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I am the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. I live there with my puppy Bandit. I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  Please feel free to check out our dog walking and pet sitting services.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pet Food


Although this is a rather generic title, anyone who has or has ever had a pet knows that finding the right food for him is important on so many levels. Remember when our grandmas would give their dogs leftovers from the table? Today that is a complete no-no. And now, vets even recommend healthy food formulas to counteract certain maladies our pets suffer.

Knowing what's right for your furry or feathered friend is paramount for you to have a BFF who sticks around for a long while and feels good day in and day out. So, let's talk about what we should be feeding our most beloved pets to assure they're healthy and blissfully happy.

Dogs
Several factors play into which type of food we feed out canine friends. Let's discuss what an average, healthy 20-pound dog of about four-years-old should be eating daily.

Usually, veterinarians recommend dry food for canines. It helps keep their teeth relatively clean, and they like the chewing. As with humans, it is a bad thing to feed your dogs overly processed foods. But getting food that is "clean" at a price you can afford may be a challenge. Here are three dog foods that are good for your side-kick and won't break the bank.

· Barking at the Moon (Solid Gold) - It's AAFCO-friendly with fish (ocean fish "meal") as its main ingredient which causes it to have 300% more protein than just plain fish. It's a little expensive but worth every penny. And you can get it on Amazon.

· Taste of the Wild has a five-star rating on DogFoodAdvisor, which you should check out, by the way. It's grain-free, suitable for all ages, and has roasted bison and roasted venison in it. It's less expensive than Barking at the Moon. You can buy it online at PetFoodDirect.

· Wellness Core's price comes right between the first two we discussed, but it has increased protein, almost average fat, and below-average carbs compared to typical dry food for doggies.

To be sure, ask your vet.

Never feed dogs chocolate, garlic, onions, gum ( more importantly the ingredient xylitol found in sweets, baked goods, and peanut butter), grapes or raisins.

Cats
Cats, on the other hand, should never be given dry food because it has too many carbs. The average cat should consume roughly 200 calories a day, but ask your vet about your feline friend.

The top three healthy cat foods that contain what is best for your cat include, according to reviews.com:

· ACANA Grasslands Regional Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat and Kitten Food & ACANA's Pacifica and Wild Prairie - An exception to the dry food rule because the first five ingredients in each of these ACANA foods are variations of this formula: boneless lamb, lamb meal, boneless duck, Pollock meal, and duck fat. It is not too expensive.

· Addiction Grain-Free Black Forest Rabbit and Blueberries Entree Canned Cat Food (and all Addiction's other formulas) which contains rabbit, water, sweet potatoes, liver, and blueberries is expensive.

· Adirondack Kitten Protein-Rich contains chicken meal, brown rice, ground grain, sorghum, chicken, fat. It is not expensive at all.

Never feed your kitties raw meat or a vegetarian diet. Check with your vet about other things that might hurt your kitty.

Hamsters
Hamsters need to eat once a day whether it's morning or evening. Your little buddy only needs a tablespoon of food a day. It's great to feed your hamster his treats, like raw fruit, raw vegetables, even a few pieces of hard-boiled egg for some extra protein. But follow these rules when feeding your pet:

· No seed or pits of vegetables or fruit as they could be poisonous.

· Feed some treats to your hamster by hand so he can feel comfortable with you and know you're there to take care of him

· Remove spoiled food from his cage and remove fresh food not eaten in a few hours from the time given to your hamster.

Make sure the seed food you give your pet has ingredients along with sunflower seeds. 

Your hamster loves sunflower seeds, but a diet solely of this seed will not give your pet all the nutrients your hamster needs.

Your little friend would also like to chew on hard treats you can get at the pet store. They keep his teeth healthy and can provide additional nutrients and activity.

Never feed hamsters: kidney beans, citrus fruits, onion, potato, rhubarb, or tomato leaves. Ask your vet if there are other dangers.

Take good care of your pets, and you will have years to love and play with them. Here's to our furry friends!


Monday, June 5, 2017

Dog – A man’s best friend


“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” – Josh Billings

Yes indeed. A dog is much more than the guardian of your house. He/she considers you to be a member of his/her pack. Having a dog as your pet can be one of the most profound experiences of your life. Learning about their needs and taking good care of your dog gives a great experience for both you and your pet. 

