Choosing Premium Dog Food

Pet domestication is one of the most critical aspects of society that we have developed over the years. Many people think it all stopped when these animals just followed our commands and requests throughout their lifespan. However, the way we treat them now will also influence future generations, as this type of evolution takes centuries. We never had dogs running around with us before; for example, the process of domestication aided us to have it.

When it comes to canine health, there are still many facets of it that people get confused about all the time. It seems that our familiarity with dogs has been confused with expertise, as with many others around us as you may read here: https://www.thesprucepets.com/biggest-dog-myths-1117469. Some have even stated that they already know what they are doing without consulting experts. It is usually the case for people who think they cannot afford to have their beloved animal to the vet.

Cheaper or Better?
Please do not get us wrong; veterinarian costs these days are getting more expensive. Many aspects factor into the increase. It is a trend that we cannot escape since the foundation of the free market. Everything else involved in the process is getting pricier, as the tools and medicines are used.

It is also not easy to deal with creatures that may not be able to understand us correctly. For this reason, there is some premium when it comes to this particular service.

On the other hand, it is also crucial to know what to do even without a doctor’s help. These people are not going to be there all the time so mastering some skills is the key. As we have mentioned before, choosing the best dog food for your furry pal is both an art and a science. Many things can go wrong or right with one’s choice for sustenance. Dogs live a different life than us, even if they stay with us most of the time.

Most people who are just starting to have a pet at home would have some misconceptions regarding their food choices. In some countries, they tend to feed their animals with the same things as their owners. The rule goes: whatever is on the table will be provided from the family to the dogs. However, many animal experts believe that it is harmful to the fur babies in the long run. Depending on the food type or group, it may even harm them in the end.

Premium pet food has been rising in demand due to these claims. These products are considered “premium” for various reasons, as Hungry Bark super-premium dog food may tell us. It may be because of the ingredients, processing, brand, health benefits, or a combination of them. It has been this way for a long time, even with other products like those meant for us humans. However, are all of them made in the same way, or are there still nuances between them?

It is essential to choose your dog’s right choice as their digestive tract is not the same as ours—dogs process food differently than we do since it is needed for their physical prowess. For one, it is crucial for their growth and development, in the long run, so you might want to start early. Below are some aspects that you want to read more about before deciding on anything.

The Aspects for Choice

Age
First, the canine’s age will be one of the primary considerations for food choice. It is something that most manufacturers of this particular product would tell their customers. Some options are meant for puppies as they need more nutrients to grow older. Once they mature to full adults, the diet also changes as well as their metabolism. As they reach old age, some food groups would be more helpful for them in the long run.

Size
Another aspect that you need to look into is their size, as it will dictate their diet. We all know that if you are more significant, you also tend to eat more. It is even more apparent with dogs since you can already see it happening without thinking too positively about it. If you have a German Shepherd or Malamute, expect some spikes in dietary needs as they grow bigger. On the other hand, you do not need to worry too much about the smaller ones like Chihuahuas, but they still eat a lot.

Reaction on Food
Meanwhile, this aspect readily depends on the dog and the way they have been brought up. It can also be their taste since these animals do have differing personalities. Some may prefer kibble, while others prefer dry options. Always take note of their eating habits as it will be pervasive even later on in life. You can try and let them get used to the ones you give, but it might take time to catch up and even fail at times.

Activity Level
Lastly, you need to take into consideration the amount of energy that they expend in a day. You do not have to use mathematics for this as observation will suffice. Most dogs tend to run around and play all day, especially while they are still puppies. As they grow, it will lessen to more focused activities depending on how you train them. Meanwhile, some dogs have more physically demanding responsibilities, so they need to eat more.

Ingredients Do Matter
Once you have already considered these aspects, it is time to look into the products themselves. As we have mentioned before, not all of them are created equal when compared to each other. Both wet and dry dog food does have advantages, but they are interchangeable most of the time. It will always come to personal preferences, but the ingredients are the ones that matter the most.

First off, you need to take a look at the contents. One of the indications of well-made pet food is the presence of natural ingredients. If you can find organic options, then it would be the better choice. However, most of them are relatively rare for now, even if there are sightings in typical grocery stores. Meanwhile, there are some specific ingredients that you need to find in their lists that you can check here.

Meat is an integral part of the natural canine diet. It gives them the nutrients they need to survive, like proteins and taurine. However, several pieces of research suggest it might be possible for them to go full vegan. There are already products that claim it on their packaging, and they are trying to go to the mainstream. If you are looking for the standard options, though, it would be best to look for a meat source in the ingredients.

