How Suitable Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

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There are many buzzwords in the dog food industry these days. Many dog food brands make sky high promises that they end up struggling to keep. Each packet and brand of dog food claims to be better for the health of your pet than the other. We can all admit that the dog food industry has grown remarkably from what it used to be 40 years ago. This is mainly because people are requesting better food for their dogs.

What we as pet-owners need to keep in mind is that sometimes, food manufacturers and marketing heads can use clever gimmicks and buzzwords to sell you in the idea of their food. It might not always be true.

What Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

Simply put, all it means that there is just one protein and one carbohydrate in the dog food. They were invented and modified for dogs with allergic reactions to normal ingredients in their diet. This way, of a vet wants to keep the dog on a limited ingredient diet, this is what the owner would turn to. The main idea was to get rid of all the unnecessary ingredients in your dog’s food and only feed him what’s necessary. This diet would also help in eliminating the allergen responsible for causing all these problems.

Once the allergen is completely gone from your dog’s system, you can try introducing new foods to him again little by little, to try and figure out what exactly is causing the allergic reactions.

What Should You Look For When Buying A Limited Ingredient Dog Food?

There are some important words that you should look for in a dog food that claims to be limited ingredient. These words are ‘complete and balanced’. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) requires the food to be labeled as such, “have the total nutrition to sustain your pet at his given life stage.”

To put that in layman’s terms would be to say that even though the food is limited ingredient, it still has all the minerals and nutrients – both micro and macro, that’s necessary for sustaining the health of a dog.

If it has those exact words, you won’t have to worry about whether it will sustain your pet with all the necessary nutrients and minerals.

Is Limited Ingredient Dog Food Right For Your Pet?

It’s difficult to know exactly which limited ingredient dog food to choose with all the different dog foods that are filling the dog food aisles. The best thing to do is talk to your vet about this. Chances are that he’s well learnt in this area and he can prescribe you the best limited ingredient food for your dog. Sometimes, you may not even need a limited food diet. Your vet may know exactly what is causing his allergic reactions by looking at his stool samples.

The most important thing to do before opting for a limited ingredient diet is to talk to your vet about it.

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Should You Get A Paid Leave To Care For Your Pet?

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We get paid leave when we’re sick or when we have to look after our sick children. For most people, their pets are like their children, so it only seems fair that we get paid leave to care for sick pets as well.

Some countries in the UK are doing exactly that by giving pet lovers paid leave to look after their sick pets. Some companies even allow them to take a few hours off from work to settle in a new pet. Although having a pet is endless fun, you still need a lot of time to properly care for them. Pets need a lot of attention to grow. So naturally, a lot of time can go towards taking care of your pet.

Many women have taken part in endless protests to ensure paid maternity leave. Now, it is the era of a new kind of leave 0 the paw-ternity or pet-ernity leave.

What Does Paw-Ternity Leave Entail?

If you are a pet parent and it’s your choice to have a pet as much as it is a parent’s choice to have a child, when your pet is sick, you should be able to get paw-ternity leave to take care of them and nurse them back to health. It’s impractical to bring your dog to work to take care of him there. Not only will you not be able to get any work done, but the chances of your dog’s recovery in the midst of all the busy activities is also doubtful.

Why Is Paw-Ternity Leave A Necessity?

Americans spend more than 60 billion dollars every year to take care of their pets. This number was only a mere 17 billion dollars in 1994. There are more cats and dogs in the US than there are children. Pets also require constant care and sometimes even a little coddling. Sometimes, our pets don’t have the best memories. So while we’re away at work, what if they forget what we look like, or forget that we’re the ones taking care of them.

What if along with them getting used to us, they forget who we actually are because we’re barely there? That’s why the paw-ternity leave is a necessity. To take care of our pets when they get sick and to just spend a little time with them to remind that we care and we love them.

Dogs, cats, and other pets are also part of our family. We should love and cherish them like we love and cherish our human children. Our children can sometimes have difficulties believing that we love them because we don’t get enough time off from work to show them that. Imagine how much more confused a pet will be about this matter. Yes, they are loyal beings but to a certain point. Paw-ternity leave helps us to look after our pets while also keeping our memory alive within them.

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The Things You Should Never Do When Adopting A Cat

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By now pretty much all of us should know that we should never adopt a cat to give as a present. That’s just plain cruel to the cat as well as the people you’re giving the cat to. There should be many factors that you should consider before adopting a cat. Adopting a cat can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved once you take special care of certain things. There are some things that you can never do when you want to adopt a cat. Here are a few of them.

