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Dog Care 101 #217: Top 5 Dog-Friendly People Foods

 

BestBullySticks is committed to providing our customers’ dogs with healthy, nutritious chews and treats. However, our interest in providing all-natural, healthy dog treats extends beyond the occasional snack and all the way to food! Maintaining a healthy diet is the biggest factor in maintaining long term health, staving off disease and enhancing general well-being.

Many store bought dog foods are nutritionally poor and contain scarce amounts of beneficial nutrients. Others are healthy and do provide complete nutrition. Either way, there’s always room to supplement. As the saying goes, you are what you eat!

All Food Isn’t Created Equal

Many pet owners get up in arms if you tell them you feed your dog food from the table. But the fact of the matter is many of the healthy whole foods we eat for dinner, are pretty good for Fido too! Of course, there are some exceptions. But on the whole, we’ve got a lot in common with our canine companions when it comes to food. For today’s post we’ve selected five dog-friendly people foods — great for both people and dogs — that stand out among the rest.

5 Super Foods for Dogs

1. Fish – Oily fish like salmon, trout and tuna pack the highest nutritional punch for your dog. These fatty fish have higher levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids — two nutrients proven to reduce the risk of heart related illnesses. Additionally, fish is a rich source of healthy low-calorie protein and it’s also easy to digest! Making fish part of your dog’s diet twice a week is a great way to offer them some long term health benefits. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #211: Grooming Tips for Flea and Tick Prevention

Springtime Dog Grooming!Spring is now in full swing and BestBullySticks wants to make sure you and your dog get the most from the sunny months ahead. We’re discussing Springtime Dog Grooming Tips because a well groomed dog doesn’t just turn heads, it helps keep them healthy too!

Reasons to Groom

Grooming is an activity pets regularly conduct by themselves. They still need your help, though! There are a few reasons why grooming should be high on your list of dog-related priorities this spring. Regular grooming habits will not only decrease your pets chance of developing epidermal and oral health problems, it’s also a great way to create a strong bond, monitor your dog’s health and even help to prevent disease.

Lyme Disease

The first step to protecting your pet from Lyme disease is making sure they’re on the correct preventative medications. BestBullySticks suggests all-natural flea and tick medications as an alternative to the toxic ingredients found in many common medications. Spot treatments are filled with chemicals and have been proven to pose a threat to both pets and owners.

Caused by a bacteria from the genus Borrelia, the chance of contracting Lyme disease is much higher between May and August — the height of tick season. Here are a few early warning symptoms: read more…

Why’s My Dog Eating That?!

Whether it’s shoes, crayons or trash, we’ve all seen our pets eat some pretty strange things. But why do they do it? Although pets can’t tell us why they engage in certain behaviors, experts have studied some of the common behaviors in pets like eating poop and grass and drinking toilet water and feel as though they have a not-so-strange answer for why pets act the way they do. If your dog is engaging in one of these behaviors, find out why here.

Cat Nip for Canines

Dogs react to anise seed the same way that cats react to catnip! Anise seed comes from a flowering anise plant. The seed’s licorice-like taste is common in Mediterranean cooking (maybe that’s why dogs love em!). According to WebMD, the seed has medical benefits, too. It is believed to aid digestion, treat coughs, menstrual cramps and helps alleviate the symptoms of Scabies and Psoriasis. Strangely enough the plant is also used as an insecticide against species of termites and cockroaches. Do not confuse this seed with Star anise. Unlike anise seed, Star anise comes from the star-shaped flower of a small evergreen and is an ingredient in Chinese 5-spice powder. Make your pooch homemade anise seed dog treats or secure seeds into their favorite toy!

Poop

Eating feces is a common dog behavior. Theresa A. Fuess, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine explains that feces eating, also known as coprophagia, is not done because of a dietary or enzyme deficiency, but that it is more commonly a behavioral habit picked up when dogs are just puppies.

Dr. Jo Ann Eurell, a veterinarian and animal behavior specialist, states that dogs are scavengers, and that this behavior is common. She also notes that mother dogs often eat their puppies’ feces in an effort to clean their den and keep the smell of the puppies away. This behavior can be picked up by puppies, although most shake it off when they are weaned. If a dog has this habit, be sure to regularly clean up feces in the yard and to keep litter boxes out of reach, as Eurell explains that fixing this problem is more of a prevention than a cure. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #199: High-Five Trick Dog Training

Yes, your dog is cute. But how cool would it be to give your dog a high-five?! “Good Boy, Fido!” followed by a head pat can quickly become “Good Boy, Fido! High-Five” followed by interspecies coolness. What’s more awesome than that?

BestBullySticks.com knows once your dog has mastered standard training commands and a few tricks, your dog will not only be the cutest and best behaved at the dog park, but the most talented as well! 

Teaching the High-Five Trick

Need: Training Treats, Training Treat Pouch & a Clicker

If you’re not familiar with clicker dog training, read up on it here. Also, your dog must have the “sit” command mastered before teaching this trick.

