Choosing Organic and Healthy Dog Food

Choosing healthy dog food can be tricky as there are so many varieties on the market. Some brands are much more healthy and nutritious for your dog than others. When you are selecting dog food, obviously price is a consideration, especially if you have several dogs to feed. However, it is also vitally important that you buy food that provides your pet with the nutritional ingredients that he needs.

It is very easy to find out about the nutritional requirements for different breeds, sizes and ages of dogs as well as guidelines on how much food each type will require, depending on the level of activity.

If you are unsure, your vet will be happy to help and may have information leaflets you can take home with you that will provide good guidance. To get you started, here is a very helpful article, first published on the provet website in the UK – http://www.provet.co.uk/petfacts/healthtips/nutritionbreeds.htm

Puppies and young dogs need a good mixture of proteins, carbohydrates and fats because they are growing, together with vitamins and minerals. Mature and senior dogs often need less fat and carbohydrates. You should be aware that some dog foods contain ingredients that are less than desirable for the health of your pet.

a young Yorkshire Terrier, full of life, thanks to a healthy diet that supplies all his nutritional needs

This Yorkshire Terrier is full of life, thanks to a healthy diet!

Here Are a Few Tips on Choosing Commercial Brands of Dog Food

  1. Read the ingredients list. Look for organic ingredients wherever possible and check online reviews of different brands to see what other owners are saying.
  2. See if your vet recommends a particular brand or type of food and ask friends who have dogs themselves what brand they use.
  3. Some dogs may have allergies to ingredients in prepared foods and need to avoid grains, or sometimes beef or other meats. If allergies are a problem for your dog, consult your vet about which ingredients to avoid.
  4. More expensive brands are not necessarily better, just because they cost more.

It is certainly possible to save quite a lot of money by buying online from Amazon as they often offer free delivery and you get the products shipped right to your door. Many products are available on what Amazon call “subscribe and save” where you sign up to have a consignment shipped to you at intervals you specify. In this case, delivery is also free and you save an extra 5% off the price (which is often already heavily discounted!).

Newman's Own Organics Adult Dog Food Formula, 12.5-Pound BagOne of the most popular brands for adult dogs is Newman’s Own Organics Adult Dog Food Formula which 90 out of the 127 people who have left a review for, have given the full five stars! Many of them have commented how the formula of this food with its chicken and rice formula has benefited their dogs and particularly helped those with sensitive digestions or digestive problems.

Amazon customer review:-

“Our dog is 13 years old and for the last couple of years, his stomach has become particularly sensitive. We tried various brands of dog food before settling on Newman’s Own. Our dog loves it and has not had any more trouble with his stomach. It is hard to find though. I was buying it from a small local organic grocery store but they only carried it in the smallest size and I was paying almost twice as much as on Amazon. Now I have it set up on Amazon to ship monthly.”

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Why Is A Heartworm Test Required Before Routine Surgery?

Whether a veterinarian will require your dog to have a heartworm test before routine surgery such as spaying or neutering, depends on where you live.

In the USA, many states have a low incidence of heart worms compared to high-incidence states such as Florida. However, according to the American Heartworm Society (AHS), incidence of adult worms is increasing in all areas of the United States.

Due to the high incidence of heart worms, veterinarians include a parasite test in their protocol for pre-surgery laboratory testing.

Why Pay The Extra Cost of Heartworm Testing?

Spaying or neutering is a routine procedure that typically has few complications. However, if a dog has heart worms, any routine procedure has the potential to be life threatening or to cause serious complications. The initial screen may cost $15 to $30 and is well worth the investment to prevent putting your dog at risk for complications. Veterinarian fees vary significantly, and many people have reported fees as high as $45 for the initial test.

heartworm blood test

A routine heartworm blood test may be required before elective surgery

Regardless of the fee, heartworm testing is worth the price to ensure your dog’s spaying or neutering surgery is successful and without complications. This also applies to any routine surgery your pet might need

If your dog is on preventative heartworm medicine, it is unlikely that he or she will test positive. Even though your pet is on preventative heartworm medicine for dogs, your pet can still be infected with adult worms if you missed the treatment schedule.

Without diligent preventative treatment, it is possible for a pet to become infected. Although it is unlikely, it does happen on occasion. It is crucial for a responsible veterinarian to circumvent any potential problems before ANY surgery.

