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paw print Dog Allergies

Just like humans, dog can have allergies. However, dog allergies are not always obvious and many dog owners are not aware that they exist. Not only do dog allergies exist, but they are also pretty common. Reports show that in North America alone dog allergies have increased significantly over the past few decades.

So how do you know if your dog has allergies? If your dog starts itching uncontrollable, forcing him to lick and scratch himself until sores develop on his body, then your dog probably has allergies. If you notice your dog exhibiting this type of behavior beware that these sores could become infected and become very painful. Recurring allergy attacks can cause some dogs hair to fall out.

Dealing with dog allergies can be tricky since the allergen could be something the dog touched, breathed in or ate. Unfortunately the list of items that can cause allergies is endless and it’s usually something within the dog’s surroundings, neighborhood, or in the food you’re feeding him. All of this can make solving the problem very difficult.

It’s probably not surprising that in many cases the source of the problem is the dog food. An efficient way to control food allergies is to change the dog’s diet to a hypoallergenic one. Then slowly, one at a time, introduce different food to observe if the dog reacts to it. Once you’ve verified what’s causing the allergies, you can eradicate it from your dog’s diet.

Another common allergy amongst dogs is flea allergies. To make things worse, some dogs are allergic to the saliva produced by fleas. Treating flea allergies basically comes down to controlling and eliminating fleas. Regular grooming and brushing your dog’s coat can help with this issue. There are also several anti-flea products on the market today- flea shampoos, sprays, foggers and medications.

Dog allergies can also be cause by the dog’s surroundings. Make sure you wash everything, including the dog bed and try a good medicated dog shampoo. In some cases a good washing is all it takes. If the issue doesn’t improve within a few days, then something else is triggering the allergies and you may want to seek the advice from your pet’s veterinarian.

Still, the most efficient way to deal with dog allergies is to prevent them. No matter what type of allergy your dog has, avoiding the allergen will minimize the symptoms for you pet, and keep him healthy and allergy-free.

paw print Are You Ready to Adopt a Puppy?

Adopting a pet can be a wonderful experience, but before you run out and adopt a puppy, it’s important to first establish what your way of life entails. Do you live in a condominium, apartment, single family abode, or a mobile home? Do you lease or your home and are you allowed to have pets? Are you single or do you have a family with kids? These are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself before adopting any pet. A puppy is a full-time commitment and the decision to adopt should not be taken lightly.

Another thing to consider before adopting is whether an adult dog may be more suitable for your lifestyle over a puppy. When you adopt a puppy you will need to devote your time to training and housebreaking your new pet, and this can be a very tedious experience. However, an adult dog can be harder to socialize into a family and some may not be suited for families with small children. When deciding on adopting a puppy or adult dogs carefully consider the pros and cons of both.

When you are deciding what type of puppy to adopt take the time to research different breeds of dogs, so you can base your decision on temperament, size, weight, behavior issues, potential illness issues, and exercise required. Do you and your family have the time and space to exercise a puppy daily? Dogs that are prone to particular illnesses could put a strain on your family’s budget. The weight and size of a dog must be considered since small puppies can grow into very large dogs that are not fit for condominium or apartment living. Dogs that are known to have lively temperaments may not be a good fit for families with small kids.

There are many different places to adopt a puppy and a good place to start is with your local animal shelter. They can give you advice and explain the adoption process along with helping you find the perfect puppy to fit your lifestyle. There are also a few websites online that list puppies available for adoption and which shelters they are located at. These sites can be found easily by doing a search for adopting puppies.

Puppies’ need a lot of attention, training, and most importantly, love and patience. Make sure you and your family is ready to open its heart to this new bundle of joy.

paw print How to Find the Best Dog Kennels

You and your family are finally going on vacation, but taking your dog just doesn’t fit into your plans. How do you choose the best place to house your pet while you’re off playing at the beach? Below are some tips to help you choose the best dog kennel for your furry friend.

