LUV My dogs: homemade

LUV My dogs

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Showing posts with label homemade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homemade. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears
  It is important to take time each week to examine your dog’s ears for signs of irritation, infection, dirt and parasites. These at-home ear exams don’t take long, and can help you identify minor issues before they become larger, more painful problems. Simply look inside each ear for signs or redness, discharge, dirt, or waxy buildup.Your dog’s ears are the perfect environment to grow bacteria and yeast, which can lead to serious infections.   Routine cleaning and at home examination lets you detect any infections or other problems early. If you suspect your pet already has an ear problem, visit your veterinarian immediately. 

  If your dog’s ears are healthy, meaning there is no infection, they will appear to be the same pale color as the rest of your dog’s skin. Infected ears will appear red and they may be filled with discharge. They also may have a foul odor that you will definitely notice. Plus, your dog’s infected ears will be sensitive to touch and could cause the dog considerable pain. He will probably react to any contact by whining or cringing.

  Prompt treatment offers a better prognosis, reduces the potential for chronic disease, hearing loss, and gives earlier relief for any discomfort your pet may have. Any discharge, odor, excess scratching, pawing or rubbing at the ears, redness, pain, swelling or masses may indicate an infection or other abnormality.
  Another affliction your dog may have is ear mites. Ear mites themselves are difficult to see with the naked eye, but this may be the case if your pet is frequently scratching at his ears or shaking his head. If the mites have been there for a while, you may also notice dried blood inside his ears. A veterinarian will need to diagnose this condition and can provide you with special ear drops that contain insecticide.
  Dogs with allergies are particularly vulnerable, as are those with floppy ears, like Cocker spaniels, Basset hounds and Poodles.

Getting Started With Ear Cleaning
  It is best to clean a dog’s ears in the bathroom, a mud room, or another room of your home where you won’t mind a potential mess. Most dogs don’t enjoy having their ears cleaned, which means spills are inevitable.
  Before cleaning the ears, inspect them. You can get an idea of how dirty they are and you can check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, that hair may need to be plucked. You can do this with your fingers, tweezers, or hemostats. A special ear powder made for dogs may be helpful in gripping the hair. Talk to your groomer or vet's office about this process.
 The best tools to use for cleaning your dog’s ears are a good pair of hemostats and some cotton balls. Do not use Q-tips on a dog’s ears, as they can push debris further inside the ear canal, or even damage the ear. Hemostats can be purchased at drug stores, pharmacies, or from your veterinarian. You can purchase an ear cleaning solution specifically created for pets, or you can mix one up at home. Purchase an ear-cleaning solution from your vet or a pet supply store. This is either a blue or clear liquid and is usually sold in a plastic bottle with a dropper tip. Ask an employee if you need help finding it.
  A highly recommended home ear cleaning solution is 1 part white vinegar to 1 part of water. This solution works wonders on dogs that have chronic yeast or bacterial infections in their ears. Another ear cleaning solution you can mix at home is 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water. Never use alcohol to clean your dog’s ears. Alcohol can dry out the sensitive skin inside the ears and cause allergic reactions.

Steps
  Begin by holding the ear flap up and squirting a few drops of cleanser on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. If using homemade solution, get a squeeze bottle or bulb syringe with a tip that is about an inch long . Next, gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give a gentle squeeze. Do not use an excessive amount of pressure when squeezing the cleanser into the ear.
  Before he can shake his head, begin massaging the base of your dog's ear . You should be able to hear a "smacking sound." By massaging, you are helping the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds , you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.
  Once your dog has a good shake, use the cotton or gauze and your finger to wipe out the ear canal. You can put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it. You may wish to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris out of the ridges. NEVER put the cotton-tipped applicators into the ear any further than you can see! Damage to the eardrum can occur.
  If the ear still seems dirty, you may repeat the process. Then, move on to the other ear. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog's head off. Then, reward him with a treat!

Tips
  • Rewarding the dog after a cleaning helps them relax and realize that if they cooperate the next time, they'll get a treat.
  • Never insert a cotton swab deep into the dog's ear canal! This can cause permanent hearing damage.
  • The vinegar helps dissolve wax. If your dog's ears are fairly clean to begin with, you can just use water to wipe them out.
  • Your veterinarian can show you how to properly clean your pet's ears; just ask.
  • Be gentle! Remember it's just a little dog.
Warnings
  If your dog has had ear infections before, ask your vet what to use to clean his ears and how often to do so. Too much cleaning can actually cause ear infections.
  Do NOT poke into the dog's ear canal. Your dog and his hearing will not be happy with you.
  If your dog's ear(s) are very dirty, gooey, or have discharge (pus: yellow, red, green, or brown), DO NOT clean his ears. 
  SEE YOUR VET - your pet probably has an ear infection.
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ideas for a Puppy Birthday Cake

Ideas for a Puppy Birthday Cake
  If you want to make any dog party a success, then a tasty cake for the birthday boy or girl is a must!
 Of course, you don't want to run out and buy a regular 'human' cake, the ingredients in it are NOT suitable for dogs, and all the little guests are likely to end up with upset tummies.... or worse.
   Partying with your puppy can include all sorts of birthday cheer, but perhaps the most important aspect of his special day is the canine-friendly birthday cake. Mostly healthy - with a little sweetness - these cake ideas suit a variety of situations. Whether you're throwing a large party or celebrating with a low-key affair, his own personalized canine-friendly cake is the highlight for your puppy.


