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How To Clean Your Pet’s Toys Properly

Nothing beats seeing our pets play with their favourite toys. However, your four-legged friend’s favourite toys will soon begin to show signs of wear. Toys which are often used retain countless germs and filth. Additionally, these toys would not be as aesthetically beautiful as they were before. Thus, it is important for you to clean their toys, but how should you do it?

How To Clean Different Toys

To start off, refrain from using harsh chemicals. Keep in mind that your pet plays with toys by carrying them in their mouths. Instead, rinse in hot water and squeeze dry. Avoid using scented detergents on their toys. Your pet may not enjoy their toys if they smell like a flower meadow. 

Next, it is important to follow cleaning instructions on the toy’s packaging. Different toys have different specific sets of steps to follow when cleaning them. With that, make sure that the toys are thoroughly rinsed and dried before giving them back to your pet.

Plush Toys

When washing soft toys, use a pet-safe detergent or avoid using detergent altogether. The washing machine is safe for your pet’s favourite plush animal or blanket. To preserve stuffed animals from being harmed by the spin motion of a washing machine, place them in mesh garment bags or pillow covers. Your pet will be able to reclaim their companion once the plush animal has been washed and dried. You may also hand-wash soft toys with the half-water, half-vinegar solution. After that, either air-dry the toys or place them in the dryer (without using dryer sheets). To minimise mould growth, ensure plush toys are thoroughly dry.

Chew Toys

When cleaning chew toys, cover any holes with tape to prevent cleaning agents from going inside. It should be noted that with certain chew toys, the object may become too worn for your dog to use properly. To avoid your pet consuming plastic or fabric, discard a toy as soon as it begins to break or develop holes.

Rope Toys

Rope toys not only retain your pet’s drool, but they also carry many pathogens. To destroy bacteria, mould, and yeast, moisten the toys and microwave them for at least a minute. Another way to clean these toys is to run them through a hot washing machine cycle without detergent.

When is it Time to Toss the Toy?

Checking and evaluating your pet’s toys on a regular basis is crucial. In certain circumstances, tossing and replacing them is preferable to cleaning or repairing them.

Signs to Toss a Toy:
  • been too heavily chewed and chomped to be adequately cleaned
  • torn or tattered to the point where the stuffing is falling out
  • has parts and pieces that are just starting to fall or break off. It could become a choking hazard or intestinal blockage if swallowed.

If all your pet’s toys are worn out, check out aPetMart’s toy collections for new ones. 

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Types of Hay for Small Animals

Hay is an essential component of a small animal’s diet. Feeding hay can be beneficial in many ways. These include preventing dental problems and preserving digestive health. Most importantly, supplying the appropriate quantity of vitamins and minerals. However, with so many hay options available, you may be stumped as to which is ideal for your small furry buddy. 

#1 Timothy Hay

Timothy Hay is a type of hay that is a staple meal for domestic adult rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. It is high in fibre while being low in protein and calcium and provides a variety of healthy nutrients. All these elements contribute to keeping their teeth in good health and the digestive system working properly. 

Pros: 

  • Ideal for adults
  • Provides protein and fibre
  • Less calcium preventing urinary stones

Cons:

  • Not suitable for young small animals as there is not enough nutrients for them. 

#2 Orchard Grass Hay

Orchard Grass hay is an alternative to timothy hay if your small animal is a picky eater. It is high in fibre and low in protein. Even though Orchard Grass contains slightly more protein than Timothy Hay, it is still low enough in protein to be offered to them freely.

Pros: 

  • Soft texture
  • Low in protein
  • High in fibre

Cons: 

  • May be high in sugar

#3 Meadow Hay

Meadow hay is a blend that provides small animals with a range of texture and flavours. However, other plants, as well as detritus and stone, may be present in the mixture. If you buy this type of hay, you should know where it originated from and what it contains. Otherwise, you won’t know what you’re feeding your small furry friend. As a result, the protein and calcium level in meadow hay varies. 

Pros: 

  • Variety of texture

Cons: 

  • May include other plants and detritus
  • Varies in mineral and fibre content

#4 Oat Hay

Oat hay may contain oat, wheat and barley. It is high in vitamins, fibre and minerals but low in protein. Many small animals may appreciate the crunchiness of the seed husks. Unless purchased in a blend, it is more expensive than other hays.

