All posts by Jack Richardson

Why Dogs Lick

One of the more slightly annoying things our dogs do (or most adorable, depending on who you ask) involves their tongue obsessively licking every crevice of every spot possible in pretty much the whole world. From our faces to our furniture to themselves, some dogs are absolutely in love with licking anything and everything. Although it can be cute at first, it quickly gets pretty gross. So why do they do it?According to ​Vetstreet, your pup’s incessant licking is mostly their way of trying to show affection. When we pick up our dogs or give them attention, chances are we kiss or pat their heads, along with petting their fur. Their way to show love back to us is by licking.

However, there are other reasons your dog might be obsessively licking—including as a way to get attention. Licking can be a learned behavior for dogs, as they see that when they lick their owner, they get more attention. The behavior can seem like something humans want which, to an extent, it is.

Licking is also a sensory tool, so if your dog is licking random objects or areas of your home, they’re probably just exploring. It’s easier to get a feel for their surroundings if they can taste everything. But licking objects like your rug or furniture can also be indicative of anxiety or boredom (which can often lead to destructive behavior), and a recent study linked excessive licking of surfaces to certain gastrointestinal disorders.

Another reason for licking is your dog wanting to clean themselves and/or spots around them. They’ve seen it since they were born; animals lick things ritualistically for cleaning and care. If your dog seems to be obsessed with licking themselves or one particular thing, they probably are. (Yes, dogs can have OCD, too.)

As Vetstreet points out, “excessive” dog licking often only seems excessive to the dog’s owner, not the pooch itself. But if it’s bothersome enough to you, a trainer can often help curb your dog’s enthusiasm for giving wet, sloppy kisses. And while strange behavior is not rare for pets, if your dog’s licking seems odd or in any way concerning, there’s no harm in taking your pet to the vet to check it out—even if it’s just for peace of mind.

11 Most Difficult Dogs To Raise

American Pitbull Terrier

1. American Pit Bull Terrier

This dog breed can be aggressive and is considered by some to be vicious. Although many Pit Bulls are loving, friendly dogs, some are quite temperamental. Also, this breed is often used by cruel people who train them to be vicious. This dog has great strength and historically it was used for fighting in the ring. If you are a potential dog owner and you have limited time to train a dog please don’t choose a pit bull terrier. A pit bull terrier requires a person who will have time to train the dog properly. However, with proper socializing and training it can be a good family dog.


2. Bullmastiff

This dog breed is massive in size and can weigh up to 130 pounds. A bullmastiff has been known to overwhelm their owner and injure them at times. They have also been known to drool a lot and this translates to a lot of cleaning by the owner. This breed has a strong dislike for some other dogs and this means you cannot keep another dog in his presence. A bullmastiff should not be your choice if you will not have time for training.

German Shepherd

3. German Shepherd

This breed can be difficult to raise because of its enormous size and its enthusiasm for activity. German Shepherds have also been known to attack their owners on occasion if not trained properly. If you are not committed to train this breed, please avoid it. German Shepherds are very intelligent and they know when they are being mistreated and not taken care of. This can make them angry and turn to their owners and attack when they are frustrated. German Shepherds are very delicate when it comes to their health and they may need extra vet care.

Siberian Husky

4. Siberian Husky

Bred mostly in cold weather, this breed is lively and requires dedicated training. It is difficult to keep a Siberian Husky because it can be highly predatory. Historically, it was used to pull sleds in snowy areas; this breed is a working dog. This requires a lot of time for the owner to train them making it a difficult breed for a less committed owner. This breed acts out when it’s bored and this is another reason why it can be difficult to keep.

Chow Chow

5. Chow Chow

The dominating breed Chow Chow can be very stubborn while in training, craves a lot of attention, and can be very jealous. Chow Chow’s can be quite aggressive and sometimes outrageous when new visitors or new pets are around. This breed can be difficult to have as a pet because of the constant attention it seeks and extensive training it needs.


6. Akita

The Akita likes to prey on potential food, so it’s a good idea to keep it on a leash. You have to be alert when walking the Akita which requires around 30 minutes of walking daily. The Akita sheds heavily and it can be very difficult to train for inexperienced potential dog owners. Also, the Akita can weigh up to and over 115 pounds and with it being such a big dog, it can be difficult to raise.

Alaskan Malamute

7. Alaskan Malamute

A talented artist when it comes to escaping, this breed can be very difficult for new dog owners. This breed sheds a lot and can be at risk for heat injury because of its heavy fur coat. Though it can make a beautiful family pet, it can also be difficult to raise at times.


8. Rottweiler

A big dog breed, a Rottweiler can be really dangerous when in the hands of the wrong owner. This dog requires a committed owner, hence a great deal of time for training is necessary. A Rottweiler is loyal and can be very aggressive and dangerous while protecting if it’s poorly trained socially. This breed can scare away visitors because of the stories of Rottweilers biting children and adults for no apparent reason.