The name of the content should be clear enough for anyone to understand. For example, if there is meat in the product, it should be appropriately labeled. If it says something generic like animal parts, then you might want to ask more questions about it.

What kind of animal are they using for this product? What are the elements that they have mixed in their contents? Some products tend to combine many other animal products in their pet food, but they should be named like beef heart, chicken liver, and others.

Additionally, it would be best if you looked into the carbs in the prepared food source. It is usually mixed in because dogs are omnivores, and they can live off plants, too. The same rule applies to meat; it should be labeled clearly by the manufacturer. The ingredient list should say what kind of carbohydrates they are putting in, like wheat and barley. Some low-quality products tend to use vague terms like coarse meal, and you might want to avoid it.

Most of these dog food products are supposed to be safe for consumption, as long as they have passed the US FDA regulations. It means that it does not have anything that is supposed to be dangerous to the canine species like chocolate, onions, and caffeine. However, it still pays to read the list and search for the terms that might not be clear for you. In this way, you can make sure of their health and well-being.

Make Your Own
On the other hand, you can try and make food for your beloved canine. It is something that most people do these days since the world has been plunged into pandemic mode. Going to the market or grocery feels more of a chore since you have to do a lot of preparation before going out. You need to have a mask on and use alcohol as much as possible. Social distancing has also led to lesser people in these areas, so you might end up lining for a long time.

In this instance, it is essential to know that any food you are going to offer your dog should be cooked. It includes the meat, as modern domesticated animals tend to have a weaker digestive system than their wilder counterparts. A wolf can eat raw meat because they need it to survive but feeding one to a domesticated dog can lead to digestive issues. Also, we have mentioned that there are inherently dangerous food items, so watch out for them.

Being a dog owner might not be as simple as it seems, but there are so many reasons why it is a popular way of life. For one, having another animal with you is already proven to be therapeutic, given the circumstances. Dogs were inherently bred to be human’s constant companions, and we cannot see it changing anytime soon. For this reason, you need to feed them properly so that they can perform well even in the direst of situations.

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Human Foods You Should Not Feed Dogs

We all want the best for our dogs. We give them a lot of love, take them for plenty of walks and pick them up the best gear from retailers like furry friends gear. However, you shouldn’t always give your pets exactly what they want. This is especially true when it comes to food.

It is not common for a dog to beg at the table for a taste of your food. While many people will succumb to the cuteness and/or whining, you need to be careful. Some human food is fine for dogs to eat, but others can be incredibly problematic.

In an effort to keep your dog healthy, this article is going to go over some human foods that you need to be sure that you never feed to dogs.

Caffeine
While millions of people all over the world consume caffeine daily for its many benefits, don’t let your dog have any. This goes for coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks or anything else that could contain caffeine. The reason your dog should avoid caffeine is that they contain some substances that are known as methylxanthines which are found in cacao seeds.

When this substance is ingested by your dog, it can lead to vomiting, excessive thirst, and an abnormal heart rhythm. They can also lead to extreme hyperactivity, seizures and even death in some serious cases. So be sure to keep all of your chocolate well out of the reach of your furry friend. While all chocolate is bad, the darker that chocolate is, the more dangerous it is.

Gum and Candy
While gum and candy can be a tasty treat once in a while, they are other food items you should never give to your dog. This is because many of them contain Xylitol, a sweetener. This substance is fine for humans, but the same can’t be said for dogs. This is because it can trigger insulin release, which can dramatically lower the blood sugar of your dog.

Unfortunately, this has the potential to lead to liver failure. Some signs that your dog may have ingested Xylitol or another toxic ingredient include vomiting, a loss of coordination and generally being inactive or slow. Xylitol is also found in many other products including toothpaste, some baked goods and even some vitamin supplements.

Onions and Garlic
While a staple in many of the dishes we prepare, onions and garlic should never be fed to your pet. Not only can they lead to irritation, but they can also kill the red blood cells of the body. If the dosage is high enough, this could lead to anemia. This goes for if they are raw, cooked, dehydrated or even powdered. All parts of the onion have the potential to be toxic, as well.

The cause of this is a toxin called N-propyl disulfide. This prevents red blood cells from being able to carry oxygen, which eventually leads to them being destroyed. If your dog is vomiting, exhibiting signs of weakness or having trouble breathing and having a reddish tint in urine, could be signs of toxicity due to onions.

We hope this article has been able to help you learn some of the foods that you should avoid feeding to your dogs. Of course, these are far from the only foods that could potentially harm your pets, so be sure to be careful when feeding them any human food.

