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petMD Presents a New Look!

Filed under: Dog Health,Dog News,Food & Nutritionmtest on June 14th, 2013

Veterinarian-approved pet health resource petMD has launched a completely new look! Sliding featured articles showcase hand-picked content authored and approved by veterinarians. Columns specifically devoted to Health, Wellness and Education give you quick access to featured content in those categories.

Once you create an account, you can access the new “my petMD” from any page. My petMD allows you to see your most recent petMD University progress, upload photos of your pet(s), and you’re even able to save your favorite articles, videos and blogs!

The new petMD homepage also features a dog breed section for voting on your favorite breed photos, which also allows submission of your own breed-related photos.

After the featured breed section, you’ll find easy access to the petMD pet service finder and a comprehensive alert section for recent brand/product recalls. In case you’re planning on adding a new pet to the household, you’ll see the top male and female puppy names displayed for easy reference.

Some additional petMD resources:

Dog Food Fact and Fiction

Filed under: Dog Health,Food & Nutritionmtest on June 13th, 2013

by Carol Bryant

“Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.”

Old Mother Hubbard did not have the facts on what to feed her furry friend, but we know better so we do better. At some stage, one or more of the points in this article will bestow itself unto a dog’s life. To keep your dog’s gastrointestinal system in tip-top shape without sacrificing palatability, read on (that includes you, Mother Hubbard). As always, check with your dog’s veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

Shine On, Pooch, Shine On

A healthy coat is something we all strive for with our dogs. Dogs with alopecia (hair loss), scaly skin, or skin lacking elasticity might be suffering from a nutritional deficiency. Fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3 are both integral in attaining a healthy coat. A general guideline is five to ten omega-6 fatty acids to every one omega-3 fatty acid. Sources of omega-6 include poultry fat and safflower or corn oil. Rich source of omega-3’s include fish oil, canola or flax oil.

Scratch That Niche

With the rise of allergies affecting dogs, there are a bevy of dog food choices available to pet parents. Among those choices are hypoallergenic diets in two formulations: novel protein or hydrolyzed protein. A novel protein diet essentially contains a protein and usually also a carbohydrate source your dog has never eaten before. A hydrolyzed diet means that the proteins have been chemically split into smaller sections that are theoretically not detectable by the immune system.” You can start with a protein (like beef) and a carb (like sweet potatoes) their dog has never eaten.  Fatty acids like EPA or DHA and antioxidants like CoQ10 are also recommended.

Lassie Love Handles

An overweight dog is more prone to heart disease, cancers, diabetes and a host of ailments, not to mention a decrease in metabolism. Measure food and ask your vet if reducing the amount by 25 percent is acceptable. Try breaking the meals up into four to six feedings per day to reduce appetite urges. A tablespoon or two of canned pumpkin added to food is a good source of fiber yet is low in calories.  As for treats,  If you normally give your overweight pooch two treats for a snack, he’ll be upset if he just gets one. Break that one biscuit into two for his reward time.

Broccoli Schmockli

Folks sometimes choose a vegan diet to share their own belief system with their dog(s). A vegan diet is sometimes used for dogs with food allergies.  It is especially important to make sure a vegan diet is complete and balanced, as the protein sources available from plant sources are generally not as easily digested by dogs as those from animal sources. Steamed vegetables are also a viable choice. I’ve personally chosen to use Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl so I can simply rehydrate veggies from road trips and for ease of packing for my pooch.

The Big C

For a dog with cancer, feeding and recommendations can be tricky at best, particularly if a dog’s appetite is depressed by disease, medication, and/or chemotherapy. Like people, a dog with cancer must maintain strength and immunity. You definitely want to use a highly palatable diet formulated for recovery if a “regular” diet cannot be consumed. Again, fatty acids and CoQ10 can be helpful. Because cancer cells proliferate on carbs and sugars, protein-laden foods are generally recommended. Since dry dog foods tend to be packed with carbs, a wet food or homemade diet rich in protein are best.