How do I find a good kennel?

Start by asking a friend, veterinarian, neighbor, animal shelter, or dog trainer for a recommendation. You can also check the Yellow Pages or search the Better Business Bureau’s online website. Once you have a few dog kennels selected, it’s important to do a background check, even if you were referred by a reliable source.

Your first step should be to find out whether your state requires boarding kennel inspections. If it does, make sure the dog kennels you are considering display a certificate or license showing that they meet the mandated standards.

Next, ask if they belong to the American Boarding Kennels Association (719-667-1600). This is a trade association established by kennel operators to advocate professional standards of pet care. In addition to requiring all their members subscribing to a strict code of ethics, they also offer voluntary facility certifications that show the facility has been inspected and met ABKA standards of professionalism, quality of care, and safety.

Verify that the dog kennels can lodge your pooch for the desired dates and have the ability to address any special needs your dog may have. If you’re satisfied, schedule a visit.

Inspect the Dog Kennels

Any reputable dog kennel will allow you to inspect the entire facility. Overall, the kennel should be clean and well kept. The area where the dogs eat and relieve themselves should be kept separate. Also, the best kennels will have a large common area for the dogs to run and play in.

Inspect the Caretakers

All dog owners want to be able to leave their pet with someone who will take care of them as if they were their own. Make sure you take the time to sit down and talk to the person who will be caring for your pet and ask them questions like- How long have they been at the kennel? How often do the dogs play outside? What vaccines are required to stay? These are all valid questions that any trustworthy caretaker would have no problems answering.
Access to Veterinary Care

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a dog kennel is whether or not they have access to veterinary care. Ideally, you want to find a kennel that has an onsite vet that can care for your dog if something goes wrong. However, access to something like a 24-hour VCA hospital is also satisfactory. Be sure to get explicit information as to who will perform the care, and if there are any additional costs if something happens while you’re gone.

Take the time and do the research to find the best dog kennels for your pet. For more information check out this article from The Human Society of the United States

paw print Choosing the Right Dog Food for Your Pet

Many pet owners’ view their dogs as members of their families and it’s important to them make sure all the pet’s needs are taken into consideration. One of these crucial needs is determining the right dog food for your pet.

Like humans, dogs need a certain amount of nutrients and minerals to live a healthy life. Choosing the right food depends on the dog’s age, health, activity level and breed. Here we will learn a bit more about dog food to help decide what the best option for your dog is. Please note that it’s always best to consult your veterinarian when changing your dogs diet.

Dry dog food usually consists of kibbles, which are small pieces of dry dog food. However, it’s important to be aware that not all brands of dog food use natural, high quality ingredients. Choose a dry dog food that doesn’t use any artificial flavors, coloring or preservatives, since these could be harmful to your pet. Also, stay away from any dog food using meat by products and instead pick one made from natural meat products such as liver, lamb and chicken.

Raw dog food is another option and one that is widely advocated since it uses unprocessed natural ingredients. If you decided to feed your dog raw dog food, you will have to include various starches and fibrous foods along with the meat products to achieve a balanced diet. This is easily done by adding different types of vegetables to your dog’s diet.

Just like dry dog food, canned dog food can contain artificial flavors, preservatives and other harmful chemicals. It’s important to always read the ingredients listed on the label and choose a canned dog food that only uses natural ingredients.

Another great option and one that most people probably don’t think about, is making your own homemade dog food. There are many websites out there that are dedicated to homemade dog food that also provide recipes for you to try at home. This is the best way to control what your dog is eating, especially if you are concerned with what’s really going into commercial dog food.

Experimenting with different types and flavors of dog food is okay. You want to find one that will not only satisfy the nutritional needs of your pet, but also one that your dog will actually like. It’s important to keep in mind that that some dogs suffer from allergies that can be triggered by their food, so always watch for signs of food allergies when trying new dog foods.