Chinese Shar-Pei

9. Chinese Shar-pei

Quite the territorial breed, this dog can be very aggressive towards your visitors and other pets and can be very dangerous if poorly trained. Owners with no knowledge about this breed will have difficulty raising them because of the health conditions it could develop. These conditions may be due to its skin fold which might lead to eye and chronic skin issues. This breed can be difficult to raise as it requires a lot of time for training.


10. Beagle

A breed with high energy, the Beagle can be a poor listener and it can be very difficult for new owners. When poorly trained they can be very dangerous while protecting their owners or property. Beagles are prone to barking and can be very noisy, as they are known to be leery of an unfamiliar scent. Beagles can have weight issues if they do not get enough exercise which can make things difficult. For a new dog owner with a tight schedule or no commitment, this is not your ideal breed.


11. Bulldog

This breed can be difficult to raise for new owners because of potential health problems. Bulldogs cannot usually swim making it difficult for owners to always keep them away from the pool to prevent drowning. A Bulldog is sensitive to stress, exercise, and heat due to its heavy build. It can also be very stressful for owners with inadequate training time and it is therefore not the easiest dog to have.

These breeds can be difficult to raise because of the time they require to train. All dogs need attention and care, but these dogs tend to require a bit more than the average dog. All dogs require commitment to training, but if you want an easier time these breeds should not be your first choice for a family pet.

This list is from Life In The Golden Years and of course subject to debate. However the common factor in this list, as with any dog or breed is Training. Train your Dog!

22 Breeds Which Have Attacked Most Humans

FDA issues warning after 90 illnesses, 15 deaths reported from dog bone treats

image/png© image/png image/png If you’re planning on giving your dog a stocking full of bone treats this year, you may want to reconsider, after a warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says several dogs have become sick or died from dog bone treats.

The FDA has received about 68 reports of pet illnesses related to “bone treats,” treats that are processed and packaged for sale as dog treats. That includes treats described as ham bones, pork femur bones, rib bones and smokey bones.

“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death in your pet,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.

Some of the illnesses reported by owners and veterinarians include gastrointestinal obstruction, choking, vomiting, diarrhea, cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils, bleeding from the rectum, and/or death.

Those reports involved about 90 dogs, with 15 reportedly dead after eating a bone treat. Some reports included more than one dog.

The FDA says dog owners should avoid giving their pets chicken bones or other bones from the kitchen table, and be careful of what they put in the trash can, as dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey or steak bones put in there.

Why Your Dog Should Not Sleep With You

© Solovyova/Getty Images Ruff news: Man’s best friend may keep you from fetching sleep.

That’s the takeaway of a small but provocative study titled “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment” in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Investigators studied 40 healthy adults with pooches but no sleep disorders over five months. Subjects and their dogs wore activity trackers to track their sleeping habits for seven nights.

Researchers found that “humans with a single dog in their bedroom maintained good sleep efficiency; however, the dog’s position on/off the bed made a difference.”

Bottom line: Regardless of breed or size, dogs in the bedroom was fine. Canines actually in the bed, not so much.

“Human sleep efficiency was lower,” researchers noted, “if the dog was on the bed as opposed to simply in the room.”

Here are the 20 best dog foods available in 2017…

The pet food market has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several years, and now you can find all types of options on store shelves. From dry kibble to grain free formulas and raw food in refrigerated cases, dog owners have tons of decisions to make when it comes to what to feed their pets. Unfortunately, a large percentage of commercial dog food is loaded with ingredients that are far from wholesome and basically amount to being fillers. Some of the things put into dog foods are even problematic and have been known to cause digestive and other health issues. In the worst cases, pet owners suspect that low quality food actually caused the death of their dogs.

When looking for a quality dog food that’s nutritious, it’s best to choose a formula that has a significant amount of meat based protein, zero artificial colorants, and no preservatives derived from chemicals. Excessive amounts of generic animal fats, anonymous meat ingredients, and salt should be avoided as well.

1. Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy Formula

This formula is one of the best dog foods to buy, and pet owners who want a brand that’s not chock full of fillers and ingredients without much nutritional value will appreciate its contents. In the Active Dog and Puppy variety the top ingredients are beef meal, sweet potato, chicken meal, and peas. Fatty acids and vitamins are also included in each formula, and this is an excellent pick for the owners of puppies. What a young dog eats has a profound influence on its development, which is a top reason for ditching foods with poor nutrition and opting for a high quality formula from a brand such as Victor Grain Free

2. Merrick Grain Free Dog Food

When it comes to high quality dry dog food with a unique variety of flavors, few brands beat Merrick Grain Free. They have formulas such as Real Rabbit and Chickpeas, Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato, and Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato. The Real Duck and Sweet Potato formula contains deboned duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, sweet potatoes, and peas as its first five ingredients. There’s also a variety of fruits and veggies thrown into the mix for good measure including apples, blueberries, and potatoes. Reviews from dog owners state that this particular formula was well received by their pets.

