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9 Signs That Your Dog Is In Need of a Vet

Your dog is a furry family member you wake up to every morning. The peaceful morning walks and big, sad eyes for your leftovers are some of the moments you enjoy with your beloved pet. Dogs can show affection, but they can’t talk. How will you know if and when something is wrong? Here are 9 signs your dog is in need of veterinarian care.

Strange Eating Habits

Dogs are known for skipping a meal or two now and then, usually when the temperature outside exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but a dog that skips more than two meals in a short period is a warning sign something is wrong. There are diseases your dog can contract that would cause him/her to lose their appetite. Your dog requires immediate vet care if he/she begin raiding the trash.

Excessive Thirst

Dogs produce enough saliva to keep them from needing frequent drinks of water. If your dog is drinking water at a rapid rate, this is another warning sign something is wrong. A dog that is consuming excessive amounts of water is an indication of kidney disease or diabetes. Keep notice if your dog frequently urinates or has accidents in the home.

Dry Coat

A dog with a dry or rough coat is a sign that there is a problem with their food, they have an allergic reaction or suffering from a skin disease. A dog’s coat should be soft, shiny, and thick. Dogs should never have a coat that displays bald patches or spots or appears dull.

Performing Slow or Excessively Tired

Dogs should not be lethargic. Signs of lethargy may include the dog is unwilling to participate in activities they once enjoyed, including playing and walking. Dogs may experience fatigue or tiredness and sore muscles after walks or other activities in high temperatures which are normal. A dog that has these symptoms more than two days should be taken to the vet.

Nausea and Vomiting

Animals vomit more than humans, and occasional vomiting is no cause for alarm, but frequent vomiting is a sign that dehydration or a more serious matter is occurring. When a dog vomits, it’s to get rid of something that does not agree with their stomach. Vomiting accompanied by bleeding or fever is a sign that your dog is seriously ill and needs to be taken to the vet as quickly as possible.

Strange and Unusual Stools

The condition of a dog’s stool is a good indicator of a dog’s overall health. A dog’s stool should not be hard or dry. Dry and hard stools are an indication of dehydration or dietary problems. The stool should be moist, small, and firm. Some stool shapes suggest worms are an issue. Straining, blood or mucus in the stool and diarrhea that lasts more than two days is a serious concern, and your pet should be examined by a veterinarian immediately.

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Sudden or Extreme Weight Loss

Dogs that are overweight and lose more than 10 pounds within three weeks or less could be an indication of a serious health concern. Weight losses in smaller dogs, such as Teacups, become a concern when they lose one pound within three weeks or less.

Cloudy Eyes

Your dog may have an infection if their eyes produce a discharge or appear cloudy or red. Squinting is another symptom that should concern you. Eye infections are frequently and successfully treated with medication.

Scooting and Dragging

An uneducated dog owner may think their dog dragging their but across the floor is funny and entertaining, but scooting and dragging the butt could be an indication of serious problems and complications, including blocked anal glands, diabetes, worms, and kidney disease.

 

12 Dog Emergencies That Require Immediate Attention

  1. Difficulty Breathing
  2. Restless
  3. Seizures
  4. Collapse/Weakness
  5. Bleeding/Trauma
  6. Vomiting/Diarrhea
  7. Struggling to Urinate
  8. Refusing to Eat or Drink
  9. Coughing
  10. Loss of use of hind legs
  11. Exposure to poisons
  12. Severe pain

How Many Times Should My Dog Normally Visit the Vet?

Vet visits are essential for a dog’s well-being. While you’re at the vet, you can get answers to questions you have and peace of mind knowing your pet is in the best health. The number of times a dog should normally visit a vet each year depends on the dog. The determining factors for visiting the vet depend on the dog’s age, breed, health history, and lifestyle. Puppies, adults, and senior dogs require well-visits or check-ups. Well-visits are routine exams that every dog needs to ensure they are on track with growing, development, and discover any issues that may have occurred or more likely to occur in the future. During the wellness exam, the vet will ask about your dog’s appetite and exercise routine. The vet will ask for a urine sample from your dog and check their teeth.

Caring for Your Dog

Caring for a dog is a commitment and big responsibility. You need to be physically and mentally prepared to pet a pet owner. You need to make sure your home is ready to welcome a dog. Before you become a pet owner, conduct research on the breed of dog you would like to be a part of your family. Choose a vet that will best suit your needs. Some vets care for pets with special health conditions and some do not. When you are looking for a vet, make sure they accept your form of payment and insurance, they are close to your home, and care for your pet in the manner you care for your pet.

Skin Allergies in Dogs: Natural Relief for Itchy Dogs

Skin allergies in dogs could be easily noticed when the dog is doing a lot of scratching and itching, which may result in open cuts and loss of hair on the dog. This is a strong indication that the dog might have been struck by a skin allergy. Another telltale sign is the itching of a particular area or excessive eating at the paws which may result in bleeding.

Some of the well known causes of skin allergies in dogs are:
  • Flea allergy is as a result of the saliva produced by fleas and this is one of the reasons it is very essential that dogs should be regularly liberated of fleas.
  • Atopic allergy is caused by the inhalation of airborne environmental allergens such as cigarette smoke, dust, mold spores and pollen. Some common signs of atopic allergy are frequent wheezing, coughing and sneezing.
  • Food allergy ranks as one of the causes of skin allergies in dogs and is usually caused by one of the following food type: soy, beef, chicken, corn, wheat, colorings and milk. Queasiness and diarrhea are popular symptoms of food allergies in dogs.
  • Contact allergies are not very common but they do exist and it is usually triggered when your dog comes in contact with things like by plastic, nylon, wool, weeds, grass, tree or wool.

The rate and intensity of scratching are the very first signs that a dog may be suffering from some sort of skin allergies. It is normal for dogs to scratch but when the scratching, chewing and licking become so intense to the point where it is resulting in self mutilation then the dog is probably suffering from a skin infection or skin allergy. Excessive itching is a sign of an unhealthy dog skin.

In this article we will look into the causes and treatment of skin allergies in dogs and the dog itchy skin that causes excessive scratching (pruritus). Dog itchy skin is usually the reflection of the dog’s skin condition which could be as a result of a skin infection, excessively oily/ greasy skin or excessively dry skin.

