Best Flea Collar for Dogs : Protect your dog and your home from fleas.

Best Flea Collar for Dogs

Every pet parent remembers the day they were shocked by seeing a flea jumping on their sofa, seeing “flea dirt” on their dog or the first time they removed a bloated tick. We adore our dogs and share our lives, our homes, even our beds with them. But the truth is their bodies can be hosts to nasty, disease carrying parasites such as fleas and ticks which makes embark on the search for best flea collar for dogs!

Protecting your dog and your home from fleas and ticks is essential to your pet’s health as well as your own. According to the Center for Disease Control, diseases related to bites from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes have tripled between 2004 and 2016! This means that preventing exposure to insect bites is more important than ever.

Best Flea Collar for Dogs

Flea collars, topically applied products and oral medications which repel and/or kill insects are available for dogs but they rely on pesticides and other strong, toxic chemicals in order to be effective. Pet parents must balance protecting themselves and their pets from diseases while limiting or avoiding exposure to these chemicals.

It can be overwhelming to make a well-informed choice. Fortunately, the active ingredients are listed on product labels and there are resources available for learning about these ingredients:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) provides suggestions for controlling pests humanely. Flea collars which use essential oils are a good fit with PETA’s suggestions. PETA mentions rose geranium oil for repelling ticks and using a diluted mixture of rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, and citronella for fleas. As with any product, be sure to check your dog for reactions or sensitivities.

 product labels

These flea collars use essential oils to repel insects:

Earth Animal Herbal Flea and Tick Defense Collars For Dogs (active ingredients: Peppermint Oil and Virginia Cedarwood Oil.)

Dr. Mercola Herbal Repellant Collar (active ingredient: Geraniol oil)

The flea collars below use pesticides to repel and/or kill insects:

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs (active ingredients – Flumethrin, Imidacloprid)

Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs (active ingredient – Deltamethrin)

Hartz Ultra Guard Plus Flea Collar (active ingredients: Tetrachlorvinphos and (S)-Methoprene)

These flea collars use essential oils to repel insects:

When making your choice, consider:

  • The insects in your area;
  • The diseases you may be exposed to;
  • The activities you and your dog enjoy together;
  • Your dog’s size and health status;
  • Whether your dog has any allergies or sensitivities; and
  • Your vet’s ideas about how to use flea collars in the least invasive way possible. For example, a flea collar may only be needed in summer.

When making your choice, consider:

The best strategy is to start with the least invasive, least toxic option, such as a flea collar which uses essential oils to repel insects. Watch your dog carefully for signs of fleas and ticks to be sure your choice is effective. Also, be alert for any negative reactions. Keep in mind that you can always choose another product as you balance the toxicity of the active ingredients against the risks of contracting an insect bite related illness.

Creative Dog Grooming

pet grooming industry

No matter what type of dog you own, grooming is a necessity for your pet. This can range from regular brushing and bathing at home, to a trip to a doggy spa.  Keeping your pet groomed, keeps your pet looking good.  It’s a relatively basic process.  A bath, clean the ears, brush the teeth, trim the nails and cut and brush your dog’s hair and it’s done.  Your happy, hopefully your dog is happy, and he probably smells a lot better. That’s a win for everyone involved.  Also, consisting grooming can clue you in to your dog’s health.  When your dog is groomed on a regular basis, it’s an opportunity to check their skin and teeth and make sure that all is well.

Creative Dog Grooming

At one point or another, just about every pet owner has dressed their dog up in a costume. Little children play dress up with their family pets, and little girls may try and paint their dog’s nails.  But now, a new trend is sweeping the nation. It’s that of creative dog grooming.  Creative dog grooming is when groomers use dyes and other hair products on your pet. Instead of taking your Cocker Spaniel in and having him come out and look like a Cocker Spaniel, creative dog grooming gives the groomer an opportunity to make your dog look like anything like a dog. No longer are people content to stand out by customizing their own hair with unique styles and colors.  People are now customizing their pets as well.
This trend is quite controversial.  The pet grooming industry is virtually non-regulated.  There is no specific requirements or training to become a pet groomer. Generally, a high school diploma and a brief internship are all that is needed, so it is up to the pet owner to make the best choices for their pet.  Educate yourself about the grooming process and the products so you can ask informed questions. The products that people use on their hair and skin may not safe for pets.  Humans have an epidermis that is between 20 and 25 layers.  A dog’s epidermis is comprised of 8 to 10 layers.   This means that their skin is far more sensitive and can easily be irritated by the chemicals found in hair dyes.

pet grooming industry

Talk to your groomer to find out how they feel regarding the creative dog grooming process.  You want to make sure that they are knowledgeable.  There are no real regulations governing pet groomers so it’s up to the dog owner to do their homework.  Educate yourself, and then don’t be afraid to ask the groomer questions.  Find out what type of products they use.  While it’s true, that some human products can injure your dog, human beauty products also have to provide a list of ingredients.  Pet products do not.  If your groomer uses products for humans, you will know what is in them and if they are pet safe.  You are well within your rights to ask to see the products your groomer will be using on your pet.
Remember, this does not mean that human products are safe for your pet.  If you’ve every had your hair lightened or bleached, you can remember just how harsh smelling the chemicals are and how damaging they can be to your skin.  You can tell your stylist that a product is bothering you.  Your pet isn’t able to tell a dog groomer that the chemicals they are using are irritating their eyes or respiratory tract or burning their skin.

Many people feel that creative dog grooming is cruel to pets.  Some feel that it is emotional cruelty to groom your pet in a creative manner.  Others argue that it is done in a safe and humane manner, with the dog’s comfort and security being of the utmost importance.  It provides human contact to the pet, and once a pet is styled in a creative manner, they tend to get lavished with attention, which is beneficial to dogs.

human products

Anybody who has gone through makeover knows that all the poking and prodding that goes along with it can be torturous.  However, as a human being, we have made the conscious choice to go through that process and we are fully aware of what is going on.  Dogs don’t have a choice in the matter.  They may find the process to be very stressful or fearful.

prodding

Creative dog grooming provides no real benefits to dogs.  The chemicals in the products used may be harmful to them, and the process itself may be stressful and scary for your dog.  The only ones who benefit from the process are the groomers themselves who have a new outlet for their creativity, and the dog owner who gets to bask in the attention their dog garners when they are groomed to look like a zebra, a bouquet of flowers or as a replica of their college mascot.  Is this what you want for your pet?  What is wrong with a dog looking like a dog?  This trend of creative grooming calls to mind, the styles of the residents of Capital City in the Hunger Games trilogy.  But people can choose to dye their hair in unnatural colors or have different styles carved into their hair.  It’s their choice.  When it’s done to your dog, your dog doesn’t have a choice, and that’s not right.

