Top Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Pet

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Soft, furry, happy loyal, and companionship … The adjectives could go on and on when describing pets. Why haven’t you adopted yet? They provide abundant love and happiness you couldn’t have imagined you needed. 

Here are five more reasons to be convinced. 

#5 Because of the bragging rights.

Nothing beats a selfie with a cute, happy dog or cat you just adopted. You’ll learn what it means to be a proud pet parent. Seriously, your camera roll will be filled with pet photos and your family/friends will see everyone. You’ll have unlimited gallery of photos to post and get those well-deserved likes for saving a life! 

#4 It’ll cost you less. 

Adoption shelters cover the cost of spay/neuter, and first vaccinations included in the adoption price. This saves you tons of money compared to prices for buying elsewhere. 

 #3 You’ll never be alone.

Even if you got stood up or no one returned your calls, you never have to be alone on the weekend if you have a pet. They’re always going to want to hang out with you. And, they love to snuggle and watch old movies with you. 

 #2 One step closer to closing puppy mills. 

Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result.

The fewer puppies bought from puppy mills the higher probability of closing them down forever! Pets at adoption shelter receive love, proper medication, and food. 

#1 You’ll save a life. 

2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States. Unfortunately, shelters do not have the resources and staff to care for every animal until adoption. 

When you adopt, you decrease the statistic. You are a part of changing history and get a new best friend out of the deal. What more could you ask for?

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Is Your Dog’s Stomach Making Noises?

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Stomach noises, like everything in medicine, have a fancy name. The name is borborygmi. These gurgling sounds are produced when gas moves from one portion of the intestines to another.

It is normal for there to be some gas in the intestines. It is also normal for the intestines to engage in motility or activity that moves intestinal contents around. Thus, it is normal for gas to move around in the intestines, and soft borborygmi are therefore normal phenomena.

Some dogs, however, experience episodes of abnormally loud intestinal gurgling. During these episodes, the borborygmi might be audible from across the room. These sounds are not exactly normal, but they don’t always represent a crisis. Sometimes they indicate something is wrong in the intestinal tract. In other instances, they are caused by nothing more serious than hunger.

 

What if your dog’s stomach is making loud noises?

Normal, quiet borborygmi occur when normal quantities of gas are moved through the intestines in a normal fashion. Abnormally loud intestinal noises occur when the intestines contain abnormally large quantities of gas, or when the intestines experience abnormally increased activity. Both of these phenomena often occur simultaneously.

 

Hunger might cause dog stomach noises.

One of the most common causes of audible intestinal gurgling is hunger. Intestines of hungry animals do not contain significant quantities of ingesta. (Remember how doctors have fancy words for everything? Ingesta, in most cases, means food.) Therefore they have a higher ratio of gas to solids. And the empty intestines might start to exhibit activity in response to anticipated feeding. The result will be audible intestinal noises, or “tummy grumbling.” Breakfast is the treatment for this type of intestinal gurgling.

 

Dog stomach gurgling may happen if your dog eats something strange.

Unfortunately, hunger is not the only thing that can cause loud intestinal gurgling. Anything that can cause a gastrointestinal upset of any kind also can cause audible borborygmi.

Dietary indiscretion, such as occurs when dogs break into the trash or feast on novel food items, is a common cause of abnormally loud intestinal noises. This type of gastrointestinal upset often is mild (it can be compared to what might happen when a person who doesn’t usually eat spicy food goes to a Thai restaurant). However, be aware that dietary indiscretion in some cases can lead to very severe vomiting or diarrhea, or to other complications such as pancreatitis.

Other causes of dog stomach noises:

Other potentially serious causes of increased dog stomach gurgling include intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal foreign bodies, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, certain toxicities, adverse reactions to medications, metabolic problems such as liver or kidney disease, glandular disorders, and even cancer of the intestines.

What to do about your dog’s stomach making noises.

So, how worried should you be if your dog’s stomach is making noises, and what should you do? It depends on the circumstances. If it’s the morning, and your dog appears to be feeling fine but has not yet been fed, consider offering breakfast. If he eats with his normal enthusiasm and the noises stop, there probably isn’t a problem.

On the other hand, if your dog is producing borborygmi in combination with symptoms such as mild lethargy or slightly poor appetite, a problem could be brewing. You should brace yourself for possible diarrhea or vomitting (although these are not guaranteed to develop), and consider offering an easily digestible diet such as boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast with steamed white rice.

