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It’s Official: Dog Owners Live Longer, Healthier Lives -- Friday February 7th, 2020
Caring for Your Pup's Paws in the Winter -- Sunday January 19th, 2020
~~Caring for Your Pup’s Paws in the Winter
Winter can be a tough time for a dog’s paws. Prevent weather-related paw pad injuries by following some basic tips and the use of products designed for paw protection.
Preventing Paw Pad Injuries
Caring for Your Pup's Paws in the Winter
One of the biggest threats to healthy paw pads is the salt used to melt ice on driveways, roads and sidewalks. Prolonged contact can lead to chemical burns on dog paws. If your dog is limping by end of a walk, deicing products may be hurting his feet. Try to keep your dog off the salty sidewalk (think grass or snow) whenever possible.
Another threat from deicers is ingestion. Dogs may lick their paws or your boots and ingest deicing salts. To prevent your dog from ingesting deicing salts, keep a shallow bowl of warm water and a cloth near the entryway to your home so that you can wipe your boots and your dog’s paws when coming back inside.
Another common cause of sore paws during the cold winter months are the ice balls which form between the pads and toes of hairy-footed dog. To reduce the risk of ice balls, keep inter-pad hair trimmed neatly and short during the winter months. Not only can hairy feet contribute to the development of ice balls on the feet, paw hair can retain a lot of those nasty deicing salts. If your dog has hairy feet, trim them throughout the winter.
Dogs left in the cold for long periods of times are also at risk for frostbite on paws and hypothermia. It is not advised that dogs spend hours in the cold. In winter, frequent short walks are better for your dog than a single long walk
Bag Balm, a product available at nearly every pharmacy, applied in a thin layer daily or every other day should help keep your dog’s paws from cracking and bleeding. Keeping a humidifier in the house should also prevent dry, itchy skin for both you and your pet.
Products For Protecting Dog Paws
The best protection for your dog’s paws and pads are dog booties. Just as wearing boots in the winter protects your pads, dog booties will prevent injury to your dog’s feet. Dog boots can protect your dog’s paws from salt, ice balls, and cutting his pads on sharp items that may be hidden under the snow or sharp ice. Proper sizing of dog booties is especially important in ensuring that the booties are comfortable for your dog to wear and maximize paw protection.
Dog booties may look silly, but really are the ultimate protection for your dog. Human snowsuits look silly also, but are they not the best for keeping sledding kids warm? Just as your kid may not want to wear a snowsuit, your dog may not initially like wearing booties. With a little time and patience, you can train your dog to love wearing his dog boots!
Nail-Trimming for beginners -- Sunday January 19th, 2020
~~Nail-trimming for beginners
Dog nails that are light
When you trim your dog’s nails, the first thing to do is check to see where the quick inside the nail ends. If your dog has light-colored nails, you can see the soft, pink tissue in the center called the quick.
The quick includes a blood vessel and nerve and is easier to see on light dog nails. Hold your dog’s paw up to the light. The quick is visible through the nail and looks like a nail-within-a-nail. You must avoid cutting into the quick as it will bleed and causes your dog pain.
Dog nails that are dark
Learning how to clip dog nails that are dark is a little different from learning to trim light dog nails. The first thing you’ll notice is that you will not see the blood and nerve that makes up the quick through the nail.
To view the quick of the nail, gently lift your dog’s paw and look at the center of the unclipped nail head-on. If the nail has a small dark circle at the center, it indicates the beginning of the quick of the nail. Do not clip any nail that has a circle in the center as you’ll be clipping into the quick.
If you do not see the center-circle, snip off the smallest edge of the nail at 45 degrees. Check again to see if there is an exposed center-circle. Once you see the dark circle in the middle of the nail, you have clipped far enough. You must not cut into the quick as it will cause your dog pain and bleed.
What to do if you cut the quick
If you cut a nail too short and it begins to bleed, apply pressure to the tip of the nail to stop the bleeding, or dip the nail in the cornstarch or styptic powder. If the nail has bled, keep your dog calm and quiet so that the nail isn’t further damaged or injured with walking or running. The only other thing you’ll need is lots of treats!
