March 2014 archive

Dogs and the Dinner Table


If man’s best friend is becoming a nuisance at dinner time, the are some things that you can do to better
Fido’s table manners. From distraction to restraining, there are some easy ways to keep your dog from begging for table scraps.


One easy trick to try is simple distraction. If you begin to train your dog that each time you have dinner, he gets a treat, it will be easier to keep him from begging.

A great way to do this is with a toy from a company like Kong. They make interactive chew toys that can be filled with peanut butter or treats. This keeps your dog busy the entire time you are eating, and not only that, he will come to know that each time you get ready to sit down for dinner, he is getting his Kong.


If you have crate trained your dog, it is easy to direct him to his crate during meal times. Simply give him a treat so that going into the crate is not a punishment, but more of a reward for his good behavior during meal times.

No People Food

Another, somewhat simple, way to keep your dog from begging during meal times is never to get him started on people food in the first place. If you begin by feeding your dog during your dinner time, and never share your food with him, he will not get a taste for human food at all. If you both eat at the same time, begging won’t be a problem.

This also means that you must keep your guests from sneaking your dog scraps from the table, too. We all know a family member or friend who just cannot help it, and hates to say no to a dog. Just let them know that you have trained your dog not to beg, and ask them please not to share their food with your pup.

There are several ways to perfect your dog’s table manners, and starting with these from an early age are key. Good luck!

Top 3 Pet Friendly Car Options


Children, drinks, and even grocery bags, have secure places to ride within a vehicle, but what about Dog-Kids? Gone are the days of only taking Fido on car rides for yearly vet visits. As more humans live in urban areas, we like to bring our pets on hikes, to playgrounds made just for them to play with other pets and even to stores that cater to their needs. Pets commonly ride in vehicles, and now some manufacturers are making vehicles with these pets in mind.

Safety and comfort are the two top priorities when it comes to transporting your pup.

Jeep Liberty

The Jeep Liberty Offers tons of extras made just for pet owners to fit perfectly into the model. It also has back seats that fold down, and allow your pet and his buddies room for the ride that is comparable to the back of a pick up but safer.

Dodge Journey SE

The Dodge Journey offers something that not many vehicles have, it has a cooler in the dash to keep water so you and your pet can stay hydrated after a hike in the woods. This SUV is rated high on safety and off road capabilities as well.

Subaru Forester

This vehicle can go off road, so taking your pet off the beaten path is safe and easy. Side Curtain Airbags, will protect the four legged passengers in the passenger, or back seat. While they ride in comfort on the leather upholstery.

Remember to keep your pet safe while on the road by keeping lose items secure in the vehicle and not allowing them to hang their head out the window unless you are going really slow down a back road.

7 Common Dog Discipline Problems


Sometimes pet kids can become overwhelming when they develop discipline problems. It can be frustrating to find the furniture, or shoes ruined, or to have the neighbors complain about the noise. Most pet behavior problems can be addressed if the owner is willing to put in the time and show both discipline and patience.

Common Dog Discipline Issues

  • Chewing. Puppies are going to chew, and should have plenty of safe toys to ease their gums on. However, when the chewing returns after teething and it ruins your things there is likely an issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Barking. Many people get a dog because of the security of having a dog bark at intruders, however some dogs take this to an extreme that interrupts the sleep of the entire neighborhood.
  • Defecating or urinating inside after potty training has been accomplished. If a pet starts eliminating inside the house after he/she has already been trained, there is likely an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Do not be too harsh, because the issue may be medical.
  • Jumping. Dogs just love company, and greeting their family when everyone comes home. However jumping can hurt, and ruin clothing there are ways to deter jumping without hurting the dogs excited, loving feelings.
  • Chasing. Dogs have had jobs in the past, and they get bored. Chasing is a way for a dog to work, but it can be very dangerous to the dogs life and must be addressed by offering the dog a different “job” to pass the time. Something like finding a hidden toy, and leading on long walks.
  • Begging. This bad habit is likely a direct result of the dog being given treats during human meal time. It may be cute, but it is also likely a hindrance when attempting to have a family meal.
  • Growling or biting. This may be the worst habit of a dog because it endangers other people. Even a small breed can cause the need for stitches. Addressing this behavior is of up most importance.

All of these discipline problems can make pets hard to handle, but treating most problems is a matter of putting in time and addressing each issue individually. After making sure that the bad habit is not caused by a health problem, training techniques such as distraction, rewards, set schedules, and addressing issued early on before they become habits can make life much more peaceful for Fido.

