Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Traveling With Our Dog Maxxamillion
by Diana Romaxx.

Traveling with your dog can be a very rewarding experience, but it also means added responsibility on you. The best advice for traveling with your dog is to plan your trip in advance.

Make sure your dog is up to date on all his vaccinations, and get a copy of your dogs medical records from your vet. It is a good practice to always have the medical records when you travel in case of an emergency or an accident. Most states in the USA require this.

One of the most popular ways people travel with their dog(s) is to go by car or recreational vehicle. Before you plan on traveling with your dog it is good practice to first get them used to being in your vehicle.

Our dog Maxxamillion's wonderful car behavior resulted from us getting him accustomed at an early age. We would take him with us in the car every time we went out, especially to the park close to our home. We brought Maxxamillion home at eight weeks old in December, and by the following summer he was accustomed to riding in the car with us.

Be considerate of your dogs needs when traveling with them. A good tip for traveling with your dog is to chart ahead all the hotels in the towns you intend to stop and visit. It also would be good to look up some animal hospitals on your route. We did this on our way to Texas last summer and it gave us an added peace of mind knowing we had the addresses and phone numbers of most animal hospitals on our route. The internet makes this process very easy today.

Another good tip when traveling with your dog is safety, have your dog either in a car kennel or with a doggie seatbelt on. There are many car travel accessories for dogs on the market today.

Follow these additional safety tips to help keep your dog safe when traveling with them.

- research indigenous plant life in areas where your heading (e.g., spear grass in Texas)
- important medication,favorite food in air tight container, treats/snacks, food and water bowl
- favorite toys, some of his towels in case it rains, grooming kit, leash and i.d. tags
- clothing in case it's cold at night where you're going
- consider including information about flying with pet even though we've never experienced it personally. If the dog is accustomed to car travel, then air travel shouldn't be a big problem
- asking for rooms on lower floors or ground level if you have an older pet, so that your dog doesn't have to deal with stairs.
- ask hotel for designated areas that you can walk your dog if they are not visibly indicated by signage.
- timing the stops at rest areas
- good etiquette - no barking especially at night, keep him leashed at all times especially near other hotel guests, always pick up after your pet.
- Not because you plan to travel, but at any time, the Avid microchip is a good investment in case dog gets separated from you

Find a pet friendly hotel, motel or lodge with online guides. Find pet friendly hotels near your favorite travel destination.

Traveling with our dog Maxxamillion on our annual family vacations has been a very rewarding experience for us.

Traveling With Our Dog Maxxamillion by Diana Romaxx. website:www.maxxamillion.com

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Choosing a Pet Sitter For Your Dog
By: Diana Romaxx

Many dog owners today like the idea of hiring a pet sitter to take care of their dog while they go away, but then you'll have to decide--is pet sitting right for you? The pet gets to stay home in their natural environment, and the owner doesn’t have to travel back and forth to the kennel. However, having a stranger in your house can be a little weird—for both you and your dog. So be sure to choose your pet sitter wisely.

Pet sitting has become a booming business these days. Many people decide for one reason or another that they want to go into the pet sitting business. However, once they find out all the work it involves they become disillusioned. Bottom line—you want to find someone who has been doing this for a long time.

There are ads for pet sitters everywhere these days. In the phone book, on the internet, and posted on bulletin boards in pet stores. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and your vet for some references.

You will definitely want to interview some pet sitters (in your home and in person) before hiring anyone. It is especially important for your pet to meet any potential pet sitters in their home environment.

Ask the pet sitter why you should hire them. They will probably say, “Oh, because I just LOVE animals!!” This is fine. But my three year old nephew also loves animals. I doubt you’d trust him to take care of your dog.

You want to know what kind of experience this person has with animals. Do they know how to recognize signs of illness? Do they know what to do in case of an emergency? Loving animals is an important quality but it takes more skills than that.

Get a list of references and contact other people that have used the pet sitter you are considering. Also make sure the pet sitter is insured and bonded. This protects you and your home against any potential damage or theft while you are away. Anyone you hire needs to be a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

There are many companies that have several pet sitters on staff. Make sure you and your dog meet the person who actually will be coming to your house. When you get prices make sure you know what’s included. How many visits will your dog receive a day? Does that include walks, playtime, dispensing medications, getting the mail, etc.? There are even pet sitters that stay in your house overnight while you are away.

Finding a dependable pet sitter you can trust your dog to can be very comforting. That way you know both your home and your dog are in good hands. For peace of mind, be wise and do your home work!