Excessive and intense scratching that is caused by dog skin infection can be due any of the following underlying causes:

  • Parasites
  • Bacteria
  • Fungus/yeast
  • Genes

Pruritus or excessive scratching as a result of oily/greasy skin is usually caused by a fungus called Malassezia. This yeast infection in dogs is primarily the cause of itchy, greasy/oily dog skin that is often accompanied by an offensive smell.

The dog skin has a local population of microorganisms like Malassezia but when this population grows out of control it usually results in a skin infection. An abundance of yeast on the dog’s skin will result in bad odor and itchiness.

Malassezia thrives in dogs with oily skin therefore any skin condition in dogs that will cause the dog’s skin to produce more oil will result in the multiplication of yeast on the dog’s skin.

Dog allergy and seborrhea oleosa (oily seborrhea) are the primarily causes of an increase in the oil production; other lesser causes of increased oil on a dog’s skin are:

  • Dogs with hormonal problem.
  • Dogs with immune deficiency.
  • Allergy to yeast.

In the case of oily seborrhea, treatment basically involves frequent bathing of the affected dog with the use of medicated shampoo and it may be necessary to shave the dog’s coat so that the shampoo can easily penetrate to the dog’s skin.

Dry skin is one of the major causes of itchiness in dogs; the 2 primary underlying causes of dry skin are environmental factors and diet.

Low humidity or the harmattan weather conditions are environmental factors that cause dry skin in dogs. Dry dog skin will result in dandruff and depending on the extent of the dryness, it may cause cracks in dog’s skin.

The other cause of dry skin in dogs is diet; commercial dog foods manufacturers are particularly guilty of processing out the essential oils in order to produce dog food that can survive the intended shelf life. This is even more pronounced in dry dog food.

If a dog is experiencing dry skin as a result of commercial dog food, then switching to home cooked or raw dog food can easily help to fix the problem.

Skin allergies in dogs are also a very common cause of itchiness in dogs. A dog suffering from allergy will manifest some of the following symptoms:

  • Intense scratching.
  • Persistent biting and chewing.
  • Vomiting.
  • Itchy and runny eyes.
  • Self mutilated skin.
  • Rubbing the face against objects like the furniture.

Dogs essentially manifest their allergic reaction through their skin, which can be seen as either a skin or ear infection or relentless scratching. It really does not matter if the cause of the allergy is as a result of flea bite, atopy (inhalation of airborne environmental allergens such as cigarette smoke, dust, mold spores and pollen), food allergy such as reaction to wheat, beef etc or contact allergy e.g. grass or weeds; all of these will simply make the dog to itch and therefore scratch.

Often time it requires a repeat exposure to allergens before a dog becomes allergic and this will usually occur in their early life. Skin allergies in dogs are commonly seen in certain dog breeds such as setters, retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, Scottish, bulldogs etc.

Diagnosing canine skin allergies

Diagnosis of skin allergies in dogs will usually involve allergy testing and also be trying to identify what may be causing the allergy by trying to remove items in the home/environment or in the dog’s food one after the other.

Allergy testing is an effective way of diagnosing skin allergies in dogs that are caused by atopy and to some extent contact allergy. Allergy testing involves either a blood test or intradermal testing.

Generally your vet may be able to uncover the cause of the skin allergy through a process of elimination or he may refer your dog to a vet dermatologist specialist. Once fleas has been ruled out, your dog may be put on a food regimen that your dog has not been eating and then the food your dog was eating when the skin allergy surfaced is gradually introduced under close observation to see if the cause of the skin allergy may be identified. If it is a food allergy, this process of elimination will uncover it.

If it is contact or atopic allergy, intradermal test is employed to inject small quantities of possible allergens into the dog’s skin which will result in inflammation of the injected area of the dog skin if the dog is allergic to the substance.

Treatment of skin allergies in dogs:

Flea bites

Effective treatment of skin allergies in dogs that is as a result of flea bite will involve both flea control and in the home where the dog resides and also by getting rid of the fleas on the dog. You can get the pest control service to spray the home and its surroundings while the dog can be directly treated with topical insecticides, flea shampoo and oral products.

The use of antihistamines or steroids may be necessary for dogs that are allergic to flea bites.

Atopy

Canine Skin allergies as a result of the inhalation of airborne environmental allergens i.e. atopy can be treated using one or more of the following methods:

  • Topical solution.
  • Omega-3 rich diet.
  • Use of antihistamines.
  • Hyposensitization therapy.
  • Use of steroids.
Topical solution

One of the very first steps in treating atopic induced skin allergies in dogs involves the use of topical shampoo, anti-itch and rinses. While it may not provide a long term solution to atopy, it does offer quick relief for the affected dog; this involves regular bathing with the topical shampoo. Topical solution offer the most effective way of treating localized itching in dogs.

Omega-3 diet

Diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid have been found to helpful in the management of atopic dogs resulting in a significant drop in pruritus (excessive scratching). Essential fatty acids rich diet such as a fish based diet are much more effective than what is available through capsules.

Use of antihistamines

Antihistamines also helps in the treatment of atopic dogs but with a lower success rate if use in isolation; however this can easily be improved upon when combined with other forms of treatment for atopy induced skin allergies in dogs.

Antihistamines has side effect and should only be administered based on a vet’s prescription; common side effects are loss of appetite, constipation, hyperactivity etc.

However, side effects can be greatly reduced when antihistamines is administered according to prescription.

Hyposensitization therapy

Hyposensitization therapy is one of the most effective treatments of atopy induced skin allergies in dogs compared with antihistamines and steroid both of which do not as effective. Intradermal testing has to be carried out on the atopic dog in order to identify the cause of the allergy.

The hyposensitization shot is then prepared based on the allergens that is causing the allergic reaction in the dog. The atopic dog is then injected the hyposensitization vaccine which will enable the atopic dog develop immunity to the allergens.

How to Start a Dog Training Business on Your Own

Successful dog training business begins with as a good dog trainer.

So you have great interest in dog training and you probably already have some experience under your belt and now you are probably wondering how to start a dog training business on your own.

There is a steadily high demand for dog training services as dog owners have continuously demonstrated their desire to invest in the well being of their dogs.

Starting your own dog training business is a profitable venture that requires a low startup capital. Therefore if you have the skills for training dogs and the interest then this may be the right business for you.

