Does Your Dog Have Any Separation Anxiety?Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and it can be heartbreaking to see your dog go through that as an owner. While it's impractical to stay home with your dog 24/7/365 when you have to go to work or tend...
- Pequannock Feed
Dogs and Cats and Fleas: Oh My!Fleas are little brown insects which thrive in particular temperature and humidity levels. Which means most pet owners will deal with them at some time or another. For many, it's not just a summer problem. Dogs and cats...
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6 Reasons Why You Should Be Changing Your Pet’s Food
Should You Be Changing Your Pet’s Food Regularly?
Should you be changing your pet's food regularly? We may be used to feeding our furry friends the same food but there are a variety of reasons why their food should be switched up every once in a while. These reasons include their life stage, activity level, dietary deficiencies and the development of allergies.
- Life stage
As your pet becomes older, their food should be changed to reflect their nutritional needs. For example, a puppy should be fed puppy kibble. As they age, they will move on to adult and senior kibble, which should be introduced gradually rather than abruptly. You can get recommendations from your vet as to when you should change your pet's food and how to introduce them to a new food.
- Overall health
Over time, your pet's health will change. They may develop specific dietary needs, such as needing to eat higher calorie food if they are underweight or "diet" food if they need to lose weight.
- Activity level
Another important factor to consider is activity level. Think about whether your pet is mostly sedentary, moderately active or highly active. If your pet is more active than most, then they may need high protein food to suit their nutritional needs.
Dogs are designed to eat a variety of foods. Would you want to eat the same food for years? It's important to switch things up but while being attentive to the needs of your pet's health.
- Dietary deficiencies
Another reason to change your pet's food is that they may be lacking in certain nutrients. After all, no one pet food has it all. Some factors that may indicate nutritional deficiencies are:
- A dull, lackluster coat
- Noticeable changes in weight
- Changes in their behavior
- Changes in thirst, such as suddenly becoming very thirsty
- Avoid the development of allergies
Your pet may develop one of several common food allergies when eating the same food, such as an allergy to corn, soy, wheat, chicken, beef and/or fish. This means that it's time to change their food to a type without this ingredient. There are many diet foods that don't include these popular ingredients.
Overall, you should be changing the type of food that your pet eats periodically. Your pet's dietary needs will change over time and their food will need to change, too! Check in with your vet if you have any concerns about what your pet is eating.
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
Good Dental Hygiene is a Must for Your Pet's Optimal Health:
As February marks National Pet Dental Health Month, it's essential that we take a moment to remember how important good oral health is to our furry friend's overall well-being. Whether you have cats or dogs, their oral health is imperative to their overall health and quality (as well as length) of life.
Good dental hygiene is a vital part of your pet's long-term health. Poor dental hygiene can result in plaque and tartar buildup that leads to periodontal disease. If left unchecked, it can result in anesthesia and operations that are required to remove the animal's teeth. Moreover, in the worst cases, poor dental hygiene can even cause your pet to end up with heart, lung, and kidney diseases from the bacteria that build up in the mouth and eventually manage to make it to the bloodstream.
How Can I Determine If My Pet Has Periodontal Disease?
Determining your pet has a periodontal disease is not always a simple thing to do, but the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends looking for the following symptoms to clue you in as to when your furry pal might need some additional dental attention:
- breath with a very repugnant odor (sign of bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup in the mouth)
- your pet has a buildup of plaque or tartar on their teeth
- red swollen gums that may indicate gingivitis
- gums that are bleeding when the dog eats/chews
- infections that have formed around the root of the tooth
- excessive drooling
- loose teeth/loss of teeth (from decay)
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is advisable to make an appointment with a qualified veterinarian to have your pet checked out and to see if further treatment including professional cleanings is needed.
What Can I Do to Help My Pet Maintain Good Oral Health?
As an owner, you naturally want to do what you can to help your pet avoid the previously mentioned scenarios. The following are a few great ways to ensure that your pet has the best oral health possible:
Clean Your Pet's Teeth at Home:
When your pet is at home, a simple way to clean their teeth is to put a piece of gauze and to brush over your dog's teeth with your finger. The fronts and tops are the most important. Some dogs may not let you get to the back of their teeth, but don't worry too much about that as little if any plaque ever grows back there anyway. Use small circular motions to clean all teeth. Doing so on a daily basis can help avoid tartar and plaque buildup which could otherwise lead to periodontal disease.
Provide Teeth-Friendly Treats & Chew Toys:
Providing your pet with treats that are designed to help clean their teeth can ensure that they are not getting tooth decay or rot from having too many biscuits, bones, or other "treats" in their diet. Also be sure to give your pet chew toys that are healthy for their teeth and do not have any toxic materials or ingredients in them. These practices ensure that you are not damaging your pet's teeth more than you are helping keep them healthy.
Have Your Vet Check Your Pet's Teeth:
When you take your dog in for vaccinations or annual appointments, have your vet check over your dog's teeth to ensure that there are no early signs of periodontal disease, gingivitis, or other plaque/tartar buildup that may turn into a bigger problem later. Nipping the problem in the bud can save your pet a lot of discomforts and you a lot of cash.
Get Your Pet Proper Treatment:
If your vet detects a developing issue with your pet's oral health, you may need to get your pet further treatment such as X-rays to see if the periodontal disease has gotten into the bone structure of your pet's jaw or blood work to see if the toxins or bacteria have gone to their bloodstream. While these treatments may be pricey, they are a lot cheaper than leaving the problem till your pet needs surgery, which is almost sure to be even more expensive than what you would have had to pay for otherwise.