Pros: 

  • Low in protein
  • Crunchy seed heads
  • Great to blend with other hays
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre

Cons: 

  • Pricier if not blended

#5 Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa is a legume in the pea family that is rich in nutrients and strong in energy. It is harvested in the spring or early summer, and one field can produce many cuttings per season. This hay is ideal for young animals’ first six months of life. It contains large quantities of calcium and protein, both of which are necessary for development. However, if fed to an adult, the high calcium content might produce urinary stones.

Pros:

  • High in protein
  • High in minerals
  • Ideal for young small animals
  • Essential for growth

Cons:

  • Too rich for adult small animals
  • High calcium content which can cause urinary stones
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What Cut of Hay Is Best For Small Animals?

Buying hay for your small animal can feel complicated. There are a variety of hay to choose from, 1st cut, 2nd cut and 3rd cut. However, which one is the more suitable for your small furry ones?

1st Cut

First cut hay is the first growth off of the season before the field blossoms. It usually has thinner stems and is not as leafy because it is not mature to the point where the stem becomes larger. This hay is higher in fibre content and lower in protein and fat content. The colour of the hay is much lighter with more yellow and brown parts. 

Additionally, first cut hay has many seed heads which small animals love. If the first cut is cut too late, it can be hard and crunchy, which is not appreciated by small animals. First cut hay is usually suitable for small furry ones that are overweight as it is lower in protein. 

2nd Cut 

Second cut hay is the second crop taken off the field that has been harvested once. This cut of hay is usually recommended for small animals. The reason is that it has a larger percentage of leaves to stems, and a finer and softer stem which gives a pleasant texture for nibbling. The colour of the hay is greener and it is less stemy compared to the first cut. Protein and fat content is a tad higher compared to the first vut and fibre level is a little lower. 

3rd Cut

Third cut hay is usually very soft and heavy leafy. This hay should be given as a treat or mixed sparingly with 1st or 2nd cut hay if your small animal is picky. If you have a small animal that is underweight or elderly, this would be the ideal hay for them. Protein and fats are higher which can help them gain weight. However, it will be important to watch the poos, since the third cut is low in fibre. 

Hay is an important part of small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits diet. Get quality hay from aPetMart for your furry friends here!

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How to Live with Pets When You Are Allergic to Them

Do you want a pet but are allergic to them? Many people with pet allergies are distraught over the prospect of losing their furry buddies. However, there are ways to control these allergies while keeping your furry friends. 

Is It A Pet Allergy?

The first step in combating any allergy is determining the source. Rule out any other possible causes of your allergies, such as dust, pollen, food, medicine, and so on. Cats and dogs with thick, dense coats may hold environmental allergens in their hair. These allergens could be the ones triggering your allergic reaction instead.

Symptoms of Pet Allergies

  • Itchy, red skin.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.
  • Rash across the face, neck, and upper chest.
  • Eyes and nose swelling, itching, and/or running.
  • Asthma flare-ups (if you have pre-existing asthma).

Why Do Pet Allergies Make You Sneeze?

If you have pet allergies, it would be ideal to understand what causes your allergies to flare up. The cause of the allergy is the protein found in pets’ saliva, urine, and excrement. These proteins may get onto their fur and skin and accelerate the spreading to humans, while dog dander usually linger for a shorter period of time.

These proteins can linger in your homes. Certain proteins linger longer than others, which is why some pets may affect you more than others. For instance, cat protein can stay up to four months in your home environment. They can get attached to couches, and any sort of cloth surfaces.

Tips for Living with Pets When You are Allergic

#1 Wash Yourself regularly

Cleaning your hands after giving your pet a good belly rub would prevent allergy flare-ups. It can protect you from accidentally rubbing the irritating, burning unpleasant things into your eyes. When you’re outside, pollen and dust settle on your hair, skin, and clothing. Wash yourself and your clothes on a regular basis to remove allergies.

#2 Invest in an Air Purifier

Anyone in your home that suffers from allergies or respiratory problems will benefit from an air purifier. To add on, you should consider purchasing a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier. HEPA filters are intended to remove airborne contaminants from your home’s air. Remember to clean the filter to keep your home’s air quality healthy for both you and your pets. Alternatively, you can change the purifier once in a while. 

