Homemade Dog Foods – A New Trend

There is much information of the different types of dog foods. The public can choose prepared products or the new trend is to make homemade dog foods in your personal kitchen.

Pet owners are very concerned about their pets’ nutritional needs. There are many mixed opinions or arguments about commercial, natural, and homemade varieties.

Are you puzzled as to what healthy types of foods your pet should be eating?

The argument has come about because of the hazards found in commercial products which have sickened or killed our pets.

What are the differences in commercial, natural and homemade foods?

  • Commercial products are prepared in factories. It is your responsibility to read labels and understand their definitions
  • Natural – Knowledge of foods which may be prepared raw or cooked
  • Home cooked – appropriate foods cooked under the direct control of the owner

My parents, who raised Greyhounds for the sport of dog racing, fed these dogs fresh cooked meats. They never fed them commercial feed. These dogs did not suffer from lack of good nutrition including their supplements of vitamins and minerals.

Until commercial food was presented to the public, people always fed their pets table scraps after a large family meal. Nowadays, families have turned to the convenience of purchasing prepared foods.

From my point of observation, it seems that family members are fewer in number and eating in restaurants more often. Therefore, less table scraps are available for our pets. Commercial prepared products are now a necessity as well as a convenience.

The public has been notified of many food recalls because of poisons, contaminants or other hazards found in cat and dog foods threatening illnesses, diseases or death. Hundreds of these products are being recalled and removed frequently from store shelves.

The best dog food is homemade because the owner controls:

  • Meat quality
  • Vegetables which pets can eat without difficulties
  • Proper grains
  • Calorie intake
  • Proper nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Cat and dog food recipes are available
  • Meet special nutritional needs

Our pets are experiencing the same problems as we are because of not eating the nutrients which bodies need.

Unhealthy problems include:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Illnesses e.g. diabetes
  • High fat – heart conditions and stroke
  • Poor nutrients – weak energy and feeling tired
  • Allergies
  • And much more

Most commercial dog foods are good as they have the right amount of vitamins and minerals. The manufacturers do provide a healthy balance of meat and veggies. Read labels carefully and keep updated as your pet experiences growth and health changes.

You will truly want to avoid chocolates, hot peppers, grapes, raisins, small bones from chicken and fish. Do not give your pet salty snacks, spicy condiments, or seasonings. In tiny amounts your dog may vomit, as my dog does. If you pet should eat too much you will need to see your vet for more serious conditions or death.

If you would like to learn more about homemade dog food visit the pet section of Tricia Deed at http://www.infotrish.vpweb.com/ and review Dog Food Secrets.

Give Your Pets a Happy Holiday

The holiday season is hard on dogs and cats. Their schedule is disrupted, strangers fill their homes, some of those strangers have strange dogs and cats with them. It’s all very stressful.

Well mannered pets faced with the stress of the holidays can suddenly bite or scratch … or forget their house manners.

Help your pet (and you) enjoy the holidays by following these simple tips:

o Never allow strangers to grab for him

o Never allow children to maul her

o Never offer his bed to strange dog or cat

o Do give her a safe place to go hide

o Do schedule time to offer individual attention and reassurance

o Do watch the doors… he could bolt in the confusion and become lost.

o Do be sure she’s wearing an ID tag – just in case.

o Do feed him away from the crowd… and NEVER allow strangers to approach him while he’s eating … especially children.

And on the subject of eating: all those rich goodies are not good for your pet. Buttery, sugary, spicy, or greasy foods can cause intestinal distress. Chocolate can even be fatal, as can raisins and grapes. So, as much as you and your guests might enjoy slipping a few treats to Rover or Fluffy, resist the temptation and make sure your guests do likewise. You really don’t want a trip to the vet in the middle of your holiday celebration.

*A note of caution: Be sure the leftovers are safely put away before you retire for the night. You know where the cat can go. Dogs can get there too if the smell is enticing!

P.S. Several of my cat and dog friends have asked me to include one more don’t: Please don’t make them dress up like Santa or a reindeer (or anyone else.) They really hate it!

Flower Garden Or Herbal Remedies?

My husband and I often have “spirit filled discussions” on the plants I like to grow, particularly those in the front flower garden. He wants ornamental plants and I want plants that can serve more than one purpose. Fortunately for both of us, many ornamental plants do have a second job.

