When buying dog food, remember to consider the age, breed, activity level, and size of your dog
Eating habits are still based on the instinctual habits of the dog's wild counterparts. Some dogs feed on a "stuff-yourself-or-starve" mode and tend to eat more than they need when food is made available to them. For this reason, owners must be in control of their dog's food intake. Obesity is very harmful to your dog's health at any age. It puts undue stress on vital organs that can lead to serious health problems.
THE OLD SAYING, "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT", applies to dogs as well as to humans. By choosing the right food, giving the dog daily exercise, and regular grooming, you are helping your dog to have a healthy, happy, long life.
Don't ever leave your pet in a hot car. The best way to judge if it is too hot to leave your pet in the car is to use the same basis for people. Ask yourself if you would sit in the hot car with the windows cracked open or if the heat would be too intolerable for you. If you can't take it, neither can your pet. Although our furry friends love to hop in the car and go for a ride to the store with us, it is much safer to leave them at home on hot or even sunny days.
Your dog is much more vulnerable to summer heat than you are. Make sure he/she has shade and plenty of water if left in the yard. Be especially careful when exercising your dog during the hot season. Do not force your dog to run or walk with you. Exercise with your dog only if you are confident that you can recognize when he/she has had enough. Provide plenty of water at all times. Heat stroke is a very real (and life threatening) possibility if your dog overheats. Don't hesitate to contact your vet if your dog seems under distress due to the heat.
Quick Guide to Natural Pet Food
When choosing the right natural food for your dog or cat it is important to remember several factors:
Freshness - The more fresh and less processed the food, the better. As with human food, the more pet food is processed, the more nutrients are lost.Meat - Dogs and cats are natural carnivores, so it is important that the main source of protein in their diet is meat. Grains are inferior sources of protein and cats especially do not tolerate grains well. Diets with higher grain and carbohydrate content can lead to weight gain and other potential health problems.
Vegetables & Fruits - Vegetables and fruits contain beneficial vitamins and antioxidants and should be included in the diet as well -- to a greater extent for dogs than for cats. Cats are almost exclusively carnivores, so this portion should be smaller for them.
Variety - It is a good idea to feed your pet different types of food, either through rotation or mixing them together. Try different brands and/or different flavors of the same brand. Feeding your pet the same dry food all the time would be like you eating only corn flakes - sure you could survive, but it wouldn't be very healthful or enjoyable. Every meal does not need to be perfectly balanced. Feeding a variety of healthy meals will create balance over the course of the week.
Supplements - Most of the food we offer contains additional ingredients to add vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. It is always a good idea to also add some fish oil to your pet's food, an excellent source of essential fatty acids, as well as digestive enzymes and an overall multivitamin supplement containing key nutrients (a lot like your daily vitamins, only more important since a pet's diet tends to be less fresh and varied than yours).
With these things in mind, below we've compiled a table summarizing natural pet food in order of nutritional value and health benefits. Raw food is the best, followed by dehydrated and freeze dried, then canned and rolls, then dry kibble. Of course your budget is a factor, because the better quality the food, the more expensive it tends to be. Don't forget you can save 10% on your pet food bill by using our Simplify Life Automatic Delivery program.
Type of Food in Order of Nutritional Benefit
Comes frozen and you keep it in your freezer and thaw it before feeding. Mostly freshly ground meat and bones, and many brands contain fruits and vegtables and sometimes grains as well. Raw chicken and turkey necks are a great way to clean teeth, provide natural calcium and phosphorus, and add variety to a dog's diet; and raw bones are the perfect healthful treat.
Premixes for Home Prepared Food
Perfect for those who want to feed homemade food but don't have time for the hassle. These mixes take the guesswork out of balanced meals - all you do is add water and the meat of your choice to make a complete meal.
Premixes for Dogs & Cats
Dehydrated & Freeze Dried
You add water to prepare, in some cases boiled water to speed reconstitution. An excellent choice for adding freshness to a predominantly canned or dry kibble diet.
Great for adding variety into your pet's diet, and definitely better than dry kibble. If you rely primarily on dry kibble, try mixing in some canned food or feeding canned in the morning and dry in the evening (or vice-versa).
Certainly the easiest and least expensive alternative. If you rely primarily on dry food, be sure to supplement with one of the recommendations below. Please note: We do NOT recommend kibble as a large portion of a cat's diet. Feeding dry kibble to cats contributes to many chronic health problems including urinary tract problems, kidney disease, obesity and others.
