Monthly Archives: January 2017

Running with your dog in winter.

Jogging with the dog in the parkBy Marilyn Miller

Happy New Year! So you’ve resolved to get back into shape, get back into those jeans, rediscover that six-pack that’s hidden under the natural consequences of eating pecan pie and mashed potatoes with gravy. Good for you!

It’s only natural that you want your best friend to come along with you. For companionship. For the exercise. For safety. For the fun of watching your dog flash you that grin.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, however, before you head out onto the cold, icy trail.

  • First, not all dogs are meant to run. Dogs with short legs, or dogs with those cute little smushed in noses are not going to be able to tolerate running. Senior dogs. They’ll try. They’ll run their sweet little bodies into exhaustion for loyalty and love of you. Check with your vet first to see if your dog is safe for running.
  • Second, start slowly. If the most exercise you’ve accomplished in the past couple of months is lifting the TV remote, for the sake of your own health as well as your dog’s, start slowly. Look into a “Couch to 5K” program; there are several online.
  • It’s best if your dog takes care of its bladder and bowel needs before running. Hey, you make a pit stop before going out, and your dog is no different.
  • Salt is everywhere this time of year and can damage your dog’s feet, causing nasty ulcers. It can also cause stomach irritation if the dog licks it off. If your dog will wear booties, great. If not, there are waxes (Musher’s Secret is a favorite) and other products you can use to protect those precious little jelly bean toes. If all else fails, you can have the dog walk through clean snow to remove some of the residue, and then clean their paws with a damp cloth when you get home. It helps, too, to clip extra fur away from between their toes so that ice doesn’t collect there.
  • With all that extra exercise, your dog may need more food. Ask your vet about extra ration or treats, especially if your dog is a little overweight. If you’re willing to chow down a nutrition bar that tastes like autumn leaves held together with a little soap, then you know your dog is hungry, too.
  • Carry water for the dog. While you’re at it, carry water for yourself. Cold air is often dry air, and you’ll get dehydrated more easily than you might think.
  • Plan rest days. You need them and your dog needs them, too. Running every day, unless the dog is used to it and in top form, can cause injuries, including inflamed ligaments and tendons and even fractures.

Follow a few safety tips, have fun, and enjoy that feeling of accomplishment while spending time with the one who loves you unconditionally.

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Grain Free Dog Food Diet

Grain-free is becoming an increasingly popular dog food diet. Some critics believe humans are simply mirroring their own food habits in their pets, but there are cases where a grain-free diet can be beneficial for your furry friend, mainly: allergies.

So what are the symptoms of a pet with allergies?

  • Itchiness
  • Excessive hair loss
  • Bald patches
  • Inflamed skin
  • Sores
  • Scabs

If your dog is experiencing the above symptoms, it’s possible they’re allergic to something, but don’t assume the culprit is grain. In a recent study conducted by Veterinary Dermatology, only 7 of 278 dog allergy cases were found to be caused by corn; 95 dogs were found to be allergic to beef.

Some pet owners believe that since the ancestral dogs ate a grain-free diet, so should the dogs of today. This is not necessarily true. Modern dogs have evolved, and so have their dietary needs, just as we humans have seen our nutrition needs change.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a grain-free diet for your dog is that the meal provides balanced and complete nutrition. Some dog foods are grain free, but the ingredients used to replace the grains is simply filler, and not ideal nutrition for your pet. If your dog has inappropriate nutrition, he’ll be unhealthy, and as a loving pet parent, this is the last thing you want!

When choosing the right grain-free dog food for your dog, do your research read the labels, and talk to your veterinarian to make sure you’re taking the right steps to help keep your four-legged friend as healthy as possible. dogfoodadvisor.com is a great resource with third-party analysis of every dog food on the market. Your pet food should have a healthy mix of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, even if it is grain-free!

bogo_bagshot_grainfreeBOGO Bowl Grain-Free Chicken Formula and Whitefish Duck dog foods provide the right blend of all natural protein, healthy vegetables, and fruits. We don’t use corn, soy, or weight, or artificial ingredients. Learn more here.

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