Dogs to the Rescue

Benefits of raw dog food.
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Is your dog your best friend? Let’s see; they are happy to see us when we get home; they don’t talk back (not too much, anyway), and they love us unconditionally. It doesn’t matter who we are, what we do, or how we look. Plus they keep us warm at night. What more could you want in a best friend?

Now that we’ve determined that your everyday house dog could easily be our best friend, think about those animals that stay by their owners side every minute, helping them to see, helping them to hear, or understanding that a seizure is coming on; to name just a few. These dogs protect and take care of us as much as we take care of them. They are service dogs; or, helper dogs. And of course, there are police dogs that spend their days protecting their owner. These are remarkable animals.

Read about Indoor Dog Potty Reviews

Additionally, there are dogs that are simply your companion or the family pet. That is until they are needed to go to work. These are your search and rescue dogs. They are trained to search for missing people as well as recover those lost in a drowning or other disaster. Earthquakes, an avalanche or rock slide, homes and buildings collapsing from the force of a hurricane or tornado, are just a few disasters these dogs are trained for.

Search and rescue dogs work as a team with their volunteer handlers. The handler raises the dog and is responsible for all aspects of his training. Specific traits are required to be a search and rescue (SAR) dog. Any medium to large breed can do the job, but it’s the dog’s personality that is most important. The dogs are evaluated for their temperament; they must be friendly; they must be eager to please; and they must be obedient and attentive. They also must enjoy tracking and be able to concentrate on following a scent. To the dog it’s a game, and as long as they are praised or rewarded, they are happy to keep searching.

Training for search and rescue (SAR) dogs is extensive, taking about 600 hours before they are field ready. Handlers’ training takes 1000 hours. Training of the dogs varies depending on how they respond, and progresses at different rates. Their reaction to the training and the reward varies too. The dogs are trained for specific types of searches.

With their keen sense of smell, 40 times that of humans, dogs are able to find victims both on the ground and in the water. Air-scenting dogs are used to find missing people, as they are able to pick up human scent that is drifting in the air. They work off a lead with their heads up and are valuable for searches in collapsed buildings and finding victims of drowning. They look for people that aren’t tracked from one point to another. Tracking dogs follow the scent trail left by a human being that has passed along a certain route; they don’t rely on air scent. The trailing dog is trained to find a specific person. They are given something that belongs to the missing person, such as a piece of clothing. They work on-lead and follow the scent trail wherever it leads, even if it is mixed with other scents.

The Bloodhound is particularly good as a trailing dog because their long ears and loose facial skin trap scents right by their noses. Bloodhounds can sometimes follow trails that are a week old, whereas other dogs must be at the scene within hours. Disaster dogs are trained largely for searches of missing people due to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or anything else that causes a structure to collapse. They are taught to work on unsteady surfaces and to navigate in small places.

A cadaver dog is trained specifically for finding the scent of dead humans. Water search dogs are able to capture scent on or underneath the water. They will frequently work with their handler on a boat. There are dogs specifically trained to search for victims of an avalanche. When the dog locates the victim, they alert both the victim and their handler before proceeding to help dig out the victim. Dogs can pick up a scent up to 15 feet beneath the snow.

When a dog searches for a missing person, he is given an article of clothing, or another item with the person’s scent. If a family member joins in the search, the dog may be unable to discern the difference between the missing person and the family member. This is because family members have similar scents. It is best to let the dog search the area before anyone else goes near it.

Search and rescue dogs are trained to find live humans and if no survivors are found, the dogs may actually become discouraged. This may be due to the fact that the dog is so attuned to their handler’s mood. Also, when they find someone alive, their reward comes in the form of the feedback they receive. After all, the reason the dog does his job is to get the reward; and finding a survivor is the ultimate reward.


Guide to Dog Agility Training

Materials and space are important in dog agility training.
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If you’ve ever seen dog agility programs on television or watched it live as the opening act for another performance, you know how amazing it is. But did you know that you can participate in dog agility training? Dog agility isn’t limited to certain breeds, people, ages or types of dog or human, and anyone can enroll their dog in agility training. In fact, you can learn how to train your dog yourself and bypass any professional training if you have the time and the will to get involved.