Dehydrated and Raw Diets

The debate rages on: raw or not? The raw diet is closest to what the ancestors of domestic dogs consumed more so than any other dietary choice. Some pet parents are concerned that diseases like salmonella can affect their dog if a raw food diet is consumed. Other pet parents argue that their dogs are healthier, have more energy, a better coat, and firmer stool.

Another viable option is dehydrated food, which provides many raw diet benefits without risk of spoilage. The vitamins and minerals lost in normal cooking and processing of food do not dissipate in a dehydrated diet. Because there are no preservatives or additives, this type of feeding is selected by a host of dog moms and dads, including yours truly.

Storage Tips

Pet parents should use caution and use best judgment when storing their dog’s food. Are you aware of the most effective way to keep dog food fresh and safe?

Wet or Dry Dog Food: ALWAYS look for “best used by” or “sell by” date to ensure freshness.
Dry food:  Store in sturdy plastic containers with a lid or in a clean galvanized metal garbage can with a lid or even a large popcorn tin with lid. Make sure containers are sealed and airtight.

Unopened Cans of Wet Food: Store in a cool, dry place.

Opened Can of Wet Food: Purchase plastic lids that fit over the can and store in refrigerator. Do not reuse after two or three days. Another option: Depending upon the amount of food your dogeats, the remainder of wet food can be divided into scoops in a ice cube tray and frozen. Before using it, scoop out needed portions and place each serving in a zip-lock bag and thaw in the refrigerator.

Uneaten Dehydrated Food:  Store in an enamel or other airtight container with resealable plastic lid.  Treat as you would fresh food. Store in zip-lock bags in the freezer or in the refrigerator for shorter periods of time.

Treats: Most dog treats and snacks should be stored in ceramic jars or stainless steel containers with lids. Also be cognizant of expiration dates. I recently spoke with a veterinarian who shared that he has seen a few cases this year of dogs that became ill from eating expired treats.

This article originally appeared on Pet360.com

Goodness Gracious Treats Help Communities!

Filed under: Dog Life,Food & Nutritionmtest on April 4th, 2013

Cause: Local charities benefit from your purchases!

We Walk Heart First means we approach each moment asking what can we give to help another.

One community, one neighborhood, one home at a time…

With each of your purchases, 51% of our profits for that sale are earmarked for the community in which that sale is made. If you purchase our products from a retailer then the donation goes to the community in which that retailer is located. If you purchase on-line then the donation goes to the community in which the product is shipped.

We also donate to animal shelters, rescues and spay/neuter programs for each new retailer in their community who carries our products (10% of the net sale amount). After the initial sale, it’s 51% of our profits. This way we care for our animal friends exactly as you wish – one community, one neighborhood, one home at a time. Learn More about the Brand!

And check our their Facebook page

This article was originally published on Pet360.com

Would You Eat the Food You Sell?

Filed under: Food & Nutritionmtest on March 28th, 2013

At the 2013 Global Pet Expo, Pet360 asked pet food representatives if they’d eat the pet food they sell.

Is their food really as good as they advertise?

Watch and see!

7 Home Remedies for Your Dog

Filed under: Dog Health,Food & Nutritionmtest on January 23rd, 2013

dog home remedies petmd

When you’re feeling under the weather, you might find that the perfect thing for treating what ails you is something you already have in the kitchen. Did you know that you can treat your ailing dog with some simple home remedies too? Below you will find seven great natural remedies for making your dog happy and healthy again.

TIP #1

Vitamin E is good for preventing those pesky age lines on your face, and it’s also great for your dog’s dry skin. You can give your pup a doggy massage by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking bath with vitamin E added to the water, or you can go all “Hollywood” and pop your dog a pill (of vitamin E, that is). If you give the vitamin orally, check with your vet on the recommended dosage for your specific dog breed.