Conclusions:Your pet's oral health is critical to their overall health. Ensuring that they are free from any oral diseases. If there are beginning signs of disease, treating that issue before it gets worse can save you money and your pet a lot of discomfort in the future.
- Janet Thomas
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Chewing Everything
Help! My Dog is Chewing Everything
Dogs are some of the best companions a person can ask for, but sometimes they can be a bit ornery. Dogs love to chew on things and they can be very stubborn when it comes to stopping them. Even though it is very frustrating, there are several things you can try to keep your house from being chewed to pieces.
Why They Chew
When dogs have nothing to do, they get pretty creative. Anything can be turned into their next chew toy.
Puppies go through a period in their life when all of their puppy teeth fall out and their adult teeth are growing in. This happens about 6 months into a puppy's life. It can be very painful and chewing relieves some of that pain.
Some dogs chew simply because they have separation anxiety. Chewing is a form of stress relief for dogs, so they will find anything to relieve their anxiety when you are away.
How to Stop the Chewing
This may seem obvious, but all dogs learn differently. Use short commands that they can better understand, such as "NO" or "Leave it." When your dog responds correctly, give them a treat and praise them. Not all dogs respond to treats or praise. Figure out which they respond most to and be consistent with commands.
Puppy Proof and Confine
When you are away from home and can't watch your dog for chewing, keep them in a safe area with a baby gate. Make sure everything in the gated area is puppy proofed. You can puppy proof by putting objects they can chew on in high, out of sight places and putting some sort of barrier around wooden furniture or anything else they can fit their mouth around.
Each and every dog has a certain type of toy that they prefer to play with. There are ropes, balls, bones, and so many other types of toys. Figure out which types of toys your dog likes most and give them plenty to keep them occupied.
Exercise Your Dog
Dogs will sometimes chew on things because they have a ton of energy that they need to get rid of. Make sure that you are giving your dog plenty of exercise throughout the day with walks and/or playing in the yard. Exercise also reduces your dog's stress.
If nothing else stops the chewing, you can spray a safe bitter apple spray onto anything that your dog likes to chew on, including furniture and shoes. Dogs do not like the taste of it and it keeps their mouth off of everything. There are commercial sprays, such as Grannick's Bitter Apple, that is completely safe for your dog to ingest. You can also make your own with 2 parts apple cider vinegar, 1 part white vinegar, and water in a spray bottle.
Utilizing these helpful tips should keep all of your belongings safe from chewing pets. If you have any questions, contact us! We would be happy to help you get your dog to stop chewing everything.
- Pequannock Feed & Pet Supply Admin
How to Protect Your Pet During the Winter
Winter can be a dangerous time of year for all pets. Especially pets that are kept outdoors. Temperatures drop to below freezing and dangerous chemicals can harm or even kill pets. Everybody loves their pets and wants to keep them safe and comfortable so, here are a few helpful tips to protect your pets during the winter months.
Keep Pets Warm
Frostbite and hypothermia can be deadly for your furry friends and can happen quicker than you think. According to The Washington Post, anything below 25 degrees Fahrenheit can be life-threatening to a small, short-haired dog. Make sure to put a sweater on your pup when going outside below these temperatures and keep walks short.
If you have an outdoor pet, bring them in if temperatures drop below freezing. A safe rule to go by is "If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them." For the rest of the winter days, provide an outdoor shelter and lay hay inside to add insulation. Also, provide a heated water dish, so their water does not freeze over.
Give Your Pet Plenty of Food and Water
When it is cold outside, our bodies burn more calories to keep us warm. The same thing happens with our pets. Feed your pet slightly more food during the winter months, particularly if your pet is an outdoor pet. Along with feeding them more, give your pets more water as well. This will help keep their skin from getting flaky and itchy due to drier conditions.
Watch Out for Rock Salt
Rock salt is thrown all over streets and sidewalks to melt ice that can be dangerous for you. However, rock salt can be harmful to your pet's paws. The little rocks can get pushed up into your pet's paws while on walks and actually burn their paw pads. When coming back inside from your walks, check their paws for any salt and remove it. You can also try out dog boots!
Prevent Antifreeze Poisoning
Antifreeze is highly toxic to animals and they can easily ingest it. All it takes is a leak from your vehicle and your pet can lick it up off the ground or get it on their paws, which they later lick clean. In order to catch antifreeze poisoning, Dr. Karen Becker says to check for these 3 signs:
- Within 30 minutes to 12 hours after, check for staggering, excessive thirst, and vomiting.
- Obvious signs calm and internal damage is taking place.
- Kidney failure takes place with signs like loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
If you notice any of these signs, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible. The earlier it can be detected, the more likely they are to survive. Dr. Karen Becker also says to check for antifreeze products with propylene glycol, which is much safer than the alternative ethylene glycol.
Check Your Vehicle Before Taking Off
Small animals love to climb up into the underneath of vehicles when it is cold outside. The engine provides warmth for them and shelter from winds. Before starting your car, make some sort of loud noises to scare off any kitties that may have climbed into your vehicle. This could be honking your horn, hitting the outside of the car, or a quick sound of your car alarm.
Prevent Your Pet From Getting Lost
Losing your pet is already a terrifying experience, especially when it is freezing outside. In order to get them back to you as soon as possible, microchip and tag your pet. A microchip is a tiny implant that can be scanned at vet offices and shelters with your information on it. Some microchips even let you send out a "lost dog" notification so that anyone else on the app can be on the lookout.
For more information on how to protect your pet during the winter, contact us! We would be happy to help you with further instruction.
- Janet Thomas