Archive for ‘Pet Care’

July 17, 2011

Fun in the Sun

by Bonnie Best

Summer is in full swing and many of our dogs live to swim.

It’s a fun time for everyone, but remember, if your dog has access to a pool, never leave him unattended unless you are 150% sure he can not only swim, but find the steps and get out of the pool to safety. Your dog will only be able to “swim” or dog paddle for so long before exhaustion overcomes him causing him to drown.

Teaching your dog to access the steps, and use them in a proficient and timely manner, will take time on your part. If you need help with this please contact a local dog trainer, or myself. I will be glad to help you out! Remember, you need to provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pet at all times.Enjoy the summer with your dog, but make it a fun and safe one!

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July 15, 2011

The Importance of Clean Water

by Bonnie Best

Water is the one component critical for all life as we know it. Water is responsible for maintaining hydration, controlling body temperature, replacing nutrients throughout our system, and flushing toxins out. The importance of fresh water in our lives cannot be understated, and this is also true for our pets.  The amount of water an animal needs varies with its size and activity level.  A good general rule of thumb is simply to keep fresh, clean water available at all times.

Writing an article dedicated solely to water may seem a stretch to some readers.  The fact remains, however, that even though water is a most crucial component to our pets’ health, it is also the most misunderstood. Without fresh clean water daily, their health is in danger.  You see, animals not only drink water for hydration and proper bodily functions as we do, they also drink water to clean their mouths.  Today, more than ever, we are seeing an increase in bad dental health in pets, which may very well be due to our inability (or unwillingness) to supply them with fresh water daily.

In our constant endeavor to find ways of making pet ownership easier, a new way of watering animals has become quite popular.  Instead of refilling their bowls at least once a day (and cleaning the water bowl with each refill), many owners have switched to a “water cooler” system, which is far easier for humans! Unfortunately, since our pets do not “drink” like we do, this ever-so-convenient system actually can be, and often is, not very healthy for them.

Let me explain.  When your dog or cat takes a drink, he first uses the water to rinse and flush out his mouth.  Then he lets this water run back out.  In the wild, a dog or cat will drink from a fresh running stream.  This water is in motion and therefore constantly “oxygenated,” which gives the animal’s mouth a good cleaning while also providing clean water as the expelled dirty water runs downstream.  After this rinse, the animal quickly begins to drink.Once we stop emptying and cleaning water bowls daily, bacteria start to grow from the “dirt” the animals have just flushed back—and they now have to drink this same dirty water.  Add the possibility of multiple pets drinking from one source, and you can easily see where this is going!  So if you’re watering your pet(s) with the upside down water bottle container and only refill it weekly (or, even worse, whenever it empties), your pet is drinking some nasty water that will affect his health. At least once a day, your pet should be offered clean fresh water.

Another water issue relates to “alternate” sources of drinking water that your pet may favor. What about those pool-drinking pups?  Whenever you are with your pet, you should discourage this behavior.  I don’t believe any pet should be left unattended by a pool, but if your dog is a proficient swimmer and knows how to get out of a pool, then it’s admittedly difficult to keep him from drinking pool water when you’re not around.

A far more serious problem arises, however, when an owner thinks “oh well, the pool’s always here” and stops leaving a clean bowl of fresh water for the pet to access.  Dogs may drink from the pool, but if they are given a choice, most will still choose fresh water over the pool.  Pool water is not healthy for drinking, especially on a continual basis. It has a much higher chlorine content than tap water, and some pool filtration systems now use sodium—neither chlorine nor sodium is suitable for animal consumption. Keep in mind that old saying, “If you wouldn’t eat or drink it, why should you allow your pet to?”

Finally, pets don’t sweat as we do, and we need to accommodate this difference when our animals are very active. Most of us love to bring Fido along when we are hiking or camping.  Fido probably enjoys it too, but make sure you always bring plenty of fresh water for him.  He will need more than you think, so offer it often. Again, drinking from lakes and ponds is not healthy.  Our lakes and streams carry all kinds of parasite and bacteria like Giardia. These bacteria can wreak havoc with your pet’s digestive system.

If you think your pet is dehydrated, offer him small amounts of room temperature water.  Do not let him gulp.  Often, if an animal is dehydrated and drinks very cold water or too much water too fast, he will start vomiting, which only causes him to dehydrate more. It is best to see your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns, or if any of the following symptoms appear: poor skin elasticity, constipation, sunken eyes, increased heart rate, or lethargy.

The best part of pet ownership is having our animal companions join us in our daily lives.  Just remember to always have a sufficient amount of good clean water available to keep them healthy!


May 3, 2011

Social Petworking

by Bonnie Best

Sometimes I get so caught up in pet sitting and networking online that I forget about the real world. Lucky for me I have Yelp.

Have you all used Yelp for pet-friendly events and places, reviews and such? Well, my latest Yelp email absolutely brightened my day. The title came in – “Yelp’s Social Petworking”. Now isn’t that catchy?

It made me realize that we get so obsessed with checking our Facebook, tweeting, blogging about topics we think people care about, and updating our LinkedIn profile that we forget that our pets want to network, too!

And what better way to open up new networking opportunities for our loved ones than to visit Yelp for social events tailored to them! Like up and coming dog parks, expos or dog-friendly cafes – pet stores, dog yoga, and SO MUCH MORE.

