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101 Dog Care Tips – Tip 11 – Owning a New Puppy – Vaccines

101 Dog Care Tips – Tip 11 – Owning a New Puppy – Vaccines

Owning a new puppy can very exciting, but also overwhelming.  You always want to start off on the right foot and here are few tips for vaccinating your pooches.   This is coming from owners that were very excited about their first pooch, but ended up being very sad after a vaccination reaction almost ended very badly.

1.  Your puppy may not need every vaccination out there.  Remember, the veterinary pharmaceutical companies are in the business to make money, so the more vaccinations sold, the more money made!  Discuss with your veterinarian whether all vaccinations need to be given.  Depending on your pooches lifestyle and where you live, you may not need them all.

3.  Smaller breeds, such as Chihuahuas, Pugs, Toy Poodles, Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apsos, are more likely to have reactions to vaccines. It is very important to minimize the number of vaccines given to small breeds.  It is also recommend to space out the vaccinations.  They should not all be given all at the same time.  It is also recommend to use a quarter to a half dose of the vaccine per visit rather than the entire dose.

4.  Homeopathic remedies, such as thuja and lymphomyosot which minimize toxicity, may be given to reduce the chance of a vaccine reaction.

5.  Certain supplements, such as antioxidants, may improve your puppy’s immune response to a vaccine, offering stronger protection against infectious diseases.

6. Once your dog is 2 years or older, consider a blood test (vaccine antibody titer test).  This will give you an idea of how long the vaccine is protecting you dog for.  This way you can reduce the time between vaccination (the vaccine companies may recommend yearly vaccinations, but the vaccine might be protecting your dog for longer). Current research shows that most pets only require a few vaccines throughout their entire lives because of the excellent immunity vaccines produce.

Please check out our all growing selection of dog chews and treats like bully sticks and if you have recommendations for future dog care tips please pass them along!

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 10 – Senior Dog Care

Senior Dog Care

Our pets are living longer than ever these days, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and pet nutrition. As our dogs age, they face a variety of conditions that can negatively affect their health. Some of the conditions that commonly affect senior dogs include diabetes, kidney and liver disease, tumors and cancer, arthritis and other joint pain, obesity and thyroid conditions, as well as dental disorders.

Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is key in keeping your dog healthy. When dogs enter their senior years, regular exams are more important than ever (most recommend twice yearly). Senior care, which starts with regular veterinary exam, is necessary to diagnose or delay the onset of disease; and for the early detection of problems such as organ failure and arthritis.

Veterinarians depend on laboratory results to help them understand your dog’s health. When your dog is healthy, laboratory tests determine baseline” values. When your dog is sick, your vet is able to compare the “baseline” values and the current values.  Changes in these laboratory test results, may be a sign of the presence of an underlying disease (lab tests frequently include: blood count, urinalysis, blood chemistry and parasite evaluation).

It is also necessary to keep your senior pooch active.  Activity is necessary to keep your dog at a healthy weight, while helping to maintain proper muscle tone. In addition, choosing a premium dog food and healthy treats will help by giving your pooch the necessary protein and vitamins that they need to stay healthy.  As we mentioned in previous posts, fish oil is a great way to be preventative, none of us consume enough omega 3’s with our normal diets.  Also, including natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin in our pooches diet can help with hip and joint health (our beef trachea chews and fish chews are a great natural source of this).

Please let us know if there is a topic you would like to see covered!  As always, we appreciate your continued business and support!

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 9 – Fish Oil For Dogs

Fish Oil for Dogs

Vets originally used fish oil to treat dogs with allergy problems, but more recently they have found it to benefit many different aspects of our canines’ health.  Since our pooches cannot produce the fats contained in these oils themselves, they rely on their diet to supply the needed fats.

Much like it’s benefits for humans, omega 3 oils (fish oil) support heart, vision, and joint health, along with providing important nutrients for proper immune function, and a healthy skin and coat.   The icing on the cake is that… it’s a natural source of all sorts of other vitamins and minerals.

We have seen two forms of fish oil.  One is in pill form that can be taken in a piece of cheese or some peanut butter and the other is in liquid form.   We have found the liquid form is more calorie friendly (those pieces of cheese and peanut butter can add up) and just plain easier to give (putting over their food has worked well for us).

We do recommend that you consult with your veterinarian about specific doses for your pooch, although there are dosing instructions on most bottles.  Some dogs require more than others based on certain conditions.  Stay tuned to our website… we will be adding some very unique salmon treats and jerky’s to the site really soon!

We carry the Plato Salmon Oil for dogs which can be found by clicking the link, however there are many great oils on the market; and the important thing is to make sure to add it to your pups daily regimen!

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 8 – Spring Dog Care

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 8 – Spring Dog Care

We are approaching spring and with that comes walks through the park, maybe a jog, and dangers that you should be aware of.

Heart-worm is caused by mosquitoes and can be fatal for our pooches.  Spring time is a major time for this because of the weather warming up and the mosquitoes becoming more active.  There are many products out on the market that can prevent this.  Check with your vet to find out which one is right for your dog.