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Top 10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Human Foods Dogs Can Eat

Having a pet is one of the most wonderful things in the world. That wagging tail when you come back to your home and enters the door, not only makes you feel good but also takes the anxiety and stress of your whole day away. For many pet owners, pets become their furry family members. They share almost everything with their canine pal, from their hearts and houses to their beds.

But is it okay to share your food with your pup? According to the new University of Guelph research, around 35% of pet owners, especially those who are vegan, love to have a vegan dog; they are interested in feeding their pets a plant-based diet. Unfortunately, they don’t know that dogs have a different digestive system than humans. The food items that are safe for humans can wreak havoc on your pooch’s body. However, it doesn’t mean that a dog can’t eat human food.

In fact, there are many human food items that are safe and healthy for your pup and can be added to his/her meals to add a bit of variety to the food bowl. However, make sure the addition of human food items should not be in excess. Check out this article to know which human food items are safe to feed your pup if you want to give your four-legged friend a treat from your table.

Eggs

Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein, riboflavin, and selenium. Eggs are safe for dogs as long as they are fully cooked. There is evidence that eggs help in relieving nausea and upset stomach in dogs. However, before you feed eggs to your dog, make sure it is fully cooked as eating raw eggs can cause biotin deficiency in dogs, which is harmful to their skin and coat.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, protein, Selenium, iron, and several vitamins, including Vitamin-D, C, and B. Dogs can eat mushrooms, but only a certain variant of mushrooms like plain mushrooms (usually available on local stores). Eating mushrooms help your pet with better immunity and overall well-being.

Dairy products

Dairy products: Though many dogs have a low level of lactase, some dogs can consume dairy products, including milk, cheese, and plain yogurt, in moderate quantity. Dairy items may affect their gastrointestinal system and cause diarrhea or vomiting. If you want to feed cheese or yogurt to your dog, it is best to introduce its small amount in your dog’s regular diet gradually.

Pumpkins

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a major source of fiber and beta carotene. Canned pumpkin or freshly cooked pumpkin without spices and sugar is an ideal choice for dogs, especially when they are troubling executing successful bowel movements. Adding a tablespoon full of pureed pumpkin to a dog’s regular food helps in relieving both diarrhea and constipation.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a whole grain and safe for dogs to eat. Being a great source of fiber, it is the best alternative for the dogs that are allergic to wheat and have trouble in maintaining bowel regularity. Since flavored oatmeal has ingredients that are not good for your dog’s health, make sure you feed plain oatmeal in moderation to prevent obesity.

Vegetables

Vegetables: Vegetables give your pup vitamins, fiber, and canine crunch. Hence, it is okay to serve raw veggies such as cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, corn, and celery. You can also serve them green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, but make sure you steam them completely to prevent any digestive issues. Skip avocado; it can upset your dog’s stomach.

White Rice: Dogs can eat plain and cooked brown or white rice. It helps in relieving an upset stomach and binds stool because rice can be easily digested. Serving plain white rice with some boiled chicken can make your pup feel better, especially if he/she has any issue related to digestion or stomach. However, white rice can enhance the blood sugar level. So, diabetic dogs should avoid it.

Apples: Apples give your pooch an appropriate amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help in boosting your dog’s immunity. Also, apples are high in fiber, which is beneficial for their digestive system. However, make sure you remove the apple seeds before giving it to your pup. The reason behind it is that they contain cyanide, which can be poisonous for your dog.

Carrots: Carrots are low in calories and a major source of Vitamin A and fiber. They are beneficial for a dog’s immune system, skin, and coat. Not only chewing on carrots helps them to remove plaque from their teeth but also beneficial for their dental health. Hence, dogs can eat both raw and cooked carrots. However, make sure you feed carrots in moderation as a large amount of Vitamin A can be toxic.

Dog with fish

Fish: Like humans, dogs can produce half of the amino acid on their own. There are some amino acids that are essential for your dog, but they can only be obtained from a proper diet. Fish contains good fats and amino acids and safe for a dog to eat. It keeps the immune system strong. Apart from this, fish like salmon and tuna are one of the major sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for a dog’s skin and coat. However, before you feed fish to your dog, make sure it is cooked well.

Final words
While these are the food items that you can give to your dog, there are many more, such as peanut butter, popcorn, pork, blueberries, bananas, watermelon, etc. However, you should generally feed human food item in moderate quantity to your dog. Otherwise, you will dog end up while having some serious health issues. Since some human foods that can kill your dog, it is always recommended to consult a vet before giving human food to a dog, especially if he/she is suffering from health issues like diabetes, weight issues, liver or kidney disease, food allergies, etc.
We hope that this article has helped you to know about everything you can feed to your dog. If you have any queries, feel free to ask; we are always here to help you. Do share your comments and thoughts with us.

