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Posts Tagged ‘Dog Food’

Dog Medications During Pregnancy

Monday, October 12th, 2015


Giving your dog medications during pregnancy may not be a good idea for her unborn puppies. A few medications are considered safe during pregnancy, but any drug not recommended or prescribed by a veterinarian should be avoided as it could result in birth defects to the puppies or harm to the mother.

Your vet may also recommend vaccinations during your dog’s pregnancy to protect the unborn puppies from diseases like canine distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. A pregnant dog exposed to any of these diseases who hasn’t been vaccinated, is risking her life and the lives of her puppies.

The most common drugs considered safe for a female dog during pregnancy are Thryoxine which is used to treat hypothyroidism; Revolution which is a flea, tick and worm preventative; Psyllium; and insulin. Antibiotics and pain medications are sometimes given to a pregnant dog during a difficult delivery but giving a dog antibiotics during pregnancy can be unsafe.

Some antibiotics can be administered during pregnancy but carry the possibility of putting the puppies at risk by causing deformation or death of the puppies. However, allowing your pregnant dog to suffer from bacterial infection without any treatment may be just as dangerous to both puppies and the mother.

Newborn puppies are immunologically suppressed and should not be exposed to bacterial infections. Treating your pregnant dog with safe antibiotics before she delivers removes any risk that the puppies will contract a bacterial infection from her.

A dog’s pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days and for the duration of that time your dog’s diet has to be carefully monitored and so does any medication given her. Monitoring your dog’s diet and medication during pregnancy will ensure that the puppies get the nutrients they need. Being careful that your dog receives only the correct medications during pregnancy is just as important as her diet.

A high-quality, dog food is essential for the health of both the mother and her puppies. Vitamin and calcium supplements aren’t absolutely needed and should not be given without first consulting your vet.

Proper care of the mother during her pregnancy will increase the chances of her giving birth to a litter of healthy puppies.

Why Dogs Vomit

Monday, May 11th, 2015


There are many reasons why dogs vomit so if you find your dog vomiting, don’t automatically assume that your dog has an illness.

    The most common reasons why dogs vomit include the following:

(1) Eating foreign objects or plant material. If your dog has swallowed a solid object of some kind it will often vomit it back up. If the foreign object is small enough, it can pass through the intestinal system and you’ll see it in your dog’s stool. If it’s too large or has sharp edges, your dog will continue to suffer and an emergency visit to the vet for x-rays will become a necessary life-saving action.

If you believe your dog may have eaten leaves or berries from a bush, you need to be sure the plant is not poisonous. The easiest way to check is to go online to the ASPCA poison control website at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control. There you’ll find a list of toxic and non-toxic plants, the 17 most common poisonous plants, and animal poison control FAQs.

(2) An allergy to certain foods.
If you have recently started your dog on a new diet and the vomiting began shortly thereafter, you might try mixing half of its old food with half of the new food and watch closely for changes in behavior or lingering illness. It’s possible that an intolerance or aversion to ingredients in the new food may be causing the vomiting. If you suspect this may be the cause, you can continue changing the ratio of old food to the new food to see if the vomiting goes away.

(3) Eating greasy foods or foods higher in fat content.
Table scraps or desserts can easily cause intestinal distress and vomiting in any dog. Their systems were not designed to digest rich, fatty foods that many humans eat on a daily basis. These types of food are often not healthy for us, let alone for our dogs. If your dog vomits soon after scarfing down something from your table, it’s a clear indication that you need to avoid giving it any types of food you normally eat.

Causes of vomiting that require a visit to the vet for diagnosis and treatment:
(4) Infection with parasites, viruses or bacteria can cause gastrointestinal infections also known as viral gastroenteritis. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most obvious symptoms. Many different types of bacteria and parasites can also cause GI infections and diarrhea but most of these are not serious and will go away on their own after a few days; however, others can be serious.

(5) Ulcers which can be caused by anti-inflammatory medications prescribed for skin conditions, arthritis, or other chronic health problems. Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit a hormone-like substance that acts as a protection for a dog’s stomach lining. Prolonged use of these medications can cause severe stomach ulcers in dogs. Another less common cause of canine stomach ulcers is a mast cell cancer in the dog’s skin. Mast cell cancers release histamine which leads to stomach ulcers.

