Healthy and Harmful Food for Dogs

Providing a healthy diet for your dog isn’t always so easy. Many foods that we love aren’t so dog-friendly and many of those aren’t that obvious. Most people know common dangers like chocolate and grapes, but did you know that onions & garlic are also toxic to dogs? Also, fat is a healthy part of a dog’s diet but giving them too much at once (like those fat trimmings from your steak) can lead to pancreatitis.

The graphic below provides a great guide to what foods are healthy for your dog and those you probably want to avoid. Some items that appear on the harmful side you may have fed to your dog with no adverse reactions and items on the healthy side can also pose dangers if given in large quantities. Just remember:

Know your dog, avoid unnecessary risks, and practice moderation! (more…)

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Healthy and Harmful Foods for Cats

Welcome to the follow-up to our most popular post: Healthy and Harmful Food for your Dogs. More and more pet owners are looking to replace or supplement their commercial cat food with healthier options. The graphic below provides a great guide to what foods are healthy for your cat and those you want to avoid. There may be a few surprises that you weren’t aware of! (Hint: Skip the Milk!).

Everything on this chart is meant to be a general guide. Cats can have varying reactions to items on the healthy side. When adding new items to your cat’s diet, always remember:

Know your cat, avoid unnecessary risks, and practice moderation! (more…)

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Grooming Tips to Reduce Shedding

As a pet owner, we have all learned to deal with the daily shedding from our beloved dogs and cats. I think pet owners know that shedding comes with having a cat or dog in the house, but just because you have learned to live with it, doesn’t mean that you have to like it.

There is a vast array of products on the market today that claim to reduce and even stop shedding entirely. There are supplements, foods, shampoos, and topical sprays. Most of the products on the market tend to be driven by marketers and pet products manufacturers, and not so much by science driven evidence. There is nothing that will prevent a healthy dog or cat from shedding although there are ways to reduce the amount of hair that is being shed.

 

What is Shedding?

Shedding is the natural process of cats and dogs losing old or damaged hair. It is true that dogs and cats tend to shed more during the spring and summer, but it is not because of the heat. The longer hours of daylight just happen to coincide with the warmer temperatures, but it is the length of day that prompts your pets to start shedding their hair. Although shedding is a normal occurrence for all dogs and cats, the amount and frequency often depend on the health of the pet and the breed. For example, poodles are known as a “shed-free” breed but the reality is that their dead, shedding hair gets tangled up in their curly hair.

 

Woman Grooming A Birman Cat Resized

 

Why Grooming is Important

Proper grooming of your dog and cat is important because it will help maintain healthy skin and coat. The bottom line is the healthier your pet’s coat is, the easier it will be to brush them. The more natural the brushing is, the less hair breakage, and thus less overall shedding. Shedding varies greatly from breed to breed, but every dog and cat will benefit from a good brushing. Brushing will remove dirt, spread natural oils throughout their coat, prevent matting, and keep their skin clean and irritant-free.

Let’s face it, your dog or cat is going to lose their old and damaged hair. It is best to brush your pet to remove it yourself, and throw it in the trash rather than letting it fall out naturally all over your house, clothes, and furniture. The more hair that you remove through brushing, the less you will see lying around your house, so try to brush your pet daily (or as often as you can).

 

Proper Grooming Tools

There are many different types of pet hair ranging from soft and short to coarse and long. It is important to choose products made for your pet’s particular coat. If you add these grooming tools to your arsenal, you should have everything you need to groom your dog or cat properly.

 

slickerbrushSlicker Brush

A slicker brush has short, metal bristles that separate the hairs. If you brush along the direction of the grain or against it, your dog or cat will look fluffier. It removes any dust, grime and fleas attached to the upper layer of the skin. Four Paws makes a great slicker brush.

 

Shedding Rake

Shedding Rake

A shedding rake works best on dogs that have a double coat. A double coat means that the dog has a thicker coat in the winter and a thinner coat in the summer. The shedding rake can help reduce shedding as it can get rid of the winter coat faster. Two products to try are the ShedEnder and the Furminator.

 

Stripping Knife Grooming Tool for Dogs and CatsStripping Knife

A stripping knife is an excellent tool for removing matted hair from your dog or cat. Matting is formed when the loose or dead hairs get trapped instead of falling to the ground.

 

 

 

Diet and Bathing

Bathing your pet occasionally with an oatmeal shampoo or conditioning shampoo will keep their coat healthy and they will have less damaged hair. You may also add an omega 3 or 6 fatty acid supplement to promote a healthy skin and coat. However, if you feed your pet a proper and balanced diet, they will get all the nutrients they need.

 

How do you keep your pet’s shedding under control? Tell us below!

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5 Things to Consider for Cat-Friendly Apartments

When searching for a cat-friendly apartment or house, there are a few things you need to consider besides whether or not the property allows cats. Be sure to keep in mind the property’s surroundings, interior compatibility with your cat, and its proximity to pet care. The following are some things to consider when shopping for a new rental with your cat.

 

1. Will your cat be able to get natural stimulation from indoors?

Whether your cat is indoor or indoor-outdoor, it’s good to give them a taste of the outdoors. Look for areas where they will be able to sit and look out the window.  Screened porches are an excellent amenity for cats as they can sit outside without the typical dangers of being outside. However, be forewarned, you may have to solve some scratching or climbing issues with screening.

bigstock-Kitten-balancing-on-the-window-26247176_resized

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How to Borrow a Dog #4: Become a Foster Dog Parent

Our How to Borrow a Dog series focuses on ways that dog lovers can keep dogs around even if they can’t commit to owning one (or another one) at the time. In this fourth installment, we will discuss one of the most rewarding and impactful ways to keep a dog in your life: becoming a foster pet parent for rescue dogs.

Animal rescues remove dogs from shelters and place them with foster parents for short-term care until a permanent home can be found. Foster dog parents are a very important part of the rescue system as most rescues don’t have a large facility of their own to house dogs. As a foster dog parent, you will provide the loving care and shelter, but the importance of the dog’s time with you goes way beyond that. You truly become the dog’s ambassador. Whether you are living in a pet-friendly apartment, have kids, or own other pets, you can become a foster.

 

Foster Dog waiting for Foster Parent

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Tips for Living in the City with Pets

Owning a pet in a city with traffic, crowds and concrete everywhere presents a lot of unique challenges. Here are some tips for preparing yourself for pet ownership in a large city.

 

Dogs Being Walked by Dog Walker

 

Find a Nearby Dog Park or Green Space for your Dog

Everybody needs an escape from the concrete jungle, especially dogs. Make nearby dog parks part of your housing search, and it will pay off when you want them to stretch their four legs. (more…)

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Day at the Dog Beach

Beach season is here! There are lots of great dog beaches that provide an environment that can’t be matched by any dog park. Lots of room to run and splashing in the surf are sure to please most dogs. Just remember a few important things for your day at the dog beach.

 

Golden Retriever at the Dog Beach

 

Respect the Rules

Just like with any park, beaches have various rules for dogs. (more…)

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4 Things to Consider About Dog-Friendly Apartments

Just because a property allows dogs doesn’t mean it is the best fit for your and your pup. When searching for a pet-friendly apartment or house, research the area’s amenities and you might find that there is a spot where you will feel right at home. The following are some things to consider when shopping for a new place with your dog.

 

1. Where will you go for walks?

Map out where the nearest dog park is to your residence. (more…)

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