Miguel the Havanese

Six month old Miguel is high energy and loves to jump and climb. We call him “Curious George” because he loves to explore everything he finds in his young life! He is a real acrobat. He reminds us of the circus dogs we see running and jumping up to the trainer’s arms. He now does a running jump into our laps when we are sitting in a chair. Miguel is fearless! Submitted by David M.

 

Useful Tips to Choose the Right Food for Your Dog

You should be concerned about proper nutrition that you feed your dog. As food is his basic need, it’s about much more than just the dog food brand. Good dog food should not upset your dog’s digestive system and it should give him plenty of energy. Here is a rundown of some useful tips that can help you choose the right food for your dog…

1. Consider Your Dog’s Breed, Age, Activity, and Reproductive Status

You must consider your dog’s physical characteristics, breed, and overall health while selecting her food. Lactating mothers and puppies require more calories per day, while senior pets require less. Similarly, couch potato breeds require fewer calories than highly active breeds. If you feed your dog the right type and amount of food, it will help to avoid health issues resulting from weakness or obesity. Some dog food brands formulate their food based on the type of breed, but most will only distinguish between large breed formulas and small breed formulas. This difference is mainly based on kibble size.

2. Know the Buzz Words on Food Packaging

The wording on the dog food package is a sort of code for how much protein is contained in it. Simple names like “Chicken Dog Food” or “Beef for Dogs” indicate that the protein comprises 95% of the total product, excluding the water content. Furthermore, foods with labels like “Salmon Dinner for Dogs” or “Chicken Stew Dinner” contains only 25% of the protein. The same rule applies to the terms like “platter,” “nuggets,” “entree,” and “formula.” If there are ingredients on the label, they should combine to reach 25% of the total product. If you see a phrase like “with salmon,” “with cheese,” or “with” anything, the food should contain only 3% of that ingredient. Lastly, if a food label reads “chicken flavor” or “beef flavor,” it should only contain trace amounts of beef or chicken that’s enough for a dog to detect the taste.

3. Learn to Read the Ingredients

Bear in mind that the ingredients listed on the package are based on weight, and meats take the first spot because they contain a high content of water. Select the food that has meat as the first ingredient. Because dogs are omnivores, ensure that the first ingredient on the dog food is not a grain, vegetable, or filler, such as ground corn. Although ground corn is digestible, it does not have high nutritional value. Corn has low protein, and it’s inexpensive. It may not necessarily “bad” for your dog, but don’t fall for the product that advertises it as having nutritional benefits. (Learn more about all things dog, including food at zooawesome.com.)

4. Check the Nutritional Adequacy Statement

Check for the adequacy statement on the dog food packaging that might say something like “provides balanced nutrition for your adult dog” or “for all life stages.” Always look of the AAFCO statement on the back because all the commercial dog foods with AFFCO label are considered complete and balanced. Moreover, AFFCO has high enough standards to ensure that the diet sustains the dog’s life and meets his basic nutritional needs.

Joey the German Shepherd Mix

Our ol’ sweet Joe. Well, what can I say? He’s like a sidekick always sticking by your side, even though sometimes I’m in the wrong. He’s a squishy marshmallow. Joe loves playing tug of war and dressing up, especially when the session ends with running around the woods for a few minutes. He is two years old and eager to learn. He loves jumping into my arms… yep, you read right he literally jumps into my arms. This little guy is one of a kind. Submitted by Nicola Z.

 

Top 5 Best Personal Protection Dogs

In today’s world personal protection is a very relevant topic of conversation. Everyone from celebrities to your next-door neighbor recognizes the value in maximizing their protection at all times. Whether you’re out and about or enjoying an evening at home, a personal protection dog can safeguard you from harm’s way and offer you peace of mind. Make no mistake, these dogs don’t just guard the front door: they’re extremely intelligent and can be trained to protect their owner from impending danger.

So what breeds are at the top of the list? Here are the five best personal protection dog breeds to look out for…

German Shepherd

Bred as a herding dog, the German Shepard is highly trainable, naturally protective, and is an extremely lovable pooch. After all, that’s why these canines are used as police and government-employed dogs. They’re not only great with kids, but they’re ready to defend their owner without a moment’s hesitation. If you want a companion that expertly follows commands, is incredibly loyal and works hard, then this breed is a great choice.

Rottweiler

Muscular and strong, Rottweilers are built for providing optimal protection. This breed is highly sought-after for their effective guarding characteristics, as well as their affectionate and loyal demeanor. Similar to the German Shepherd, Rottweilers are also bred for duty, often used among FBI and Police forces as they are eager to work and learn. While they’re sure to scare off an unwanted intruder, when the time comes to cuddle up on the couch with family, they’ll be right by your side.