To stand a chance of ever becoming successful in the business of dog training it is very vital to state that your dog training skills is one of the two most vital pillars on which your dog training business will rest; the second pillar being marketing. Even if you are a genius in marketing you will need your dog training skills to sustain the business.

The business of dog training can be a very rewarding venture in addition to the fact that you become your own boss. However to increase your chances of succeeding  in this business you have to take the time to learn all the details that help you create a successful dog training business. This article will provide you with the necessary information on how to start a dog training business on your own.

Dog training business in a general sense is nothing but just a business like any other business and the only difference is that it is a business built around dogs. The reason for this statement is to bring home a reality in the world of business: starting a business is often very challenging and a lot of businesses actually die in the very first year while a higher percentage will not go beyond the fifth year.

The statistics in the USA shows that 30% of small businesses fail in the first year while the failure rate increased to 50% by the fifth year. So if you want to be part of the 20% business owner whose survival beyond the fifth year then you should be prepare to do your home work well before starting out.

It is worth stating that just about anybody can be successful in any business including dog training business if they have the right information. Therefore a struggling business means that the business owner needs more knowledge than he presently has.

A dog training business plan

One of the foremost steps in getting started in the dog training business is to come up with a dog training business plan. A dog training business plan is an effective way of documenting your business goals and strategies for achieving them. It helps you to easily keep track of these goals by monitoring your progress and you can always update these goals as the business evolves.

A dog training business plan is the single most powerful means of selling a dog training business to a willing investor. A well detailed and convincing business plan is the first step in attracting investors into your dog training business.

The executive summary of the dog training business plan is very important because most investors may not initially be willing to go through the entire business plan but will rather go through the executive summary. If an investor finds the executive summary convincing them he will then willing to go through the key areas in the business plan.

When you are starting your dog training business you do not need to spend a lot of time trying to come up with your own business plan, you can easily lay hold of a free sample dog training business plan and alter it to suit your need.

Dog training business name, cards and forms

The next step in starting a dog training business is to come up with a dog training business name that reflects that you are into the business of dog training, so carefully decide on a business name that makes it easy for your customers to know that you are in the business of dog training.

Dog training business card.

You will also need a well designed dog training business card that will reflects your dog training business and which you should also use as part of branding yourself and your business.

A dog training business forms may also be appropriate when starting a dog training business; the business forms will take care of such things as dog training application, contract agreement, invoice, dog training report card etc.

Then you have to register the business and you will also need to obtain insurance policy for your dog training business.

When you decide that you want to start a dog training business there are two options available:

  1. You can decide to run your dog training business on your location which means that you must have adequate space and dog training equipment. This can be a lot more expensive approach to starting a dog training business and you must have adequate funds to carry through. This is not advisable for a one man dog training business.
  2. This other option is far less expensive and this is the natural route that most beginner dog trainers will opt for. In this option you are operating out of your house and just a room in your apartment or your garage can act as your office.

Confirm your skills

You don’t want to make a failure of your dog training business by jumping right into starting the business only to start seeing your inadequacies. Dog training business is a twofold responsibility for the dog trainer; on one half you provide canine training and on the other hand you will be providing training for the dog owners by teaching them how to train their dog.

This is the core responsibility of the dog trainer and you need to be double sure that you are good on the job. Often time aspiring dog trainers will look forward to established dog trainer for apprenticeship and this is the best approach to find out how you will perform on the job. Apprenticeship will give you a close to real life experience of what the job will feel like when you are out in the field.

So the reasonable thing is to make an effort to see if you can get an established dog trainer that you can learn from but if you are unable to get an established dog trainer in order to try out your dog training skills, you should at least try and have your dog training skills evaluate by a third party.

It is very easy for you to think of yourself as an excellent dog trainer and that may be true based on the results of dogs that you have trained. But as earlier stated dog training is twofold, if you lack the skill to communicate the training skills to your client then you cannot consider yourself as a good dog trainer.

The option of trying out a third party involves offering your service for free to one or two dog owners in exchange for their honest and blunt feedback, this will give you a fair idea of how your clients may perceive your training abilities. While this may be an expensive venture the result that you get from this exercise will be very helpful and it can also boost your confidence.

Because you are offering you service in exchange for valuable feedback in order to get a third party assessment, it should not be difficult to get the right dog owners to work with. Make sure you do not choose someone that is close to you and try and assess the dog owners you want to work by asking them a few question.

Go for dog lovers that have the least dog training skills and worse dog behavioral problem. And because this is meant to be a test bed for you, you don’t want to give out the farm just some fruits from the farm. This means that the training is meant to provide significant and obvious result for them but not solve the entire dog problem.

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How to Start a Dog Breeding Business:Steps to Follow

Dog breeding business is a lucrative venture though it may be demanding in terms of time and effort and will also require some financial investment, but before you can start making money from breeding dogs it is very important that you have a good grasp of the processes involve in how to start a dog breeding business.

How to start a of dog breeding business.

Dog breeding business can be hugely rewarding and can provide a constant source of income but it requires a lot of patience, commitment, effort and time to evolve your love for dogs into a truly profitable venture.

The foremost step on how to start a dog breeding business is learning how to become a dog breeder.

This will involve far more than just acquiring a female and a male dog and getting them together to mate in order to produce pups. In order to be a successful in dog breeding you must acquire the necessary knowledge to become an expert in dog breeding.

Perhaps the most challenging part of starting a dog breeding business is the amount of research and knowledge that you will require about dogs and breeding before you can get into the business of making money from dog breeding.

To become a successful dog breeder it is very important that you have the knowledge of different dog breeds, temperament, history, genetics, dog breeding techniques, pedigree, and how to care for the dam and the pups among other things.

It is very easy to think that you have acquired enough knowledge and then you rush into breeding dogs but your success as a dog breeder is going to be judge by the quality of dogs that you breed and it will take some years before this reality starts to show up, basically as your pups grow into adulthood.

Therefore if you fail in this regard, then you should expect your business to be hurt by it.

Success in dog breeding is a simple equation: you have to become a professional and an ethical breeder. If you are driven entirely by the desire to make money from dog breeding, then you cannot be an ethical breeder and therefore success will be a struggle.

You should know that being an ethical breeder does not mean you will not make good money; on the contrary you will make a lot of money. However the price that you will pay for being an ethical breeder can be expressed in one word: patience.

