Friday, August 11, 2017

7 Ways Your Dog Says I Love You

It's no secret that dogs are incredibly loyal animals. In addition to their loyalty, dogs are also very expressive. Dogs have many different ways of showing how they feel. If you're wondering exactly which of your dog's actions mean "I love you," keep reading to get the scoop on seven different examples:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Swimming Pool and Chlorine Safety for Dogs

Now that summer is in full swing, there are plenty of days when the temperature outside can get very hot. Since it's normal to not want to be stuck inside all the time, going for a swim can be a great way to enjoy going outside and still staying somewhat cool. Humans aren't the only ones who enjoy going for a dip. Plenty of dogs do as well. Although some dogs are stronger swimmers than others, which is why every dog should always be monitored, plenty of pups love getting completely wet. Because dogs often want to join in on the fun of swimming, we want to touch on an important subject related to pools.

Understanding the Impact of Chlorine on Dogs

If you have a pool in your backyard or access to a pool somewhere else, there's a good chance it's treated with chlorine. This chemical is necessary to keep all kinds of unwanted things from growing in the pool. Testing kits are used to ensure that there's enough chlorine in a pool to be effective but not so much that it will negatively affect people swimming in it.

Where dogs come into this topic is their increased sensitivity. Specifically, dogs' eyes, nose and ears are more sensitive than a human's. This sensitivity can apply to chlorine. Most experts agree that as long as chlorine is at a normal level, the main behavior to discourage is a dog that wants to drink from the pool. Ear infections in dogs with floppy ears generally stem from extended dampness instead of something like chlorine.

For pool owners who are still worried about their dog's potential sensitivity to chlorine, it's worth looking into other options like bromine. And when your dog gets out of the pool, rinsing it off with a hose is a great way to ensure that no chlorine is left on the coat. You can also use a blow dryer or towel to take care of moisture in a dog's ears.

Other Important Pool Safety Tips for Dogs

Pet Wants is all about helping dogs live happy and healthy lives. That's why we want to share a few more important summer safety tips. The first is how to help a dog learn to swim. It's normal for dogs to be fearful when they approach a pool for the first time, so always guide a dog with praise and a fun toy instead of trying to force any swimming. Dogs can also suddenly tire out while swimming due to giving it their all, so be sure to stay within reach of your pet. And if you're planning on heading out to a larger body of water, it's worth considering a flotation device for your dog.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs

Omega-3’s are a term most people have heard. But what exactly does this term refer to? Since the answer to that question can have a significant impact on your dog, we want to go over everything you need to know about them. Fats can be divided into two categories, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Although fats often get portrayed as being all bad, that isn’t accurate. Polyunsaturated fats are responsible for feeding every cell in the body. This is true for both humans and dogs. It just so happens that omega-3 essential fatty acids fall into this important category. 

More Details About Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

An interesting fact about these fatty acids is while they’re essential for good health, the body isn’t able to produce them on its own. Getting ample amounts of omega-3’s is why some people choose to supplement their diet with fish oil. As a dog owner, you can help your pet get this important nutrient by choosing Pet Wants dog food. Every blend of our food contains omega-3.

In terms of the specific impact that omega-3’s have on a dog’s body, skin, eyes, heart, bladder, brain and joints are all examples of where they can reduce inflammation. While it’s important for dogs of all ages to get this nutrient, it’s especially vital for older dogs. Omega-3’s can be a critical source of relief for dogs with arthritis, those suffering from age related brain dysfunction, vision issues, heart disease and skin conditions.

What Are Omega-6’s?

Although omega-6’s don’t get as much attention, no discussion about omega-3’s would be complete without them. Omega-6’s come from animal fats and vegetable oils. Both nutrients are supposed to work together in a specific ratio. An optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is 5:1. When this ratio is right, it supports immune system, skin, coat, joint, heart and brain health. Unfortunately, many large commercial dog food brands rely too heavily on animal fats and vegetable oils. This results in a very unbalanced ratio between the omega-3’s and omega-6’s. So instead of supporting good health, these foods can end up creating chronic health problems.

If you want to ensure that you’re feeding your dog food that has the right amount of omega-3’s and other nutrients, we encourage you to take a look through our ingredients page. You can also get in touch with us about any questions by calling 832-786-8579.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What Can You Do About Pet Obesity?

Pet obesity has become a significant problem across Houston and the rest of the United States. Depending on the exact study, between 25% and 40% of all dogs are classified as obese. The figures for cats are similar, with some studies citing nearly half of all pet cats as meeting the criteria for obesity. Given how quickly these figures have risen over the last couple of decades, many people are asking why. There are a few answers to that question. One is pets eating too much. Second, pets aren’t getting as much exercise as they need. And third, too many pets are eating food that lacks the nutrients they truly need and are instead filled with empty calories.

As you can see, the causes of pet obesity’s rise are quite similar to why more human children and adults are obese than ever before. And just as unfortunate, obesity in pets carries the same serious health risks as it does in humans. Diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and even an increased risk for certain types of cancer are all very real concerns for pets that are obese. While realizing the severity of this condition can be alarming, the good news is there are steps you can take to help combat pet obesity.  Here are five things every pet owner can do to protect the health of their dog or cat:

1. Avoid Scraps

Even though a pet may get quite excited when it’s offered a table scrap, that doesn’t mean this type of food is good for a dog or cat’s health. Not only do these “treats” pack a significant number of calories, but the type of fats they contain can lead to complications with things like a pet’s cholesterol.