Dutch Shepherd

Sporting a lean, muscular body, the Dutch Shepherd breed can easily intimidate any looming threat. They’re highly intelligent, willing to answer commands, and love pleasing their human companion. Recognized for their great temperament, Dutch Shepherds are the perfect addition to any family or individual seeking protection. They are also extremely active, meaning they love to play and dish out a mouthful of wet kisses to show their affection.

Belgian Tervuren

Known for their long mane, Belgian Tervurens are ideal for providing protection in regions that experience colder weather. Once the summer rolls around, their lengthy fur can be shaved down to keep them cool. Bred as a herding dog, this breed of canine offers individuals and families optimal protection due to their natural herding instincts. Belgian Tervurens score high on the IQ scale, enjoy obeying commands, and are also eager to please their master.

Belgian Malinois

This military, police, and FBI K9 is a popular choice among many when it comes to finding a well-groomed guard dog. While they’re incredibly smart and active, they are also affectionate and loving companions. If your family is highly active and enjoys being out and about, then you’ll want to get yourself a Belgian Malinois.

With the right training and attention, a personal protection dog is an effective way to safeguard yourself or your family from encountering any harm. The perfect companion is out there waiting for you to welcome him or her into your home with open arms.

6 Ways for Dog Lovers to Cut Down on Allergens in the Home

I love my dog. I know my readers love their dogs. But what we don’t love is allergies. Whether they’re from friends, family, or even yourself, they can seriously compromise your health, and, just as important, your ability to spend time with your furry friends! If you’ve got houseguests who won’t visit because the dander is too much, never fear. There’s actually plenty you can do to cut down on pet dander, fur, and odor in your home. Follow these tips for a pleasant visit for everyone!

Get An Air Purifier

If you’re looking to cut down on dander and odors in the home, one of the best things you can do is to invest in a good air purifier for pets, with a HEPA air filter. Room air filters are actually a lot cheaper, and more effective than installing a system throughout your home. Keeping them in guest bedrooms, and rooms the dog spends the most time in can cut down on more than 98% of dander, dust, and hair. Just be sure to clean the filters regularly. Typically, every two months with one dog, and once a month for more than one.

Regular Grooming

Ironically, most people are more allergic to dander than pet hair. Regular grooming helps to rid your dog of dander, and grooming and brushing can help cut down on shedding. That means fewer hairs in your bed and your linen and less exposure to allergens! Depending on the dog breed, you should be brushing often, with a bath once a week, and a trip to the groomers to be professionally shampooed, brushed and treated every 4-8 weeks. Check with your vet to see what suits your breed best. Overgrooming can cause serious health problems to your dog’s skin, and even impact their immune system.

Wash Pet Bedding and Upholstery

The easiest way to remove the doggy smell, and plenty of dander, from your home? Throw your pet’s bed in the wash! You know the joy of clean sheets. Your dog sheds a lot more skin and hair than you do, and all of that can get into the air. So make sure to wash pet bedding as often as you would your own linens — and don’t forget the upholstery. Any couches and chairs that are a favorite of your four-legged friend are bound to be full of hair. Switching to leather furniture can help make cleaning easier, or you can buy or rent a steam cleaner.

Cut The Carpet Out

Not literally. But it is true that wood and vinyl flooring hold onto pet hair and other debris and grime a lot less than carpet does. Even steam cleaning, which can be expensive and time-consuming, won’t get everything. So get rid of carpets, and replace curtains with blinds and shades, to cut down on cloth surfaces in your home which can hold on to dust, dander, and hair.

Create Dog-Free Zones

If you have guests or regular visitors who are allergic to your furry best friend, the best thing to do is to keep them out of the way. This isn’t as tough as it sounds. Keeping your dogs’ food, bed and toys in one room is a good way to cut down on dander and odor throughout the house. It also makes it easier to train the dog on which spaces are his, and which are out of bounds. If you start training early, it’s easy to make it clear to the dog where there are spaces they shouldn’t go. Make it easier by marking off spaces with baby gates, or simply closing doors in guest bedrooms or formal rooms you don’t want the dog to visit in. Having dog-free zones not only helps guests and visitors with allergies, but it’ll give you peace of mind, especially during that mischievous puppy stage!

Get Some Fresh Air

Finally, if you’ve got guests or friends with allergies, make sure to spend some time with them outside the house. A cozy chat on the patio can mean all the difference to someone holding back their sniffles or runny eyes. Of course, this works best if you don’t also have an allergy to ragweed or other seasonal allergies! Alternatively, taking the dog outside for the duration of a short visit, (provided you have a fenced-in space, it’s safe, and adheres to your community bylines) can really lessen the exposure to allergies for allergic friends and family.

Getting allergic friends to visit your home without sending your dog to a doggy daycare can be tough. But it’s not impossible. With a little care and attention to detail (not to mention a strong air purifier!), you can be sure all your guests, two-legged and four, are comfortable in your home.