How to start a dog breeding business begins with having a thorough understanding of what it takes to become a professional dog breeder. This is very important because the business aspect of dog breeding will fail woefully if you fail as a dog breeder.

Therefore this article will cover what is required to become a successful breeder and then the business aspect of it.

If you want to start a dog breeding business it is very unlikely that you will intend to pursue this ambition with a male dog because it is the owner of a female dog that can be considered a dog breeder. This means that having a female dog is the very first step in your journey to making money by breeding dogs.

However this is not to say that you cannot be a breeder if you only have a male dog but it just does not put you in the commanding position you should be as a dog breeder who wishes to make a business out of dog breeding.

In fact if you intend to make money from dog breeding as a full time job, then you should have both the female and the male dog that you will use in breeding. Otherwise you should research for an ideal stud to mate with your female dog and then get in touch with the owner.

Some important facts to bear in mind regarding dogs to be employed for breeding

  • The dogs that will be involve in breeding that is the dam (female dog) and the stud (male dog) must pass a thorough health check.
  • The larger the dog breed, the larger the number of puppies in a litter. The average for large dogs is around 12-15 puppies and a world record of 24 puppies was delivered by a mastiff.
  • Ensure that you pay attention to the weight of the dogs i.e. you should make sure that the dogs are about the same weight. For instance if you mate a big size male dog with a much smaller female dog, the female dog may have difficulty in delivery because the pup may be a little too big for her.
  • Also if the dam is overweight it will increase the probabilities of producing smaller litters because she will not be able to produce as many eggs and if she is under weight she will end up producing few puppies that will be smaller in size.
  • You should equally pay attention to the diet of the dogs particularly the dam before, during and after pregnancy.

The following are expected of a professional dog breeder

  • A professional breeder will have a breed focus; this may be one or two breeds but will he usually start out with a focus on one specific breed.
  • The breeder will position himself or herself as an expert on the breed, the go-to-person on the breed. How much knowledge he has on the breed will play a vital role on how successful he will be with the breed.
  • Successful breeders pay a great deal of attention to the health of their dog and this includes the dog food; they do not cut corner by feeding their dog cheap and low quality food.
  • A professional breeder knows that one of the primary objectives of dog breeding is “breeding to improve the breed” and always strive to achieve this objective with every successive generation of the breed.
  • Professional breeders will have a written contract that protects all sides involve in the transaction by clearly stating what is expected of all parties to the agreement.
  • Professional and ethical breeders are not driven purely by the love for money but the love for dogs and so they are not in a great hurry to sell off their pups. They wait for them to develop mentally and stay around with their mom for about 8-9 weeks before selling them; this time frame make it easier for the pups to adjust better to their new homes.
  • If dog breeding is well regulated in the country of the breeder with established kennel club (e.g. American kennel club), then the proper thing is to get register. This will give credibility to the breeder and makes it easier to market and sell his dogs. Some people not even buy from breeders who do not have the kennel club registration.
  • A professional breeder who is not breeding solely for the purpose of making money but also have the love of the dogs at heart will still be available to the new owners of the pups even after sale.

Heat cycle of the female dog and the breeding techniques

Part of the nuts and bolt required for a successful dog breeder is a thorough understanding of the heat cycle of the female dog. The estrous (heat) cycle of the female dog persist for the entire life of the dog and unlike humans it does not come to a halt. Canine pregnancy last for 9 weeks.

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Many experts on canine reproduction including Dr. Robert Van Hutchison, Dr. Threlfall of Ohio State University and Dr. Billinghurst in his book grow your pup with bones all agree that it is much healthier to breed your bitch and not miss a heat cycle i.e. you should breed your bitch every single heat cycle. While this may sound counter intuitive, this conclusion is based on scientific finding.

Grooming For Dogs:Keeping Your Dog Well Groomed

Dog grooming is very important.

Grooming for dogs is very essential for keeping your dog healthy, clean, preventing infection from matted hair, teeth related diseases due to lack of care, excessive wax in the ears which may result in ear infections.

Grooming your dogs at home is a task every dog owner has to master if you want to avoid a possible situation where your dog may develop a health problem as a result of little or no grooming for the dog.

One good thing for dog owners is that dogs do not generally need to be bath daily like humans but part of learning how to groom your dog at home is, knowing the frequency of grooming your dog requires and keeping on schedule. This usually depends on the breed of the dog and its hair type.

Dog grooming can be an unpleasant exercise both for the dog and dog owners who are new to dog grooming. For a beginner groomer, dog grooming can be quite demanding in terms of time and the effort required coupled with the challenges of having to get the dog to become comfortable with the process of grooming.

At the initial stages, grooming for dogs can be an unpleasant experience for most dogs and this can make grooming more difficult not to mention the rather painstaking process required to give a dog a proper grooming.

However just like dog training, getting your pooch to become comfortable with the process of dog grooming will also require some dog training approach. If your are experiencing a lot of difficulty getting your dog to cooperate with you when it comes to grooming then you should break the grooming session into multiple grooming sessions that will span a time period.

You have two options when it comes to grooming your dog, you can either seek the services of a professional groomer or you could learn the art of dog grooming and become that professional dog groomer that your dog needs.

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Seeking out a professional dog groomer

You can get the services of a professional groomer at different business such as the groomers’ shop, at the vet, pet spas, boarding kennels and pet stores. The cost of dog grooming is determine by many variable such as the size of the dog, coat type, breeds etc.

While the cost of grooming for dogs will most likely play a significant role in deciding where you may want to have your dog groomed there are some other essential factor that you should aware of before making that final decision.

Most dog grooming services will offer different services for both puppies and adult dogs such as:

  • Brushing, combing and bathing.
  • Coat cutting and shaping.
  • Ear cleaning and nail clipping.
  • Flea and tick removal.
  • Mat removal and taking care of bad odor.
  • And many other services.