If your dog is producing loud intestinal noises and he seems sick, then you should seek veterinary care immediately. Symptoms that should signal alarm include significant lethargy, significantly depressed appetite or thirst, diarrhea and especially vomiting.

If you are in doubt about whether your dog needs to see the vet, the safest option is always to take him in. It is better to err on the side of caution in these types of circumstances.

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How to Diagnose and Handle Dog Food Allergies

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The most common canine allergies vets see are reactions to the saliva in flea bites or ones that develop exposure to household items like scented candles or cleaning chemicals. Unlike human food allergies or intolerances, dog-food allergies are not as common. When a dog does develop an allergy, it does not manifest as a human allergy would with sneezing or watery eyes. Instead, allergies in dogs are almost always written on the dog’s body.

Symptoms of allergies in dogs take external forms: ear infections, skin irritations, itching or rashes. As far as allergy relief for dog goes, a dog’s only real options are to scratch, bite, chew or rub the affected areas.

 

Proteins are the usual suspects of dog-food allergies

The most common dog food allergies are usually reactions to proteins in the foods they eat. Dog food allergies begin when a dog’s digestive system fails to fully break down or process proteins in the foods they eat and absorb needed nutrients from them. With time, their bodies begin interrupting these indigestible proteins as diseases. Items that can cause food allergies in dogs include:

  1. Beef
  2. Chicken
  3. Venison
  4. Lamb
  5. Dairy Products
  6. Eggs
  7. Corn
  8. Flax seed
  9. Rice
  10. Soy
  11. Wheat

Interestingly, meat is the culprit most of the time. Meat is more protein-rich than dairy, with any grain or vegetable a distant third. The staple grains in our list could be problematic if your dog’s diet consists solely of store-bought kibble. Grains like corn and rice tend to be major ingredients in most of the non-premium brands, whether for kibble integrity and cohesion or for nutritional value.

 

Difference between dog food allergies and dog food intolerances

There’s a distinct difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. Something like lactose intolerance does not mean that your dog cannot digest or process milk or dairy products at all; rather, it means he can, but only to very limited extent. Constipation or loose stools are more typical digestive reactions to food intolerances than to food allergies in dogs.

 

Diagnoses and treatment of dog-food allergies

Unless you’re personally preparing each of your dog’s meals and treats, a dog’s food allergy can be difficult to isolate on your own. If you believe your dog is experiencing the beginnings of a food allergy, your vet has a range of approaches at their disposal. Blood tests, skin culture, and elimination trials can be tried individually or in concert to pinpoint the allergen that is affecting your dog.

 

Seeing these tests through to a definitive conclusion is not something that can be resolved in an afternoon, with a single visit to the vet or even over the course of a week. Often, whittling down the list of suspects to a definitive source can be a process lasting anywhere from one to three months.

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How to Properly Store Farmers Market Pet Food

Pet food storage is critical to ensure your pet is eating the freshest and healthiest food possible. When purchasing food product at the store ensure there are no holes, rips, bulges or dents in your pet’s packaged food. It’s simple to keep these products stored properly by following these steps.

  1. Always use the original bag product was purchased in. The package will carry some vital information, such as barcode and batch code, which can be important if you suspect any problems with the food. The average shelf life for open bags of pet food is six weeks. Once this time has passed the nutritional value decreases. If you purchase large bags that will not be consumed within the six weeks consider vacuum-sealing the bag.
  1. After your pet is fed, squeeze the air out of the food bag and fold the top down tightly or seal with a bag clip. Place the bag in an airtight storage container.
  1. If using a storage ensure it is airtight and read the product materials. Some containers leak chemicals if they’re exposed to sunlight or heat. Glass and metal containers are effective at blocking oxygen and humidity. Do your research before purchasing your storage container.
  1. Food should always be stored at room temperature and low humidity.
  1. Do not use your pet’s bowl as a scoop or pour directly from the bag when feeding. Instead, use a separate utensil to scoop out the food. Wash it frequently and dry thoroughly to avoid moisture to food.

CANNED FOOD

  1. Store unopened cans in a cool environment, and use before the expiration date.
  1. Do not leave leftover food in the can. Tin or aluminum cans, when exposed to oxygen, undergo a chemical reaction that can taint food.

3. Transfer leftover food to an airtight container and refrigerate for a maximum of three days.

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How to Keep Your Kitty Happy Indoors

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Every cat parent understands the dangers of letting your cat outside of the house or apartment. Do you worry your indoor cat won’t be happy unless they’re outdoors? Simple additions to your home and habits can actually keep your cat healthy and happy indoors. Follow these tips approved by the Humane Society to do when keeping your cat indoors.

