Flea and Tick Protection for your Dog – Is Natural Better?

IMG 0014 300x269 Flea and Tick Protection for your Dog – Is Natural Better?

Flea and Tick Protection for your Dog – Is Natural Better?

Fleas and Ticks can cause big problems for your dog. Ticks can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as well as other diseases. Fleas can cause your dog to become anemic. And then there’s the constant itching and scratching. When your dog’s suffering, you just want to find them some relief.

If you have a heavy infestation of fleas, you may need to use a chemical Flea & Tick Product to rid your dog and home of fleas and ticks. Frontline is very popular and very effective against Fleas. A newer product, Bravecta is also very effective against fleas and ticks and 1 pill lasts for 3 months. As always ask your veterinarian what product they recommend for your dog.

While chemical Flea & Tick products will rid your dog of Fleas and Ticks, they may have some serious side effects. According to the website www.vetinfo.com the popular flea medication, Frontline, can cause skin itching and redness at the site of application on certain dogs. It is also not recommended to treat puppies under 10 weeks of age or pregnant or lactating females with Frontline.

So, how can you rid your dogs of fleas and ticks without using harsh chemicals? If you only have a couple of fleas or ticks on your dog, you may be able to get rid of them with a flea comb and a thorough vacuuming of your entire house. But if you have more than a few fleas, you need some other ideas.

Diatomaceous Earth has proven very effective at killing fleas. Make sure that you purchase food grade quality Diatomaceous Earth. It comes in a powder form and can be rubbed directly on your dog to kill fleas and ticks. Just take care not to get it in your dog’s eyes and take care that neither your or your dog breath it in. You can also sprinkle the powder on your upholstered furniture and carpeting. Let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes and then vacuum the powder and dead fleas up.

Another thing you can try to repel fleas is a tea tree oil solution. Take an empty spray bottle and put about 3 drops of tea tree oil in in and then fill the bottle up with water. They spray the mixture on your dog and dog’s bedding, taking care not to spray it in your dog’s face. Never apply straight tea tree oil to your dog, always dilute it with water.

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How to Raise a Puppy the Whole Family Will Love

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How to Raise a Puppy the Whole Family Will Love

A new puppy can bring lots of joy into your home, but a young puppy can also wreck havoc on your home. They can chew on your shoes, piddle on your floor and get into all kinds of trouble if they are not raised right. So how can you avoid the pitfalls of puppyhood?

Before you even bring your puppy home, you should prepare your home. Walk around your entire house and look for hazards that are at puppy level. Tuck extension cords away so your puppy doesn’t chew on them and possibly electrocute themselves. Pick up shoes and any other items you don’t want your puppy to chew up. Check lower shelves of any bookcases or entertainment centers and remove any objects that could be harmful to your puppy.

Once your home is puppy proofed, it’s time to go shopping for puppy supplies. Now’s the time to pick out a cute collar and leash, just make sure that it has a sturdy buckle and snap so your puppy is safe. It’s also a good idea to get an adjustable collar so your puppy doesn’t outgrow their collar right away. Pick up some toys for your puppy to play with and also pick them up some bones or rawhide so they have something to chew on. Buy a Kong for your puppy and you can stuff it with kibble and peanut butter and it should keep your puppy amused for hours.

Once you’ve picked up your little bundle of joy, your next stop should be your Veterinarian. Your Vet will check over your puppy’s heart, lungs, eyes, ears and limbs. They will make sure that there are no congenital or hereditary problems. They will recommend a vaccination and worming schedule and may recommend flea and tick and heartworm preventive medications.

Now that your puppy has a clean bill of health, it’s time to head home. Most puppies naturally have lots of energy. It’s important for your puppy to have some exercise and play time several times a day. You can take your puppy for a walk, take them swimming or throw a toy or ball for them. A tired puppy will cause lots fewer problems than a puppy that’s full of energy

Puppies will have accidents, that’s just a fact of life. But there are plenty of things you can do to minimize those accidents. The first thing to do is take your puppy outside very often. Young puppies have a very small bladder and can only hold themselves for a few hours. Take your puppy out when you first get up in the morning, after every meal, after they wake up from a nap and right before bed. Also when you’re not directly supervising your puppy, it’s best to confine them to a crate, ex-pen or a room with a tile floor to minimize damage to your carpeting.