Before taking your dog to a groomers’ shop for grooming you should first and foremost seek the opinion of other professional like your vet or dog trainer or even friends and family, this way you reduce the risk of making a bad choice. The final step before making a decision, either you got a recommendation or not, will involve checking out the facility and make the following observations:

  • How clean is the environment?
  • Do they allow you to witness a grooming session? If they refuse, this should be viewed as a red flag.
  • Are you satisfied with the way the handling the dogs at the facility?
  • How friendly is the staff?
  • How do they treat the dogs before and after grooming?
  • How do you feel about the general ambiance of the facility?
Benefits of using the services of professional dog groomers

Here are some of the benefits of using the services of professional dog groomers for dog owners who do not wish to personally groom their dog:

  • The risk of injury to the dog is largely reduced if not eliminated. A professional dog groomer knows the ins and outs of dog grooming and can easily deliver excellent services little or no hurt to the dog.
  • They can easily provide the right hair cut and shaping that will give your dog that excellent look that you want.
  • Because of their vast experience in the job they can easily detect parasites and any strange occurrence such as rashes, skin cut or bleeding, lumps etc.
  • They can also provide help assistance such as recommending how to take care of your dog’s skin if it is either too oily or too dry.
Learning how to groom your dog yourself

Start by grooming the parts of the body that your dog will be more comfortable with like the paws and then progressively move on to other areas. Carry out these multiple grooming sessions over a specific time interval e.g. every 2 days; this close time intervals will make it easy for your dog to quickly adapt to grooming.

Also keep the more demanding parts of the body (e.g. coat grooming and bathing) for the last stages of the grooming sessions. There is nothing wrong in buying the cooperation of your pooch when it’s time for grooming by offering him treats while you carry out the grooming.

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Dog grooming advice

It is advisable to groom your dog on schedule as this will makes it easy for you to predict how much you will have to do per grooming session and also your dog will quickly grow to become comfortable with grooming.

The hair length of your dog and sometimes the breed will be a major factor in deciding the frequency of grooming e.g. short coated dogs will be largely OK with a weekly coat grooming but long coated dogs will need daily coat grooming. Also breeds like the German shepherd are serious shedders so even a weekly grooming of a short haired German shepherd may be require more effort when compared to other breeds with short hairs.

For most dogs the slicker and the bristle dog grooming brush will be all you need to brush your dog’s coat. With the slicker dog grooming brush you will be able to take care of matted hairs and also be able to remove tangles after which you can then use the bristle brush; while grooming the coat of your dog be on the lookout for ticks, fleas etc.

How often you will need to bath your dog would be largely influenced by two variables: how often your dog gets her coat dirty and the weather condition in your location. You don’t want to bath your dog too often if you are residing in a cold region and even when the need arises you should always make use of lukewarm water.

Bath your dog occasionally

Use mild shampoo when bathing your dog and be careful not to direct a jet of water in his ears, nose or eyes. Ensure that you thoroughly rinse off the shampoo otherwise it will result in skin irritation for the dog.

You can always employ the use of a dryer set at very low heat to dry your dog after bathing; this way he does not have to keep shaking off the water all over the place in order to get dry.

Using a dryer is even more important when you are dealing with some breeds like the Maltese, Poodle or the English sheep dog; when using the dryer make sure that you direct the dryer at specific spots while brushing until the hair at that part of the dog’s body is dry. Simply repeat this process until the entire coat is dry.

Dog Illnesses Symptoms: Common Signs of a Sick Dog

Behavioral changes are the first signs of a sick dog.

In the lifetime of a dog, it is not uncommon for a dog to develop an illness and because dogs cannot verbally express this, it is therefore very important for dog owners to know how to detect symptoms of dog illnesses.

There are quite a variety of symptoms and signs that dogs give off when they are unwell and they do so either consciously or unconsciously and this article will identify some of these dog illnesses symptoms.

Behavioral changes

One of the very early signs that your may be dog is unwell can be seen in a change in behavior; just like when a human being is sick, the behavioral changes of a sick dog is easily noticeable. For different dogs, the behavioral changes will vary and the pet owner’s knowledge of the dog will be an important factor in identifying the change in behavior.

For instance, a dog that is usually very friendly and outgoing may suddenly become withdrawn and easily irritated and unwilling to participate in the usual daily activities that are associated with him; some dogs may even become aggressive. Every healthy dog loves to eat but if you start noticing that your dog is showing less and less interest in food then this may be sure red flag that your beloved canine friend may be unwell.

Some of the common behavioral changes that may be indicative of a sick dog are:

  • Aggression: while aggression in dogs could be due to several possible causes, some possible causes of aggression in sick dogs are injury, illness, chronic pain. A dog that is experiencing serious muscle or joint pain such as hip dysplasia may tend to be more aggressive than usual or dogs that are normally not aggressive may suddenly become aggressive.
  • Excessive barking: dogs are meant to bark and a dog may bark for different reason but when a dog that does not have a history of excessive barking begins to bark at all times then one need to unearth the reason behind it. Illness induced barking may be caused by pain, disease, distress as a result of separation e.g. from owner

Observe changes in physical appearance

Once you have noticed some behavioral changes in your dog, you should take a closer physical look at him. Check his coat for signs of parasites like ticks or flea, observe his eyes, ears and belly for visible changes. Any noticeable physical changes will be very helpful in diagnosing the cause of the dog’s sickness and by extension the treatment required to restore his health.

One of the foremost signs of a sick dog is the changes in the dog’s physical appearance, so as a dog owner you should pay attention to the following:

  • Changes in the dog’s body weight
  • Runny nose
  • Bad smells
  • Swollen, red eyes
  • Itchy ears – observe if you see your dog scratching its ears
  • Balding spots
  • Tumors, bumps etc

Some common dog illnesses symptoms beyond the physical appearance:

A loss of appetite

While it is not exactly strange that a dog may sometimes show a lack of interest in food, if this unwillingness persist for about 2 days or more then it may be a sign of that the dog is sick.

Loss of appetite in dogs that is as a result of an illness could be an indication that the dog may be suffering from a serious illness such as kidney failure, cancer, liver or dental disease, pain or infection.

If your dog equally shows an unwillingness to drink water during this period, then you have a clearer sign that your dog may urgently need to visit the vet. However, unusually high intake of water and urination may suggest that the dog may be suffering from diabetes, kidney or liver disease.

Vomiting

A casual or one-off vomit is nothing unusual; perhaps she has eaten something that irritates her guts and then she throws up. However if the dog vomits multiple times in a day or over a few days then this may be a clear sign that the dog may be unwell.

Sometimes the cause of the vomit is because the dog may have swallowed an indigestible object like a little stick, a toy, sharp bone etc. This may also be the cause of blood in the vomit as the object may have cut the dog after swallowing it or while trying to vomit it.