(6) Kidney Failure.
Early signs of kidney failure in dogs are increased water consumption and increased urine output. Signs of more advanced kidney failure include loss of appetite, depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

(7) Cancers.
Some possible signs of cancer that warrant a visit to your veterinarian include any new lump or bump; a change in size, shape, or consistency of an existing lump; a runny nose, especially if bloody; difficulty urinating or bloody urine; limping or a change in gait; foul breath and lethargy.

(8) Inflammatory bowel disease.
The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown. Genetics, nutrition, infectious agents, and abnormalities of the immune system may all play a role. The most common signs of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Vomiting is more common when the stomach or upper portion of the small intestine are affected and diarrhea is more common when the colon is involved. There is an increase in the frequency of defecation, but less stool is produced each time. There is often increased mucous or some blood in the stool. Sometimes stools become loose. Many times the diarrhea and vomiting may be irregular.

(9) Liver disease.
The early signs of liver disease include chronic intermittent vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting is more common than diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss. Drinking and urinating more often than normal may be the first signs, and a key reason for visiting the vet.

Whenever your dog continues to display any of these symptoms and the cause is not readily apparent, you should schedule an exam with your vet. Your pet’s health and life may depend upon it.

Bone Meal For Dogs

Monday, February 9th, 2015


Adding bone meal to a dog’s food will help support its digestion and maintain its good health. Bone Meal is a recommended supplement for dogs, puppies, and pregnant or nursing female dogs. It’s an excellent source of naturally balanced calcium and phosphorus.

Bone meal for dogs is packed with the calcium, phosphorous, protein and minerals that a dog needs for optimal health. Bone meal is manufactured from the crushed bones and hooves of slaughtered cattle and other animals used for human foods. The same bone meal is used in fertilizers, animal feed, gelatins, and glue.

Prior to the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalitis – (Mad Cow Disease), bone meal was used extensively as a human nutritional supplement, as well as in the animal feed industry. When Mad Cow Disease became widespread and well-known, it was no longer allowed to be used as an ingredient in human foods. But don’t be worried about feeding it to your dog. Dogs aren’t susceptible to Mad Cow Disease, so your dog can safely eat bone meal and benefit from its storehouse of vitamins and minerals.

Bone meal contains phosphorous and many other beneficial minerals that help your dog absorb substances that provide nourishment, similar to what a plant does when it takes minerals from soil.

Bone Meal also contains calcium, which a dog needs for building strong bones and teeth. In addition to the calcium and other minerals, bone meal contains healthy fats and protein and is easy to mix with a dog’s food as a dietary supplement. Dogs have a greater need for calcium than humans do.

Bone meal can also help dogs with flatulence and diarrhea. Another excellent product for helping with flatulence and diarrhea is Winston’s Digest All, ideal for a dog with gas, bloating, or flatulence. It also works great for weight loss and overweight dogs can expect to lose an average of five pounds within the first two to three months.

When buying Bone Meal there are some precautions to take. Don’t buy Bone Meal from any garden department in big box stores or from any store aisle displaying garden supplies, because those Bone Meals contain toxic fertilizers which can poison your dog. Feed stores and pet stores are the best and safest places to buy Bone Meal intended for consumption by animals.

Check the labels to be sure the Bone Meal is made from USDA approved bovine bone and is certified free from heavy metal contaminants. Look for those guaranteed to be free from lead and other toxic components. There are several bone meals that are high in vitamin D which is a strict no-no for a dog.

Buy only Bone Meal supplements specially designed to fill all the dietary requirements a dog needs to stay healthy and happy.

Should I Feed My Dog Wet or Dry Food?

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Should I feed my dog wet or dry food is a common question that customers often ask us. But there is no one right answer because both wet and dry dog food have their own unique qualities that are beneficial to dogs. A dry dog food does help remove plaque and tartar from a dog’s teeth. It is also less expensive than canned food. Canned dog food however, contains less fillers and preservatives than dry dog foods.

Most canned dog foods also contain a higher grade of nutrients and are higher in protein than dry food. Wet foods taste great to dogs, which means they will eat every speck of food you put in their feeding dish.

