Find our answers to some frequently asked questions about dogs and dog ownership.
Maintaining your dog in a healthy condition you need to feed your dog the correct amount of food. If the dog is fed too little, it can eventually suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Too much food on the other hand, eventually results in obesity. There is no simple solution on how to figure out exactly how much individual dogs should be eating. Determining the correct meal size depends on the type of the food, how many times a day the dog eats, the size and metabolism of the dog as well as the amount of exercise the dog gets. Also various health conditions can effect dog's metabolism. You should always begin by reading the feeding instruction on your super premium dog food. If your dog suffers from obesity or underweight, please consult your veterinarian for specified feeding instructions.
With more than 50% of the pet population being overweight, it's important to be aware of your pet's weight. There are several signs you can look for to determine if your pet is becoming overweight. These warning signs include:
In general, dogs who are at a healthy weight:
Giving scraps from your food and treats straight from the table, is something that many dog owners do without consideration. When the dog is sitting by the table with a pleading look in his eyes, it is difficult not to toss something to him. Home cooked meal for your dog can be healthy, when it is made with the canine nutritional need in consideration. You always have to remember the dog's basic needs; meat as a primary protein source, balanced amount of fats, vitamins and minerals.
You shouldn't give the sort of scraps to your dog, that you wouldn't eat yourself. Fat, gristle, and skin aren’t any better for your dog than for you. Human food also often contains spices, too much salt and processed fats and sugars, that the dog doesn't need. Also giving bread-scraps can cause allergies from the processed grains. Human food can be oily and fatty, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If you always give your dog table scraps, the dog might eventually refuse to eat its own dog food.
Remember these basic guidelines:
Dogs do not have the means to digest grass, as they lack the enzymes needed to break down the fibers and the grass provides just little nutritional value for the dog. The reason why dogs eat grass, is not clear as there might be many reasons that they do it. Grass eating is very common though, and it has been observed in the wild dog populations too. Many vets consider it as normal dog behavior.
It is possible that dogs do this is as a temporary solution for stomach irritation. They might feel nausea, and grass eating provides a contemporary relief. If your dog is licking his lips, salivating or swallowing a lot, it could be a sign nausea. One common theory is that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration.
Other suggested reasons why your dog might be eating grass include improving digestion, treating intestinal worms, or fulfilling some unmet nutritional need, including the need for fiber. Some dogs can also develop a form of stereotypical behavior (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and become fixated on grass chewing, but this is relatively rare. Some dogs just seem to enjoy their habit and do not seem to be suffering from any medical condition.
Generally if the grass eating behavior is not associated with signs of nausea or frequent vomiting, and is not obsessive, there is no need to worry. Though, if the grass has been recently sprayed with pesticides, this may be a problem.
Vaccines contain viruses or bacteria that have been modified and disabled in a way, that they will not cause a disease. When a dog is vaccinated, it stimulates the animal's immune system to mount a response against the bacteria or virus in question. If the dog is later exposed to that disease, immune system will react quickly to destroy the disease-causing agent.
Vaccinations help protect your dog from a number of potentially serious and even fatal diseases. Every dog should be vaccinated - viruses like parvo and canine distemper are extremely contagious and even indoor dogs can catch the pathogen. You can read more about vaccines HERE.
For the first few days you have your new puppy home, it's smart to continue feeding the same puppy food and use the same feeding schedule the puppy was on, before he came to you. You can start switching the diet to the one you've chosen, after few days. A dog needs to be switched to a new food slowly to prevent any intestinal problems. It is recommended to mix the new food to the old food gradually, and take at least a week for the switch. If the puppy shows signs of diarrhea due to the switch, you should prolong the switch-period.
There are multiple sorts of dog foods available. It might be confusing to understand the nutritional arguments behind all the marketing messages and difficult labels. Keep in mind the special needs the puppy has. You mustn't feed your puppy the same food that an adult dog eats, since it lacks certain nutrients essential to puppy's healthy growth. Choose a product that contains:
Puppies are at risk for nutritional deficiencies if they eat foods, that are designed for adults. Puppies need energy to grow, and should eat a more calorie-dense food than would be appropriate for a typical adult dog. Puppies also need more of many important amino acids, minerals, proteins and fats in general. Large breed puppies however, should have lower fat content in their food and therefore a lower caloric density than small and medium-sized puppy foods. Too high calorie intake as a puppy for large breed dogs can cause to too rapid growth, and by that, lead to orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia.
Dogs normally have a warmer body temperature than humans do. Much like humans, a dog's temperature may rise or drop for various reasons, including infection, shock, inflammation, the external temperature, vaccinations or accidentally ingesting something toxic. Fever is related to infections and sometimes it can speed up the healing. Fever is caused by toxins, that the pathogens and pyrogens invaded to the body, produce. Over 39,5°C is considered to be fever. If your dog's temperature falls below 37°C or rises above 41°C, you've got a fairly serious situation on your hands, and should get the dog to a vet immediately.
It is said, that you can tell your dog's temperature by feeling his nose, but a wet nose doesn't mean all is fine, and a dry nose doesn't mean that the dog has got a fever. The only way to know for certain is to measure the temperature with a thermometer. Note, that fever is different from hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is caused by overheating, for example by excessive training, dehydration, or warm weather - especially if the dog has been left into the car in a warm weather!