Step 1
Have your dog sit in front of you. Place a desirable treat in your hand and make a fist. Let your dog sniff your hand to let them know the treat is there. Move the hand with the hidden treat above your dog’s head, just out of reach. Have the clicker ready in your other hand. read more…

Dog Care 101: Tip #175: Veggies To Share With Your Dog

Vegetable patches all over the country are producing wonderfully tasty and nutritious food. Tomatoes, squash, zucchini and cucumber are just some of the wholesome foods that you can grow in your own back yard or find fresh in farmer’s markets! If you enjoy these healthy eats, then include your dog, too!

Remember, your dog’s ancestors were wild animals who scavenged and ate fruits and vegetables readily. Sharing vegetables with your dog is a great way to add nutritious vitamins and minerals to his diet. Read more to find out which vegetables you can share with your dog.

Pumpkin
Not just for Halloween and Thanksgiving anymore, pumpkin is a great source of vitamins and minerals for your dog. Beta-carotene, which is a great source of Vitamin A, and fiber are two of the biggest benefits pumpkin provides your pup. Just like humans, dogs need a healthy amount of fiber in their diet to keep their digestive system “regular.” Boiling fresh pumpkin and adding to your dog’s food is a great way to bring this vegetable into your dog’s diet.

Sweet Potato
These orange root vegetables are another great source of beta-carotene, Vitamin A and dietary fiber. Sweet Potatoes are also full of Vitamin C, K, manganese and potassium. Dogs love sweet potato and whether it’s dried into jerky or mashed into their food, your dog will be getting a tasty treat with tons of nutrients! Best Bully Sticks has a full line of Sweet Potato dog treats that your pooch will drool over!

Squash/Zucchini
Squash is similar to pumpkin in its digestive benefits, but is also great as a raw crunchy snack too. This gourd veggie is full of beta-carotene as well.

Zucchini is full of beta-carotene, calcium, potassium and folates. Give zucchini slices to your dog raw or frozen for a great green snack!

Green Beans & Peas
Frozen or thawed, dogs love green beans and peas! Your dog will benefit from the plant fiber, Vitamin C & K and manganese in green beans.  If your dog is overweight or constantly seems hungry, green beans are a great food replacement and snack. These empty calorie beans are a great all-purpose, round-the-clock food for your dog.

Peas are similarly nutritious for your pup and can be added straight to your dog’s food as well. Peas are a great source of B vitamin Thiamin, phosphorous and potassium.

Cucumber
Instead of sneaking a crunchy chip to your dog, sneak him a crunchy cucumber! These great dog snacks are low in calories and have lots of good calcium, potassium and beta-carotene.

Baby Carrots
Like cucumber, baby carrots are a great crunchy snack for your dog. Carrots are chock-full of beta-carotene! Raw, cooked or cut into carrot chips are great ways to give carrots to your dog. An added health benefit of feeding your dog carrots is the breath freshening property! read more…

Dog Care 101: Tip #174 – Fruits You Can Share With Your Dog

Best Bully Sticks knows it’s easy to forget that our dogs were once wild animals. They didn’t sleep half the day, they didn’t chase after plastic bouncy balls, and they didn’t wear clothes, go to the groomer or get their toenails painted. Your sweet pooch is a descendant of wild dogs and before that, wolves! You have to remember that trapped somewhere inside that cute, cuddly exterior is a wild animal! You live with a wild animal! Isn’t it a little strange to think about?

That being said, your dog’s descendants definitely didn’t eat that dry brown food that comes out of a bag. Not that bagged dog food isn’t good. A good food provides all the necessary vitamins, minerals and proteins your dog needs. However, owners forget that dogs are natural hunters and scavengers and ate as much vegetation and roughage as they did meat.  Dog owners sometimes have a stigma of offering their dogs human food, thinking that it isn’t good for them. The fact is, there are some very nutritional and wholesome foods that are great for your dog and you shouldn’t be afraid to share. Over the next three weeks Best Bully Sticks will take you through some natural, “human” foods that will feed your dog and his wild side. Today we’re talking about fruit!

Banana
Most families have bananas on hand in their house for a healthy and quick snack. Your dog can benefit from the same high potassium levels, fiber, magnesium B6 and C vitamins as well as all the good antioxidants in bananas that you will when eating this berry. In a pinch, bananas can help remedy a troubled doggy stomach and you can easily mix banana in with your dog’s dry food to make it more appealing. However, some dogs don’t like bananas because of the compounds that make this berry smell, well, like a banana.

Cantaloupe
This great summer melon is cool and refreshing, so give your pup the benefits of vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants and fiber that cantaloupe offers. Make sure you remove all seeds when serving to your dog. You can serve fresh or even mix it with other fruit, freeze and serve as a doggy popsicle. You might even join in on that! read more…

April is Heartworm Awareness Month

April is Heartworm Awareness Month & Best Bully Sticks wants to make sure you’re protecting your pup from these nasty pests! Here are a few quick tips on how to address heartworm prevention and make sure your furry family member is getting the protection they need. But first, let’s look at what heartworms are and how your dog can contract them.