TIP #2

Flavorless electrolyte-replacing liquids, such as sports waters or pediatric drinks, not only help athletes to replenish fluids, and babies to rehydrate after an illness, they can also supply your sick pooch’s body with much needed fluids after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting. Consult your veterinarian as to the appropriate dosage amounts when giving these types of liquids to your dog.

TIP #3

Deliciously plain yogurt is a healthy treat for your dog. Just as with humans, the live acidophilus in the yogurt keeps the good bacteria in your dog’s intestines in balance, so that bad bacteria is swiftly knocked out. If your dog is on antibiotics, a little yogurt will also help keep yeast infections at bay (a common side-effect of antibiotic treatment). You can also give your dog acidophilus pills — wrapping the pills in bacon is strictly optional. Puppies are especially prone to yeast infections, so a little plain yogurt as a snack (or even dessert) can help keep things in balance; especially useful while the intestinal system is building immunities.

TIP #4

Chamomile tea uses the natural disinfecting effects of the chamomile plant to settle upset doggy tummies. It is recommended for colic, gas, and anxiety. It can also alleviate minor skin irritations. Just chill in the fridge and spray onto the affected area on the dog’s raw skin. Your dog should feel an immediate soothing effect as the chilled tea kills the yeast and/or bacteria on the skin. A warm (not hot) tea bag can also be used for soothing infected or irritated eyes.

TIP #5

An itchy dog can be quite an annoyance, especially as it goes around scratching itself on any piece of furniture it can reach. Forget the backscratcher. Finely ground oatmeal is a time-honored remedy for irritated skin. You can use baby oatmeal cereal or grind it yourself in a food processor. Stir the oatmeal into a bath of warm water and let your dog soak in the healing goodness. Your dog will thank you, trust us. Dogs with skin allergies, infections, and other diseases which cause itchiness have been shown to gain immediate relief with this approach, too.

TIP #6

Dogs can be like kids at times, and as such they are bound to suffer from wounds and the occasional unexplained swelling. Try treating these ailments with Epsom salt soaks and heat packs next time. A bath consisting of Epsom salt and warm water can help reduce the swelling and the healing time, especially when combined with prescribed antibiotics and veterinary supervision. If soaking your dog in an Epsom salt bath twice a day for five minutes isn’t convenient or practical, a homemade heat pack using a clean towel drenched in the same warm-water solution can be applied to wounds for the same effect.

TIP #7

Does your dog have fleas? Never fear. Before turning to the big guns, try some borax powder. The standard stuff at the store will work wonders on fleas by poking holes in their crunchy insect exoskeletons. A good way to make sure those parasitic suckers get annihilated is to sprinkle the borax on your floor, and then sweep or vacuum up the excess. The invisible borax crystals left behind will kill the fleas and you won’t even have to lift a finger. It’s inexpensive and practically non-toxic compared to an appointment with the exterminator.

For the dog, try a simple solution of lemon water. Fleas are repelled by citrus, so this can work both as a flea preventive, and for making your dog smell clean and refreshing. A useful solution can be made by pouring boiled water over lemons and allowing them to steep over night. This solution can then be applied all over your dog’s skin using a fresh spray bottle. And, the tried and true Brewer’s yeast method cannot be left out. Brewer’s yeast can be given as part of a regular diet in powdered form, sprinkled over the dog food, or in tablet form, perhaps wrapped in a small slice of bacon or cheese.

Home (or holistic) remedies aren’t just for tree huggers anymore. It’s important to take care of your dog from  day to day, not just when it’s feeling a little under the weather, and the best way to maintain the best health is often the most natural way. But most of all, it’ll help keeping your “baby” from crying like a hound dog.

7 Home Remedies for Your Dog originally appeared on petMD.com

How Do Vets Recommend Pet Food? In Practice…

Filed under: Food & Nutritionmtest on November 26th, 2012

by Jennifer Coates, DVM

Money, money, money. My, how the concept of cold, hard cash has its way with our world. In spite of all our best intentions, the issue of personal compensation has a way of corrupting all of us to varying degrees.