Best Dog Carrier Hiking Backpacks : Choose the right one!

Best Dog Carrier Hiking Backpacks

Getting out in nature with your dog can be a very rewarding experience.  You both get some fresh air and exercise, plus your dog isn’t left cooped up inside the house or boarded at a kennel while you spend the weekend backpacking.  But what do you do if you have a small dog who tires easily and can’t keep up with an all-out hiking adventure?

Recently I found myself asking that very question and the answer was: get a dog carrier hiking backpack and take your dog with you!

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Before making a purchase like this, which I knew would affect not only my enjoyment and safety but also that of my dog, I wanted to make sure I was well informed.

As it turns out, the dog carrier hiking backpack market is actually rather large and filled with all sorts of products from rolling/backpack combos that let your dog play astronaut (more on that later) to multi-purpose carriers that come with a bunch of different straps and methods of carrying.

To simplify things, I skimmed the various “best dog carrier hiking backpack” lists and narrowed them down to the 10 carriers which appeared the most often.

Before comparing them, I wanted to make sure I knew the key things to look for when selecting a carrier.

  1. SIZE

Carriers are sized by both your dog’s weight and their length (nose to butt when sitting in a “begging” position.  It is important to have the necessary measurements so you know which carrier will properly fit your pet.

  1. CARRYING POSITION

Decide whether your dog will be most comfortable lying down, sitting down, or with legs out through holes in the carrier.  Understand that legs out carriers are designed for short term carrying, not long term.

  1. STRAP PADDING & CONFIGURATION

If you plan on doing hikes of any length while carrying your dog, you will be thanking yourself for taking the time to find a pack with padded straps.  Bonus for packs that have a waist strap as well as shoulder straps.  A chest buckle can also really help to keep the shoulder straps from sliding down.

  1. VENTILATION

On a hot day, you will want to make sure your dog is getting enough air flow inside the pack.  Look for lots of breathable mesh.

  1. VERSATILITY

Depending on your purpose, it can be nice to have carrier which can not only be used for a hiking backpack, but also as a rolling/car/airplane/hand held/over the shoulder carrier.

 To save you some time, here (in the order I discovered them) are my top 10 Dog Carrier Hiking Backpacks with their sizing and pricing information as well as the pros/cons I found and my overall opinion of each.  At the end, once you have made your own choice, I will share which carrier I decided to go with and why.

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Top 10 Dog Carrier Hiking Backpacks

1) BINGPET Dog Carrier for Small Pets

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: 12 lbs.
  • Dimensions:5″L x 14.5″W x 14.5″H (base is circular)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • $34.99
  • 7 Stars

Pros:

+ Versatile: Top half zips off allowing the base to be used as a bed.

+ Safety: Collar clip inside keeps dog from jumping out when carrier is opened.

+ Dual carrying options: Shoulder strap and padded handle

Cons:

– Ergonomics: Round base causes carrier to want to tip when carrying using shoulder strap.

– Human Comfort: No backpack style straps to evenly distribute weight and keep pet from moving around.  (An older version of the product had backpack straps, however that version was discontinued and is no longer available.)

Overall Impression:

While good for a trip to the vet or a ride to a friend’s house, this carrier doesn’t seem like anything I would take for a walk, let alone a hike.  I am going to keep looking for something that is a bit more versatile.

2) Outward Hound Kyjen PoochPouch

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: Small (10 lbs.), Medium (20 lbs.)
  • Dimensions: Small (6.5” L x 10” W x 8” H), Medium (8″ L x 11″ W x 10″ H)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • Small ($14.45), Medium ($21.25)
  • 9 Stars

 Pros:

+ Temperature Comfort: Nylon fabric repels sweat & breathable mesh sides promote air flow.

+ Safety: Interior safety harness keeps dog from jumping out when pack is opened.

+ Extra support strap: Waist strap in addition to backpack straps for added support.

Cons:

– Sizing: Product tends to run small with the medium size fitting only a 9 lb. dog rather than the advertised 20 lb.

– Human Comfort: Although the backpack and waist straps are supposed to distribute the dog’s weight well, many reviewers complained of the straps chafing and sliding out of place.

Overall Impression:

The sizing issues are a bit concerning.  I don’t want to order a pack only to have to return it because it is the wrong size.  Comfort is also crucial and this pack doesn’t seem to have it.  Since correct sizing and long term wear-ability are important to me, I am going to pass on the Kyjen pack.

avenue

3) Natuvalle 6-in-1 Pet Carrier Backpack

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: X-Small (12 lbs.), Small (16 lbs.), Medium (20 lbs.), Large (24 lbs.)
  • Dimensions (in sideways position): X-Small (14” L x 7.8” W x 7.8” H), Small (16” L x 11.4” W x 8.8” H), Medium (18” L x 11.8” W x 9.7” H), Large (20.5” L x 14.3” W x 10.5” H)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • X-Small ($69.90), Small ($74.90), Medium ($79.90), Large ($84.90)
  • 5 Stars

 Pros:

+ Versatile Carrying Options: Backpack, Front pack, Shoulder bag, Handbag, Upright position & Side position.

+ Safety: Zippers have a security buckle to prevent your dog from wiggling the zipper open.

+ Multipurpose: XS, S, M are airline approved to fit under seats.  Seat belt loops allow dog to be buckled in during car trips.

 Cons:

– Quality: Multiple reviewers state that the zippers separated or broke quickly, the straps frayed, the seams ripped out, and the Velcro used to secure the bottom padding to the carrier was not sufficient to keep it from shifting.

– Customer Service: In case of the need for a return, customer service seems to be difficult to contact and slow to respond.

Overall Impression:

I really want to like this carrier because of all the versatility and functionality it offers.  That said, if a product falls apart quickly and cannot easily be replaced, it will be useless regardless of how great the design is.  The quality control issue may be a deal breaker for me.  I will keep looking for a similar product at a higher quality.

4) Petsfit Comfort Dog Carrier & Ventilated Backpack

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: 15 lbs.
  • Measures 13” L x 13” W x 16” H

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • $52.99
  • 6 Stars

 Pros:

+ Sturdy Mesh: Mesh is rubberized rather than simple fabric, so it is stronger and resists tearing.

+ Window: Your dog can get a better view of your hike through the pop up plastic window on the top of the bag.

