All posts by Pet Buddy Ruth

Pet Buddy Ruth has been walking dogs since 2012. The goal is to keep dog tails wagging.

Benefits of a Grain-Free Diet

Pet Parents Are Switching to a Grain-Free Diet

Pet parents are voting with their dollars, and are buying only pet food without corn, rice, wheat or soy. After switching from grain-based diet to a grain-free diet, pets (cats, dogs and horses) are getting healthier!

Here is a list of symptoms pets have from eating a grain-based diet:

Itchy skin allergies
Irritable bowel syndrome
Diarrhea
Gas
Inflammatory bowel disease
Obesity

Your Pet May Be Sensitive to Its Food

Being sensitive or intolerant to food is more common than having a food allergy. Your pet may only be sensitive to the grains that he/she is eating.  Actually, having a food allergy is rare in pets.

How did this sensitivity to food happen? Pet food manufacturers added grains as a filler to decrease their costs. Adding fillers does save pet manufacturers money, but it causes digestive problems in your pet!

100 years ago, pets only got table scraps. No one really cared then what their pets ate. Today, pet parents care more about their pets and about their pets’ health. Since more grain-free pet food is being purchased, pet food manufacturers needed to pay attention to this new demand. As a result, there are more grain-free recipes for pets than ever before. Be careful though. There are still high quality grain-free pet food and low quality grain-free pet food.

Test Your Pet’s Food

Dr. Jean Dodd has invented a NutriScan test. Since this test is a salivary test, it can be done at home or at your vet’s office. This test does not test for food allergies; it only tests for food sensitivities. (Check with your pet insurance company to find out if this diagnostic test is covered.) The test is $298. Click on the link to request the NutriScan test. http://bit.ly/2lVP3TL

Obesity Problem among Pets

If your pet is overweight, replacing the grain with protein will make your pet less hungry. Laura Duclos, PhD, Director of Research & Development, Nature’s Variety recommends rotational feeding. This means changing the protein in the food so that your pet isn’t eating the same food every day.

How to Get the Perfect Dog Food

Rick Ketcham is retired, and is doing what he loves to do. Rick Ketcham is a doggie chef who will cook homemade dog food, and deliver it personally to your front door. Your dogs will love his homemade food. Check out his website ocDoggieDinners

In Conclusion

Grain-free pet food is the trend, but not all grain-free diets are the same. Pet food manufacturers continue to find short cuts to decrease their costs. For instance, and this is shocking, pet food manufacturers add meat that is obtained from a vet, and I’m describing euthanized pets. If your dog is acting lazy, it could be from eating anesthesia. Here is the link to back up this claim. http://bit.ly/2kzGnSI In addition, GMO (genetically modified organisms) also could be added to the pet food in order to decrease the cost to the pet food manufacturer. GMO foods is still a mystery. No one really knows how your pet (or even you) will react to a genetically modified organism. Blue Freedom stands out as a high quality grain-free diet. http://bit.ly/2lw8Yb1

Is That Slime in My Pet’s Bowl?

You won’t be able to see the slime that is lurking in your pets’ water and food bowls. You need to empty your pets’ bowls; then, run your fingers around the rim and the bottom. Yuk.

When you don’t wash your pets’ water and food bowls, a slime accumulates in the in the bowl. The biological term for this slime is called biofilm, and it harms your pets!

I was guilty of refilling my pets’ bowls. When I saw that the bowls were dirty; then, I would clean them. After reading this article on biofilm, I can assure you that I wash my pets’ bowls daily!

Biofilm is a bunch of organic and inorganic bacteria that grows in your pets’ bowls. The bacteria are held together by a thick goo that allows the bacteria to stick to water and food bowls. This invisible biofilm contains inorganic and organic living and dead substances, which your pets are consuming.

Similar to all bacteria, biofilm can contain good bacteria and bad bacteria. I could be criticized because people who don’t wash pet bowls have healthy pets. That could be true because the biofilm contained in their pets’ food bowls are good and wonderfully healthy bacteria. People will also say that bacteria can’t stick to stainless steel pet bowls. That is a falsehood. After time, there will be a goo stuck to stainless steel pet bowls. Whether the bacterial is good or bad, no one will really know, unless you have a microscope.