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Dogs and Portion Control – How much should you be feeding your Dog?

dog food

How much and how often you should be feeding your canine friend is a topic of frequent contention among dog owners, particularly as there is a lot of conflicting information available out there. With so many different brands and types of feed available on the market, it can be tricky knowing what the correct portions should be, based on your dog’s breed, size and activity levels.

Obesity in dogs continues to be a problem, and with over 60% of vets stating that the biggest health and welfare concern for pets in the UK is them being overweight, it is important to ensure your dog is eating the right amount of food.

Here, we discuss the key factors to take into consideration when determining how much food to give your dog.

Age
From the very moment you bring your beautiful new puppy home, you are in control of how their diet and lifestyle will affect their growth and health. As such, ensuring that they are eating the correct number of meals per day for each stage of their life is essential.

Generally speaking, puppies between 8-12 weeks old should be eating around four meals per day. Then, from 12 weeks to six months, this can be reduced to three meals, and dropping down to two meals as they continue to grow. When a dog enters their adult life, just one meal per day is sufficient to provide them with the energy and nutrition they need.

It is important to stick to one type of food and refrain from feeding them too many doggie treats, since this can lead to excessive calorie intake, which can, of course, make them overweight or lead to an upset stomach. If you are noticing your dog looking larger than before, or if they are going to the toilet more than usual, this may be a sign that they are eating more than they should be.

Bear in mind that the age at which you should switch from puppy/junior dog food to adult food will vary from breed to breed. In general, small dog breeds normally make the transition between 8-10 months old, and larger breeds between 12-18 months. Check with your vet for specific advice and information regarding your dog.

Lifestyle and activity
Once your dog hits adulthood, one major factor which will determine their daily food allowance will be their lifestyle, especially how active they are. Again, observation and judgement should be exercised, particularly since not all breeds conform to their stereotypes. Infamous speed-merchants like Greyhounds can, in fact, turn out to be total couch-potatoes. Likewise, tiny Chihuahuas can be highly-active racers!

As such, understanding the behaviour and characteristics of your pet in particular is key, since too little or too much food can greatly affect their health and growth. If you notice changes to your dog, be sure to adjust their portions in order to keep a good Body Condition Score (BCS).

You can easily tell if your dog isn’t eating the right amount, simply by their appearance and behaviour. Take a look at your pet from above – he/she should have a slight waist. You should also be able to feel their ribs, but they should not be visible. Your dog’s coat should also be glossy and dandruff-free. If their energy levels are strange for their breed (e.g. too lethargic or too hyper-active), this may also be a sign that they are not eating the right amount or type of dog food. In this case, food allergies should not be ruled out, and your vet might recommend switching to a hypoallergenic dog food.

Dog size and breed
The breed and size of your dog are crucial factors to consider when determining their diet and portion sizes. For instance, different dog breeds of the same size may have different energy levels and thus, require more or less food. Similarly, large dog breeds can greatly benefit from feeds which support and protect growing joints.

When purchasing dog food, always check the label, which will outline a general food/weight guide, but these should only be used as a reference, rather than an absolute.

The best way to determine if your best friend is eating the right amount of food is to simply practice good judgement, keep an eye or their portions, and observe them regularly for changes. This way, your dog will continue to live a long, happy and healthy life!

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Dog Food Allergies

So, your beloved pet is itching like crazy, biting himself all over, constantly shaking his head, and you even notice patches of fur missing. At first you think he might have fleas, but you’re always diligent with your monthly flea & tick treatment. So you rush him to the vet, and hear something new: you dog might have food allergies.

What is a Dog Food Allergy?
What does this mean exactly, and how in the world do you treat it? Well, allergies in both humans and dogs, in short, begin close to the same way. An allergic reaction happens when a dog’s (or human’s) immune system misinterprets a protein coming from a certain ingredient (n the case of food allergies) as a harmful foreign invader, and either attacks it or mounts some other kind of immune response.

Thankfully, dog food allergies are rarely life threatening, but can cause a wealth of irritating symptoms. Dog food allergies are actually caused by a genetic problem, and is triggered by initial exposure to the allergen. The most common dog food allergens are:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Egg
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Soy
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Fish

About 10% of all allergy cases in dogs are food related.

Dogs usually react to food allergens differently than a human might. With humans, we often hear of horrible cases where a person’s airway closes, and they might need extreme drugs like Epinephrine to stay alive. In dogs, on the other hand, an allergic reaction often appears in the form of irritated, itchy or inflamed skin, or sometimes produces gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea.