A crate can be a useful tool for raising your puppy. If you have to be away from home, your puppy will be safe till you get home. You’ll know there not chewing up your shoes, chewing on an electrical cord or worse. Introduce your puppy to a crate by placing a few treats inside the crate and leaving the door open and let your puppy walk in and out of the crate. Once they’re comfortable with that, place a rawhide or stuffed Kong inside the crate and shut the door for a short time. Gradually lengthen the time your puppy stays in the crate.

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How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

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How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Is your dog getting a little pudgy? Has your vet suggested that Fluffy is getting a little too fluffy? Just like humans, dogs must consume fewer calories and burn off more calories through exercise to lose weight.

Many dogs today can be classified as either obese or overweight. The excess weight that they are carrying can cause many health problems including: heart disease, diabetes, breathing disorders, arthritis, spinal problems and increased chances of some cancers. In addition, overweight dogs may have a shorter life span than their thinner counterparts.

So how can you tell if your dog is overweight? The first method is to run your hands over your dog’s sides and see if you can feel their ribs. You should just barely be able to feel their ribs if they are at their optimum weight. The other method you can use is to stand next to your dog and look down at them. Can you see their waist? If they’re at their ideal weight, you should be able to see the indentation of their waist between their last rib and their hips.

So if you or your vet have determined that your dog needs to lose a little weight, how do you go about it? The first thing you need to do is determine your dog’s current weight. You can either have him weighed at your vet’s office or you can weigh him at home. Then you need to find out what the ideal weight is for your dog. Your vet can advise you on this or you can go to the American Kennel Club website at akc.org and look at the breed standard for your breed. This should contain a suggested weight range for your breed of dog.

Next you should look at the bag of dog food that you’re currently feeding your dog. Look for the information that tells you how many calories per cup the food has. This information should be on the bag, but if you can’t find it or don’t have the bag, check the manufacturer’s website. Now it’s time to head to the pet food store for some new food for your dog. There are many low calorie options available, but make sure that the calories per cup are lower than the food you are presently feeding. To avoid any stomach upsets, replace just a little of the new food with the old and increase the amount of new food each day until they are eating just the new food. If your dog still seems hungry, you can add a spoonful of no salt added green beans or pure pumpkin puree. Also remember that the guidelines on the dog food bag that tell you how much to feed your dog apply to the average dog, if your dog has a slow metabolism, they may need less food. It’s also important to either weigh or measure your dog’s food each day to ensure that you are feeding them a consistent amount.

If your dog is overweight, it’s better to feed them once or twice a day. Free choice feeding makes it easier for your dog to overeat and makes it harder for you to know exactly how much they are eating each day.

If you give your dogs a lot of treats throughout the day, these can really add lots of calories to your dog’s diet. Try replacing some or all of your dog’s treats with lower calorie options. Many dog’s love carrots and apples and may enjoy other fruits and vegetables. Cheerios are also a good low calorie treat options, just watch the quantity.

Exercise can also help your dog lose weight. Add in some extra walks each week to help them burn calories. Swimming is also great for building muscle and losing weight.

If despite your best efforts, your dog is still not losing weight, consult your veterinarian. It’s possible your dog could have an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism. Your veterinarian may have other things you can try and may even suggest a prescription low calorie die

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How Many Vaccines Does Your Dog Really Need?

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How Many Vaccines Does Your Dog Really Need?

You may be wondering if your dog really needs annual vaccinations for distemper, parvo and adenovirus. According to the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccination Task Force, yearly vaccines are no longer recommended. The updated guidelines now recommend vaccinating your dog for these three diseases every three years instead of annually. The task force also stated that the vaccines for parvo and distemper provide immunity for your dog for 5 years or more and the vaccine for adenovirus provides immunity for at least 7 years.