I won’t let any of you off easy on this point. We’re all human, after all. Those of us who profess to harbor completely cash-free tendencies are either saints or sociopaths. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe there are many exceptions to this rule.

And that’s where I’ll begin my non-apologetic discussion of the issues we vets face in real-life practice when it comes to pet food. Because we’ve all succumbed (at one time or another) to the easy money in our practicing-vet lives. Selling pet food falls into this quick cash category, but it’s the non-thinking person’s version of events that condemns all vets for this transgression.

For those of you who skipped the first two posts on this subject, I’m talking about how we vets recommend food and the problems we confront in doing so. Sure, some of that has to do with industry pressure, especially when every other vet down the street is carrying the food the pet food companies are expecting you to offer. Some of it has to do with our education, whereby we were inculcated into the belief that prescription diets can help almost any pet. And some of it has to do with the reality of vet practice economics, in which industry expectations, education and lack of resources (especially when starting out) can move you to sell foods to make up for the services you can’t yet move quickly or profitably enough.

Here’s where you might think all vets are in the pockets of the pet food companies—whether they think they are or not. And that may be true. But most of us recommend certain pet foods because we either know no better (for reasons related to training, explained in the previous post), because we want to do what’s best for our patients, and/or because we have few acceptably safe alternatives. And then there are the greedy (for the record, I don’t believe that’s most of us).

I consider my own decisions to be primarily related to the dearth of convincing research into pet nutrition and the lack of safe and convenient alternatives. Even then, I tend to recommend foods that our practice doesn’t carry—because we don’t stock foods, we only special order specific foods from a trio of companies when our patients need it. Sadly, it’s a rare hospital that follows our lead.

I’m ashamed to admit that, in spite of some more enlightened practices out there, my profession is somewhat driven by the financial prospects of the existing pet food paradigm—that is, the powers that be in the profession still refuse to acknowledge that a large percentage of us continue to elect to benefit from the ready cash the pet food companies supply us through unique retail agreements with vet-only brands—despite the conflict of interest the relationship denotes.

Let me explain:

Most small animal vets make a percentage of their income by selling pet foods—that’s a well-established reality no one refutes. But there’s nothing terribly sinister about this practice. We vets recommend foods we believe are wholesome and appropriate and which we believe will help our patients. We trust in these products and we want to continue to sell it—and to make a profit from it. We feel we deserve that income as much or more than any retailer does. After all, we recommend it based on our unique and specialized knowledge of animal physiology.

The problem lies in our dependence on these products for our livelihood, the same way drugs and services do. Our human tendency is to respond to manufacturer entreaties to consider their products not only for their innate benefits, but also for the income they’ll drive our way.

We know that pet food companies spend a lot of money on research and development of their foods. We also know that there’s very little hard-core research, besides theirs, on which to base our recommendations. It’s a bit of a catch-22, relying on the fox’s sell on the henhouse’s value. But what’s our alternative?

Consider, as an example, the recent popular interest in raw diets. What’s a responsible vet to do? There’s virtually no institutionally-sanctioned research on these feeding regimens. All we’re trained to assess in this regard is the downside of bacterial contamination. It’s no wonder vets are most often opposed to this practice. It goes beyond income; it speaks to the good training we do have—namely, a strong infectious disease background.

If we had an independent research body to investigate nutritional issues in light of the risks involved in feeding raw, then we might have a different model for how we’d recommend foods. As such, we have precious few alternatives.

At the heart of the issue, however, is the conflict of interest. Much as selling drugs is unethical for a doctor, selling drugs and foods should be considered as such for vets. That’s one bizarre difference between the human and animal medical professions. Studies show that pet owners believe that vets and human physicians are comparable in most respects, yet our culture holds these two professions to different ethical standards. What’s up with that?

Pet food is so important to some practices that it’s come to affect even the fundamentals of hospital design and pricing. New hospitals are physically planned for food retail and storage. It’s my opinion that even the pricing of vet services is often artificially reduced so that hospitals can compete on service price while making up the difference in food and drug sales. It’s no wonder this model won’t stand in human healthcare.