The underlying causes of vomiting may be difficult to diagnose so you should pay closer attention to see if there are other symptoms that may be helpful in diagnosing the cause of the vomiting. Other symptoms to look at for in addition to blood in the vomit are weight loss, an increase or a drop in water intake and urination, lethargy and diarrhea.

Sneezing, difficulty in breathing and coughing

These symptoms may be an indication of respiratory related health problems; a coughing dog particularly when it is persistent may be showing signs of lungs or heart disease and if the coughing is accompanied by phlegm or mucus then the dog should be check for pneumonia.

Respiratory allergies are usually the cause of dog sneezing besides the occasional sneezing which is pretty fine. But if you observe that your dog tends to sneeze a lot at certain period of the year then it may be due to some seasonal allergy such as pollen or plant that the dog is reacting to. However if the sneezing is a one-off experience that seems to persist for more than 2 days then you should visit the vet for further examination of the dog.

Build a Dog House:How I Built Mine in 14 Easy Steps

Building your own dog house is an inexpensive way to create a special and customized house for man’s best friend.

In this article you do not need to worry about unraveling the plan of a dog house because it is integrated into the following simple, short and practical 14 step processes that just about anyone can follow to build his own dog house.

Before setting out to build a dog house it is essential that you have a general understanding of the most important material (in this case wood), that you will use to build the dog house.

This knowledge will help you in making the right decision when choosing wood type to build a dog house that will last some years.

When building your own dog house you can choose between 2 durable options of either wood or plastic. Both have their strengths and weaknesses:

Wood:
  • Wood is an excellent choice if you are concern (and you should be) about the insulation for your dog house from cold and heat.
  • An easier material for getting the job done if you are going to build the dog house yourself.
  • The sturdy nature of wood is perfect for a jumpy and chewing dog like yours.
  • Wood wears out over years and therefore may require some yearly maintenance such as painting.
  • Vulnerable to termite infestation.
  • Wood tends to absorb dog odors over time.
Plastic:
  • Plastic is very durable and far more light weight compared to wood.
  • Easier to clean up and does not tend to absorb the dog’s odors like wood.
  • While plastic also provide some measure of insulation, it is however not as good as wood and may therefore require additional insulating material.

The post will be working with wood. The best wood to use for outdoor furniture must be able to withstand the ravages of nature – the harshness of the sun or drenching rains – on a long term.

It is therefore essential that you have some basic understanding of different wood types so that you will be in the best position to choose the best wood type for building your dog house.

An excellent wood for outdoor furniture like a dog house must have some resistance to insect infestation and rot.

There are 2 major ways that woods tend to resist rot. Chemical compound found in some woods such as cedars, cypress, redwood offer rot resisting barriers that is offensive to agents of decomposition like bacteria and bugs.

While wood types like ash, birch, pine and spruce have little or no resistance to rot.

The other way that woods that are excellent for outdoor use prevent rot resistance is through physical barriers. Some wood types such as black locust and white oak have a structure called tyloses which fills up the pores of the wood thereby shutting moisture and decay causing agents that thrive in moisture from getting into the wood.

Wood types fall into 2 general categories: soft or hard wood. This is based on the structure and type of the wood and not its durability.

  • Soft wood – They are not weaker than hard wood but are generally less expensive than hard wood because they come from coniferous trees which grow quickly.
  • Hard wood – They come in a variety of grain patterns, texture and colors and are therefore very good in making good looking furniture, however they could be quite pricey.

Some types of soft woods are: cedar, fir, pine, spruce and redwood.

Some hard wood types: ash, birch, cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, popular, teak and walnut.

Some common wood types used in building dog house include:

  • Cedar
  • Spruce

The wood type that will be the best for building your dog house will depend on the temperament of your dog and your climate. If your dog like to chew then a sturdy wood type will certainly be an excellent choice.

In the post we will be working with cedar (however you can use any wood type of your choice) for a number of reasons:

  • Cedar is good for areas with high humidity.
  • Generally used for outdoor projects like building exteriors, decks, furniture, etc. because it is good at handling moist environment without rotting.
  • The dimensions or size of cedar is unaffected by weather, temperature or humidity conditions. This means that unlike other wood type cedar does not get warped by exposure to moisture.
  • Cedar is able to resist insect damage far better than other wood types.

Make sure that your choice of wood type for building your dog house is not treated with any chemical that may harm your dog’s health such as pressure treated pine.

The content of this article would work perfectly for a medium sized dog however you can easily scale the size to accommodate the size of your dog either bigger or smaller.

Requirements :

  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Work bench (or 2 saw horses)
  • 10’ cedar 2×4
  • Safety goggles (glasses) – make sure to use this in order to prevent wood debris from getting into your eyes.
  • Hammer
  • A bag of 16d nails
  • A bag of 8d nails
  • 4’x8’ sheet of untreated cedar plywood siding
  • 8’ cedar 2×4
  • Cedar shaving
  • Hand file
  • 1 gallon of exterior wood primer – you apply the primer before painting
  • 1 gallon of exterior enamel paint
  • Roofing shingles
  • Roofing nails

STEP 1

Take the measurement of the dog before building the house

The first step in building your dog house is to measure your pet’s height, weight and length and add 12 inches to the height, 18 inches to the length and 9 inches width in order to get the dimensions of your dog house.

A medium size dog of about 25” height, 23” length and 21” width will require a house dimension of 37” high, 41” long and 30” wide.

Because a dog’s body heat warms the house, it should be just big enough for your dog to stand in and turn around easily.

STEP 2

Put the 10’ cedar 2×4 on the work bench and cut it into 8 pieces with the circular saw:

  • 2 pieces that twenty two and seven eight inches long (22 -7/8”).
  • Another 2 pieces that are twenty and three quarter inches long (20-3/4”).
  • Cut the remaining 4 pieces each into six inches long (6’’).
Cut the 10’ cedar 2×4 into 8 pieces.

STEP 3

The dog house will be fitted with legs so the house can stay some inches above the ground. This will help to prevent water from getting in and also protect the dog from the cold ground in the cold periods of the year.

With the circular saw ground (i.e. rounded the edges) one end of each of the 4 (6’’) pieces, these will become the legs of the dog house.

The making of the legs of the dog house.

