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PostHeaderIcon Some Dogs Just Love The Snow, So Let It Snow!

Our weather in Ohio has been nothing but cold and snow. Much like people some dogs prefer the snow more than others.

 

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PostHeaderIcon Eye Infections In Dogs l Preventing Them In Breeds That Don’t Shed

Luckily my dogs have not had many eye infections that I can remember. The only time I recall was when my Pomeranian Precious developed one because of the extreme case of demodectic mange that she had. It seems dogs with severe mange loose their hair around their eyes. It guess the mites are drawn to that area. It’s common for secondary infections to occur with mange.

While there are many other causes of eye infections in dogs a common reason with dogs who do not shed is the hair is continually growing and when not kept trimmed can irritate the dog’s eye which can then lead to infection.

As a pet sitter I’ve cared for many of these breeds and know their hair grows out quickly. Living in Ohio with cold winter you don’t really want to cut their hair  when it’s 15 degrees outside.  The important thing is that you keep the hair around the eyes trimmed so it won’t irritate them otherwise it could  be the cause of any eye infections they develop.

Recently I had the pleasure of pet sitting for a really cute dog. Her favorite game was for me to throw her toy and she would chase it.  I was throwing her toy and she would run after it but end up looking around like she was having trouble seeing it.

Since she was a Schnitzu who was obviously overdue for a haircut, my first thought was help her  see and  proceeded to find my scissors to give her a little trim.  It was then I noticed an extreme amount of grey discharge. I know that some breeds of dogs like Maltese, Pekingese, Pug and Schnitzu  are all prone to eye infections because their hair sometimes acts like an irritant to the eyes.

I proceeded to trim he hair around her eyes with a small set of scissors…….no skill required unless you have a wiggly dog then its best to have someone help you.  I then cleaned out her eyes with a warm wet cotton ball and her owners seemed pleased when they came to get her.

I mentioned they might want to check with their vet to see if she needs some medication for her eye discharge and they told me they had eye medication at home so it must have been a problem the dog had experienced before.

So if you notice  a heavy discharge in your dog’s eyes  it’s always best to see your veterinarian right away because if it is not treated promptly and correctly, a dog’s eye infection could cause permanent eye damage.

Rufus 225x300 Eye Infections In Dogs l Preventing Them In Breeds That Dont Shed

Isn’t she cute!

 

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PostHeaderIcon Why Is My Dog Always Hungry And Unable To Lose Weight?

Do you have a dog that is always hungry and begging for food? Have you asked your vet more than once to test her for low thyroid?  Do you keep getting the same answer from him?  “Her blood work is normal.” Do you measure her food and she is still overweight?  Have you spent hours online searching for a possible answer to why your dog is so hungry all the time?  If this sounds like you and your dog welcome to my club.

I have three Pomeranians, two of them are about 6 or 7 pounds.  Bria my third Pomeranian was close to 23 pounds.  I like to think she is bigger boned but that was just a fantasy of mine. I know sometimes hereditary is involved but I don’t think she should weigh  more than 15 pounds. The problem is she eats her food and usually two hours later she starts begging for more. She barks and won’t stop until I give her something. Many people including my regular vet just told me to ignore her when she begs for food, but he does not understand how persistent she can be.

Things I’ve Tried To Help My Dog To Lose Weight That Didn’t Work.

I’ve tried giving her raw carrots in between meals, I’ve also tried to break her feeding down to four small meals instead of two. I’ve tried switching her to a grain free diet because I was told that rice is converting to sugar too fast in her system.

I read that if my dog was having poor absorption of nutrients  from her digestive system that her body would send out messages that say she  is still hungry. So I tried giving her vitamins and digestive enzymes.

I read many articles proposing the science between probiotics and weight loss. Acidophilus seems to have an effect on leptin  the hormone that controls your hunger, metabolism and long-term body weight. I started giving my dog probiotics.

