What You Should Know Before You Cook for Your Dog

Before pet owners place their dog on a home-prepared diet, there several points they need to be aware of.

With the dog food recalls in recent years and the development of dog allergies and sensitivities, an increasing number of pet owners are considering the home-prepared or “homemade” diet for their dog. However, pet owners should obtain a good understanding of what is involved with making food for their dog before they begin.

What is a Home-Prepared Diet?

Home-prepared or “homemade” pet diets are not to be confused with “table scraps”. The latter is a mix of leftovers from a human’s meal. A home-prepared diet for a dog is based specifically on meeting a dog’s nutritional needs.

In “Pet Nutrition: Guidelines for feeding your pets”, Dr. Ihor Basko, DVM, recommends “you cook and feed your pet based upon: breed and body type, personality, age, sex, current problems, inherent genetic weaknesses, climate of the season, and the level of exercise and activity and stress.”

There are four things dog owners should know before making food for their dog:

Determine Your Dog’s Nutritional Requirements read more


Coprophagia: Dogs and Puppies that Eat Stool

Some dogs and puppies eat stool, which could stem from digestive problems, the dog’s diet or health conditions. Several methods exist to deter the behavior.

Some untrained dogs practice coprophagia. While the word sounds sophisticated, it actually just means that these dogs eat poop. It could be the dog’s own stool, the cat’s or any other organism’s feces.

Causes of Coprophagia in Dogs

In some cases, coprophagia is a normal behavior. For example, a bitch often eats its puppies’ stool to maintain a clean living area so that harmful bacteria have no chance of developing there. Naturally curious puppies also often eat their own poop as they explore the wonders of the sense of taste. Most puppies discard the nasty habit as they grow up.

Non-nursing adult dogs should not eat feces; those that do might suffer from a compulsive disorder or other medical conditions. The dog might have digestive problems that cause ineffective digestion, gastrointestinal upset, or increase in stool appeal as food. The dog might also suffer from a disease that increases appetite such as diabetes, Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease or diseases that require the dog to take steroids. Generally, stool that contains much undigested material is usually more likely to be eaten by the dog.

Dogs might also eat stool because they are fed an inappropriate type of food, particularly if it is high in protein and low in fiber. Irregular feeding schedule, boredom, lack of attention and not enough food could also cause coprophagia.

Medical Conditions and Digestive Problems in Dogs read more


What Can’t Dogs Eat?

Dogs and puppies sniff, poke and chew, that’s a fact. There are foods they like and some they don’t. It’s important to understand the foods and plants that can harm them!

Plants and Foods that can Hurt Your Pup

Even when they’re not hungry, dogs will still chew on paper, shoes and whatever is in its path, especially during the puppy phase. Since they don’t understand the dangers around them, their owners must take precautions.

Of course, it goes without saying that household cleaning products, insecticides, and human medicines should be kept out of their reach, but there are many things that may seem harmless, that aren’t.
Some “People” Foods Make Dogs Sick

Many dog owners feel they should share at least a bite of whatever they are eating with their dog. But if they understood the risks for their pet, they would change that thinking.The ASPCA has a full list of people food that puts dogs in danger, an example of common ones are:

  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Avocado
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee

They emphasize that chocolate is the worst offender for a dog. Regarding chocolate, the ASPCA states, “if ingested in significant amounts, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures”. If a dog ingests any of these foods, a trip to the vet might be needed immediately!

What “People” Food is Okay for a Dog? read more


Dog Types…What Type is Your Pooch?

Various classifications have been made of the domesticated dog that can enlighten us to their individual needs and abilities based on genetics and learned behaviors.

Learning More About Our Four-Legged Friends’ Needs and Abilities

Canis lupus familiaris (aka “man’s best friend”) is a domesticated subspecies of the Grey Wolf. Taming occurred nearly 15,000 years ago and the dog quickly became omnipresent in cultures across the globe. He was extremely valuable to early human settlements, and in fact, it is often suggested that successful emigration across the Bering Strait may not have been possible without the help of dogs that pulled sleds of people and supplies. Currently it is estimated that there are more than 400 million dogs in the world. Each breed and individual dog’s abilities however are shaped by various genetic traits and learned behaviors. Some were intentionally bred by humans, others were a result of the need to survive. Due to his wide range of traits, the dog has developed into hundreds of breeds representing more behavioral and morphological variations that any other land mammal.

One-hundred and fifty-seven breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) which have been separated into Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Hound, Terrier, Herding, Toy and Miscellaneous groups. However, there are other terms used to describe dogs that enlighten us to their abilities and needs. A dog can fall into several of these types, but knowing your dog’s type can better help you know your dog.

