For dog owners, your pet is often your world and there are few things more special than the bond you share. From playtime to mealtime, you never settle for “good enough,” and your dog’s health is no different.
When it comes to nutrition, every dog has specific needs and you know them best. Each dog is unique and his or her food should be as well.
When deciding which dog food works best for your pet, keep personalized foods like Just Right by Purina in mind, which can help address your dog’s unique needs. It combines your firsthand knowledge with nutritional expertise to create the best dog food blend for your dog. By answering just a few questions about your pet’s breed size, eating habits and more, you can create a personalized blend of food that includes your dog’s name, photo and feeding recommendation that gets shipped directly to your door.
"Every pet is an individual and that includes how we feed them," said veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, a 17-year veteran of “Good Morning America” and founder of Fear Free. "A highly personalized diet tuned to their specific needs and combined with plenty of exercise and regular veterinary care can dramatically impact their nutrition, health and wellbeing."
Feeding your dog personalized food could help yield these five benefits:
Healthy skin and coat
Joint health and mobility
Young or old, big or small, every dog’s nutritional needs are unique. For more helpful tips and ways to benefit your dog at mealtime, visit justrightpetfood.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Family Features |Just Right by Purina
Researchers are predicting 2017 will be one of the worst years for ticks that we have seen in quite some time — and by all indications, those researchers are correct. People who have found themselves pulling ticks off their pets, children and their own bodies can readily attest to this. The question is, what to do?
While the tick population may be booming and becoming an increasing problem, there are effective measures you can take to prevent them from getting on you and your loved ones.
1. Cover up. One of the easiest ways to keep ticks off of you when you're hiking in tall grass or a wooded area is to make sure you and your family wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes. You may think dressing this way during warmer months is anything but comfortable, but if you dress in lightweight, breathable clothing, you’ll be surprised at how cool you can stay.
2. Keep up with your yard. Ticks love a messy yard. They seek out tall grass, patches of weeds and unkempt gardens. Take the time to keep your lawn cut, remove any loose debris and keep the weeds out of your garden. Areas you want to be particularly concerned about are around patios, play areas and anywhere people congregate or pets explore.
3. Protect your yard. Ticks and other pests may seem like an insurmountable problem, almost impossible to avoid or get rid of. But rest easy knowing there is a solution to help protect against these blood-feeding pests. Whether you’re concerned about protecting your family’s health from tick-borne illnesses or need help controlling an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional to come in and assess the situation. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) can help you find a qualified, local expert to identify and treat your tick problem.
4. Wear insect repellent. Just like you make it a habit to always apply sunscreen when going out on a bright, beautiful day, get in the habit of applying insect repellent any time you are out in an area that might harbor ticks. To be effective, make sure the insect repellent contains at least 20 percent DEET.
5. Perform regular inspections. At the end of the day, take the time to comb through your pet's fur and check them for ticks, even if they are wearing a tick collar. Also, don't forget to do a check on yourself and your children. Since it usually takes between 24 and 48 hours for a tick to attach to a host and transmit diseases like Lyme disease, it’s important to remove them quickly.
To learn more about ticks or other common pests, visit www.pestworld.org. There you’ll find a wealth of information and resources that will help you and your family have a safe and tick-free year.
People who have suffered from the flu know how exhausting the fever, chills and upset stomach can be. Your dog may be at risk for the same symptoms. One type of canine influenza virus - CIV H3N8 - has been around for years, and a new type (CIV H3N2) was identified in Chicago in March 2015. Since then, the virus has spread to more than 25 states, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Diagnostic Center.
CIV H3N2 is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs and from contact with contaminated objects, such as toys, clothing, water bowls, etc.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs frequently in contact with other dogs are at high risk of infection. This includes dogs that are boarded, enrolled in day care and visit groomers or dog parks.
"I take my dogs to dog parks and because they're social, I'm concerned they'll catch the virus and it will spread in those areas," said Kelsey Risher, a Chicago-area owner of two active dogs.
In the initial phase of infection, the dog appears healthy, but can spread the virus to other dogs. Symptoms include: coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever and discharge from the eyes and nose.
Most dogs recover in two to three weeks. However, because CIV H3N2 can be difficult to diagnose and in severe instances may be fatal, effective prevention is critical.
In November 2015, Zoetis, the world's largest animal health company, was the first to be granted a conditional license for a vaccine for CIV H3N2.
"I'll be telling clients I recommend the vaccination," said Dr. Scott Rovner, a Chicago veterinarian. "I'll be vaccinating my own two dogs who go to day care. I think it's going to be a great product to help slow down and lessen the clinical signs that we see with our patients."
Preventive measures to help protect your dog include:
By following these simple measures and consulting your veterinarian, this flu season can be easier for your canine companions.
Visit DogFluFacts.com for more information about preventing canine influenza.
Source: Zoetis | Family Features
As scorching temperatures fade and pest season passes, pet owners may breathe a sigh of relief. Although the seasonal risks of summer are gone, your four-legged friend may need some special attention this autumn, as well.
Cold-weather pests. Though the dangers associated with ticks, mosquitos and other creepy, crawly critters lessen as the temperatures drop, those same colder days bring other creatures scurrying inside and that can present a whole new set of problems. Rats and mice tend to migrate indoors in search of warmth and the poisons used to eliminate them can be highly toxic to pets. Be sure pesticides are used in areas inaccessible to your animals.
Stay alert. Ticks may be less prevalent in the fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone completely – especially if hospitable environments remain. Keep yard and garden debris to a minimum and continue administering repellents for any pets that spend time outdoors.
On the move. Seasonal changes mean wildlife is on the move, making changes to settle into winter. Snakes are often more mobile during autumn months and inexperienced pets may risk bites if they tangle with intruders.
Shiny, new things. Kids aren’t the only ones attracted to a collection of new school supplies. Curious pets may dive into a pile of crayons, markers, rulers and other supplies, and although the items likely aren’t toxic, they can result in digestive blockages or damage from sharp, broken edges.
Anticipate energy needs. Colder temperatures can mean your pet has to exert more energy to keep warm and that may warrant bumping up meal serving sizes. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate feeding amounts for your pet’s specific breed, health and lifestyle needs.
Auto-related issues. Many car owners use the change of season as a milestone for car maintenance and winterizing, such as changing oil or antifreeze. Antifreeze in particular is highly toxic; a small quantity can kill pets and, unfortunately, the sweet smell makes it quite attractive to curious creatures. Clean spills thoroughly and take added precaution by keeping pets away from your work area entirely while handling these substances.
Not so fun-gus. Damp conditions can bring about a surge of mushrooms. Although only a small percentage of mushrooms are toxic, they can be hard to distinguish from the non-toxic variety. A good rule of thumb: keep pets clear of areas where mushrooms may be found, or if that’s not possible, conduct regular checks and remove any temptation that pops up.
Comfort foods. Most pet owners know chocolate is dangerous for pets, but many other foods that are common in the fall can also be problematic. Keep pets away from rich, savory foods that can upset their digestion and leave Fido at home during your annual jaunt to the apple orchard; apple stems, seeds and cores can create plenty of digestive havoc. If you want to indulge your pet with a little seasonal flavor, instead try offering fresh or canned pumpkin.
Source: Family Features. Find more pet parenting tips for fall and all year long at eLivingToday.com.
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