The bacteria that can really harm your pet are the following: Listeria, E. Coli and legionella. Bad biofilm causes the following medical conditions in your pet: urinary tract infections, middle ear infections and bladder infections. Plus, the microbial infections can also weaken the immune system.

Since biofilm causes the above mentioned microbial infections, wash your pets’ bowls daily. Why take the chance that the bacteria in your pets’ bowls is only good bacteria. How easy is washing your pets’ bowls. Prevention will ensure that your pet your pet stays healthy!

When your pups go to a doggie care, make sure that they pet providers are washing bowls with hot water in their dishwasher. With so many dogs sharing the same water and food bowls, you can imagine how much bacteria is lurking that can’t be seen by the human eye.

In Conclusion

Biofilm exists on living and not living surfaces. It is the plaque on your teeth; it is the slime on rocks in the river; and it is the slime in vases where flowers are. The bacteria survives in moisture and water.  The good news is that you can get rid of this grimy build up of biofilm with a daily wash.

Heat Bulbs Are Different from Lights

Reptile Heating 

Reptiles don’t warm up from the inside like humans, cats and dogs do. Since reptiles are ectothermic or “cold-blooded”, they need warm and external heat to warm up in order to regulate their body temperature. Within their tank, our scaly friends need both warm and cool areas so that they can self-regulate their body temperature.

In nature, reptiles move into the sunlight or into a shady spot, as needed. By copying nature in aquariums, you need to have the heat and shade in increasing or decreasing degrees. Then, your reptile can choose between hot and cold. Place heat bulbs on a metal screen atop of a glass aquarium. You can also place an additional heat source underneath the tank.

Do not place a heat source such as, heated rocks for inside a cage because your pet can burn itself.

Setting your temperature in your tank so that it is warmer on one end than the other end is called setting a gradient temperature. Then, you can let your reptile decide where it is most comfortable. Click on the link to find out how to do this. How To Set Up a Gradient Temperature

Know What Your Reptile Likes

Temperature requirements vary for each type of reptile so you need a complete understanding of your reptile. If your reptile likes to hide, have shelters at opposite ends of the tank. If your reptile likes trees, then, have trees as an accessory.

You can overheat your pet if the temperature is too high. Conversely, when the temperature is too low, your pet won’t be able to digest its food. Plus, each season you need to change your bulbs!

Have A Good Thermometer

Thermometers help you mimic nature. Digital probe thermometers are commonly used. Also, be certain that your thermometer is placed correctly inside the reptiles habitat. The probe itself should be placed under the heat lamp, in the spot where your pet usually basks. If your thermometer placement is correct and it is still reading too cool – get a higher wattage heat bulb or add an additional heat source.

Reptile Lights

All life on Earth need sunlight for vitamin D, which absorbs calcium. Lights also enable your reptile to see. Reptiles can see more colors than humans. Some snakes can sense longer wavelengths of 5,000 nano-meters. Humans can only see the wavelengths between 400 nano-meters (purple) and 700  nano-meters (red).

A reptile’s brain needs the sun’s light to adjust its body’s daily and nightly rhythms.  The reptile perceives the position of the sun to the earth, the seasons, the sun’s movement across the sky and the changes in color as the day turns to night. Optimally, artificial light copies the sun’s light.

In Conclusion

Simulating, as closely as possible, nature is the goal for maintaining your reptile’s home. Carefully monitor its specific diet, climate and lights. Having a home for your scaly friend to bask in the heat and light will protect it from predators and human encroachment.

 

 

How to Find a Pet Sitter

The best pet sitter does more than give food and water to your pet. Many people can just call themselves a pet sitter, but that doesn’t mean that they are qualified to care for your pet.

The best pet sitter is an animal lover, who wants to play with your pet. When your pet gets a scrape, the best pet sitter will know what to do.