If you haven’t visited the pet category/section of your local Yelp online, you need to. I could spend all day on it. But instead, I’d rather get off this computer and take my dogs out to “petwork”.  Might even take them to the Phoenix Pet Expo this Saturday.

Again, as my Yelp email phrased it – “It’s time to strap on that leash and take advantage of the local, canine-friendly hot spots that will have us slobbering in anticipation!”

Have fun and let me know what new things you hear about on your Yelp!

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April 27, 2011

BellaDOG & Dog Book Reviews

by Bonnie Best

Another to share!

Editor, Sheri-lyn Traylor, with BellaDOG, was kind enough to do an online feature of my book. I am so thankful for the mention. Online communities are an honor to be a part of. Read other dog book reviews here.

I recommend you check out the digital edition of their latest issue, too. It’s a great magazine, and one I always look for when I go to Barnes & Noble.  Helpful and exciting articles for both dog owners and pet sitters.

They also have a blog, called The Dog Blog – check it out! Their most recent post was adorable.

Thanks BellaDOG!!!

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April 20, 2011

Animal Wellness

by Bonnie Best

Here I am again, talking about myself. I’m just so excited, I can’t hold it in!

We received a surprise in the mail today – a copy of the April/May issue of Animal Wellness.  And guess who was featured?? Me. Well, my book mostly.

For the story, you can pick up the recent issue of Animal Wellness or subscribe online for print or digital issues.

It’s really an AMAZING magazine, with articles you’ll take to heart, like their Spring into Fitness article. The magazine is full of valuable tips and stories you can apply to your own lives with your pets.

I’d like to send a special thanks to editor, Ann Brightman, for featuring my book. You are fabulous, Ann!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! And thank you Animal Wellness!

Bonnie

April 15, 2011

Veterinary Partner

by Bonnie Best

My friend, Cheryl, shared with me a new web site called Veterinary Partner, an animal health database.  It’s a site that supports your veterinarian and you in the care of your pet by providing reliable, up-to-date animal health information from the veterinarians and experts of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), the world’s first and largest online veterinary database and community.

Maybe you’re in search of more information about a medication your pet is taking, or want to research an animal medical condition. Or you have questions about proper nutrition for your pet, or caring for your pet’s teeth. First aid and emergency preparedness, dental care, behavior, or fleas might be on your mind! Whatever you’re looking for, if it’s information that will make your pet happier and healthier, try visiting this site.

Happy Friday!

April 5, 2011

A New Dog Food

by Bonnie Best

A question came in through my “Ask Bonnie” tab and I was given permission to post it along with my answer!

Question: What’s a good dog kibble?

My Answer: Oh, my… such a question. There are many. Depends on your pocketbook.

For a cheaper version, I like Purina Smart Blend – chicken and rice, (and I am NOT a fan of Purina)… also like their Purina One Chicken and Rice. I fed Mealtime for 30 years and then recently they changed their ingredients  or blend thereof, and I have not been happy with it. 2 of my dogs won’t touch it anymore. NO club why, it looks the same.

If you can find a food called “Ken-L-Ration Biskit”, this is the best dog food in the world.  Get it and let me know where it is! I would buy tons of it!

Most “name brand” foods are good as long as they start with “meat” on the ingredient label.  Purina, as a general use, uses grains as their primary ingredient. I think dogs prefer chicken to lamb. And definitely over fish. The next rule is to find something  your dog likes and does well on. If your dog won’t eat it, or gets sick on it or poops too much, it’s not worth buying.

There is however a new holistic one out called Blue Buffalo. Their website is AMAZING. A few of my clients are feeding it to their dogs and are seeing a big difference. And, their dogs don’t get sick on it and are staying fit.

WHY FEED BLUE.

Their national TV commercials are pretty great, too. Check them out!

They have food for cats, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What dog food do you feed your dog(s)? Please share!

 
March 25, 2011

Veterinarians Recommend USANA

by Bonnie Best

I’m a big fan USANA, and now they have health solutions for dogs!

Top veterinarians, too, recommend using  USANA nutritionals for improving your dog’s health (of course, make sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting any program):

  1. Use BiOmega as a daily supplement, particularly if your dog has kidney related problems. Feed BiOmega directly to your pet or squirt over his/her food. Research has shown that fish oil not only helps with kidney disease, but may alleviate chronic brittle nails, reduce certain allergy symptoms and decrease inflammatory response in degenerative joint disease, among other things. They recommend one capsule per 40 pounds of dog weight per day.
  2. Give Procosa to your large dog with arthritis. Try hiding it inside peanut butter or a tasty treat. Give 1 tablet per 40 pounds of dog weight per day.
  3. Try Pure Rest for your dog with noise phobia. It may help to calm your pet. The dose varies with the dog, but generally give 1-3 tablets 30 minutes prior to a stressful event such as a thunderstorm or fireworks display.

Learn more about what’s best for your dog here.

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March 20, 2011

For all you “pooper scoopers!”

by Bonnie Best

Check out these very colorful pooper scoopers.  They will certainly put a smile on your face as you do what we do best – “scoop poop!”

Choose the large or panaromic size for bigger dogs:

And, the small for smaller dogs: