The Key To Finding The Right Dry Dog Food

Figuring out the right kind of food for your dog can be a downright daunting experience. There are so many different brands catering to so many different breeds that you might need some help narrowing down your options. To help with that, here is a guide on what to look for when shopping for dry dog food at a pet supply store:

Brand

The first step in deciding what kind of dog food to get is to determine what brand you are interested in. You might need to experiment with several brands first, but you will eventually notice that each brand offers a different degree of quality in ingredients. Generic store brands will generally be the lowest in quality, while pricier name brands will probably have the highest quality.

Looking for online reviews might help you figure out what brands are generally the best, but you are probably better off asking your vet for a recommendation. They will usually be able to provide you with some good brands that are healthy for your dog.

Breed

Many types of dog food are targeted at a specific size of dog, such as large, small, or giant breeds, as well as additional options for puppies. This can influence the size of the food, since smaller dogs will only be able to consume smaller pellets of food, while bigger dogs might have no trouble with large pellets. The exact composition of the dog food might also be affected, since puppies need a different variety of nutrients when compared to adult dogs. 

A valid strategy can be to mix two separate types of food for your dogs, such as a large pellet giant breed option with a smaller pellet option. This can can add variety to your dog’s diet and help their digestion. For instance, a brand high in fiber could be mixed with a protein-rich blend to help meet your dogs nutritional needs.

Meat

One of the main distinctions between many types of dog food is exactly what kind of meat is present. Generally, the meat in dog food will be undesirable for human consumption. However, it is still animal grade, so it meets minimum standards for nutrition and healthiness.

Lamb and chicken are quite popular and are generally paired with rice. You might also find duck and venison, depending on the brand. Bone meal is also common, but is generally not listed as a main ingredient due to its relative lack of appeal. 

How to Convince Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

You may notice the dog walkers in the park and wondered if you could walk your cat with a leash. Teaching your cat to walk with you on a leash may seem as probable as teaching it to ride a bicycle, but with patience, it can be done. Since cats are an independent lot, it’s not so much a matter of teaching them as it is convincing them that doing it was their idea.

Buying the Right Gear

Once you’ve slept on the idea, if you didn’t wake up thinking you had a momentary lapse of insanity, then it’s time to outfit your cat for the walk. The first step is to visit a veterinary clinic such as Bearss Animal Clinic. Tell the vet you are going to teach your cat to walk on a leash and ask them to help fit kitty with a harness.

Your cat needs a harness because it’s harder to escape from. If you think it will be cool to be seen walking kitty in the park, just imagine how entertaining it will be for the dog walkers to watch you chase your cat that has escaped from a collar and leash. A harness is a snug-fitting device that fits around the body, neck and legs. Your vet will help you select the right style of harness to fit your cat comfortably and it will be the first part of your plan that your cat will complain about.

Cat Training Program

Once home with the harness, leash and extra-large bag of treats, take a deep breath and start the training. Develop a mantra for yourself to get through the weeks you’ll spend with kitty such as: small step, praise, praise, praise, treat. With every step, lavish praise on kitty and end the step with a treat. When your cat has lost all interest in what you’re trying to make it do, stop for the day. When kitty is done, you’re done.

Here are the initial steps to work through with your cat using your mantra:

  • getting used to wearing the harness
  • walking toward you while wearing the harness
  • follow you through the house while wearing the harness
  • wearing the harness with the leash attached
  • walking through the house with you holding onto the leash
  • being guided through the house by you holding the leash

Getting this far may take several weeks. Then it’s time to attempt this in the great outdoors.

Opening the World Up to Your Cat

Start by opening up the back door and allowing kitty to venture out on its harness and leash. Using your mantra again, coax your cat outside and get used to short walks in your backyard. If your cat ever seems stressed or afraid, gently get them back into the house, give them praise and let them relax.

Once the backyard walks have become routine, it’s time to tackle the park. Put the harness on your cat and put it in the carrier for the trip to the park. Once there, and before you get out of the car, attach the leash to the harness.

Find a quiet place in the park to sit the carrier. Open the door and let your cat venture out. Remember, this is all supposed to be the cat’s idea. Once out, you can begin walking slow circles around the carrier with kitty, getting further away as you walk.

Dealing with Distractions

Your cat has a short attention span and can be easily startled. It’s their natural predator-prey instinct. When walking with you, a squirrel, a dog on a leash or a branch dropping out of a tree can make them nervous. When this happens, redirect their attention to another spot until they calm down.

If you have the patience to work with your cat, you could find yourself with some new company on your walks through the park. By then, you will likely have developed a level of patience that only a Buddhist monk ever achieves and you’ll be able to tackle just about anything in life.

Three Environmental Factors That Might By Making Your Hamster’s Eyes Water

if your hamster’s eyes are red and goopy, he or she probably has conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, and should be treated by a veterinarian. On the other hand, if your hamster’s eyes are releasing a clear liquid, but your hamster seems otherwise healthy, chances are good that the symptoms are brought on by an environmental factor rather than a medical condition.

Cedar or Pine Bedding

Even though cedar and pine bedding are commonly sold in pet stores, they are not an ideal bedding for hamsters. If you are using either of these beddings, it may be contributing to your hamster’s watery eyes. Cedar bedding releases toxins called phenols when it comes into contact with your hamster’s urine. Phenols are known to cause irritation to the mucous membranes in the throat, eyes and nose. Many hamsters are also sensitive to pine bedding, especially if the brand you use is dusty.

Try switching your hamster over to another bedding type, such as aspen shavings or compressed wood pulp pellets. If bedding was to blame for the watery eyes, you should notice an immediate improvement.

Draftiness

Carefully consider where your hamster’s cage is positioned. Do you feel any drafts in the room? Even when the temperature is warm, dry air blowing in through a crack in the wall or alongside a window can cause your hamster’s eyes to water in an effort to stay moist in spite of the dry air. Stand still by your hamster’s cage on  a windy day. If you feel any drafts, move the cage to an area that’s better sealed – perhaps along an inner wall in a room with few windows is a good spot.

Exposure to Chemical Cleaners

Many household cleaning solutions can cause irritation to your pet’s eyes, nose and lungs for days after you use them. The vapors of these chemicals tend to linger behind in the air, and even if you cannot detect them, your hamster may be sensitive to them. Ammonia, which is commonly found in window and floor cleaners, and bleach, which is the active ingredients in many toilet bowl cleaners and disinfectant wipes, can both cause harm to your pet – especially if your hamster’s cage is low to the ground where these chemicals tend to settle.

Try switching to green cleaning products that are specifically labeled “pet-safe” and see if your hamster’s eyes clear up. Never spray air fresheners, window cleaners or other chemical solutions in the room where your hamster lives. 

If your hamster’s runny eyes fail to improve in spite of the changes you make to his or her environment, contact the veterinarian at a local pet hospital. The runny eyes may be a sign of an underlying condition that has simply not yet developed enough to cause other symptoms.