How to Prevent Animal Cruelty

Fox in a cage
Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur on Unsplash

This article is about the abuse of domestic animals and what can be done to stop it. If you own a dog or cat, you know how disturbing animal cruelty is and that every 60 seconds, an innocent animal is abused. But keep reading because we are going to discuss the organizations that stand up to this abuse and how you can help!

Overview

Dog on Grass
Photo: iStock

Did you know that besides dogs and cats, horses and farm animals are abused just as much as our furry friends? Harmless pets who cannot defend themselves need us to be there for them and it is groups such as PETA, the ASPCA, and other humane groups that make a difference and who we need to support.

Difference Between PETA and ASPCA

While these two organizations push for animal safety there are differences. But both are great establishments that are passionate about their cause and have had many successful accomplishments for the prevention of cruelty to animals, but let’s take a closer look at what these two organizations do to help protect these innocent creatures.

PETA ( People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

PETA is an NGO (nonprofit organization) with 3 million members which was founded in 1980. They advocate for animal rights and lobby legislators for these rights, but they don’t have the authority to regulate any laws.

They campaign for changes in the law that will benefit the health and safety of animals, which in turn aligns with their mission of protecting animals from abuse and cruelty.

PETA is an animal liberation organization and is against using animals as food. Their motto is “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way.

ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

The ASPCA is also an NGO and an old one at that. They were founded in 1866 and have 1.2 million members. Unlike PETA, the ASPCA can regulate the laws regarding animal rights.

Their motto is “To provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

What Animal Rights Laws Can Be Changed

Dog posing
Photo: SS

On January 1st, 2016, the FBI began tracking animal abuse cases and it is shocking to see what is going on there.

With that said, organizations, such as those mentioned above are assertively looking to upgrade and/or change the laws that apply to pets and animals. A couple of changes are offered below.

Raise the Bar on the Penalties for Animal Abuse

Many believe that those nefarious people who commit harm to animals might one day advance to harming children. With that said, the laws should be just as strict as the penalties regarding child abuse.  88% of adults who commit child abuse were responsible for animal cruelty as well, and even more disturbing is that those who commit mass shootings are also responsible for animal cruelty at least half of the time. So domestic abuse and animal abuse seem to have a common dominator.

Call Them What They Are and Make It Public

Whatever the reason behind animal cruelty is, the fact is that it is just as wrong as abuse of humans. Below are a couple of suggestions.

If a person has been convicted of cruelty to animals, it should be made public notice. Neighbors should be allowed to know if any of these people live near them so that the neighbors can be vigilant about it.

You can keep track of animal credulity arrests and convictions by going to animalvictory.org and we encourage you to sign their petitions.

In Summary

Want to help? Contact PETA and the ASPCA to volunteer your services and/or donate to their causes. But most of all, know in your heart that the pets you have in your home are safe and are getting the love and affection that they all deserve. 

 

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Dog on Grass
Photo: iStock

When this author was young, like five years young, I was in a park with my father. As we were lying on the grass, my father, I guess for fun, picked up some grass and ate it. He said you should try it sometime. Well, I did that day. Being human, I am glad to say nothing happened, but we humans in general don’t eat grass :-). 

With that said, have you noticed that as soon as you take your dog outside, he/she may run towards that freshly mowed lawn and begin to munch on the grass? Is this habit healthy? Is it normal? Let’s look at the theories and explanations as to why dogs have such a desire to eat grass.

Grassy Theories

One common hypothesis is that they do this to induce vomiting. Many think if a dog is feeling gassy or has certain things in his digestive system he wants to get rid of, he will chew on grass to induce vomiting. Unfortunately, there is not much evidence backing this theory. Less than 25% of dogs will vomit after eating grass.

Another and more simplified explanation is that they like it! Cats might be mainly carnivores, while dogs on the other hand are much more omnivorous. The average dog will eat anything if given the chance or if he is hungry enough. Wild dogs such as wolves and other canines dabble in plant-eating as well and also devour omnivores and herbivores whole, including the entire stomach contents.

