Diets for Dogs

Author: gibbywmu
April 17, 2010


Dogs are known as man’s best friend.  If you want to keep your best friend around and healthy for a long time to come you need to put him on the right diet.  If your dog is on the wrong diet he may suffer from certain medical problems. So, you need to make sure you feed him healthy dog treats. To buy dog treats online, please go to a dog treat website.

Some of these medical problems include allergies, diabetes, heart failure, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections.  You can’t just feed your dog scraps from the table and expect him to be healthy.  Medical research has shown us what is best for their food.

The first thing to realize is that dogs can eat certain meat and vegetable table scraps.  Never give them things like chocolate, broccoli, and alcohol.  These are unhealthy and dangerous for dogs.

Beyond that, dry food is better for your dog than the watery types of dog food.  The main reason for this is because the wet dog foods are generally loaded with preservatives.  Any food you do choose should have plenty of minerals, vitamins, carbs, and protein.  In fact, carbohydrates are so important that you should be sure they make up 50% of your dog’s daily diet. To buy bully sticks online, please go to our bully sticks page.

There are some dogs that have special considerations above and beyond other dogs.  Diabetic dogs need more protein and less carbs, for instance.  For example, bully sticks are full of protein and are very low in fat.  Dogs with allergies need modified protein such as Omega 3 and Omega 6.  Additionally, if your dog has stones in his bladder you need to feed him a diet low in protein and make sure he is getting enough antibiotics.

If your dog is obese you should consider giving them two-thirds the amount of food you have been serving. Also, cut down meals to just three times per day.  Increasing their fiber intake is a great way to aid in digestion and increase weight loss.  Of course, this should be dependent on what their veterinarian recommends.

No matter what condition your dog has, it’s best to visit a trained specialist.  They will be able to refer you to proper treatment guidelines.  This can make the difference between making great diet decisions and poor ones.

Since you’re a concerned pet owner you want to do what is best for your pet.  The trouble is that what you think is best might not be.  There is no reason for your dog to suffer because all you need to do is a little research.  Taking the time to investigate can save your furriest friend from feeling discomfort, pain, or dying.

Dental Care for Your Dog

Author: gibbywmu
April 17, 2010


Our furry little friends are likely to develop dental disease if their dental needs are ignored. Periodontal disease is not uncommon among dogs, particularly small dog breeds. And just like with humans, these problems can result in bad breath, yellowed teeth, and in the worst of cases, even progress to loss of teeth.

The development of such problems usually begins with such signs as swollen, red, and painful gums. Your pet may have less of an appetite as well. These signs indicate a need for immediate professional care.

Tooth decay and/or the loss of teeth usually indicate the presence of bacteria in the mouth. If left untreated the damage can progress from only involving the mouth to further damage that can include serious complications related to the kidneys, lungs, and heart, all of which can lead to a shortened lifespan. Periodontal problems usually start with the formation of plaque.

Plaque builds on the teeth and in thirty-six hours or less, plaque can harden and tartar can form. This problem usually develops first and the worst in the upper back teeth. Unfortunately, once tartar has formed, it cannot be brushed away.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided. Although healthy routines can be started with any dog at any age, it is always best to start healthy routines with a young puppy. If the dog is older you should insure that he has a professional dental cleaning and then begin the healthy dental routine at home, such as providing dog treats like bully sticks.

If you have a regular routine of brushing your dog’s teeth on a daily basis you can avoid most of these problems. The routine should be established while the dog is young if at all possible. He will then accept the brushing as part of his regular care.

At first the dog will wonder what you are doing so it is best to allow him to taste the doggie toothpaste. These special pastes are formulated to be appealing to dogs. You can use your finger or a special dog toothbrush. Don’t forget to clean both the teeth and the gums. Begin in the back and work in small circular motions. The entire brushing process will take less than a minute.

Providing such things as dog treats, hard dog biscuits and bones, and even soft toys for your pet can help to prevent dental problems. Besides keeping the teeth strong and healthy many of the items are specially formulated to freshen the breath. Feeding crunchy food items on a regular basis is another way to keep your pet’s teeth healthier. Another tip is that while warming your dog’s food will often make it more appealing it is important to insure that the food is only slightly warm and never hot. On the flip side, dogs should not be served cold food.

September 3, 2008
boot camp

 Just like in the army, boot camp is really just an introduction to a new career and new way of doing things. A tour through boot camp isn’t going to solve your alpha dog’s problems forever. It’s a way to get basic respect from a dog who’s been bullying you without having to resort to physical force.

