Did You Know..
Bones: The most natural chew for a dog is a raw bone. Raw bones do not splinter, they are nature’s remedy for teething pain, and the calcium is perfect for absorption and utilization by the dog. Of the most popular bones, beef and buffalo are the toughest. Lamb and ham are much softer. Pick a bone of appropriate size for your dog’s mouth.
Puppies cut their adult teeth starting at about 4 months and often do not finish the process until a year of age. Keeping them in a good supply of bones will help bring in healthy teeth as well as saving your furniture, shoes, and children’s toys. Cooked bones should be avoided.
There are some slow cooked bones on the market and many of them are perfectly safe. However, always watch your dog as he or she chews these and never leave him unattended. Make sure to throw the bone out if it starts to break apart. Do not feed cooked bones from your own table. They will generally not last long and will often splinter causing an unexpected trip to the vet. People often worry about e coli and other harmful bacteria. These are generally not a problem to dogs . See more about this under Feeding Raw.
Bully Sticks: Bully sticks are a great hard chew. Although they do not contain the natural enzymes of raw bones, they are excellent hard chews and can keep dogs busy for hours and often days. Bully sticks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Remember to never leave your pet unattended while chewing.
Hard Rubber Toys: Many dogs love to chew hard rubber toys. It is important to remember that nothing is indestructible for a determined chewer. Stuffable toys such as Kong are always popular. Some of the most popular stuffings are plain yogurt and peanut butter which can be frozen inside the toy to both preserve the length of time that the toy is enticing. This is also a good method when a puppy is teething.
We do not recommend the use of rawhide and cow hooves. Both have a danger of lodging in the intestines and can result in painful obstruction and possibly surgery. As a further danger, most of these products are produced with chemicals we would not like to see our pets ingest. If you choose to buy rawhide make sure it is 100% natural, free from chemicals and from a good manufacture located in the US.
Treats should be reserved for training or rewarding special behaviors. They should never substitute for a meal and use of them as such has turned many a dog into a picky eater. The best treats are ones that complement the dog’s diet. If you follow the guidelines for reading a label to find a healthy dog food, you should follow those same guidelines in selecting a treat. There are many types of healthy treats available. Some of the most popular are: • Frozen liver, or other meat. • Dehydrated or dried meat or fish. • Jerkey treats – look for those made in the US, not China. • Soft treats – look for those that are primarily meat and avoid sweeteners. • Biscuits – look for the same healthy ingredients that are in your dog’s diet. Grain free biscuits are available as are those that avoid wheat if that is an allergy or sensitivity with your dog. • Fresh fruits and vegetables make wholesome, non-fattening treats so next time you make up a salad for yourself remember fido.
A Note of Caution – There are some “people foods” that pets should be avoided and a number of plants and household items that can be toxic. For a complete list, consult the ASPCA Poison Control Center. “ Chris please add direct link for this”
Raw food feeding is the manner of feeding most similar to a prey based diet, or what the ancient ancestors of our dogs would have eaten. It has many benefits and pets on a raw diet tend to exhibit the following:
Healthy skin and coat Easily maintained ideal weight Decreased allergies Clean healthy teeth Excellent fertility Overall sense of well being
Raw food contains close to 70% moisture which assists in maintaining healthy internal organs and urinary track. It is also easy to digest for most dogs and since it is well utilized by the body, stools are small and almost odor free.
Owners who prepare raw meals need to be very conscious about cleanliness of preparation surfaces, utensils used in preparation, and dishes. Raw diets often cause concern about bacteria. Always use stainless or ceramic dishes when serving a raw diet.
The dogs, however, generally have no problem with the bacteria present in raw meat. Their short intestinal tracks and strong digestive systems efficiently process raw food and bones.
Remember, nature would not evolve carnivores to eat a diet that would kill them. Dogs eat garbage, roadkill, and buried treasures. The raw diets commercially available are made from USDA inspected and approved meats.
With all that being said, raw diets are not for all animals. Older animals and sick animals can have a difficult time digesting a raw diet. Some animals just don’t like the texture or even the taste. Some owners prefer to not deal with raw meat on a daily basis. Our team can assist you in making decisions about raw feeding and alternatives to feeding raw that are now available.
Your pets safety is important to our us at Pet Headquarters, but our articles and suggestions are not substitutes for professional medical care. Please always consult your veterinarian when treating medical conditions, changing your pets diet or have concerns.