  1. Adopt young

It’s much easier for cats to adapt to an indoor lifestyle when they start life indoors. Kittens who are taken at a young age will enjoy a life of naps, toys, and luxury. It is much more difficult to bring a cat used to the outdoors inside. However, it is not impossible!

  1. Cat walks are a must

If you live in a place where the fear of your cat being hurt by other predators is not high, you can train your cat to walk on a leash much like dogs. Your cat will get a chance to see and breathe the outdoors without fear of losing them to hunt prey or getting hit by a car. A couple of walks should get your cat accustomed to walking with a leash if they’re not comfortable at first.

  1. Bring the outdoors inside

Purchase cat trees for your cat to jump and play around. Vertical heights are a great way to stimulate your cat indoors. Place the cat trees by windows in your home to provide a perch for your cat to look outdoors. Help make them feel like they are climbing a tree outside and let out access energy by having several stimulating cat trees. Cat grass is also a great way for your cat to taste the outdoors.  

  1. Keep the litter box clean

Truth is, cats are neat freaks and want a clean litter box. Keeping the box clean will prevent your cat from wanting to deposit outside. Depending on your cat, some prefer their litter to be scooped twice a day. Make sure to keep one litter box per kitty and always have an extra one on hand for emergencies.

  1. Buy lots of toys

To prevent cat boredom actively engage with your cat with different cat toys. Bring some home to see which type of toys your cat plays with most. Toys should be open access at all time of the day especially when you are not home. This will prevent your cat from letting out their energy on special household items. Most popular cat toys are catnip toys, fake mice, or wand toys.

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How to Properly “Treat” Your Dog

What to do and not to do with your dog treats 

Dog treats are essential to bonding with our playful pals, but when used improperly, it can cause your precious pup to develop some serious health and behavioral issues. Some of which are hard to reverse once habits have been made. Learning how to properly “treat” your dog is your way of responsibly taking charge of your dog’s health and setting the foundation for a healthy companionship that offers your pup support they need to keep them happy without encouraging destructive habits that lead to begging and obesity.

1. Know what your dog’s eating

Being mindful of what your dog’s eating, especially early on with impressionable pups, sets your dog up for greatness. Counting calories, knowing the right ingredients, and knowing what constitute as a snack can help you train your dog and prevent some serious health issues, such as obesity and over-acidity that can lead to disease. Knowing what’s in your dog’s snacks will help you determine how many treats you can give your dog each day and the essential benefits of choosing one snack over the other. Avoid feeding your dog table scraps, feed your dog snacks with inherent health benefits, and or consider trading a treat for a small portion of kibble.

2.  Snack time is NOT meal time

Never by no means, use dog treats to supplement your dog’s food. Pay close attention to the size and amount of your snack’s portions and avoid senselessly feeding your dog treat without asserting a purpose. Doing this not only minimizes your dog’s calorie intake to avoid obesity, but also discourages unhealthy eating habits. Senselessly overfeeding your dog treats can encourage your dog to become more finicky and to avoid eating meals all-together in hopes of receiving larger portion snack foods.

3. Timing is everything, make it special

Knowing when to treat your dog is important. Whether it is to act as a reward, giving your dog attention, or simply to make them happy, its important to attach a purpose to snack time. You want use treats to encourage your pooch to have good manners or as a means to motivate them to listen when teaching them something new. If your dog’s overweight, treats can be used to motivate your dog to exercise and go that extra mile on your hike. Let your dog know that treats are rewards for good behavior.

4. Begging is NOT an option

If your dog is begging, don’t ever use your treats as a way to distract your dog. You don’t want to encourage your dog to beg during your meal times or prone to know when to seek out a treat. Your pooch does not decide when it’s snack time. You want to keep them guessing when it comes to the availability of their treats.

5. You’re the boss

When it comes to treating, it’s important to always remember that you are in control. If you take charge, know when to offer a treat and understand why you’re doing so, you will form an understanding with your precious companion that puts your first. Use snack time as a way to cultivate your bond with your pooch, in a way that promotes loyalty and discourages bad behavior.

Keeping these tips in mind the next time your reward your pup will provide you with the peace of mind you need to ensure that you are meeting your pooch’s needs. More often than not, the little changes have the most impact. Not every dog is the same and of course there will be a lot of variability when comes to snacking but as long as you remember that you are the greatest treat for your dog to have, your friendship bill be sure to last and filled with bliss.

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