January 2014 archive

Why Do Dogs Hump?

Dogs hump for a number of reasons, the simplest of which is that they get into a sexual position when they are excited. When a dog is under a year old and is humping, they are trying to have sex. If they are older, the dog has not learned that this behavior is not acceptable when out at the dog park.

Older dogs hump when they are excited, as a form of playing and because they are proving that they are dominant over another dog.

Although it can be funny when a dog begins to hump your leg, a pillow or another dog for no apparent reason, this behavior quickly becomes embarrassing as it continues.

Dogs that are not properly socialized might exhibit this behavior because they have not learned how to play with other dogs. Humping feels good to the dog and if they have not been social with other animals in the past, they just don’t know what to do.

Dogs that are not neutered and under a year are humping because they are sexually excited. Dogs will outgrow this behavior if they are neutered and are trained properly that this behavior is not acceptable.

If you have a dog that has started humping benign objects, stop the behavior as soon as it starts. Without quick intervention, this behavior becomes a habit that is much harder to break as time passes.

Although it’s funny or cute at first, no one wants to have the dog that is constantly humping other dogs, people or toys. Keep your dog regularly exercised and on a routine to minimize excitement and anxiety.


Why feed your dog a natural food?

Your pooch is more than just an adorable ball of fur, he’s a prized member of the family. As such, you want him to live a vibrant life and bring your family many years of joy. Just like his human family, your canine companion needs a nutrient-dense diet to fuel his romps around the park. A natural dog food can give your pet the nutrients he needs without the nasty additives and fillers.

Why Natural Dog Food

When it comes to pet food, the fewer additives, the better. Food that is free from artificial colors, pesticides, fillers and chemicals gives your dog the best chance at fighting allergies, infections and illnesses.

Your dog relies on the nutritional value in food to stay energetic, muscular and healthy. Natural dog foods are more nutritious because they contain high quality proteins and grains instead of bulk fillers.

Many of the additives in traditional pet food can cause digestive issues because they are not fit for animals to eat. Natural foods break down in the system properly so your pooch can digest them easier. Your pet will appreciate not being crumpled up in a corner because he’s constipated . . . again.

In addition to feeding your pet a natural dog food, you must keep his portion sizes reasonable. If you feed him too much, he’ll end up overweight. If you are having a tough time calculating Fido’s calories, talk to your vet. She will take your animal’s age and weight into consideration and help you figure out the right amount of food to feed him.

How to Read Dog Food Labels

Shelves of dog food. Includes Beneful and Pedigree

Shelves of dog food. Includes Beneful and Pedigree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Much like us humans, the food that dogs eat can either positively or negatively affect their physical and mental well-being. Foods closest to natural and wholesome can encourage a glossier coat, stronger immunity and a longer lifespan while foods closer to synthetic can cause health problems and sluggishness. Food labels on all edibles (both human and animal) have been a requirement for quite some time now. The purpose of such descriptions is to provide valuable information such as ingredients list, weight and nutritional content. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently compare between liked-products, then make the best decision for your pet.

How to Read Dog Food Labels:

  1. Consider your dog’s requirements: When shopping for new dog food, you need to first consider their age, per-existing health conditions and their ideal weight. With those factors in mind, you will be able to narrow your choices after comparing labels.
  2. Ingredient list: The list of dog food ingredients are coded in order by heaviest first, therefore the first ingredient is the most important. The first ingredient should be a protein such as chicken, beef, lamb or turkey. Another valuable ingredient that should be high on the list is carbohydrates such as brown rice, barley and peas. Fats like omegas, sunflower oil and canola oil should also be present in quality dog food.
  3. Understanding byproducts: The term “byproduct” has gotten a bad reputation because it has come to represent inedible ingredients and valueless fillers. While it is true that many byproducts are unnecessary, some do pose nutritional value. When reading dog food labels, byproducts should be completely absent or lower on the list. If byproducts are listed choose a variety that contains meat byproducts and avoid brands that contain soy and corn gluten meal.
  4. Unreadable ingredients: The unreadable ingredients lower down on the dog food labels represent the preservatives and the artificial colors and flavors that are added to enhance shelve-life and taste. It is important to choose a variety that has little to no synthetic flavors or colors added, and the preservatives added should be derived from natural sources.

Choosing the right dog food for your fury friend won’t be as difficult once you know what to look for on the food labels. Your dog needs a complete mix of whole protein, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates to live a long and healthy life.

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