Dog Nutrition: Kibble Vs.Raw Food Diet

 

Imagine a majestic Grey wolf, stalking prey through the brush of a woods environment. Think about their natural diet and nutritional requirements. While wolves will scavenge and consume plant matter when they must, diets are mostly carnivorous and animal-based.

Those natural diets don’t look anything like the dog kibble ingredients you see below!

The Pros and Cons of Dog Kibble
Approximately 25-30% of the general canine population is obese, with 40-45% of dogs aged 5-11 years old weighing in higher than normal (Williams, Krista. DVM).
-VCA Hospitals

The vast majority of companion dogs are fed dog kibble. Many are either over-fed, fed with a lower quality brand, or never have the opportunity to reach their ideal exercise requirements (all too often all 3).

You Get What You Pay For
When it comes to manufactured dog foods, you literally have hundreds (potentially thousands) of options! If you want top-quality dry dog food, like Orijen for example, you’ll certainly pay a premium price for it. Most Americans settle for something much cheaper, whether it be the price tag or deceptive advertising that influences them. One of the Most Popular Dry Dog Kibbles in America

Most dog owners who choose the kibble route are going to go with something like the example you see here, which might as well be closer to a bag of corn than the natural diet they were biologically meant to consume. While they may be able to meet their protein requirements, there is way too much plant matter here.

Puppy Board and Train

Popular Dog Food, Top 10 Ingredients: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, beef Fat naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken, egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, animal digest

Do Your Research
There are more poor-quality kibbles out there than great ones, and you can never rely on advertising or marketing gimmicks to inform you what is best. In fact, it’s best to ignore any form of televised advertising altogether and do your own research! Know what’s best for your dog’s nutritional needs.

The Pros and Cons of Raw Dog Food
Think of raw bones, raw meat, organic compounds, and natural foods in general. These don’t contain preservatives, GMO’s and other ‘man-altered substances. In fact, the ‘raw dog food’ trend is exploding among pet owners!

Raw diet for dogs

Sure, wild dogs or wolves will consume raw, freshly killed animal products. This will certainly help you come close to a natural diet. Raw dog food diets aren’t without risks though and aren’t necessarily better in every single case.

BARF Diet
This originally stood for ‘Bones and Raw Food’, now ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food’, and the basis for the diet follows the assumption it must be ideal since wolves have consumed raw food for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s also believed many man-made additives in kibble can be detrimental, not included in the BARF diet.

Should You Cook Your Meat?
It really is important to cook any meat you feed your dog. It may violate the principles held within the BARF diet, but not cooking meat invites a possibility of contamination with numerous bacteria, viruses, and parasites. There is no reason any domestic pet should have to face the same risks a wild animal would, and there really is not that much lost in the way of nutritional quality.

There is nothing wrong with a little bit of diversity! Everything you offer doesn’t have to be ‘raw’ to be healthy.

You Choose the Ingredients
You can only choose what ingredients go into manufactured dog kibble as far as deciding what brand to offer, and while you may do your research, most dog owners fall for the brightly colored packaging and deceptive advertising.

By avoiding kibble, you can prepare each meal at home with the knowledge your dog is eating exactly what you want! You know exactly what animal that meat came from, in contrast to the mystery ‘meat and bone meal’ above. Your dog’s diet will be mostly animal proteins, and not starchy carbohydrates or cheaply grown corn. An ethical dog owner would still do their own research and know exactly what their dog needs, but they will have much better control over their pet’s nutritional health.

In Conclusion: What a Dog Needs
Dogs, and the wolves that came before them, are what you could call opportunistic carnivores. They would normally thrive on a diet rich in animal meat, but don’t necessarily need meat to survive. Their bodies were designed to utilize the ‘essential amino acids’ found most in animal proteins, which is one reason why animal meat is so important.

Watch Out for Filler!
In order to cut manufacturing costs and create a cheap product while still offering the dog nutrients essential for survival, several of the world’s largest dog kibble manufacturers will use what’s generally referred to as ‘filler ingredients’ (i.e. corn, wheat) to make their foods seem like more than what they are. The ‘popular dog food’ listed above is a prime example!

Grain-free diets have been linked to cases of Cardiomyopathy. ‘All or none’ situations aren’t always as good as they seem.

Control what your Dog Eats
Your ability to control what your dog eats is probably the largest benefit behind raw dog food diets! On the other hand, you’ll have to become familiar with the range of ingredients your dog needs to be nutritionally fulfilled, which can take independent research. Feeding raw dog food diets is never as simple as ‘just giving raw meats every day’.

Traveling With Your Dog

Traveling with a dog is every pet owner’s fantasy, but only a few can fulfill this dream. If you are thinking of traveling with your dog, first find out what is safe and comfortable for him. It is important to take care of their safety because if your pup does not feel comfortable with you on the trip, it is better to leave him alone at home.