Dogs accept you for what you are and are known to protect you with all their might. In fact Brutus, the 7 year old golden retriever, became a national sensation when he took on the deadly coral snake head on as the snake approached a young child. Although he did receive a deadly bite, he never gave up. He was flown to Los Angeles to receive the 
National Hero Dog Award’. A five pound Chihuahua named Zoey rescued a one year old child from a 3 foot rattle snake as the snake got too close for comfort. 

A black Labrador named Katrina had rescued a man from drowning the storm Katrina hit the US shores. The 2008 dog of the year named Maya saved her owner from a vicious male attacker, when he had tried to assault her owner. 

The rivalry between dogs and cats can be put into question as this idea of hating cats’ failed to exist in Napoleon’s mind, who swamp deep out into a lake to rescue burlap sack having 6 kittens in them. The 2001 dog of the year named Blue had saved her 85 year old owner from an alligator attack in her own back yard. These amazing stories doesn’t end here. There was an unbelievable story of a beagle that had bit the digits 911 of their phone after his diabetic owner had collapsed from a seizure. 

A golden retriever named Toby had rescued his owner from chocking on a morsel. And who could ever forget the famous Japanese Akita dog named Hachiko. The famous story behind Hachiko is the degree to which the dog remained loyal to his owner HidesaburĊ Ueno. Hachiko always greeted his owner at the Shibuya railway station, as he returned from work every day. Sadly, even after his owner had passed away, Hachiko still continued to visit the railway station every day for 9 years. Hachiko eventually died of natural causes and a bronze statue was erected at the Shibuya Station in April of 1934. 

There are countless examples to show the deepness to which a dog bonds with a human. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility as well. The owner must make sure that the dog is well trained, regularly fed and frequently hydrated. Proper pet care even includes vaccinations, regular flea treatments and daily grooming is crucial in keeping your dog happy and healthy. You must take your dog to the vet on a regular basis. 

You must take your dog to the vet in order to:
1) Identify any illness as early as possible. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the verbal ability to convey any discomforts that it faces. Regular checkups to the vet helps to identify any sickness right at the early stages before it becomes too late for treatment. 

2) The dog’s mental wellbeing as important as its physical wellbeing. Regular checkups to the vet can also help you to discuss the behavior of your dog and also help to devise a plan if necessary, to bring the dog into a calm submissive state. 

3) Regular visits to the vet may seem to be initially expensive but in the long run, it helps you to identify any disease right at its beginning stage so that you would be able to avoid expensive treatments that you may have to incur, if the disease was not recognized at its beginning stage. This saves your pet years of life that they could have lost to illness.

From pets to sporting companions to service dogs, canines are an integral part of a human’s world. They can be a viable source of comfort and have known to have a therapeutic effect as well. It helps relieve stress and the sense of happiness, that a human gets from the mere company of a dog, generates the serotonin hormone that keeps our mind in the happy and healthy state. 


Monday, May 22, 2017

Bird Care


A pet bird is a wonderful companion that can give you and your family years of joy. However, there are things to look out for Bird care. First, make sure you are selecting a healthy bird. Avoid picking a sick or badly treated bird unless you have much experience with the species and its health problems. 

Sick birds may seem fluffy or ruffled. They may seem unresponsive, withdrawn, tired, or tend to hide their heads under their wings. Birds should not sneeze or have droppings on or around their tail feathers, and there should be no sign of discharge near the nostrils.
A pet bird that only sits at the bottom of its cage is seriously ill. These are all big warning symptoms. Birds in good health will have bright eyes, clean feathers with a quality sheen, a healthy appetite and a lot of-of energy.

The level to which your pet has been handled will also be important, as a poorly socialized or poorly treated bird won't be a good pet. Look for birds that are friendly and curious, not those that shy away from careful handling. Remember that you should let the professionals show you how to hold and touch your bird. However - most need relatively gentle care.

Reputable stores and breeders are the best places to look for a healthy, happy pet bird. Don't Use chain pet stores or any place that looks like a bargain. Remember - you're purchasing a living creature, not a decoration.

Once you've found a bird you know you want, you should take him or her to a vet who knows birds well to get the first checkup. You should be allowed to return a bird which is sick or in poor health to any good pet store. It also helps your vet learn what your pet is like when he or she is in good health and lets you build a relationship with them.

Your vet can tell you a lot about what to feed your new pet, how to care for him or her, what medical needs are likely and what training is appropriate. This may be different from what you were told at the store - trust the vet, as he or she has more training.