+ Human Comfort: The padded straps evenly distribute weight while the chest buckle keeps the straps from sliding off your shoulders in the middle of a hike.

Cons:

– Sizing: This carrier only comes in one size.

– Breathability: One negative review commented that the carrier quickly got hot inside.

Overall Impression:

This product looks amazing and has only one negative review out of forty seven!  I am very impressed with the comments about quality and comfort.  Mesh that won’t rip, zippers that won’t separate, and the perfect combo of functionality for both my dog and myself?  Yes please!

At $52.99, the pricing is just between the entry level and high end carriers.  I will check out the remaining six options, but this looks like it may very well be the winner for me!

man

5) K9 Sport Sack AIR Dog Backpack

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: X-Small (5-8 lbs.), Small (8-14 lbs.), Medium (13-20 lbs.), Large (20-35 lbs.)
  • Dimensions: X-Small (fits dogs 10-13” long), Small (fits dogs 14-17” long), Medium (fits dogs 17-20” long), Large (fits dogs 20-23” long)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • X-Small ($69.94), Small ($66.95), Medium ($69.94), Large ($147.03)
  • 2 stars

 Pros:

+ Sizes: With four sizes to choose from, dogs all the way from 5 lbs. to 35 lbs. and 10” to 23” will fit in the K9 Sport Sack.

+ Color Choices: While many carriers only come in a couple colors, the K9 features Jet Black, Charcoal Grey, Summer Mint, Cobalt Blue, and Red colors options.

+ Adjustable Height: An extra “block” is available to place in the bottom of the K9 sack in case your dog is shorter with a bit heavier build.  This allows you to size up for a comfy width without making the sack too tall for your dog to see out of.

Cons:

– Human & Dog Comfort: The shoulder straps apparently don’t distribute the dog’s weight well, so it pulls on the human’s shoulders.  From the standpoint of dog comfort, reviewers noted that the holes for the dog’s front paws to come through were pretty small causing the fabric to dig into the dog’s legs.

– Breathability: Owners commented that the carrier got warm for both them and their dogs.

Overall Impression:

This carrier sounds relatively mediocre to me.  While the color and size choices are great, they simply don’t negate the comfort concerns.  The whole point of taking my dog with me is that we can both enjoy the shared experience, not suffer through it.

That said, at 4 stars, it sounds like this carrier may be worth a try if you have time to order, test the item, and return it if it doesn’t work out.

 6) Pet Gear I-GO2 Plus Traveler Rolling Backpack Carrier

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: 25 lbs.
  • Measures: Large (16″L x 12″W x 15″H), Extra Large Plus (16”L x 13.5”W x 22”H)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • Large ($35.99), Extra Large Plus ($89.78)
  • 0 stars

 Pros:

+ Versatility: This pack can be used as carrier, backpack, tote, car seat, or roller bag.

+ Telescoping Handle & Wheels: Instead of having to carry your dog the entire trip, you can roll the carrier like a suitcase on smooth level surfaces like parking lots and sidewalks.

+ Human Comfort (for shorter humans): Reviewers who are shorter (< 5’6”) said that the backpack straps were very comfortable and the pack rode well on their backs.

Cons:

– Human Comfort (for taller humans): Reviewers who are taller (5’9”+) stated that the rolling wheels dug into their lower backs when they wore the carrier as a backpack.

– Dog Comfort: The bottom pad is thin and virtually non-existent.  Nearly all reviewers (even those who liked the carrier overall) mentioned adding their own supplemental padding.

Overall Impression:

The versatility of this carrier is very appealing to me.  Unlike the Nautuvalle carrier which has similar features but poor quality, the overall quality of this carrier appears to be acceptable.  Adding more padding isn’t preferable, but it also isn’t a deal breaker in my case.  At 5’4”, it sounds like the carrier would be reasonably comfortable on me.  So far, I am going to rank this as my second choice behind the Petsfit.

mountain-

 7) OxGord Paws & Pals Rolling Backpack Carrier

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: 20 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 14”L x 11”W x 19”H

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • $21.95
  • 9 stars

Pros:

+ Easy Clean Up: The outer polyester material is removable from the carrier frame for ease of cleaning.

+ Telescoping Handle & Wheels: As with the PetGear carrier, you have the option to roll your dog along behind you rather than carry her over flat, smooth surfaces.

+ Pet Comfort: With extra-large mesh screens, this carrier allows plenty of viewing range for dogs who want to see all the sights along the trail.

Cons:

– Quality & Durability:  Multiple reviewers mentioned that the mesh tore, zippers broke, and the metal supporting rods poked through the outer fabric with normal use.

– Dog Comfort: The downside of all the mesh is that it is less supportive.  Some owners said their dogs seemed uncomfortable and that they kept falling into the mesh.

Overall Impression:

This seems like a middle of the road quality at bargain price style of carrier.  If I were only going to use it a couple of times a year to go to the vet, it may be worth it.  Since I anticipate using my new carrier frequently, and am willing to invest a bit more money for quality, this doesn’t seem like the right fit for me.

people

8) Pettom Travel & Hiking Bubble Backpack for Dogs

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: 22 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12.6″L x 9.4″W x 36.6″H

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • $82.99 for roller/backpack combo, $67.99 for backpack only
  • 6 stars

Pros:

+ Versatility: The entire frame and wheels can be removed when wearing the carrier as a backpack.  No more wheels digging into your back as with other wheeled/backpack combo carriers!

+ Color Choices: Every carrier on the market seems to come in black and grey.  This one features a baby pink, cheerful yellow, or classic brown faux leather look.

+ Style: The unique bubble view port lets your dog play astronaut and is sure to turn heads when you are out in public.  It can also be swapped out with a plastic grate if you prefer.

 Cons:

– Assembly:  Some assembly is required and unfortunately, the provided instructions are less than helpful.  The writer of said instructions was not a native English speaker and it shows.  Be prepared for a good laugh and a bit of frustration as you attempt to decipher the manual.

– Durability: Some reviewers had the plastic rivets holding the carrier together snap.  Others experienced breaking of the ring around the astronaut bubble.

Overall Impression:

My wannabe astronaut self is jumping up and down with excitement at how adorable the bubble viewport on this carrier is!  The fact that it comes in a pretty baby pink is a definite bonus for me as well.

Since other roller/backpack combos had comfort issues, the idea of the wheels completely detaching from the backpack portion of the carrier is very appealing.