A prominent veterinary immunologist, Dr. Ronald Schultz, recommends that dogs should not be vaccinated for any diseases before they reach the age of six weeks. Puppies younger than six weeks are protected by antibodies they receive from their mother’s milk. Subsequent vaccinations should be given every three to 4 weeks until the dog reaches 16 weeks of age. Then per the AAHA, the adult dog should receive boosters at one year of age and then every 3 years for the rest of their life.
What about rabies vaccinations? These must be given in accordance with your state laws, unless your state allows a medical exception and your veterinarian concurs that your dog should receive a medical exception.

Does the breed of dog matter? In this instance, yes. Certain breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, and Greyhounds may be poor responders to vaccines and may need additional vaccinations to be adequately protected from disease.

It’s still important to take your dog in to your veterinarian for regular health checkups. If you want to be certain that your dog is still protected against distemper or parvo, your veterinarian can draw a blood sample and run a titer test to see if your dog is still protected against these diseases.

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Eight Common Foods Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat

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1. Chocolate can overstimulate your dog’s heart and nervous system. The darker the chocolate, the worse it is for your dog. Chocolate can cause agitation, vomiting, increased heart rate, increased temperature, seizures, tremors and restlessness.
2. Grapes and raisins can cause damage to your dog’s kidneys. If your dog eats grapes or raisins, they can experience lethargy, increased urination, vomiting and increased thirst.
3. Garlic and Onions can damage your dog’s red blood cells. This can cause anemia in your dog. Eating garlic and onions can cause weakness, vomiting and blood in your dog’s urine.
4. Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is found in certain sugarless gums and other sugar free foods is extremely toxic to your dog. It causes increased insulin levels in your dog, which results in dangerous drops in your dog’s blood sugar levels. Xylitol poisoning can cause diarrhea, lack of coordination, vomiting, lethargy and seizures.
5. Beer, Wine & Other Alcoholic Beverages can depress your dog’s nervous system. Alcohol poisoning can cause disorientation, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea.
6. Uncooked bread dough and raw yeast can ferment in your dog’s gut causing gas to form. This can cause distention of your dog’s abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, tremors and coma.
7. Macadamia nuts can affect your dog’s nervous and muscles systems. This can cause tremors, vomiting, weakness and lethargy.
8. Avocados can damage your dog’s heart muscle. This can cause diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty breathing.
Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Control Center at 888-426-4435 if your dog ingests any of the above foods.

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Help, My Dog Won’t Stop Shedding – 10 Tips to Control Shedding

Help, My Dog Won’t Stop Shedding – 10 Tips to Control Shedding
Do you feel like you’re losing the war against dog hair? You vacuum and clean and still there’s dog hair everywhere. So what can you do to help control your dog’s shedding?
1. Make sure that you are feeding your dog a high quality dog food that has a good protein source.
2. Add a good quality fat supplement to your dog’s food like VitaCoat Plus, Salmon Oil or Coconut Oil
3. Have regular Veterinarian check-ups. Your veterinarian will examine your dog to make sure there is no medical reason for your dog’s excess shedding. Your veterinarian can also make suggestions for a good quality dog food for your dog.
4. Inspect your dog weekly to ensure there are no fleas or ticks on your dog. Fleas and ticks can cause intense itching and scratching which will cause even more shedding.
5. Vacuum regularly to keep the dog hair under control. Dyson makes the Animal vacuum that is excellent for removing dog hair from carpets. Hoover also make a vacuum specifically for homes with pets.

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6. Use a Swiffer or Microfiber floor cleaner to remove dog hair from any tile, hardwood or laminate floor surfaces.
7. Brush your dog often. If they are shedding heavily, daily brushing may be necessary.
8. Use the right grooming tools to help control shedding. The Furminator line of shedding tools does a great job of removing loose hair on your dog. http://amzn.to/2ksrXCN A shedding blade works great for removing excess hair on short coated dogs. A slicker brush can also remove quite a bit of uundercoat from your dog. The more hair you brush out, the less hair you will find laying around your house.
9. If the shedding is really bad, consider purchasing a sofa cover and car seat covers. This will help keep the hair off your furniture and are easily washed and dried.
10. Regular baths with a good shampoo and conditioner can help to soften your dog’s hair and skin and may help with the shedding.
If you follow these tips, you should find significantly less dog hair around your house. Brush your dog regularly and vacuum often and you should have your dog’s shedding under control.

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