Eating grass may also be a natural way for our domesticated canines to vary their diet. If your dog is eating a lot of grass, this may also be a signal of nutritional deficiency.  Like us, dogs cannot digest cellulose, the main energy source of grass. Dogs might just be grazing for a source of fiber. Some grass contains minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium which might explain why dogs only like to munch on only one certain type of grass. 

Is Eating Grass Healthy for Dogs?

Dog on leaves
Photo: iStock

A little grass-eating can be harmless if it hasn’t been sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. This can occur when your landscaper comes. Make sure your landscaper knows you have pets and inform him about putting harmful chemicals on your lawn. Most landscapers will put out signs on the lawn stating that it has just been sprayed with chemicals. They say your pet should not be on the lawn for at least 24 hours, probably 48 may be better after the lawn has been sprayed.

Also, you must make sure everyone in your house is aware of these dangers and not let the dogs out if you suspect the lawn was sprayed. My wife makes extra sure we know about the landscaper’s spraying and if we forget and let the dog out to the backyard, screaming like the woman in Psycho would seem tame.

What About Repeated Grass Eating?

If your dog eats a lot of grass and you are worried about his or her nutrition or digestion, it may be vet time. Be sure to ask the vet for advice on changes to your pet’s diet, but he might ask you to bring him into the facility. 

Bottom Line

Dogs eating grass is normal and it won’t harm their digestive system, but doing this exceptionally may indicate a possible issue. Contacting your vet for advice. A possible checkup would be the recommended way to go.

 

Best Foods for Dogs!

Tray of dog food
Photo by mattycoulton on Pixabay

In our previous article, we discussed what human food our canine buddies like to eat. Now let’s focus on the healthiest meat products they can enjoy and you’ll be surprised to see that a lot of these foods are still the same food that we humans eat!

Oh, the Meat Eaters in Us and Our Pets!

Photo iStock. Credit Zontica

Dogs are natural carnivores, and that’s why their diet should consist mostly of meat. But not just any kind of meat. Dogs need to eat high-quality protein from animal sources to remain healthy. 

The right diet can help your dog avoid common diseases such as hyperlipidemia, osteoarthritis, and even cancer. A dog’s diet should also contain the right amount of nutrients for optimal health. However, most commercial dog food doesn’t meet these standards because it contains too many carbohydrates and not enough protein from animal sources. 

If you want to feed your dog a healthier diet to avoid chronic diseases and live a longer life, consider switching from commercial dog food to home-cooked meals with human-grade meat as the primary ingredient.

These are some of the best meats for dogs:

Beef

Preparing Meat for Diner
Consumption in moderation is the key!

Beef is one of the best sources of protein for dogs. It’s rich in iron and B vitamins and can help prevent anemia in dogs with low red blood cell counts. Since dogs can’t break down certain amino acids found in beef, over-consumption of beef can cause high levels of uric acid in the dog’s blood, leading to the formation of kidney stones. In addition to being high in protein, beef is also a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, and zinc.

Chicken

Chicken Bone
Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

Give the dog a bone! We didn’t make up that phrase, but it sure is popular. Maybe because bones are a dog’s favorite and a chicken bone is definitely on their taste list.

Chicken is a popular source of protein for dogs. Many commercial dog foods are made from chicken because it’s inexpensive and rich in amino acids and minerals. Chicken is also one of the best sources of protein for humans, so it’s a great choice for dogs too. It’s rich in vitamins B3 and B6 as well as selenium, a mineral that protects dogs against heart disease and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, raw chicken is prone to bacterial contamination. Cooking it thoroughly can prevent this.

Lamb

Lamb is another high-quality source of protein that can help puppies grow larger and adult dogs maintain their ideal weight. Like other types of meat, lamb is rich in amino acids and minerals that dogs need to stay healthy. Lamb is also a good source of vitamins B3 and B12, which are important for healthy blood cell production. Like other red meats, lamb is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, so it’s best to feed it in moderate amounts.