The 3.6 star average review is disconcerting, however since the majority of the complaints appear to be related to the assembly frustrations, I am willing to overlook it.  If I choose this carrier, I will plan extra assembly time and be prepared with a bottle of wine to make the process more enjoyable.

welsh-corgi

9) Cosmos Colorful Pet Carrier Bag

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: Small (5 lbs.), Medium (8 lbs.), Large (15 lbs.)
  • Measures: Small (9.5″ pocket length), Medium (11” pocket length), Large (12” pocket length)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • Small ($11.97), Medium ($12.97), Large ($13.97)
  • 2 stars

Pros:

+ Price: At less than $15 each, this is the type of carrier that you don’t have to worry about losing.

+ Portability: Since the carrier is all fabric, it simply folds up for travel and storage; no need to worry about where to store it.

+ Style: No bland colors here; the Cosmos carrier is all about looking like you are on your way to a fiesta at a sandy beach!

Cons:

– Human Comfort:  At this price point, the straps are simply not padded well, and this puts more pressure on your shoulders.

– Pet Comfort: With all 4 paws and their tail poked through holes in the carrier, your dog’s appendages are liable to fall asleep if you carry them around in it for too long.

 Overall Impression:

When I first saw this particular carrier pop up on the top 10 list, I was a bit confused because it is much more simplistic than all the others.  It doesn’t pretend to be versatile; it doesn’t have a bunch of extra features and pockets.  It is simply a basic fabric carrier for short little walks.  The only thing pretentious about it is its bright colors!

At the sub-$15 price point, it may not be a bad idea to have one of these little carriers on standby.  It won’t, however, work for my primary carrier as I need a more long term carrying solution for hikes.

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10) Pettom Front Cat Dog Backpack Travel Bag Carrier

Weight Limit & Dimensions:

  • Weight Limit: Small (up to 15 lbs.), Large (up to 22 lbs.)
  • Measures: Small (11″ x 11″ x 16.9”), Large (13″ x 12″ x 17”)

Amazon Price & Rating:

  • Small ($59.99), Large ($54.99)
  • 2 stars

 Pros:

+ Clean Up: Removable bottom pad makes for easy clean up.

+ Color Choices: With options like cyan, pink, brown, green, orange, and purple, there is a signature color for everyone no matter what your taste.

+ Stability: Dual waist and chest buckles keep the carrier from sliding around while on a hike.

 Cons:

– Human Comfort:  Multiple reviewers said that the bottom of the pack dug into their back when wearing it as a backpack.

– Lack of Side Pockets: While most other carriers feature extra pockets to hold leashes, treats, toys, car keys, and phones, this carrier does not.

Overall Impression:

The streamlined, non-bulky look of this carrier is very appealing to me, as are the fantastic color choices.  The price is mid-range for this type of carrier.  I am worried about the potential comfort issue with the pack digging into my lower back.  Still, with 4.2 stars, it may be worth giving it a test run to see how it works for me.

walk

My Final Choice: Petsfit Comfort Dog Carrier & Ventilated Backpack.

There were a bunch of different options, and several of the carriers on the top 10 list seemed like they had the potential to work for me.  At the end of the day, I decided to go with the Petsfit Comfort Dog Carrier & Ventilated Backpack for multiple reasons.

  1. SIZE

While this carrier does only come in one size, it is a size that will accommodate my dog’s weight and length perfectly.

  1. CARRYING POSITION

My dog will be free to either sit or lie down as she pleases.  The carrier will work well for longer hikes because her paws aren’t hanging out.

  1. STRAP PADDING & CONFIGURATION

This pack has the padded shoulder straps, waist strap, and chest buckle that I was looking for.  It should be plenty comfortable for long weekend hikes.

  1. VENTILATION

With mesh on both sides as well as the top of the pack, my dog will get plenty of airflow and even a cross breeze depending which way the wind is blowing.  The mesh is rubberized, making it much more durable than regular mesh.

  1. VERSATILITY

This pack doesn’t have any extra functions.  It is simply a great quality dog carrier hiking backpack.  While I would have appreciated some extra versatility, ultimately I decided it wasn’t worth sacrificing comfort for.  This pack will excel in its function as a dog carrier hiking backpack, and that is what I was truly looking for from the start!  I can always pick up that fun astronaut rolling pack for weekends in the city.

Best of luck as you choose the right backpack for you and your dog.  We will see you out on the trails soon!

 

Best Traveling Crates for Small Dogs – Buyer’s guide

Traveling Crates for Small Dog
The first thing to do before buying Traveling Crates for Small Dogs is measure your dog. It might seem like a small dog wouldn’t take much room, but make sure it has enough room to stand and stretch. Measure the dog from the base of its neck to the base of its tail and add three inches to that distance. That’s the minimum length your crate should be. Then measure from the ground to the top of the dog’s shoulders, add three inches and that’s the minimum height of the crate.

Traveling Crates for Small Dog

You might think there’s no such thing as a crate that’s too big since the animal must have room to lie down and stand, but don’t get a crate that’s much bigger than the dog. A dog’s instinctive comfort with small places goes back to the instinct of the wolf to find a den. A wolf’s den is just big enough for it to lie down and stand in. If you get a crate that’s substantially bigger, it won’t provide the feeling of safety and security a dog needs. Another reason to avoid a crate that’s much bigger than your dog is that you don’t want the dog to be able to use one end for eliminating and the other end for lying down. The crate must mimic the wolf’s den that an animal would instinctively never soil.

Crates

Different travel crates work well for different kinds of travel. Airlines have certain requirements that include the crate being made of substances such as metal, fiberglass or rigid plastic. It can’t be crushable, so if you’re traveling by plane, you’ll have to look for crates that meet their requirements.
Traveling by car gives you more options. There are some soft carriers that provide a very comfortable place for your dog to relax or sleep, plus they’re lighter than hard crates and pack up easily. Setting them up usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes.

Buyer's guide

One of the best dog crates for travel is the EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Crate. It’s very easy to put together and breaks apart easily. It has not one door, but three: one on the end, one on the side, one on top. This makes it easy to tend to your dog from above, without taking him out of his crate. It has a steel tube frame, outer pockets for storage and plenty of ventilation. EliteField crates fit dogs of all sizes except for the tiniest of dogs.

Traveling Crates

For those little pets, the Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carriers are one of the best carriers. They come in three sizes for dogs up to 22 pounds. These soft carriers are approved for airline travel. They have plenty of ventilation, have a spring wire frame that allows you to push the back of the crate underneath a seat, and have a washable faux lambskin liner. They also come with a rear pocket for storage of the extras you might need to access easily.

