One of the most common problem areas for dogs and cats is their skin.
While underappreciated or even unrecognized as an organ, skin has amazing properties. For starters, it’s the largest organ of the body. Both tough and pliable, skin has many functions, including regulating body temperature, helping to prevent dehydration and protecting against injury and disease. Without skin, our pets couldn’t have hair, and everything that was on the inside would be exposed, making snuggle sessions a little on the icky side!
Canine and feline skin shares many similarities with human skin, but there are significant differences. They do have three layers of their skin, with the same nerves and blood vessels running throughout. Even though the pigmented skin in dogs contains melanin, dogs do not have the ability to tan like humans do. Also, they have apocrine glands (similar to human sweat glands), however, dogs do not sweat like we do. Instead, dogs have eccrine glands in their paws, which secrete a watery substance like sweat, although this typically only occurs when they are nervous and under stress. Now you know how it is that they can sometimes leave little damp paw prints when exiting the veterinary office!
As the body’s first line of defense to environmental factors, the skin is subjected to all sorts of insults and injuries. Critters of all stripes, from fleas to ticks to parasites (like mange mites) bite and damage the skin. Additionally, skin is under repeated assault by foreign objects, nibbling teeth, scratching claws and constant licking, all of which can weaken and impair the skin’s protective barrier. Skin can also be affected from the inside out by infections, hormonal imbalances, allergies and immune disorders.
Young pets are particularly suspectible to skin problems because their skin is more sensitive and their immune systems are not fully developed. Kittens, for example, are prone to ringworm (fungal) infections and puppies are predisposed to demodectic mange. If your puppy or kitten develops a rash, loses hair, or has bumps or warts, consult with your veterinarian to determine if treatment is necessary.
The bottom line is, healthy skin is a vital part of pet health, and its condition is a reflection of a pet’s overall well-being. Vulnerable to attacks on all sides, it’s very important that pet parents regularly monitor their pet’s skin health. Skin normally does its job well as the body’s protector, but sometimes even skin needs an extra boost. Visit www.HPNFlorida to review some of the great skin care products for your pet
Premier Products Busy Buddy line has recently released a great product that will provide hours of challenging fun and play for your pooch.
linkables™ toys & treats
Linkables are a great to keep your dog busy and happy because they feature treat openings with Premier’s patented Treat Meter that will randomly dispense treats (the Treat Meter consists of small fingers that control the treats so they come out randomly and not all at once). Simply put treats into the linkable segments and let your dog figure out how to get the tasty treats. Use a single link as a stand-alone toy or connect several links together for a greater challenge. The two-part connection point on each toy segment lets you choose the difficulty level for your dog. Use the first point for beginners and the second point for experts. As your dog becomes expert at getting treats from Linkables change the shape or add segments!
Linkables are made from thick, durable, natural rubber that can be linked together in a variety of ways to create unique shapes. The natural rubber massages and stimulates gums while your dog chews. As with any toys, your dog should be supervised while chewing on Linkables.
Thanks to the unique, patented design, you can mix and match the Links to create a variety of toy combinations for your dog. Dishwasher safe in the top rack.
For more information go to: Dog training products that we recommend from Pet Expertise, or contact your local DogSmith.
Check out some of these great inexpensive water games you can set up for your dogs to play with. We use them at The DogSmith National Training Center in Florida, the dogs just love em
For more information on Affordable Agility Items for Dogs Click Here
Looking for fun, interesting agility obstacles with a twist? Think you’ve seen and done them all? Wait until you try our new water obstacles!
Why water obstacles? Because they’re so much fun! Fun for your dog, fun for you, and fun for anyone watching you perform. And for serious agility competitors, water obstacles offer a unique and rewarding challenge to both the dog and the trainer. So if your dog performs well with water obstacles, imagine how great they’ll perform on ordinary obstacles!
Agility is hot! So stay cool this summer with water obstacles from Affordable Agility. Order from the shopping cart below, or click on an individual item to find out more.
How to Get a Great Pet Photo
Follow some simple rules to get a great photograph of your pet. These ideas work even if a family member is also in the photo.
• Keep the background simple. Eliminate clutter or a detailed background — it distracts from the pet. The colors of the background should contrast with the color of the pet. (Shoot dark pets against lighter backgrounds and light pets against dark backgrounds.)
• Get your pet’s attention for a great expression — make a noise, use a phrase the pet understands (Want to go for a ride?), toss or squeak a toy. Cats will often watch a swinging object in midair. Be careful to keep these accessories out of the line of the camera lens.