#3 Ensure Cleanliness in Your Home

Keep your floors clean, especially in the bedroom. Ensuring cleanliness will significantly minimise dust, pollen, dander and other allergens. To add on, you should wash linens such as clothes and bedding regularly. 

Not sure which kind of house cleaning tools are suitable for you and your pet? aPetMart got you covered! Check out these house cleaning tools

#4 Set Boundaries

It is tempting to sleep on your bed with your pets. Despite that, allowing them to snuggle up on your pillow can cause spreading of pollen on your face. Dander will easily rub into your eyes, can be inhaled, and will wreak havoc on your system. Thus, you and your pet will have separate bedrooms. Be sure to wash their bedding on a regular basis as well.

Medical Treatment

Over-the-counter medications are another option for dealing with pet allergies. Nasal steroids are usually the first-line treatment for allergies. They assist with nasal congestion, leaking, and draining. 

Other than that, antihistamines are an option too. They are great for alleviating itching and sneezing. Similarly, allergy shots are another helpful option. However, these are not effective for everyone. 

Serious allergies could develop which can cause an increase in sinus infections. Moreover, it can aggravate asthma leading to additional upper respiratory infections. Therefore, if you have severe allergic reactions to pets, avoiding contact with any cats or dogs would be recommended. 

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What To Do If Your Pet Swallowed A Foreign Object

Dogs and cats love to eat things they shouldn’t. Ingesting foreign objects can be extremely dangerous. Thus, as responsible pet parents, it is our job to know what to do if it happens. 

Common Foreign Objects Pets Swallow

Generally any household item within reach of your pet can be easily swallowed. This is especially true if your cat or dog is highly curious or enjoys gnawing on objects.

Dogs are the most likely to consume non-food items in most cases. Cats, on the other hand, have a proclivity to ingest string-like items. This is due to their fascination with ribbons, strings, and other dangly objects.

The following are some of the most common items that pets swallow:

  • Food waste
  • Bones
  • Plastic items
  • Small toys
  • Paper 
  • String-like objects
  • Fabric

Foreign Object Ingestion Symptoms

What happens if your pet ingests a foreign object? Foreign objects frequently obstruct your cat or dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As a result, if you suspect your cat or dog has swallowed a foreign object, look for the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Excessive drooling
  • Choking or gagging
  • Straining to defecate
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Decrease in appetite as well as a refusal to eat

If your pet does not exhibit any of the following symptoms in the next few hours and has not consumed anything dangerous or harmful, they should be fine. However, it is still advisable to contact your veterinarian.

What Happens If My Pet Consumes a Foreign Object?

Different foreign objects can cause different potential effects on their gastrointestinal tract. 

#1 Small Objects 

Items such as a small piece of plastic from a plastic bag, a small pebble from gravel, or a scrap of paper fall into this category. These items can usually pass through your pet’s GI tract without causing major problems. However, keep in mind that this is dependent on the size of the object in comparison to the size of your pet. 

#2 Large Objects

In general, large items are unsafe when swallowed. Either they choke your pet or that they become lodged elsewhere below the GI tract. This prevents food from passing through, resulting in intestinal blockage. Some examples of large items are tennis balls, dog toys, and corn cobs. Additionally, large amounts of toilet paper and silica gel packets can cause dehydration. 

#3 Toxic Objects

Batteries and cigarettes are easily lodged and are highly toxic when swallowed. If a battery is chewed or punctured, it can leak caustic substances that can corrode and burn the GI tract. Cigarette consumption can also result in nicotine poisoning in cats and dogs.

#4 String-Like Objects

String-like objects can clog the small intestine. This is because one end of the string can become lodged in the stomach and the other end in the small intestine. When it bunches up, the string can cut into the small intestine, resulting in gastrointestinal perforation.

Here are the most common string-like items ingested: 

  • Rope toys
  • Hair ties
  • Ribbons
  • Dental floss
  • Socks
  • Linen
  • Bedding
  • Feminine products
#5 Sharp Objects

When ingested, sharper objects are extremely dangerous. They may cut into your pet’s mouth or damage organs as they pass through the GI tract. This can result in gastrointestinal perforation. A hole in the intestines or stomach can cause fatal conditions such as sepsis or peritonitis.