Toxic Foods for Dogs -- Monday November 4th, 2019
Chocolate and Caffeine
Grapes and Raisins
FDA Investigating Potential Link Between Diet and Heart Disease in Dogs -- Tuesday September 17th, 2019
~~Report Updated July 2, 2019
On June 27, 2019, the FDA published its third status report regarding a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of heart disease in dogs known as dilated cardiomyopathy… or DCM.
The Dog Food Advisor initially alerted readers about this issue on July 12, 2018, the day it was first announced by the FDA… and continues to update this report on an ongoing basis.
Link to Grain-Free Dog Food
The FDA has still not discovered why certain dog foods may be associated with the development of DCM. In fact, the Agency now believes the connection between diet and DCM is a complex scientific issue involving multiple factors.
Results of the study remain inconclusive… and there have been no recalls.
The FDA writes…
“Therefore, we do not think these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer.
“… the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM.”
DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle that results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability…
Which can lead to an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure.
Although the root cause of DCM remains unknown…
And even though initially the condition appeared to be more common in certain breeds…
The FDA has received reports of DCM in a wide range of breeds, including many not genetically prone to the disease.
Link to Diet?
Since announcing its investigation in July 2018…
FDA researchers have observed that most of these DCM cases were associated with animals eating dry dog foods.
Dogs eating raw, semi-moist, and wet diets were also affected.
Researchers found that over 90 percent of the reported recipes were grain-free. And yet some dogs consumed diets that contained grain, too.
Brands named most frequently in these reports are depicted in the graphic. Could the presence of these brands simply be related to their exceptional popularity?
Click here for a more detailed account of all DCM cases reported to the FDA as of April 30, 2019.
FDA Chart of Most Frequently Reported Brands in DCM Cases
The FDA offers the following observation…
Even though it’s not clear exactly what it is about these diets that may be connected to DCM in dogs, there are a number of possible causes.
Taurine deficiency is a well-documented, potential cause of some cases of DCM. Yet it’s not likely to be the only cause.
According to Dr. Lisa Freeman, a veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University, “most dogs being diagnosed with DCM do not have low taurine levels”.
It’s not reasonable to assume a taurine deficiency is the definitive cause of DCM.
A Common Thread
According to the FDA, researchers have uncovered one dietary feature common to a large number of DCM cases…
“Some reports… indicate that the pets were not eating any other foods for several months to years prior to exhibiting signs of DCM.
8 Things You Can Do Right Now
Until the FDA completes its study and releases its final report…
The Dog Food Advisor believes it makes sense to apply science and logic to all your feeding decisions.
So, consider these practical tips…
The Bottom Line
Final results are still not conclusive.
And there’s no way to know how long the FDA’s investigation will take. Yet the Agency is hopeful that as more data becomes known, its scientists will gain a better understanding of the possible connection between diet and DCM.
Until we know the answer…
And don’t be frightened by all the well-meaning yet misguided advice you’ll surely encounter on the Internet.
Or the faulty counsel offered by too many uninformed professionals.
Base Your Feeding Decisions
For the safety and well-being of your pet, the process of choosing dog food must always include…
In any case…
The Dog Food Advisor has never favored any recipe just because it’s grain free.
Nor should you.
Our ratings are heavily weighted in favor of our estimate of each recipe’s apparent meat content.
Ratings are automatically reduced anytime we find excessive amounts plant-based protein “boosters” (like peas, legumes or non-meat protein concentrates) too close to the top of any ingredients list.
Many of the very best dog foods on the market are grain free…
And they’re made by some of the most respected companies in the USA and Canada.
We’re confident the industry will quickly adapt its recipes to any decisive conclusions reached by the FDA’s future findings.
And of course, we’ll make any relevant adjustments to our content as needed to reflect these scientific findings (once they become available).
In the meantime…
Our Very Best Advice
Since there’s no such thing as a perfect dog food…
And because built-in flaws tend to be magnified when the same food is fed endlessly… day after day for a lifetime.
You may wish to consider diet rotation when feeding your pet.
Keep in mind…
We can update you the moment the FDA releases its findings.
Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.
All About Dog Food -- Tuesday September 17th, 2019
Do you know what you are feeding your beloved dog? Do you want to know?
A website called The Dog Food Advisor is doing that for you everyday. Have questions about your dog food and star rating it was rewarded? Follow this page and keep up to date on dog food recalls to protect your pet from dog food related illness
The Dog Food Advisor is a public service website designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food. You can find their webpage here : www.dogfoodadvisor.com/