We vets have become complacent about the role of vet-targeted pet foods in our medical practices. We’ve allowed pet food companies to dictate the terms of their agreement to provide cutting-edge science for our pets’ well being. We’ve given them the power to determine what’s healthful without having the wherewithal to dissent. We’ve even granted them the ability to pay our bills.

Nothing’s going to change too soon, but the pet food recall has served to rouse some vets from our communal stupor on this issue. Changes in schools will likely need to come first. Changes in consumer (pet owner) awareness will probably follow closely. Unfortunately, changes in vet practices will no doubt be last on the scene. Institutionalized habits die hard.

How do vets recommend pet food? (Part 3: In Practice) originally appeared on PetMD.com

Foods That Are Poisonous to Your Dog or Cat!

Filed under: Food & Nutritionmtest on November 26th, 2012

In the past five years, the Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control based out of Minneapolis, has received almost 1,000 calls about grape and raisin poisoning in pets. While humans have been eating grapes and raisins for thousands of years, veterinarians didn’t realize that this common fruit was poisonous to dogs until 2001. So you will be best educated on what kitchen foods pose a threat to your pets, learn about the top 10 foods that are poisonous to your dog or cat.

First of all, most of the pet poisonings we see in the kitchen are from dogs. In fact, the majority of the culprits are actually Labrador retrievers — after all, they are chowhounds! Cats, who have a discriminating palate (after all, cats rule, dogs drool), wouldn’t be caught eating what we humans do, so it’s rare to see them getting poisoned by kitchen foods.

Without further ado, the top 10 kitchen dangers to pets:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Grapes, raisins, and certain types of currants
  3. Xylitol
  4. Fatty table scraps
  5. Caffeine (e.g., coffee grounds)
  6. Onions, garlic, chives
  7. Compost
  8. Moldy foods
  9. Macadamia nuts
  10. Unbaked bread dough

Chocolate

While most pet owners know about chocolate, they are often unaware of the range of poisoning when it comes to the different types of chocolates out there: white, milk, dark, Bakers chocolate, etc. Here is a video that explains the huge range of toxicity levels in chocolates. While one or two chocolate chips won’t be a concern at all, know that the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your dog. White chocolate barely has any poisoning risk, as there’s very little methylxanthine (i.e., specifically theobromine and caffeine) in there. That said, all the fat and sugar can still pose a danger to your dog!

Grapes, raisins, and currants

In dogs, grapes, raisins, and currants can cause severe damage to the kidney. While the exact toxic agent hasn’t been identified, we know that all types of grapes and raisins are poisonous — seeded, seedless, red, green, organic (fertilizer/pesticide free), etc. Likewise, the dehydrated raisin poses an even bigger poisoning risk, likely since the toxin is more concentrated. When ingested, signs of poisoning may not be evident until severe acute kidney failure has already developed. Signs of lethargy, inappetence, abdominal pain/colic, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common initial signs seen in the first 24 hours. More severe signs of increased or decreased thirst and urination and underlying kidney damage may not be evident until 2-3 days later. By this point, damage may be severe. While only 50 percent of dogs that ingest grapes or raisins go into kidney failure, it’s not worth the risk of chancing a poisoning. If treated before signs of poisoning begin, the prognosis is excellent. Once kidney failure has already developed, the prognosis becomes much worse.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a common sugar-free, natural substance found in common brands of chewing gum, breath mints, candy, multivitamins, mouth washes, toothpastes, and baked goods. In non-primate species (like dogs), ingestion of xylitol results in an insulin spike, which then results in a life-threatening drop in blood sugar. When ingested in larger doses, xylitol can also result in liver failure in dogs. Signs of vomiting, weakness, collapse, lethargy, and staggering may initially be seen (secondary to a low blood sugar), and can rapidly progress to seizures if untreated. When in doubt, hang up your purse to prevent your dog from getting into your pack of dangerous gum!

