Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy With These 3 Easy Tips (And He Will Love It!)

Keeping your dog healthy and alert is key in a long and happy life, and you do want to keep your dog healthy, don't you?

Here are 3 Easy Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy for a Life Time!

Veggies - Ditch the soft chewy treats in a bag at the grocery store and buy your dog some carrots! No, seriously... buy your dog some veggies! Cut up carrots, celery and green or other colored peppers make a delicious treat for your pet that he will love. It eliminates the sugar from his diet that is pumped into those soft and chewy dog treats, too! Don't forget that sugar is cancer food and your dog (and you) should eliminate it from your diets! In addition, if your dog needs to drop a few pounds, as many do these days, eating celery actually burns calories and most dogs love the crunchy texture.

Multi-Vitamins - A good multi-vitamin every day is important for a long healthy life. Just as we should supplement our diets with a good multi-vitamin, so should your pooch! Most diets today are made up of processed foods that are missing many vital vitamins and nutrients. Avoid the soft and chewy versions. Sugar is usually a top of the list ingredient and necessary to keep that soft and chewy consistency. There are easy to give yummy crunchy vitamins that your dog will look forward to as a treat. A good multi-vitamin is important especially if you feed your dog grocery store dog food which may have more by-products and fillers as ingredients.

Omega-3 - Omega-3 supports heart health and reduces inflammation in your dog's body. Inflammation is the key trigger in most disease, for us and for our pets. As cancer is the number one cause of death in dogs today, reducing cancer causing inflammation is key in keeping your dog healthy. You should look for supplements containing Omega-3 only. Avoid giving your dog additional Omega-6 or a combination of Omega 3 & Omega 6. There is usually enough Omega-6 added to commercial dog food and you don't want to overdo the 6. There is a great Salmon Oil softgel (500 mg) that dogs love. You can give it to them as a treat or cut it open and squeeze the oil on their food. Many dogs will just take the capsule and eat it as a treat. Check with your vet for proper dosing for your dog's body weight.

These three easy changes in your dog's snacks and supplements will help him live a long, healthy life, and the veggies may help him drop a few pounds as well!

To Your Dog's Good Health!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Does Your Dog "Bow" to You?

I am constantly learning everyday about pet behavior, body language, and communication by interacting with the animals I care for. One behavior I started noticing with the dogs I work with within the last year is them "bowing to me". At first when I saw "Friday" a Heeler/Malamute, "Special Needs Behavioral" dog I care for do it, I thought he was just stretching. Then I notice he does it every time I walk into the house. It got me wondering, and I let it sit in the back of my mind. Then I noticed it this week when I would get the leash to take "Murphy" a Standard Poodle, out for a walk he was doing the same bow. I decided it was time to look into this behavior and body language to further understand what these dog were trying to communicate to me & why.

Upon looking into it I found that this dog behavior is called the "Play Bow" (back-end in the air with head and paws lowered to the ground). This behavior is also seen in wolves & coyotes and is a powerful social tool among all dogs. It communicates that their intentions are friendly and that they are ready for a rousing round of chasing and romping. The position is non-threatening as the head is extremely low.

This signal is extremely important because so much of dog play consists of aggressive behaviors and dominant postures. The play bow tells a dog's playmate, "Anything that comes after this is play, so please don't take it seriously."

The play-bow probably evolved out of a submissive crouch, but the signal has become an unmistakable way to indicate a desire to play, no matter where the dog is in the social hierarchy. A more dominant dog may even allow himself to be chased in the interest of fun, may encourage play by lying down and allowing a subordinate dog to "attack" him.

However, it is interesting to note that dominant dogs are not as successful in soliciting play. A general sense of aloofness may be part of the reason. Or perhaps they come across as insincere when they invite another dog to play.

Under-socialized dogs may not understand the play-bow, or know that all actions following the bow are meant in fun. Instead they may feel threatened and may bite. Fortunately, most dogs do understand dog diplomacy.

I was extremely happy to learn this information because that "play-bow" is powerful stuff! It means the dogs are happy to see me & associate me with having fun! As an added bonus my "behavioral issue" dogs like "Friday" also understand hierarchy and respect me.

Shannon Cole owns "Shannon's Pet Sitting" in Chicago's NW Suburbs an in-home, bonded, insured, Better Business Bureau Accredited pet care service specializing in pets w/ behavioral problems, medical needs & senior pets.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Interesting Facts About Beagles

General Information

The beagle is a dog breed of medium size. It is an autonomous, energetic, devoted and smart dog. It comes together nicely with kids as well as other dogs. Its roots are those of a hunter and it is generally a bit aggressive towards other small animals.

Historical background

This breed comes from England since several hundred years ago (around 1800). It occurred by the cross breeding of various hounding breeds. As a matter of fact, the beagle has been associated with King Authora's Camelot and William the Conqueror.

The rich British people used beagles to hunt by creating packs of them. Beagles arrived at the United States in the half of the nineteenth century, however at the time they did not look like as they look nowadays.

Temperament of the beagle

Beagles are mildly tempered dogs, not very aggressive but not apprehensive either. They are amicable, trustful, a bit strong-headed, companionable and inquisitive. Beagles get along great with kids and this explains why they are one of the most popular pets for families. They are compassionate and frisky, but simultaneously brave and protecting of loved ones.

Beagles and their nose

Beagles are infamous for their nose and super-strong smelling sense. They have about 220 million smell receptors (whereas man has about 5 million) and for that reason they are quite often used for detecting drugs.

As a potential beagle owner, you should be aware of this fact and realize that when this dog catches a smell, it will be resolved to check it out. Thus, beagles are not appropriate to take with you when you go jogging since they will constantly stop and smell around!

Beagles and food

Beagles love eating and they are usually very protective about their food. As a matter of fact, it will eat until it explodes, so ensure that only proper amounts of food are given to it. Moreover, it can find inspired ways to reach food that might be placed in various stores inside the house.