Dos and Don’ts When Feeding Dogs

While it is okay to prepare human food for your dog if you want variety, there are some ingredients that might be toxic or harmful to your pet that you should avoid. Sticking to commercial dog food alone may not be enough but remember these dos and don’ts when feeding.

Do check the protein and fat content in commercial food. Commercially prepared dog food comes in two forms, wet and dry. Wet food must have 5% to 5.8% of protein and 3% to 6% of fat, while dry food must contain 22% to 32% of protein and 10% to 25% of fat.

Don’t fed your dog fatty meat. That includes fatty meat from poultry, lamb, beef, pork, and even poultry skin. Excess fat can lead to pancreatitis and obesity in dogs.

Do feed your dog fish. Even fatty fish are alright for dogs. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Leave the skin on the fish and prepare it by steaming, boiling or grilling. Do not add any spices, herbs, sauces or flavoring because these are harmful for the dog.

Don’t feed your dog spicy food. Spicy ingredients can burn the dog’s tongue and its digestive tract. These are not made for animal consumption.

Do feed your pet vegetables. There are a lot of vegetables that are good for dogs. You can serve them raw or cooked, but there are exceptions such as spices, dressing, and others that you might find on this guide. You can feed your dog the following: spinach, green beans, broccoli, carrots, peas, sweet potato, and pumpkin.

Don’t feed your dog sauces. Anything that has rich sauce contains a lot of herbs and spices which the dog does not really need. Bland food is better for your pet.

Do transition your pet when introducing new food. You can blend new ingredients into their favorites to introduce them to new food.

Don’t over supplement your dog’s diet. As long as you give them nutritious food and plenty of water, your dog will not need supplements. You might want to ask your veterinarian for recommendations if you feel your dog is lacking something.

Do feed your dog fruits. Besides vegetables, there are fruits that you can give to your dog as treats. The following are safe for dogs: cantaloupe, bananas, apples, and blueberries.

Don’t give your dog milk. But this only applies to dogs that are lactose intolerant. However, if your dog is okay with dairy products, it is perfectly okay to give them plain yogurt, bread, cottage cheese, and cheeses.

Don’t give your dog drinks that are made for humans only. These include alcohol, coffee, chocolate drinks, milk substitutes, milk (only if the dog is lactose intolerant), beverages with grapes, soda, and tea.

Do give your dog other treats. There are some human food that are safe for dogs such as unseasoned peanut butter, eggs, and oatmeal.

Don’t give them toxic food. Avoid the following: chocolate, avocadoes, chewing gum, grapes, raisins, currants, onions, garlic, chives, yeast dough, macadamia nuts, nutmeg, mushrooms, salt, artificial sweeteners, anything with Xylitol, citruses, rhubarb, tomatoes, fruits seeds or pits, and high-sodium food.

Tips for Keeping the Aviary Clean

Keeping a pet bird in your apartment means you need to be able to maintain a clean, fresh-smelling home all the time. This will also help keep away parasites and bacteria that might make the bird sick. If you are a beginner, remember these tips to keep the aviary clean.

Do not place the food and water containers under the perches. The droppings can contaminate the food and water. Clean them daily by scrubbing them with a sponge. If there is a lot of soiling, soak it with hot water and mild dish detergent. Dry the dishes thoroughly before returning them to the cage.

Wipe the cage regularly. Wipe the interior and exterior of the cage with a clean, wet cloth. A wet sponge can also remove the dried debris. Dry the cage thoroughly.

Clean the bottom tray regularly. If you are using a bird cage with a tray that catches the droppings, clean it regularly with water and mild detergent then make sure it is dry before reattaching it.

Clean out the food debris and leftover. Make sure to pick up the food debris daily before turning in for the night. This will keep the uneaten food from spoiling and harboring bacteria in the cage.

Change the water daily. Always make sure that your bird has fresh water. Rinse out the droppings and food debris that might have gotten into the dishes.

Reexamine the toys and attachments. Once a month, you should check the interior of the cage and all the attachments and accessories inside. There could be loose or broken parts that might injure the bird. Check the perches and remove the debris that you have missed during the cleaning.

Clean all the accessories. When inspecting the items in the cage, you should clean them with a brush and mild detergent. Dry thoroughly before returning them to the cage. If you are using wood perches, which is the most ideal perch for birds, use sandpaper to clean them.

Rearrange the toys and furniture. Once a month, you might have to replace or rearrange the perches to keep the bird from getting bird. Cycle toys with a new batch every few months, too.

Clean the toys regularly. When you cycle the toys, make sure to clean the old ones if you are planning to use them again. Discard broken toys that your bird might choke on.

Change the cage liners daily. You might have to remove the topmost layer daily to remove the accumulated droppings and leftover food. If it seems like a lot of work, add several layers of liners every month so that you will only need to remove the top.

Remove vegetation around the aviary. If it is an outdoor aviary, make sure that the cage is not surrounded by plants because these can be home to parasites and bacteria.

Do not use harsh chemicals. If possible, use only hot water with a few drops of dish detergent to clean the cage and the other items. Do not use other chemicals that will be toxic to your pet.

6 Reasons Why Your Child Should Grow Up With a Pet Dog

Most kids love dogs. They are cute, playful and friendly. But did you know having dogs can actually benefit your child’s physical and psychological development? Here are some reasons why having a dog at home is a beneficial for your kid.

1. Dogs promote responsibility
Having a pet is one way to teach your kid about responsibility. Making sure that the dog always has food and water gives your child a glimpse of obligation and accountability. Also, your child learns compassion and empathy by caring for your pet dog.