Testing Can Identify Potential Dangers During Surgery

dog being examinedThe damage that adult worms cause is significant. The extent of the damage will depend on how long a dog has suffered with the infection. If a dog has a current infection that has not been diagnosed, even a routine surgery can be dangerous. The adult parasites attach to tissue in the heart in addition to damaging pulmonary arteries. This makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body including the lungs. Since arteries are sustaining continuous damage, blood clots begin to form. Arteries become dilated and restrict normal blood flow. Continue reading

The Diabetic Dog, Recognizing Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

This article sets out to help pet owners to recognize the symptoms of diabetes in dogs and to understand about the differences between the two types of the disease.

Diabetes is a disease that is prevalent in many countries in Europe and in the United States. While most people associate this disease with humans, it is also a common disease among dogs. Just like their human counterparts, a diabetic dog requires special care including diet, medication and insulin injections. This is a life threatening disease to both humans and dogs.

Sadly, this is a disease which is difficult for pet owners to detect. This has to do with the lack of knowledge about the disease, and very few pet owners realize their beloved pet may be susceptible to the disease. Dogs are susceptible to both diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus (please see the end of this article for description and explanation of both types).

Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

1. Lethargic behavior

symptoms of diabetes in dogs

Lethargic behavior is a common symptom

This is a common symptom of many illnesses including diabetes. If your pet appears weak or tired, it is important to seek veterinarian care immediately. Lethargic behavior is a clear sign that an animal may be ill.

2. Consuming an excessive amount of water
Due to an increase in sugar levels in the blood, a dog will consume and excessive amount of water because the sugar cannot be metabolized properly. If your pet is drinking more water than normal, it is likely he will be diagnosed as diabetic. If your pet has reached this point, it is critical to seek veterinarian care. If sugar levels are too high, it can result in death.

3. Urination frequency or increase in amount of urine
Naturally, if your dog is drinking more water, he or she will urinate more frequently. Increased water consumption and urination are signs your pet is ill. While these two symptoms are not always an indication of being diabetic, it is likely your dog is suffering from this disease.

4. Weight loss or weight gain
Weight gain is a symptom of lethargy. As your pet’s activity decreases due to feeling weak or tired, your pet may experience an increase in weight gain. In many cases, a dog may lose its appetite and experience weight loss. Gaining or losing weight unexpectedly is a symptom of many other diseases. However, in combination with other symptoms, it may be a sign that your pet has become diabetic.

diabetic dog foodTop Tip:

If your diabetic dog needs a special diet, you can save a lot of money buying what you need from Amazon and having it delivered to your door.

There is a range of products in the special diet section – so you can keep your pet healthy for less!

For more information on diet, please check out our article Choosing Organic and Healthy Dog Food

Diabetic Diet For Dogs

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Alternative Heart Worm Treatments HeartWorm Free (HWF)

It is a natural reaction of any dog owner when faced with the worrying reality of having to have their beloved pet treated for a heartworm infection, to wonder whether having their dog injected with the powerful drug, Immiticide, is really the right way to go and whether there is another alternative.

This may be one of the reasons why a treatment called HeartWorm Free (HWF) is getting a lot of publicity on the internet and we decided to research this product for ourselves. We have published our findings here, presenting the facts for you. We would welcome your comments and personal experiences, both positive and negative if you have used this treatment for your dog.

Ultimately, prevention is the best medicine. Sadly, many pet owners face the difficult decision to treat their pets for a heartworm infestation. To date, there have been only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The first drug approved by the FDA was Caparsolate Sodium. This drug is no longer manufactured or used in the United States. Immiticide is the second drug that has been approved by the FDA, and it has a proven record to be safe and effective.

While there is a trend to use natural herbal treatments to prevent heartworm infection, there is a strong trend to use natural remedies to treat a heartworm infestation. None of these treatments are FDA approved, nor are any of these treatments approved by the American Heartworm Society.

The manufacturer of HeartwormFree (HWF) claims it is effective for the following:

  • Repel and prevent parasitic infection
  • Anti-Microbial
  • Improves blood flow and circulation
  • Promotes healthy kidney function
  • Controls coughing
  • Supports heart function
  • Cleanses the blood vessels of parasites

The following is the list of ingredients contained in HWF:

Garlic, Black Seed, Licorice, Hawthorn, Hops, Sorrel , Apricot Pits, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Flavorings, Alcohol,Distilled Water Continue reading