Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dog Raw Food Diet - Benefits and Tips

Dog Raw Food Diet - Benefits and Tips

Giving natural raw food diet is still one of the best treats for your pets. Fresh natural raw foods are viewed by many as safer than processed food due to less exposure to processed food contamination. Dog raw food diets are very simple and petsafe; they are the basic diets in the wild. Right diet can keep your dog fit and fine and their coats shiny and smooth and healthy dogs are pride of their owners.

Raw food diet provides a range of benefits including no doggy odour or smell, they naturally cleans teeth as well as they will surely enjoy it like other dogs in the wild. Promoting raw diet will make much less stool production and normally turn them into firm and chalky dog waste. When they gnaw raw bones, the time it takes to chew a raw meaty bones give their stomachs adequate time to get acids moving. Puppies develop at a more appropriate growth rate and quick growth spurts are avoided. A good puppy owner will want to stop fast growth which is better and much considerable. The ripping and chewing involved in eating raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles of the dog. Commercial dog foods will never assist in this important muscle development. And of course, less food cost plus decreased vet bills, the dogs are healthier.

Other benefits that other experienced raw diet feeder testimonials, dogs who were previously un-energetic, and sluggish become completely new dogs once the raw diet feeding begins. Remember, grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs, allergies their dogs previously had on commercial foods, disappear once they start with the raw diet. It is effective for older dogs, arthritis has significantly reduced or disappeared in some dogs switched to raw diet. There is also good balance in their weights; raw diet is a better weight and food consumption control. And with dog natural diet, dogs are living longer than what their other dogs previously had survived on commercial dog foods.

Start with the basics - a range of different raw meaty bones, or preferably whole items, such as chicken, quail, fish, eggs. For the majority of raw feeders - chicken is the base of the majority of their dogs meals. However, if chicken is not available readily, use what is available locally - raw meaty - lamb, beef, venison, duck, rabbit, kangaroo, pig, raw whole fish.

Aren’t chicken bones dangerous? It is one of the biggest myth of all time, Raw chicken bones are fantastic for your dog. They are soft enough so that they bend easily, and break well for the dog to digest. Remember, cooked chicken bones can be a problem, and I recommend that you do not feed cooked chicken bones.

First start off having your dog eats just the meat and bones the first few days. Make sure that their stomachs are ok with this before moving on. Go slow with the food variety and gradually introduce new meats. You may want to stick with one protein source for several weeks before slowly introducing new ones. This will help your dog adjust and help avoid stomach upset which can also happen when individuals switch from one variety of kibble to another. Feed your dog based on their energy requirements. It will differ for how much work your dog does, and what their metabolism is like. Look at your dogs and cats regularly - if they are looking a bit porky, then remove all carbs in their diet. If they look a bit thin, then, an extra chicken quarter in the diet for a few days may be the solution.

About bacteria on raw chicken, there is bacteria everywhere. Dogs have an amazing immunity system specifically designed to eat all manner of bacteria. And a healthy raw fed dog manages those bacteria without a problem. E-coli, salmonella, etc are found on raw chicken, but those nasty bacteria are also found in your fridge, in your sink, on your floor, in your backyard, in your car, on the footpath, down at the park, and perhaps in your bed and even possible on commercial dog foods. The most important thing is to wash your hands thoroughly after feeding your dogs, and even after cutting up meat for your own meals. Our digestive systems are not quite as robust as our dogs, so we must protect ourselves.

Before you run out to your local butcher and start ordering all the raw meat and bones for your dog, be sure to check with your veterinarian. Remember, best educated vets recommend an all natural diet. You need to make sure it is right for your dog before starting them on one. Just as you should check with your doctor before going on any kind of diet, the same is true for your dog. Talk to your local butcher, abattoir, or chicken processor to get raw food stuff. Many of the leftovers that these guys consider waste, us raw feeders people consider fantastic for our dogs. Things like chicken carcasses, chicken necks, chicken feet, and chicken heads are considered rubbish, and are sold for next to nothing. You should be able to get these fairly easily.

Friday, July 18, 2008

East European Sheperd / Owczarek Wsachodnioeuropejski / VEO

East European Sheperd / Owczarek Wsachodnioeuropejski / Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka

The East European Shepherd (also called the Owczarek Wschodnioeuropejski or Vostochnoevropejskaya Ovcharka (VEO) is a breed of dog that was created by mixing German Shepherd Dogs and developed directly from the GSDs brought to the Soviet Union in the 1920s for army use. Bred for sturdiness and resilience in the harsh Russian climate, the East European Shepherd has now made its mark among breeders in other countries. The East European Shepherd is a large, stocky breed, weighing in between 73 and 113 pounds and standing at 24-29 inches, others recorded males are 26 - 28 inches at the withers, while females are 23 - 26 inches. After over a quarter century of selection, especially for animals to withstand the Russian climate, the breed is distinctly different from the Shepherd known in the West. Although at first centered in Byelorussia and the far western provinces of the USSR, the EESKC has thousands of members all over Russia today. It is presently the leading breed in the USSR. Often dogs of this breed have longer soft hair on the ears, neck, limbs and tail. It is said that their Russian owners spin the cashmerelike wooly undercoat for use in garments. These dogs comparatively long build and strong, well-developed muscles and sturdy bone structure, a strong, wide back, and a moderately broad chest. Their short loin is wide, arched, and defined, and their underside is properly tucked up. Their wedge-shaped head is massive in size and their forehead is slightly sloped. They have a pronounced, gradual stop and a muzzle that is equal in length to the skull. Their lower jaw is strong and their well-developed teeth close in a scissors bite. They have large, black noses and medium, oval-shaped eyes that are dark in color. Their medium-sized ears are pricked and set high on the head and their tail is sword-shaped and reaches at leas to the hocks. They have oval, compact feet. The coat of the East-European Shepherd is of medium length and features a well-developed under coat. Coat colors for this breed include saddled (gray or fawn background with a facial mask), black, and agouti (gray and red). There are distinct physical differences between males and females of this breed.

The East European Shepherd carries the general appearance of a German Shepherd, with a stockier build which is more square. Their coat of fur, which is fairly short, smooth, and denser than that the of the German Shepherd, allows it to survive well in the harsh climates which exist in its native Russia. The coat colors can be black and tan, black, or sable, but not brindle or white. The head is medium and broad between the ears, which are pointed and the tip turns forward. The eyes are medium in size and dark in color, usually brown or a dark mix of brown and amber. The neck is powerful and curves down into a deep chest. The back is straight and level, ending in a long, saber-shaped tail which is carried close to the ground. The legs are strong and muscular and end in paws with well-arched toes.

The East-European Shepherd is devoted to his family and people. They are balanced breed with a confident demeanor, and they are generally leery of strangers. They make outstanding guard dogs, and they will protect their territory at all costs. Because they are a working breed by nature, they are happiest with a job to perform. East-European Shepherds are working dogs and needs to be exercised properly. They need to be taken on long daily walks or jogs. If sufficiently exercised, they'll do fine in an apartment. Because they were bred to stand many extreme climates, they can live well outside. They are tough and can be aggressive, which makes it a great watchdog and guard dog. Though social and mild-mannered, the East-European Shepherd may not be the right family pet if there are small children in the home; its tendency toward playful jumping could be dangerous, especially as a large breed. The East European Shepherd should be bathed only when necessary, as frequent bathing can dry out the skin, the coat or both. Dry bathing may be a better option for this breed, and products for doing this can be obtained in most pet stores. Otherwise, grooming is minimal and can be kept as a bonding experience between you and your loyal pet. Obesity can be a problem in this breed if not monitored closely. This can be avoided by never over-feeding the dog as it will never turn down food that you give to it, and by ensuring that your East European Shepherd gets plenty of exercise. Fish, chicken and pork bones should never be given to any dog, as they can cause damage to the intestines and the stomach lining, if ingested.

The only inherent problem in the East European Shepherd is the possibility of hip dysplasia, which is also common in other Shepherds. Otherwise, with regular visits to the veterinarian and proper immunization, the East European Shepherd stands as a healthy breed and can live a long and happy life.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dog Sudden Change Behavior - Signs and Tips