  • Ancientor Primitive dogs show the fewest genetic differences from the wolf and therefore most closely resemble their “canine cousins” in looks, temperament and drive. Breeds considered primitive include the Afghan, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Lhasa Apso, Basenji, Canaan Dog, Ibizan, New Guinea Singing Dog, Pekingese, Pharaoh Hound, Saluki, Shiba Inu, Samoyed, Siberian Husky and the Tibetan Terrier.
  • Barrel-Chested dogs have round chests that provide these animals with maximum structural strength that resists compression. Students of Pet First-Aid know that sometimes CPR is performed in a different fashion on these breeds since it’s harder to compress their strong ribcage. Rottweilers, St. Bernards and Staffordshire Terriers are considered to have barrel-shaped chests.
  • Bird Dogs refer to any dog used by man for hunting.
  • Brachycephalic or Flat-Faced dogs have a broad, short head with a pushed-in face. Special care should be taken for these dogs often suffer breathing difficulties due to their shortened nasal passages. Do not let them get overweight or overheated as distress can occur quickly. The Boston Terrier, Boxer, English and French Bulldogs belong to this group while the Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles, Pekingese, Pug, Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier are often referred to as Extreme Brachycephalic meaning their muzzle practically disappears into the face.
  • Detection Dogs are trained to detect explosives, drugs, food items, dead bodies and even human illness, while Guide Dogs assist blind, deaf and immobile humans by serving as their non-functioning eyes, ears and limbs.
  • Dogs with an Elliptical Shaped Chest (such as the Jack or Parsons Russell) have a longer more flattened rib cage which can compress slightly allowing them to go underground or in tighter quarters while maintaining sufficient lung capacity.
  • Lap dogs fit into your lap for cuddling; however, a 75 lb dog can become a lap dog at the sound of a loud noise so don’t rule any canine out of this category.
  • Molossoid dogs have deep wide chests and blunt muzzles such as the Mastiff, Bulldog, Cane Corso, Dogue de Bordeaux, Presa Canario, Rottweiler and Sharpei.
  • Non-Shedding is a deceiving term as every dog sheds some hair and dander, but some shed way more than others. Breeds that shed minimally include the Affenpinscher, Airedale, American Hairless Terrier, Basenji, Bichon, Cairn Terrier, Chinese Crested, Doodleman Pinscher, Havanese, IItalian Greyhound, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier, Poodle and the Yorkie.
  • Scent Hounds specialize in following a smell or scent. Their long drooping ears help them collect scent from the air and keep it near their face and nose. A few scent hounds include the Basset Hound, Beagle, Bloodhound, Dachshund, Foxhound, Norwegian Elkhound and Rhodesian Ridgeback.
  • Sightor Gaze Hounds have keen vision and great agility that helps them pursue prey by keeping it in sight and then overcoming it with tremendous speed. The Greyhound and Whippet may first come to mind, but the Afghan, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki and Scottish Deerhound are also this type.
  • Slab-Sidedor Flat-Ribbed dogs have a chest that is deeper at the midpoint making it the most flexible and compressible. Sight hounds are usually slab-sided which explains their ability to run long distances due to the flattened rib cage allowing the maximum intake of oxygen.
  • Teacup is a marketing term for Toy Dogs. These dogs are mostly a result of selective breeding and include the Affenpinscher, Bichon Frise, Cairn Terrier, Chihuahua, American Hairless Terrier (but also comes in a larger size), Havanese, Maltese and Yorkie.
  • Truffle Houndsare dogs that have been trained to find — but not eat — the high-priced truffles that grow underground.
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    Cute Small Dog Names are Girl & Boy Baby Names

    Try cute dog names for small dogs. These include teacup puppies, toy dogs; & Shih Tzu, Poodle, Dachshund, Terrier, Yorkie, Beagle, small breed mixes & personality mutts.

    Teacup Puppies, Toy Dogs, Small Breed Mix or Any Personality Pup

    Try cute dog names for small dogs. These include teacup puppies, toy dogs; & Shih Tzu, Poodle, Dachshund, Terrier, Yorkie, Beagle, small breed mixes & personality mutts.

    Check out some cute small dog names that are also human names used for girl babies and boy babies. These names work well for teacup puppies, toy dogs, like Shih Tzu, Poodle, Dachshund, Boston Terrier, Yorkie, and Beagle puppies. And, they’re good for small breed mixes or any cute mutts with personality.

    Cute Names

    Many dog lovers are giving their puppies regular people names because, well, they are little fur-babies and are just as much a part of the family as anyone else. Just make sure that a puppy’s name is not close to the name of a human family member, or the pup will show up whenever one calls the human’s name.

    Dog Names read more


    Vitamins and Their Role in Dog and Cat Nutrition

    Both fat and water soluble vitamins are important nutrients for dogs and cats. Excesses or deficiencies can lead to a serious nutritional imbalance.

    Vitamins serve many essential functions for both dogs and cats and play an important role in both canine and feline nutrition.

    What are Vitamins?

    Vitamins are organic molecules that are not carbohydrates, proteins or fats. They are essential canine and feline nutrients and are necessary in very small amounts in the diet of all dogs and cats. Although there are a few exceptions, in most instances vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body in the quantities that are needed to allow the body to function normally. If vitamins are not present in sufficient quantities, nutritional deficiencies can result, leading to health problems and illness. It is also possible to over-supplement and produce illness.

    What Functions do Vitamins Play in Canine and Feline Nutrition? read more


    Dog Care Information for Feeding a New Puppy

    Which common human foods pose a threat to puppies? How can pet owners choose the best dog food? Here’s the nutritional dog care information to keep puppies healthy.

    Taking Care of a Puppy by Knowing What, When, and How Much to Feed

    When first researching dog care information, new pet owners are likely to be blown away by the isles devoted solely to dog food in the pet supply store. Finding the best food doesn’t necessarily mean picking up the bag with the highest price tag.

    Dog Care Information on Choosing Food read more