3. Taste of the Wild Wet Dog Food

Taste of the Wild offers several varieties of canned dog food, all of which are highly rated. It contains no controversial ingredients and fillers and is one of the best dog foods to pick if you’re looking to give your pet protein from actual meat. It’s also easy for dogs to digest as it’s absent of harmful preservatives and ingredients that tend to upset their stomachs. For instance, in the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon variety the top ingredients are beef, beef and vegetable broths, and beef liver. This particular formula also has lamb and wild boar in addition to sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.

4. Pinnacle Peak Protein Formula Dog Food

This dog food brand’s formulas meets AAFCO nutrient profiles and is suitable for animals in all stages of life, so it’s a good choice if you own dogs of different ages. It contains a good mix of carbs, protein, and fat and doesn’t have any grain fillers. The top ingredients are chicken meal, chicken, and potatoes, and it also contains salmon oil for a healthy dose of omega-3. This dog food is also a good source of vitamins E, C, A, B6, B1, B21, and D3.

5. Wellness Core Dog Food

Wellness Core is a line of seven dry dog foods, and each one is well received by pets and their owners. Contrary to dog foods that are known for being laden with chemicals, colorants, and artificial flavorings, this one will truly nourish your pet. In addition to meeting AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult dogs and puppies, this is a high quality line of food that has no fillers. One of the best dog foods that Wellness Core offers is for large breeds. Its top five ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, and peas.

6. Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food

If you’re looking for a nutritious dry formula, one of the best dog foods available is Nature’s Variety Instinct. The company produces several different varieties, with the distinction between each being the flavors — dogs of all ages can eat this food, and owners haven’t reported any dangerous or ill effects. In the well liked Duck and Turkey flavored formula the main ingredients are duck, turkey meal, salmon meal, and tapioca. There are also cranberries, carrots, apples, and a variety of vitamins added into the mix. These are nutritious additions to the food, which are more often than not missing from formulas made by less expensive and low quality brands.

7. Holistic Select Dog Food

Holistic Select has a line of dog food that includes over 12 varieties, with many of them aimed at benefiting dogs in different life stages. This makes the brand’s offerings ideal for those with both puppies and adult dogs, or anyone who has dogs with special dietary needs. Each is full of healthful ingredients and has a good mix of protein, carbs, and fat. Holistic Select’s formulas include ingredients such as cranberries, carrots, pumpkin, quinoa, apples, and peas, but the top ingredients are typically meat meal.

8. Acana Regionals Dog Food

Dog owners give this dry food brand high ratings because it contains real ingredients as opposed to fillers and chemicals that can cause upset stomachs and other illnesses in their pets. Acana Regionals offers several varieties, such as Appalachian Ranch. The latter is full of meat and has deboned beef, pork, and lamb as the first three ingredients. It also contains nutritious additions such as dried kelp, rosehips, juniper berries, and kale. This brand’s formulas are highly rated and there are very few complaints about it causing digestive troubles in dogs.

9. Annamaet Grain Free

Annamaet Grain Free has become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially among dog owners who have tried lesser quality brands that resulted in their pets getting sick. There are four formulas in the line, each with real meat and no fillers that lack nutrition. The Manitok Red Meat variety includes deboned lamb, lamb meal, lentils, chickpeas, venison meal, and an assortment of healthy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, watercress, field peas, carrots, and celery.

10. Fromm Family Gold Dog Food

Fromm Gold dry dog food is recommended by many vets, and it’s loaded with nutritious ingredients. There are a variety of formulas in the line that are targeted towards dogs at different life stages, from puppies to seniors that are no longer as active. The Adult formula is one of the best dog foods available from the brand and it contains duck, chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, and pearled barley among the first ingredients. The formula has a good amount of protein and fats as well.

11. Horizon Legacy Dog Food

Horizon Legacy is becoming more widely used, and the brand currently offers three high quality formulas. One of the formulas is for puppies, another for adults, and the third is for dogs at any life stage. The adult formula’s first ingredient is chicken, while chicken meal, peas, pea starch, and turkey meal round out the top five.There are also probiotics added to this formula, so it would be a good option for dogs who have experienced digestive troubles with other foods.

12. Bully Max High Performance Dog Food

If you’ve been looking for a dog food geared towards high performance that’s not all fillers, chemical preservatives, and suspicious ingredients, Bully Max is worth looking into. It has a great balance of protein, carbs, and fat, and the formula is full of nutrition. The flavoring of the food is natural, and top ingredients include chicken meal, brown rice, ground grain sorghum, and chicken fat.

13. Dr. Tim’s Dog Food

Dr. Tim’s line of dry dog foods has been well received and highly rated among dog owners for years, and there are specialty formulas appropriate for different situations. In addition to formulas made for active dogs and those with weight issues, Dr. Tim’s offers a formula that’s excellent for all life stages. The active dog variety contains real meal, dried whole eggs, quality sources of vitamins and protein, and DHA. Compared to the ingredients labels on lesser quality options, the list of ingredients on this dog food is outstanding.

14. Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Care

The unfortunate side effect of dogs reacting adversely to low quality dog foods is they can develop allergies that don’t go away just by switching brands. If that’s the case for your dog, Brothers Complete Advanced Allergy Care is one of the best dog foods to consider. It’s a line of dry dog food that is specially formulated to prevent allergy problems and be easy for dogs to digest. The Venison Meal and Egg variety contains venison meal, whole dried eggs, turkey meal, tapioca, and peas in the first several ingredients. There’s also omega-3, DHA, vitamins, and fiber from vegetables.

15. Abound Moist Dog Food

Abound is known for packaging its moist dog food in handy tubs, but it’s also developed a reputation for being high quality and easy for dogs to digest. One of the best dog foods offered by Abound is the Chicken Vegetable Stew formula, which contains healthful ingredients such as real chicken broth, chicken, peas, carrots, and brown rice. Vitamins D3, A, B12, and E are added along with folic acid.

16. Bravo Homestyle Complete

If you’re unable to find frozen, raw dog food in your local stores, look to freeze-fried options such as Bravo Homestyle Complete. This particular brand offers three excellent formulas that have loads of protein and healthy amounts of fat and carbs. The Complete Turkey Dinner variety has turkey, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and green beans among the first six ingredients. There’s also healthy herbs included along with dried kelp and vitamins.

17. Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Raw Frozen Dog Food

Aunt Jeni’s brand of raw frozen dog food has received rave reviews from pet owners, and it’s become more widely available in stores across the country. The one formula the watch out for is the Home Made Lamb variety, but the others don’t have any suspicious ingredients or fillers. For instance, the Home Made Beef formula has beef meat and hearts, apples, celery, whole eggs, kale, acorn squash, and pumpkin along with organic flax seeds. The balance of nutrition is on the mark for this formula and it’s one of the best dog foods that Aunt Jeni’s makes.

18. Blue Buffalo Blue’s Stew

Many dog owners are familiar with Blue Buffalo’s dry dog food line, which happens to contain ingredients that are a bit more controversial than those in its canned wet food. The latter is a safer bet if you’re very concerned about the digestive health of your pet. The Hearty Beef Stew formula has no harmful additives and its top ingredients are beef, beef broth, water, peas, egg, and potato starch. Vitamins and vegetables are also included to give it a good balance of carbs, fat, and protein.

19. K-9 Kraving Raw Frozen Dog Food

One of the biggest trends in dog food is selling it raw instead of preserved and filled with chemicals. K-9 Kraving makes a line of raw formulas that’s available frozen. The formulas are well balanced and full of healthy protein such as chicken, beef, beef liver, and beef heart. The food also contains veggies such as sweet potatoes and broccoli, which help provide additional fiber.

20. Dogswell Dog Food

Dog owners who prefer to feed their pets wet canned food should check out Dogswell. The brand has a line of six varieties with ingredients that are quite nutritious. The Duck and Sweet Potato Stew variety is a vitality formula that contains duck, chicken broth, chicken liver, salmon, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and red peppers among other healthy additions.

The 20 Worst Consumer Rated Dog Foods of 2016

Many people think that there are few differences between dog food brands, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are minimum nutritional guidelines that formulas have to meet, there’s a world of difference between top tier premium dog food and brands that are rated as being at the bottom of the barrel. Some of the latter have even been involved in incidents where dogs got sick as a result of eating the food, and it’s shocking just how many brands contain little other than fillers, artificial ingredients, and ingredients that have been shown to adversely affect the health of dogs.

1. Purina Beneful Original Formula

This is one of the worst rated dog foods on the market, and it’s full of harmful fillers. What’s worse, this formula has been cited as the cause of skin and allergy issues, gastrointestinal problems, liver failure, and death in a number of dogs. Even though some dogs don’t experience any ill effects right away, feeding a dog Purina Beneful Original Formula daily is akin to a human eating fast food for each meal — the health benefits are few and far in between and such a diet is generally not worth the risk.

2. Blackwood 1000 Chicken Meal & Corn Formula

This brand of dog food has an ingredients list that’s full of items that provide no health benefits to dogs and can even be detrimental to their health. It also contains a lot of ingredients that contain GMOs. As the health effects of genetically modified foods haven’t even been firmly established in humans — although many studies that have been conducted suggest that GMOs are not safe for us to eat — it’s definitely not a good idea to fill your dog with such foods on a daily basis

3. Wegmans Bruiser Kibble Variety Mix

This store brand dry dog food has ingredients that have been deemed unsafe for dogs to consume, as well as chemicals including BHT, BHA, xantham gum, corn gluten, and food coloring. Wegmans Bruiser Kibble Variety Mix proves the adage that you typically get what you pay for. The price of it is attractive, but if you’re looking to give your dog balanced nutrition you should look for an alternative.

4. Purina Dog Chow

Purina Dog Chow is so harmful to dogs that a class action lawsuit was launched to get the company to own up to the thousands of deaths that it has allegedly caused. In addition to online complaints about this formula, many dog owners are upset by the fact that Purina denies the problems with their dog food.

