The Truth About Commercial Dog Foods

The old adage states, “You are what you eat,” and in a sense, it’s very true.  The food you consume is where your body derives all the proteins, enzymes, minerals, and other building blocks for creating a strong, healthy you.  The same is true for your dog, and just like junk food can leave your body weak, undernourished, and unhealthy, dog foods that don’t have the proper nutritional balance will not be good enough to keep your happy pup playful and healthy.

There are many options for feeding your dog a healthy, balanced diet.  It will, however, take a little research and effort on your part.

A wonderful resource for learning more about what is in dog food, and keeping your eye on which brands are safe and which might be dangerous to your beloved pet, is The Dog Food Project, a site dedicated to keeping pet owners informed on all the most important issues in the world of dog food.  Using this website, you can make sure that the foods you’re feeding your dog are safe and nutritious.

Of course, the fastest and easiest way to ensure that your dog is eating the healthiest food available is to buy Good Dog Food, and other treats and supplements from The Good Dog Food Company, but even if you cannot, for whatever reason, give your pets fresh, homemade food, you can make sure that the food they do eat is up to par.

It might not seem like all that big of a deal to feed your dog something of a slightly lower quality, but the truth is the long-term effects of certain commercial dog foods can have disastrous effects on your pet’s health.  Certain pet foods have been known to leave dangerous chemicals off their ingredients list, despite the fact that the chemicals are present in their foods.  Some of these chemicals, such as ethoxyquin, which has been known to cause severe problems, even failure, of the liver and kidneys.

Educating yourself and staying aware by using the many wonderful resources online is the best way to protect your dog’s health, not to mention your sanity!

Put A Healthy Smile on Your Dog’s Face This Month

February is best known as the month that hosts Valentine’s Day, but it’s not just about love and romance; February is also the perfect month to celebrate great dental health in dogs (that is, if you like kissing your dog as much as we do).

This might not be something you give a lot of thought to, but tending to your dog’s teeth can make a world of difference to their health. Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and actually shorten your dog’s life span.  If you aren’t giving your dog daily brushings, high quality dental products can be safer, easier, and less expensive alternatives to a cleaning under anesthesia with your vet.

Luckily, there are several products out there to make your job easier.  One of the best is Leba III, a unique and healthy dental spray that is completely safe and beneficial to your dog’s dental health.  There is no need to brush your dog’s teeth or put them under to get their teeth cleaned when using Leba III. The spray changes the pH of the saliva, causing all the plaque to fall off.

Leba III has the added advantage of containing only safe ingredients for your pet, containing no chemicals, just herbs.  This is unique when compared to many other dental sprays, which either use chemicals that can be too harsh or damaging to a dog, or contain grapefruit seed extract (GSE), which can be toxic to pets and has been known to cause damage to pets’ mouths after long-term use.

Another dangerous compound sometimes found in dental sprays for dogs is Benzethonium chloride, which can be deadly if ingested.  Since your pets can’t rinse their mouths out, everything that goes into their mouth will be ingested.

The safest bet is to stay away from anything containing dangerous chemicals or ingredients, and stick to all-natural solutions.  You can also look into pet-friendly toothbrushes and toothpastes, which will leave your dog’s mouth sparkling and smelling fresh (much to your relief!).

Check out some of the great dental health products sold at The Dog House – they’ll make a great Valentine’s Gift for your dog!

Unknown Household Dangers to Your Dog

Danger!We work so hard to keep our beloved pets safe, putting up high fences to keep them in the safety of our yards, leashing them when we go out, making sure they’re up to date on all their shots, and feeding the best foods available.  All this effort can be for naught, though, if we forget to protect our dogs from one of the greatest dangers of all:  Our own homes.

Inside our houses are all manner of threats to our curious pets, who can get themselves into heaps of trouble sampling the flavors of various household cleaning products, certain foods, and ordinary objects that can pose a threat to dogs of any age, not just feisty puppies.

Foods and Other Products Your Dog Should Never Eat:

–          Anything containing caffeine (tea, coffee, sodas, energy drinks, etc.)

