Gums

 5 Tips for Healthy Dog Teeth and Gums
  You brush your own teeth every day, right? And you get regular dental cleanings, don’t you? We’re not here to judge your oral hygiene, but we have a feeling your dog’s teeth and gums don’t get the same amount of care and attention as your own. And we get that. But did you know that by the time they’re 3 years old, most pets suffer from some form of dental disease? Slacking on dental care could lead to painful periodontal disease, tooth loss or worse.
  Gum disease can be avoided altogether but it takes a bit of effort at home. Veterinarians agree it is well worth the effort. By making dental care a regular part of your routine, you can improve your dog’s teeth, help her enjoy a healthier, more enjoyable life and minimize the need for costly dental treatments at the veterinarian’s office.  

1. Visit your veterinarian

  Make sure you ask about your dog’s teeth during checkups, and try to get that checkup at least annually. You can also ask the vet whether your dog is at particular risk of dental health problems and what kind of preventive care she might recommend. If your dog has current dental issues or is at higher risk, consider asking for a referral to a veterinary dentist. Also ask about any products that might be damaging to teeth such as chews that are too sharp or hard.
 Your vet will inspect teeth and gums, remove tartar and plaque, and take x-rays. If any teeth are loose  or diseased, they'll be pulled. Once you get the all clear, let the brushing begin!

2. Give him dental chews

  Chewing is a natural behavior in dogs - one that can also benefit their oral hygiene. Chew toys and ropes, bones, rawhide, and chews provide friction along the gumline and act as natural flossers. Provide your dog with chew toys that are an appropriate size and shape, and let them start chomping their way to healthier teeth. Be sure to replace chew materials when they are worn, and provide durable toys and bones to aggressive chewers. If your dog has sensitive teeth, try latex toys and other softer chewing materials.

3. Daily Brushing with a pet-friendly toothpaste

  The single best preventive treatment is brushing to break up bacterial films on the teeth before they develop into plaque and cause damage to teeth and gums. When it comes to toothpaste, a palatable, meat-flavored paste is going to be more fun for you dog. Do not use human toothpaste because the ingredients can be irritating. Make sure you select an applicator that is right for your dog’s size and gum sensitivity. Options range from brushes to rubber fingertip applicators and presoaked dental wipes. Brush the outside surface of the teeth in small circles, avoiding any contact with the gums.

  Using veterinary, species-specific toothpaste is essential. Human toothpaste has too much fluoride and is toxic for animals. You'll find animal-friendly flavors, like chicken, mint, and peanut butter, at most pet stores.

4. Add a medicated rinse to his water
  While not a substitute for brushing, medicated rinses may help by making the surface of your dog’s teeth less hospitable to plaque and bacteria. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation and then simply add the product to your canine’s water or spray it in his mouth. Medicated rinses can also help combat stinky breath — a win-win for your pup’s oral health and your nose.
  No matter what, some pet parents simply can’t brush their dog’s teeth. If you fall into that category, think beyond the brush. Daily oral swishes and rinses, chew treats containing anti-plaque ingredients, and specialized teeth-cleaning diets are easy options. Be honest with your veterinarian if you struggle to clean your dog’s teeth; ask for alternatives to tooth brushing. I almost always find another technique the pet parent can use. Are these substitutes as good as brushing? Of course not. But they’re infinitely better than no oral care, and some work nearly as well. 

5.Monitor your dog's diet

 Diet can factor into overall dental health in a variety of ways. Make sure to feed your pets nutritionally balanced dog food. If tooth health is an issue, try using specially formulated dry foods that don’t crumble as easily to wear away plaque and tartar with chewing.Your veterinarian may recommend feeding your dog a specially formulated dental diet to help improve his oral health. This type of kibble tends to be larger and usually has an abrasive texture to aid with cleaning teeth and removing plaque build-up. Dental foods may also contain ingredients that help reduce tartar formation. These tasty snacks contain beneficial nutrients that aren't found in most dog foods.

 Talk to your vet before making a major change to your dog’s diet, and make sure to choose dental health food that has the Veterinary Oral Health Care (VOHC) seal. Avoid feeding your pooch table food, especially scraps that are high in carbs and sugars. And since dogs tend to eat pretty much anything, make sure your pets do not have access to trash, yard debris, or anything else they shouldn’t be munching on.