Traveling With Your Dog

Here are some expert tips and advice to follow if you want to travel with your furry friend.

Pre-travel Requirements

Pay a visit to your vet first

Before embarking on any trip, it is important that you first visit your vet because the vet is the only person who can tell you if your dog is in good health and if he can travel or not. Furthermore, a vet can also provide you with the necessary documents that are essential for travel.

You can also ask your vet about essential vaccinations and blood tests before you travel according to the special requirements of your destination.

Gather all the necessary equipment

There are many types of equipment available on the market that can make traveling with your dog easy and comfortable. Necessary gadgets to include on your dog checklist are:

Dog food
Crate
Portable water bottle
Dog bed
Portable water feeder
Dog travel car seats
Dog leash
Poop bags
Tag and microchips

If your pup wanders away from you while traveling, he can easily get lost anywhere. But if your dog has any identity, it’s easy to track him down. You also need to ensure that your dog must wear a leash or collar along with his name and contact number.

In many countries, there are microchips available which are very useful for such a situation. Along with that, you should always have a recent photograph of your dog that you can use in an emergency.

Useful Tips For Different Mode Of Traveling With Your Dog

How to travel by car?

Traveling with your dog by car is not easy, especially if he is not used to car rides. First of all, you need to make your dog comfortable traveling by car. You can let him in and out of the car, so he is not afraid of a car ride. As soon as your pup is comfortable with the car, you can take him for short rides.

If your pup is prone to motion sickness, it is best to take him on an empty stomach on the trip. Similarly, make sure there is plenty of water available during the journey so that they stay hydrated. A portable water bottle can make serving the water easier.

A professional tip for a dog owner is that if you let your dog roam freely in the car, do not allow him to stick his head out of the car window, as this can be the source of injury. If you are traveling and keeping your dog in the crate, make sure your car is well ventilated so that he gets fresh air at all times.

If you are traveling by truck, never allow your dog to ride in the back of an open truck. If you have a small puppy with you, a pet travel seat can go a long way. If your children are also traveling with you, advise them not to tease your puppy during the trip.

Try to take frequent breaks during the trip so your pup can go to the bathroom. As you stop along the way, make sure you don’t leave your pup alone in the car. If necessary, you can leave it with a family member. If your dog did his business during the potty break, be sure to clean the area. For this, you can use poop bags.

How to travel by plane?

If you want to travel with your dog by plane, you need a health certificate. Most airlines have strict rules on travel policies, requiring a health certificate almost 10 days before traveling. Similarly, some airlines do not allow travel if your pet is less than 8 weeks old.

It is also your responsibility to consult your veterinarian before traveling by plane and see if tranquilizing your pet is a better option or not. Similarly, keep a close eye on the temperature of the flight, whether your dog is comfortable in it or not.

Different airlines have different services and rules. Some airlines have a rule that you can bring the crate on the flight, but it should be according to their size requirement. Similarly, some airlines only allow a dog to travel in cargo.

Before boarding the flight, always take your dog to the bathroom; many airports offer specific areas for pets. If you have a long flight, be sure to provide the dogs with ice cubes to keep them hydrated during the long flight.

Some puppies do not feel comfortable while traveling and suffer from anxiety.  You can take their bed during traveling, so they feel at home and do not suffer from anxiety. Many dog ​​beds are available in the market that are easy to use and can be carried for travel.

Traveling by Boat or Train

If you’ve planned to travel with your dog by train, first make sure your rail line allows dogs on board. This is because some rail lines have specific pet policies and only allow a few pets on a particular train. Traveling with your dog on the train is easy because it stops at various stations, and you can take your puppy for a walk or potty.

If you want to travel by boat, they have different policies. Some cruise lines only allow dogs in a private cabin, while some ships have kennel service on board. While leaving your dog in the kennel, make sure he is comfortable and fully vaccinated.

Final words

Traveling with your dog means fun, and this fun will be doubled if you are traveling with your dog. You just have to make sure you select the best way and follow the tips mentioned above to make traveling easy for you and your dog.

References and Citations

https://www.cdc.gov/importation/traveling-with-pets.html
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel
https://www.iata.org/en/youandiata/travelers/traveling-with-pets/
https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dogs-and-motion-sickness
https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train

Therapy Dogs

What is a Therapy Dog?


Therapy dogs are dogs who go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improves the lives of other people.

Therapy dogs are not service dogs.  Service dogs are dogs who are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help a person who has a disability.  An example of a service dog is a dog who guides an owner who is blind, or a dog who assists someone who has a physical disability.  Service dogs stay with their person and have special access privileges in public places such as on planes, resautrants, etc.  Therapy dogs do not have the same special access as service dogs.