Fiber in Cat Food


The right balance of nutrition is an important part of selecting the best cat food for a pet. Since cats are carnivorous animals, the amount of fiber that they require in their diet is much lower than the amount that humans need. As a result, it is important to identify the appropriate level of fiber before selecting any cat food.

Optimal Fiber for Most Cats

Since fiber is a nutrient that helps move food out of the digestive tract, it is important for a cat food to have some fiber. The key is finding the right balance.

In general, cat food that has 3.5 percent fiber or less is appropriate. It should have at least 1.4 percent for good health, but it should not exceed 3.5 percent for a healthy cat.

Adding Fiber For Certain Conditions

Obese cats and cats with anal gland disease can benefit from a high fiber diet. It is not necessary for a healthy cat, but the fiber can help resolve concerns regarding infection and inflammation from anal gland disease.

The fiber in the cat food can help increase the bulk of excrement, which can help reduce the symptoms of anal gland disease.

In the case of obesity in cats, a high-fiber diet is beneficial by reducing appetite. When a cat eats a large amount of fiber, he or she is less likely to over-eat and will feel full faster. Even though the fiber can help with weight management, it is important to ensure that the amount is not excessive. Too much fiber can cause gas or loose stools.

The balance of nutrients in a cat’s diet plays an important role in the health of a pet. The key to finding the right balance of fiber is limiting the amount based on the cat’s specific needs.

Dogs and Thunder


Some dogs, especially smaller, more anxious breeds, tend to have issues with thunder and other loud noises. In most cases, those dogs that are afraid of thunder tend to exhibit a set of behaviors that are difficult for owners to treat without taking the time to truly consider what is happening. The first symptom that owners may notice that points to a phobia of thunder is hunkering down or crouching when thunder is heard.

This may mean that dogs are more aggressive when there is thunder and they are hunkered down in this defensive pose. It is important that owners understand that these dogs are not capable of understanding that there is no reason to be scared and should therefore be treated with care. Another behavior you may notice is wetting, this means wetting themselves or their beds when they hear thunder. Again, this is not the fault of the dog and which should be considered when this behavior is discovered. Some other behaviors may be barking, whimpering, hiding, and even running around when thunder is being experienced.

The best way to treat this type of phobia is to first take the time to show your pet that there is nothing to fear. This may mean taking them up in your lap when there is thunder, talk to them in a soothing voice, associate thunder with a positive reinforcement like treats or snuggles. Another way to help treat this is to allow your pet to find a safe place where they feel as if the thunder will not hurt them. This could be a crate, a bed, a special blanket, and more. The most important thing to remember is that your pet needs you and being patient is the best way to help them get over their phobias.

Best Protein Sources for Cats

Cats are carnivores and require a lot of protein in their daily diet. It is important to ensure that you are feeding your cat a balanced diet that has enough protein and other nutrients that will keep his bones, joints and muscles healthy.

Protein Requirements for Cats

Cats require 22 different types of proteins and amino acids to be present in their regular diet. These proteins serve several purposes. Proteins strengthen your cat’s body, especially his muscles. Proteins are also used as fuel sources to give your cat the energy he needs to live a fulfilling, healthy life. If there is a deficiency in even one of these proteins and amino acids, your cat can suffer from serious health problems. Some cat owners worry that their cat may get too much protein in their diet. This should not be a concern, as too much protein will not hurt a healthy cat. If your cat has other kidney problems, you should consult your vet, as too much protein can exacerbate kidney issues in cats.

Best Sources of Proteins for Cats

The best way to ensure that your cat gets enough protein in his diet is to choose a cat food that is made of high-quality ingredients. Choose higher-end brands, and avoid generic or store brands that may use questionable ingredients. You can also choose an organic cat food or raw cat food from a specialty pet food store. These foods are slightly more expensive, but the health benefits for your cat are well worth any increased expense. You can also pick up a dietary supplement for your cat. Choose a supplement that is specifically formulated to meet the special dietary needs that cats have. And again, if you have any questions about your cat’s diet, always consult your vet.

Is Your Family Ready for a Dog?

The idea of a cuddly, loving dog anxiously awaiting your arrival at the front door is something that is appealing to almost everyone. Who wouldn’t want to come home to someone who is constantly happy to see them? But when it comes down to it, a lot of people aren’t cut out for the commitment of being a dog owner. A dog is an addition to the family that needs the same love and care as a small child would. Before jumping into responsibilities that your family cannot handle, you should ask yourself the following questions.

Do I have the time needed to dedicate to a dog? The dog will require extra attention, especially in the beginning when everything is still new. Unlike humans, who can handle activities by themselves such as using the bathroom at any time with ease or grabbing food and water from the fridge, a dog depends on you for these things.