When that didn’t work I tried switching her to canned food because it has more meat protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. While this seemed to fill her up longer this was not the answer either.

All or even a few of these changes may help your dog but it didn’t help my overweight constantly hungry Pomeranian Bria.  I decided to look for a holistic vet and see if we could get to the bottom of her problem.

How I Finally Got My Dog To Lose Weight.

Since I had recently started cooking for my dogs  he told me to put her on an Atkins diet.  He gave me a slip of paper that contained feeding guidelines for overweight dogs. Her food would contain 50% protein, 40% vegetables and 10% fats.

I started fixing her this diet and still would give her carrots in between meals. I would try to save a tablespoon of her measured food to give her a few hours later when she started begging for food again.

Luckily the weather was cooler and we tried to walk every day. When I went back to the vet a few weeks later for something else I don’t remember,  I couldn’t believe that she actually lost weight.

She continued to lose weight over the next month. When the scale read 19.9 lbs. I can’t tell you how happy I was. I don’t remember her weighing less than 20 pounds since she was two years old.

She continues to lose weight and currently weighs 18.5 lbs.  I hope that she can get down to 15 lbs. and then I will decide if she needs to lose more or she can just start eating an adult maintenance diet that my holistic vet recommended.

For those of you who would like to know the proportions of an adult dog maintenance diet it is 30% protein foods, 30% vegetables, 20% carbohydrates and 20% fats.

I hope this gives any overweight dogs and their owners some renewed hope for a healthier weight. I’ve included some more information on the protein, vegetables, carbohydrates and fats to help clarify this diet.

Preparing Home Food For  Dogs

Protein sources may be beef, chicken, turkey, lamb fish, pork cottage cheese eggs, soy foods or liver.

Vegetables may be celery, broccoli squash, kale, brussel sprouts, peas, green beans,  lima beans.  Fruits like berries and melon can be added in season. Avoid fruits if dog is overweight.

Carbohydrates include sweet potato, pasta, rice quinoa, and barley.

Fats can be olive oil, sunflower oil, flax oil or coconut oil which I prefer.  One teaspoon of oil per 2o lbs. of pet’s body weight daily.

I hope this helps with anyone who had an overweight dog and I just want to mention that I used beef or turkey that was 96 % fat-free as her protein source. Yes it was more expensive than the 85% fat-free ground chuck me and my husband ate but what the heck she is worth it.

The following is Bria’s before picture, I think I’ll wait until she gets down to 15 lbs. to add her after picture.  But trust me all my friends have noticed a big change in her.  She plays more than she did before also.

 

Bria side view 300x225 Why Is My Dog Always Hungry And Unable To Lose Weight?

As an added note puppies and dogs with cancer or kidney failure also have a different feeding guidline which I will be happy to share with anyone who would like more information.

 

 

 

 

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PostHeaderIcon Finding A Lost Pet l Things You Can Do To Help Locate Him

Years ago I had two dogs, one wolf hybrid and one Collie who were always getting out of our fence.  Most of the time I was able to get in the car  drive around find them and bring them back home.

This always worked for me except this one time.  My timber wolf master of escapes along with my Collie decided to go up the expressway ramp  close to my house.  I can only imagine what that looked like two dogs walking along side of the expressway. I spent most of the day looking for them. Finally I decided I would just have to wait until they came home.

Later that night my Collie came home. Unfortunately he came home alone. I was crushed I didn’t know if he got killed by a car or picked up by animal control again.

I called the humane society and informed them of my missing dog so if he was picked up later they might call me. The next day I even went down there to make sure he wasn’t there.

I decided to put an ad in the newspaper under lost and found with a reward. The reward doesn’t have to be big. Many people will call because they are animal lovers. Days went by with no hope. I would spend several hours every day driving around the neighborhood with no luck.

Then one day someone called from the ad in the newspaper and said on his way to work he seen a dog that fit his description walking back on forth on the side of the expressway. I got in my car and rode back and forth getting off at the next exit and driving back on the expressway.  He was just nowhere in sight. Another day went by with no luck.