Types of Cakes
  When it comes to puppy birthday treats, dog owners have many options. Decide first if you wish to bake your puppy's birthday cake at home, or purchase it from a specialty bakery. Buying your pup's cake from a bakery is far more convenient, while baking your own cake is often more cost-effective. If you choose to purchase your cake, research local bakeries on the Web; some bakeries will craft specialty items such as a cake for a puppy, even if they aren't a "dog bakery."

Homemade Cake Basics
  Choosing to bake your puppy's birthday cake at home will take some time but is highly economical. In addition, you alone control the ingredients, so you know exactly how healthy the cake is for your puppy and his friends. Homemade cakes for puppies can range from savory to sweet, such as a hamburger, bacon and rice layer cake or a carrot and carob sheet cake. You can frost savory cakes with mashed potatoes, and sweet cakes with a low-fat cream cheese blend.

Cake Ideas for a Party
  If you're celebrating your puppy's birthday with a few of his favorite pals, there are even more cake ideas for your furry guests to enjoy. Instead of one cake, offer an array of dog-friendly cupcakes -- or "pupcakes" -- for your puppy and his friends. Cupcakes are easy to bake in batches, and extras can go home with the canine guests in "doggy bags." Another option, especially for smaller dogs, is dog-friendly cakepops, delicious round cake pieces attached to a beef or thin rawhide "stick."

Get the party started right with one of these yummy treats......


1. Carrot Cake with Apple Cider Glaze
Made from shredded carrots and flavored with cinnamon.
Apple Cider glaze is the perfect finishing touch!
9" diameter. Personalized.





2. Cookie Cake For Dogs
Natural peanut butter, whole wheat flour, honey & carob chips. Carob frosting.
9" diameter. Personalized.


3. Brownie Bone Dog Birthday Cake
Carob flavored bone with carob frosting and delicious honey glaze.
9.25" x 6" wide. Personalized.



4. Healthy Hound Bakery - Gourmet Dog Treats
Delicious bone-shaped banana cake with carob chips. Peanut butter frosting is the 'icing on the cake'!
9" long. Personalized.


5. Wheat-free Dog Birthday Cake
Made from bananas, oatmeal and rice flour with carob frosting and banana chips.
Heart shaped. Personalized.




  But just to make sure, here are a few of the bad foods for dogs that may be more popular with cakes and parties.

1. Chocolate 
Chocolate is perhaps the most popularly known “no-no” food for dogs, thus a cake made from chocolate isn't a dog-safe choice. Chocolate (even white chocolate) has something called theobromine in it, which is toxic to dogs, even in small doses. Dark chocolate is the worst culprit. The caffeine in chocolate doesn't help anything either!

2. Macadamia Nuts
While peanuts are a popular nut that are safe for dogs, macadamia nuts can be poisonous, causing weakness, tremors and vomiting.

3. Milk
Just like humans, dogs can have trouble digesting lactose in milk, so avoid using it as an ingredient in your cake

4. Avocados 
While avocados might not be an ingredient in your planned cake, they are popular in party settings and thus deserve being mentioned. Something called Persin found in avocados can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even death in some dogs.

  Who doesn't love a good party? If your little one could, she'd already be planning her next celebration.
dog cake recipes
  Until that happens here are some great reasons for you to throw her a party and bake a dog cake:
  • New Puppy Shower - Are you or a friend bringing home a new family member? Socialization is very important for puppies, so why not host a party for all to meet the new one.
  • Graduating Obedience School - This is a great opportunity to show off your dog's new manners. You can invite your dog's classmates to join in the dog party festivities.
  • Competing in a Dog Show or Agility - Win or lose, it's the effort that counts. So, whether you are celebrating a First Place victory, Best in Show or a job well done, do so with one of these free dog cake recipes.
  • Anniversary of Adoption - Make the day you brought home your best friend a family occasion. Celebrate by baking a dog cake recipe, buying a new toy and going for a long walk. Along with baking, another way to recognize the day is to volunteer your time or donate to a local animal shelter.
  • New to the Neighborhood - Don't be shy, invite your new neighbors over and get to know them. This is a good idea for the four-legged and two-legged party goers!
  Now you've got the dog party products ALL sorted out. You've got the gift/s, decorations, outifit AND yummy goodies, so your dog party preparations are about complete... oh, wait... what about games?
  No worries, check out this page for lots of great ideas... Party Games For Dogs.
And finally - make sure your birthday pooch and his/her friends enjoy their fun and games safely by taking a look at my Dog Party Safety page. Now you really ARE ready!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

What Is The Best Dog Food?