Is everyone in my household comfortable around dogs? Some people simply are not fans of animals, and allergies can be problematic. You wouldn’t want to get an animal that your family falls in love with only to find out that you need to get rid of it because of little Sally’s unexpected, yet serious allergies.

Am I financially prepared to support a dog throughout its entire life? The dog will need you to provide food and toys, and you will need to pay for veterinarian expenses, etc. If you’re away from home for longer than your average workday, you will have to think about hiring a dog walker or making plans for a neighbor or friend to feed and walk your dog.

If these are things you cannot handle, you are probably not ready for a family dog.

Testimonial Tuesday: No Seizure Edition

I wanted to let you know that Nuroplex has saved my dog’s life. It’s been 15 months now with no seizures! I have a 15lb Italian Greyhound and give him 2 capsules per day. He gets one in the morning and one in the evening. At first, I was very skeptical. I had my naturopath vet look at the ingredients to be sure. She said your formula looked like some good herbs – some to be Chinese. Whatever the formula, I am so thrilled not to have my dog Zephyr on phenobarbital where his life expectancy could be shortened.

In the very beginning I thought Zephyr was going to seize and I used a few drops of the liquid on his gums. The seizure never happened! It is so worth buying these herbs. My other IG just started getting allergies. I’m going to try the Skin-eze product to see how that helps her. I’ll report back.

Anne — Sarasota, Florida

Shop Nuroplex from Allergic Pet.

Motion Sickness in Dogs: Is Your Dog Car Sick?


If you’re a dog owner that loves to take your pet along for the ride, you and your dog have probably dealt with motion sickness at some point. What causes motion sickness, and more importantly, what can you do about it?

Motion Sickness Causes

In puppies, motion sickness is common because the inner ear is not fully developed. Among adult dogs, motion sickness is often triggered by stress. They can associate car rides with past bouts of vomiting or unpleasant trips to the vet. However, if your dog normally enjoys car rides, there could be an underlying medical reason for his motion sickness. Ask your vet about side effects from medication, ear infections and other ear conditions.

Overcoming Motion Sickness

If your dog is not used to traveling in the car, the best thing you can do is start slow. On the first day of training, sit with your dog in a running vehicle for a few minutes. The next day, you can add a step by backing out of the driveway and pulling back in. After several days of baby steps, your dog should be able to handle 20 to 30 minute excursions. Don’t let your dog become overly anxious – if he becomes nervous, stop for the day so that he doesn’t start to form negative associations.

If you and your dog are experiencing difficulty overcoming motion sickness, there are a few things you can try to make him feel more relaxed. Keep the interior of the car at a comfortable temperature, and roll the windows down an inch or two so that there is a constant supply of fresh air. Bring something from home – like your dog’s favorite blanket – to help him feel cozy. You can also make car rides extra fun by giving him special toys and treats that are reserved only for traveling.

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

Some pet owners are not able to recognize the symptoms associated with seasonal pet allergies. One of the symptoms of seasonal allergies is itching. As the weather changes, does the environment. During the spring and summer months, allergies are at their worse. Pets are not only itchy, their skin is inflamed and irritated, and they develop a skin condition called allergic dermatitis.

When the itching becomes unbearable, dogs may chew and bite on certain areas of their body. They may also rub their body on hard surfaces, including furniture and carpets. They do all of these excessive body movements, in an effort to relieve the itching.

The more the pets scratch the more tender the areas on their bodies become, and the more miserable they are.

If the allergies are too bad, dogs may experience hair loss, open sores and scabs. Allergies that are not attended too properly, may lead to skin infections. It is not usual for dogs to have problems with their ears, if the allergy is severe enough. Some dogs may experience sneezing and coughing, along with a runny nose and watery eyes.

Seasonal allergies may be contributed to grass, pollen, ragweed, mold and plants. Dogs also develop bronchitis and sinus problems. Redness on certain areas of the body is also a clear indication of allergies such as red puffy eyes, and a red mouth. The more dogs and other pets are exposed to the environment, the worse their symptoms become.

When the seasons change, so do the way dogs interact with their environment. Allergic reactions are often created by the dog’s immune system. Doctors usually prescribe one or more treatments for dogs, with mild or even severe allergies. Of all the medications doctors prescribe, many pet owners prefer using Skin–EZE as one of the treatment options. Some medications may include gels and creams. Other forms of treatment may include Benadryl shots and breathing treatments. The type of treatments dogs receive may depend on the severity of their allergies. Histamines and Omega 3 fatty acids can be added to the dog’s diet to help decrease or reduce inflammation.

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