Archive for 2014

What to Do When Your Dog Is a Picky Eater

A dog who refuses to eat his or her food can be quite frustrating, but a picky pooch can be encouraged to develop healthier eating habits.

To help a picky eater develop proper eating habits:

 Don’t give your pet food from table. Instead, feed or treat him or her from a separate area from where you and the family eat. To make this successful, make sure everyone in your home knows to adopt this method of feeding and treating.
 Keep your pet’s food separate from your own so your dog doesn’t get the idea that he can eat whatever seems tastiest at the time.
 Feed your dog on a consistent schedule so he knows when to expect his next meal. People like variety, but consistency is the key to developing a dog’s healthy eating habits.
 Remember that pets have different taste preferences just like people do. Your pet’s picky eating may be his way of telling you that a new brand of food, or format (raw, dehydrated, kibble, or can) might be in order.

Most cases of picky eating are not a cause for concern if your pet is active and at a healthy body weight. However, a trip to the vet is in order if you notice that your pet is losing weight and/or seems lethargic. In this instance, picky eating might be a sign of a medical problem that needs to be addressed.

Tasty Treats for Picky Pooches
If you’re looking for nutritious dog treats that will satisfy even the pickiest pooch, Max & Ruffy’s fits the bill. Our recipes are crafted to offer a treat that will appeal to your dog’s taste buds while offering nutritional benefits that promote his health and wellbeing. For example, our Powerhouse: Sweet Potato & Alfalfa treat is packed with sweet potatoes that offer the immune boosting properties of beta-carotene, phosphorous, iron, and vitamin C. Alfalfa, an immune boosting plant, has been said to help provide relief from arthritis pain and assist in healing liver disorders, intestinal ulcers, and gastritis.

How to Control Your Dog’s Shedding

How to Control Your Dog's SheddingUnfortunately, a totally shed-free dog is impossible to find. All dogs shed to some extent, but following a few simple tips will help your home stay neater and make it easier to control mild to moderate pet allergies.

The most important thing you can do to control pet hair is to brush your dog each day. Brushing makes your pooch’s coat cleaner, softer, and less likely to shed. Choose a brush designed for your dog’s specific coat type, such as a pin brush for dogs with silky, woolly, or curly fur.

It’s true that some breeds shed more than others, but your pet’s diet also makes a difference in the amount of shedding you’ll notice. Dogs that eat a high quality food with easily digested protein sources and supplemental fatty acids will shed less than those who are fed poor quality pet food.

If someone in your home suffers from allergies, do not allow your pet to enter his or her bedroom. Allergy sufferers should also get in the habit of washing their hands after touching the family dog to avoid transferring allergens to their eyes and face.

HEPA filters can be also very helpful for those with allergies to dog hair. Invest in an air purifier that uses a HEPA filter and run it at least four hours per day to help remove pet dander and other allergens. If it’s time to buy a new vacuum, pick one with a HEPA filter as well.

Treat Your Dog to Max & Ruffy’s

Regardless of the breed you choose, you’ll want to pamper your pooch with a high quality diet. Max & Ruffy’s premium dog treats are made with 100% percent organic, human-grade ingredients and come in tasty flavors like 327 B.C. (Banana & Coconut), Tree of Life (Coconut, Molasses, & Flax), and 24 Carob Gold (Strawberry & Carob). They come in two sizes for your convenience: mini-bites training treats and original snacking treats.

Tips for Housetraining Your Puppy

Tips for Housetraining Your PuppyThe goal of housetraining your puppy is to teach him that there are times to play, times to eat, and times to potty. Here are some tips that can help make the process easier for you:

 The best time to housetrain a puppy is between 12 and 16 weeks of age. A puppy who is older can still be trained, but the process will take longer.
 Signs that your puppy needs to eliminate include barking, squatting, sniffing, circling, or scratching at the door. Watch your puppy carefully to learn his signals.
 As a general rule of thumb, you should take your puppy outside at least once every two hours. Use a leash to immediately lead him to the designated bathroom spot and say “Go potty” in an authoritative voice to help remind him what to do. Do not go for a longer walk or playtime until he has successfully eliminated.
 Give your puppy a treat immediately after he’s finished eliminating. If you wait until you’re back in the house, your puppy might not understand what the treat is for. Pet stores sell special treat pouches that clip to your belt to make it easier for you to access dog treats while holding your puppy’s leash.
 At nighttime, it’s best to pick up your pet’s water dish about two hours before you plan to go to bed. This will reduce the odds that your puppy will need a potty break in the middle of the night.
 Do not be discouraged when your puppy has accidents. Mistakes are part of the learning process, so it’s pointless to punish your puppy for having an accident in the house by trying to rub his nose in it or scolding him. If the damage has been done, simply clean the soiled area and move on. If you catch your puppy in the act, say “outside” in an authoritative voice and immediate take him to his designated outdoor bathroom spot. Give him a tasty treat if he finishes eliminating there.

