January 20, 2018

Why Pet Owners Should Understand The Importance Of Dog Dental Care

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Pet owners will go out of their way to make sure their furry friends are well cared for and have everything they need to live a long, happy life. Yet, sometimes even the most conscientious owners will fail to realize the importance of dog dental care and its relationship to their pet’s overall well-being. When it comes to keeping a pet healthy, dental hygiene is just as critical as diet and exercise.

It helps to get into a routine of inspecting teeth on a regular basis. Cup the animal’s chin in one hand and gently lift up the lips to expose the gum line. Carefully inspect all teeth and look for swollen gums and broken or missing teeth. If a problem is suspected, take the animal to a qualified veterinarian. Dental disease will get progressively worse so catching a problem early will save the animal from needless suffering and keep the damage to a minimum.

Every breed is different. Some are more prone to dental problems than others. Smaller breeds tend to have worse teeth than larger breeds. This is because the mouth is so small and crowded which interferes with the usual natural methods of plaque removal.

Chewing on a bone will naturally remove plaque but most dental problems can be avoided with regular brushing. Dogs should be acclimated to having the teeth brushed by the age of 6 months. By that time, all the adult teeth are grown in. Brushing at least twice a week will remove this plaque before it has a chance to harden into tartar.

Never use human toothpaste on a dog’s teeth. Special toothpaste formulated for animals is available at any pet supply store. This special formula is safe for them to swallow unlike regular toothpaste which can be harmful.

The pet store will also have toothbrushes with long handles designed to make brushing teeth easier. A finger brush is another popular tool. This device has soft plastic bristles and fits over the end of the finger. Dental wipes are even easier to use. These soft cloths come moistened with cleaning formula. Wrap the cloth around the finger and use a circular motion to massage inside the mouth under the gum line.

Some studies suggest that hard food is slightly more effective than wet foods for removing plaque. A diet high in muscle or organ meat can actually be harmful to teeth because of the high levels of phosphorus. Calcium is drawn from the teeth to balance the phosphorus and this makes them weak. Knucklebones and oxtails are a better choice because the pet gets calcium along with the meat.

Regular vet exams are necessary for overall health. A vet will check the teeth as part of any routine exam. Sometimes the vet will recommend a professional cleaning to remove stubborn tartar. This is an outpatient procedure but requires the animal be put under general anesthesia. Some dogs will require this kind of cleaning up to twice per year.

When the tartar builds up, the gums become swollen and recede from the teeth. This condition is called gingivitis. The teeth may loosen up and fall out. Missing teeth affect the dog’s ability to consume and digest food properly. Symptoms include weight loss, bleeding gums and loss of appetite.

A bacterial infection that is not treated can spread to the jawbone. The animal may have swelling underneath the eyes and appear to be in pain when moving the jaws. Severe cases may be referred to a dental specialist for further diagnosis and treatment. Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary.

Poor dental hygiene obviously affects teeth in a negative way but the problems can go far beyond just missing teeth and bleeding gums. Healthy gums form a barrier between bacteria and the rest of the body. When the gums are compromised, bacteria in the mouth may travel to other parts of the body and infect the joints, kidneys, intestines and heart.

Everyone jokes about bad breath but a persistent case can be a sign of a serious health problem. In addition to periodontal disease and gingivitis, bad breath can signal gastrointestinal disease, respiratory problems and even diabetes. It is necessary to determine the cause for proper treatment.

All pet owners need to understand the importance of dog dental care. Proper oral hygiene should begin at an early age to get the animal accustomed to having the teeth cleaned. A few minutes spent each week on cleaning the teeth will help prevent much more serious health problems in the future.

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The Importance Of Making Sure Your Dog Gets The Proper Nutrition

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Making sure your dog gets the proper nutrition is essential to a long, healthy, and active life. Meals should be planned to fulfill the animal’s complete biological, psychological, and physiological needs. They should be well-balanced and varied.

The canine physiology has been evolving for millions of years. The ancestors of today’s domesticated canines thrived on various uncooked, natural foods. These include bone, organ meat, vegetable, muscle meat, water, and fat. It is important to provide well-balanced meals which incorporate ingredients from each of those categories.

Domestication has not altered canine physiology very much. For this reason, many experts believe it is important to embrace the essential ingredients which their ancestors fed on in the wild. Zoologists follow this general rule when attempting to preserve animal species.

Six primary nutritional elements should be included in canine diets. These include proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, water, and carbohydrates. A well-balanced diet will include foods which provide nutrition from each of those categories.

In general, canine food is sub-divided into five categories. These include veterinarian-prescribed diets, holistic and natural commercial food, economy and generic food, premium food, and raw or home-made food. Commercial products are usually available in wet or dry forms.

It is important to read the labels of commercially-distributed food. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has developed standards of quality. These established guidelines are reflected on the labels. Experts advise selecting food that exceeds the AAFCO guidelines. In addition, avoid foods containing chemical preservatives, as well as fillers, such as soy, wheat, and corn. The best choices contain human-grade ingredients.

Legally, pet food manufacturers must list all ingredients in order of weight. This can help consumers identify the best possible options for their pets. Ingredients commonly found on pet food labels include meat, meat by-products, poultry by-products, fish meal, ground corn, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, brown rice, soybean meal, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), ethoxyquin, and tocopherols.