Dog agility training is the process of training a dog for Agility events, which are a kind of dog show that demonstrate certain tricks and stunts performed by human and animal. A typical dog agility course includes wheels, weaving polls, planks, see-saws, tunnels, hoops and A-frame jumps that test the dog’s ability to both negotiate the course and respond to his or her owner. The dog performs these stunts off-leash and with the direction of the owner.

If you are interested in pursuing dog agility training, you should first consult with your veterinarian to make sure that your dog is suitable for this practice. Certain types of physical problems can preclude the participation in agility training and you don’t want to cause injury to your dog by ignoring these precautions. Joint and muscle pain and arthritis are the most common ailments that would prevent a dog from participating.

Both dog and trainer must feel comfortable.

Before you start your dog agility training, you will need certain equipment. First, you should have a comfortable pair of shoes and comfortable clothing. The dog isn’t the only one to get a workout during agility training, so you’ll need to be comfortable and free to move. The dog will need a webbed collar and a long (5-6 foot) leather or nylon lead. Chain leads don’t work well for agility because they can too easily become tangled in jumps or other obstacles.

Once you have your equipment, you’ll need to find a dog agility training center near your home. Some of these centers are outdoors, which means that weather must permit you to practice, while others have indoor training centers that are geared toward serious participants. Most agility training centers offer time slots for individuals to use the facility, and can cost between $5 and $50 per session. You’ll need to send up a time schedule so that you don’t interfere with other people and their dogs.

Training your dog for agility should be fun and not a chore. If you don’t know anything about dog training, you’d be better off signing up for classes at first than going at it on your own. Most agility training centers have instructors available and half-hour or hour-long classes won’t break your bank. Once you get a feel for how it’s done, you can venture out on your own and only take classes when you encounter a problem.

It is usually helpful if you bring treats with you to practice to reward your dog. Make sure your dog knows that you’re doing this for fun; don’t make it an exercise in trying your patience. If agility training doesn’t come easily to your dog, don’t shove it down his throat. Evaluate whether you and your dog are having fun and whether it’s something you want to pursue.


How to Become the Alpha Dog During Dog Training

Tips on how to become the Alpha Dog.
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Dogs are pack animals, which means that there is always a leader — or “Alpha Dog” — in the pack to whom all of the other animals defer. When it comes to dog training, you as the owner must become the alpha dog to ensure obedience and respect. If you allow your dog to believe that he or she is the Alpha dog, you run the risk of losing his or her respect forever. Not only that, but a dog who things that he or she is the master is inherently dangerous, especially if you’ve purchased a breed that is naturally aggressive.

There are many schools of thought that pertain to becoming the Alpha dog in your dog training efforts. Some experts say that the best way to become an Alpha dog is to continually offer discipline and rejection. There are easier ways, however, that can start from day one. Two methods in particular have always worked with me, and they are easy enough that you don’t have to be an expert dog trainer to send the right message.

Discipline and rejection are techniques to becoming alpha dog.

The first method of becoming the Alpha dog is to spend five minutes each day standing over your dog. When an animal turns his or her belly upwards to the owner, this shows absolute submission. Most dogs won’t do this right away because they are reluctant to give up control. In the wild, keeping their bellies tucked underneath themselves is a matter of survival — if a predator can’t get to the belly and throat, there is far less chance of becoming injured or killed.

So ask your dog to sit and stand over him. Put one leg on either side of the dog and pet his head and back. This doesn’t have to be an intimidating exercise; you can talk lovingly to your pet while you are demonstrating that you are the Alpha dog. Stand over your dog for about five minutes and when you are done, simply back away. After that, you can continue your training regimen or go back to everyday activities. The goal with this exercise is for your dog to eventually lay down while you are standing over him and turn his or her belly upward so you can rub it. This is the ultimate in submission.

The other method of becoming the Alpha dog in your household is more preventative than anything else. You should know what actions you can commit that will give your dog the idea that he or she is the Alpha dog. One is looking away first when you and your dog make eye contact. You’ve probably heard that you should never stare down an aggressive dog because this is perceived as a challenge, but the exact opposite is true when it comes to your dog. If you happen to make eye contact, never look away first. Continue to stare until your dog looks away — usually within ten or fifteen seconds.