What Are Heartworms?

Mosquitoes are the carriers of heartworm larvae, called microfilariae. The mosquitoes pick up the larvae when they feed on an infected animal who already has the microfilariae in it’s bloodstream and then pass the larvae off on the next feeding host, which in some cases can be dogs. If your dog isn’t on a consistent dosage of heartworm meds, then the larvae mature into heartworms and will work their way to the heart and lungs. This process can take up to 6 months with no detectable signs and heartworms can reach up to 12 inches in length live up to 7 years in your dog’s organs.

Prevention

1. Prevention Starts at the Vet’s Office: Make sure you talk to your vet about which heartworm medication will be right for your dog. There are a few different forms of heartworm medication that are available, such as oral, topical and injectable preventatives. They will all have their pro’s and con’s, so talking to your vet is always the first step.

read more…

Dog Care 101 – Tip #159: How To Choose A Good Dog Groomer

When the air turns warm, we humans shed our winter coats and don filp-flops, tank tops and shorts with the intention being comfortable outdoors. However, humans aren’t the only ones shedding winter coats. Our pups are getting rid of that winter fur too and want to be outside as much as we do!

Best Bully Sticks knows that warm weather and thick fur don’t mix and so it’s up to you, the loving owner, to help your pup shed their winter coat. Many owners groom their pups themselves, but not all owners have the know-how, tools, experience or even physical ability to groom their dogs properly. That’s where a groomer comes in. But how do you know how to pick a good and trustworthy groomer? Best Bully Sticks will help the tips and tricks of choosing a good groomer!

Grooming can consist of brushing, combing, bathing, clipping nails, cutting out matted hair, cleaning ears and medicated baths or treatments. So, don’t just think of grooming as a hair cut. It can meet a lot of different needs.

Finding a groomer should start with asking your trusted friends, your vet, boarding kennel, dog trainer or local animal shelter who they might recommend. All of these people might have a good “go-to” groomer they trust. Checking online for “Pet Groomer” or the National Dog Groomers Association of America’s website is a good option, too. Calling the Better Business Bureau for any registered complaints is also a safe step to take. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #157: Allergy Relief For Your Dog

Last week Best Bully Sticks covered how allergies affect our pooch pals and how a reaction will most likely look. (To find out more, read “Recognize Your Dog’s Allergic Reactions”) This week’s tip focuses in on how to treat your dog’s allergic reactions as they pertain to skin symptoms.

Allergy Testing
The first step may be figuring out exactly what is causing an allergic reaction. This usually entails a trip to the vet’s office and a blood or skin test to determine the offending allergen. The next step, of course, will be limiting exposure to that allergen.

Preventative Measures
After you know how to recognize the reaction and exactly what it is, there are some avoidance measures you can take to help cut down on your pet’s reactions. For instance, keeping your dog out of the room for several hours while vacuuming and changing furnace filters will aid against house dust allergens. When treating a dog with sensitivity to pollen, keep them out of fields, keep your grass cut short, rinse your dog’s feet after being outside and keep your dog inside when high pollen counts have been forecast. read more…

101 Dog Care Tips: Tip 148 – How to Treat a Doggie Cold

Dogs can get colds just like their owners.  If your dog has a cough, runny nose and eyes, sneezing, general lethargy and loss of appetite, he or she might just have a cold.  Also similar to human colds, dog colds aren’t severe. Here are a few tips on helping your pup get back to romping around.

Comfy & Cozy: Keep Your Dog Warm & Dry. You’ll need to make sure your dog stays inside as much as possible. Cold air can further constrict a dog’s bronchial tubes if they are having a hard time breathing. Routine potty breaks outside should remain normal, but when inside keep your pup warm by adding blanket to their bed, covering them up or putting a hot water bottle in their covers.

Calories Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Making Sure Your Dog Eats and Drinks. If your dog seems indifferent toward their food, there are a few ways to get their calorie intake up.  If your dog won’t eat dry food, try a hot low sodium chicken broth, or mixing up a combination of veggies, boiled chicken and rice.  Your dog is certain to be interested. Making sure your dog stays hydrated is equally important. If they don’t seem to want to drink water, try a sports drink or add an electrolyte mix to their water. (Always check with your vet about the ingredients on these products!) This helps to replace fluids that your pup may be losing to mucus production.

Doggies In The Mist: Vapor & Moisture. There are a few ways to help break up your dog’s congestion. Turn on a very hot shower and sit in a closed bathroom with your dog. You can also use a humidifier, which creates the same effect.  Both of these will help loosen any mucus your dog has built up.

The key to helping your dog get over a cold is pretty simple–If it works for you, it just might work for your dog. If the symptoms become more intense, please take your dog to the vet. It could possibly be something more serious than a cold.  Illnesses such as Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough or Canine Distemper are all more serious ailments that could be disguised as a cold. If you’re an attentive dog owner, you’ll pick up on the difference in a common cold and something more serious. Never second guess taking your prized pup to the doctor. We hope these tips help if your pet experiences a doggie cold!

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