Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Good or Bad??

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With the Thanksgiving holiday just a few short days away, many of us are prepping our homes, refrigerators, and mental states in anticipation for the big day.  Whether you are the person making the meal or not, chances are you will end up with some type of leftover.  So, as you sit down post-holiday dinner to enjoy your leftovers, do you also share the love with Fido?

This is not a simple yes or no answer.  Some Thanksgiving menu options are a surprisingly nutritious treat, while others are considered definite no-no's.

So, what holiday favorites are both delicious and nutritious?  Many of the healthiest options for your dog are the vegetable side items.  This includes green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower.  Be sure to not feed them vegetables that are too starchy, such as corn and white potatoes. Additionally, make sure the vegetable dishes are not coated with mass quantities of cheese, butter, and sugar.  For example, my mother's brown sugar sweet potato casserole and french onion green bean casserole would not be recommended options for my boys...rule of thumb:  steer clear from any dish ending in "casserole".

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Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A and Fiber!
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Yes, this looks delicious, but this sugary, salty, fatty delight is not the right choice for your pup
In addition to vegetables, many fruits are great options to feed your pup.  Apples, oranges, and bananas are great sources of potassium and fiber.  Just remember!  No grapes, raisins, or blackberries.  These are dangerous for dogs.

Finally, what about the main act on the menu?  Turkey is considered a very healthy, lean, protein-packed food.  Just remember to remove the skin, excess fat, and of course any bones before serving.

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Enjoy those leftovers!  Oh, and of course your big Thanksgiving dinner!!


A & A

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Check This Out! DOG TV

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What will they think of next?!  Not to make us sound too dated, but that was literally our response when we first heard about DogTV.  Created by leading pet experts, such as Victoria Stilwell from Animal Planet and Dr. Nicholas Dodman from Tuft's University; this channel is the first to offer programming exclusively FOR dogs.

The impetus for creating DogTV was to cater to dogs who are "home alone" throughout the day.  Dogs are pack animals and extremely social creatures who are not accustomed to spending large amounts of time alone.  Being left alone all day can lead to behavioral and emotional issues, such as boredom, stress, and separation anxiety.  This is where DogTV comes in!  The programming offered is intended to alleviate "home alone" symptoms by stimulating and entertaining your pooch while you are away at work or out of the house for extended periods of time.

How does it work?

DogTV consists of 3 different types of programming:  relaxation, stimulation, and exposure.  Each of these categories runs on a 3-6 minute schedule and is designed to compliment your dog's natural daily behavioral patterns.  Relaxation programming provides, just that, calming, soothing scenes and sounds designed to reduce stress.  Stimulation programming is meant to excite and engage your dog through visual and auditory stimuli, such as watching dogs in play or seeing a ball being thrown in their direction.  The third and final programming category is Exposure.  This channel is designed to reinforce positive behaviors and training commands, paired with everyday environmental situations, such as a guest ringing the doorbell.

Aside from programming content, the channel is designed to be compatible with your dog's biology.  For example, dogs view images at a flicker rate higher than humans.  Your dog's eye views images at a flickering movement rate of 70-80hz, compared to the 50-60Hz of the human eye.  Today's digital and flat screen television sets have a flicker rate of 100Hz, making it much easier for dog's to view.  In addition, much of the programming has enhanced the color level and contrast to ensure vibrancy of the picture in order to be more compatible with your dog's sense of sight.

Where can I get DogTV?

Currently, DogTV is only available through local cable and satellite vendors in San Diego, CA as part of its pilot phase.  As of August 1st, any DirectTV customer can also subscribe to DogTV, along with streaming online or via Roku.  Monthly costs range from $4.99-$9.99 per month.

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So, if you believe your dog is experiencing "home alone blues", then give DogTV a try!  I can say from personal experience that we are those pet parents who often leave our television on for additional entertainment and to make our dogs feel they are not alone.  We hope you try this innovative approach to pet entertainment.

Happy watching!!


A & A