Dog tug-of-war exhibits dominance.The same type of concept holds true during play. Some expert dog trainers advise owners to never play “Tug-of-War” with their dogs because if the dog wrestles the Frisbee or rope or toy away from the owner, this is considered a sign of dominance. It’s important that you never get down on your dog’s level to wrestle or play games because, if you allow he or she to win, this might give your dog the impression that he or she is the “Alpha Dog”.

While most dogs are docile creatures who won’t try to “get over on” their owners, it’s important for you to establish that you are the Alpha dog from the very beginning. You’re establishing that subconsciously by dispensing food to your dog (a task of the Alpha dog) and by reprimanding him or her for bad behavior. However, if you are conscious about how your actions are interpreted by the dog, you’ll have far more success in your training efforts.


Canine Depression: Causes and What You Can Do

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Canine depression can affect any dog be they an inside or outside animal, big or small, young or old. I'm going to cover the reasons why our furry pals get depressed, the symptoms for each reason, and a variety of treatments, most of which you can do from your own home. For the most part this article is based on observation, logical thinking, and a lifetime of twenty-three years of raising dogs. I do not have a veterinary degree; if your dog is suffering from severe depression you should contact a veterinarian immediately.

Canines can become depressed for many reasons but the most common is fairly simple, being separated for their owner. Any dog owner has seen it, you grab your keys and coat and the last thing you see as you turn around to close the door before heading to work is the biggest saddest pair of eyes you have ever seen. This form of depression can't really be helped and can affect each dog very differently. For most it's temporary, usually lasting just a few minutes after you have left and the dog will go about their own business until you get back home. A smaller number will actually punish their owner for leaving them for an extended amount of time; an example of this would be digging all the garbage out of the bathroom trash can and ripping all the paper into little bits. In that case the longer you leave them alone the more severe the mess will become. The easiest way to help your pet cope with this form of depression is to spend as much time with them as possible. If your dog is the type to make vindictive messes you can break them of the habit by taking a long weekend and leave them alone. Starting with just a couple hours and returning, if they haven't made a mess give them a treat and some affection. Next leave them alone for longer usually about an hour more until they can stay home all day eagerly waiting for you come home and reward them for their good behavior. If they do happen to make a mess, show it to them and firmly give the "NO" command and do not give them a treat. Stay home for a few hours and try again until they get it right. On a side note, never hit your animal, dogs have a short term memory and can not understand why they are being punished if it has been a while, beating your pet will only lead to more aggressive behavior and a distrust of its owner.

The environment can also cause depression, for example I have the misfortune of living in a house where the back yard is about the size of the master bedroom. Now that will be fine for smaller breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers and Pugs, but I have a White German Shepherd that is nearly a year old. This is far too small for such a high energy dog. Being confined to a space that is too small will often manifest itself as excess digging, chewing, and barking. This sense of restlessness can become quite costly, so far my dog has chewed all the heads off the micro sprinkler system as well as dug up the tubing, ripped the satellite cable off the outside of the house, wore a path around the small patch of grass in the middle of my yard, chewed an expensive Japanese maple tree to the ground, and dug giant holes in the soft garden soil. They will do just about anything to get rid of their pent up energy. There is only one way to stop this sort of behavior; they have to get the energy out. I recommend taking your dog on a thirty minute walk at least twice a day and jog or run if you can, it will be good exercise for you as well as your faithful pet. Do not forget to keep yourself and your pet hydrated, if there are no streams or rivers where you are walking, be sure to carry an extra bottle of water unless you don't mind sharing.

Your pet can also get depressed by their diet. I know to us it seems depressing enough to eat the same brown colored bits every day, but their depression can actually be caused by lack of nutrients in their diet. Dog food is a lot like technology, typically you get what you pay for and if you buy on the cheaper side there is a higher likelihood of your dog suffering from chronic diarrhea as well as depression, I'm not saying the most expensive is the best. The best way to find out what food is right for your dog is to research, ask your veterinarian and check into consumer reports, my family has trusted Iams dog food for as long as I can remember. Also make sure your dog is eating the correct sub category of food from the company of your choice, it is usually broken down by breed size and age.