Link: National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

About Author:
Diana Romaxx Maxxamillion's Dog House

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Organic versus non-Organic Dog Food - Important Facts to Consider  by Dan Buchman

The basis for good health in our dogs is diet and the key to good health is prevention. The more natural and fresh the diet, the more nutrients are available for your dog's body to use in building a good immune system which will in turn ward off illness and disease. Organic and natural dog food is the best way to start off your puppy's life to give him/her the healthiest chances of long and happy life through adulthood.

The remainder of this article will discuss the pros and cons of using organic versus non-organic dog food. There is a common misconception that organic dog food is more expensive than non-organic (supermarket quality) dog food. This cannot be further from the truth, read the remainder of this article before making that purchasing decision.
Commercial Pet Food -

The first known commercial pet food that came into existence was first known as wet food or canned pet food. Dry pet food, or what is known as kibbles, did not come into existence until the 1950's. We have always been told that feeding human food to our pet was not healthy. Ironically, feeding the wrong type of commercially packaged dog food to your pet can be just as unhealthy. Certain grades of commercially packaged dog food may need to have additional supplements added to the food just to maintain the nutrient level best for a dog's good health. The exception is with the use of high-quality natural and organic dog foods. Many of the better of commercial organic dog foods have added these to the dog food making them a great choice for your dog.
Ingredients -

Some of the things you will most often see listed on the label of your non-organic kibble or canned food are different types of grains. Dogs, however, do not fare well on grains because they are carnivores and their bodies were not made to digest grains. The reason grains are added to commercial dog foods is that they are cheap and your dog can survive on them for a while before health problems begin to manifest. Meat is often listed as the first ingredient in commercial dog food which seems healthy at first glance. Unfortunately this meat has been cooked for so long that the nutritional value is gone and the beneficial fats and enzymes are no longer present.

Here are some guidelines to help you make informed decisions for your dog when purchasing commercial dog food:

* Avoid commercial foods that have chemical preservatives such as BHT, BHA or ethoxyquin. Try to choose organic foods that have natural preservatives such as vitamin C, E and mixed tocopherols.

* Try to avoid canned foods altogether. Canned foods consist of the worst junk parts of dead animals, along with poor-quality grains packaged in such a way as to sound appealing. Most canned foods are mostly grains, by-products, and preservatives with flavoring added.

* Try to avoid grains as much as possible. Your dog will have a much healthier and longer life if you leave the grains out of his/her diet. Make sure that grain is one of the last ingredients listed on the package of the dog food you are purchasing rather than one of the first. Always avoid any dog food that has corn in it, dogs have a very hard time digesting corn and will get sick from it over a period of time.

* Choose a food that does not contain any by-products. A By-product is a fancy word for everything that really should be tossed on the slaughterhouse floor and is not fit for human or dog consumption.

* Add cooked meat to your dog's dry food or cooked or steamed vegetables to add flavor.

Be very selective in the foods you purchase and read the labels closely. There are many organic and natural commercial dog foods that are good for your dog so do not just settle for the supermarket varieties. Look at the ingredients and make sure the healthy ingredients are listed first and the grains are listed near the end.
Need More Convincing?

Because the lower-end, less expensive commercially packaged dog foods are usually so laden with grains and other undesirable ingredients, your dog will have more frequent and larger stools. The bigger the stools, the fewer nutrients are being assimilated into your dog's body. All the junk in commercial dog food will eventually take its toll on your dog's body, leading to a decline in health. Your pet will also have more offensive body odor and doggy-breath when fed a lower-end commercially packaged dog food.

If you are planning to use the commercially packaged food method for feeding your dog, seriously consider using a higher-quality organic or natural dry dog food. The initial higher cost for the organic dog food will pay off. In the long run, you will pay far more in veterinary costs and experience more behavioral problems with your dog by feeding him/her a lower quality food just to save a few pennies. Your dog also requires less volume of the organic and natural dog foods because of the higher concentration of nutrients. If you start out with high-quality organic and natural dog food you will save money and have a healthier and happier dog.
Making the organic dog food choice for your pet could not be an easier decision.

About the Author
Dan is an Internet Marketer as well as a dog enthusiast. Dan has researched and identified multiple product/supplier sources that offer natural and organic alternatives for your pet's nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additional product/supplier resources will continue to be added to his site as well as important and relevant articles - www.organic-dogfood.com - please check back often.