As the weather warms up, we also need to monitor our dogs tolerance for heat and the sun.  Some dogs like pugs and bull dogs can not tolerate the heat for very long and can actually become dehydrated and get heat stoke.  Dogs can also get sunburn, like us, so monitor the amount of sun that your pooch gets.

Also be aware that it is also approaching flea and tick season.  There are many holistic flea and tick medicines that your vet can recommend.  Although it is recommended to treat your pet for fleas and ticks all year round, we are approaching the season when this medication is most necessary.

Although we think that fairs and concerts are a great bonding experience for us and our dogs, the noise and commotion can be stressful for your pups.  These are places that should be avoided for long periods of time.

Dogs love spring and summer because it means more outdoor time and more time to release all of that pent up winter energy.  By keeping tabs and following these few tips, you can ensure a safe and happy season for you and your pooch.

Please check out our every growing selection of unique and natural dog chews and dog treats !

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 7 – Toxic Substances For Dogs

101 Dog Care Tips – Best Bully Sticks Tip 7 – Toxic Substances For Dogs

As we continue our quest to bring you pertinent dog related information we wanted to highlight some common and not so common substances and foods that you should never give your dog.  If you have a suggestion for our 101 Dog Care Tips section please let us know!

There are many household items that you would never think to keep away from your pooch.  We all know about chocolate and its bad affects, but what about all of those other table scraps and snacks that we don’t even think about?  We all know when we see a cute begging face we feel the need to share any and everything.  Below is a list of typical household items that are not good for your pooch.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeine, including coffee and chocolate
  • Fatty foods, especially drippings and grease from cooking
  • Chicken and turkey bones (Cooked)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions and garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Salt and sugar (are included in many dog products or dog treats, but in small amounts and carefully regulated)

**While this certainly is not a complete list we hope that you find it helpful**
In addition, just like babies, keep all household cleaners and chemicals away from pet friendly areas.  Also beware of where cords and wires are located, especially if you have a playful pooch.

If your dog does eat something toxic and is having symptoms, the best thing to do is call Poison Control at 1 (900) 680-0000, or the Animal Poison control center at (888) 426-4435, induce vomiting, and head to your local emergency veterinarian.

101 Dog Care Tips – Selecting the Right Boarding Facility for Your Dog? – Tip 6

Selecting the Right Boarding Facility for Your Dog?

No one likes to have to go away and leave their pooch behind.  There are several things that you should keep in mind when selecting the boarding facility for your pooch.

First contact the facility that you are interested in to make sure that they have availability for the dates that you want.  (during holidays, good facilities book up early)

Make an unannounced stop in to tour the facility.  Mornings are typically clean-up time, so if you visit in the afternoon and things are still out of sorts, that could be a bad sign.  Also, if they are not willing to give you a tour, that is also a reason to move on to a different facility and scratch this on off the list.

Find out how often your pet will be fed.  Also, will they have their own water bowl and how often they are excised during the day? Some dogs do not do well on foreign types of food, so ask if you are able to bring your own food to the boarding facility.  These are all important factors in minimizing the stress of your pooches at these facilities.

Take notice of the employees.  Are they friendly and cooperative?  Are they willing to take the time to answer the questions that you have?  Are they trained and caring?  Take notice of the way that they are interacting with the dogs while you are going on your tour.  Are they treating them gently and are they taking time in handling them?  Also, staff on site 24 hours is a great benefit, just in case something would happen.

Find out about their requirements for proof of immunizations and what immunizations they require.  Although this is a pain, it is for the protection of your pooch.  The more immunizations they require, the less chance there is to contract something.  You may also want to ask about their policies regarding flea and tick control and if they give all leaving pets a flea bath or shower.

Also ask what procedures are taken if a pooch appears to be ill or refuses to eat.  In addition, a veterinarian on staff or on call is very beneficial.

These are just a few of the things that will help in making your pooches stay pleasant.  If you ask the right questions, you will feel more comfortable when the time comes to drop your pooch off and drive away.  Also, make sure to leave your dogs with a bully stick or dog treat so that they are occupied when in their room!

101 Dog Care Tips – Dog Food and Treats – Tip 5

101 Dog Care Tips – Dog Food and Treats – Tip 5

My Parents always used to say “ You either pay at the doctor, or by eating well”.  The same goes for our pooches.  There are so many options out there for things such as food, supplements, and treats.  There are a few key things that you might want to consider before selecting these for your dogs.

•    The more natural the better.  Food and treats that contain all kinds of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, mean more artificial ingredients.

•    Grains like corn and wheat have shown to cause food allergies for our pooches.  Consider grain choices when buying your food.

•    Food sources that contain the meat rather than the by-products mean a higher quality food

We recommend looking into small companies that make pet food in batches in the United States and are preferably all natural with minimal ingredients.  Feeding raw food is also another great option, as you as the owner has total control over what your pups are eating!  There are now even frozen patties or mixes that make this option even easier to do.  Watch your dog when changing diets to make sure that they are not having bathroom issues, excessive itching, or other symptoms, which could potentially signal an allergy to something in the food.

No body likes having to give their pooches pills.  Fish oil is a great supplement which contributes to both skin and cardiovascular system health.  Salmon oil, in the liquid form can be put in their water or over their food.