As a result, we must exercise extra caution to keep our pets away from sharp objects including aluminium, sticks, broken pieces of hard plastic toys, rocks, or jewellery. It is also critical not to feed your dog cooked bones, as they can easily splinter. 

How Can You Prevent It?

Prevention is always better than treatment. Thus, as a responsible pet owner, you must assist in preventing your pet from ingesting something they should not.

1. Keep rubbish bins out of your pet’s reach.

2. Keep them out of craft rooms, tool boxes or workspaces. 

3. Store all strings and yarns in a pet proof container.

4. Clean up all your rubbish immediately.

5. Do not leave your pet unsupervised with their toys/chews.

6. Throw broken toys away immediately.

7. Remove non-pet toys from the floor.

8. For dogs: do not give them cooked bones. 

Things to Keep in Mind

Even if you can see something stuck deep in your pet’s throat, do not pull it out (or cut it if it is a string). It is also dangerous to try to induce vomiting in your cat or dog on your own, as this can exacerbate the situation. In such cases, please take your pet to the veterinarian.

However, if your cat or dog is choking, it is critical that you act quickly. If possible, try to remove the object that has become lodged in your mouth or throat. If not, take your pet to an emergency veterinarian right away. Else, you can perform the Heimlich manoeuvre if you know how.

Heimlich Manoeuvre for Cats

  1. Place your cat on the side.
  2. Support your cat’s back with one hand.
  3. Use the other hand to push upwards and inwards just below the ribs.
  4. Finally, look inside their mouth for the displaced object.

Heimlich Manoeuvre for Small Dogs

  1. Place  your dog on their back.
  2. Use your palm to apply pressure just below the rib cage, pushing inwards and upwards.
  3. Finally, look inside their mouth for the object that they were choking on.

Learn more about the heimlich manoeuvre for cats and small dogs by ExpertVillage Leaf Group here!

Heimlich Manoeuvre for Large Dogs

If your dog is standing:

  1. Put your arms around the belly so your hands clasp at the abdomen.
  2. Make a fist and push firmly inwards and upwards right beneath the rib cage.
  3. Look inside their mouth for the displaced object.
  4. Finally, lay your dog on their side to rest.

If your dog is lying down:

  1. Place one hand on your dog’s back for support.
  2. Use the other hand to push upwards and forwards (towards the spine) right below the ribcage.
  3. Finally, look inside their mouth for the displaced object.

Learn more about the heimlich manoeuvre for large dogs by HighTechPet here!

Check for a pulse if your pet is still not breathing after it has been removed. If no pulse is detected, begin CPR or artificial respiration immediately while seeking veterinary assistance. The object might have damaged your pet’s throat or mouth in the process. Hence, it is recommended to contact a vet even if the object is removed. 

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How To Prevent Dental Disease In Your Dog

Dog Dental

Dental care for dogs is important in keeping them in good health. Thus, it is crucial to keep your dog’s teeth sparkling and disease free. To achieve that, experts recommend a daily cleaning regime with a dog toothbrush and annual professional dental exams. 

Looking into A Dog’s Mouth

Just like humans, dogs have bacteria in their mouths. Almost immediately after your dog eats, the combination of bacteria, food and saliva begin forming a sticky film called plaque over their teeth. If we don’t clean it properly, it can develop into a gum disease and cause harm to their health. 

Signs of Canine Dental Concerns

  1. Plaque
  2. Red gums
  3. Bad breath
  4. Thick saliva
  5. Facial swelling
  6. Bleeding gums
  7. Dropping food while eating
  8. Blood in water or food bowls
  9. Favouring one side of the mouth
  10. Talking or making noises when a dog eats or yawns
  11. Rubbing the face with the paws or on the floor

How to Help Prevent Dental Disease

A dog’s teeth should be brushed twice to minimise bacteria. There are four steps in preventing painful gum disease in your dog. 

  1. Taking your dog to a vet for regular oral exams and cleanings.
  2. Brush your dog’s teeth every day.
  3. Feeding your dog a balanced diet.
  4. Offering safe toys and treats for daily chewing. 