How long should boot camp last? That depends on the dog. Some will show an improvement right away, others may take much longer. For really tough cookies, natural leaders that need constant reminders of their place in the pack, Alpha Dog Boot Camp will become a way of life. Social climbers may need periodic trips through boot camp if you get lax and accidentally let them climb back up a notch or two in the family pack order.

How do you know if you’re making a difference? If boot camp has been successful, your dog should start looking to you for directions and permission. He’ll show an eagerness to please. Watch how your dog approaches and greets you. Does he come to you “standing tall”, with his head and ears held high and erect? It may look impressive and proud but it means he’s still alpha and you still have problems! A dog who accepts humans as superiors will approach you with his head slightly lowered and his ears back or off to the sides. He’ll “shrink” his whole body a little in a show of submission. Watch how he greets all the members of the family. If he displays this submissive posture to some of them, but not others, those are the ones who still need to work on their own alpha posture and methods. They should take him back through another tour of boot camp with support from the rest of the family.

After a long hard day of boot camp, make sure to let him lay down and chew on his favorite treat, like bully sticks!

Obedience Training for Dogs

Author: gibbywmu
September 3, 2008


Once your dog has begun to accept this new way of life and his new position in the family, you should take him through an obedience course with a qualified trainer. All dogs need to be trained and alpha dogs need training most of all! You don’t have to wait until he’s through with boot camp to start this training but it’s important that he respects at least one member of the family and is willing to take direction from them.

Obedience class teaches you to train your dog. It teaches you how to be alpha, how to enforce commands and rules, how to get respect and to keep it. All family members who are old enough to understand and control the dog should participate in the class.

Obedience training is a lifelong process. One obedience course does not a trained dog make! Obedience commands need to be practiced and incorporated into your daily life. In a dog pack, the alpha animal uses occasional reminders to reinforce his authority. Certain commands, like DOWN/STAY, are especially effective, nonviolent reminders of a dog’s place in the family pack order and who’s really in charge here.  Giving them treats they enjoy, like bully sticks, is also very effective.

A well-trained obedient dog is a happy dog and a joy to live with. Dogs want to please and need a job to do. Training gives them the opportunity to do both. A well-trained dog has more freedom. He can go more places and do more things with you because he knows how to behave. A well-trained dog that’s secure in his place within the family pack is comfortable and confident. He knows what’s expected of him. He knows his limits and who his leaders are. He’s free from the responsibility of running the household and making decisions. He’s free to be your loving companion and not your boss. He’s free to be a dog – what he was born to be and what he always wanted to be in the first place!

Hot Spots In Dogs

Author: gibbywmu
September 2, 2008

 The immediate cause of a hot spot is a bacterial infection of the skin. The inflammation is itchy and painful for the dog, so he licks or chews at the site for relief… and further irritates the sore. Saliva is filled with bacteria and not a very good salve for wounds. As the dog becomes more frantic to relieve the irritation, he may become more aggressive with his chewing. Some dogs will bite to the point of self-mutilation. The most common sites for hot spots are those accessible by mouth – the flank, legs and paws, and the rump – but itchy dogs will get wounds anywhere they can scratch. A hot spot is painful as well as itchy. Some dogs might become protective of their sore and nip or growl to keep you away from it.  To distract them for periods at a time, it might be a good idea to give him a dog treat, like bully sticks. This is sure to keep him busy for a while.

The ultimate cause of a hot spotcan be more difficult to determine, but is especially important with multiple, chronic, or recurring sores. The occasional incident might be caused by a simple irritant such as a thistle or bug bite. Most hot spots occur in the summer months during hot, humid weather. Some breeds, such as Labrador and Golden retrievers, are known to be predisposed. In general dogs with thick or long hair coats are at risk. Dogs prone to ear and anal sac infections are also more susceptible to hot spots.

September 2, 2008

 We were once a society that viewed animals as their own individual species. Today, our world is quickly changing into one which views domestic animals as individual members of our human family. It is no wonder that we often relate to our domestic animals in human psychology or behavioral terms. Yet, can we really draw parallels between their behavior and ours?

In nature when different species cohabitate together, each animal species continues to retain their instinctive and species-specific behavior. For example, a variety of animals live together on the same safari plains but each species behaves very differently. This is what makes a giraffe behave differently from a zebra even though they are neighbors. Among many other things, they have different mating rituals and different ways to communicate with each other. Likewise, our domestic animals are clever enough to learn our means of communicating with them (sit, stay, come, hand signals, etc) yet they will continue to retain their canine or feline behavior.

In some wild wolf packs, the only members of the pack that are allowed to mate are the alpha female and the alpha male and mating between subordinates is discouraged. The goal is to have enough resources and care for the pups and ultimately, the entire pack. “Humping” behavior in dogs serves two purposes. The first is the obvious need to reproduce. The second purpose behind such behavior is to exert dominance onto another dog. A dog will only tolerate this mounting behavior if he/she views that the dog doing the mounting is above him/her in rank. This subordinate dog can be of either sex, which is why it is not uncommon to see a male dog humping another male dog.