Using Max & Ruffy’s Treats to Housetrain Your Puppy
Max & Ruffy’s treats can be a helpful part of the housetraining process, since puppies respond best to positive reinforcement. Our USDA Certified Organic mini bites treats come in a range of tasty flavors and are made using only the highest quality human-grade ingredients.

Debunking 5 Common Myths About Man’s Best Friend

Debunking 5 Common Myths About Man's Best FriendHow much do you really know about your dog? Test your knowledge of man’s best friend by seeing if you’ve fallen for one of these common pet care myths.

Myth: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Reality: Your dog’s age isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. Unless your senior dog is one of the small portion of pets that experiences age-related cognitive dysfunction, he’s perfectly capable of learning new things. You just need to be patient and take into account the fact that your dog may not be able to see or hear as well as he did when he was a puppy.

Myth: All dogs like to be petted on the head.
Reality: When it comes to forms of physical contact, dogs are a lot like people. Many people find hugging and tickling to be acceptable forms of affection, but others pull away from this type of contact. If your dog does not respond well to being petted on the head, find a different way to show your affection.

Myth: Your dog’s mouth is cleaner than yours.
Reality: Your dog’s mouth contains plenty of germs from the stuff he eats off the ground and out of the trash, as well as the things he licks off himself. Your dog also doesn’t get his teeth brushed as often as you, so his mouth is full of bacteria and dental tartar. Fortunately, the germs in a dog’s mouth pose little risk to a human. As long as your dog is up to date on his shots, de-wormed, and not showing signs of illness, there’s no harm in getting a little “kiss” from your furry friend.

Myth: A dry, warm nose means your dog is sick.
Reality: The temperature and moisture level on a dog’s nose are not accurate measures of his health. A dog’s nose is often warm and dry when he has just woken up. However, if your dogs’ nose is persistently dry and/or crusty, you should make a vet appointment to check for other signs of illness.

Myth: Dogs have to eat meat to be healthy.
Reality: Dogs are not carnivores; they are more accurately described as omnivores or scavengers. A vegan diet offers dogs many of the same health benefits humans get from forgoing animal products. Dogs who eat a vegan diet are less likely to be obese, have better digestion, show higher energy levels, and have a decreased risk of developing cancer. A vegan diet can also help resolve cataracts and regress the symptoms of arthritis and diabetes. Max & Ruffy’s vegan treats are made with organic, human-grade ingredients to give your dog the nutrition he needs to live a long and healthy life.

Dangers of GMOs in Dog Food

Dangers of GMOs in Dog FoodGrowing numbers of health-conscious adults are going out of their way to avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the food they eat. However, there are plenty of good reasons to also avoid GMOs in the food you give to your pet.

Veterinarians started to notice an increase in health problems among dogs in the mid-1990s, as genetically modified pet foods became more common. These conditions included allergies, asthma, skin problems, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, frequent vomiting and indigestion, recurrent diarrhea, and liver, pancreas, or immune system abnormalities.

Studies done with rats have shown that genetically modified corn, the most common ingredient in low quality commercial dog food, causes significant kidney and liver disease in just just 90 days. The same studies have also linked GMOs in corn to damage to the heart and spleen.

Why Should You Avoid GMOs?
Genetically modified crops are problematic because they create novel proteins that can assault the immune system, lower nutrient content, and elevate potential toxins. GMOs can even create RNA variations that create gene mutations when animals reproduce, passing down birth defects and health problems to the next generation.

Another risk to your pet is the presence of toxic herbicides and insecticides such as glufosinate, glyphosate, and bacillus thuringiensis. These toxins have been linked to kidney damage as well as an increased risk of reproductive health problems.

Max & Ruffy’s Can Help You Protect Your Pet
Items containing GMOs are not required to be labeled, so the best ways to avoid GMOs in the food you give your pet are to look for the USDA Organic certification or to omit gains entirely from your pet’s diet. Dogs do not biologically require corn and soy in their food, so there is no reason not to avoid these ingredients as precautionary measure.