Your bird's new housing should be the largest you can manage in your home, but with bar spacing that your new pet can't fit through. It's fine to try and find cheap bird cages, but don't cut corners when it comes to your new pet. There are plenty of bird cages for sale at very reasonable prices.

The perch should be made of natural wood branches when possible, and out of safe woods. Keep in mind to clean any branches gathered from outside. Also, quarantine your new pet from other birds before introducing them, to prevent the spread of any problems you may not know about. Follow the veterinarian recommended diet closely, and don't try substituting cheaper foods or different percentages, as this can make your bird ill.

Likewise, avoid pine bedding, cedar, and walnut shell bedding, as all can be dangerous for your pet bird. Change bedding frequently, and remember to socialize with your pet on a daily basis. Big birds like parrots need quite a bit of socialization, so think carefully about the one you get. 

Essential Needs of Pet Birds 
Many birds require consideration and communication. It's great to place them in ranges in your home where your and your family remain much of the time as the kitchen or lounge room. Likewise, picking the correct confine for your pet will guard them, sound, and secure. 

Lodging 
Buy confines that are non-poisonous because most birds will bite on their enclosures. You likewise need to pick a confine that has adequate space for your birds to move around. Select an enclosure that is more than three times the length of their wingspan. If you have more than one pet, pick a greater enclosure to give enough space to each bird. Birds tend to feel discouraged when they are kept in little pens with insufficient space for play and development. Consider these components while choosing a bird to confine for your new pets. 

Veterinary Care 

Bird pets require therapeutic care, as well. It's great to counsel your neighborhood veterinarian for any proposals, rules, and regulations for birds. You should likewise designate a financial plan for crisis medicinal care and reach points of interest of an adjacent veterinary center for crisis cases. That is for bird pet proprietors, as well as every single pet proprietor from canines, felines, reptiles, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. 

Learning more about nurturing your pet is a piece of being a capable proprietor so you can best give the care that they require.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Snaggle Foot Round Lake Receives 2017 Best of Round Lake Award


Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Snaggle Foot Round Lake Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers Receives 2017 Best of Round Lake Award

Round Lake Award Program Honors the Achievement

ROUND LAKE May 5, 2017 -- Snaggle Foot Round Lake Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers has been selected for the 2017 Best of Round Lake Award in the Pet Sitter category by the Round Lake Award Program.

Each year, the Round Lake Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Round Lake area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Round Lake Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Round Lake Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Round Lake Award Program
The Round Lake Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Round Lake area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Round Lake Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

How To Choose a Dog Toy


The best dog toy is one that keeps your dog active and interested. A dog who is bored or doesn't exercise enough is likely to chew your furniture, stain your rug, and engage in other forms of bad behavior. He will get even with you one way or another!

We all know that dogs love to play. Running, jumping, chasing, mouthing, chewing, wrestling, biting, and yes even riding your leg are all normal forms of play. You might want to discourage that last one, though, if you want to avoid public embarrassment.

Whatever your dog likes to use as a toy, make sure its safe.
It should be large enough that she can't swallow it or choke on it and hard enough so that chewing wont cause pieces to be bitten off and swallowed. If toys have holes or openings in them, be sure your pet cant get his tongue or jaw stuck in the opening. The tongue can get stuck when it seals the only opening in the dog toy, creating suction. (One way around this is to punch another small hole at the opposite end.) Its always best to supervise you dog for his first few days with a new toy, just to be sure he can play safely.

Dogs prefer to play with people or other dogs, but will play alone if there is no one around to entertain them. If you leave him alone for long periods of time, be sure your dog has a favorite toy to keep him busy.

Food Dispensing Toys
Dog toys designed to dispense food can provide hours of fun for the dog who's left alone. These toys require your dog to chew, push, roll and bat the toy around to get at the goodies inside. Great fun! If your dog tends to use her paws a lot in play to stop or hold a ball, sh will enjoy the one she has to push around. If not, the chew types work best. This dog toy should be properly designed for safety, so make sure you get one tough enough that your dog wont chew the toy to pieces (a choking hazard). Also be sure she cant get her jaw or tongue stuck in the opening (see above).

The treats are typically dry and in small pieces, e.g. kibble, small biscuits, small cubes of hard cheese. Long thin bits which are easier to load then to dispense back out, like pieces of beef jerky (dog or human style) about 1/4 inch wide and an inch long, work great too. There is even a vitamin-enriched paste made specifically for this type of dog toy.

Chase and Fetch Toys
Dogs love to run and chase, and some of their favorite games are tug, fetch, and Frisbee. As always, safety is your first consideration. Make sure the dog toy is large enough for safety, but not so large or heavy that its tough for your pet to handle. Avoid toys with parts that she can chew off and swallow, or toys small enough that she can actually swallow the toy itself.

This type of play is a great way to keep your dog fit and work out stress or anxiety. We all know that a tired dog is a good dog! But be careful not to overdo it at first. Before starting any vigorous exercise program, a dog should get a clean bill of health from the vet just as you would from your physician.

Some good toys for chasing and fetching are durable rubber balls, and rings, oversized tennis balls, plastic Frisbees and throwing discs.

Chase and fetch are normally not solitary sports, but there is a way to set up a solitary chase game for your dog when hes alone. You can set up a ramp (a larger one for outdoors, or small for inside) that hell learn to use for rolling a ball. I don't know of any commercially available, but you can make one by building a wooden cube about 2 feet to a side, then putting a ramp up one side and down the other. For indoors, a baby slide about two feet high works just as well.

Its worth spending some time checking out the different categories of fetch toys. Among them are Tennis Ball toys (toys made with tennis balls and tennis ball materials), Giggly Wiggly toys (they make fun noises when your dog plays with them), and Water Toys (all of them float, for good aquatic dog toy fun!).

Chew and Tug Toys
I probably don't need to tell you that dogs love to chew, especially if you own a puppy. Dogs also love to wrestle and use their mouths, so tug-of-war games come naturally for them. Just be careful that your dog doesn't have too much pent up energy or get too carried away. Dogs playing with other dogs will wrestle and mouth each other without causing any harm. When they do this with you it can be quite another story!

A dog toy that's especially popular for tugging is the knotted rope variety. You should resist making your own, since there is a danger of them coming un-knotted and frayed. Frayed pieces can be swallowed and cause obstructions in the intestines. Commercially made rope toys of good quality will resist unraveling and fraying. Keep an eye on things to be on the safe side.

Chew toys should be made of durable materials for the similar reasons. You don't want your friend to choke on little pieces. Fortunately, there are some great ones available, made in a variety of sturdy materials.

Thank you to our guest writer Kevin Davies for this great article. If you would like to read more of his blog please go to:  https://petloverguy.com

Monday, May 1, 2017

Taking Care Of Your Puppy: Best Practice


It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the excitement when you get a new puppy and completely ignore your gorgeous new pets basic needs in the process - no one could blame you either, they’re so energetic and playful that they seem to have an endless abundance of energy ready to deploy at a moment’s notice any time of the day.

Don’t be deceived though, these little guys are prone to illness and they’re literally placing their life in your hands. Whether your new family member is a personal pet or a little friend for your child - it’s important that you make their health and safety a priority from the moment they enter your life if you want to have nothing but happy memories as they develop into a fully grown adult.

We’re going to share some of the best tips out there for ensuring that your miniature canine companion develops as soundly and safely as they should.

Secure a vet
This probably seems a little obvious but this step is likely the most important - you really do need to ensure that you find not only the best vet you can afford to take care of your puppy’s health, but also one that is in close proximity in case of an emergency.

Any potentially stressful situation you may face with a new pet is almost definitely going to involve a visit to the vets - that’s why you need to ensure you get the right one. Look into the customer testimonials for the veterinary practices in your area and hone in on the most positive. You should never search purely on price alone.

Don’t buy junk food
Believe it or not, some of the leading canine food brands produce nutrition products for dogs that are actually the equivalent of a human eating McDonalds for every meal - we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t be comfortable with your kids eating like this, so it’s important that you apply the same logic to your puppy too.

Look for the highest grade dog food you can find relevant to your chosen breed and age - again reading through testimonials and looking for products that have been backed by veterinary practices will almost always guarantee safety.

Establish strong foundations
It’s important that you lay down some ground rules from day one to ensure that your little friend doesn’t develop any negative behavioural traits that could soon turn ugly as they continue to grow.

If you’re not confident training your puppy on your own, it would be a great idea to enlist the help of a dog trainer to help bring out the best in your canine companion - the financial outlay will more than pay for itself over time when you’re not having to replace broken furniture and throw out dirty carpets.

Engage, play and enjoy!
Just like human children, puppy’s need mental and physical stimulus to ensure their overall happiness - their energetic nature needs to be nurtured in order to keep them wholly satisfied and you’re going to play a vital part in the sustainment of that activity!