Pork

Pork is an excellent source of protein for dogs, but it’s high in cholesterol, so you should feed it in moderation. Pork is also rich in B vitamins and minerals that are essential for a dog’s health. It also contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that promotes relaxation. Pork is a good choice for dogs with certain allergies or sensitivities because it is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than other types of meat.

Salmon

Salmon
Pixaby

Salmon is a great source of protein for our canine friends and an excellent alternative to red meat. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can help prevent heart disease, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases. Salmon is also rich in vitamins B6 and B12 and minerals like selenium and zinc. Salmon is moderately high in protein, but it’s also high in mercury, so feed it sparingly and avoid feeding it to dogs who are pregnant or lactating.

Conclusion

Canines should have meat in their diet, but it must be the right type of meat so that they can get the high-quality protein and nutrients they need. We hope this article will help you get a foothold on providing a healthy diet for your dog and one that he/she will love. But before you change any food sources for your best friend, make sure you clear it with your veterinarian first! 

 

Best Human Food for Your Dog

Beagle Dog
Look how healthy Rover is! If you want him to stay that way, read on. Image by Denise coyle from Pixabay

Since humans and pets are different from one another, we think that both of them like to eat different foods, but that’s not entirely the case. Some human food is loved by your pets, but it has to be the right one. Check out this list of mutual food items you and your dog love. 

Note 1: It should be noted that, like humans, your pet could have allergies or other health issues when eating human-made food, so always check with your veterinarian before giving them any of the treats we love!

Note 2: If you are not already aware, chocolate can be deadly for your pet. NEVER give your dog chocolate or anything that contains chocolate of any portion! You can read more about this danger here.

Now let’s move on to what is considered healthy for your canine buddy!

Yogurt 

Bowl of Yogurt

Just like yogurt is good for human health, yogurt can also be a source of protein and calcium for dogs. It has vitamins that are good for the health of both humans and animals, which is why it makes sense for your pet to have too. But before choosing yogurt, you should pick the natural one with no artificial flavors without any sugars or sweeteners.

Also, it should not have any active bacteria because they will act as probiotics. In addition, if your dog is overweight, you should ensure you buy a fat-free yogurt, but not one with fat substitutes, such as olestra, simplesse etc. And when summer comes, why not treat them to some yogurt?

Rice

Bowl of Rice
Photo by Jocelyn Morales on Unsplash

Rice is loaded with iron and vitamins B3 and D. It is best to boil the rice until it is well-cooked but sticks with white rice. Brown rice can cause issues for your dog if he/she is having gastrointestinal issues or other health problems. 

White rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice and can cause blood sugar levels to rise, but it is important to remember that white rice provides a source of starch that can be beneficial to ill dogs. Diabetic pets may still consume a small amount of white rice if they desire, but not regularly.

It is also suggested not to serve your pet rice alone, mix it up with portions of other food for a balanced diet. For healthy dogs, an appropriate portion of white rice should be fine; however, always check with your vet first.

Peanut Butter 

Peanut Butter in a jar
Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash

While you may like to spread peanut butter on your bread at the breakfast table, your pooch may be looking right at you, drooling for some of this tasty delight too.

Dogs love peanut butter. It is good if you treat them with a spoonful of unsalted peanut butter daily. 

It is good for their health, but you need to purchase a good peanut butter brand that does not contain xylitol. This can be very dangerous for your pet! 

If your dog is inactive, it is good to feed them peanut butter as it is a source of protein, minerals, and fats.

Pumpkins

With Halloween coming, how can we leave out this seasonal squash fruit? Yes, fruit. Not a vegetable, although it may look like a vegetable. 

Pumpkins are rich in vitamins and minerals that include. Protein, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, and iron.

Humans and animals alike can reap the benefits of the delicious fruit.

Eggs

Eggs can also be a food item that you and your pet can share. If you require proteins and energy, your doctor may recommend you eat eggs. Similarly, when it comes to dogs, eggs can also be a healthy snack. 

Providing dogs with proteins and energy, they can make an unhealthy dog healthy and fat. However, you should keep the quantity small because feeding dogs eggs daily can make them fat and gain weight, making them inactive. 

Now that you know how the people’s food items are also the favorite food items of your pet dogs, you should feed these foods to them too.

Summary

Although it is safe for Rover to have some human food, stick with what is recommended and don’t go off giving him/her anything not on the list from veterinarians and/or reputable internet sources. Especially stay away from foods that contain xylitol or chocolate! And always check with canine MD if you are unsure of anything that you want to feed your pet!

Dog Breeds You Would Love to Keep as Pets

Dog - Casper Official Post
Casper says “Hi” Photo: ©SMS – Photos of a Lifetime

Today we beginning a new series – Pets!

With 69 million dog owners and 45 million cat owners in the US, how can we not include these furry creatures in our articles? Especially when we can offer health-related information!

Our favorite is Maltese as noted by our photo of Casper. Playful and fun pets and cute as can be, but according to recent surveys, the five most popular breeds are listed below.

So let’s begin with today’s article on what dogs are considered favorites. (That doesn’t mean we don’t love all our pets!

Boxers

Photo of boxer dog
Photo by Amber Turner on Unsplash

These dogs are trendy and are great at dog shows and are known for standing up on their hind legs and using their front legs to compete against their opponent. Because of this, they were, unfortunately, used for dog fighting – a large competitive game in Germany back in the 19th century, but we are happy to say that this ‘game’ if you call it that has been ruled illegal. 

They were the favorite choice for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall who got one as a gift on their wedding day. People love keeping these dogs because they are active, fun-loving, great watchdogs, and have bright personalities. 

Poodles

Poodle
Photo by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

Poodles are cute and fluffy canines with airy curls over them. But do not get confused with this endearing appearance, they may have curls but they are not just fluffy toys. Instead, they are very smart, clever, and very obedient. They are known to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet!

Poodles are loved mostly by women and girls because of their fluffy hair, obedient nature, and of course the variety of coat colors they come in. White, gray, black, and apricot – the ladies have a lot to choose from, and men do too!

French Bulldog 

French Bulldog
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

People who do not want to own a huge bulldog can opt for the small and adorable French bulldogs, called ‘frenchies’. These little cuties are very friendly and social.

If you want to own a pet to sit with you on your couch, a French bulldog would be a smart pick. They have square heads, bat ears, and wide eyes and are well-mannered, affectionate, and loyal dogs, but they can’t swim, so don’t bring them to your backyard or community pool! 

Their history goes back to the wealthy English in the 1800s and that status was maintained up to the early 20th century in the US.

Although they are called French bulldogs, we are sorry to announce that they don’t speak French.

Rottweiler 

Dog Rottweiler
Photo: iStock

The Rottweiler breed goes back to Roman times. They have a tough look, but they are extremely devoted, loving, and caring companions. Having a muscular build and size, Rottweilers are used by many for home security. 

Interestingly, their personalities intimidate people and one must keep an eye on them when they are around children. These dogs have a habit of bumping which can harm kids, so a word of caution there, but if you are looking for pets that will help keep your house safe and lovable as well, then a Rottweiler would be a smart pick. 

Beagles 

Beagle Dog
Image by Denise Coyle from Pixabay

Beagles are famous for their intellect and intelligence. Many law enforcement agencies use Beagles to sniff as they are exceptional hound (hunting) dogs.

In addition to intelligence, they are friendly and social around people. This is why many people prefer keeping them as pets and kids love them. If you are looking for a friendly pet with intellect, then investing in Beagles is a smart choice. According to research, these dogs howl a lot but it can be controlled by training them. 

What to Choose?

Dogs are known for their trustworthiness and faithfulness but don’t just go by these five breeds. Talk to friends and relatives who are dog owners and see what they have to say and then decide on which dog breed you would bring home for your pet!