Should I Neuter MY dog? [Read this and you will change your mind!]

Should I Neuter MY dog?

You just left the vet’s office following your puppy’s six month check-up.  Everything went well; he got his shots and you even managed to hold him still through the dreaded nail clipping portion of the visit.  Then, as you were leaving, the vet’s assistant handed you the brochure – “What You Should Know About Neutering.”

Should I Neuter MY dog?

As you walk home, you consider the pros and cons of neutering while Rusty (blissfully oblivious that the fate of his genitalia hangs in the balance) trails along beside you.  The brochure quotes various reputable sources who all say that the benefits of neutering are many and the risks few.  In fact the only downsides the brochure mentions are potential anesthesia reactions and infections of the surgical site.

Your friend Jess had her dog neutered not that long ago though, and you remember her telling you that Gus wasn’t the same afterwards.  She said she couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but he just didn’t act like he used to, and he felt like a different dog.  You wonder – does neutering a dog change his personality?

 neutering a dog change his personality

From what you recall of biology class, you know that neutering would effectively eliminate most of the testosterone Rusty’s body produces.  Without that testosterone, would your protective alpha dog suddenly become a docile follower?  Rusty is always looking out for you and making sure you are safe; do you really want to risk losing that and instead having a dog that hides under the covers trembling at the sound of a knock on the door?   Would Rusty lose his fearlessness along with his fertility?

A tug on the leash brings you back to the present, and you see Rusty proudly lifting his leg and marking as his territory the side of a very expensive luxury car.  From across the street at the outdoor cafe, you hear an angered shout of the owner of said car.  It seems he witnessed Rusty’s transgression.  Ducking around the corner after offering the owner an embarrassed apology, you begin to think that personality changes from neutering may not be all bad.  A decreased interest in excessively marking territory would actually be a welcome change.

neuter

At home, you go online and do some research; Rusty deserves for you to make an informed decision.  Many veterinarians, breeders, and dog owners say that the changes which they noticed in their dogs following neutering were more in behaviors than in actual personality.  They observed a decreased frequency of sexual behaviors like marking expensive cars and humping dinner guest’s legs.  The neutered dogs were also less likely to become agitated around female dogs.  One of the most notable benefits was that the neutered dogs became less focused on other dogs and instead they re-focused on their humans.  Un-neutered male dogs can become more aggressive and territorial as they age, so rather than making Rusty completely docile, neutering him may simply temper his protective nature so that it remains at an appropriate level.
Does neutering a dog change his personality?  It’s hard to know for sure, but what is clear is that his behaviors are likely to change for the better.  Sorry, Rusty—time to make an appointment with the vet!

Dog X-rays : Cost and Helpful Information To Learn.

The Cost of X-ray and Associated Costs

Dog X-rays: Cost and Helpful Information

Veterinarians use x-rays on a regular basis to help them diagnose and monitor a variety of conditions. Dog owners should know some basic information about the cost and what is included in the cost, how the x-rays are used, and the safety of the procedure.

What Can X-rays Diagnose in Dogs?

Doggie x-rays can help veterinarians identify orthopedic issues, intestinal issues, tumors, ulcers, and polyps, in addition to the broken bones they are used for in humans. Orthopedic issues include things like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, fractures and bone deformations. Intestinal issues include blockages because a dog swallowed a non-food item or bladder stones.  However, x-rays may not be the best tool for identifying tumors that blend in with surrounding tissue, or for diagnosing neurological, cardiac, or pulmonary issues. Other imaging techniques, like ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI, are available that might be better for some of these specific issues.

What Can X-rays Diagnose in Dogs?

The Cost of X-ray and Associated Costs

The cost of x-rays for your dog is dependent on many factors. The cost can vary wildly between different veterinary offices, locations, and types of x-rays. In the U.S. x-rays will cost between $80-$150 per image. Globally, you can expect to pay €60-€160 in the United Kingdom or €40-€80 per photo in the Netherlands.  However, none of these price ranges include the costs of sedation or anesthesia, the cost of barium if needed, the cost of the vet visit, the cost of getting multiple photos (which is almost always necessary), or the cost of a specialist (like a radiologist) if necessary. The cost of sedation will vary on your dog’s size and cost $40-$180 on top of the cost of the x-rays. Emergency or after-hours care will often cost up to twice as much as the cost of care during regular business hours.

The Cost of X-ray and Associated Costs

The cost of x-rays will also vary depending on your location. Urban areas with multiple offices are more likely to offer competitive rates than rural areas. However, large metropolitan areas with a higher cost of living overall will be more expensive than the cost in smaller cities.

It is possible to discuss the price with your veterinarian or shop around for better prices, but here are some more factors to consider.

Don’t waste time if your dog is in pain. If a traumatic event has occurred, or even if your dog has developed a limp suddenly, they are probably in a lot of pain. Dogs don’t have the ability to tell us how much pain they are in. If you think your dog is in pain, don’t prolong his or her suffering by spending days waiting to hear back from several veterinarians’ offices.
Cheaper is not always better.  If you have a regular vet that you and your pet are comfortable with, discuss the price with them. So long as they can explain to you the reason that their prices might be more than others, it is probably worth the peace of mind for you and your dog to stick with someone you trust.
Ask Questions! Asking the right questions can help ensure that you are not paying for unnecessary items. The more you know, the more likely you will be to pay a fair price and get exactly what your dog needs.
  • Ask why the cost is higher at this office than another one.
  • Ask why the x-ray is necessary and ask how many images they will need to take.
  • Ask about whether or not sedation is necessary.
  • Ask to see an itemized list of the included costs. Use the itemized list to make sure that you aren’t paying for unnecessary supplies (like barium for a leg x-ray). You can also use the itemized list to make sure that you won’t be surprised with a separate cost for sedation that wasn’t included in the previous price.
If a vet is recommending that you pay for a bunch of tests to protect their liability in case of a mishap, you probably need to ask yourself if they are worthy of your trust.

It is possible to discuss

Don’t be afraid to tell your vet that you have done your homework and have found better prices elsewhere to see if they are willing to adjust their prices accordingly. If necessary, you can also set up a payment plan, either with your vet’s office or with a company like Care Credit. If medication is necessary, make sure that your vet is using the generic version instead of the name brand. In some cases, it is safe and cheaper for vets to use medicine formulated for humans, but make sure to follow your vet’s instructions on this. If possible, schedule your appointment for earlier in the day so that you don’t have to pay after hours or overnight fees.