Then take 2 of the legs and 1 of the 22 ‘‘7/8 pieces and line up the flat edges of the legs (the rounded edge in the other direction) with the edge of the platform side (22 ‘‘7/8) and nail the 2 legs to the 22 ‘‘7/8 using the 16d nails. Repeat the step for the other side. These 2 pieces will be the 2 sides of the platform.

The finished legs of the dog house.

STEP 4

The 2 20’’3/4 pieces will be used as the front and back of the frame, place the 2 side pieces of the legs from step 2 above opposite each other with the legs inside and nail the front and back pieces to the sides pieces that contain the legs.

Finished product of step 4: the base of the dog house

STEP 5

Put the 4’x8’ plywood on the work bench (or saw horses) and cut it according to these dimensions:

  • 2 bottom pieces of 20’’3/4 inches by 25’’7/8 inches.
  • 2 roof pieces of 31’’7/8 inches by 21’’7/8 inches.
  • 2 side pieces of 16’’ inches by 25’’7/8 inches.
  • One back piece of 22’’ inches wide and 27’’ inches high.
  • One front piece of 22’’ inches wide and 27’’ inches high.
The 2 bottom pieces of the dog house.
The 2 roof pieces for the dog house.
The 2 side pieces of the dog house.
The back piece of the dog house.
The front piece of the dog house.

Home Cooked Dog Food Recipes: Balanced Diet for Dogs

Home cooked dog food.

The content of this article is about balanced and healthy home cooked dog food recipes that will help you keep your dog away from the many questionable commercially produced dog food. You cannot be feeding your dog with a healthy diet if the essential ingredients are either missing or fed in excess.

For your dog’s nutritional needs to be fully met, you have to ensure that your dog’s diet is balanced and complete. Just like human beings, as long as you have the essential ingredients that your dog requires spread out over many days, then your dog’s diet is bound to be balanced and complete.

Variety is very important for achieving a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog which is exclusively determined by the dog food recipes that goes into the making of the dog’s food.

One question that most dog owners will probably ask is: “why would I need to know about dog food recipes”. Particularly when making your own cooked dog food is more involved that simply buying it off the shelf.

The most compelling reason for making your own dog food is because it is generally accepted that off the shelf food is not very safe and there are more than a handful of cases to justify this.

If your dog is suffering from some health issue, you may be surprise that by simply switching from canned dog food to home cooked dog food the health issue may disappear.

Another benefit of learning about dog food recipes is the cost advantage that comes with it. Cooking your own dog food is the most inexpensive approach to feed your pet.

Yet another benefit of learning about home cooked dog food recipes is that it gives you complete control over the diet of your dog. You don’t have to keep up with the junk, meat byproducts, fillers etc. that comes with off the shelf dog food.

Dog Breeding Info:Steps for Successful Dog Breeding

Though a demanding venture, dog breeding can be pretty rewarding if you have the appropriate dog breeding info necessary to help you make a success of it.

Dog breeders naturally fall into 2 categories: a novice dog breeder or an experienced dog breeder. And for the person who is yet to at least have her bitch give birth to a puppy, he does not qualify to be referred to as a dog breeder.

This article will take an exhaustive view on how to become a successful dog breeder from the starting point of a novice breeder. For a starter in dog breeding, you need to have a clear picture of the demands of the profession as this information will greatly enhance your chances of being a successful dog breeder.

Some basic question for every new dog breeder

  • Why do you want to breed dogs? For fun, personal or commercial reasons?
  • Do I want to breed dogs on a part time basis or full time?
  • If you intend to breed dogs on a part time basis, would you be willing to invest the time and exercise the patience required to nurture your litters until they are ripe enough to go into their new homes? This can take as much as 2 months.
  • Do you have capacity to meet the financial requirements of the recommended health checks for the bitch and her litter?
  • Are you willing to invest both time and money in acquiring the necessary dog breeding information that will be helpful to you and that will also put you in a position to impact the right knowledge, in various aspects of care for the puppies, on the new owners of your puppies?
  • Will you be able to handle it if your bitch gives birth to a large litter?
  • How will you find good homes for my puppies?
  • Do you have the capacity to take back the puppies from their owners if such a situation should arise?

If as a new entrant into the dog breeding business either for personal or commercial reasons and you are unable to provide convincing positive answers to the above questions then you will be better advised not to continue with your wish to breed dogs.

If however you have passed the foregoing test, then the next set of things to keep in mind are:

  • As an intending dog breeder you should always strive to ensure that every litter is an improvement on the parents.
  • Special considerations must be given to the health and temperament of your bitch and her litter.
  • As a dog breeder that cares for your puppies, you must make sure that you are available to provide the new owner with the needed help and advice.
  • Always make sure that your bitch is healthy enough to give birth to a litter.
  • Check the health status of the stud as well.
  • Keep in contact with your vet once your bitch is close to giving birth.
  • Maintain a list of the places where your puppies can be sold or advertised for sale.
  • Make sure you have a contract attached to every puppy sold.

Breeding to improve

One of major objectives of breeding dogs is to improve the quality of the breed. Therefore a worthwhile refrain for a dog breeder to keep in mind is “breed to improve”.

When you set out to breed you should take the time to properly evaluate the strong and weak points of your dog before going ahead with your decision to breed, if you truly want to achieve the noble goal of producing a better dog and a higher quality pet.

This will involve examining your dog in order to identify its flaws and then look for a stud that will help to balance or eliminate those flaws in the litter that will be given birth to.

A good way of objectively identifying these flaws is to put your dog up for test against other dogs and see how your dog measures up when juxtaposed with the finest specimens of its breed.

The female dog heat cycle

The female dog has a heat cycle or estrous cycle which is a period or season of heightened sexual arousal and activity. A mature bitch (female dog) will normally experience two heat cycles in a year or once on rare occasion. The heat cycle will usually kick in when the bitch is between 9-12 months old.

However it is not advisable to start mating a bitch until she is at least 2 years old for the simple reason that some of the most essential health checks such as hip and elbow dysplasia cannot be done until they grow to around this age.

But once they reach this age of maturity it is safe to start breeding your bitch but only after you have carried out the necessary health checks to confirm that it appropriate to put her through breeding.

It is important to know that the female dog heat cycle never ceases and will last for the life time of the bitch but that is not to mean that she must be breed for her entire life time. Ideally, you breed your bitch for a period and then you put her out of service, in manner speaking, and some breeder will simply spay (take out the ovaries) her to signify the end of breeding for her.