Fatty table scraps

While these aren’t “poisonous” per se, feeding your dog scraps of bacon, grease, etc., can result in severe inflammation of the pancreas — pancreatitis — which can be deadly without treatment. Pancreatitis can range from mild signs of vomiting and diarrhea to more profound signs of organ failure. Keep in mind that certain breeds, such as miniature schnauzers, Shetland sheepdogs, Yorkshire terriers, etc., are more predisposed to pancreatitis, and feeding fatty table snacks in these breeds is a particular no-no.

Caffeine (e.g., coffee grounds)

While you may be smart enough not to let your dog sip on your coffee, know that dogs can still be poisoned by caffeine. Caffeine is commonly found when dogs get into coffee, coffee grounds, chocolate-covered espresso beans (a double poisoning whammy!), tea bags, soda, diet pills, and energy drinks. The chemical in caffeine is similar to what’s found in chocolate, and signs of agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, an elevated heart rate, heart arrhythmias, tremors, and seizures may be seen.

Onions, garlic, chives

Pet owners are often calling me to inquire if the small amount of garlic or onion powder found in dog treats is a poisoning concern or not — thankfully, it’s typically used in such small quantities, it’s not likely to be a big deal. However, when ingested in larger amounts, or chronically — as when used as home remedies for flea infestations (this doesn’t work, btw!) — this food group can result in severe damage to the red blood cells. Cats and Japanese breeds of dogs (e.g., Shiba Inu, Akita, etc.) are even more sensitive, so keep out of reach of these species or breeds! Signs of anemia, weakness, pale gums, an elevated heart rate, exercise intolerance, etc., may be seen.

Compost

Kudos for composting — just make sure it’s fenced off and out of reach of pets! Composts contain decomposing and decaying matter, which can contain “tremorgenic mycotoxins.” When ingested by dogs, they can result in vomiting, agitation, panting, and severe tremors and seizures.

Moldy foods

If there’s something blue or green growing on your food, it’s likely to be dangerous for both you and your dog. Moldy food can contain dangerous mycotoxins, similar to those found in compost — specifically penitrem A and roquefortine — which can result in severe neurologic signs when ingested. Signs of walking drunk, tremors, and seizures can be seen. Keep your moldy garbage out of reach!

Macadamia nuts

Just get back from Hawaii? Keep your macadamia nuts out of reach of your dog! When ingested even in small amounts, these nuts can result in temporary paralysis in your dog. An unknown toxin in these nuts affects the nerve transmission to the muscle, resulting in signs of weakness, vomiting, walking drunk, tremoring, lameness (especially in the rear legs), to a complete inability to walk. Thankfully, the signs go away after 24-48 hours.

Unbaked bread dough/alcohol

Most pet owners are smart enough to keep alcohol away from pets; however they often forget that dogs are poisoned by unique sources of alcohol: typically from unbaked yeast bread dough. Homemade and store bought unbaked dough that contains yeast (e.g., bread rolls) result in poisoning by two ways. First, the moist, warm environment of your dog’s stomach acts as an “oven,” causing the dough to rapidly expand. This can actually be so severe it can actually result in a gastric dilatation-volvulus or gastric dilatation. Second, the yeast breaks down into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas (hence, the bloating), resulting in alcohol poisoning next. Signs of a distended stomach, unproductive retching, weakness, an elevated heart rate, collapse, walking drunk, and seizures can be seen. To be safe, keep your pets locked out of the kitchen while baking!

If you think your dog or cat has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately for assistance. Time is of the essence to keep your pet safe!

To be on the safe side, just keep your pet out of the kitchen.