X-ray Types

Generally speaking, when people refer to different types of x-rays they mean x-rays that are taken on different areas of the body. However, there is also a difference between digital and traditional x-rays. Traditional x-rays create a film photograph, while digital x-rays transfer this image to a digital file that can easily be shared among a group of specialists. Digital x-rays will cost more than traditional x-rays.

Abdominal X-rays- Abdominal x-rays are one of the most common x-rays for dogs. Abdominal x-rays are used to identify intestinal blockages, check for bladder stones, and can be used to identify tumors (depending on the placement of the tumor in relation to abdominal organs, it may or may not be visible on an x-ray). They are also commonly used to determine the number of puppies an expectant mother is carrying, but only after 45 days of pregnancy. Because they are relatively easy to capture, it is less likely for dogs to need sedation for an abdominal x-ray.

X-ray Types

Chest X-rays- Chest x-rays are used to check for cancers and other diseases of the heart and lungs. If your pup has been through a traumatic event, like being hit by a car or falling from an extreme height, chest x-rays will be used to check for broken ribs or to see if air has gotten inside the chest cavity. Chest x-rays are relatively easy to capture, so long as the technician is able to move the legs, so it is unlikely that sedation will be required. However, barium may be used to highlight the esophagus or other internal organs, and the use of barium will be an additional cost.
Dental X-Rays- Dental x-rays are used to identify issues with the teeth and jaws. Unfortunately, these tend to be some of the most difficult x-rays because it is difficult to get the dog to keep their head still. Therefore, sedation might be required for dental x-rays and will influence the cost.

What to Expect

Is Sedation or Anesthesia Required?

Sedation and anesthesia during x-rays depend mainly on the type of x-ray and your dog’s personality.

Types of x-rays are based on what body part is of concern. The x-ray images will come out better if the animal is still. It is easier to get animals to stay still in certain positions. For example, if they are lying down on their back, they should be still enough for an x-ray of their abdomen. However, if the x-ray requires them laying in positions that are uncomfortable, it will be harder to get them to lay still, so sedation might be necessary. If the x-ray needs images of an internal organ, a muscle relaxer may make it easier for the x-ray to capture the image.
Your dog’s personality will also make it easier or more difficult. The x-ray itself does not cause pain, but the whole situation may cause anxiety for many animals. If you have an extremely anxious dog or a dog that tends to attack strangers, sedation may be necessary. Even if your dog is comfortable with your vet, it may not be comfortable with the x-ray technician or other staff members that will assist. If the dog is currently in pain, it might avoid sitting or lying in the necessary positions, so sedatives or anesthesia can help make your dog more comfortable.

Is Sedation or Anesthesia Required?

Most often, x-rays can be done without the use of sedation or anesthesia. However, if sedation is necessary, it will be an additional cost that will depend on the size of your dog.

Before the X-ray – Preparing Your Dog for an X-ray

There should be very little preparation for the x-ray event. In some cases, your veterinarian will ask you to have your dog fast for a twelve-hour period before the x-ray. This fasting will reduce the stomach contents so that the vet can see past the stomach to other organs or to see if there is a blockage in the intestinal tract. In general, the best way that you can prepare your dog for an x-ray is to simply keep it as calm as possible.

The X-ray Procedure – Can I Stay with my Dog During the X-ray?

The x-ray procedure is similar for dogs and humans. First, your dog will be placed on a table that has a glass or plastic shield with the x-ray film underneath it. This may be confusing for some dogs because they are generally told not to climb on tables and furniture, but now they are being asked to. However, experienced technicians will be able to help your dog through this. Your dog will be positioned so that the necessary body part is visible. Specially made sandbags may be used to calm your dog and to encourage stillness or other restraint devices may be used to hold your dog in a particular position. The technician will move the x-ray beam into the correct placement above your dog. The technician will step away from your dog, but continue talking to it so that it stays calm and still. Then the technician will push a button for the image to be captured. This process may be repeated several times depending on how many images your vet needs.

The X-ray Procedure – Can I Stay with my Dog During the X-ray?

You will most likely not be allowed to stay with your dog during the x-ray. In the United States, state laws indicate that owners are not allowed into the x-ray room. However, in cases where the dog is extremely anxious or difficult to restrain, the technician may ask the owner to assist in holding the dog in place during the x-ray. If this happens, the owner must be over 18, must wear protective garments, and must not be pregnant or nursing. The reason that protective garments must be worn is simply that the radiation required to capture an x-ray image of a dog is higher than the radiation used in human x-rays. However, this radiation is not dangerous to humans or dogs, unless there is repeated or prolonged exposure.

Are X-Rays Bad or Harmful to Dogs?

So long as your dog is not getting x-rays excessively often, they will be perfectly safe. In most cases, the benefits of diagnosing a health problem with an x-ray far outweigh the risks of radiation.

The one exception is pregnant dogs. X-rays are only safe for pregnant dogs after 45 days of pregnancy. After 45 days, it is common practice to use an x-ray to determine the number of puppies in a litter. However, x-rays are not the only method that can be used during pregnancy, and the other methods will not expose the puppies to potentially harmful radiation. If the purpose of the x-ray is just to count the number of puppies, it is probably not worth the risk. However, if there is a sign of trouble during or before birth, an x-ray will be beneficial to both the mother and the puppies.

Are X-Rays Bad or Harmful to Dogs?

Can I See My Dog’s X-Rays?

You should always be allowed to see your dog’s x-rays and most often your veterinarian will go over them with you to explain any information about your dog’s condition. However, x-rays are legally considered a part of a patient’s medical record, even when that patient is a dog. Therefore, the original x-ray photographs must legally stay in your dog’s patient file at their vet’s office. You can request a copy of the x-ray photographs, but an extra fee may be charged.

Other Kinds of Medical Imaging for Dogs

X-rays are the most common diagnostic tool for most vets, but they are certainly not the only ones available. Ultrasounds, MRI, and CT scans can all be used to focus more intensely on a specific body part.

Ultrasound- Ultrasounds project a harmless sound wave into your dog’s body. The sound waves bounce off different structures within your dog’s body and register a picture of the surfaces inside. Even though dogs’ sense of hearing is stronger than humans, these sound waves do not harm them. Ultrasounds can be used for reproductive purposes after 21 days of pregnancy. They can also be used to check internal organs such as the heart, liver, or lungs. As with x-rays, the cost of an ultrasound will vary depending on your vet’s office and the equipment they are using as well as the purpose of the ultrasound. They can range from $50-$500. It is a good idea to ask questions about certifications, equipment, and specialists so that you know exactly what you are paying for.