Take Your Dog for Regular Oral Exams

During the first dental check up, your vet will do a physical examination of your dog’s mouth. This allows them to understand the condition of the teeth and jaw. Here is what they are looking for:

  • How the teeth fit together and jaw alignment
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Plaque buildup on the teeth
  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease 
  • Tartar buildup on the teeth and along the gum-line
  • Abscesses or signs of tooth resorption
  • Bumps or lesions that may indicate a tumour 
  • Any facial swelling

Depending on the results, your veterinarian will develop a plan for your dog. If your dog shows signs of a dental disease, a physical exam may not be enough to tell the extent of the situation. Thus, your canine  may be put under general anaesthesia to allow them to perform a complete dental exam which includes x-rays. 

Overall, it would be ideal to bring your canine to the dental regularly. Depending on your dog’s age, genetics, diet, and overall health, your vet may advise annual, or twice-yearly dental examinations.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Everyday

Brushing your dog’s teeth is important because it cleans away plaque and prevents serious dental problems. Here are a few steps you can follow to make the brushing a calm experience!

#1 Choose a calm time for brushing. Select a time when the environment is quiet and relaxing. Your dog will be able to stay calm and feel less anxious. 

#2 Buy a dog toothbrush. Dog toothbrushes are longer and curved which makes it easier to reach their back teeth. Additionally, use toothpaste for dogs because human toothpaste is toxic to canines. You can purchase toothbrush sets from aPetMart!

#3 Touch their teeth or gums with your fingers. Lift up their top lip and hold it while you touch their teeth. Try touching both the top and bottom teeth before moving on.

#4 Introduce the toothpaste to the dog. After your dog is comfortable with you touching their teeth with your fingers, you can introduce toothpaste. Start by showing them the toothpaste and then let them lick it. 

#5 Introduce the toothbrush with toothpaste. Once your dog is used to toothpaste, you can try introducing the toothbrush into their mouth. Gently rub against the outside of the teeth in small, slow circles. Make sure to massage the gums as well! The process should be calm and relaxing to avoid anxiety in both you and your canine. 

#6 Reward! You can give them a treat after brushing their teeth to make it a positive experience. 

Still unsure how to brush your canine’s teeth? Watch this video by the American Veterinary Medical Association to learn more!

Feeding Your Dog a Balanced Diet

Diet plays a part in combating dental disease. A well-balanced and healthy dog food can protect your canine’s whole health, giving it the ability to fight off diseases and aid in healing. 

Offer Safe Toys and Treats for Daily Chewing

Chewing on tooth-friendly treats every day can help prevent gum disease in dogs. You can give them chews such as Whimzees Natural Dog Chews to make dental care fun and interactive! Browse on aPetMart for more dental care treats and chews for your canine.

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How To Help Prevent Dental Disease In Your Cat

Dental Cat

Dental disease affects 50% to 90% of cats over the age of four. Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is essential to prevent dental diseases. As a responsible feline parent, it is your job to make sure that your kitty receives proper dental care. 

Looking into A Cat’s Mouth

Cats are obligate carnivores. Their digestive system is designed to process a high amount of protein. As a result, they have a unique set of teeth designed for ripping and tearing. The unique shape of their teeth allows food to get caught between the teeth and sit along the gum-line. The combination of saliva, food and bacteria creates plaque which can lead to gingivitis. 

Signs of Feline Dental Concerns

#1 Ulcers on the gums. 

#2 Bleeding or dark red line along the gums.

#3 Excessive drooling or pawing at mouth area. 

#4 Difficulty chewing food or refusal to eat.   

#5 Bad breath: An unusually strong odour may suggest digestive problems or a dental condition.  

#6 Gum inflammation: Swollen gums can lead to gum diseases, tooth loss, inability to eat. Additionally, it can be a sign of kidney disease or feline immunodeficiency virus. 

Take your cat to the vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs!

How to Help Prevent Dental Disease

Regular and consistent dental care is crucial to help prevent dental disease. Here are three important factors in supporting dental health: 

  1. Balanced nutrition and diet 
  2. Regular professional dental checkups
  3. Correct home dental care routine

Nutrition and Diet

Diet plays a part in combating dental disease. A well-balanced and healthy cat food can protect your feline’s whole health, giving it the ability to fight off diseases and aid in healing. 