The main benefit to feeding your dog a dry food diet is that it is beneficial for its dental health. Eating dry food kibble helps strengthen a dog’s jaw muscles in addition to removing some, but not all, of the plaque and tartar from a pet’s teeth. Wet food does not provide the abrasive action that helps clean the teeth.

But what if you have a new puppy? Should you be feeding it wet food or dry food? One of the most important responsibilities of raising a puppy is to provide the best quality dog food that will supply all the nutrients needed for the puppy’s growth and maintenance. Growing puppies need more protein than adult dogs to support their growing muscles and organs.

A visit to a supermarket or pet store to buy dog food can become a troubling ordeal if you’re not sure which brand to buy. There is such a wide array of commercial dog foods available, most of which are supported with heavy advertising to convince a dog owner that one particular brand is far better than any of the other competing brands. Then when you finally decide on the brand, you’re confronted with the choice of dry or canned.

So, we’re back to the question, “Which is better, dry dog food or canned?”

It really depends on your dog, your preferences, and probably your budget. Dry dog food costs less per serving than canned foods and its nutrients are more concentrated, meaning you’ll be feeding your dog a smaller quantity of food to satisfy its hunger and provide all the protein, vitamins and minerals it needs.

Although price may be one of your main considerations, the nutritional content and the ingredients are equally important factors. The top rated dog foods use grain-free formulas that contain only high-quality ingredients with no added artificial ingredients. Carefully read the labels of all the dog foods you’re considering. Fillers, by-products and common allergenic ingredients like corn, wheat, or soy are never present in a high quality dog food. Dogs have a difficult time digesting corn, and “meat-by products” are always inferior sources of protein. The bottom line is you need to choose the best food for your dog, not by price or the most advertised brand, but by what your dog needs to stay healthy and happy.

It’s not easy to give you a definitive answer on whether to feed your dog dry food or wet food, primarily because so many of the studies published on dog food are sponsored in part by manufacturers of either wet food or dry food. Unfortunately, veterinarians and animal experts have also come to a general agreement that there is no agreement.

As for me, I believe that the best thing I can do for my faithful companion is to consider his diet just as important as mine and strive to keep both of us healthy.

Why Dogs Eat Grass

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

As a dog owner, from time to time you may have wondered why dogs eat grass. I’m not referring to weeds or plants that a dog sometimes munches on, but ordinary grass that grows on your lawn or a neighbor’s.

Dogs are carnivores and their diet is largely based on meat and meat products. But dogs are very adaptable and they often like to eat vegetables and other types of food. Most dogs, unless they are very spoiled, are not picky eaters, so if you find your dog eating from your garbage or chewing on things like paper sacks from the grocery store, don’t be alarmed.

The definition of an herbivore is an animal that eats mainly grass and other plants. An omnivore is an animal that eats both meats and grass or plants. So if you wanted to be technical, you could say that a dog is an omnivore if it eats both meats and greens.

There are some theories that possibly explain why dogs like to eat grass and green plants. If a dog has an upset stomach it will be inclined to munch on grass because it stimulates vomiting and relieves the queasiness in the dog’s stomach.

If a dog swallows grass without first chewing it, the rough texture of the grass can irritate its stomach lining and cause the dog to vomit. Likewise, if the dog chews the grass before swallowing, it won’t always provoke vomiting. If you notice your dog is suffering from mild gastrointestinal problems, you probably shouldn’t let it eat grass because it can worsen the problem.

Some dogs enjoy the taste of grass, so even if they aren’t suffering from an upset stomach, they may eat grass. That doesn’t make them vegetarians; but if their usual diet is lacking in vegetables or greens, they may compensate by eating grass.

If you do notice your dog eating a large quantity of grass, understand that this is an indication it needs more fiber and greens in its diet. I like to add broccoli or green beans to my dog’s regular food and he always scarfs it down as if it were a treat I’m feeding him.

These are the main reasons why dogs eat grass. Grass is not toxic to a dog unless large quantities of fertilizer or pesticides have recently been placed on your lawn. Dogs should not eat fertilized grass until the fertilizer has had time to fully absorb into the soil.

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