Calendula: This pretty flower is a type of marigold. The medicinal part is the flower itself, both dried and fresh. It’s not as strong as tea tree oil, but it is antiseptic in nature. Squeeze the juice from the fresh flowers, or steep the dried petals in hot water to get to the active principle.

Foxglove: While you and I should not attempt to use the medicinal component of this plant, it is still used to manufacture an important drug…digitalis. Digitoxin is the component in its natural form, and it acts on the heart. It’s good to know the possible danger of foxglove in order to protect children and pets. The leaves are the part used, but all of it could be dangerous.

Lobelia: I don’t recommend using this herb, either though it does have a traditional use as a treatment for asthma. There are two problems with this plant. It is the most violent purgative I’ve seen in the herbal pharmacopeia. Vomiting and diarrhea are likely to result, even with small amounts. It also can shutdown the central nervous system, including breathing and heart beat.

Nasturtiums: This plant is easy to take care of, and the flowers are gorgeous. Their spicy flavor brings color and a spicy flavor when used as a garnish in cooking. The leaves and flowers are also used in some salads. Medicinally, nasturtiums are considered antibacterial, an appetite stimulant and as a remedy for the flu. Another traditional use is as part of a tuberculosis remedy. This flower is unusual in that it has a mustard like constituent, which explains the spicy flavor.

Roses: Like nasturtiums, the petals of the rose can be used in cooking. Rose water is an ingredient in some cuisines and the hips are valued both for flavor and as a source of Vitamin C. The white portion of the flower should be removed as it is very bitter.

Violets: Candied violets are a beautiful addition to many confections, but the plant also has some tradition medicinal uses. It’s considered good as an expectorant and may have laxative qualities. There are some reports that it has helped people with insomnia.

Remember that not every flower in the flower bed is safe to use. Be careful if you decide to harvest them for yourself. Make sure that you identify the plant correctly and that no pesticides or herbicides have been used on it. Don’t harvest plants close to a roadway.

What Can a Hermit Crab Eat to Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy

You just got yourself a new pet hermit crab and you already bought him a nice home and toys but you now ask yourself “what can a hermit crab eat?”

Land hermit crabs are pets that require low maintenance especially when it comes to their diet because they will eat just about anything, from fruits and fish to popcorn and tofu.

Nowadays, you can buy hermit crab foods from a pet store. Make sure that they do not have too much chemicals or preservatives. This can be bad for your hermit crab’s health. However, if chosen carefully and if given properly, commercial crab food can provide your pet with the required nutrients that can keep them healthy and happy exotic pets.

Commercial foods for these fascinating creatures could be in the form of pellets to powder. Some food products have to be moistened while others have to be mad into smaller pieces such as large pellets.

For these small animals, foods should also be given in small amounts and they should also be soft and easy to digest. Overfeeding your pets could be fatal.

However, try to give them a variety of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables so that they will not get tired of the same old commercial foods every day. Crabs are omnivores and scavengers which makes it easy for you to try to give them new foods or tastes such as scrambled eggs, sardines, or chips that can make your hermit crabs’ mouth water. Try not to give them too oily, spicy, or hot foods.

It is also interesting to note that hermit crabs love sweet foods with a variety of flavors, especially those flavours that babies usually like such as apples, bananas, pears, mango, kiwi, applesauce, sweet corn casserole, sweet potatoes, fruit medley, guava dessert, mango dessert, and papaya dessert. You can mix 2 to 3 flavors in one meal, just like baby foods.

If your crabitat is in an open area, you can give them fresh fish head. This is only ideal for a large group of hermit crabs. They can finish it off after a few hours. The smell can be strong, though, and you might not want to smell this in your house every day.

Other foods that they love are coconut shavings, natural peanut butte, hard boiled eggs and even shells, and plain, unbuttered, and unsalted popcorn. Raw meat is also a favourite meal for these little creatures.

Provide them with a water dish with enough fresh water in it and another dish with salt water in the aquarium. Saltwater does not mean you will sprinkle in table salt to fresh water. It should be real saltwater that you got from the ocean. Just make sure that the dishes are not so big or the water is not too much to prevent your crabs from drowning, especially the small ones.

Make sure that the water you give to your pet hermit crabs is free from chlorine. Chlorine is bad for them. To remove chlorine from water, try using dechlorinator. You can also just get bottled water for convenience.