In some very rare cases, food allergies can send a dog into anaphylaxis (severe, life threatening allergic reaction), similar to a human suffering from a severe reaction to a bee sting, although that is very uncommon.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Food Allergies:

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears

There are several food allergy symptoms listed here, but the most common sign you will see is non-seasonal itching, usually focused on either the entire body or limited to the ears and feet. You might see chronic or recurrent skin infections. It does take time for food allergies to develop, and they usually aren’t immediate; your dog could have been eating the same food for a while without any reactions.

‘Novel’ Protein
A ‘food trial’ with a hypoallergenic dog food, like the ones listed below, is the best and most common way to diagnose a food allergy. These trials use a ‘novel’ protein source, which is hopefully something completely new to your dog or different from what he has had before. This reduces the chance of an immune response, hopefully eliminating the specific protein causing the allergic reaction.

Hydrolyzed diets, in addition, are created when animal proteins are broken down into much smaller molecules, making it difficult for the immune system to recognize harmful allergens and drastically reducing the chances of an allergic reaction.

How are Dog Food Allergies Treated?
So, your dog is allergic to a certain ingredient in his food. You certainly don’t want to keep feeding him that food! The first step, and only one needed really, is eliminating that particular ingredient from his food. Since most dog foods are composed of many ingredients, the easiest way to do this is narrowing down those ingredients from many to a few.

Limited Ingredient Dog Food
In order to offer a wide range of nutrients, manufacturers often use many ingredients in their foods. In this case, it can actually be harmful to offer so many- at least until we figure out what the ‘culprit’ is, so you veterinarian might prescribe a ‘Limited Ingredient Dog Food’. These are exactly how they sound, foods with fewer ingredients meant to help treat a dog’s sensitive stomach.

First, your veterinarian will prescribe a certain limited ingredient food. If that doesn’t do the trick, they will switch to an alternate food made from different ingredients, and so on.

There are many limited ingredient foods out there, but most of them are lower quality and cheaply manufactured. Below, we’ve listed five quality names, known for producing good, nutritional dog foods.

Some Limited Ingredient Dog Foods:
Canidae Grain-Free Pure Limited Ingredient Diet
Earthborn Holistic Venture Turkey Meal and Butternut Squash Limited Ingredient Diet
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Salmon & Sweet Potato
Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Puppy and Adult Dog Food
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy
When most people think their dog is having an allergic reaction to food, the culprit is actually food intolerance. A food intolerance doesn’t involve an immune response, and doesn’t stimulate histamines. For example, some dogs might be ‘lactose intolerant’, meaning a dog’s body won’t process the lactose found in milk well. Many humans are lactose intolerant also. These intolerances can lead to GI issues.

A study done in 2017 estimated that out of all dogs seeing a veterinarian for any issue, only about 1-2% actually had a food allergy or intolerance. That being said, it isn’t very common. Even then, true food allergies are less common than intolerances.

Meat, dairy and eggs are probably the most common allergens in dog food. It’s usually a protein in these foods that is the problem, not the food itself. In the wild, animal meat makes up most of a dog or wolve’s diet, so you can assume how rare an allergy to it would be.

Conclusion: What to Do?
You see your dog itching constantly, acting strange; his behavior is actually starting to change. What should you do if you think your pup might have a dog food allergy? Bring your pooch in for an exam, and talk this over with your veterinarian! Your vet has the knowledge and experience needed to develop the absolute best plain of attack for your pet’s ‘itchy issue’!

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Best Dog Food

Have you ever gone to a pet store to buy some dog food, but when you go there, you were overwhelmed by the options before you? You are not alone in this, there are different dog food brands out there in the market, and each brand has many varieties, with each of the different options having its own claims.
It is a good idea to investigate before settling on a dog food for your companion, take a look at Discount Pet Supplies Glasgow to find the best food for your dog.

What is the Best Dog Food?
This will be dependent on the individual requirement of your dog and what you are looking for. We have a list of the best food brands when it comes to dry food, but the best option for you will be mainly dependent on the needs of the dog. When in the process of choosing food for your dog, look at the ingredients so you can know what it contains. You will notice that there are some dog foods that are going to describe it as “22% poultry” instead of providing more details like whether it is a goose or duck. If you see such vague descriptions, then there is a good chance that the food is of poor quality.

You will notice that high-quality dog foods are a little more expensive than other options in the market, but just because they are priced a little high does not mean that it is better quality – there are some known brands that have quality foods at a fair price. Forking the extra money to get the high-quality grain-free dog food will end up being beneficial because the dog ends up being fuller for longer, which means you will be buying the food less often. Ensuring that the dog is having the right diet will end up saving you a lot of money on vet bills, so it doesn’t hurt to spend a little more on quality food.