Dental Checkups

During the first dental check up, your vet will do a physical examination of your cat’s mouth. This allows them to understand the condition of the teeth and jaw. Here is what they are looking for:

  • How the teeth fit together and jaw alignment
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Plaque build up on the teeth
  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease 
  • Tartar buildup on the teeth and along the gumline
  • Abscesses or signs of tooth resorption
  • Bumps or lesions that may indicate a tumour 
  • Any facial swelling

Depending on the results, your veterinarian will develop a plan for your cat. If your cat shows signs of a dental disease, a physical exam may not be enough to tell the extent of the situation. Thus, your feline may be put under general anaesthesia to allow them to perform a complete dental exam which includes x-rays. 

Overall, it would be ideal to bring your feline to the dental regularly. Depending on your cat’s age, genetics, diet, and overall health, your vet may advise annual, or twice-yearly dental examinations.

A Home Dental Care Routine

To prevent your kitty from developing dental diseases, it is advisable to have a dental care routine which includes brushing their teeth and providing them with dental treats.

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth is the most crucial preventative oral care step. You should brush their teeth at least three times per week. It is important to start young as it makes it easier as they grow older. 

  1. Proper Tools: Use a cat toothbrush and toothpaste such as the Absolute Plus Dental Kit For Pets and Tropiclean: Fresh Breath Oral Care Kit. Do not use human toothpaste! The fluoride is toxic to your cat. 
  2. Start Slow: You can start by getting your cat used to you messing with their face and mouth. Start with gently rubbing around their mouth. If your cat is comfortable with it, try slipping your finger in between their lips and massage or touch their gums. Once your cat is comfortable with it, you can try rubbing over their teeth as well. 
  3. Add Flavour: Cat’s toothpaste comes with different flavours like chicken or fish. Add a bit on your finger or toothbrush to allow your cat to smell and lick it. If they like it, you can rub it gently on the outside of the teeth. 
  4. Using the Brush: Cats like to chew on bristles, so offer it with or without the toothpaste to let your cat get used to the texture. The act of chewing the bristles can actually scrape some plaque off the teeth. Once your cat is used to it, you can try introducing the toothbrush into their mouth. Gently rub against the outside of the teeth in small, slow circles. Make sure to massage the gums as well! The process should be calm and relaxing to avoid anxiety in both you and your cat. 

Still unsure how to brush your feline’s teeth? Watch this video by the American Veterinary Medical Association to learn more!

Dental Products for Cats

If your cat does not enjoy the tooth brush, alternative dental products can meet their dental care needs between dental cleanings. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) provides a comprehensive list of approved dental products for your cat.
You can consider treats such as Catwant Matatabi Stick Cat Treats to help improve dental hygiene while keeping them engaged.

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Is a Raw Food Diet Good for Your Dog?

Raw Food Diet

Raw food diets for dogs are becoming increasingly popular. People who choose to feed a raw diet believe that it is more natural than most commercial canine diets. However, is a raw food diet actually good for your dog?

Racing hounds and sled dogs have been feeding on raw diets since decades ago. The concept of Bones and Raw food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF diet) for companion pets has been introduced and popularised by Australian veterinarian Ian BIllinghurst in the 1990s. 

To start off, dogs are omnivores who need to consume a balanced diet of plants and meat to stay healthy. Thus, a raw dog food diet should consist of a combination of raw meat, bones, raw eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. 

What are The Benefits Of A Raw Dog Food Diet?

Strengthened Immune System

BARF diet largely mimics what canine ancestors would feed on in the wild environment. A complete and balanced diet is important to help your dog’s immune system to thrive. A raw dog food diet can often fulfil this if prepared and fed properly. 

Improved Skin and Shiner Coat

Raw diets usually contain many ingredients that support skin and coat health. One of the most significant ingredients is omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy omega-3 fatty acids play a huge role in supporting healthy skin. Additionally, it provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Perfect for dogs with inflammatory skin diseases or allergies. 

Predominant Bone and Joint Health

Real bone is a natural source of calcium which is good for maintaining great joint and bone health for your dogs. On top of that, it can promote health growth in puppies. 

