Check out this amazing video of Ben the dog swimming…
Who would have thought a land animal and sea mammal would get along so well? It seems on Tory Island this is a regular occurrence, and every day residents near the harbour can see Ben the dog playing with his friend – and that friend is not another dog, but a dolphin!
This video is of Ben and his buddy is a female bottle-nosed dolphin nicknamed Duggie. He heads straight for the water along the jetty and Duggie is there waiting.
She was first spotted back in 2006 around the same time the body of another dolphin washed up on the other side of the island. Residents think he was her partner, and given a dolphin usually mates for life, she has stayed around the area – especially when she found Ben as her dog swimming partner!
It always amazes me when two species get along and form such unlikely bonds with each other…
A dog swimming with a dolphin – who would have thought it?!
PROTEIN FOR DOGS – THE TRUTH THAT YOU WON’T HEAR FROM THE COMMERCIAL PET FOOD INDUSTRY
Protein for dogs is essential for optimal health…
Protein is a major building block to health and is needed for growth, maintenance and repair of the entire body, so without good quality sources, a dogs body will deteriorate over time:
Certain, ‘essential’ amino acids can only be gotten from ‘complete’ proteins such as meat, dairy, eggs and poultry. These amino acids are broken down, absorbed and reformed to create new proteins that are used in the body.
It is also necessary for the production of antibodies, which fight against infection and illness, and is the main nutrient that keeps your dogs coat shiny and their bones strong. Protein is a major component of all muscles, tissues and organs and is vital for practically every process such as metabolism, digestion and the transportation of nutrients and oxygen in the blood.
Why is protein for dogs particularly essential?
Dogs are predominantly carnivores and therefore protein is the main category of food that is consumed by wolves in the wild. Our domestic dogs only differ by a mere 2%, genetically, from their wild ancestors; their digestive systems are just the same.
In the wild a wolf will mainly live off the prey they have caught. From this, they will eat various parts including certain bones, muscle meat, organ meat (kidney, heart, liver etc) and the stomach contents.
So, with that in mind, would it not make sense that to thrive, a domesticated dog’s food should simulate, as much as possible, the natural diet? And be fed food that the stomach can easily draw nutrition from?
The answer is… yes, of course!
What if his food says it meets the minimum required amount of protein for dogs?
The majority of commercial foods today falls way short of providing your dog with the essential health foundation of protein that he or she will need in order to thrive. And I mean ‘thrive’ not just ‘survive’…
You must be aware that the minimum amount of protein that must legally be in commercial dog food, for an normal adult dog, is ONLY 18% ! As long as the food meets this standard, then they can claim it is ‘balanced’ and meets all protein requirements…
This is not enough – as I have mentioned above, it is essential, and in LARGE amounts. This should equate to at least 70-80% of their diet. Check the labels and make sure protein is high on the list – check out my blog on dog food reviews for more info on this.
As well as low levels of protein for dogs, a lot of commercial dog food has low quality protein which comes from undesirable sources such as soy, wheat and corn. These are all extremely hard for your dog to digest – if at all – and provide no nutritional value whatsoever.
Why do they use these forms of protein?
Quite simply… because it’s cheaper.
Did you know that most breeds of dogs should genetically, live longer, sometimes even up to double what is normally accepted as a ‘good’ age, when fed a species appropriate diet (i.e. a fully balanced raw diet) as opposed to a commercially processed one?
Make sure your pet is getting a good quality food as without it, he could be facing the future with a multitude of health problems such as cancer, diabetes, digestive problems, allergies, heart failure and even death at an early age, as the body wears out from lack of proper protein for dogs.
Keep your dog safe and healthy and make an informed choice.
To your dogs health!
HOW TO STOP A DOG FROM PULLING – IS WALKING A STRUGGLE WITH YOUR DOG?
If you’re not sure how to stop a dog from pulling on the lead while out for a walk then take a look at this Doggy Dan video where he talks about the basic principle and underlying reason why your dog does what he does.
The main behavioural issue most people seem to be struggling with, is when they are outside, in that they loose control and the dog either pulls on the lead, gets over-excited, barks at moving objects like cars, runners and bikes, or runs away when they are let off the lead, or indeed any combination of these…
Things seem to be generally okay inside, but outside it's a different matter – I know I used to find that with Oscar… perfect at training inside, but outside, he was a law unto himself!
Learn how to stop a dog from pulling with just 1 thing!
What people need to know (as I did) is that any behaviour where they don’t listen to you and do their own thing, is not because they are ‘naughty’, it’s because they truly believe they are the pack-leader, are in charge, and will do what they see fit, paying no regard to you, because you are lower than them in the pecking order.
Being in charge, they decide what is a danger and what is not, and of course, they can make mistakes, like when they might be aggressive to other dogs they see as a threat.