Since we got our beloved dogs, we do our best to give them the best care and training so he/she can be as friendly, as behave and as lovely for everyone. But it is sad that we could never stop them to change behaviors as they age. Sudden aggression, in moods or other unnecessary habits could lead your dogs to bite and hurt others, hence bring other problems such as vet bills and lawsuit.
Aggression in dogs is defined as a threat of harmful behavior directed at another animal or person. It may involve snarling, growling, snapping, nipping, biting, or lunging. A dog may act aggressively for either behavioral or medical reasons, or a combination of both. Proper petsafe and immediate recognizing such dog behavior change and equip enough knowledge on how to deal with these changes appropriately will be the best solution. On some research, the signs could vary depending on dog gender, to their possessiveness, territoriality, dominance or fear while on older dogs, certain hormones or lacking in hormones could be the cause of sudden change in habits and behaviors, and could be signs on illness. It is first recommended to seek medical attention immediately. Take the dog to a veterinarian to diagnose the source of pain and administer treatment, if needed.
The common signs of aggression are growling, snarling, barking, curled lips, lunging and an overall menacing posture, where the dog is tensed and ready to snap. There are other indications, such as jumping or mounting, or even standing in your way that are much less of a problem and often go ignored when not accompanied by the other more severe signs. One of the most often misunderstood forms of aggression is that which arises in older dogs all of a sudden, especially when those dogs have been docile, even submissive, for most of their lives. Older dogs in particular may enjoy puppies, but because of their increased age and decreased endurance, they will only tolerate them for a time. After a self-determined grace period, they will let the puppy know they have had enough in a firm and forceful way. In most cases, this message is sent with a snap that is all bark and no bite. Try to slow down the younger dog, teach him to be gentle with others especially with older dog, this could help.
The most common hidden causes of aggression in older dogs is the onset of arthritis, which makes them not only less able to engage with other dogs, but also potentially vulnerable and defensive as a result. Arthritis in dogs is unfortunately very common, a result of genetic factors, diet, or even over-exercise. If arthritis is causing a dog pain, then they can lash out not only at other dogs, but also at you. It is recommended to walk and exercise dogs with arthritis in the morning and in the afternoon while the weather is not hot. Also find the dog a cool and safe place in the house to rest and sleep to lessen the arthritis pain and also, away from being touched by others, but be ware, don’t let him feel to be isolated. Have regular medication on arthritis and also tale control on the dog’s weight. See your vet if arthritis is a possibility, as there are plenty of steps you can take to address the problem, from dietary supplements to massage and acupuncture, and a revamped exercise regimen. Anti-inflammatory drugs are effective but best left as a last option, make sure to visit an expert vet, this medication could cost a good bit and they can be rough on the dog’s stomach, and includes such side effects. Dog crates are also recommended.
Fear induced aggression is one of the more common types of aggression that pet guardians will experience. A fearful dog will strike preemptively if they perceive a dangerous situation. Look for a fearful dog as a dog who displays a tucked tail, pulled- back ears, horizontally retracted lips or an averted gaze. He or she might lick his lips or yawn. If you see this, keep your dog away or approach very carefully. It is possible to appease a dog’s fear, but a bouncy large dog might scare a fearful dog into an attack. If you have a fearful dog, a dog park is not a good place for him or her. Consider teaching your dog confidence in very controlled situations with friendly calm dogs before you expose them to the wilds of a dog park.
Medical issues such as hypothyroidism, epilepsy, seizure, hydrocephalus and trauma are highly observed conditions on dog conditions, usually dogs in these states should always be handled cautiously as they are not fully aware of what are they doing. Predicting aggressiveness in these behaviors may be difficult. This is because aggression involves emotions and a dog’s emotions vary depending on the situation. And, there is even “appropriate aggression”. Seizures and hypothyroidism are both know to cause aggression in previously social dogs. If your pet suddenly becomes aggressive to other dogs, be sure to have a veterinarian check him or her out before you deal with the behavioral issue.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Siberian Husky

Did you remember the famous lead dog in the animated movie, Balto? Well, it actually belongs to a breed of dog known as the Siberian husky. It is a medium size working dog that has a dense and thick coat. Moreover, it is known to have originated from the eastern part of Siberia. It is part of the genetic family of the Spitz but it is strongly recognized by its thick fur and stiff triangular ears. Since it has originated from the Siberian Arctic, it is expected to withstand extremely cold weather and harsh atmosphere.

The people from the Northeast part of Asia were the ones who bred the husky and from there, it was imported into the different parts of the United States. It was usually taken care of for the purpose of sled racing or sometimes, a working dog. It is known to be quite similar with the other Spitz breed such as the Samoyed and the Alaskan malamute.

However, Siberian huskies have a thicker fur compared to other dog breeds. Its coat comes in different shades and colors. It can range from copper, to pure white, grey, black, or a combination of these hues. Another distinctive thing about huskies is that its face resembles the features of a wolf.