When you’re searching for safe and nutritious dog treats, Max & Ruffy’s is an excellent choice. All of our treats are certified USDA Organic and made with no artificial or genetically modified ingredients. Several varieties, including W.P. (Pizza), 327 B.C. (Banana & Coconut), and Tree of Life (Coconut, Molasses, & Flax) are also grain free.

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Recent studies have indicated that up to 50% of dogs can be classified as overweight or obese. Your vet should be looking for weight problems at every checkup, but one easy way to do this on your own is to feel around your dog’s ribs and spine. If you can’t easily feel your dog’s ribcage, she needs to lose a few pounds.iStock_000018153089_Small

Sometimes, dogs can be overweight because of a medical problem such as hypothyroidism. Certain breeds, such as Scottish Terriers, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and Rottweilers, also have a genetic propensity to heaviness. In most cases, however, a dog’s weight gain is related to poor feeding practices.

Food Does Not Equal Love
If your dog is overweight, you must first recognize that your love for your pet does not need to be expressed only in terms of food. Just as emotional eating can cause you to go up a jean size, equating love with food can create an overweight pet. Make a conscious effort to show affection for your dog by taking her out for a walk or playing a game of fetch. She’ll get the exercise she needs and you’ll burn a few extra calories yourself in the process! All you need is 10 to 15 minutes of activity two or three times per day to help bring your pooch’s weight back to a healthy level.

Use Treats Wisely
Another common mistake dog owners make is reinforcing unhealthy behavior with improper use of treats. If you give your dog a treat every time she’s noisy or fussy, she’ll discover that begging produces results. If your dog is overweight, treats should be limited to times when they have a specific purpose — such as using positive reinforcement training to teach your dog to obey commands. The treats you select should also be chosen to provide an added nutritional boost for your dog. For example, Max & Ruffy’s Powerhouse (Sweet Potato & Alfalfa) dog treats are rich in beta-carotene and packed with fiber.

Get Everyone On Board
Finally, make sure that everyone in your household is on board with your plan to help your furry friend lose weight. When a dog has more than one caregiver, it’s common for problems to arise when multiple people are offering her extra food and treats several times per day. This would be the equivalent of you snacking between every meal and then wondering why your diet isn’t working!

How to Use Dog Treats in Positive Reinforcement Training

How to Use Dog Treats in Positive Reinforcement TrainingPositive reinforcement training is a time-tested method of helping man’s best friend learn how to behave properly. By providing tasty treats and lots of praise, you can teach your dog how to follow simple commands like sit and stay or how to do tricks like shake hands.

Selecting Treats for Positive Reinforcement Training

In positive reinforcement training, the type of reward you’re giving should be irresistible to your pet. You should also consider having a variety of treats on hand so that your dog does not get bored with the same reward every time.

When using treats for positive reinforcement training, remember that you need to give your dog the reward immediately after the behavior that is being rewarded. If the reward doesn’t follow the correct action, your dog will misinterpret the lesson you are trying to teach. For example, a dog that gets a treat for sitting once he’s already stood up is going to think the reward is for standing up. You can also use a clicker to mark the correct behavior, which will help your dog better understand the connection between the treat and the desired action.

What If Your Dog Won’t Cooperate?

If you’re having trouble getting your dog to cooperate, you may be using commands that are too long. A simple, authoritative command like “Heel” is better than saying “Walk close to my side.”

If more than one person is using positive reinforcement training with your pet, make sure the commands and the methods of rewarding the desired behavior are consistent from person to person.

For more complex behaviors, positive reinforcement training should be paired with a process called shaping. This means that you are reinforcing behaviors that are close to the desired action and gradually requiring more from your pet in order to earn a treat. For example, if you want to teach your dog to shake hands, you would reward your dog for mastering each step of the process. These steps include lifting a paw off the ground, lifting it higher, touching your hand, letting you hold the paw, and then actually performing the shaking action. This process takes time, but the results are well worth the effort.

Treat Your Dog to Max & Ruffy’s

Max & Ruffy’s mini bites are perfect for positive reinforcement training. They are made with 100% percent organic, human-grade ingredients and come in tasty flavors like 327 B.C. (Banana & Coconut), Tree of Life (Coconut, Molasses, & Flax), and 24 Carob Gold (Strawberry & Carob). With a wide selection of Max & Ruffy’s treat, your dog will be eager for each training session.