2. Dogs lighten the mood
Have you ever wondered why young and happy love is called ‘puppy love’? It’s because dogs naturally exude jolliness and positivism. When a person and a puppy create a special bond, every interaction is full of fun and playfulness. Try cuddling or playing with your dog when you feel blue, it’ll surely turn your mood around.

3. Dogs help your little reader gain confidence
Younger kids who just learned how to read often feel self-conscious reading aloud in front of people, but they don’t feel the same nervousness around animals. Reading to a pup is the perfect way for your kids to enhance their reading skills and build self-confidence.

4. Dogs encourage more exercise
Kids of today’s generation are hard to pull out of the house, but having a dog is a simple way to get them moving outside. Most dogs are excellent companions for some physical activities like jogging or walking around the neighbourhood and enjoying a sunny afternoon of playing in the park.

5. Dogs help kids learn social skills
Having a pet dog can also help your child to be friendlier. After all, walking around the park with a dog likely sparks a conversation with other pet owners. A quick chitchat and the sharing of dog for a few moments promote patience and generosity to your child.

6. Dogs help strengthen immune system
Studies show that young kids raised in constant contact with pets get sick less often during the first year of their lives. Exposure to microbes and dander that your pet carries helps improve your child’s developing immune systems. Moreover, children with pets experience reduced risk of allergies.

Having a dog at home enriches the lives and health of your child in many ways. Getting one for your family could be the greatest gift you can possibly give your child.

Everything You Need to Know About Cats

Cats are becoming a more popular breed in Singapore, and more people are opting to getting one. There are as many as forty recognized cat breeds in Singapore that are recognized internationally, and many more are a genetic mix of any two or more of the forty.  

When considering a cat to add some company to your home, it’s important as a future owner to know everything to know about your future pet.

Choosing a Cat

It’s highly important that you do extensive research when looking to get a pedigree or purebred cat. Avoid buying purebreds unless the breeder has years of experience in using ethical methods, and is extremely careful when it comes to choosing breeding stock.

Street cats, meanwhile, are plentiful in Singapore, and are likely to be mix of different types of genes. They are less susceptible to certain genetic diseases and have a more robust immune system because of their genetic diversity, which in turn makes them much better companions.  

Consider adopting more than one cat only if you havethe time and energy to take care of all of them.  

Introducing Your Cat to Your New Home

If you recently adopted a street cat, you might have to employ measures to make sure that your pet doesn’t leave the house for a while. Eventually, your cat will grow used to his/her new home and stop trying to leave.

Your New Cat’s Habits

Cats like to sleep during the day, and they can sleep pretty much anywhere (though they often like to sleep on high, hard-to-reach areas). This is because they are crepuscular predators by nature, meaning that they prefer to do their hunting early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when their prey is often asleep or just about to.

While there is little difference between sterilized maleand female cats, the former are more likely to be territorial.

Feeding Your Cat

Cats are carnivores, which means that their diet should be mostly meat.

However, you can’t just dump anything onto your pet’s plate – cats are surprisingly picky when it comes to food. If you have to purchase cat food for your cat, be sure to focus on the nutrients themselves, which is why reading the label is often really important.  

How much you’re feeding your cat is also a thing to consider, as overfeeding can be a thing. The average amount of calories cats should consume per day falls roughly around two hundred calories, but the exact amount really depends on your cat’s type, size, age, and how active your cat is.

Most cats often hunt their prey early in the morning or late in the afternoon, which would make these times the best time to feed them.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

Items for Your New Canine Companion

Getting a new puppy or planning to adopt a rescued dog? Here are items – aside from food, water and love – that you’ll need for the newest family member.

Food Bowl. You’ll be surprised at the variety of dog bowls available besides ceramic and stainless steel. There’s a bowl for avoiding spills, interactive dog feeders that have mazes which require the pet to push the treat to an exit, raised bowls for old dogs with joint problems, and slow feed bowl for dogs (it has lumps in the center) prone to bloating. Automatic feeders are also great but be careful of overeating.

Water Bowl. There are bowls with filters or fountains for dogs who like moving water. The most common are made of ceramic, stainless steel or plastic. Some bowls have rubbers at the bottom to keep them in place. Collapsible dog bowls are great for outdoors.

Collar and Leash. The first technique to training your dog to walk with a leash is to let it get used to wearing a collar. Don’t forget to place an identification card on the collar. Slip and pack leader collars are good for training while a harness is good for dogs with breathing problems or as a tool for pulling during exercise.

Grooming and Cleaning Supplies. Grooming items should include dog shampoo, towel, comb or brush, nail clippers, dental cleaning products (soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs), and ear and eye drops. Also keep cleaning supplies like poop scoop and bags for when you’re going out with your dog.

Toys, Chews and Treats. Puppies especially need these when they’re teething, and even older dogs need to exercise their jaws. Chews and toys are good distractions for hyperactive or anxious pets.

Dog Bed. Dogs need their own space for sleeping. Consider the size of the dog and the thickness of the fur when choosing a bed. Cot style beds are for warmer temperatures. Older dogs or those with arthritis need beds with supports and memory foam. Some are made with waterproof or odor-free materials, but avoid beds with fillers if your dog has allergies.

Safety Gates and Exercise Pen. Safety gates or baby gates are great for keeping energetic pets from destroying parts of your home. If you have small kids, you can use the gates to keep pets out of their bedroom. Exercise pens are ideal for smaller dog breeds.

Crate or Travel Harness. The crate takes advantage of the dog’s natural denning instinct, but it shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment or a containment for long periods. Puppies can’t be kept for more than four hours. Crates are a good substitute for dog beds and can be used for traveling. A travel harness in your car works like a seatbelt, but is designed to give dogs a bit more room to move their legs. Bigger dog breeds however will need a larger area, perhaps at the back of your car.