Which Food should I buy for my Dog?
It is hard to have one solution-fits-all when it comes to dog food. The type of dog you have will have a big impact on the choice you make. You will find that there are some dog foods that will be more suited for the size and breed of the dog, and you will also have to consider the age and health of the dog.

You should try contacting us if you are in need of advice and guidance.

What Brands can You Expect to Get from Us?
We have a wide range of options when it comes to dog food that you can choose from. Having these options will help in catering for the unique preferences of your dog, which means you will be able to find an option that is best for your dog.

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The Safest Materials for Your Dog Bowls

dog bowls

You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to selecting a material for your dog bow. There is a variety of options in the market, including stoneware, ceramic, plastic, stainless steel, slow-feeding, nonskid and even automated portion-sized dog bowls. However, even with so many options out there, there are still some materials that are naturally safer than others. According to forthefurry.com, here are the five most common, including an exploration of whether they are safe or not.

Plastic Dog Bowls
This is by far the most commonly used material for dog bowls. However, it isn’t the safest. In fact, it can often be the worst material for a dog bowl.
To start with, young teething pups tend to chew a lot on their feeding bowl. A few minutes without you looking and your little pup can tear the bowl apart and ingest the little pieces of plastic. What follows is internal bleeding and blockage of the intestinal system.
Plastic bowls can also be highly porous and easy to scratch. The result is that they develop crevices that make for perfect homes for dangerous bacteria.

Ceramic Dog BowlCeramic Dog Bowls

Ceramic dog bowls are often a pretty good choice, assuming you’ve done your homework before going out to buy one. You should also take care of them to ensure they last longer. The greatest concern when it comes to ceramic dog bowls is that the glazes used to coat them may sometimes contain harmful chemicals like lead. You should be careful about this and go for those that have been certified for food use and are free of lead in their coating. You should also regularly inspect your dog’s ceramic bowl to check for chips and cracks that can harbor bacteria. You also shouldn’t let your dog ingest any chips from the bowl. With such bowls, maintenance is the biggest issue. They are, however, a terrific choice.

Stoneware Dog BowlsStoneware Dog Bowls

Stoneware bowls may have trace amounts of lead so you should be careful about the ones you buy. Lead is very dangerous for pets and can lead to lead poisoning. The symptoms of lead poisoning include cardiovascular problems, renal and kidney problems, skeletal problems, disorders of the muscles and joints, nerve disorders, loss of memory, intellectual impairment, mood swings, infertility and cancer. Select stoneware bowls that are free of lead. Apart from the lead issue, however, stoneware dog bowls are much safer than plastic dog bowls as they don’t chip as easily.

Silicone Dog Bowls
Silicone is a relatively recent material on the market. It is rubber-like, nonstick and nontoxic. It has high heat resistance and does not retain any odors. It can also help you save space as such dog bowls are typically collapsible.

Stainless Steel Dog BowlsStainless Steel Dog Bowls

These dog bowls are nonporous, which means you don’t have to worry about bacteria. They are also resistant to rust and very easy to clean. Steel also isn’t exposed to as many dangerous chemicals as plastic is during its manufacture.

How To Choose The Best Dog Food?

dog foods

Dog owners are encountered with an ever-growing number of different dog foods. However, finding a good quality food that is appealing to your pup and within your budget is harder than ever.

All dogs have the same basic nutritional needs, but every dog is an individual and has unique dietary requirements. The perfect food for your dog will support his overall health, give him plenty of energy, and won’t cause digestive upset.

But how to choose the best dog food that ticks all of these boxes and is at the same time affordable and tasty? Being aware of the following factors the next time you go shopping for your dog, will help you find the perfect food for him.

Consider your dog’s unique traits

Factors like breed, age, activity level, and reproductive status have a great impact on a dog’s nutritional needs. If those needs aren’t met over a period of time, a dog can develop nutritional deficiencies and various health problems.

Puppies, pregnant and lactating mother require high-quality and calorie dense food. On the other hand, older, spayed/neutered dogs need fewer calories.

High energy breeds and working dogs also need more calories compared to pups who love lounging around and sleeping all day. Similarly, the food for small and large breeds should contain different amounts of nutrients that will support their individual requirements.

Depending on the age of your dog you can choose between puppy, adult maintenance, and all life stages formula. Some brands also have breed targeted food that is specifically designed keeping in mind the individual needs of your dog.

Understand the ingredient list

Every good quality food needs to have a named meat or named meat meal as the main ingredient. Meat meal is a concentrated form of meat that doesn’t contain water and has higher protein count.