Like us, domestic dogs relate to us as members of their family. In other words, they think of us as members of their dog pack. If and when a dog humps you or another human being, they are essentially communicating the fact that they think they are dominant to you. In the event that you allow such humping behavior, you are agreeing that you are subordinate. Therefore, humping is most definitely not a behavior that you should encourage your dog to do to humans. You as a human should have a higher rank than your dog and because of that, you are also in the position to discourage and prevent him from humping other dogs or humans. By doing do so, you, as his leader, are not allowing him to be dominant over them. When you practice leadership with your dog, it definitely makes for a better time if your friends or their pets come over to your house to visit.

The question is how do we eliminate the humping behavior? Male and female dogs alike display humping behavior, although the incidence is higher in male dogs. The hormone, testosterone, increases sexual behavior and promotes humping, thus neutering/spaying your dog as early as 6 months to a year old helps to decrease the incidence of such undesirable behavior because the hormone producing organs are removed. In addition, neutering/spaying is useful because helps to prevent testicular, prostate, or ovarian cancer. Moreover, it is good practice as a responsible owner to neuter/spay your dog to keep the numbers of stray or unwanted animals to a minimum. Another good remedy would be trying to keep the dog occupied, maybe by giving him a dog treat like bully sticks.

Still, some owners may find that their dogs hump despite neutering/spaying. The use of a simple and firm “No!” and telling your dog to go away from the object or redirecting their behavior into a sit/stay away from the object would be appropriate. What you don’t want to do is to pet your dog, give him/her a chew toy, or anything that might give him/her the impression that you’re rewarding the behavior.

As we humans try to humanize dog behavior, there are some people who feel that they should provide their dog with a means of sexual activity. In fact, humans and perhaps even dolphins are two of the very few animal species that are known to mate for pleasure. Mating for pleasure is not true for dogs, so don’t feel bad when you say “No!” and disallow your dog to hump. All you are doing is showing leadership and telling your dog that no one is allowed to be the boss but you. Think about it this way: you are also bridging the gap between humans and dogs by instilling in your dog good social behavior by informing him that it is not socially acceptable for dogs to hump humans or any other object in sight.

Dewclaws in Dogs

Author: gibbywmu
September 2, 2008


Many dog owners often ask their veterinarian whether their dog’s dewclaws should be removed. There are several situations in which removal is advantageous, and owners should consider their dog’s lifestyle when making such a decision.

Dogs are a digitigrade species, meaning that they walk on their digits. A dog’s paw has four digits that make contact with the ground and on almost every front paw and occasionally on the back ones, there is an inside digit higher up that does not make ground contact. This digit is the dewclaw, a vestigial structure that is non-functional or has some function in some breeds. Most dogs have dewclaws on their front paws only, and it is rare to find them on their back paws. However in several breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees and Briards, rear dewclaws are common and included in the breed standard. The Great Pyrenees even has a double dewclaw, an inherited trait called polydactyly, so that there are two bony digits instead of one.

Some breeds require these dewclaws because they are believed to help them in their line of work. For example, the Great Pyrenees is a livestock guardian dog and the terrain they work on is rough and uneven. The double dewclaws placed low on their rear legs act as functional digits to help them gain stability. However, in other breeds of dogs that do have a rear dewclaw, it is often hanging loose and susceptible to being torn off. This is the main reason why it is sometimes recommended to remove the rear dewclaws, especially if the dog is going to be running outdoors in the bush.

Some breeders have their puppies’ dewclaws removed at 3-5 days of age. At this age, the dewclaw is adhered very loosely so it is very easy to remove. The veterinarian will clamp at the base of the dewclaw at the joint and this is often enough to allow for manual removal. Surgical glue or sutures are then used to close the wound and prevent bleeding, although there is little bleeding associated with this procedure. If the breeder has decided to allow the dewclaws to remain, you will need to make a decision around the time of your puppy’s spay or neuter as to whether the dewclaws should be removed. Factors to consider are where your dog will be spending his/her time outdoors, if your dog has rear dewclaws and the degree of adherence of the dewclaws. Any dewclaw loosely adhered should be removed, regardless of whether the dog will be in nature or walking on city sidewalks since loose dewclaws can catch onto anything and cause significant pain.