Another form of depression can grow as your dog ages. Just like elderly humans as they get older their body as well as their body chemistry can change. They start to develop arthritis or lose enzymes in their digestive system, pretty much anything that can happen to an elderly person can happen to a dog. But how can you tell if they are just slowing down or if they're depressed? The signs of depression for older dogs usually include loss of appetite, long periods of immobility even if you leave the room or call them, and whining. To treat depression in this case you have to take a more preventative stance, make sure they eating dog food designed for older dogs and they should be given a daily vitamin. It is still recommended that in this scenario a veterinarian see the dog in case the treatment may need to be narrowed to help with specific issues your canine might be having.

Dogs truly are amazing animals that love to make us happy; it never hurts to do your best to return the favor. Hopefully after reading this article you and your canine friends can live longer happier lives. Just remember that by licking your face and wagging their tail they are trying to say how much they love you.

The happiness that dogs exude is what makes most people take to them. Depression, however, has the capability to turn that happiness to something else. But, what exactly causes dog depression? There is a need to know the symptoms and causes of depression in dogs to be able to do anything to help the condition of depressed dogs.

Underlying medical health conditions are part of the causes of depression in dogs. These health conditions may reveal themselves in forms of symptoms associated with depression; symptoms like decreased appetite, lethargy, increase in sleep frequency, weight loss and loss of interest in the usual activities a dog is expected to have interest in. These symptoms of depression in dogs, when noticed, should be reported to a veterinary surgeon in order to get them diagnosed and treated to remove possibility of depression in the dog.

One other cause of depression in dogs is the environmental condition. The possibility of environmental causes of depression in dogs needs a look into; if the results of tests carried out negate medical condition as being the cause of depression. Dogs are sensitive to changes occurring around them, and these changes could cause them to suffer depression when they perceive the new environmental condition as not being favorable. Lack of attention and weather changes are two of those environmental/emotional factors that could cause depression in dogs. When a change in environment has been pinpointed as the cause of depression, adaptation to the new situation of things would make the dog feel much better. Also, try to show your dog that you still care by taking it out walking and playing at the same time everyday; this would help the dog adapt better to the new changes.

Chemical imbalances are yet other causes of depression in dogs. This type of depression is called clinical depression, and it is a rare occurrence. However, if your dog happens to suffer from this condition, the best and only thing that would be wise for you to do is to consult a veterinarian. A veterinarian would be in the best position to advice you on what could be done on the basis of age, symptoms and medical condition of your dog.

Depression needs to be treated immediately it is noticed as untreated depression in dogs could lead to very serious health complications as a result of protracted lack of appetite, with its accompanying energy reduction problem, and stress.


How to Choose Between a Cat or a Dog

Choosing between cat or dog.
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When it comes to cats and dogs, people usually take sides. It’s kind of like Coke and Pepsi, except with stronger feeling. Some people enjoy both, but many consider themselves either a “cat person” or a “dog person”. And indeed, there are even psychological theories about personality types being either “cats” or “dogs”.

Most individuals probably grew up with at least one or the other and made up their minds about which one they preferred early on. But what about those of us who just can’t decide which one we want to have?

Well, the best way to start might be to look carefully at both animals and examine their tendencies, habits, and needs. Of course, it would be inaccurate to generalize all cats one way and all dogs another, but there are certain truths to the stereotypes.

Dogs, in general, are more active than cats. They usually have more energy, and therefore will require more energy from you. This varies widely by breed, but if you have an active lifestyle where you like to run, hike, etc, a dog might be best for you. And of course, you probably would not want a really small dog for such activities.

Cats, on the other hand, do not require as much attention usually. Some are very affectionate and crave your touch, but most spend a fair amount of time alone. Cats tend to be very independent and like to do their own thing, whereas dogs will often stick close by you and seek attention constantly. However, if you are looking for a pet that will sit on your lap and cuddle with you while you watch TV, there are actually more cats willing to do this than dogs.

If you have kids, dogs are usually a little more tolerant, though once again this really depends on the breed. Cats will generally avoid anything that likes to pull on their ears and tail, understandably. Noise is also an issue to consider. Some dogs can be very loud and bark a lot, so if you know this will annoy you, you will probably prefer a cat, or will need to limit your search to the quieter breeds of dogs.Choosing between cats and dogs.

