February 2012 Pet Health News                                                                                   Can't Read This? Go Here
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Fellow pet lover,

We have some amazing tips to correct that behavior. Also, when it comes to feeding your pet properly, many pet owners are getting responsible for feeding their pet food that is properly optimized. Want to find out exactly how? It’s all in this issue.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, feel free to email us at: newsletters@crittercures.com

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Pet Owners are Making Healthier Choices

Dog eating pet food

Owners see and treat their pets as an integral part of their family. In 2007, there was a number of huge pet food recalls in conjunction with renal failure and the death of hundreds of animals. Since then, many pet owners have made safety an even bigger priority. There’s a growing awareness about the dangers associated with lead in dog toys made in China, and of the dangers posed by some plastics used in many pet products. Pet owners now insist on knowing where their pet’s products and pet’s food comes from.

When choosing good pet food, there are several tips to keep in mind. First off, healthy food must contain real ingredients. If you see terms on the label like "chicken meal," "fish meal," or "animal by-products," you should know that these ingredients are likely extremely low quality. Second, healthy pet products are certified organic. Organic pet food does not contain any toxins, making it healthier. When choosing organic pet foods, be sure to look for only USDA certified organic claims. Thirdly, healthy pet foods are made of human-grade quality ingredients. There are two types of USDA certified ingredients: those for animals, and those for humans. The USDA certified organic ingredients are called feed-grade ingredients and contain lower quality than human-grade ingredients. So, when buying pet food, make sure you buy human-grade level ingredients (they will indicate a human grade because it is a major selling point). Next, determine how the pet food is produced. Heat-based processing, which is used for canning or baking, can often remove the nutrients of the food. Dehydration is a better way to process food. Lastly, keep in mind that your pet needs variety—a pet shouldn’t live on one prepared pet food alone, even if it is healthy and nutritious. It’s up to you to provide your animal with a variety of different safe and healthy USDA certified organic, human-grade, quality food where ingredients have been processed in ways that are designed to keep the nutrients.

In addition to focusing on pet food selection, it is important to choose higher quality products, which will last longer. For example, a food bowl free of chemical bisphenol-A (or BPA) will cost twice as much as an ordinary bowl, but will last a dog’s lifetime and will be safer.

Natural and organic treats are seeing increases in sales as well. Furthermore, even if the economy continues to slump, pet product treat sales are still expected to grow, because people don’t skimp on their kids or their pets until they really have to. Baby boomers who are empty nesters, or couples who do not want children, have been spending more time and money on nurturing their pets. Pet owners are also becoming more knowledgeable about the importance of green products. For example, biodegradable waste bags have become commonly accepted as the norm.

Stopping Your Beloved Pet From Licking its Paws

cat licking it's paw

There are two potential causes for why your dog is licking and chewing their paws. Some animals chew their paws because of stress, while others chew their paws because of external factors, such as allergies, parasites and environmental causes. In order to answer the question about whether you dog is licking their paws because of internal of external factors, owners should ask themselves these two questions. First, does my dog lick his paws out of anxiety or instinct? Secondly, does my dog have itchy paws? If the answer to the first question is yes, you should visit your veterinarian to discuss ways to deal with your pet’s stress. On the other hand, if the answer to the second question is yes, you should read on…

Think about this: Dogs are essentially naked—they don’t wear clothes or shoes. Therefore, when their feet come into contact with allergens and heavy toxins, such as pesticides, herbicides, ragweed, grasses, pollens, molds, dust mites and other pollutants, these external factors can stick to their paws and become extremely irritating. Moreover, one of the only two places where a dog sweats is its feet, which should give pet owners even more of incentive to keep their pet’s paws clean.

For this reason, it is paramount that you wash your dog’s paws to eliminate these harmful allergens. The best way to wash your dog’s feet is to dunk them into a bathroom sink, tub or bucket, depending on your dog’s size. Dunking is better than patting your dog’s feet with a cloth because you need enough water to cover the pads of your dog’s paws. The best solution to dunk your dog’s feet in is povidone iodoine, which is an organic iodine solution that is safe, non-toxic, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-yeast. You can buy povidone iodine at any pharmacy and dilute it with water. Also, you don’t need to do anything to your dog’s feet, such as scrub them; all you have to do is make sure that they are submerged completely in the solution.

You should leave each foot submerged in the solution for at least two to five minutes. After the submersion is complete, you don’t need to rinse the paw. All you should do is remove each foot and pat them dry, then voila! By following the above instructions, your dog will hopefully be healthy, clean and happy, and therefore will have no need to lick and chew their paws!