–          Grapes/Raisins

–          Milk and other Dairy Products

–          Macadamia nuts

–          Salt

–          Sugar

–          Yeast dough

–          Avocado

–          Alcohol

–          Onions

–          Fat and meat trimmings

–          Peaches and plums

–          Raw Eggs

–          Garlic

–          Baking Powder/Baking Soda

–          Nutmeg and a variety of other spices

–          Candy and gum

–          Store-bought baked goods

–          Diet foods

–          Bones

–          Chocolate

–          Raw meat and fish

While some of these products will simply leave your dog feeling a bit unwell for a while, many of them can be deadly.  Barely a handful of macadamia nuts is enough to give your dog weakness, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis of the hindquarters, and even death.  Garlic and onions – even in powdered form – can be toxic to dogs, and whether they eat one large dose or a small amount regularly, can be destructive to their red blood cells, causing anemia and even death.  Avocados contain persin, which is harmless to humans, but deadly to dogs, who are allergic, and can cause death if ingested in too large a quantity.

If you have any reason to believe that your pup has eaten anything listed above, immediately call your vet, the closest emergency clinic, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, which can be reached at 888-426-4435.

It isn’t just foods that can make your dog sick, though – anti-freeze, which is known to be quite deadly, is tasty to dogs, who might lap up a large amount if left unsupervised.  Toothpaste can also be enticing to a curious dog, but it contains xylitol, which can cause liver failure in dogs.  Human medicines, formulated differently from medicines for dogs, contain ingredients which could be deadly if consumed by a dog.

Another danger, especially for teething, playful puppies, are electrical wires, which they can chew through in no time at all, causing electrocution.  They might also tug at electrical wires, pulling heavy or dangerous appliances onto themselves.

Of course, even the most carefully guarded dogs can sometimes manage to get into dangerous situations, even if you’ve done everything right.  However, if we take the right steps, keep dangerous substances out of our dogs’ reach, and make every effort to pup-proof our homes, then we can rest assured knowing that we’ve done our job well, and that our dogs are as safe as we can possibly make them.  As pet owners, it is our duty to make sure that the environments our pets inhabit are safe and dog-friendly, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, even all our precautions won’t be enough to protect our pets from getting into trouble.  Armed with this knowledge, you can make sure that your home is as pet-friendly as can be, and a safe place for both you and your beloved canine.

The Perfect Gift for Your Dog!

Are you ready for gift-giving?The holiday season is here, bringing with it a collection of gift-giving holidays and celebrations.  That means lots of shopping for the perfect gift for your loved ones.  While most of our friends and family members have a vast array of interests to help make holiday shopping easier, what are we to get our four-legged pals during the gift-giving season?

It can be overwhelming when looking at the options, and one can be tempted to just buy some squeaky toys and call it a day, but first, you should check out some of the amazing buys available to you this holiday season that are not only fun, cool, and attractive, but highly functional for you and your dog.

Below is a list of five of the top products for keeping your pet healthy, happy, safe, and entertained all through the winter season – the perfect gift for Christmas!

1. Puplights

In the winter, the days become shorter, and the nights much longer.  This might cut into your dog-walking schedule, but if you’ve got yourself a Puplight, then you’re all set!  This convenient LED flashlight is worn on your dog’s collar, lighting his way through the night and making it easier to see the road ahead as you traverse the neighborhood!

2. Scout and Zoe’s Deer Antlers

These organic chews for dogs are made from antlers, and provide a safe, healthy, allergy-free alternative to other chews, which can contain unsafe chemicals.  They’re also much safer than bones, which can splinter and harm your pet.  These chews are even GOOD for your dog, providing trace amounts of calcium and phosphorous, so they’re safe, healthy, and lots of fun!

3. Planet Dog Holiday Toys

Get some fun and festive toys for your pet this season, which will entertain her for hours and fit in perfectly with your holiday decor.  You can get a glowing doggie ball that resembles an ornament, a festive “Christmas tree light” that releases treats, and squeaky gingerbread men that will entertain your pup for hours.