The heat cycle is in four stages: proestrus, estrus, diestrus (an interval of sexual inactivity between periods of estrus), and anestus. These four stages are controlled by three hormones:

  1. Estrogen – kick starts the heat cycle.
  2. Luteinizing hormone (LH) – kick starts ovulation.
  3. Progesterone – preserves pregnancy.

Proestrus is the first stage of the bitch heat cycle that can last between 3-17 days but on the average you can expect it to last for about 9 days. The level of estrogen would begin to rise some weeks before the proestrus and will peak and fall within this phase. During this heat cycle the bitch’s body is getting ready for possible pregnancy and her vulva become swollen to about three size her normal size and protruding out outwards.

Estrus is the second stage of the heat cycle can last between 2-12 days but on the average you can expect it to last for about 9 days. With the drop of estrogen in the first stage of the heat cycle, the level of progesterone starts to rise and reaches a plateau at labor or false pregnancy (at diestrus). The level of luteinizing hormone (LH) also rises sharply during this phase and kick starts ovulation within 3 days. This is the period that the bitch will accept a male dog to mount her. The female is become very flirtatious and start teasing the male dogs around and also lifting her tail sideways when with the male in readiness for mating. This habit of tail side wards lifting of the tail is called flagging.

A female dog in heat.

Diestrus is the third stage of the heat cycle can last between 50-80 days but on the average you can expect it to last for about 60 days. This phase will kick in even if she is not pregnant though her body will behave as though she is pregnant (false pregnancy).

Anestrus is the last phase of the heat cycle and can last between 130-250 days. This is a resting phase when the bitch is sexually inactive and her body is preparing for the next heat cycle.

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The different breeding methods

There are different types of dog breeding methods: inbreeding, cross breeding and line breeding. No dog breeding info will be complete without this knowledge.

The primary reason behind the man’s conscious involvement in dog breeding is to ensure that we can breed dogs to meet our wishes, otherwise dogs will naturally continue to mate and reproduce randomly with every breed mating with any available dog either of the same breed or not. This results in birth of mutts i.e dogs of unknown parent breeds.

Generally a dog will fall into one of the following three groups: purebred, mutts or designer dogs. A mutt is a result of accidental cross breeding which usually happens naturally when dogs meet other dogs and mate to produce a dog of unknown parent breeds. Such an offspring is called a mutt.

A designer dog is also the product of cross breeding like a mutt however designer dogs are a product of conscious cross breeding of known parent breeds which are usually purebred. Since designer dogs are of different parent breeds, it is difficult to tell what the traits of offspring will be and even offspring from the same litter may differ significantly since each offspring could end up with any combination of any of traits of the parent breeds.

Purebreds on the other hand are breeds that have been bred over many generations of that breed to the point where certain traits has been enforced within the breed. This means that the traits of purebred dogs like the temperament, looks, coat type etc are predicated and well documented so a person that purchases a purebred will know for certain what to expect and how to care for the breed.

Since the intention behind man’s conscious involvement in dog breeding is to breed dog that meet certain purpose e.g. working dogs such as German shepherd for protection. while at the same time improving the breed with successive generation. Therefore in order to understand how this is achieved we need to have some basic understanding of genetics, a very important dog breeding info.

In any complex life the genes is underlying material that determines the outcome of life. The traits of a pup are determined by parent genes. Genes exist as a pair and a pup will inherit one copy from both parents to form a pair i.e. the genotype. Genes not only occur in pair but dominant genes will always manifest in the offspring while recessive genes will only manifest if it occurs in pair.

This means that a parent dog breed can have either of these possibilities: dominant/dominant (DD), dominant/recessive (DR) and recessive/recessive (RR). Since the dominant gene will always show in the offspring for instance if one of the parent has a dominant gene (DD) for a health related problem then all the offspring will suffer from the same health problem even if the other parent has a double recessive gene (RR). This is because all the pups will have a D in their genes.

So when the offspring inherits the same pair from both parents e.g. a D or R from each parent resulting in a DD or RR then the pair is referred to as homozygous but if pair inherited from both parents are different i.e. a D and a R, this will result in a DR, this pair is referred to as heterozygous.

Inbreeding involves the breeding of closely related dogs that are within two generations, like mating father with daughter, mom with son, brother with sister etc. Inbreeding helps in strengthening certain traits within the breed by mating dogs that are closely related in order to make the gene pool more homozygous i.e. a DD or RR and eliminate a DR. Since a dominant gene (a D) will always manifest in the offspring but a recessive gene (R) will only manifest when it is a pair (RR).

Inbreeding is also employed in situation when breeders want to preserve breed from extinction or start out a new purebred. If the breed used in inbreeding are not carefully selected then you may end up with a terrible bloodline since inbreeding primarily enforces the traits either good or bad within that breed.

Line breeding is a variation of inbreeding which involves the mating of relatives that are not as close as inbreeding.

This dog breeding info is very essential for a successful dog breeding.

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The commitment involve in dog breeding

Raising puppies requires full dedication.

How to Make Homemade Dog Food That is Safe and Healthy

The last two decades has seen a steady rise in the number of dog owners who has shown a willingness to learn how to make homemade dog food partly because dog owners can decide on the quality of the food their dog feeds on and with the added advantage that healthy homemade dog food are generally cheaper than commercial dog food.

Homemade dog food generally falls into 2 categories:

  1. Raw food diet in which you primarily feed your dog on uncooked raw food.
  2. Cooked diet.

Raw food diet option

Our dogs are domesticated wild animals with a diet that has evolved

You can determine the quality of your dog’s food.

over centuries to accommodate a wider spectrum of food choices than it used to be in the wild. And just like human beings, the best diet for a dog is its native one: wholly meat based.

Basically raw food diet for dogs consist of uncooked meat which may include venison, buffalo, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, ostrich and rabbit.

60% – 80% of the dog’s raw diet should be raw meat, roughly broken down to 35% muscle meat, 20% organs and 20% fat and skin. You may also feed with fresh bones but avoid preserved bones or bones that are not from freshly killed animals.

Chicken bones are alright to feed your dog but do not feed with cooked bones because cooked bones splinter easily while uncooked bones are easy to eat and digest.

In addition with the raw meats, your dog’s diet should consist of about 20% -40% vegetables. Appropriate vegetables to include are: squash, carrots, celery and asparagus.