5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food

This is one of the pricier dog foods that some vets recommend, although it’s difficult to see why. One look at the ingredients list and you’ll notice this formula is packed with the same fillers and toxic ingredients that cheaper brands have. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Food has been associated with several cases of dogs who have died from anal cell carcinoma, while other dog owners have reported that their pets got sick soon after eating the food

6. Walmart’s Ol’ Roy Dog Food

Corn, soybean meal, corn syrup, and ground wheat are foods that your dog doesn’t need and each can cause problems with allergies and their digestive systems. However, those are the top ingredients listed in Walmart Ol’ Roy Dog Food. This is yet another store brand that skimps on quality and nutrition for the sake of offering a lower price

7. Purina Be Happy Beef Flavor Dog Food

Purina Be Happy Beef Flavor Dog Food has a very misleading name. For one, the first ingredient listed in it is ground yellow corn, followed by ground wheat and soybean meal. Beef and bone meal is the fourth ingredient — that hardly sounds like something that contains the nutritious protein that dogs need. You’d be better off mixing your own beef dog food or adding beef broth to a better quality product.

8. Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Beef Flavor Dry Dog Food

Pedigree brand dog food has many formulas that have garnered consumer complaints, but this one is the worst. In addition to reports of dog deaths, pet owners have said their dogs have gotten sick, vomited, or developed diarrhea after eating this food. Its top ingredients are ground whole corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, and animal fat. It also contains artificial coloring and vegetable oil, and Pedigree admits that its kibble contains pig hair. If you wouldn’t willingly eat food with animal hair mixed into it, why feed it to your dog?

9. Purina Veterinary Diets

It’s hard to understand why any vet would recommend a product with an ingredient list like the one on Purina Veterinary Diets. In this case, the name is just a marking scheme and there’s not much nutrition in the food at all. If your pet does have special dietary needs due to allergies or illness, it’s best to be very careful when you buy or make their food. What’s certain is that no dog benefits from ingredients like propylene glycol, caramel color, soy, and corn gluten.

10. Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Formula

This dog food is famous for two things: its signature commercials and begin related to dog deaths and illnesses. There’s so many preservatives in this dog food, including BHA and sorbic acid, but whats really disturbing are the vague ingredients listed on the package. Apparently, “animal digest” gives Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Formula its chicken flavor, and the “wheat middlings” are to bulk it up and make it cheaper to produce. This is food that you should definitely avoid if you’re concerned about your dog’s nutrition.

11. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Formula

Puppies are much like human children in that what you feed them early on can have a big effect on their growth and development. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Formula may have the phrase “Health Smart” in its name, but it’s actually not all that healthy. In one particularly disturbing account, a dog owner on the Consumer Affairs website noticed that her pet displayed symptoms of a parasite soon after eating this food. However, a vet evaluation confirmed the digestive problems were due to the food, and no parasites were present in the dog.

12. Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels Formula

Seriously, what’s the deal with dog foods claiming to be healthy when the formulas are anything but? Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels Formula contains these not so healthy ingredients: brewers rice, sugar, salt, potassium chloride, and colorants including Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 2. The artificial colorants alone have been proven to be harmful to humans and animals when ingested regularly, so it’s best to keep this food out of your dog’s dish.

13. Kal Kan Dog Food

Kal Kan is a brand that’s rated very poorly by consumers across the board, and it’s largely because of the controversial ingredients that it contains. The first eight ingredients in the Complete Adult formula (which includes ground yellow corn, soybean meal, and corn gluten meal ) are noted as being bad for dogs’ health and nutrition.

14. Alpo by Purina

So many complaints about dogs getting sick and dying came in about Alpo by Purina that the FDA started its own investigation into the company’s processing plants. The agency issued a warning in late 2015 to a Purina facility that cans the dog food stating that their processing didn’t align with minimum standards, not all of the food was heated to the proper temperature, and the conveyor belt system has no checks to prevent unprocessed cans from going out to consumers. If the brand doesn’t care to meet basic production guidelines, then there’s no reason to assume that it’s a good option to feed your dog.

15. Gravy Train Dog Food

One of the better known brands of dog food is Gravy Train, which is widely available in grocery and big box stores and supermarkets. It’s appealing to some dog owners because of its affordable price, but a quick glance at the label on it will reveal some of the most commonly used, nutrition-poor ingredients. The beef flavored formula has caused the most problems, doesn’t actually contain much beef, and it was subject to a large recall in 2007. Like many other lower quality dog food brands during that year, there were concerns that Gravy Train Beef Sticks contained melamine.

16. Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food is known for causing digestive problems, illness, and allergies in dogs, and the ingredients list reveals why. Even though the first item listed is “chicken”, the formula also has corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, potassium chloride, brewers yeast, salt, and flax, all of which are unnecessary in a dog’s diet and can cause chronic health issues if eaten over a long period of time. This Iams formula is much like the brand’s other types of foods and should be avoided, especially if your dog has existing allergies or health problems

17. Purina Senior 7+ Healthy Morsels Soft & Crunchy Bites Dog Food

Older dogs are especially vulnerable to becoming sick, and their diet is a key part of keeping them healthy and active for as long as possible. This Purina dog food formula, which is aimed at owners of senior dogs, is noted for containing some of the worst ingredients that you could possible give any dog, especially an aging one. Aside from the GMO corn, ground wheat, soybeans, sugar, salt, phosphoric acid, preservatives, and artificial coloring, it also contains various bone meals and animal fats. Exactly what animals are contained within the food isn’t clear and, unfortunately, regulations don’t stipulate that it has to be disclosed. For any senior dog or one with fragile health, the better option would be mixing up your own food for it that’s made of natural and whole ingredients — you’ll find that the cost is comparable to buying this brand

18. PRO PAC Adult Chunk Premium Dog Food

PRO PAC Adult Chunk Premium formula dog food comes in a total of three formulas — Adult, Adult mini chunk, and Performance Puppy — and purports to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines. One must question why, then, the food contains so many fillers, artificial ingredients, preservatives, and things that re known to be detrimental to the health of dogs. Just as too many cheaper brands contain such ingredients, this higher priced dog food does as well.

19. Science Diet Adult Dog Breed

Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Meal, Pork Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Oat Fiber, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.

20. Nature’s Recipe Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Recipe looks like an average dry product. But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating. Nature’s Recipe is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein which isn’t ideal.


5 Dog Behaviors Analyzed

This is a good article from Modern Dog Magazine. Besides a better understanding of a dog’s behavior you should come away with a better understanding that Dogs Are Not Humans and should not be treated as such.

Though dogs truly are our best friends, they can sometimes be, well, a bit weird about things. Let’s face it—our partnership with them has only lasted for twenty thousand years or so; before that, they’d had millions of years of experience under their belts. Evolutionary studies suggest that the first identifiable members of the dog family, Canidae, appeared about 40 million years ago during the Eocene epoch, with today’s modern wolf appearing nearly two million years ago. We Homo Sapiens, however, have only been around for about half a million years. The dog’s “pre-human” time created a unique species and unique behaviors that some of us humans might find a bit odd.</p>

<p>I’m certain that things we do baffle them. Traffic jams, fireworks, reality television—we too are an odd bunch. But, as they seem to take us in stride, so must we do for them. And after all, what seems odd to us (or them) can often be shown to be perfectly normal relative to the species’ needs and desires. Let’s take a look at some of our canine companions’ strangest behaviors, and then try to understand them from a dog’s perspective. Most often, there’s a good reason for an odd behavior if you just look closely enough!</p>

<p>Coprophagy<br />

I know; why on earth would any animal eat its own waste or that of another animal? It’s a bizarre behavior from our perspective and one that can sometimes be detrimental to a dog. So then, why would your beautiful little fur ball stoop to such a vulgar level?</p>

<p>Several reasons exist for a dog eating what would seem to be such a poor food source. If you have ever raised a litter of puppies, you’ll know that their mother will normally clean up after them by eating their feces. This is not only a sanitary solution, but an age-old survival mechanism. In the wild, predators hungry for a bit of puppy could locate the den simply by the scent of feces. It became necessary, then, for the mother to get rid of this evidence. Good canine mothers today do the same thing, even though those nasty predators are by and large no longer a threat.</p>

<p>Additionally, in dirty kennels, puppy mills, or overcrowded shelters, the waste of puppies and other dogs can lie around for hours; the curious puppy will often eat the feces, which still contains some scent of food. This behavior self-reinforces over time and when the puppy goes to a good home, the nasty habit often goes with them.</p>

<p>Another cause of coprophagy is poor diet. If a puppy or adult dog is eating a nutritionally deficient diet or is not being fed enough, it will instinctively seek out another food source. This often means feces in the yard or dog park.</p>

<p>And then there’s the litter box, a distinct issue from the above as most dogs adore the taste of cat poop. This is most likely due to feline food (and therefore feces) containing a higher percentage of meat than dog food, as well as flavorings different than what dogs are used to. Cat feces can be in a litter box or dispersed randomly outdoors; with the power of your dog’s nose, it’s nearly impossible to stop him from finding these delicious cat leavings.</p>

<p>To prevent coprophagy, keep your dog’s environment perfectly free of any waste. Pick it up right away! Try not to leave a dog with this habit alone in a yard or dog run for any length of time, as he will eat the waste and self-reinforce the behavior. Be sure to feed the best food possible, in amounts suitable for your dog. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian on this. Then, whenever you’re walking your dog, let him sniff around only in spots where you know there is no other waste present. That means you decide when he gets to defecate or urinate! Lastly, if you have a cat, locate litter boxes in areas your dog cannot access—either high up or inside a room with a door propped open only a few inches, allowing cat access, but not dog. And try and get your neighbors to clean up after their outdoor cats!</p>

<p>Humping<br />

It’s an awkward moment when your dog saunters over to another dog at the park and starts humping away. Even more awkward is when it happens to human guests in your home. Why is this happening?</p>

