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Archive for February, 2013

PostHeaderIcon What’s Really In Your Dog’s Food?

Have you ever given much thought to what’s in that cheap brand of dog food?  Do you take the time to read the label on your dog’s food or simply purchase it because of the popular commercial you’ve seen.  Now, I’m not talking about the better quality dog foods.  I’m talking about a popular inexpensive brand with artificial colors.

Why do you think these big dog food companies believe that dogs, while not color blind, but with  significantly less chromatic acuity than humans need to have these bright colors added to their food.  The reason is not for dogs but for the humans buying this food for their pets. It simply looks better and sells more. The dog food may appear to have color from the vegetables added to it but it is Red 40 Yellow 5, Blue 2 and Yellow6, The Poison Rainbow.

While artificial colors are not the only thing that bothers me.  Do you ever wonder why there are so many grains in your carnivorous canine’s foods? The answer is simple, they’re cheap.

There is much controversy whether dogs can sufficiently digest corn or wheat, which are often found in these well-known dog foods. The fact is that corn and corn meal have a significant high glycemic index.  These just turn to sugar in your dog’s blood. You might compare it to you eating fast food for every meal.

It is also highly debated by Purina that corn gluten meal and other grains are not allergenic but as a pet sitter I have found dogs eating a low quality pet food loaded with grains are always scratching and biting themselves.  Almost always when I suggest a grain free diet to these dog’s owners their constant scratching improves immensely.

The fact is today corn is so genetically modified. There are many studies that show GM corn to be a major health concern.  Studies where rats fed a diet containing GM corn shows they not only died earlier than rats on a standard diet, they developed mammary tumors and severe kidney and liver damage as well. Do you really want your dog eating this every day for the rest of his life?

Can you even imagine how ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour,  rice flour, soy flour, thrown in with some chicken by-product meal (slaughterhouse waste) and some animal digest could be something good to feed your dog? (see picture below)

If you happen to be a person who still can’t see spending a little more money for your dog food, I’m reminded of an old motor oil commercial that goes something like “Pay me now or pay me later.”   What you may not realize is what you save now is what you could end up spending later at the veterinarian.

You should know that I am not promoting a specific dog food, because for me the best food is something you fix yourself for your dog,  I only recommend you know what’s in your dog’s food.  If you want to see how your dog food stands up check out the Dog Food Advisor.

So, what’s in your dog’s food?

 

I found this picture of ingredients in that cheap brand of dog food so you may have a better concept of what is really in that bag.

Click on picture to make larger.

Benefulingredients 300x226 Whats Really In Your Dogs Food?

PostHeaderIcon Megan Loves Coco

Being a pet sitter I love to take videos of my dogs with the dogs that I watch.  This is one of my favorite videos of Coco the Yorkie who loves Megan the Pomeranian, or could it be “Just His Imagination?”

Can you guess the name of the song on the video?

PostHeaderIcon To Neuter Or Not To Neuter l What Are The Health Benefits

To Neuter Or Not To Neuter Your Dog.

To me there is only one right answer to this but that is because of my past experiences.

In all fairness I remember years ago I had a male Pomeranian which I did not get neutered.  I could understand why people got female dogs spayed so as to prevent unnecessary puppies and the twice yearly mess of going into heat, but I didn’t see the point of neutering my male dog. No one  including my veterinarian ever mentioned how important it was for males.

Because he was not neutered he was constantly marking everywhere in the house.  My couch had a line across the bottom of it from his bad habit.  I’m not sure if they even had diapers for this condition like they do now since it was so long ago.  No one ever told me that getting him neutered could  have stopped his marking in my house.

Since that time I discovered there were also other important reasons  for neutering your male dog and that is Benign Prostatic hypertrophy. This is an enlargement of the prostate gland,  something that my Pomeranian also suffered from when he was 16.

Other reasons to neuter male dogs are hernias, cancer and infections. It seems that there are a number of hernias caused by Testosterone which require surgical correction. Numerous cancers are also connected to Testosterone where surgery and possibly Radiation and or Chemotherapy will be necessary.

Besides all the health issues there is the aggression problem.  Dogs neutered early in life are less aggressive toward other males and are less tempted to leave your yard to look for a little doggie action.

This was a huge problem I had with a male collie. He always was finding ingenious ways to get out of our fenced yard. He was a dog who could dig his way into Fort Knox. He was even picked up more than once, by animal control. The money I had to spend on fines and other things to get him back could have probably paid to neuter him and send me to the Caribbean and back.

While all these reasons should be enough to prompt you to neuter your dog, you should also remember it will also prevent any accidental increase in unwanted pets in this country.

Today as I reflect on all these reasons why to have your pet neutered I am dumbfounded why I didn’t have my previous male dogs neutered, but in my defense no one including my veterinarian at that time mentioned any of these reasons.  I just didn’t know how much it could have helped me and my dog.  It took years of  dog ownership before I found out all these things, after all we didn’t have the internet back then.

Today as a pet sitter I rarely come across anyone who hasn’t spayed or neutered their dog so I do believe we as pet owners have become much more knowledgable in doing what is best for our pets. Of course there is always the exception.

Recently a man called me to pet sit his Yorkie while he went into the hospital. After a few minutes of speaking with him he mentioned that his male Yorkie had a problem with marking.  I think he thought I would not watch him then but I told him not to worry, I have a couple of other male dogs I watch who like to mark in the house but I have some cloth diapers that work really well for this problem.

As our conversation continued  I asked him if his dog gets along with other dogs and he mentioned how his dog could be aggressive. It wasn’t until he revealed that fact that I thought to ask him if his dog was neutered.  I guess I could have anticipated his answer would be no.

Then I told him if he had neutered his dog earlier it most likely would have fixed his marking and aggression problems.  His response was,  “Oh, I couldn’t do that to him.”  Did he really think it would affect his psyche and make him feel like less of a dog? This is an obvious human response and we must remember even though we treat them like our children they are still dogs.

Naturally because of this fact I could not watch his dog. I did feel bad for him because he sounded like he was very worried on what to do with his dog while he went to the hospital. If only someone, perhaps his veterinarian had taken the time to tell him how important it was to neuter his dog, he could have had a better adjusted dog for a pet.

I have read some of the reasons  why people do not  spay or neuter their pets but for me I believe the pros outweigh the cons. For the health benefits alone I think you should neuter your dog.

What do you think?

PostHeaderIcon Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just one more reason to take pictures of my dogs and cats.

 

Bria on Valentines Day 300x223 Happy Valentines Day

 

I love to decorate for different holidays, so what better way to do it with pictures of your pets for different holidays. This is my Pomeranian with some Valentine’s day bears.

 



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