  1. Never make the decision to adopt unless everyone unanimously agrees that a cat is a welcome addition to the household.
    Adopting a cat is not something you do on impulse. There has to be a lot of thought that’s put into this decision. Make sure that everyone is okay with the idea of a cat being part of the family. A good way to make sure that everyone is on board with the adoption is to bring them with you when you go to choose a cat to adopt. Keep in mind that the transition can take a few weeks.
  2. Never adopt a kitty without consulting ‘Matchmaking’ assistance.
    Not all cats are child-friendly or dog-friendly. Some cats hate other cats, some need a personal litter box, some thrive better in quitter homes, and some need a busier household to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Working with a rescue group that knows all the background information about the cat can be helpful. The staff will be more helpful and they’ll help you choose a cat that’s perfect for your home.
  3. Never lose track of your cat.
    Don’t let her just run free. To get her more accustomed to her surroundings, set up all her things in one room to start. She will need some time to transition into the new environment and find some favorite spots where she feels more comfortable. But until then, get her set up in a single room. Let her get to know one room at a time. By doing this, you’re letting her move at her own pace.
  4. Never adopt a cat before isolating it at first.
    If this is your second or third cat, your other cats will probably have a problem with the new addition to the pet family. Isolate the new cat for a week or so, so that the vet has enough time to examine her. This also gives the pets you already have to get used to the idea of a new addition to the family.
  5. Never adopt a cat breed because she looks ‘cute’
    Do your homework on the breed that you’re adopting. Some cat breeds are more prone to medical conditions than others. Some require more one-on-one care than others. Make sure you take all these things into consideration before jumping into a decision.

Cats are adorable creatures with lovable quirks and a playful nature. Once everyone is onboard with the idea of a cat, there is nothing you should be worried about. Just make sure that you give her enough time to settle in.

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3 Tips To Prevent Natural Flea Infestation In Your Pets

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Flea infestations are the worst. There are so many species of fleas and each one is harder than the last to get rid of. The main goal of preventing fleas naturally is getting through a flea season without infestation. Keeping your pet flea-free is one of the best things you can do for him. Once the fleas are in your house and on your dogs, the headache never stops.

It’ll be a big hurdle to get rid of the fleas once the infestation starts. You’ll have to give your dogs a flea bath every week, vacuum everything you own, and wash all the fabrics in your house. The worst part is you won’t just have to do all this once, you’ll have to do it over and over again until you’re sure without the shadow of a doubt that the infestation is gone for good. That’s why prevention is the best treatment.

So what is the best way to prevent fleas from taking up shop on your pet’s body? Follow these 3 simple home remedies and tips that makes keeping your pet flea-free easy.

  1. Keep fleas out of your yard.

    Nematodes
    Did you know that nematodes like termites, ants, and grubs eat fleas and ticks? Sometimes they might be a nuisance but in this particular case, they are on your team. When the weather gets especially high, it’s like a party for the fleas. But having useful nematodes in your yard can keep them at bay from your pets.

    Mowing
    Keeping your lawns cut short will limit flea infestation. When the grass is shorter, they won’t really have many places to hide.

    Garlic
    Fleas hate garlic. Maybe that’s how the vampire myth started too. These blood suckers hate everything about garlic. Garlic is safe enough to use in the yard. The only thing that garlic repels is fleas and that’s a good thing. You’ll just need to make a garlic infused solution which you can then spray on your lawn.

  2. Take good care of your home.
    Remove carpets. Fleas love the comfort and cover that carpets offer. If you can’t get rid of the carpets, at least opt for Berber carpets. The make of these carpets make them uninhabitable for fleas.

Follow these instructions if you do have carpets that you can’t get rid of.

  1. Steam clean them at least twice annually.
  2. Vacuum the carpet in all areas of the house on a weekly basis.
  3. Try spreading diatomaceous earth monthly during flea season.

Remember to keep your pet healthy through all this. Fleas and ticks tend to affect weak and unhealthy pets. The weak always tend to be the victims.

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The Pet-Parent Life Hacks That Will Simplify Your Whole Existence

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If you’re a pet parent, then one thing you know without a single doubt is the fact that you love your pet. You love them, that’s why it is important to take care of them and protect them from the brutalities of the world. Just like parents do for their children. But sometimes, caring for a pet can take up a lot of time – time you usually don’t have. Here are a few life hacks for pet parents that can make their lives remarkably easier.