The facial marks of this kind of dog are characterized by striking masks, strong eyes and erect ears. Its eye color can be blue, hazelnut, dark brown, yellow or amber. Its coat is composed of two layers: the topcoat and the undercoat. This protects and shields the husky from cold temperatures this is why the dogs have a difficulty to live during the summer season. But this outer coat can shed due to reasons such as stress or anxiety. Additionally, Siberian huskies are working dogs so a great amount of exercise is needed for it to maintain a healthy lifestyle and energy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

African Wild Dogs

African Wild Dogs / Lycaon Pictus

The African wild dog, also called Cape hunting dog or painted dog, typically roams the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. Their Latin name, Lycaon pictus, means "painted wolf-like animal." Their coats are mottled in shades of brown, black and beige. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes. The dogs differ from wolves and other dogs in that they have four toes instead of five. The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is a carnivorous mammal of the Canidae family, found only in Africa, especially in scrub savanna and other lightly wooded areas. It is also called the African Hunting Dog, the Cape Hunting Dog, the Spotted Dog, or the Painted Wolf in English, Wildehond in Afrikaans, and Mbwa mwitu in Swahili. It is the only species in the monotypic genus, Lycaon.

The wild dog weighs between 17 - 36 kg (37 - 79 lb). It is generally found in plains and open woodland, although it has been found in a variety of other habitats from the Sahara Desert up into the lower forests of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Most prey species weigh between 20 - 90 kg (44 - 200 lb), but animals as small as cane rats and as large as greater kudu have been reported in the diet. The dominant prey species varies according to the most abundant prey species in the area. Dominant prey species in various areas include Thomson's gazelle, wildebeest, impala, duiker and reedbuck. These dogs are similar in size and shape to medium-large domestic dogs, but they are only distantly related to other canids. Their mottled coloring and large rounded ears make them unmistakable. The muzzle is black and the forehead has a black line in the middle of it. The large head resembles that of a hyena. Legs are long and slender. The feet have only four toes, and no dewclaws. The tail has a white plume at the tip. No two dogs have identical coat patterns of white, black and tan; yet close relatives are recognizably similar in coloration. The body length is about 40 inches with a 12-16 inch tail. Animals weigh a maximum of 66 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females, and animals from Southern Africa are slightly larger than their northern relatives.

African wild dogs live in packs that are usually dominated by a monogamous breeding pair. The female has a litter of 2 to 20 pups, which are cared for by the entire pack. These dogs are very social, and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members. Social interactions are common, and the dogs communicate by touch, actions, and vocalizations.
African wild dogs live in tightly knit social groups and hunt cooperatively, preying primarily on grazing animals such as gazelles, springboks, wildebeest and zebras. Most predators stalk or ambush their prey, but these animals make no attempt to hide. They simply approach a herd until it stampedes, then single out an individual -- usually one that's slowed by old age or disease -- and chase it until it's exhausted. The dogs are swift, tireless runners. They've been known to chase prey for an hour, for as far as three and a half miles (5.6 km).

For most of the year, wild dogs roam around over the plains and in the bush, usually not staying in the same place for more than a day. Hunts take place in the morning and early evening. Prey is apparently located by sight, approached silently, and then pursued at speeds of up to 66 km/hr (41 mph) for up to one hour. Pack members generally cooperate in hunting large mammals, but individuals sometimes pursue hares, rodents, or other small animals. The daytime is spent sleeping, usually in the shade of a tree or near water, with members of the pack lying very close together. Once a year the pack occupies a den for 2 - 3 months, to bear young. The den is usually an abandoned aardvark hole. African Wild Dogs are very social animals that live in packs of 5-20 individuals; rarely as many as 60. They fill the ecological role or niche of the wolf in Africa. One of the most efficient of all predators, they do not hesitate to attack small hares or large zebras. They specialize in preying on medium-sized antelope including Thomson's gazelle, impala, kob, lechwe and springbok. This species does not hunt in relays but rather depends on endurance that is greater than their prey. They can run at about 35 m.p.h. for 3 miles or more. They hunt mainly around dawn and dusk because they rely on sight when hunting. The pack will hunt at least once a day. If there are youngsters present at the kill, the adults will allow them to eat first unlike lions. They do not defend territories except in the vicinity of occupied dens. Only the dominant breeding pair urine mark. There is very little overt aggression among pack members. The social arrangement is extraordinary because they are the exact opposite of those in most other social mammals such as lions and elephants.

The African wild dog is listed by the IUCN as threatened by extinction. They are nearly as endangered as the black rhino and they are still persecuted by farmers and hunters. Fewer than 5,000 dogs remain and because they need vast home ranges, it makes conservation difficult. They are faced with shrinking room to roam in their African home. They are also quite susceptible to diseases spread by domestic animals. A century ago, African wild dog packs numbering a hundred or more animals could be seen roaming the Serengeti Plains. Today, pack size averages about 10, and the total population on the Serengeti is probably less than 60 dogs.

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