Veterinarians prefer to remove dewclaws during the spay/neuter because the dog will already be under general anesthesia so it eliminates the risks associated with another anesthesia. If you are considering showing your dog in the ring, it is advisable to consult the breed standard of the kennel club you are associated with. Most state that removal is optional though there are a few breeds where dewclaws are required and some in which dewclaw removal is mandatory.

Many dog owners often leave the front dewclaws for the reason that they are usually held close to the paw so need not be removed. However, this does not mean that they should be forgotten. They are easily missed due to their location and it doesn’t help if the dog has long hair which covers it! Dewclaws should be trimmed during routine nail trims. This is especially important because these claws cannot be worn down due to the fact that they do not make ground contact. If left, the claw grows in a curly fashion, which may be uncomfortable or even painful because the claw may dig into the skin. It also makes trimming extremely difficult.

If your dog has dewclaws, you may wish to consult with your veterinarian as to whether they should be removed, taking into consideration your dog’s lifestyle ie. hunting, showing etc. Dewclaws not removed should be maintained during the routine nail trim to prevent overgrowth of the claw.

If taking your dog to the vet to get his/her dewclaws removed, always be sure when they get home to get them a nice treat to chew on, like bully sticks.  This is sure to take their mind off of things!

Clicker Training

Author: gibbywmu
August 14, 2008


Clicker Training – What is a Clicker ?A clicker is a small handheld noisemaker that makes a distinct “click” when it is pressed. Clicker training is a subset or restricted application of OPERANT CONDITIONING.

Clicker training is merely a tool that is used in operant conditioning. A clicker has also been called a bridge or a marker. Clicker training has been successfully used in animal training over the last couple of decades. Over 140 different species have been successfully “clicker trained”. Many of the animals you have seen in movies/theatrical appearances or commercials have been clicker trained.

To put it very basically, whenever an animal performs a desired action, the handler should immediately click with a hand held clicker, then deliver a reward the animal desires (such as a tasty treat like bully sticks). The animal will associate the click as a marker that clues the animal when it does a specific action, they will get a reward.

Dog Phobias: Treatment

Author: gibbywmu
July 21, 2008

Dog Phobia

The main objective of treatment of a phobia is to teach the animals that the stimulus it is frightened of can be associated with something good, such as a reward.  This is often easier said than done, requiring persistence and patience.   The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must not reinforce fearful behaviour by petting, reassuring, or rewarding the animal (by giving him dog treats like bully sticks).

The approach to any type of fear is the same in principle.  The first step to treatment is to identify what the stimulus is and when it occurs.  When the trigger has been identified, attempt to avoid all encounters with this if possible.  If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, start your training at a time of year where they are less likely to occur, such as the winter.  The next step is to desensitize the animal and teach relaxation in the presence of the stimulus.  This must be done slowly and systematically.  If the dog is fearful of unfamiliar people, ask a friend to help with training.  Place the dog in a crate and ask the friend to enter the room but keep a great enough distance that the dog remains calm.  Reward the dog for good behaviour with food or affection.  The unfamiliar person can attempt to desensitize the dog by throwing food from a distance, avoiding eye contact, and approaching sideways.  Gradually, over the course of several training sessions, ask the friend to approach closer each time to a distance in which the dog can remain calm.  Remember to only reward calm, relaxed behaviour and not to reinforce inappropriate reactions.  The animal should slowly learn to associate the stimulus with good things, such as treats, resulting in a less fearful response.  

The prognosis for successful treatment is dependent on several factors, including age, duration of the fearful behaviour, and the owner’s diligence with training.  Generally, the younger the age of onset and the longer the duration, the less chance there is of correcting the behaviour.  That is not to say, however, that correction is impossible.  Again, it is important to be able to recognize the triggers and be patient throughout the training process.  With appropriate training, an animal can learn to be relaxed in the presence of previously frightening situations.


Author: gibbywmu
July 19, 2008

 Flea control has reached new levels in recent years. Today, there are products on the market that you can treat your pet with once a month that will help keep those annoying little jumpers away. Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, are safe and act like flea hormones to interrupt the life cycle of the flea, preventing them from maturing into adult fleas. Lufenuron is one example of an IGR. It inhibits flea egg production, but doesn’t kill adult fleas, so flea bites can still occur. Others, such as imidacloprid and fipronil kill adult fleas, and the latter works on ticks as well. Depending on the product used, you may be giving your pet a pill, spraying his coat or applying a liquid substance to one area of his skin; the substance will spread to cover his body. These treatments are available only from your veterinarian and are given once a month. Be very careful to use the products as directed; some may be effective for dogs, but toxic to cats. Consult with your veterinarian before implementing any flea control program.

Now that you’re armored with some information, you can help your pet win the war against fleas….and always remember to reward your pet after any sort of flea treatment, so give him bully sticks to make him feel better!