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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Tips For Choosing The Right Dog For Your Family

Tips For Choosing The Right Dog For Your Family

Every family needs a dog, they are the perfect way to round out life at home. Kids love dogs and adults love dogs and lets face it they make for fantastic company. These are even the right animals to get you off your butt and exercising. Having to walk the dog each day is a great way to get yourself back in good health and good shape.

But what dog is the right one for your family? That is a good question, especially if you have other animals and children. Some animals are just not suited to be around kids or other pets. Pitbulls for example should not be owned if you have children. No matter how gentle and kind the dog seems to be, this is an unpredictable breed that you cannot depend on to stay kind and sweet. They can turn at any time and once they do, there is little that you can do. Every week there is another article in the papers about a deadly pitbull attack, you do not want this to happen to your family or neighbors so avoid pitbulls.

Labradors and retrievers make wonderful family pets. They are large and cuddly and sweet and always kind. These dogs are always tons of fun and energy and they are honest and loyal companions. When you have this kind of dog you will always get to feel safe and protected but also have the peace of mind knowing that your children will not get hurt by this animal at any time under any circumstances.

Dog truly are a man’s best friend and once you have your very own you will know why this saying has survived for so many generations. Make your family complete by getting a dog that the whole family will be bale to bond with and enjoy.
Tips For Making Your Own Homemade Dog Meals and Treats
Dog meals and snacks don't have to hard to make or take a lot of time. Many snacks can be grabbed straight out of your refrigerator and are much healthier than baked goods.

However, there are a few things that I have noticed regarding many homemade dog food recipes that you should avoid doing.

1. Don't microwave your dog's food. Microwaving kills vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The radiation also alters the cell structure of the food. Scientific studies have shown that humans that eat microwaved foods have significant and disturbing changes in their blood cells. Microwaving has many serious side-effects, including altering the minerals in vegetables into cancerous free radicals. It's bad enough that we humans continue to use microwaves to cook our food... let's not subject our animals to it as well.

2. Many recipes that I've seen promote using beef/chicken bouillon cubes and/or canned beef/chicken broth. These products have very high and unhealthy sodium levels. Either use sodium reduced broths or better yet make your own.

3. Obviously, some sort of flour is needed to bind together baked dog biscuits. However, instead of using white flour, whole wheat flour and/or cornmeal in your recipes, substitute spelt flour instead. It's much more easily digestible for both humans and animals. Flour and cornmeal are hard for animals to digest and many are or can become allergic to these grains.

4. Don't feed your dog too many "baked" treats that contain flour and cornmeal. Opt for more natural, healthy, and uncooked treats (some recipes are listed below).

Healthy Homemade Dog Food Recipes

You can make up several days worth of dog food at one time or cook them up while you prepare your own supper. Here are a few recipes to try out:

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Shepherd Pie

6 oz beef or chicken broth (low sodium or make your own)
1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup mixed vegetables (no onions or mushrooms)

Mix broth, meat and vegetables together. Grease casserole dish and pat mixture into dish. Top with potatoes. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Sometimes your dog may have a slightly upset stomach with possibly some diarrhea involved. The following recipe is a nice bland mixture that still tastes good and should help to solve your pup's tummy problems.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up (either raw or cooked)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked carrots
1 cup non or low-fat cottage cheese

Mix together and serve according to you’re dog’s size, weight and activity level.  This recipe should be good for one large dog for 1 main meal or 2 smaller meals. If you desire, you can also add 1 tbsp of flax seed oil for added essential fatty acids.

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Quick Dog Treats

Dogs, like humans, like to have their snacks. The following two snacks are healthy and quick to prepare:

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Frosty Cube Treats

1 large container plain yogurt (make sure it contains live acidophilus cultures and no sugar or artificial sweeteners)
1 cup ground carrots OR ground apples OR lightly cooked ground liver

Mix together and fill ice-cube trays. Freeze. Pop one out for a treat when frozen.

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Banana Mash

1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tbsp flax seed oil

Mix together and serve for a nice, quick, healthy snack.

Tips For Toilet Training Your Pet Dog
Toilet training your pet dog as early as possible is always a better idea. It always feels good to see your dog well trained and behaved; however this can only achieved with a fair amount of persistence and patience. Although dogs are supposed to be very clean animals; their animal instincts can drive them to relieve themselves wherever they find it convenient. This can be very frustrating for the dog owner and we know how it feels like to your have your floors and carpets soiled and messed when least expected. With a fair amount of training; your dog can be perfectly potty trained. Mentioned below are a few tips that will help you to toilet train your pet dog and in all probability you would no longer need that carpet cleaner.

Patience and Persistence

It is important to take note of the fact that the younger the puppy; the longer he may take to learn and get into the mode of habits that is being taught to him/her. Therefore; it is important to be patient and with a fair amount of persistence; your dog will gradually learn the rules and form toilet habits when trained on a daily basis. Remember, that every dog has his own individual learning curve. So, spanking your dog every time he makes a mistake is not going to solve the problem.

Get the pet dog into a mode of habit

Many animal behaviorists believe that by getting the dog into a habit mode is the key to perfectly toilet train your pet dog. It is therefore recommended that the dog owner takes the dog out every few hours as well as 30 minutes after he eats his meal. Choose a specific spot outside where you would be taking him on an everyday basis. Also, praise the pet now and then or when he obeys well. If however, he refuses to go outside; try again in 15 minutes. Gradually, he will understand that going out is a sign of going to the bathroom. Also, pay attention to the dog’s body language. If he/she starts to sniff or circle around; it is a sign that they need to relieve themselves. Select a designated spot each time you notice that your pet dog needs to relieve himself and take him/her to that spot every time.

Learn how to react to accidents

Like mentioned above; every dog has its own individual learning curve. This learning curve is greatly affected by the pet owner’s reaction to the accidents caused by their pets. Each time the pet dog displays symptoms of relieving himself; call out his name or clap in order to distract his attention. Constant control on his activities will help you determine his/her behavioral patterns as well. Make sure that you don’t vent out your anger or frustration on the pet dog if he does cause an accident. Carefully clean up the mess and ignore the dog completely while doing so. If he/she does try and approach the accident area; make sure you don’t yell at the dog. Simply ignore the pet or he may not be able to bond with you. The key is to train the dog and not instill fear in him.

Confining the Pet Dog

At times confining your pet dog is the best approach towards their toilet training. Large crates or cages are used to confine the pet dog. A dog usually refrains from reliving himself at the spot where he sleeps or sits as they are essentially sanitary creatures. So whenever, Mother Nature calls; a dog would instinctively move out of the cage or crate in order to relieve himself. This gradually would become a mode of habit for him. However, it is important to ensure that the pet owner gets large sized crates and cages to confine the pet dog so that he/she has enough room to move about. This helps in creating a pattern that the dog will follow even after he is no longer confined to a crate or cage.

Use of repetitive Commands

The home owner would need to use a certain set of words for the dog repeatedly till the dog understands what exactly it is a sign for. So for example; if you take him outside; you could say “go potty”. Dogs have a keen ear and a sharp learning curve. They would gradually understand what exactly the owner is signaling at. Use of these commands on a regular basis is important so that your pet dog becomes familiar with it and would gradually start to follow them.

Keeping your pet dog happy

It is important for your pet dog to develop a bonding with the owner. This only comes with love, affection and care. Treat your dog to a feast once in a while and praise him every time he obeys your command or responds well to the training.

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