Foods That Are Poisonous to Your Dog or Cat! originally appeared on PetMD.com

Dr. Justine Lee

Pic of the day: HSDM Thank You Gift by The Real Estreya

poisonous foods to your dog

How Dog Food Effects Your Dog’s Weight

Filed under: Dog Health,Food & NutritionDoggySpace on February 9th, 2010

While you may be aware of the effects a good diet may have on your dog’s bone and joint development, you may not consider the subtle effect that dog food has on your dog’s weight. Many brand dog foods contain wheat or other ‘fillers’ that can not only cause allergies in your dog but can be harder for their systems to digest. These fillers also do little to actually fill up your pup, causing him or her to need more food to satisfy his or her nutritional needs.

Premium dog foods tend to use less fillers and more ‘real food’ proteins. The result is a food that fulfills your dogs nutritional needs, aids in proper bone and joint growth, and is less likely to cause food allergies. On top of that, dogs that eat premium dog foods often need to consume less food to feel full.

Side by side a dog that eats lower grade dog foods may slowly pack on the pounds, or go around languishing for the nutrition he or she needs. Meanwhile a dog that consumes premium dog food will be able to turn those healthy proteins into energy, allowing them to maintain a fit and active lifestyle. If your dog has been struggling with weight, consider changing to a premium brand dog food with real food ingredients instead of fillers like wheat or corn. The change could be just what your pet needs to tip the scale in his or her favor.

How Table Scraps Affect Your Dog’s Health

Filed under: Dog Health,Food & NutritionDoggySpace on January 6th, 2010

If your dog has ever snuck a little nibble from under the table, or is on a ‘real food’ diet, you may be wondering what the fuss over dogs eating table scraps is about. Unlike ‘real food’ table scraps are actually unhealthy for your dog for a number of reasons. But, when your dog steals a small amount, you may not notice it make much of a difference.

The maid difference between ‘real food’ and table scraps is consistency. Real food is whole, uncooked foods that are healthy for your dog. Table scraps, on the other hand, is often cooked and will stick to your dog’s teeth. Such ‘sticky’ foods can cause periodontal disease, or other health problems.

The other major contributor to the unhealthiness of table scraps is food poisoning. A large number of foods is toxic to dogs, or cause allergies and intolerance if eaten consistently. Wheat and corn are foods that can cause intolerances in dogs, and are often part of what falls of the table. Other foods that are toxic to dogs include onions and onion powders, which are frequently used in seasonings, as well as avocados and eggplants. You may think you know what your dog is scarfing when they get into table scraps but the presence of onion powder or wheat might be unknown to you and will affect your dog’s health in the long term.

Of course, everyone’s dog steals a little extra snack at some point. While the stolen tidbit may result in stomach upset or cramps, and the need for an extra tooth brushing it’s not the end for your beloved dog.

Puppy Food, an Important First Step

Filed under: Ages & Stages,Food & NutritionDoggySpace on January 4th, 2010

Many new puppy parents may not realize the importance of dog food in their puppy’s health and growth. But the proper dog food, or more precisely puppy food, can keep you out of the Veterinarian’s office in years to come. There are many different options for feeding your puppy, from canned or moist to dry foods, brand, holistic, and organic foods, as well as foods that vary by dog age and breed.

For puppies the most important thing is to buy a premium brand of dog food that matches their age and breed or size. By feeding your dog slightly more expensive foods while they are growing and developing their muscles and bodies you will be saving yourself money in the future. Puppies whose diets are not well designed to fit their growing bodies and breed’s needs often suffer from musculoskeletal disorders like hip dysplasia. Non-premium, or low-cost, store brands can also create food allergies in your pet. Dogs have been shown to become sensitive to the “filler” foods used in lower-cost brand name dog and puppy food, like wheat and corn.

Choosing the best food for your puppy can save you money in the long-term, even though it may seem you’re spending more now. Dog obesity, allergies, and growth and musculoskeletal disorders can be avoided if you start your puppy out right, with a premium dog food designed to meet their needs for growth.

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What is DoggySpace?

Doggyspace is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who love dogs. People use Doggyspace to keep up with friends, upload funny dog videos, and to give their dogs their own cyber place.

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