Improve Dental Health

Poor dental hygiene can be caused by a poor diet, especially one with high carbohydrates or is heavily processed. Raw, meaty bones are nature’s toothbrush for your canine. It can help get into tricky areas between their teeth and assist with the removal of plaque. 

Reduced Stool Volume and Odour

Raw food diet is highly digestible as it does not contain ingredients that are difficult for dogs to digest. Hence, more is absorbed and less comes out of the other end. Without carbohydrates such as soy and potato, stool produced by your canine will be a smaller amount with lighter odour. 

When is A Raw Diet Not Suitable?

#1 If your dog has kidney or liver failure. As raw diets are usually higher in protein, it is not advisable for pups with kidney or liver failure.

#2 If your dog has pancreatitis or other digestive issues. You can start them with a cooked and homemade diet to clear those problems before switching to raw.

#3 Dogs with cancer or immunosuppressive diseases. Dogs with cancer are at higher risk for food-borne illnesses, and may not digest raw vegetables.

#4 When you are unable to prepare complete, balanced and safe meals for your dog, a homemade raw diet is not for your dog. A raw food diet is not just feeding canines with a wide variety of raw meats. You have to take calorie, fat, protein and nutrition content into consideration. An incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for a pup.

What are The Potential Risks of A Raw Dog Food Diet?

#1 If a pup is not fed properly, they can be in danger of an unbalanced diet. An unbalanced diet may damage the health of dogs if given for an extended period. 

#2 Receiving too much Vitamin A by eating too much liver which can lead to Vitamin A toxicity. 

#3 Chance for whole bones to choke the dog, break teeth, or cause an internal puncture. 

#4 The biggest risk of a raw food diet for cats is bacteria. However, you can limit this risk by following safe meat handling procedures. Learn proper meat handling procedures here! Purchase raw meat only from reputable sources like the supermarket. If you are not using the raw meat immediately, freeze it in meal-sized portions. 

No time to prepare, but still wanna try a raw diet for your dog?

If you have no time to prepare a complete & balanced raw diet at home for your dog, but still want to provide your dogs with the benefits from raw food, consider the freeze-dried raw dog food from aPetMart. Raw food at your fingertips by just adding water or broth. In addition, freeze dried or air dried raw treats are great snacks to introduce raw food to your dog.

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Is Raw Food Diet Good for Your Cat?

In recent years, there has been a rise in raw food diets for cats and dogs. Some cat parents choose to prepare raw food for cats at home so that they don’t have to worry about undesirable ingredients found in commercial products, while others opt for off-the-shelf raw food for the convenience. However, is raw food good for cats? 

What is a Raw Diet for Cats?

A raw diet includes feeding your cat uncooked animal products such as muscle meat and organ meat. Raw food diets are also known as the “BARF” diet, which stands for “bones and raw food” or “biologically-appropriate raw food”. 

Felines that consume an imbalanced diet are at risk of a variety of health issues. If you choose to prepare your cat a raw diet at home, it is recommended to consult a veterinary nutritionist for a complete and balanced menu for your cat. 

What are the Benefits of Raw Food Diets?

iPetCompanion

To start off, cats are obligate carnivores. Felines solely rely on nutrients found in animal meats to survive. In fact, they can only tolerate a small amount of plant matter in their diet. A high-protein & moistrous diet that mimics that is found in small prey in the wild is beneficial to cats.

Biologically-appropriate Diet

Advocates of raw diets believe that the cooking process denatures most of the crucial proteins in the food. Hence, cooked food including kibbles and canned food, deviates from what cats are feeding in the wild. On the contrary, raw food is favoured by supporters for a biologically-appropriate diet as it more closely mimics what a cat would find in nature. 

Raw Food Diets Makes Cats Less Hungry

The protein in raw meat can be very filling for your cat. Thus, making your felines more satisfied with their meals. This is great as it can prevent obesity in your cat

Improved Digestion

Cat’s digestive system does not have the enzyme to digest carbohydrates. Therefore, it is harder for cats to digest plant-based diets. A raw food diet only contains meat which means it would be easier for them to break down the food. 

Increases Energy

Many people who switched to raw cat food have noticed a higher level of energy in their cats. Felines utilise protein for their energy requirements. Through a well-balanced and appropriate raw food diet, they are getting more energy from their food. 