Magnetic resonance imaging

MRI- Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a scan that produces detailed images of the body. MRI uses magnetic fields and radio-waves to produce a picture of internal organs. It is especially useful for diagnosing neurological conditions or spinal cord conditions. MRI requires specialty equipment that your local veterinarian will most likely not have access to. This equipment is usually only found in veterinary schools or advanced diagnostic centers. The scarcity of the equipment means that you need a referral from your vet to make an appointment, and it means a much higher cost. An MRI could cost up to $2500 per scan.
CT Scans- CT scans, also known as Cat Scans, take numerous x-rays rapidly. These series of x-rays can then be presented in cross-sections so that the vet can see a more focused picture of the specific body part. CT scans are mostly used for examining the most complex body parts like the head, chest, and joints. Just like the MRI, CT scan equipment is scarce and expensive. CT scans can also cost up to $2500 per scan and will require a referral before the appointment.

Cheap natural dog food : How to find one as easy as possible !!!

Cheap natural dog food

Cheap natural dog food

Finding affordable, cheap natural dog food can be challenging for many dog owners. Faced with seemingly endless options, it can be difficult to know where to start, and what to look for. Finding healthy dog food doesn’t have to break the bank!

puppy

Here are a few tips to make the process of choosing cheap and natural food for your dog as easy as possible.

One of the most important aspects to choosing a dog food that is both cheap and healthy is to make sure that the food in question contains all the ingredients necessary for your canine companion’s diet.

pug

Protein should generally constitute the majority of any good dog food. Healthy protein options for your dog include chicken, beef, salmon, and rabbit.  Many dog foods also contain grains and other carbohydrates such as soy, beans, rice, oats, wheat and barley.

Pet food is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) according to the “95% rule,” requiring at least 95% of the product to agree with the labeled ingredients. For example, if the dog food in question is labeled “Beef Dog Food,” then 95% of the dog food must contain beef. The ingredients are always listed in order of predominance, with the first ingredient listed making up most of the product’s weight.

dog

Keeping these regulations in mind, when attempting to find a cheap and natural dog food, it is especially important to check the dog food ingredients. Despite the effective advertising put out by some of the most popular (and expensive!) dog food companies, many dog foods on the market contain ingredients that can harm your pet.

Here are a few ingredients that you might consider avoiding when feeding your dog:

  • Wheat (gluten)
  • Preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol (PG)
  • Food dyes
  • Rendered fat

Now that you know what to stay clear of, you still have quite a few decisions to make. Do you want to feed your dog wet or dry food?

pekinese

If cost is a limiting factor, dry food will likely be your best bet. Dry food is cheaper, less messy, and even helps to clean your dog’s teeth. There are also several downsides to dry dog food. For example, dry dog food has a very low moisture content and can contribute to your dog being dehydrated. Furthermore, dry dog food often contains artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, none of which are necessary in a healthy dog’s diet. So, when choosing a dry food, remember to pay attention to the ingredients!

pet

Moist dog food is also an excellent option, if you can afford it. Moist dog food contains a much higher moisture content and can be easier for older dogs to chew, however, it can also contain additives. Additionally, moist dog foods can have much longer shelf lives than dry dog food. Make sure to check the ingredients of any moist dog food before deciding to buy it, and always check the expiration dates to be safe.

 

Good Cheap Dog Food : Is it still Possible to Find One?

Good Cheap Dog Food

Is it still Possible to Find Good Cheap Dog Food?

Ever want to treat your best friend with the best quality things but wonder why is it so expensive?

Well there is hope.

Having a puppy is fun, great companionship, and not to mention the cuteness overload. They are our family. However feeding your best friend can add up in spending and be more than you bargained for. To be able to determine the best food out there, take account of the nutrition needs of your dog and what type of food you want for them.

dog

There are brands out there that are great quality while still being cheap. All it requires is a little investigation. An expensive brand does not always mean better quality. What the product is made of is more important. There is also no perfect brand of dog food. Each one is different and every dog is different. Find the one that works best for your pup.
Read the reviews and look at the history of the brand. Some brands just started but make great quality food. Other brands have been around for years and know their formulas well. Find the price you want first, and then follow these tips to ensure you are buying the perfect one.

pooch
Here are a few tips on how to find a good quality of food while sticking to budget.

  1. Look at ingredients of the food. Cheap dog food can have cheap ingredients which can cause health issues for your dog. Depending on the type of dog you have, there are different formulas out there that will work for your breed better than others.
  2. Check out the protein. Dogs need a lot of protein, so when reading labels make sure that it is in the first few ingredients on the list. Beef and chicken are higher in protein than other meats but depending on the age of your dog, different types of protein are still good. Younger dogs will need more protein, and older dogs need more fiber in their diet.
  3. Is the food balanced? Are there fruits, veggies, and vitamins in it? Also look to see if the food has any fillers in it like soy protein or corn. Real ingredients and meat is more nutritious than fillers.
  4. Find the flavor. Every dog is different and has a preference. Try out some different types and see what is more exciting for your dog.
  5. Try to stick with natural food. It will have fewer chemicals in it and be better for you dog’s health and appetite.
  6. Look at the label closely. Some will try to trick you in claiming that it’s the best when it is not.

small breed

Finding the right product is important. It will allow your dog to have a great immune system, shiny fur, and maintain a healthy weight providing you a happy, energetic dog.

Once you have looked at different food brands and found one you like, compare it at different stores and online to see who has the better pricing. Some places will have coupons and memberships that will allow you to get those discounts.

cheap dog food

Your dog deserves the best and it is possible to find cheap, great quality, food without breaking the bank. Stick to your budget and follow these simple tips to find the best food to make your dog smile.

The Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus and Yorkies : A guide for our fur babies!

The Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus and Yorkies

The Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus and Yorkies

Dogs are a man’s best friends and if you own a playful Shih Tzu or an affectionate Yorkie, you know how true this can be. And you will go to any length to keep your best friend healthy. A balanced diet is the first step to taking care of any pet, but with so many options available, it is hard to know where to start. Always discuss nutrition with your veterinarian because they will be able to offer guidance with your specific dog in mind.

Shih Tzu

It is always good to do your homework before a vet visit so that you know the specific questions to ask. Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a pet food, specifically for your small-breed Shih Tzu or Yorkie.