• Enlist help — get someone else to toss toys, whistle, and help position the pet. It can be hard to hold the camera and keep the pet in place at the same time! Sometimes pets can be restless and jump at the sound of a shutter click, so adjust your camera accordingly by increasing your shutter speed to freeze the subject. Use a high-speed film such as ISO 400 or 800 if you are going to be photographing indoors with minimal available light.
• Shoot photos outdoors. Natural lighting is always best. Filtered sunlight can provide a more natural looking photograph than a shot in bright daylight. Do not face the camera into the sun (avoid sun glare).
• Black or white pets are the hardest to photograph — back and side lighting can help add dimension and highlight eyes and hair. With black animals especially, it is important to give them lots of light from all sides to bring out their features and detail. Exposure should be a little generous, because fur texture is important.
• For smaller pets such as reptiles or pocket pets that you may not want to take outside, try using natural light from a window. Fluorescent lighting and the use of a flash can distort the colors in your photo.
• Get down to their level — position the camera at their height rather than shooting down from your standing position.
Copyright ABKA 2005
What you feed your pets is an important part of pet ownership. And like most things there are two ways to look at it. 1. Is to buy a commercial grade food that is okay and 2. Is the option to buy a premium based food that may potentially save you money in the long term?
Like us, our animals benefit from good quality, fresh, natural ingredients that are free from grains, chemical preservatives and substances that can create food allergy problems and food sensitivity issues. I have experienced firsthand friends and clients that have made significant savings in veterinarian bills due to a change in dog food and the reduction of chemical preservatives and poor quality ingredients in their pet’s diets.
If you have an animal that suffers from allergies, skin problems, ear infections or digestive problems the first thing you should do is look at what you are feeding them. I know with my own diet that as soon as I increase my sugar intake it has a negative impact on my skin, scalp and general feeling of well being. It must be the same for our animals.
When i first became educated on pet foods and the poor quality of ingredients in most commercial food I purchased for my dogs a premium brand on line, which was delivered to my door to ensure freshness. At that time there were not many options. Now there are so many good quality dog and cat foods to choose from. They range from retail based suppliers to online suppliers. Good quality premium pet foods are now available in many flavors, kibble sizes and both wet and dry selections. Choosing the right pet food and having access to a good quality food is now much easier than it was a few years ago.
There are several brands I recommend and use. Like many pet dog owners I have more than one dog and their dietary needs are different.
One of my dogs is sensitive to chicken and the best food I have found that satisfies my quality control, is palatable for my dog and easy on my wallet is Wellness® CORE™ Ocean Dog Formula. I like this food as i can order it in smart paks; it arrives in daily packets so storage and portion control is easy. Read about the ingredients here
I love the portion packs the food comes in, makes storage and feeding so each.
The second dog food I use and recommend is Life’s Abundance. The ingredient list is very similar and as with Wellness does not contain the wrong ingredients and does contain good quality proteins and important vitamins and minerals. Life’s Abundance has a unique selling point as Dr Jane the product formulator is available for customers to talk to on monthly conference calls. You can also listen to a FREE DVD of Dr Jane as she discusses the importance of pet nutrition and how foods should be formulated. I recommend anyone in the market for a new pet food product take the time to listen to this short informative DVD
Both food products are available online and on auto-ship so you will never again run out of dog or cat food. They both also offer great customer service which makes buying from these companies a pleasure. Staff are knowledgeable polite and keen to help.
To learn more about Life’s Abundance
To learn more about Wellness Products
The Honda Element Becomes The Vehicle of Choice For Professional Pet Care Providers
The DogSmith, America’s Dog Training, Dog Walking and Pet Care Franchise endorse s the Honda Element. Christina Horne, The DogSmith of East Pensacola has purchased and now raves about her new Honda Element.
“I love my new Element! I have had large dogs for years, and have toted them around in my trusty Toyota Corolla. For the first time Toyota did not have a vehicle to meet my needs, and as a DogSmith Franchisee, I need to be able to thoroughly clean and disinfect my vehicle in-between transporting clients pets! I also provide pet waste removal services to my clients, so it is imperative that I can transport pets back and forth in a safe clean environment! The versatility of this utility SUV makes it the best vehicle out there for professional pet care providers. Considering I was a diehard fan of Toyota, the Honda element gets a 5 star rating and loyal fan for life! “
The DogSmith Franchise Owners offer a wide selection of services to their clients. The health and safety of their four legged clients comes first and the Honda Element ensures the pets can be safe and secure during transit. The ability to clean and disinfect the vehicle makes sure that The DogSmith protects each and every client they care for.
Niki Tudge explained that ” The DogSmith mission statement is to ‘ do no harm ‘ and emphasize s a ‘holistic’ approach to dog training and pet care by attending to the physical, emotional, and environmental well being of pets in our care. The Honda Element helps us to achieve our mission while satisfying the needs of a busy professional. “