Better Dental Health

When your cat chews on raw foods, it helps keep their teeth clean. Additionally, carbohydrates create a starchy film which can cause plaque buildup. Hence, eliminating it can prevent your cat from having gum diseases.

Better Urinary Health

Carbohydrate laden foods can cause alkaline urine and chronic dehydration in cats. This can cause urinary tract inflammation. A raw cat food diet contains more moisture which can prevent urinary tract problems. 

When is A Raw Diet Not Suitable?

#1 When you are unable to prepare complete, balanced and safe meals for your cat, a homemade raw diet is not for your cat. A raw food diet is not just feeding cats with a wide variety of raw meats. You have to take calorie, fat, protein and nutrition content into consideration. An incomplete diet can lead to serious health problems for a feline. 

#2 If your cat is a picky eater, it may be difficult to introduce raw foods to them. Some felines have strict preferences for certain food textures and smells. For these cats, transitioning to a raw food diet can take a lot of effort. 

What are the Risks of Raw Food Diets?

The biggest risk of a raw food diet for cats is bacteria. However, you can limit this risk by following safe meat handling procedures. Learn proper meat handling procedures here! Purchase raw meat only from reputable sources like the supermarket. If you are not using the raw meat immediately, freeze it in meal-sized portions. 

No time to prepare, but still wanna try a raw diet for your cat?

If you have no time to prepare a complete & balanced raw diet at home for your cat, but still want to provide your cats with the benefits from raw food, consider the freeze-dried raw cat food from aPetMart. Raw food at your fingertips by just adding water or broth. In addition, freeze dried or air dried raw treats are great snacks to introduce raw food to your cat.

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Is a Grain-Free Diet Good for Your Dog?

Dog Grain-Free Food

Grain-free dog food has become widely available in the market. Some believe that a grain-free diet is healthier than traditional dog food, while some state that it could cause potential harm than good. If you have ever wondered if a grain-free diet is for your dog, this blog post is for you.  

Many people are under the impression that dogs are carnivores. However, in fact, dogs are omnivores who need to consume a balanced diet of plants and meat to stay healthy. 

Advantages of Grain-free Dog Food

Easily Digestible

Dogs are unable to digest some grains, such as corn if they lack amylase enzymes. Amylase is crucial when it comes to breaking down starch and carbohydrates. Thus, they might suffer from gastrointestinal problems if they do not have adequate amylase enzymes. In this case, you might want to consider feeding your dog grain-free foods. 

It is Less Allergenic

Some dogs can be allergic to grains. Thus, a grain-free diet can prevent food allergies. Food allergies can cause intestinal problems to dogs. If your dog is known for food intolerance, you can try to start them on a grain-free diet. 

Beneficial for Dogs with Diabetes and Cancer

Carbohydrates lead to increased blood sugar levels. Among other things, this can lead to weight issues which can put their lives at risk. A grain-free diet which is lower in carbohydrates is ideal for dogs with diabetes and cancer.

It Supports a Healthy Coat and Skin

The natural oils that a dog’s skin produces are essential to keep their fur healthy. These oils spread from the skin up to the rest of the follicle. It protects the hair and strengthens it. Their skin needs aid to produce the best oils. Getting the right kinds of oils in their diet can help them produce the best oils. For instance, Omega-3 fatty acids are perfect. It is available in greater supply in grain-free food which usually contains more animal fats. 

When a Grain-Food Diet is Not for Your Dog

Not Ideal for Less Active Dogs

Grain-free dog food can help boost activity levels of a canine. If your dog is a senior, it is not recommended to put them on a grain-free diet because they do not require that kind of energy provided. Grain-free diets which contain significant amounts of proteins can make older or less active dogs overweight. Alternatively, you can select the healthy weight version or senior version of a grain-free diet

Challenging for Picky Eaters

Sometimes your dog may not like grain-free foods. Therefore, if your dog has been on a grain-based diet, they might take some time to get used to grain-free foods. Do take note that, if they keep avoiding it, then you should consider feeding them the foods they enjoy. 

Do you want to learn more about grain-free dog food? Watch this informative video by The Tattooed Dog Trainer to learn more!