 Why Hire a Pet Sitter?

  • Your pet can stay in its comfortable home.
  • There is no travel time wasted on driving your pet to the kennel.
  • Your pet gets scared staying at a kennel, where the smells are strange.
  • The diet stays the same.
  • You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pet is getting attention.

Where Do I Find a Pet Sitter?

What Do I Ask a Prospective Pet Sitter?

  • Does the pet sitter have a commercial automobile policy?
  • What training in animal care does the pet sitter have?
  • Does the pet sitter text you updates?
  • How many dog walks each day does the pet sitter provide?
  • Does the pet sitter remove waste in the yard?
  • How long does the pet sitter plan to be at home with your pet?
  • Can the pet sitter provide references?

What a Pet Parent Needs To Do.

  • Make sure that your pet is house broken.
  • Make sure that your pet is socialized, and you pet will allow strangers to pet it.
  • Put ID tags on your pet with only your phone number.
  • Make sure that vaccines are up to date.
  • Leave specific instructions where the food is and how much to feed your pet.
  • Leave your key with a neighbor so that the pet sitter and the neighbor have each other’s phone number.
  • Leave a credit card number with the veterinarian, in case there is an emergency.

In Conclusion 

A pet sitter is more reliable than a neighbor taking care of your pet. When you hire a pet sitter, you will be assured that your pet is having fun, and is getting individual attention.

Poisons in Your House

The number one household danger, when you have pets, is the trash can. Inside your trash can is food, paper, plastics… I’m sure that you can see the picture. Your pet smells the foods in the trash can, and eats the onion, garlic, paper, plastics, cans and whatever else you have in there. Plus, onion and garlic, which is  toxic food can make a dog sick. If you see trash scattered across your floor, then, your dog or cat is the guilty one. Make sure that your trash can is secured and tucked away.

The bathroom is another area where smells can make your pet curious. The smells of blood from your bathroom trash can is attractive to a dog. Also, personal hygiene items can really cause serious damage. Acetaminophen, which is found in Tylenol and other medicine, can cause liver damage in dogs and anemia in cats. Your cat will die if it digests too much Acetaminophen.

Laundry detergents used to be in liquid form on the top shelf. Today, there are laundry pods. People are storing these pods under the sink, easily accessible to a dog. Eating a pod will cause mouth ulcers and stomach ulcers in your dog.

Chewing gum, mints and toothpaste, that are not put away, are an easy target for a dog. These products contain Xylitol. The sweetener tastes good to dogs, but Xylitol will cause liver damage.

One of the most common household dangers is pesticide and insecticide. When you have pets, please use an organic pesticide and insecticide. You might not use pesticides and insecticides, but your neighbor might use these products. If your cat acts sick, it might have eaten something toxic in the neighbor’s yard.

Some garden stores sell cocoa mulch. Cats and dogs love the smell of the sweet chocolate, and will eat the mulch, which is toxic to your pets. Fertilizer and plant food are also toxic to pets.

Outdoors in your garage, your dog is going to be attracted to anti-freeze, which contains ethylene glycol . (Snow Globes also contain ethylene glycol so keep Snow Globes away from your dog.) Dogs love the sweet taste of anti-freeze, and will lick it up in a second. Unfortunately, digesting anti-freeze only a little bit is a common cause of death of dogs. There is a safe anti-freeze for your automobiles that contains propylene glycol. You can read more about anti-freeze hazards here.

Many over the counter flea and tick remedies are toxic to pets. May I suggest here an excellent flea and tick remedy. The Seresto Collar is a flea and tick remedy that your pet cannot ingest.

In conclusion, it seems like keeping the toxic products away from your dog to be such burden. It really isn’t. All you need to do is close cap of your toothpaste, close cabinets, and put away items. It’s easy to be neat.

How to Find a Missing Cat

1) Not all missing cats are lost or want to be found. Cats are notorious for hiding in impossible places. Before you assume kitty is missing, search indoors, around the porch, and your neighbor’s yard. Bring with you a flashlight and a tasty, smelly treat. This is when a cat trained to respond to the “come” command pays off. If a cat is injured, trapped or hyper-stressed, they may not respond to a command but it improves the odds.