When buying your dogs treats, make sure that they are a high quality meat or vegetable product, which are fully digestible.  Many treats out there (including raw hide) are not digestible, which can pose problems if your pooch swallows a piece.

Lastly, always do your homework!  There is a wealth of information on food and treats available on the Internet and in print today.  Look into reviews of the food you are feeding and pay close attention to recalls and customer complaints!  We hope that all pups out there stay happy and healthy!

101 Dog Care Tips – Skin Care – Tip 4

101 Dog Care Tips – Skin Care – Tip 4

Although all dogs probably don’t care about what there coat looks like, it is very important to keep a shiny, healthy coat!   Besides just looking and feeling better, healthy skin and coat can in most cases indicate the overall health of the pooch.  Sudden changes in coat can indicate underlying medical problems.  Below are several recommendations to ensure healthy, happy skin and coat:

Feed your dog a nutritious diet with the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, including omega fatty acids and Vitamin E. About 20-25 percent of the diet should be protein.

Add one teaspoon of flax seed or fish oil to your dog’s daily food.  This will not only add shine and help to reduce shedding, but also benefits your pooches cardiovascular system.

Brush your dog at least once a week, preferably even more, but we know it can be difficult.  If your dog is a shedder, do it more often. This distributes the natural oils, prevents matting and helps minimize dust and dirt, which can cause irritation.  We recommend the Furminator.   It is not only the best for removing extra hair, but they also love the feel.

Try different dog shampoos. There are moisturizing shampoos for a dry or brittle coat, oatmeal shampoo for itchy, irritated skin and dandruff and botanical or herbal shampoos for an overall healthier coat. Biotin helps with dry skin and panthenol adds shine to the coat.

Make sure to take your dog to a veterinarian for regular checkups, which should include inspection of the entire coat, including the tail and paws.  Sometimes skin problems can be hidden in places that we do not typically see, like between paws or under their belly.

Please let us know what you if there are any suggestions for future Dog Care Tips!

101 Dog Care Tips – Cleaning Your Dogs Ears – Tip 3

101 Dog Care Tips – Cleaning Your Dogs Ears – Tip 3

Cleaning your dog’s ears can be a bad experience for both the pooch and the owner.  However, keeping your dog’s ears clean is the best way to prevent against potential health hazards such as ear mites, ear infections and wax build up.  In addition, infections and build-up can affect their ability to hear.

To reduce your dog’s risk for experiencing any of these problems perform a routine ear check.  This is best done on a weekly basis. Below are some helpful hints as to what you should be looking for when checking your dog’s ears:

  • Check the ear for any dirt, wax, foreign objects, or redness in the ear canal.
  • Smell your dog’s ear; if there is a foul smell present, this is usually indicative of a more serious problem.
  • Mites, fleas and ticks like the dark, moist inaccessible area of your dog’s ear.
  • Check for a waxy substance in your dog’s ears, it will almost look like dark brown coffee grinds.

If you think your dog may have any of these symptoms listed above it is imperative that you call and make an appointment to see your Veterinarian. These things can cause serious issues and get worse as they progress.

There are many ear cleaners out on the market, some which are a cleaning solution and rinse aid.  They work great for in between vet visits and really make a difference.  We do not recommend the use of soap and water or Qtips because they can damage the ear canal.

We appreciate you all checking out Tip 3, if you have any suggestions for future tips, or new dog treats or dog related products you would like to see on the site please give us a shout!

101 Dog Care Tips – Dog Nail Care – Tip 2

101 Dog Care Tips – Dog Nail Care – Tip 2

Many people have severe anxiety about cutting their pooches nails, but it might be easier than you think. Have a groomer or your veterinarian show you how to do it. Most pet stores sell a special dog nail clipper. In addition, there is a new tool out called the “Pedi-Paw” which is supposed to gently file your pups nails down over time.  We have tried the tool and found that the noise from the tool itself puts our boys on edge, so we just went back to the traditional method of clipping with clippers.  It is important to try a few things out and figure out which one works best for you and your pooch!

The blood supply to the dog’s nail is called the “quick”. If your dog’s nails are too long and you immediately cut to the length you think they should be, you will cut into the quick and cause your dog’s nail to bleed. Although this is not a serious problem, it can be painful for your pooch and can make for a royal mess around the house.  Most people keep some styptic powder or quick gel on hand to cauterize the bleeding if necessary.

The trick to trimming dog toenails is to train the quick to retreat backward. Remember, simply cutting a large chunk of the dog’s nail is risky and can cause the nail to bleed. Instead, use the following method to avoid cutting the quick.

Cut or file the dog’s nails only a little bit every couple of days. This will cause the blood supply to get shorter at the same time as the nail is being shortened. Many also recommend regular walks, which encourages the quick to retreat and will mean that you will have less of a chance of nipping it.  When you get the nail to the length you would like to maintain, clip every few weeks or as often as necessary to maintain that length. This will prevent the quick from growing too long and prevent the nail from bleeding.

Nail clipping can be a stressful for event your pooch so make sure to give them a reward like a dog treat or dog chew to encourage them.

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