4. Susan Lanci Fur Coats

For small or thin dogs prone to getting cold, these wonderful, stylish faux fur coats will keep your pup warm and cozy.  They come in sizes ranging from the tiniest of pooches to our lovable behemoths, so they will suit any and all dogs who need to be fabulously warm when out and about.

5. Hip Doggie Bomber Jackets

Of course, if those extravagant fur coats aren’t quite your dog’s style, you can always take a look at these very cool vintage bomber jackets.  These faux leather jackets are lined with fleece and featuring a cozy drawstring hood, giving your pup a spunky look that will suit his natural attitude!

6. Gingerbread Dog Houses

Our Gingerbread Dog Houses are pet friendly versions of the traditional holiday treat.

They are made with all-natural and organic ingredients, and are entirely edible. We even use natural food coloring made from fruits and vegetables to color our hydrants, trees, and candy canes!  (Ingredients:  rye flour, yogurt frosting, molasses, oat flour, garbanzo flour, organic coconut, organic cherries, grape seed oil, ginger, natural food coloring, sugar paw.)

One of the best places to find quality gifts for your pet is the Good Dog Food online store, or our Las Vegas shop, The Dog House, located in Tivoli Village.  Stop in to check out all our great holiday deals and see some of these wonderful dog-oriented gifts in person!

As The Seasons Change…

As the temperature drops, the ways we play and interact with our dog’s might change. In desert climates like Las Vegas, outdoor time might increase as weather becomes more pleasant for fall, but in other areas of the world, this might be the beginning of “indoor time” for you and your pet.

Wherever you find yourself, and whatever seasonal change you might be experiencing, be sure to prepare your dog for the best and worst of it all.

Health

One good tactic is to be sure to brush your dog regularly (something you should already do, really) to ensure that he is shedding enough to accommodate his new coat.  This will also prevent fur from going all over your house and yard – instead, it can go straight in the trash!

If you’re not already giving your dog supplements and vitamins, around seasonal changes is a great time to start.  The boost to their immune system will help keep dogs from becoming susceptible to illness as the temperature changes; seasonal change has been known to weaken the germ-fighting abilities of both humans and animals, so keeping dogs healthy is especially important during cooler months.

Fun

These cooler months also open the doors to fun new activities.  If hot months are behind you and cooler, more comfortable temperatures are coming your way, then perhaps walks, park visits, and hikes are in order.  Dogs love to be outside, exploring and spending time with their masters, and it’s beneficial for humans to be out of doors, too!  Venture outside with your four-legged friend, or take up some games and sports that can be played by both humans and canines alike.  If all else fails, rake up some piles of leaves and have a blast jumping in them with your dog – who doesn’t love a little childhood nostalgia?🙂

Keeping Warm

If you have a particularly short-haired or small dog, you might want to consider some doggie apparel, such as sweaters or booties, for keeping your pooch warm as the weather gets cooler.  Dogs like this might not be all that interested in outside play now that the weather’s cooling down, so spend time together by curling up in front of the fireplace together or making sure your dog’s bed is cozy and warm, and located in a spot that is likely to promote comfort, rather than make dogs feel cold, nervous, or excluded on the chill fall and winter nights ahead.  Dogs can appreciate blankets as much as humans, especially if you have the kind of dog who struggles to stay warm.

As always, a little creativity goes a long way.  Dogs can enjoy the excitement of seasonal change just as much as humans, and if you keep things fun and engaging for your pet, you can enjoy it together, and make this year’s fall experiences that much more memorable🙂

Autumn Activities for You and Your Dog

As the hot summer months give way to the more inviting fall temperatures, you might be considering getting out with your dog more often to enjoy the great outdoors.

Spending time with your dog is a great way to strengthen your bond and improve the quality of both your lives and possibly even increase both your life spans.  There are many great, fun, safe ways for you and your pup to have a blast in the coming months.  Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

Walks

A good, classic activity, walks are great in the cooling autumn weather, and as the weather improves, you might want to go for longer, more interesting walks.  Try new locations, explore new neighborhoods, or even take your dog for a scenic hike.  Your dog will love the new smells of the city (or nature), and you might find little gems of shops or cafes that you never knew existed.  If you’re not one for wandering, pick a destination beforehand and enjoy your journey.