<p>Though humping is a sign of sexual excitement and is often paired with signs of physical arousal and a desire to mate, it’s not that simple. The motivations for humping/mounting are varied. Though unneutered males are the most likely culprits, any dog—male, female, young or old—can develop a humping habit. Often evolving out of play, puppies will often hump each other, as will older dogs. The anxious, isolated dog can evoke this behavior as a stress release mechanism. Status confusion among a group of dogs and/or humans can result in a dog humping sequential “victims,” in an attempt to clarify his/her standing. Some pushy dogs will do it simply as a way of controlling others, while the un-socialized dog just might not know any better, because no other dogs taught him or her the finer points of getting along. Lastly, humping can become an obsessive-compulsive behavior; like barking or tail chasing, it can self-reinforce over time and be nearly impossible to stop.</p>

<p>Solutions to humping are comprehensive. First, make sure your dog is getting enough stimulation. Exercise, play, socialization, training, and routine are all vital. Obedience train, as it teaches your dog to think, calms him, and gives you a way to control and refocus. For instance, instead of letting two dogs hump each other all over the yard, put them both through some obedience exercises such as down/stays, paired walking, or recalls.</p>

<p>Neuter or spay your dog at the appropriate time to lessen sexual urges. Keep a strict routine in the home—feedings, walks, training, play—to create anticipation and focus. And if a dog compulsively humps people, employ a plant spray bottle filled with water. A mist in the schnoz and a “Quit” can be effective in shutting down the behavior. Ignoring compulsive humping won’t work, so consider the spray bottle in severe cases, as well as keeping a short lead on your dog to guide him away from a potential “victim” before it happens. Put him in a down/stay, then reward with a treat after a few minutes. We disagree with this type of correction. With that said, we do agree Obedience Training will address this behavior, once you understand the correct method to address this. Read articles on our site, regarding ‘treats’ and training. This alternative can minimize the compulsion.</p>

<p>Reverse Sneezing<br />

Your dog suddenly sucks air into his nose, while making a snorting, choking sound. He extends his neck and head and seems to be choking on something. After a few moments, the event is over, and he seems fine. This is the “reverse sneeze,” one of a dog’s most bizarre behaviors.</p>

<p>Technically known as “paroxysmal respiration,” reverse sneezing sounds awful but really isn’t. Reverse sneezing can be caused by an irritant in the air, by eating or drinking too fast, by a foreign body or hair balls, or even a nasal infection. The resultant irritation of the palate or throat causes a spasm, resulting in quick inhalations of air into the dog’s nose. The trachea can narrow, causing difficulty in air movement. The condition is more common in older dogs.</p>

<p>To reduce the chances of reverse sneezes, minimize chemicals, cleaners, rug deodorizers or other potential irritants from the home. Groom your dog often, and vacuum up hair very day. If a nasal drip is present, see the veterinarian.</p>

<p>During a reverse sneeze, try rubbing your dog’s throat to ease the spasm. Very briefly cover his nose to encourage swallowing, which can dislodge a foreign body. Look into his mouth if need be, to see if anything is obstructing his throat. If so, remove it. Though a disconcerting experience for you and your pooch, it’s nothing to worry too much over, though if this happens all the time, it never hurts to see your vet.</p>

<p>Tail Chasing<br />

The sight of a dog whirling around in a circle with his tail in his mouth might be one of the funniest scenes in dogdom. I suppose if we had long, fluffy tails and could chew on them, we might even give it a try. It’s a behavior that often starts early on; a puppy, barely aware of his own individuality, sees the tail and begins to whirl around after it. It’s fun, and serves some deep-seated need to chase something. Of course when humans see this, they laugh, and often encourage the dog on. And so the behavior slowly becomes engrained.</p>

<p>Other dogs go for their tails because of a flea, tick or worm problem; they try to chew on it to relieve the itch. Dermatitis or dirt can also initiate the need to bite the tail. Still other dogs begin the behavior out of boredom, or because of underlying stress.</p>

<p>Tail chasers often slip into an obsessive-compulsive mode. Some will literally spin and spin until dizzy, or until their nails or pads wear down from the constant friction.</p>

<p>To prevent obsessive tail chasing, be sure to keep your dog as pest-free and clean as possible, thus preventing tail biting spurred from infestation or dirt. Remove tangles from his tail fur, use a flea/tick preventive prescribed by a veterinarian, and get dermatitis diagnosed and treated. Exercise your dog and provide enrichment to prevent boredom and anxiety resulting from isolation. Socialize and train and never encourage the spinning. Usually dogs with another dog around won’t tail chase; it’s almost always an “only dog” issue, so consider a second dog or play dates.</p>

<p>If your dog tail chases, ramp up obedience training to divert him into more appropriate behaviors. Use a “Quit” command when you see him begin to spin; match this with a soda can filled with pennies tossed nearby if the behavior has become obsessive. If you can divert and redirect him quickly the moment he begins the spinning, you can eventually extinguish the behavior.</p>