  1. Your Dog’s Breath is not as Pleasurable as Your Puppy’s
    You may enjoy snuggling on the couch on a cold winter’s day with your puppy. But as they grow older, their breath starts to change and become a little repulsive. But you still love the feeling you get when you’re cuddling. So what can you do about this breath problem? Well, an everyday object in your kitchen just might be what you need to do the trick – Parsley! The antimicrobial herb is a great remedy for bad breath. All you have to do is sprinkle a bit of it over your pet’s meal. Not only does parsley get rid of bad odors, it also strengthens the immunity so it’s a win-win situation.
  2. Coconut Oil – The Oil That Can Do Miracles
    There are not many oils which have all the health benefits of coconut oil. If your doggy suffers from dry skin or that seasonal rash that doesn’t seem to go away, then coconut oil can help you in that department. Just rub it on his fur to soothe his skin and heal any rashes.
  3. Make Use of Rubber Gloves to Clean
    One thing that you’ll surely experience as a pet parent, is all the fur. Pets have a lot of it and even when you take precautions, chances are, you will still end up with a bunch of fur on your clothes and in your carpets. You can easily clean up any lose hairs in the house with a rubber glove. Just wet a rubber glove, and run it over the blankets, your couch, carpet, and even clothes. You can remove all that fur easily in no time at all.
  4. Make Time To Play
    Most of the time, even when we want to give our pets more time, life gets in the way and there’s always something that comes up needing immediate attention. Being busy is understandable but your dog still needs his playtime! If you’re too busy for one-on-one time, then simply tie a toy around your foot. Your dog can play with that toy for hours while you can go about your work with your free hands.
  5. Slow Down the Food
    Most pets tend to devour their meals and then wait expectantly for more. To avoid this, put some kind of obstacle in his bowl that he has to eat around. Maybe a ball or a favorite toy of his.

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Why Do Cats Chase Mice?

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Cats catch and kill mice. That has been a well-known fact for many years now. But what causes that reaction in cats to just chase mice? Why the animosity? During ancient Egyptian times, cats were most known for their valuable ability to catch and kill the mice that infested the grain bins in the village. As time passed, they became a valuable addition to every household because of their helpful hunting abilities and overall adorability. Cat instincts are sharp and vigilant. So even when she seems content batting a catnip infused mouse toy with her paw, she still craves the real thing.

Cats and mice

Cats, especially wild ones have no problem eating other types of rodents as well. Mice are just easier prey. They are relatively small which means that there is no chance that the mouse will win a standoff while being cornered. Catching a mouse just gives your cat a satisfaction that she won’t really get from anywhere else. Another factor that makes the mouse a desirable prey is the fact that unlike birds, they can’t escape by flying away. Since ancient times, hunting has been somewhat of survival instinct for cats. They have to hunt in order to get food. They have to be vigilant and fight off bigger creatures for survival.

Why do cats just need to hunt?

There is more of a substance known as ‘Taurine’ in a cat’s body than in a dog’s. Taurine is an amino acid that is one of the main building blocks of protein. In order to keep up their taurine content, they need to keep hunting. Only meat can provide a cat with enough taurine to keep going. A cat is an obligatory carnivore which means that they have to be a carnivore in order to survive.

Cats are also born hunters. They start getting that hunting instinct when they are merely six to seven weeks old. Kittens usually learn how to hunt from their mothers who bring back live prey for them to practice on. Kittens who weren’t trained by their mothers often fail to make a clean kill. That’s why household cats sometimes bring back a live pet to their owners. To demonstrate that their hunting abilities are above average. We all know that cats can be a little needy at times, they seek appreciation from their humans.

Why do cats play with their prey?

All this is, is an overrated misconception. People think that cats cruelly torture their preys before going in for the kill. Although there is a lot of poking, scratching, and pouncing involve, from the cat’s point of view, it is just self-defense. Most animals have survival instincts that kick in when they’re cornered.

Cats love chasing and hunting mice. It brings both them and you satisfaction. While she’s a valuable pet, she might also be the reason behind why you don’t have a mouse problem.

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Human Medications That You Can Give Your Pet In An Emergency

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The common conception of human medications being administered to pets is negative. There are, however, a few exceptions that can be made if the circumstances are dire enough. We just can’t help ourselves when we see our pets being sick. We just want to go to them and help them in any way possible. One of the ways we can help them is giving them our own medications. An important thing to keep in mind while administering human medication to a pet is that they are remarkably smaller than us so the dosage will also vary accordingly. Here are a few vet approved human medications that can also be helpful for our pets.