Meat can include skeletal muscles, tissues from the hearth, diaphragm, and esophagus among other things. On the other hand, brain, kidneys, liver, blood, bone, and others are the organs that end up in meat by-products.

Some organ meats like liver and kidneys are healthy and beneficial for dogs, but you need to make sure that they are named. We strongly recommend that you avoid all foods that include unnamed protein sources like “animal by-product”.

Even thought AAFCO has strict rules and regulations some dog foods contain roadkill or expired meat that is in no way healthy for a dog.

Since dogs are omnivores you shouldn’t exclude grains from your dog’s diet unless he has allergies and needs to eat grain free dog food. However, soy, corn, and wheat are cheap fillers that don’t contain enough vitamins and minerals.

Look for foods that have brown rice, oatmeal, or barley since they are easier to digest and healthy wholesome grains. Furthermore, make sure that the food contains some type of fruit and vegetables.

Grain Free Dog Food

Look for AAFCO seal of approval

Many pet parents feel that AAFCO isn’t as rigorous as it should be when it comes to the quality of ingredients that ends up in dog food. But so far, their seal of approval is the only thing that guarantees that the food meets the nutritional needs of dogs.

Check the back of the package where all other nutritional information is and look for “complete and balanced” seal. If a food has it, it means that it meets the minimal nutrition requirements set by AAFCO.

Does your dog have any health problems?

Dogs that are diagnosed with conditions like pancreatitis, kidney disease, allergies, or diabetes can’t continue eating the same type of food. In cases like this, a change of diet is necessary to keep the disease at bay.

Nowadays, there is a wide range of prescription diets that are made for dogs with specific health issues. Still, some commercially made food can be just as good, and a lot cheaper.

For example, you can include a novel protein diet if you suspect that your pup is suffering from allergies instead of going with limited ingredient formula. However, it is wise to talk to your vet and have your dog examined before you make any dietary changes.

Decipher the product name

Did you know that the name of the product can tell you a lot about how much of any protein is found in it? For example, terms like “beef” or “beef for dogs” means that beef must make up at least 70% of the whole product.

Terms like “beef dinner”, “beef nuggets”, or “beef platter” mean that the product needs to have only 25% of beef. Furthermore, the term “beef flavor” requires that the product has only 3% of beef, which is present in trace amounts sufficient to entice a dog to eat.

Best Dog Food

Research the brand

After you narrowed your choices to only couple of brands of food you think your dog will like, it is time to research the manufacturer. This means a little extra work, but it will give you a peace of mind when it comes to the quality of ingredients.

The safest bet is to pick a brand that didn’t have any recent recalls or none what so ever. Manufacturers aren’t in the obligation to share all the information about their product on the label so you may end up calling them for additional information.

Conclusion

With so many factors to consider, finding the perfect food for your dog may require more time, but it is well worth it. Providing your dog with all the right and quality ingredients will keep him happy and healthy in the long run.

Consider your pup’s individual needs if you want to know how to choose the best dog food for him. Additionally, knowing how to read the labels, reaching out and researching the manufacturer are also things that will help you make the right choice.

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Being aware of the individual needs of your pup is one of a few things that can help you how to choose the best dog food that will keep your dog healthy and happy.

Unique New Product Will Stop British Dog Bowls Travelling 2.5 Million Miles Per Year

Dog bowls around Britain are estimated to have been travelling at least 2.5 million miles per year, without ever having boarded a train, boat or plane, or been loaded into a car.1

Experience suggests each British dog bowl travels a minimum of 24 inches per day, during the course of the recommended two daily feeds, creating stressful journeys and lots of pet-lag.

Now, however, thanks to Charlie the Schnauzer – a very serious product tester and developer – all that is about to change and dog bowls will enjoy some very welcome ‘staycations’.

This is all down to a brand new and innovative product called PetWeighter™
and Charlie’s personal story.

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When this loveable dog was six years old, he became the one in the ‘one in five hundred dogs’ that develops diabetes in its lifetime. The vet told Charlie, and his grown-ups, that Charlie had to drink lots and lots of water.  The trouble was that Charlie was a typical dog who liked to throw his bowl around and spill food and water everywhere.  No matter what the grown-ups did, they could not keep Charlie’s water in the bowl, to give him enough to drink to help his condition and stay hydrated.

Luckily, Charlie knew a kindly solutions-focused chap.  He created a makeshift arrangement that saw the bowl set into a wooden framework filled with concrete.  It wasn’t attractive or neat, but it was Charlie-proof.  Charlie, however, being a discerning dog, felt his product developer could do better.  PetWeighter™
was born!