So, in order to remain in control, you must remain the pack-leader and this starts inside the home before you even step foot through the front door. Your dog must be calm before leaving, without barking, jumping or pressuring you to go out: this is crucial when learning how to stop a dog from pulling, as once outside, the behaviour is intensified.
If he’s at a level 5 (out of 10) when you bring the lead out, jumping around, enthusiastically, then he will be at a level 6 when you attach it, a 7 as he pulls you to the door, 8 through it, 9 by the time he’s down the path and eventually at a high of 10 once outside into ‘freedom’ with all the exciting things to distract him! At that stage, there is little hope of getting his attention back and responding to your commands.
And that’s no good, as it will only serve to frustrate and agitate you the more he ‘doesn’t listen to you’, which will, in turn, back up everything your dog feels to start with (agitated and on the lookout for danger) which creates the proverbial circle.
Simple tips on how to stop a dog form pulling:
Follow these tips – be sure to leave plenty of time to do this right on your first attempt:
For more tips on how to stop a dog from pulling on a lead, including the stop-start technique, have a look at Doggy Dan’s site. I have personally used his site and his ‘No Force, No Fear’ techniques and I can’t recommend them enough.
MEAT BY-PRODUCTS – THE HORRIBLE hidden TRUTH!
‘Meat by-products‘ or ‘meat meal’ or ‘animal derivatives’ are all, catch-all phrases, for essentially the same thing – ground up animals.
When you read a dog food label we want to see a protein source at the top, but more often than not we see a list that doesn’t even contain a specific type of meat (ie. chicken), just one of those insidious phrases mentioned above.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t know exactly what any of that meant, and when I found out I was disgusted…
The phrase is actually a misnomer as it contains little, if anything, that you or I would consider as ‘meat’… if you’re thinking something like chicken breast, or pork loin, then forget it. The truth is very, very different.
So why is a by-product not a good protein for dogs?
By-products are all the parts of an animal AFTER all the meat has been stripped away for human consumption. According to Henry Pasternak in Healing Animal with Nature’s Cures “chicken by-products include head, feet, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, stomach, bones, blood, intestines and any other part of the carcass not fit for human consumption”.
Yes, things like liver and kidneys are good sources of enriched protein, but when the by-products are kept in large vats for weeks on end as the pile builds up before it’s shipped off to a rendering plant, all the virtues are long gone…
When the term ‘meat’ or ‘animal’ is used then it is an amalgamation of many types of animals from many sources, which can contain the boiled down flesh of animals we would find unacceptable for consumption. Alarmingly, these meat by-products can include zoo animals, road kill and what the industry term ‘the 4-D’s’ (dead, diseased, disabled, dying livestock).
And in some cases (more evidenced in the US, but a large quantity of food is produced in the US) euthanised cats and dogs. Yes, your pet could be a cannibal… sobering isn’t it?
Although many manufacturers claim not to use euthanised cats and dogs, it is still actually LEGAL to do so, so until the legislation changes can you be totally sure if there is no reproach for doing this?
Given the crisis of ‘mad cow’ disease that exploded here in the UK, which stemmed from cattle being given infected food made from other cattle, it astounds me that we have learnt nothing from this awful tragedy.
I encourage you to take note of the type of protein for dogs you are being sold. Be vigilant, be aware, and make a well informed, conscious choice about what food to serve to your beloved pets. Don’t just help them to survive – help them to thrive!
Please share below any thoughts or questions you may have on other ingredients in commercial dog food…
Knowing how to set boundaries for your dog can be helpful in many ways, including keeping them out of specific areas like the kitchen while you’re cooking – this could be to stop them from coming to harm or for convenience for yourself.
Have a look at this video on how to set boundaries for your dog with Dan.
I have a small kitchen area and I found this video from The Online Dog Trainer useful in helping to keep out Oscar and his friends who have a penchant for hanging around my feet while I am cooking, hoping for the odd tit-bits to fall onto the floor!
However, with hot pans and food etc, it’s not a good idea to have them skitting around under your feet… Boundaries are also useful for your dog’s peace of mind too; knowing what is accepted and what is not allows for harmony.
Doggy Dan's simple tip is effective and easy to implement. If a dog keeps going into an area you don’t want them to, it could be that he doesn’t know he shouldn’t or perhaps doesn’t care. Making it clear and taking the time to show them, in a calm and structured way, will set them up for success.
It’s all part of being the pack leader – it’s not about keeping your dogs out of areas because they are dogs, it’s giving them clear guidance so they know where they fit in and that yes, they can come on the sofa, or into the kitchen for some chicken, but on your terms
Have you been able to put this into practice? Let me know if it works for you below…
For more dog training tips like how to set boundaries, visit Doggy Dan’s site.