General Guidelines

Always look for an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approved brand. This ensures that the dog food meets the minimum standards of ingredient requirements for all dogs. The label on the package should refer to AAFCO directly and will often say “100% Complete and Balanced Nutrition.” Pay attention to the way that the food is advertised. According to AAFCO standards, a “beef formula” must contain at least 95% beef, but a “beef entrée” may only contain 25% beef.

Yorkies

Always read the ingredient label, but beware of some common misconceptions. In general, dogs need a large portion of protein, a medium portion of fat, and a small portion of carbohydrates. Some preservatives are necessary, to keep the food fresh. Natural preservatives, like tocopherol or ascorbate, are acceptable, but avoid preservatives like ethoxyquin, BHT or BHA.
Ingredients are always listed by weight, so ingredients with a large amount of moisture can be misleading because they are heavier. Similar ingredients can also be labeled as separate ingredients, so a formula that includes kibbled corn, ground corn, and flaked corn can actually contain a lot more grain than necessary. Also, keep in mind that the ingredient list tells you what the ingredients are, but does not tell you the quality of the ingredients. 

Keeping Your Pup in Mind

Once you have narrowed down the possibilities to a quality dog food brand, it is time to consider your dog’s specifications. The AAFCO monitors different nutrient levels based on the dog’s age. Just as human dietary needs change as we grow, a puppy has different needs than an adult dog. Choose a brand that has a variation for your pet’s age.

shih tzu

Individual pets may have specific dietary requirements. If your dog has allergies, you will need to find a brand without those allergens. Some dogs are allergic to chicken so a less common protein, like bison or lamb, can be substituted. But be sure to carefully read the ingredient label because a lamb formula may also include chicken fat, which your dog will react to. If you are concerned about your dog’s digestion, consider a brand with whole grains and vegetables. Very few dogs have gluten allergies, but a grain-free or gluten-free formula can help address skin sensitivities.

Small-breed dogs have different needs than large-breed dogs. Many small breeds have faster metabolisms so they need to eat more calories more often, especially as a growing puppy. Small-breed dogs that are not fed often enough can develop hypoglycemia. Small-breed dogs also tend to have smaller snouts, so they can easily choke. A small-breed formula will have smaller kibbles to prevent choking.

Shih Tzus, in particular, are known for long, fast-growing coats that distinguish their breed, but these coats can also cause skin sensitivities. For this reason, a grain-free formula rich in Vitamin A and Omega Fatty Acids are good for Shih Tzus.

Keeping Your Pup in Mind

Yorkies can suffer from a hereditary issue called a liver shunt where the blood passes directly into their system without being filtered by their liver. A diet with plant or dairy-based protein can prevent or manage this condition. Excessive fat can also cause pancreatitis in Yorkies, so look for a food low in fat.

Yorkie

Which Brand is Best?

Royal Canin offers breed-specific dog food formulas for both Shih Tzus and Yorkies. These formulas are both AAFCO approved and contain natural preservatives. The kibble size and shape are specifically formulated to prevent choking and dental problems based on the breed’s snout size and shape. They are both rich in Omega Fatty Acids to protect the long coats of Shih Tzus and Yorkies. The Yorkie-specific formula includes ingredients that are agreeable to a Yorkie’s sensitive digestive system. This can be purchased from any pet specialty store or through your veterinarian’s office.     At around $35/bag for a ten-pound bag, this brand is also fairly affordable.

yorkie

Hill’s Healthy Advantage has a “small bites” product formulated for small breeds that includes ingredients that support healthy digestion, coats, and mobility for small dogs. However,  the cost may vary.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula for toy/small breeds offers a formula specific to the energy needs of small breeds like your Shih Tzu or Yorkie. They also include vital nutrients for joint health and for a healthy coat. Blue Buffalo also guarantees that it avoids potentially harmful ingredients like artificial colors or preservatives. This is one of the most convenient brands because it can be purchased at most local grocery stores or online. It is also one of the most cost-effective brands at only $26/bag for a 15-pound bag.

Ultimately, the choice of dog food is up to you, but by communicating with your veterinarian and keeping these guidelines in mind, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu or Yorkie will be happy and healthy for many years to come.

 

Cheap dog food : How to cut costs when purchasing high quality dog food

Is it still possible to find high-quality, inexpensive dog food?

According to many long-term dog owners, the answer to Cheap dog food is a resounding “no.” Gone are the days when you could walk into a pet store, spend a quick five dollars, and walk out with a sizable bag of food for your beloved pet. With some brands of food costing more than sixty dollars for a week’s supply, many dog owners are left scratching their heads, wondering if they should skip quality (in favor of low prices) or begrudgingly accept a higher price point for better ingredients.

high quality dog food

Indeed, the ingredients are ultimately responsible for the rise in the price of dog food. As the cost of wheat, barley, rice and corn continues to rise, so does the cost of dog food. And even though some dog food brands run promotions and offer coupons to lessen the costs of dog food, prices continue to be astronomical.

chihuahua
However, despite the fact that dog food prices may be unreasonable, dog owners must still purchase the best dog food possible, in order to promote the health and longevity of your furry friends. Here are some easy ways to save costs when purchasing high quality dog food.

1. Search for coupons.

Many dog food manufacturers understand that customers prefer high quality, low cost dog food. As a result, they offer easily accessible coupons. To access coupons for dog food, check the websites of both dog food manufacturers and dog food retail stores. Sometimes, you can save up to 40% on the base price of your dog’s food.

2. Try a different retailer.

The price of dog food depends largely on the retailer you purchase it from. A dog food brand that costs $60 at Store #1 might just cost $50 at Store #3. The websites of most major dog food retailers offer the ability to check prices and inventory availability, so you can find the lowest prices from the comfort of your own home.

3. Experiment with new brands.

Although switching dog food should be done carefully in order to minimize stomach upset for your furry friend, switching dog food can be an easy way to save money. To switch dog food in a safe way, feed your dog a half-and-half mixture of the old brand with the new brand. Continue the mixture for at least three days, or longer if your dog begins to show signs of intolerance, like diarrhea or vomiting.

4. Buy in bulk.

Like all products, dog food is cheaper when purchased in bulk. Buying large packages is a great way to reduce the cost of dog food over a long time period. If you’re worried about the dog food spoiling, you can always make a large purchase with a group and divide up the dog food evenly.

chihuahua
As you can see, buying high-quality, inexpensive dog food is a certain possibility, with a little bit of ingenuity. By working together with friends, carefully strategizing, and creating a solid plan, you will be able to provide essential nutrition for your beloved pet in a way that doesn’t break the bank.