2) Don’t waste time. If you know your cat is missing, grab your cellphone with a photo of your cat uploaded, flashlight and treats and head out. Ask pedestrians, knock on your neighbor’s doors and show the photo. This is no time to be shy. Leave a missing cat report with your vet, Animal Control, all the other local vets, shelters and rescue groups.

3) Wear comfortable clothes and comfortable soft-soled shoes. Don’t panic. Breathe, try to be calm and think like a cat. If you were a cat where would you go? Begin around your house and spread out to the immediate neighbors on all sides. Where does your cat normally head? What is the most likely escape route? What are their favorite bushes or hiding spots? Crouch low under porches, scan high on roof lines and tree branches. Could something have recently happened to spook them? Construction or a new neighbor’s cat or dog will make a cat escape? Or has anything happened recently in your home to upset them; like the chemicals from getting your carpets cleaned, bringing out the cat carrier or bringing out suitcases for a trip?
4) When you return home, leave food and water outside your door. Fearful cats will often slink out after dark. Leaving a baby monitor near the food may detect faint meows. Go outside one last time to check and call your cat’s name before bedtime. Try to get some rest. In the quiet darkness, try to communicate with your cat. Imagine their face, call their name and connect heart to heart. Try to tune into where they might be. It may be a feeling, an image or sound. Reassure them that you will help get them home.

5) If you haven’t already made a missing cat poster, make one. It doesn’t have to be fancy but make sure the words “Lost Cat” are large enough to be visible from a passing vehicle or pedestrian. Luckily most of us have a gazillion photos of our cats of. Choose or crop a large close-up showing details of the face and another photo showing the entire body, ideally standing up. If you’re not computer savvy, you can glue a photo on a piece of paper and use a marker to write the text by hand. Color photos are preferable especially if your cat has a unique color or markings. Copies printed on neon bright paper show well and use plastic page covers in case of rain. Your poster includes your cat’s name, description, any special identifying marks or collar, and where last seen, specifying cross streets. Include your phone and e-mail, but for security reasons do not add your name, address or amount of reward. Add contact the contact information at the bottom of the page cut into four or five vertical strips that can be easily torn off.

6) Enlist family and friends to help post flyers and spread the word. Have push pins, tape and a staple gun depending on the surface. The best posting spots include street intersection poles, local bulletin boards at grocery stores, library, laundromat and community center.

7) Post missing cats reports at online at Tabbytracker Craigslist, or Nextdoor.com. Use social networking like Facebook and Twitter. Ask everyone to share.

8) Visit all your local shelters even if say they don’t have a cat of your description.

9) If you’ve recently moved, extend your search to your old neighborhood.

10) Persevere! Cats have returned weeks and months later. Keep networking, and asking neighbors if they’ve noticed anything. Keep your flyers or posters fresh with a “Still Missing” header.

11) Take a large cardboard box and flip it over. Cut a cat sized hole in the side and place it outdoors with some soft bedding inside. Weight the bottom down and make this a safe place your cat can return to. Place food and water and litter pan nearby and shirt/shoes with your scent.

12) The best time to search for a lost cat is when the world is asleep, which is 2 AM. Go out with a flashlight and food. You can take a few cans of cat food with you, stand out in the open and pop the cans, or shake a treat jar. You will be surprised how the sound can travel in the quiet of the morning, and oftentimes your cat will appear within minutes of the first can being opened. Enterprising cat owners have also recorded the sound of their can openers opening a tin of food, and played the tape over and over while looking for their lost cat.

13) Check the trees on your property; if you live near the woods, then the soiled litter is the best attractant for your cat. She will scent her scent over the wild critters and come to the comfort zone she is used to.

Not every cat will return home, but if you cover all your bases as completely as you can, you can lessen the probability that your cat will stay lost. As hard as it sounds, you have to stay focused and not become stressed. Your cat will sense any stress coming from you, and may stay hidden until you calm down. Most cats go to ground immediately-which means they hide close to the home they know- unless they get chased off or scared away. If you can hold your emotions in check, you increase the odds in your favor.