<p>Rolling in Stinky Stuff<br />

Why would a perfectly normal dog choose to roll around in garbage, dung, or rotting corpses? Like it or not, some do, and seem to get great pleasure out of it. And it’s rarely the dog’s own mess; rather, it’s nearly always something else’s putrid leavings. Go figure.</p>

<p>Why? One theory claims that dogs want to mark over a strong scent with their own smell, rising to the olfactory “challenge.” Others posit it’s a holdover from when dogs wished to camouflage their own scent in order to sneak up on prey. Or it may simply be that dogs to whom scent is everything, simply revel in the fragrances emitted by gross things. To dogs, what we find horrid is actually interesting. Think teenage boys wearing cheap cologne.</p>

<p>To prevent your dog anointing himself with eau de rotting seal keep things as clean as possible around home and property. While on walks, make sure you decide when your dogs stops to relieve themselves, or investigate. Keep an eye out for garbage, dead animals, or generally stinky stuff. Work on the Leave it! command, as well as a reliable recall command to stop an off-leash dog from rolling in stink. If needed, use a loud clap and a verbal Leave it! if you see him going for that flattened squirrel. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot on dog shampoo.</p>

OK People Foods For Dogs

Can my dog eat that? Apples, salmon, pumpkin, beans, yogurt… people foods that are safe for your dog to eat. As a responsible and informed dog lover, you probably know that too much “people food” can make your dog ill or overweight, but there are some human foods that can be safely added to your dog’s meals in moderation to give a nutritional boost to Queenie’s diet and add a bit of variety to her food bowl. Just remember: any additions to your dog’s meals shouldn’t comprise more than 25 percent of her weekly caloric requirement.

Are you worried that your dog has food allergies? Check out Food Allergies in Dogs.

1. Yogurt is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics. If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes (e.g., Simplesse or Olestra). Frozen yogurt is a nice summer treat for dogs.

2. Flax seed (ground or oil) is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that are good for skin and coat. Whole flax seeds are best if ground right before feeding as this type of fat can go rancid quickly. Flax seed can also be added to your dog’s diet as a source of fibre. Flax oil is a more concentrated form of omega- 3 fatty acids without the fibre. Make sure that you store the oil or seeds in the fridge in an air tight dark container.

3. Salmon is a fatty fish which is also a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids. These fats support the immune system and can be beneficial for skin and coat health. There has also been some indication that they may benefit dogs with allergies. You can feed salmon or salmon oil. If feeding salmon, make sure it’s cooked before serving, as raw salmon can carry a parasite that can make your dog sick.

4. Pumpkin is a good source of fibre and beta carotene (a source of vitamin A). Dogs need fibre in their diet. The current trend is towards highly digestible diets that lower stool volume and this is not necessarily a good thing. Keeping the GI tract moving helps keep the cells lining the gut healthy.

5. Sweet potatoes are another source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog. There are so many dog treats on the market that we often overlook the simple, healthy, and reasonably priced treats available at our grocery store.

6. Green beans are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. If your dog has a tendency to put on weight, then replacing some of her regular food with green beans is a great low calorie way to fill her up and help her maintain a healthy weight. Many dogs enjoy green beans frozen.

7. Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. For some dogs that are prone to digestive upset, eggs can give them a little protein boost. Adding eggs to your dog’s food is a healthy treat. Make sure to use cooked whole egg, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency. If you do a lot of training with your dog, consider taking cooked eggs to your next class as training treats.

8. Brewer’s yeast is the yeast that’s left over from making alcohol. Dogs seem to really enjoy the tangy taste of brewer’s yeast. It’s full of B vitamins which are good for skin, coat, and carbohydrate metabolism. Make sure you’re using brewer’s yeast (available at health food stores), not baking yeast which will make your dog sick. Brewer’s yeast can spice up your dog’s appetite. Just sprinkle a little on the food of a picky eater and watch her dive into her food.

9. Apples are wonderful crunchy treats for your dog. Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fibre. Apple seeds, however, contain cyanide so your dog should not be allowed to eat the core. Though the effects of a few apple seeds will likely not harm your dog, the deleterious effects can accumulate over time if allowed to eat apple seeds regularly.

10. Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fibre. This can be beneficial for some older dogs that may have trouble maintaining bowel regularity. Oatmeal is also an alternative source of grain for dogs that are allergic to wheat. It can be fed in conjunction with probiotics to enhance their function. Keep in mind oatmeal should always be fed cooked and plain with no sugar or flavouring. As always, check with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet, especially if they are on any medications. Upsetting the vitamin and mineral balances in your dog’s diet can have negative effects on your dog’s health and some medications interact badly with some nutrients. The aim of most dog owners is to give their dogs the best diet possible. Good nutrition coupled with a health care program may result in extending your dog’s life by as much as 15 percent. The suggestions above are not meant to replace your dog’s normal, balanced diet. Rather, they are ideas for alternative treats or for adding a little variety to your dog’s meals.

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