June 30, 2011

How to Prevent a Dog Ear Infection

Filed under: Dog Ear Care — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 10:13 pm

dog_with_vet_getting_ears_checkedYour dog, just like you, is prone to getting ear infections. In fact, dogs are more likely to get ear infections than humans. Unfortunately that means that there is a good chance that your dog will be experience an ear infection in its lifetime. As an owner, it is your responsibility to do your best in helping to treat your dog’s ear infection. Dog ear infections have the potential to escalate in severity. Here are three easy tips and precautions to take in order to prevent your dog from getting an ear infection.

The first step, while obvious, must be stated; keep your dog’s ears clean. This means use a gauze cloth or a piece of cotton, (never a q tip or cotton swab) with dog ear drops to clear out debris. For maximum effect, a powder should be used to clean and dry the ear all together.

Keeping your dog’s ears dry is critical. Moisture is what leads to an infection. So after your dog has settled in for the day, make sure to dry out his ears before bed. It’s best to use soft cloths or cotton balls to prevent irritation of the ear’s skin. Also, grooming your dog’s ear hair is a great prevention technique.

As strange as it seems, it is healthy to know the smell of your dog’s ears. By smelling your dog’s ears, it will make you make you more perceptive to any changes if your dog’s ears have become infected. If you do smell a strange odor, it is time to visit your veterinarian for ear cytology. Having your dog undergo ear cytology is extremely beneficial. The vet will be able to determine exactly what type of infection it is and what steps to take.

Finally, if your dog is constantly facing ear infections talk to your veterinarian. It maybe time to schedule specialized blood tests to detect endocrine imbalances such as thyroid illness. Food and environmental allergies can also be an underlying trigger for secondary ear infections. Certain breeds such as Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds are more likely to get infected because of their anatomy. Dogs with large ear flaps and small ear canals are at risk and therefore should be more closely monitored for any symptoms of an ear infection.

June 10, 2011

Healthy Organic Dog Food

You would never rely on junk food for long term survival, so why should your dog? It is a known fact that many popular brands of dog food contain chemicals which can create adverse health effects. Recently, the discovery of melamine and cyanuric acid in pet food caused controversy in the United States as these foods were not on the recall list. Cyanuric acid is used to disinfect swimming pools, whereas melamine is commonly used to manufacture plastics and dishware. The combinations of these two chemicals in commercial pet foods, have led to a number of pets dying from kidney failure. Other undesirable ingredients found in pet food include artificial colors (i.e. yellow 6; also used for fertilizers), preservatives (BHT; Butylated Hydroxytoluene, BHA; Butylated Hydroxysanisole, Ethoxyquin), lead, additives (propylene glycol), artificial flavors, fillers, wheat (causes allergies in dogs), by-products and animal fat. What is disheartening is that some of these chemicals can also be found in human food as well. It is important to be aware it is in your pet’s food (and yours too) to ensure good pet health.
Organic Dog Food
So now that you have ditched the unhealthy pet food, what next? Well there is a variety of healthy organic pet food available to maintain the health and safety of your pet. The consumption of organic food has many benefits for both pets and pet owners. Organic pet food is made with natural ingredients using little or no chemicals. This means all fertilizers and animal feed used in production were organic. Furthermore, steroids and pesticides are not used for the making of 100% natural dog food. The obvious advantage of using organic pet food is that your pet will be consuming whole vegetables rather than artificial ingredients and fillers. Common ingredients used in the best organic dog food are: fresh meat, grains, fish, and vegetables. The nutritional value is much higher in organic food since only whole ingredients are used. There are reports of dogs maintaining less severe allergies when on a diet of organic food. Moreover, dogs who consume healthier pet food are found to have higher energy levels, a stronger immune system, a better weight, and an increase in overall good pet health. Many grocery stores do not carry organic dog food; however local pet stores may carry organic dog food alongside regular dog food.

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.