It is unethical to attempt to pass off a therapy dog as a service dog for purposes such as flying on a plane or being admitted to a restaurant.

Please contact me for more information on certifying your dog to become a therapy dog. 

The Benefits of A Dog Board and Train Programs

The Benefits of Dog Board and Train Programs

If you have a new puppy, the amount of training that needs to be done to raise a well-adjusted dog may seem daunting.

Fortunately for busy owners, a Dog board and train programs were created!

In this article, we are going to look at the main benefits of a board and train program so you can determine if it’s right for you and your dog.

1. Saving Time While Training Your Dog

While it’s certainly possible for the majority of owners to learn how to train their own dogs, dog training is a skill that takes time to master.

Dogs often learn in spite of our poor training skills as humans, because they are wonderful at picking up on what we want them to learn in many cases.

However, it’s no secret that if a skill is mastered, it takes far less time than when you are first learning.

This applies to dog training, too! In the hands of an experienced and educated professional dog trainer, your dog will be able to learn cues more quickly due to the clarity and consistency that the trainer can easily provide.

Dog Board and Train

2. Train Your Dog With Consistency

One of the hardest aspects to follow through with when training your dog throughout your life is the consistency that a dog needs in order to learn effectively.

During a board and train program, your dog will become immersed in the new expectations for their behavior, which also helps your dog learn even faster.

Dogs are opportunists, and if given room to wiggle, they often choose the option they prefer.

The timing, clarity, and consistency of the trainer performing your dog’s board and train will ensure your dog’s training remains consistent and becomes a new habit by the time they come home to you.

3. Lay a Foundation Of Solid Dog Obedience

In very few other aspects of life do we expect the average person to learn an entirely new profession? However, it’s far too often that you are expected to fully train your own dog to the level that a professional dog trainer can train.

Instead, a plumber or another service provider will often solve the bulk of the problem, ensuring the pipes were put together with a solid foundation.

They may give a few tips on maintenance, or how to solve minor problems, but you aren’t expected to become a plumber in order to have water in your home!

During a board and train, your dog will gain a solid foundation of the behaviors you are wanting them to know, and those behaviors can then be transferred to you with some tips for maintaining them at the end.

There will be fewer problems to fix in the future if you start your dog off right in the beginning!

What to Ask About a Board and Train Program

Finally, there are several things to consider when choosing the correct board and train program for you and your dog.

If you have a particular training method you would like to be used, it’s best to find a trainer that aligns with your training philosophy and ensure they will uphold that the entire time your dog is staying with them.

Asking for reviews and references from previous clients is a great way to ensure you will get the result you are looking for with your board and train program as well.

It’s also important to make sure you understand what is needed of you. Dogs aren’t robots, so they will still always need some maintenance of their behavior after a board and train program is completed.

Will the trainer provide support for a certain period of time after the board and train program? How often will they be meeting with you throughout the program? Do you feel confident in their ability to give you the skills you and your dog need to be successful?

Asking some of these questions upfront can ensure you and your dog find a successful board and train program to give you the foundation you need for the rest of their lives!

For more information about our board and train program please contact us and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping

How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping

Dogs Jumping on people can be an incredibly frustrating behavior problem since it can lead to torn clothes or even injury to a person.

It’s also an unfortunately common behavior problem. In this article, we will be covering why dogs jump on people, as well as a few ways to teach your dog to keep their feet on the floor.

Why do dogs jump?

Dogs like to greet people face to face, and for many dogs, our faces can only be reached when they jump! They also often jump because they can’t contain their excitement as their owner’s arrive home or new guests arrive.

The fact that jumping is considered to be a bad behavior is very much a human construct, as jumping is a very natural behavior for dogs.

Knowing that dogs jump because they are excited and it’s natural can help put training into perspective, as well as make it slightly less frustrating as you work on teaching your dog not to jump.

How to teach your dog not to jump

The best way to teach the dog to not jump is to teach them an incompatible behavior. There are a variety of incompatible behaviors that you can teach, but the important part is that your dog cannot jump while performing the incompatible behavior.

Some of the more popular incompatible behaviors include: sit, go to a bed, or even a simple “four feet on the floor” behavior.

The first step to teaching your dog how to stop jumping is to pick which incompatible behavior you’d like to use and teach it. For this article, we’ll be using the example of teaching a sit.

To get your dog to sit, start by holding a treat over their head, so as their head goes up their butt comes down into a sit position. Mark this with a “good dog!” and reward your dog!

Practice until your dog is sitting reliably on a hand signal or a verbal cue. Once your dog can sit reliably when asked, you’re ready to start using it when someone comes to the door.