2. Get Active

Pets need exercise on a daily basis. This is just as true for cats as it is for dogs. Although you’re probably not going to walk your cat, you need to find toys that get it running around the house.

3. Be Smart with Treats

We’ve already touched on why table scraps aren’t a good idea for pets. It’s also important to know that many of the treats marketed by big brands are made from less than ideal ingredients. Not only do you want to be smart about how often your pet gets treats, but you should also stick to high-quality pet treats that offer actual nutritional value.

4. Choose the Right Food and Portions

Choosing the right dog food or cat food can make all the difference. Opting for food that’s made with nutrition in mind and then ensuring your pet gets the optimal portion each day can directly combat obesity issues.

5. Work with Your Vet

While the daily decisions you make for your pet are very important, having the ongoing involvement of a vet is critical for keeping your pet’s weight and health on the right path. Their professional knowledge and expertise can help you stay ahead of any potential health issues with your pet.

For more information on pets or to try one of our formulas, please contact Pet Wants Houston Central at: 832-786-8579.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Advice for Lengthening Your Dog's Life

Dogs are truly loyal companions, and they deserve the best treatment we can provide. As much as we may love these beloved pets, we also need to take care of their health and help them live a long life. The average lifespan of a dog is between 10 and 13 years, although some breeds can live longer than that. If you want your dog to live that kind of long and healthy life, here are some tips that will help you.

1. Encourage Exercise

While some dog breeds don't need to be as active as others, all dogs need to get at least some exercise. You can encourage this by taking your dog for walks, playing with them regularly and giving them plenty of room to run around and explore. This might mean taking a trip to a dog park if you don't have a big back yard, but it will be well worth your time when you have a leaner, healthier and happier pet.

2. Feed Your Dog the Right Food

You don't need to buy the most expensive gourmet food on the market for your dog, you should be using food with quality ingredients. Look for dog food with real meat protein sources as its primary ingredients, and avoid food that has too much corn or grain as filler. Feed your dog in moderation, and don't give out too many treats and table scraps.

3. Visit Your Veterinarian

Just like with people, a dog needs regular check-ups to stay healthy. You probably know that your dog needs regular vaccinations, which is just one of many reasons why you should make an appointment with a veterinarian at least once a year. A good vet will be able to spot potential health issues before they become a problem, and they will give you some advice on how to better care for your pet.

4. Keep Stress to a Minimum

Dogs are as affected by stress as much as people are, so try to keep your dog out of stressful situations as much as you can. How you do this will depend on your dog's personality, but things like being around too many strangers or keeping dogs tied up for too long are examples of common stressors.

5. Clean Your Dog's Teeth

A lot of treats and chew toys claim to keep a dog's teeth clean and healthy, but there's more to canine dental care than that. A weekly tooth brushing will improve your dog's dental health and help avoid any related heart and kidney problems.

In many ways, maintaining a dog's health isn't that different from maintaining a person's health. You need to make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise, eats the right foods and makes it to the veterinarian for regular check-ups.

For more information on pet nutrition or to try one of our formulas, please contact Pet Wants Houston Central at: 832-786-8579.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Link Between Dog Allergies and Nutrition

Have you noticed your dog scratching itself more than usual? Or maybe your dog is experiencing hair loss or spending a lot of time chewing at its feet. All of these symptoms are signs that your dog is experiencing a food allergy.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

All the Ways Cats Make Us Healthier and Happier

As a business built around a love for animals, we enjoy sharing interesting information about pets whenever possible. In that spirit, we want to share six different ways that cats can make their owners healthier and happier:
1. Cats are great for sleep. If you let a cat sleep in your bed, they're twice as likely to improve your sleep as they are to disturb it.

2. Petting a cat is a great form of natural stress relief. When you physically touch a cat by petting it, your body releases chemicals that help to lower both stress and anxiety.

3. Cats are very good for your heart! Studies have found that individuals who are at risk of having a stroke due to cardiovascular disease can decrease it by having a cat. Research also shows that cats can lower humans' blood pressure and decrease the risk of a fatal heart attack by as much as thirty percent.

4. Because cats provide so much companionship, they're great for individuals who struggle with issues like loneliness. This seems to be directly related to another benefit of having a cat, which is living longer than average.

5. If you're passionate about doing your part to help the environment, you'll be interested to know that cats actually have a lower carbon footprint than dogs.

6. Although cats don't require the same amount of exercise as dogs, they still need some daily stimulation for their physical and mental health. Knowing that a cat needs to be played with helps people get up even if they've had a long day. The role of taking care a cat also provides a sense of purpose and can help with issues like mild to moderate depression.

The Best Way to Bring This Joy Into Your Home
If you've been thinking about adopting a cat for awhile, now is the perfect opportunity to make this decision official. Not only will you be able to provide a wonderful cat with a great home, but you'll personally get to enjoy all of the benefits we covered above.

In terms of where you should go to get your cat, we always encourage anyone who asks us to adopt from a local shelter like BARC. Because this is something that's very important to us, we have a special offer for anyone who adopts a new pet.

Once you bring your new cat home, call 832-786-8579 and tell us about your adoption experience. In return, Pet Wants Houston Inner Loop owner Jaime Graham will provide a free 15-minute nutrition consultation. At the end of the consultation, you'll also receive a free 2 pound sample of any Pet Wants cat food blend.