Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Foods Your Pet Will Love

In a previous article we covered foods you shouldn’t be feeding your dog. And what a list is was. We covered everything from avocados to onions and chocolate. So with such an extensive list of foods you shouldn’t feed your dog are there really any foods that are safe to offer as a treat?

***Quick Note***
Remember, everything in moderation. Too much of something a dog isn't used to eating can cause digestive upset, such as vomiting and/or diarrhea. Treats/snacks/extras should only make up a very small portion of your dog’s diet and are generally no substitute for dog food designed specially for them.

Dog Food & Treats
Of course the best treats you can offer your pet is one specially formulated for his or her needs. You can purchase treats like this pre made or make them yourself at home. If you are interested in making your own dog treats is a wonderful resource available online.

Lean Meats
Lean meats, such as deskinned and deboned chicken, can make a great snack for your pet. Just make sure it is thoroughly cooked before offering as raw or undercooked meats can carry harmful bacteria that can make your pet sick.

Some fruits
Fruits can make for a tasty snack if you are looking to switch things up a little. Just be careful not to offer fruits such as peaches (the pit contains small amounts of a cyanide like toxin) and remove any seeds before offering. A few pet friendly fruits include apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelons.

Remember how your mom always told you to eat your vegetables because they were good for you? Well, as it turns out they can be good for your pet as well. Carrots, sliced cucumbers, green beans, and sliced zucchini are all great snacks for your pet to chew on. And the best part? No cooking necessary.

Pasta & Rice
They’re simple, they’re quick, and they can be great when your dog’s not feeling his best. Rice and pasta (served plain of course) are great foods to offer your pet. So next time you fix up a pasta dinner for the family why not set a little aside for “Fido”? Just remember not to give too much as no snack should be a substitute for his normal diet.

During the hot summer months who wouldn’t like something a little cold to munch on? While ice may not be the best thing for their teeth it is a very safe treat that many dogs seem to love.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

World Veterinary Day

It's World Veterinary Day today. So set aside some time for you and your furry friends to visit your favorite veterinarian and tell them how much you appreciate all they do for you and your furred, feathered, and scaled friends.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day: Green Tips For Your Pets

Tomorrow (April 22nd) is Earth Day and to celebrate here are a few tips you can use to make you and your pet more eco-friendly.

1.) Scoop the poop! Use biodegradable bags to collect your dog’s waste. Normal bags may take decades to decompose in a landfill. Using bags that meet biodegradability standards (ASTM D6400) can reduce our mark on the planet as they will decompose in just a few short months. For cats try more environmentally friendly litter alternatives such as those made from plant sources or recycled newspaper. Not only are they just as effective as clay litters but they contain less chemicals and don’t need to be mined for their main component.

2.) Don’t throw that away. Old socks with a ball tied inside can make a great toy for any dog and some left over pieces of cardboard combined with a little catnip can make for a great scratching post. Also those big plastic containers your cats litter comes in can be reused as well. A few creative suggestions include using them as a planter, tool bucket, pet food container, and more.

3.) Protect local wildlife by keeping your dog leashed and your cat indoors. Dogs and cats can be devastating to local wildlife if left unchecked. So give them a chance and keep your pets close to home.

4.) Organize a dog park cleanup. Not only will it keep your community cleaner but the satisfaction in knowing you did your part will be a big reward in itself.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Smile And Say “Dog Bone”!

Having a pet can be one of the greatest experiences you will ever know. From relaxing together on the couch after a long day, to hikes through the woods, and games of catch your time together will be filled with memorable moments. However, if like most people you want to use your camera to make these moments last forever you will find that few things in life can be as frustrating as taking your pet’s picture. Below is a list of 5 tips and tricks you can use to get the best possible pictures of your furry friend for you to share with family and friends.

1. The sun is your best friend
Q: What is extremely powerful, free to use, and available almost everywhere?
A: The sun.

Sunlight is your best friend when photographing your pet. It’s more powerful than any flash you can buy for your camera and best of all it’s free to use. However, for best results try to avoid direct sunlight as this may cause deep shadows and obscure details such as the eyes. Instead take the picture in a shady area such as a room in the house with a large window or outside under a tree. If you don’t have a tree readily available don’t despair! A cloudy or overcast day will work just as well.

2. Turn off the flash
The problem with on camera flash is that it causes very severe “red eye” (or in the case of cats and dogs “green eye”). The eyes of cats and dogs collect and reflect light much better than ours, which is why they can see better than us at night, and your camera’s flash will accentuates this feature. If flash is an absolute must for a picture then try to not have your pet looking directly at the camera. By having them turn their head slightly to one side (even by just a small amount) you can reduce the amount of discoloration of the eyes in the final image or possibly remove it altogether.

3. Use the buddy system
Here is how this tip is going to work. You take the pictures and a friend distracts the model (aka your pet). The reason this works is because it allows your cat or dog to focus on something else besides the camera. A good assistant will be able to help get a cat to look in a particular direction or keep a dog sitting for those few extra moments you may need. A few suggested pieces of equipment for your assistant to use include some of your pet’s favorite treats, a favorite toy, and/or a noisemaker to attract and maintain your pet’s attention.

4. Get down to their level
Everybody knows what your dog looks like from the top down view so why not change things up a little to get a whole new perspective on your furry friend. To instantly increase the quality of your pictures try to get down to your pet’s eye level. Yes, this may mean you will have to get down on your hand and knees or even stomach but the payoffs are huge. Pictures taken in this way both seem more personable and have an undeniable cuteness factor.

5. Show what makes them unique
Does your dog have a unique expression all his own? Does your cat like to stretch out a certain way or peek out at you from around the corner? If so keep on alert for these precious moments and always keep a camera within easy reach so you won’t miss a thing.