It’s ideal to start with your dog on a leash or behind a barrier, such as an exercise pen or baby gate, to prevent them from jumping in the first place.

As you or your guest enters your home, ask your dog to sit. If your dog sits, you or the guest can approach your dog and reward them with attention.

If at any point your dog starts to jump and leaves their sit, the person approaching should take away all attention by turning their back immediately.

Once your dog resumes sitting, you can start approaching again.

Final Thoughts

Management is an important aspect to controlling jumping behavior. The best approach to stopping jumping is to use a combination of management techniques, such as a leash or a physical barrier to prevent jumping, in addition to training an incompatible behavior like a sit.

In addition, using a mild form a punishment by having a person take away their attention usually is effective in teaching the dog that jumping doesn’t work to get attention, but that keeping their feet on the ground will keep the person approaching.

Practicing consistently is also extremely important to teaching your dog a new habit of keeping all four feet on the ground.

With time, consistency, and practice you’ll be able to teach your dog how to keep all four feet on the ground when a new person approaches and stop their bad habit of jumping on you or guests!

Current State of Dog Food

The Current State of Dog Food

ConsumersAdvocate.org released a new thorough guide to understanding the current state of the dog food industry. In the guide, they explain how everything you read in the ingredients and nutrition facts sections on dog food packaging is regulated by the FDA. To better explain, they even included this helpful infographic on how to read dog food packaging.

The dog food industry is a mess. Frequent recalls over the last decade and a half have eroded public trust in a business long plagued by accusations of unsavory fillers and mystery meats. In a desperate search for safer formulas, consumers have turned to alternative diets, some of which could inadvertently put dogs at risk for significant health issues. Read the full article here:

From large companies to small, independent providers, the FDA study touches an enormous amount of dog food formulas.

Dog Food Reviews

Board & Train: What To Know

I am excited to start the board and train program with your dog. Below is a list of what to bring with you when you drop off your dog for the week.

*Please have your dog washed and nails clipped prior to dropping your dog off for training because everyone loves a clean dog. 

Drop Off and Pick Up
Drop-off times are from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Weekends by appointment only.

What to bring

  • Please bring dog food for the length of your pups stay. Please no 40lb bags of food.
  • 1 Large bag of Vital Essentials raw kibble – This is a freeze-dried kibble that is healthy and all dog love-em.
  • One favorite dog toy.
  • Any medications
  • I have crates, beds, and toys.

For more information about our board and train program please contact us and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Five Secrets For Dog Training Success

Dog Training Successj

Ten secrets for Dog training success!

How to get attentive, enthusiastic responses from your pup in training exercises and everyday life:

  1. Build your relationship with your puppy through fun, structured play, and training sessions. If you and your pup enjoy learning and exploring new things together every day, you will see amazing results in your training.
  2. Exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization are keys to raising a happy, well-behaved puppy. Regular play and new experiences should be a part of every pup’s routine.  Under-stimulated dogs get into a lot more trouble and can’t seem to relax.
  3. Practice training once or twice a day for 5-15 minutes each session. Make this your average.  If you prefer more, go for it!  Integrating training exercises into your everyday activities will make a big difference (see #5 below for examples of this).
  4. Practice in different environments.Start with success in a non-distracting place (e.g., a quiet bedroom) and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations (e.g., the park).
  5. Vary your rewards.  Dogs get bored just like we do.  Use a variety of toys, touch, praise, food and real-life rewards.  For example, request that your pup Sit before you: play a game with a toy, open a door for her, invite her into your lap for petting, deliver a meal, give her attention when you come home, or let her out of the crate/pen.

How to Teach A Dog To Fetch

How to teach your do to fetch

Here is a basic way to teach your dog to play fetch.

Retrieve (Fetch):

  • Retrieve often works best after you have established the first 2 games of stalk/chase and tug.
  • Choose a toy that your puppy likes, but it shouldn’t be so exciting that she just wants to keep it to herself. She should think that the toy is more fun when you play with it, too!
  • Start your Retrieve from a place where your pup normally loves to bring her toys (e.g., her bed).
  • Get her really excited about the toy, then toss it a few feet away. When she grabs it, praise and entice her to come back to you by making fun sounds such as kisses or a drum roll on the floor.  Hint: Gently pulling on a leash often helps to get a puppy coming in your direction.
  • If your pup comes to you without the toy, praise lavishly anyway. Then, grab the toy yourself and repeat step 4, more enthusiastically.
  • When your pup brings toys to you, don’t grab for the toy right away; instead, praise and touch her in a way she loves. This will make her want to keep “sharing” toys with you and bring them to you as a “safe” place to enjoy them, rather than run away from you with them.
  • Once your pup is comfortable bringing toys back to you, reward her not only with praise, but by immediately engaging in more play!