The bottom line is that every person is looking for different qualities in a pet, and no dog or cat will necessarily be perfect. At the same time, it is possible to make distinctions that will help you decide what kind of pet you are looking for. Who knows? You might decide you want both – or neither!


50th Birthday Party Ideas for Dog Lovers

Celebrate your 50th Birthday with dogs.
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50th birthday parties are a huge moment in a person’s life! You can combine a 50th birthday party them with a dog birthday party theme to create a custom party for the dog lover in your life turning 50!
We all love our pets and treat them like little people, so encourage friends and family to bring their well behaved dogs and enjoy these ideas for 50th birthday party ideas that involve dogs!

50th Birthday Party Ideas for Dog Lovers #1: Adopt a Dog Party

Throwing an adopt a dog party is the perfect dog theme for someone who loves to be a part of their community, help homeless pets, and do something to make the world a better place.

Get together with your local animal shelter, pet adoption store, or even a local vet. Let them know you are a local dog love and would love to throw a get together that is a celebration as well as a chance for others to see and meet local dogs that need adopting.

This is a fun way to share your love of dogs, let other’s know there is a need out there, and have a great birthday celebrating as well as helping.

If the dogs can not visit during your party then ask for videos of the dogs. Many local TV cable channels show these, so you can have the videos of needy pets playing at the party. Ask for any gifts to be donation to the local dog or animal shelter!

50th Birthday Party Ideas for Dog Lovers #2: Dog Party

Celebrate your birthday with dogs.Why not throw a regular old birthday party with artist. Invite the (well behaved) dogs along to the party. Let your birthday party guests know if they have a social dog that can behave well around adults, children, and other dogs, that they are more than welcome to bring them to your birthday party!

Be sure to have human cake as well as dog friendly treats. You can have simple dog biscuits or bake elaborate dog friendly treats yourself!

Be sure to have plenty of water bowls around to keep your furry friends cool while they are at the birthday party!

50th Birthday Party Ideas for Dog Lovers #3: Dog Entertainment

Dogs are great entertainers too.Finally, a fiftieth birthday party is big deal, so why not splurge for a little entertainment? Look for local dogs that can perform in your area. These can range from Frisbee dogs who like to see and be seen at local dog shows ot dogs that can perform tricks, like jumping through hoops and so forth.

Search for these online and check with your local vet! You will be surprised at the number of over achieving performing dogs in your area!


Raw Food Supplements for Dogs

Benefits of raw dog food.
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If you have yet to find out the advantages of using a raw food supplement for dogs, be prepared to find one of the easiest and healthiest answers to most common dog issues. Raw foods have been on the market since before the great tainted wheat fiasco of 1997. However, the painful and unfortunate education the public received through this incident uncovered the need to rethink how we feed our dogs.

Raw food supplements for dogs do more than meets the eye. While the nutritional capacity that dogs receive from the supplement are akin to their natural, body development needs, you’ll be giving your dog the gift of real health.

Dogs that do not get their nutritional needs met tend to have small but irritating issue. They smell funky. They have runny or gunky eyes. They sneeze, itch, scratch, and even tear holes in their body from repeated licking. Their joints ache even if when they are young and they tire out pretty fast.

There are benefits of using raw food supplements for dogs.These seem like natural dog issues that are just part of being canine. However, it’s akin to wandering through life with a chronically runny nose, broken out skin, pain in your hips and back, and chronic fatigue. In general you just don’t feel so great.

By using a true raw food supplement you can help erase the daily issues that just seem like dog issues to you and I. Clear skin and eyes, a significant reduction in sneezing and scratching, no more repetitive irritating licking, and happy, joyous energy from sun up to sun down is how a dog is supposed to live. The nutritional balance that your dog receives from raw foods can literally take them from the edge of not feeling well to feeling and acting like they are on top of the world.

Even some aggression issues have been linked to poor nutrition. Dogs who receive a balanced and healthy natural diet tend to have fewer behavioral issues. Good behavior requires concentration on behalf of your dog. We don’t send out kids off to school with two spoonfuls of sugar for breakfast because we know they need good nutrition to concentrate. Dogs have that same requirement.