The unique PetWeighte has revolutionised pet feeding.  It is a food-grade, high-strength plastic dog bowl that has learned the command ‘stay’ and does just that, staying put no matter how hard a dog or cat tries to move it. This sturdy and secure, two-part product comprises bowl and a base that is the grounding mechanism.  This can be filled with water, sand, a combination of water and sand, or ice, simply by unscrewing a cap and then securing it again once filled.

The bowl section is then easily detached from the base, so the dog owner can fill it with food, or clean it – even popping it on to the top rack of their dishwasher, if they wish.  Once it’s feed time, the bowl is simply aligned with the weight station base, and gently pushed down to lock into place.

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At its heaviest, a large PetWeighter™
can weigh 13kg – more than enough to prevent dogs throwing their food and water around the floor and making an almighty mess.

Charlie likes to point out that it is every dog’s natural instinct to protect their food and eat it quickly.  In the wild, this would have stopped prey escaping and now, when a dog sees its bowl continuously moving away from it, a deep growl and curling lip can emerge, if owners or children try to helpfully bring the bowl back to its starting point.

Additionally, some of Charlie’s friends have arthritis and find the PetWeighter™
puts less strain on their joints. The two-part bowl is designed for medium-to-large sized dogs and elevated to a height that means a dog does not have to stoop to eat its food, or drink water.  This alleviates the discomfort in the neck, chest and elbows that an arthritic dog can experience and can be a huge weight off the shoulders.

Breeding bitches will find that their little pups cannot get into their mum’s bowl to soil and really cannot tip it up, no matter how much they try.

The PetWeighter™
comes in three colours – a smart red bowl with grey base, an eye-catching turquoise  blue bowl with grey base and a girly pink bowl with grey base. It is available in two sizes – medium and large – and can be used with cats as well as dogs.

The large red bowl is available immediately, with the large pink and turquoise options available in late September.  All medium-sized bowls will be available early 2017.

The PetWeighter™
can keep your pet’s feeding area clean and tidy, won’t darken your dog’s mood as it wrestles with its moving bowl and ensures water is cleaner, cooler and available at all times, just as it needs to be.

Being able to assist dogs, with health issues, whether they are diabetics like Charlie, or older and a little achy, suffering kidney disease, or worryingly displaying Megaesophagus really is a big bonus.

The robust PetWeighter™
should last for years, if treated correctly, and its shape makes it hard to chew.  Designed by healthcare engineers, with hygiene in mind, it is simple to clean and the bowl has no cracks or crevices that can attract dirt.

Create one pet feeding zone in your home by stopping your dog bowl from going on its travels!  The PetWeighter™ from Peak Pet Products Ltd costs £24.99 and will be available in many good pet stores, as well as online at Amazon.

More information is available at www.petweighter.com or by calling 0330 223 1534.

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Bake at Home with Olive’s Larder

Olive’s Larder have launched a NEW and healthy bake at home kit and gift jar selection!

Dog treats

Perfect for all dog lovers out there who want their little pooches to have nothing but the best!

Made with 100% natural ingredients and promoting good health for dogs Olive’s Larder baking kits make it easy for you busy pawents out there to give a homebaked treat where all the hard work has been done for you! With just an egg and your love to add you can bake perfect healthy treats every time.

The flavour cominations in these baking kits are just delicious, including the Olive’s Larder Mint Canine Cookie Kit available as a gift jar £9.95 or as a baking bag kit £4.99

Dog foods

Packed with delicious flavours the mint cookie kit promotes fresh breath and can be soothing too. Mint is naturally very soothing for digestive problems in dogs and historically, this aromatic herb has been used to reduce gas, nausea, motion sickness, and stomach aches as well as naturally freshening breath.

The Olive’s Larder Carob Canine Cookie Kit available as a gift jar £9.95 or as a baking kit £4.99 is also packed full of delicious flavours and real health benefits!

Carob is naturally sweet, low fat & protein packed. With a naturally sweet and pleasant flavor, carob is packed with nutrients. It is rich in vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6 and D, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and protein.

Carob is also rich in fiber and pectin, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. This super food improves digestion, lowers cholesterol, and can be used to treat diarrhea. The vitamin E content in carob helps to treat coughs, flu, and anemia. It can even be used to fight against osteoporosis because of it allows better absorption of calcium.

These delicious treat kits are packed with this low fat wonderful superfood carob and soothing breath freshening mint – flavours that that your four legged friend will just love and enjoy and even more so because it was baked by you!

Olive's Larder

Trade enquiries welcome