  1. MiraLax
    This is a laxative that helps to reduce constipation. It works great for humans and it can work well for pets as well. It can be administered to help relieve the pain of constipation.
  1. Pepcid
    Pepcid helps in reducing stomach acid while also protecting the lining of the stomach. It can also be used to prevent or treat inflammation or ulcers that are sometimes caused by the stomach acids. It is safe to consult your vet and discuss dosage options with him before going ahead with the treatment.
  1. Prilosec
    Much like Pepcid, Prilosec also helps to reduce stomach acid in pets.
  1. Lomotil
    Lomotil is a cough suppressant that can provide remarkable relief to dogs who suffer from cough attacks. Lomotil dries out air passages so that the spasms experienced while coughing is reduced. It can also sometimes be used to treat diarrhea.
  1. Benadryl
    Used as an antihistamine or as a mild sedative. It can be especially useful while travelling with dogs. Dogs usually experience motion sickness while they’re on the road. Benedryl can prevent motion sickness. It can also be used to treat allergic reactions.
  1. Saline drops
    Used to moisturize, rinse, and relieve congestion. Use children’s saline drops for a milder effect.
  1. Dramamine
    Is used to relieve vertigo as well as motion sickness. Pets get dizzy too. Sometimes they get dizzy while they’re in the car, watching the world go by, and sometimes they get dizzy just by being lost in the happenings of their own minds.
  1. Omega-3 fatty acids
    There aren’t many side-effects to these supplements as they are actually something that’s needed by the body, in order for it to function more efficiently. They are especially useful in relieving pain that is caused by joint problems like arthritis.

Although these medications are all relatively safe, you should still talk to your vet first before giving your pet any of these. Now that we’ve talked about what medication you can administer to your pets, let’s talk about the ones you can’t.

  1. Ibubrofen – can cause kidney failure.
  2. Tramadol – causes disorientation, vomiting, tremors, and wobbliness.
  3. Alprazolam – causes agitation, drowsiness, and weakness.
  4. Adderall – causes an increase in heart rate and body temperature, hyperactivity, and tremors.
  5. Zolpidem – causes an increase in heart rate and agitation.

Always ask your vet before administering any medication to your pet. After all, he’s the one with the degree. Keep medications locked and far out of reach from your pets. Better safe than sorry.

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Fruits That Are Good For Your Pets

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A well-known fact about dogs is that they love food – especially treats. It fills them up and also gives them a sense of satisfaction. It’s always a good idea to keep some treats on hand when you’re training a new pet or so you can simply reward them for good behavior. The costs of treats are usually one that makes sweat. Finding high-quality treats without any fillers can be difficult and costly. So here’s a solution to all your money problems when it comes to buying treats. Here are a few yummy fruits and veggies that are both delicious and healthy that you can feed your pets without any worries.

Different pets have different tastes. Some dogs love carrots, blueberries, and apples, while others have a taste for celery stalks and zucchini.

Some things you should keep in mind: 

  1. If you have a cat, never feed her these foods as they can be toxic and cause damage to her immune system.
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  1. Cats don’t generally like fruit because of their lack of receptors for sweetness. So stick to the veggies when treating your cat.
  2. Just because it’s easier to feed your dog fruits and veggies instead of store bought, doggy treats, that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. His treats should only take up about 10% of his daily calorie intake.

11 Veggies and Fruits that your Pets Can Safely Snack On

  1. Asparagus
    Since this is a raw vegetable, your dog might have some difficulty digesting it at first. Try giving cooked asparagus first before introducing him to raw, fresh asparagus.
  1. Carrots
    Carrots are good for both pets and humans alike. They are rich in Vitamin A and can improve your dog’s vision and the shine of his coat. So it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
  1. Zucchini
    Zucchini has anti-inflammatory properties that are known to improve the health of your pet’s cardiovascular system.
  1. Celery
    An excellent source of antioxidants that can help in detoxifying the body.
  1. Green Bell Peppers
    Rich in fibers and Vitamins, green bell peppers promote good digestive health in pets.
  1. Broccoli
    Broccoli has properties that develop and build bone and muscle tissue. IT also helps in healing wounds and cuts.
  1. Cucumber
    Feeding them cucumber is a brilliant way to covertly increase their water intake per day. Cucumber has many other benefits for both people and pets alike.
  1. Watermelon
    This is another fruit that’s known for its qualities of hydration. It also improves heart health.
  1. Blueberries
    These magical berries can fight cancer, boost brain power, and support digestion.
  1. Strawberries
    Strawberries have a lot of antioxidants that help to detoxify the body and keep it running smoothly.
  1. Peaches
    These fruits are a treasure chest of minerals. They are low in calories so you can give these away in abundance.

Remember to stick to just the veggies on the list for cats.