Then the next  day the same man called and said he just seen my dog again on the side of the expressway. My husband and I jumped into my car and got on the expressway looking for him. When we turned around on our way back to our house, it was then that we noticed him.   He was at the edge of the expressway ramp trying to find a way back to our house but it was apparent the traffic was too scary.

We stopped and called his name and he came running into our car. I can’t tell you how happy I felt. I could only cry.  He was gone for 5 days. I’m lucky because my lost dog story turned out good not all lost pets have a happy ending.

Things to do before you lose a pet.

Collars with your dog’s name and address are good but what if someone just wants to keep your beautiful pet.  Microchips can be the answer. When your dog visits the vet he may discover the real owner.

Things you can do if you lose your pet.

When I lost my dog there was no internet and posting in the newspaper was the best option for recovering him.  Today newspapers are less popular with everyone getting their news online.  That fact should not worry you because you can now place your ad online. It is fast and convenient, you can also put it in the newspaper.

If your dog is on any medications you may want to  consider LostMyDoggie.com - Will find your missing pet by quickly calling all your neighbors.

Losing your pet is always a devastating experience and you should act right away. The longer you wait the further your pet could travel and the chance that they might be injured increases.

Some other tips if you lose your pet are

1) search the neighborhood, knock on doors.

2) call all local shelters

3) post signs at intersections (with a reward if possible) and around your neighborhood,  make sure they can read it from a distance.

 

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PostHeaderIcon Dog Food And Chicken By-Products

Recently I read where a popular dog food company Royal Canin was changing its formula from real chicken and chicken meal to chicken by-products.  I found it hard to believe because this would make it no better than the dog food found in every grocery store.

Since it was hard to imagine why they would change this product with many long time satisfied customers I went to their Facebook page and simply asked them the question, ” Are you changing your formula to chicken by-products”?

They responded but not on their site, maybe they don’t want to many people to know. Their answer was and I quote ” We have transitioned to chicken by-product meal in our MED, MAXI and Giant formulas. This change allows us to provide the same or superior nutritional benefits without competing with the human food supply. Thank you.”

I know there are people starving in the world but I don’t believe that there is any shortage of chickens in the U.S.  This might be more believable if every dog food company suddenly started using by-products and when I went to the grocery store it was hard to find any chicken, but that isn’t the case.

I think the real reason for their change of formula has nothing to do with saving chicken for starving humans, it’s simply about money.  If that was the real reason wouldn’t they change the formula in all their dog food.  Could it be that the many small dog owners will not stand for feeding their dog by-products of any kind?

Should we start feeling  guilty every time we feed our pets quality dog food? Royal Canin’s guilt trip is much like what your parents did when you didn’t finish your food as a child and they would say “There are people starving in the world.”  My unspoken response was, ” Well, let’s send them this along with that spinach we had for supper.”   The majority of parents were not worried about world hunger only that we finish our food so we may remain healthy and eat less junk food.   I contest what Royal Canin is saying is no different from what our parents said to us as children and they are using the same guilt trip. They want us  to continue buying their dog food because there are starving people in the world. If we continue to feed our pets chicken will it create a chicken shortage or will more people just raise chickens?

The difference between chicken meal and chicken by-products

To help you understand what this really means when you buy the new and improved Royal Canin dog food, what it use to contain was “Poultry Meal the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone.

Now Royal Canin dog food with chicken by-products will contain the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It may also contain  chicken intestines and/or chicken feces. There’s no doubt when you use  ingredients like these you are creating an inferior dog food. Is there anyone who believes that this new pet food formulation has the same or superior nutritional benefits as Royal Canin insists?

My motto for feeding my dogs a quality pet food has always been like the old automotive oil commercial, ” pay me now or pay me later.”  Buy a quality food that cost more money now or pay more money at the veterinarians later.

What do you think?

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