The raw foods that are in high quality supplements give your dog the natural balance, rather than the human balance. Dog food is developed by humans and most of it is based on human nutritional needs. Byproducts are often used because they are cheaper. They are cheaper because they aren’t as high in quality and don’t offer the dog ample protein. Supplementation can take the guesswork out of trying to feed your dog a good diet. With so many dog food companies competing for your attention, it is hard to determine what is best. Aside from buying ingredients and putting it together yourself, you need to find a reliable source for the supplement that will help round out the edges and fill in any nutritional gaps.

For reliable nutritional supplements try visiting WySong.com or BarfWorld.com. BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods. Each site has complete supplements as well as individual supplements for different issues. Each site also offers you insight into what raw food will do for your dog, and carries a line for the other family companions as well.


Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Dog

Dogs deserves Valentine's treats, too.
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As Valentine’s Day gets closer, you might be thinking of getting your dog something special. Valentine’s Day is a great day to show not only the people in your life you care, but also your dog. If you are thinking of getting something for your dog for Valentine’s Day then you might want to think about some of these ideas.

Dog treats are always a great option if you want to get your dog something special on Valentine’s Day. Dog treats are inexpensive usually costing only two dollars and can be a great Valentine’s Day gift for your dog. Treats are found in the dog food aisle of your local retail or grocery store and there is always a great variety of flavors to choose from. Dog treats are a great little gift for any dog because treats are something every dog likes. This would be a great inexpensive gift idea for Valentine’s Day to give to your dog and will surely make them happy.

Show your dog you care by giving treats on Valentines Day.

Dog play toys are also a great option if you are thinking of getting your dog a Valentine’s Day gift this year. Dog play toys consist of chew toys or fake rubber bones and usually cost about five dollars to eight dollars. Dog play toys are an inexpensive gift you can get your dog for Valentine’s Day and you can find dog toys at your local retail store or pet store and as always you have a lot of different choices. A dog toy will provide hours of fun for your dog and would be a great Valentine’s Day gift also. Dog toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you should get an idea of the size of an object your dog likes to play with first before you buy one.

Collars are also something you can get your dog for Valentine’s Day and is a great way to show your dog you care. Collars come in a lot of different colors and appearances and are a great way to show the personality of your dog. You can get personalized collars with a saying on the collar or you can get a charm to hang off of the collar that can say the name of your dog or anything you want it to. A collar does not have to be boring and lifeless and can really add a personal touch to your dog and the personality of your dog. You can get a dog collar at any retail store or pet store for about five dollars with an additional fee of a couple dollars depending on if you want a personalized saying or you want to buy a charm for the collar. A dog collar would be a great gift for your dog on Valentine’s Day and is a great inexpensive gift that every dog would like.

A hair brush for your dog would also be a great Valentine’s Day gift for them this year. A hair brush or dog brush as some people call them is a great tool for every dog owner to have. Fur brushes come in many sizes, shapes, colors, and even vary on the level of cleaning. If you want a simple dog brush to get some loose fur out then you can get that in a variety of colors at your local pet store or retail store for less than 10 dollars. If you are looking for something more detailed to get the undercoat out or that is more of a grooming tool, then you are going to be spending 20 dollars or more. If you have a short-haired dog then all you need is a simple and cheap brush to just get out the dead or loose fur but a long-haired dog is going to need a more expensive item to ensure the hair is brushed the best it can be. A grooming brush would be a great idea for a Valentine’s Day gift for your dog and is sure to make them look better and feel better. I recommend any dog owner to get their dog a grooming brush of any kind to ensure they have a healthy and happy dog.Valentine's treat for your dog needs not to be expensive.

You can also get your dog a new leash for a great small and less expensive Valentine’s Day gift. Dog leashes are something every dog could use and is a very good idea if you walk your dog daily. Getting your dog a nice dog leash is a very cheap gift you can get your dog on Valentine’s Day and usually is less than five dollars for a 10 foot leash. You can find the dog leashes in the accessory section or pet section of your local retail store or pet store.