 

Whimsical Greeting Cards

I am very pleased to tell you about a new product line perfect for animal lovers like us.

Shaboo Prints, a boutique manufacturer of positive thought products, appreciates the elevating power of animals and how important it is these days to surround ourselves with tools and products that help keep us, and those we love, optimistic.

There is a new, whimsical line of gorgeous greeting cards featuring dogs! Referred by Shaboo Prints as Dahhgs for their energizing capability!

 

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Made with quality materials and refreshing optimism these also have fun animated tales you will see when you visit the Shaboo Prints website. These cute short animations are designed to help kick start our own imagination when we look upon these adorable faces.

We think you will be just as excited as we are to discover this uniquely fun series. Click on Shaboo Prints to find out more.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to any feedback.

Your Pet May Need a Buddy

Having a buddy for your dog resolves several problems. For instance, a shy pet will gain confidence with a buddy. A lonely dog will no longer be lonely. A cat buddy will also solve the loneliness problem for your cat. (Even though some cats don’t appear to like each other, they really do like having another cat around house.)

CadieandMaxIt’s depressing for your dog when it is home alone. Dogs are sentient creatures. In other words, scientists have proven that dogs have the same emotions as humans. Being home alone is depressing for humans so you can understand that it is also depressing for your dog.

In addition, a dog’s emotional and mental life is actually more complicated than a human’s emotional and mental life. Exciting scientific research has proven the benefits of having a dog in the house.   The following are benefits to having a happy dog. Can you foresee and anticipate a future event?  Animals can foresee natural disasters. (Click on the link to read more.) Animals can also smell first stage cancer. If your dog is behaving strangely, pay attention. A catastrophic event is probably in your future, or you may need to go to the doctor. Only a happy dog will communicate, through body language, what it senses.

Ever since cave people days, a dog’s temperament has enabled it to live with humans in order to provide companionship and to provide protection. This personality trait in dogs still exists today. Dogs still need to be around other dogs and people.

ChipTo ensure compatibility, make sure that your personality is compatible with your dog’s personality. Schnauzers, German Shepherds and other strong breeds are good dogs for assertive people. Standard Poodles, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and other gentle breeds are good dogs for gentle people, or people who have difficulty being a leader. Regardless though of the breed, all dogs want a buddy, whether a canine or a human.  A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for instance, will go crazy if it is left alone by itself. When you do need to leave your dog at home, at least, hire a dog walker for a thirty minute walk. That will keep your dog’s tail wagging, and you’ll arrive home to a happy pet.

In conclusion, what is the point of having a dog if it sleeps in the corner miserable. A dog walk, some attention and a squeaky toy are all a dog needs to be happy. It really doesn’t take much at all to make a dog happy. And sometimes it takes a buddy to ensure your dog is well-balanced. Having a happy family dog enhances a family because the family dog teaches the family members virtues such as,  being calm and gentle. These virtues you cannot learn from a text book.

History of Dog Training

Carly2In the 1940s, negative reinforcement or coercion training was the only method of dog training. The dog trainer used Pincher Collars and Slip Collars to force the dog into correct behavior. Consequently, coercion training suppressed emotions (negative and positive). For this reason, coercion training results in a well-behaved dog without a personality. In addition, a suppressed negative emotion could unfortunately arise unexpectedly in a bite.

In 1979, Dr. Roger Mugford, an animal behaviorist, invented new products and a new method of dog training called the Positive Training Method. Since Dr. Mugford had earned advanced degrees in zoology and psychology, he had no problem convincing colleagues of a comfortable and gentle way to train dogs. You could say, then, that Dr. Mugford is the Father of the Positive Training Method.

Dr. Mugford changed dog training with head collars such as, the Gentle Leader. Head collars establish, in a comfortable way, the human as the leader. For instance, the Gentle Leader organically lowers the dog’s nose so that the human easily assumes the leadership position. The Halter is used for dogs that have snouts too short to wear a gentle leader.