No matter which type of diet you choose, a good nutritional supplement will help optimize your pet's health by ensuring they get enough of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
Many people ask me what I feed my feed pets. My dogs get a combination of raw food and dehydrated food, along with salmon oil and a nutritional supplement. My cats get a combination of raw food and canned food, also with salmon oil and a nutritional supplement. As suggested above, I regularly rotate flavors and brands. And how do I get my finicky cat Bernie to eat different food? The trick is sprinkling crushed pet treats on top until he is used to it!
When friends ask me what the bare essentials are, I tell them to choose any food we offer and supplement with Fish Oil and whichever vitamins and enzymes are best suited for your pet. For puppies and kittens also supplement with colostrum for the first few months of life.
Choosing the perfect size bed for your pup
You search and search for the right dog bed, and want to be sure that your pup is as comfortable as they can be. There are so many shapes and sizes available that it’s no wonder the process is a tiring one! But don’t worry; this buyer's guide is designed to help you narrow it down to the perfect choice for your canine companion. The first decision that you, as the dog owner, need to make is whether your dog’s lifestyle warrants a flat mat or a pillow bed. If you travel a lot, find yourself constantly washing your dog’s bed, or need a cushion for a crate or kennel, consider a flat mat. Flat dog mats by come in a variety of standard sizes, in your choice of fabrics, and all have padding sewn inside. On the other hand, if your dog enjoys a little extra cushion, and you have a designated space for his bed, look at a pillow bed. These dog beds take a little more consideration to choose and have an extra step in their maintenance, but they are well worth it for the additional comfort they provide. For any bed, you’ll want to consider how large your dog will grow, if he is not already full-grown. Also think about whether multiple dogs will end up using the same bed. Finally, observe your dog’s sleeping habits before you choose your dog’s bed. Do they like to curl up in a ball or sprawl out? Do they always tuck themselves in a corner, or do they lay down in the middle of the room? Do they look for the most comfortable cushion they can find, or does your dog flop down anywhere, including the hardwood floor? Tailwaggerspets.com offers beds for any personality sleeper, from quality mats to lofty and luxurious pillow beds. For miniature toy breeds, small dogs, and puppies, our smallest beds measure approximately 15”x20” and are available in styles across our mat and pillow bed offerings. For large dogs, multiple dogs, or dogs that just love having room to spread out, look at our Extra Large (XL) size in both mats and pillow beds. Whatever your size dog, we’ve got you covered!
- Dogs need to wear a collar ID tag at all times, even during bathing.
- Always walk your dog on a leash. This ensures the safety of the dog, you, walkers, joggers, and people on bicycles.
- Puppies as well as older dogs need supervision and training when there is a swimming pool in the yard.
- Big dogs don't need to have big yards. What they do need is plenty of attention and a walk every day.
Flea collars can be toxic and are not recommended.
CONTROLLING FLEAS IN YOUR HOME WILL HELP KEEP FLEAS OFF YOUR PET AND YOU.
If you don't want to use poisons, vacuum every two days and empty the bag after 3-4 uses. There are now non-poisonous treatments for your home, some of which can be applied by the homeowner and others by professionals. These are generally very effective.
TREATMENT OF YOUR YARD IS A MUST IN CONTROLLING FLEAS. Alternate the type of pesticides used. Use the liquid form and make sure to spray 3 feet up on the sides of your home and fence to help control other pests. This is either a do-it-yourself job or one performed by a professional.
USING A FLEA COMB
- Start with a dry dog and dry comb.
- Prepare "flea soup" (a small bowl of water with a few drops of liquid dish detergent added to the water-i.e. no suds)
- Start at the pet's nose and work back toward the tail. Do not remove the collar with ID tags. Work around it.
- Use short, firm strokes in the same direction as fur growth.
- Inspect comb after each stroke remove debris (dander, dead hair and fleas) and place in the "flea soup".
- Keep the tines dry, hold the handle and push the debris underwater.
- Fleas love white/blond fur and hate the light. You will soon discover that while you are working on the dog's back, the fleas will crawl around to the belly. Flip your dog over and comb the belly quickly. Yes, the fleas will crawl around to the back again. Flip again and comb.
- You now have an ugly mess in the bowl.....flush it.
- Use the flea comb on a regular basis.
- Use the flea combing time to check your pet's ears--keep them clean and dry. If the ears smell bad, get him/her to the vet for treatment and lessons on how to keep the ears clean and dry.
- Bathe your pet when he/she is dirty and keep bedding clean.
- Those of you with double-coated dogs can also use a flea comb with good results.
Following these instructions on a regular basis will help control flea problems for you and your pet.