Walking is a great way to bond with your dog, get some exercise, and just get out of the house for a little fresh air.

Play Dates

Invite a friend and their dog over, or meet up somewhere so your dogs can play.  Interaction with other animals is very important to a dog’s psyche, and seeing a familiar pooch will make him happy and give him something outside his routine to enjoy.  Dogs have a unique way of playing together, and it’s very important that they get that time, so spend some time with a friend or family member while your dogs enjoy one another’s company in the yard, park, or other dog-friendly area.

Visit the Park

Doggie parks (or regular parks) are wonderful this time of year.  This is the perfect time for playing catch, tossing Frisbees, or (if you can find a contained dog park with good fencing) just letting your dog run wild for a bit.

You and your dog can race, wrestle, play hiding/chasing games, or engage in other fun games like football and basketball (they make foam or rubber sports balls that dogs can easily handle).  Your dog will also love meeting new people and pets, and if your dog is friendly to children, then having kids to potentially play with will be fun and exciting for him.

Relaxing Outside

Even if you don’t have a huge yard (or any yard at all!) try just sitting outside with your dog, rather than inside.  Sit in your yard with your dog at your feet while you read a book, make your grocery list, plan the following day, or just enjoy a little peace and quiet.  If you’re reading, read to your dog!  He’ll enjoy the attention, and you might have fun with different voices and scenarios.  You can even talk to your dog while you mull over your thoughts or ponder a situation – your dog may not understand your words, but he will appreciate being part of your dialogue.

Do Yard Work

While this might not sound as fun, your dog will love seeing you outside, doing something interesting.  If you have trees that drop their leaves, rake them into a pile and let your dog go wild.  Join in, if you feel so daring – there are few ways as effective as playing with a dog to relive your carefree childhood years.  Make a boring chore fun and engaging for you and your pet by keeping him close and turning tedious work into an opportunity for fun.

How do you enjoy autumn with your dog? We are based in Las Vegas, so fall is comfortable for us – what’s different about your environment, and what activities are your favorite for this lovely time of year? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Healthy Dogs are Happy Dogs: Keeping Your Dog’s Immune System Strong

With the fall months looming just around the corner, it’s important for dog owners everywhere to keep a close eye on their pet’s health – dogs are just as susceptible to sickness and weakened immune systems as humans are, and it’s our job as pet owners to ensure that our dogs are happy, healthy, and free of illness.  Don’t let illness slow your dog down, now or ever – follow these three simple steps to keep your dog at his best.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

One of the most important aspects of keeping your dog healthy and strong against infection and disease is to make sure he is eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.  Just 20 minutes of walking each day will give you and your dog enough exercise to keep both of you in good health.  As for diet, it’s simple (at least when it comes to your dog!) – just feed your pooch Good Dog Food and her health will naturally start to improve right before your eyes.

Great Supplements for Your Dog

At The Good Dog Food Company, the health and safety of dogs is our number one priority.  That’s why we sell NZYMES – a powerful, ultra-healthy supplement line for any and all health needs your dog might have.  Many people don’t consider the possibility that their dogs might need more than just good food and regular veterinary checks to keep them at optimal health; these supplements – which can aid with anything from allergies to hip dysplasia – are made from all-natural ingredients and promise to provide near-miraculous results for your dog’s health within 120 days, or you’ll receive a full refund.

Vaccinations and Regular Check-Ups

Keeping your dog current on her shots and veterinary visits is another great way to keep a close watch on your dog’s health and catch any issues before they become serious.  Your vet will also be able to make recommendations that are specific to your dog’s needs, and that will ensure that you are doing everything in your power to keep your dog in great shape.

It’s also a good idea to keep your dog away from sick dogs, or even sick people – By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your dog will be in top-notch condition, and that he’ll be ready to take on the world – or at least the park – confidently.

What methods do you employ to keep your four-legged friends healthy and happy?