Essentially, Dr. Mugford realized that dogs will respond to a leader who is positive. For this reason, using positive training techniques needs to be fun because when your dog is having fun, then, your dog will pay attention. The leader of the pack is a teacher and a friend.

Pincher Collars

Unbeknownst to many  people, Pincher Collar are for training, not for a dog walk! Plus, the dog, that is wearing the Pincher Collar, is uncomfortable with the prongs that poke into its neck. The dog wearing a pincher collar is either resisting physically the Pincher collar by moving its neck back and forth or the dog is suppressing a negative emotion. Essentially, the dog is not having a good time on the walk. Positive training techniques uses head collars to control your dog. As soon as, the dog is wearing a head collar such as, a Gentle Leader, the human easily becomes the leader.

How to Establish Leadership

A leader of the pack is very important to a dog. For this reason, the goal of dog training is to establish the human as the leader. You are not the leader when your dog is pulling you on dog walks. Dogs that do not recognize the human as the leader are anxious or nervous on dog walks. By showing the dog that you are the leader, your walks will be easier on your and on your dog.

Tools

Fortunately, tools are available to make dog training easier. Head collars such as Gentle Leaders, help to establish you as leader. (Dog breeds, whose snot is short and whose eyes bulge such as, Pugs, Shih Tzus, French Bull dogs and so on are unable to wear head collars.)

In Conclusion

Pet Stores such as, PetCo and Kahoots have in stock Head Collars and halters for the short snouted dogs. One of the PetCo or Kahoots representatives will gladly fit one of these products on your dog. This free service ensures that your dog will be comfortable.

Uncontrollable Barking

Non-Stop Barking Solution

Your dog’s future will be insecure when you don’t control its barking. The following are ideas to stop barking.

  1. Hold your puppy’s muzzle shut, and say, “No.”; then, say “Good Dog” and give your dog a treat.
  2. Every time your dog barks, shake a can filled with coins or stones. The unexpected sound will surprise your dog, and it will stop barking.
  3. A citronella collar is another option, when the first two solutions don’t work. The dog needs to be wearing the collar so that you can remotely release the citronella. The surprise squirt will make your dog stop barking. Plus, your dog will smell good. Do not use the Shock Collar because the Shock Collar traumatizes a dog.

Do not use the surprise technique on a shy or nervous dog because the dog will end up being aggressive. Fearful and insecure dogs require another solution.

Bark Genie

Do you wish you could just push a button, and your dog will stop barking. The Bark Genie is a device that will stop you dog from barking with a push of a button. It works using an ultrasonic sound that only a dog can hear. The user knows that the device is working because you can hear a short beep and see a green  LED light. The sound will surprise your dog to stop barking, jumping, chewing and other bad behaviors. You can purchase the Bark Genie at PetProductAdvisor.com or call 877-956-7387.

Fearful and Insecure Dogs Need Special Considerations

Genetic factors, limited socialization, a bad experience or mixed messages during puppy training will result in a fearful, insecure or shy dog. Over the counter, organic products such as, Composure relax dogs.

Dog training can turn a nervous dog into a confident dog. Insecure dogs need to have a strong leader. When you establish yourself as the leader, your dog will feel safer. Remember to use your friendly voice during training. After your dog has been training, you can put your dog in a sit-wait position, and it will stop barking.

One Big Mistake

A common mistake is comforting a barking dog. To a dog, you are saying, “You are right to be afraid. Let me protect you.” Essentially, you are unintentionally rewarding a dog for barking!

The goal is to desensitize your dog to things that make it scared. It sounds funny, but pet parents get down on all fours, and show the dog that being calm is okay; then, the dog won’t bark at the object.

In Conclusion

Dogs bark because they notice something unusual, and they want to warn you about it.  This is beneficial when there is a burglar at the house. Uncontrollable barking is due to a dog being anxious, bored or has excess energy. Sometimes, all a dog needs is a 30-minute dog walk.

Peace Out