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How To Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

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Many people believe that old dogs can’t be taught new tricks. There have been many debates about this matter over the years. It is, in fact, possible to teach an old dog new tricks. You just need a lot of patience and good teaching skills. It is actually good to keep the old guy occupied by teaching him new things. It not only improves his ability to serve as your pet, it also stimulates his brain and keeps him from getting bored.

The ability of an old dog to learn new tricks is especially astounding when you adopt an elderly dog. You would think that he’s too old for new tricks but not only does he prove to be brilliant, but also quick with his learning skills. Adult dogs can even be easier to train than younger dogs. Young puppies usually lose focus easily and won’t pay attention to the task at hand for long periods of time. This is not a problem with older dogs. They have more discipline and will listen to you as you speak. Here are some tips that you can use in order to make your training easier.

  1. Train him with treats.

    Don’t let the age-old misconception that old dogs can’t learn new tricks stop you from teaching your elderly dog new tricks. Even an elderly dog can easily understand a reward system. Reward him for good behavior and chastise him for bad. This is a learning process and he will be grateful in the end. Remember to have patience. You can’t rush the process.

  2. Get him a crate.

    This might be a little uncomfortable for you as he is an older dog and constricting him might seem a little odd. But it is important that he learn boundaries. Make sure you get a big enough crate and get him to adopt it as a den. Keep his food bowls there and give him treats in the crate. By doing this, you’re associating positive emotions to the crate.

  3. Keep tabs on his health.

    It is important to go in to visit the vet on a regular basis especially because an older dog is more likely to develop more problems. Consult the vet before training your dog for anything beyond the basics. Keep in mind that because he is an older dog, there are some limitations that need to be considered.

  4. Have lots of patience.

    As it is an older dog that you’re training, he is more likely to get tired and lose interest quicker than dogs in the prime of their lives. Keep in mind that you can’t train them like puppies because they don’t have that youthful exuberance. Learn their signs of exhaustion. Some common signs of exhaustion may include:

  • Drooping ears
  • Yawning
  • Lifting his front paw
  • Excessively licking his lip
  • Sniffing the ground
  1. Take it one step at a time.

    Don’t try to teach him multiple tricks at once. All that will do is confuse him. You can introduce more complex tricks once he’s mastered the basics.

When you take all these things into consideration, you will find it easier to train him. Don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t get it immediately. Keep your cool and have patience.

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How To Tackle Behavioral Changes In Pets

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If your pet has been well behaved for most of his life and is just now developing bad behavior, there are a few things you should know. Yes, dogs have sass. There may somethings you’re not doing or giving him that might be the cause of these sudden behavioral problems.

  1. He might not be getting enough exercise.

    A good way to try and fix his sudden change in behavior is to just give him what he wants and take him for more walks. Do more engaging things with him. When dogs have untapped energy, it can easily be converted into bad behavior. Try playing fetch games, going jogging with your dog, or even enrolling him in a doggie daycare where he can socialize and play with other dogs.

  1. He might not be getting enough mental stimulation.

    With your dog’s easy going nature and fun-loving ways, it is easy to forget that he needs mental stimulation in order to be well mannered and have a balanced mentality. Try letting him forage for his own meals. Remember that dogs love hunting. So next time you feed him, spread his treats out in the yard so he can go and find them himself. There are other doggie puzzles and toys that can be used as a channel for mental stimulation.

  1. He might be having a health problem.

    Health problems can easily cause your dog to act up. Many a time, health problems go unnoticed because they are often easy to miss. Health issues that can affect the behavior of your dog include hip dysplasia, thyroid, arthritis, luxating patellas, epilepsy/seizures, sore teeth, digestive issues, ear infections, environmental or skin allergies, hearing loss, cancer, eyesight loss, and yeast infections. Get him checked out by a veterinarian to be sure.

  1. He might be having some genetic issues.

    Sometimes, a dog inherits behavioral issues from its parents. There is very little that you can do to change the poor temperament passed on from parents. But sometimes, poor behavior can be overridden by good socialization. Enroll him in a doggy day care so he can socialize with other dogs. This will not only change is temperament, it also stimulates his mind.

  1. He might be living in an inconsistent environment.

    We can sometimes confuse our dogs by punishing him sometimes and rewarding him on other times for the same action. For example, sometimes, we let our dog jump on our lap and then reward him with a long pat while other times, we chastise him for doing the same. The inconsistent environment may cause him to act out because he’s confused as to what the right behavior is. Set clear boundaries and keep them in order to protect your dog’s sanity.

Whenever your dog starts acting out, ask yourself whether you had anything to do with it and if there is anything you can do to make it better. Dogs are playful, fun-loving, mischievous creatures. Treat them the right way and they will return the favor.

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