What Is The Best Dog Food?
  Every day veterinarians are asked that question by dog owners. It's a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Good health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or convenience of acquisition.
  Deciding on the type of dog food you provide is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your puppy or older dog. Dog food nutrition directly influences every aspect of your dog's life. Things like how puppies grow, their behavior habits, health, overall well-being and appearance are all closely connected to the nutrition we provide - it's a big responsibility.
  With all the recent publicity and concern with the dog food recall of 2008 the spotlight has been aimed fairly and squarely at the big commercial dog food companies. Us dog lovers are finally becoming more aware and educated about providing wholesome, nutritionally balanced meals for our dogs. So where do we start in our search to find the best dog food? What are our options, and who can we trust or even believe?
  Choosing the best dog food can be an overwhelming decision - but why does it have to be so hard? I know from personal experience it can be difficult to see through all of the conflicting views, hype, marketing tactics and secrecy surrounding the dog food industry. After years of experimenting with different dog foods and lots of research I have reached an unfortunate conclusion. I feel that the vast majority of the big commercial dog food companies are far more focussed on extracting the money from our pockets rather than the health and wellbeing of our precious dogs.
  So when I set out to determine the best dog food available my main focus was always the health, vitality and longevity of my dogs - I want my dogs to thrive. I hope this article will help you to determine the very best puppy food for your dogs and make your feeding decision clearer.
  A wholesome well balanced dog food diet promotes: Healthy skin and coat, strong well developed bones, bright clear eyes, firmer stools (and less of them), well defined muscle tone, quality of life and longevity, healthy teeth and gums, fewer trips to your Vet, no bad odor, fewer digestive problems, energy, vitality, fewer behavior problems and over-all health.

What Are The Choices - What Should We Feed Our Dogs?
1. Commercial Dog Food: This includes the packaged foods you find at your local supermarket, pet store or veterinarian. Commercial dog food is available in dry, semi dry and wet (canned).
  • Royal Canin offers dry foods formulated for specific dog breeds. This can be helpful if your breed has unique health problems. For boxers, Royal Canin includes ingredients to protect heart function. 
  • Eukanuba offers a meals with added nutrients, such as glucosamine and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, to protect larger dogs' joints. 
  • Avoderm Natural- This oven-baked food is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 
  • Pinnacle Holistic- This dry food is made with trout and sweet potatoes, eliminating common allergens such as corn, wheat and soy. 
  • Innova- With ingredients such as herring oil, pumpkin and carrots, Innova embraces the concept of holistic food for pets.
  • Solid Gold has been manufacturing holistic pet food for more than 30 years. Bison and salmon are the main ingredients in this food for large-breed puppies. 
  • Wellness - This dry food is made with ingredients fit for human consumption and additives to help avoid common health problems among dogs. Probiotics also are added to aid in digestion. 
  • Blue Buffalo - This premium food for dogs includes Omega 6 fatty acids and glucosamine for joint health. 
  • Science Diet offers dogs meals with real meat instead of relying on byproducts as its main ingredient. This food is available in chicken and brown rice and lamb and brown rice. 
  • Canidae includes human-grade meats and reduces fillers to help your dog shed unnecessary pounds. 
2. Raw Dog Food
  The raw dog food diet is the growth sector within the dog food marketplace. This category includes the raw food you source and prepare yourself or the pre-made and packaged products.


  Raw dog food is a fairly broad term as there are many variations on this feeding method. The common thread with raw food enthusiasts is that they believe feeding raw is the most natural way to feed a dog. Raw foodies believe that this is the way dogs have successfully evolved and that eating a raw diet is the way nature intended dogs to get their nutrition. The raw food diet is said to replicate how a dog would eat in the wild. 

  Some raw food proponents love to give big meaty bones and others won't. The same applies with fruit and vegetables - some people say that vegetable matter is a natural part of a wild dogs diet, gathered from the stomach of their prey.
   Another benefit of feeding raw is healthy teeth and gums and well developed jaws, neck and shoulder muscles (from all the chewing).
  On the other hand detractors of feeding raw focus on the danger of foodborne illness through the threat of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Some also say that it is difficult to feed a nutritionally balanced meal the raw way.

3. Homemade Dog Food
  With all the recent news about the dog food recall and associated concerns with commercial dog foods, the homemade dog food option has really come to the fore.
 Preparing your dog's meals from scratch has many benefits, including the complete control of all meals served. You know exactly what goes into every meal (and where it was sourced) and you also know that it has been prepared in a clean environment.
  The homemade dog food option also comes with the added responsibility of formulating nutritionally balanced meals (proteins, vitamins etc.) and meeting the calorie requirements for your individual dog. If you arm yourself with some good dog food recipes and get into a routine this process is not all that difficult to maintain.
  Typical homemade dog meals include big meaty stews, healthy soups, pies, vegetables and maybe some raw bones every now and then.

In conclusion...  look at the ingredient list and a meat such as chicken should be listed as the first ingredient. Look at the guaranteed analysis to see that the protein level is at 30 percent or more. The fat content should be at 18 percent or more. And if there is a rather wide spectrum of ingredients such as omega fatty acids and vitamin E, that's good, too. There should be NO FOOD COLORING!



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