How to Buy Safe Dog Food

Feed your dog with clean and safe food.
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Recent problems have highlighted unsafe dog food, which has sickened many animals in the past. Short of making dog food yourself, there is no way that is 100{b9e341c574339eadadbcd9546154bfec1f68832922c1af69f0a34b0157cffc6e}, but there are definitely things that you can do to give yourself a much better chance of getting a dog food that is healthy and safe. The following are tips for buying safe dog food for sensitive stomachs.

Buy from a trusted store

You are more likely tBuy from trusted stores.o get safe dog food if you trust the store that is selling it. The different stores might be more careful in whom they choose to carry. For instance, I would feel much safer buying a product at Pet Supermarket than from a random person selling at a flea market. Both may be perfectly safe, but you are more likely to have a safe dog food from the more well-known store that has a reputation to maintain. They have a lot to lose if something goes wrong.

Buy the trusted brands

If you buy dog food from a brand you trust, then there will be a better chance that it is safe. There are many brands that are national and have more stringent regulations. Again, they may have a lot to lose if something goes wrong.

Make sure that the package is completely sealedChoose dog food properly.

Do not purchase a bag of dog food if it looks like the package has been opened or tampered with in any way. Even if it is a good brand from a good store, who knows what might have happened to it if someone opened it? Even if it just got opened in shipping and handling and not by any person’s nefarious intentions, the food still could have a problem just by being opened if dirt or bacteria got into it or if it spoiled. Make sure that you buy dog food that is well sealed.

Do not buy dog food from countries that have had recent problems

Much of the dog food that has been in the news recently with problems has been from specific countries. You may want to avoid purchasing dog food from those countries if they are not as careful with their regulations. Many countries do have regulations and inspections, and you may want to purchase from one of those more trusted sources.

Most pet-owners want to be certain that they purchase safe dog food for their canine friends. Buying from a trusted store, buying a well-known brand, buying only fully sealed items and avoiding countries where there have been recent problems are some ways you can increase your chances of having safe dog food.


Home Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs

Hot Spot: A Dog's Skin Disease
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A hot spot is an area on a dogs skin that becomes inflamed and infected. Other names for hot spots on dogs include moist dermatitis and acute moist dermatitis. What happens to make it a hot spot is a dog gets an itch from flea bites, mite bites or other external parasites and starts licking and biting at it. The more they lick and bite at it, the more infected and inflamed it will get. The signs of hot spots on dogs include redness, itchiness, oozing pus and pain. There are ways to treat hot spots from home and save you time and money.

Dog licking off hot spot.

Shave the Area

The very first thing a dog owner needs to do when treating hot spots is to shave the area. Although hair loss in one of the symptoms of hot spots, hair can grow over the area and will need to be removed to treat it. Shaving the area will dry the hot spots out and allow air to get to them.

Cleanse the Area

Once the area is free of fur, you will then want to cleanse the area with warm water and a gentle cleanser. You can use a water based cleanser, antiseptic spray or a special shampoo. Rinse the area well and pat dry.

Black Tea Bags

You can also use black tea bags on the area to treat the hot spots. Black tea contains tannic acids which will help dry out and heal the hot spot quickly. Steep the black tea bag in hot water and let it cool. Apply the black tea bag to the hot spot for at least 5 minutes. Use black tea bags on the hot spots every day, six times a day until the hot spots are gone. You can also apply witch hazel to the hot spots as it will cool and relieve the symptoms from them.

Salt Water Solution

Fill a bowl with water and a teaspoon of salt. Soak a wash cloth in this salt water solution and apply the salt water soaked wash cloth to the hot spots. Let this sit for a few minutes. The salt water solution will help reduce the swelling caused by the hot spot and remove the pus as well.


Allow your dog to play.

Once getting rid of the hot spots, you will want to do everything you can to prevent them from coming back. A few tips to do this include providing your dog with enough activities to keep them from biting and licking any itches, trying out a special collar to prevent them from biting and licking, keep their nails trimmed as often as possible to keep them from digging and keep their skin relieved and cool with witch hazel.

Using the above mentioned home remedies will not only save you a trip to the vet and the cost of the vet but your dog will be happy too.


Home Remedies for Dog Hot Spot Treatment