Meat ingredients include the flesh of animals, including chicken, beef, fish, turkey, and lamb. It can also include skeletal muscle, tongues, sinew, nerves, diaphragms, hearts, and esophagus. The meat by-products include animal parts that are not categorized as meat. These include the liver, brain, fatty tissue, intestines, stomach, spleen, kidneys, blood, and spleen. It does not include teeth, hooves, horns, or hair.

Poultry by-products include feet, heads, and internal organs. The organs often utilized include the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, and intestines. These ingredients do not contain feathers.

Fish meal is made from the ground tissue of whole fish or fish parts. It may or may not include extracted fish oil. Ground corn is composed of entire kernels which are chopped or ground-up. Corn gluten meal is composed from the by-product which is left-over after corn syrup or corn starch is processed. It is the dried residue which remains after the starch, bran, and germ have been removed. Soybean meal is made from by-products which remain after soybean oil has been produced.

Brewers rice indicates small fragments of rice kernels which are left-over after larger rice kernels have been milled. Brown rice consists of unpolished rice which is left-over after all the kernels have been removed.

BHA is a fat preservative. Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative used to prevent food spoilage. Tocopherols are natural compounds which are used as food preservatives, such as Vitamin E.

A healthy, balanced canine diet should never include the following elements. Avocado, alcoholic beverages, fish and poultry bones, tea, cat food, chocolate, coffee, tobacco, marijuana, citrus oil extracts, fat trimmings, raw meat, moldy food, grapes, raisins, currants, hops, human supplements which contain iron, fish, macadamia nuts, milk and other dairy products, persimmons, yeast dough, peach and plum pits, raw eggs, rhubarb leaves, salt, table scraps, sugary foods, and xylitol (artificial sweetener) can cause many health problems.

Throughout the life of a canine, her or his nutritional needs shift. It is important to feed puppy food to puppies, adult food to mature canines, and senior food to older canines. Both canned and dry food are appropriate, if the ingredients are high-quality. Often, owners of larger dogs will choose dry foods. This is because it’s easier to transport, and more cost-effective since these canines require more food. Also, the crunchy bits help scrape plaque and other build-up from their teeth. Owners of smaller dogs often choose canned foods. However, dry food’s ability to help clean teeth should be taken into consideration. When diets predominantly include moist foods, it is advisable to incorporate a few meals of crunchy foods.

Making sure your dog gets the proper nutrition is vital to her or his overall health. Feeding your canine friends balanced foods with high-quality ingredients can help support long, active, healthy life-spans.

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The Importance Of Crate Training Your Dog

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Crate training your dog is an important part of pet ownership as it gives your dog a safe place to go and helps with the housebreaking process. New pet owners might think that crating their dogs is cruel but nothing could be further from the truth as most dogs love their crates once they get used to them. You might be intimidated with crate training but this is unnecessary since dogs are fast learners and they love to please their owners. Usually after a couple tries most dogs will take to their crates easily.

Using a crate has many advantages for both dogs and their owners. Of course you will want to buy a crate that is the right style, material and size for your pet. You want to be sure the dog has room to stand up, stretchy out and turn around inside the crate and that you can also easily fit a dog bed, plus food and water bowls.

You want to start crate training right when you get the dog home. Introduce him to his crate gently on the first night. Dont force him in but do entice him with treats and kind words. Once your dog is inside, pet him and make him feel comfortable. Of course, lots of praise is in order so that your dog knows he has done something good. Do this for about a week and then start putting him in as needed when you leave for work. If they are too scared, try doing it in intervals of every two hours. This usually lets them realize the owner is close by and relaxes them so they do not mind being in there for a longer length of time the next time it is tried.

Crate training with help quite a big with housebreaking because pets do not urinate where they sleep. Therefore, unless left for hours on end they will not urinate in the crate. To prevent them from doing so when they are first released from the crate, take them straight outdoors as soon as the door opens to release them. This makes will help your dog to understand that once they are released from the crate they are to go outdoors to take care of business. Reward them for a job well done.

Since dogs will not soil their crate, you need to be sure that you dont leave your pet in one for an unreasonable length of time. While crate training in itself is not cruel, it would be quite cruel to leave a dog in the crate for 12 hours and expect him to hold it. Therefore, if you are going to be gone for any more than 8 hours, I would not recommend confining your dog to the crate during that time.

Once house training starts do not let the pet outside to take care of business by themselves. They may decide to enter a yard next door or not go at all. When that happens, they may come inside and decide to use an expensive rug purchased last year. Animals have to be watched when trained. Otherwise, they think they can get away with anything. And, of course, you need to be there to praise your pet when he does his business outside so that he knows this is the desired behavior.

Some dogs can be difficult to crate train, especially if they have had a bad experience with a crate before. Like most training this is where the trainer must have patience and be persistent. Start off slowly and work your way up to being able to leave your pet in the crate. You might want to put a special treat or toy inside the crate to lure him in but dont shut him in there at first. He may just poke his head in and grab the treat the first couple of times but once he gets more used to going near and inside the crate, you will probably find he goes in for longer periods of time. The key is to make sure he feels comfortable inside the crate at all times and never yell or punish your dog as that will cause him to have unpleasant associations with the crate.

Crate training your dog is a must for any pet owner as this will allow you to have a safe place to keep your pet during travel, moves, parties and even when you are not home. When done properly your dog will love you for it as it gives him a place that he can call his own and feel safe and sound in!

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