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Monday, March 31, 2014

Your dog is overweight?

Your dog is overweight?
  Obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined by an excess of body fat. Dogs that are over nourished, lack the ability to exercise, or that have a tendency to retain weight are the most at risk for becoming obese. Obesity can result in serious adverse health effects, such as reducing the lifespan, even if your dog is only moderately obese. Multiple areas of the body are affected by excess body fat, including the bones and joints, the digestive organs, and the organs responsible for breathing capacity.
   Obesity is common in dogs of all ages, but it usually occurs in middle-aged dogs, and generally in those that are between the ages of 5 and 10. Neutered and indoor dogs also tend to have a higher risk of becoming obese.
With 35 million or 45 percent of American dogs overweight or obese, putting your pooch on a diet might just be on the cards. Do you know if your dog needs to lose weight or are you still calling it "puppy fat"? While owners are busy spoiling their canine friends with treats, extra food, and cookies as a show of love, the reality is that an overweight dog is neither happy nor healthy, and if your dog falls into this category, it's time to fix it, immediately. 

How To Know If Your Dog Is Obese?
  If you’re not sure, pat your hands along your dog’s sides from head to tail. In a healthy-weight dog, you should be able to just feel the ribs. Also, take a look at your dog from the side. Most dogs should have a slightly “tucked up” profile. If all you feel are fat pads on your dog’s sides, or if his side profile is more sausage-like than sleek, chances are your friend may need to shed a few.
  The first thing you should do is get your vet involved. Take your dog for a checkup as there are underlying conditions that can contribute to obesity, including diabetes, Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism. Have your veterinarian determine your dog’s current and ideal body weight and then tell you how many calories your dog can eat each day in order to reach that ideal weight. Your goal should be to work toward that ideal weight over a several-month period.


Symptoms
  •  Weight gain
  • Excess body fat
  • The inability (or unwillingness) to exercise
  • An above-ideal score in a body condition assessment.
Causes

  There are several causes of obesity. It is mosty commonly caused by an imbalance between the energy intake and its usage -- eating more than the dog can possibly expend. Obesity also becomes more common in old age because of the normal decrease in a dog's ability to exercise. Unhealthy eating habits, such as high-calorie foods, an alternating diet, and frequent treats can also bring on this condition.


How To Feed For Good Health
  Dogs should not be fed “free choice” as they tend to eat when bored instead of when hungry -- which contributes to ever-expanding canine waistlines. Dogs should be fed two to four times each day, and all food portions should be measured exactly with a standard measuring cup.
  Dog food label recommendations must be used cautiously. These guidelines are generic and most likely represent overfeeding for many U.S. dogs. Dogs must be fed according to their ideal body weight -- not their current weight if they are obese. If your dog is even mildly overweight, feeding according to the recommendations found on the food bag will result in continued weight gains.
  Increasing your dog's physical activity level is vital for successful treatment. The most common suggestions for dogs are leash walking for at least 15 minutes, twice a day, and playing games such as fetch.

Living and Management
  The follow-up treatment for obesity includes communicating regularly with your veterinarian about the weight reduction program, monthly monitoring of your dog's weight, and establishing a life-time weight maintenance program once your dog's ideal body condition score has been achieved. With a firm commitment to your dog's health and weight, you will feel confident that your dog is eating healthy and feeling its best.
  Eating right and being physically active aren’t just a “diet” for your dog -- they are keys to a healthy lifestyle and will reduce your dog’s risk of chronic disease and increase his chance for a longer life.

                               Warnings!
  • Too much strenuous exercise can be a hazard for your dog. Talk with your vet about how much exercise your dog should be getting.
  • If you make exercising the dog a task for your kids, make sure that they know how to properly walk a dog, help her when she is hurt, etc. Make sure they bring water for the dog. Also, if you have a young child, always have an adult accompany them on walks to avoid danger.
  • Always research foods before giving them as treats to your dogs. For example, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and onions can be very toxic to dogs.
  • Never restrict access to water; it should always be clean and freely available unless a vet requires otherwise.
  • A dog that is left outside during winter needs double the usual amount of high quality dog food. Talk to your vet about any issues this might cause if you have an overweight outside dog.
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