Regular walks are a must, but equally as important is playing with them and allowing them to benefit from new experiences as often as possible. They love seeing, doing and smelling new things - open the world up to them and you’ll find that it’s also easier to control their behaviour as they get used to the world around them.

Look out for early warning signs
It’s quite normal for a puppy to temporarily go off their food due to over excitement and sometimes nervousness (after all, everything is completely new to them) but this lack of appetite and any other slightly “off” behaviour you notice should only ever be temporary.

If you see strange behaviour for a period of more than a couple of days at the most then it’s important that you take your furry little friend for a visit to the vets to see what the problem might be. It’s probably going to be nothing, but it’s always better to be safe.

These five points are by no means an all encompassing list of elements to incorporate if you want to ensure that your puppy lives the happiest life possible, but they certainly form the cornerstones of the vital foundations needed to develop a happy life for your puppy.

Should you adhere to these steps, you’re going to create infinite happy memories with your new companion as it grows from being an adorably cute bundle of excitement into a well formed, well behaved and genuinely lovable adult.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Learn About Your Pet Food and Nutrition


Pet foods have been a preferred option for many pet lovers. The focus is usually on the balancing of nutrients available in these foods. However, there are many factors and aspects revolving around these feeds. For instance, what are the additives, the nature of ingredients used and the manufacturing process? In terms of nutritional composition, the percentages of individual components are important in prevention of diet related disorders.

What Makes Pet Foods
Due to marketing strategies, advertisers encrypt attractive embroidery of the supposed components of the feed. However, the actual components of pet feeds are human leftovers or food that is unsafe for human consumptions. In order to increase pet’s palatability, certain odors and aromas are added to the food. Other feeds contain supplements, mainly micronutrients that help boost the health and proper growth of the pets. 

Rendering is one of the major processes that lead to production of food. This process involves utilization by products from human food through cooking processes, to make them edible by animals. The ingredients in this case range from livestock carcasses to human food leftovers. Although this process serves many purposes, sterilization through elimination of pathogens is important for safety of consumption. The main ingredient utilized by the manufacturer is the dry protein, while the rest of the products end up in disposal.

The dried protein undergoes grinding, to increase the surface area for addition of other diet components. Energy giving foods and micro nutrients are included into the meat meal in different percentages, depending with the intended use and targets. In order to add that natural flavor, the pet foods may contain digest matter. Digest is a product of chemical synthesis of edible meat and other products, which have that natural umami taste and flavor. 

The Process and Yields
With rendering involving high temperatures, there is a tendency of destruction of nutrients in the vats. Just like humans, animals have digestibility rates of certain products, based on the availability of the subject nutrient. For instance, the whole process of making pet food may either increase or reduce the availability of digestible proteins to the body. This means that the expertise of the manufacturer determines the success of the pet food.
However, not all processes will yield the same composition of nutrients. Generally, these foods come as either natural or synthetic, based on the ingredients used. Natural feeds are recognized by Association of American feed Control Officials since they utilize ingredients from the natural environment. On the other hand, synthetic foods contain of in-vitro made supplements, which occur in higher percentages and presentations than that of natural foods.

Functional Pet Foods
Just like there are functional foods for humans, pets also have functional feeds. The main aim of these advanced foods is reviving the health or nutritional attributes of the pet. However, the label composition and the ingredients used are important, with regard to possible side effects. Manufacturers are adding important nutrients to form supplements for pets. In as far as, you feel your pet requires these boosters, it is important to understand the carrier properties and reactions.

For instance, antioxidants and omega-3 supplements are available in the market. Some of the manufacturers claim their meat meals contain these properties. However, the percentage composition may have little impact on the expected results due tom presence of antagonistic nutritional properties in the foods. Some foods that have intestinal benefits simply increase the fiber content reducing the likelihood of constipation and colon blockages. 

Additives and their Impacts
Since pet foods come from byproducts, sometimes the rendering process leads to loss of their characteristics. It is obvious that highly processed foods have a shorter shelf life especially with the destruction of enzymes through heating. Among the additives you find in these foods are preservatives in form of antioxidants, to reduce the deterioration levels of the food. Vitamin E and C are the most important inclusions due to their nutritive addition as well as preserving attributes.

Other additives include minerals such as Calcium, Iron and Phosphorous and essential vitamins to boost the strength and immunity of the pets. The rest of the additives add no Nutritional value but can increase the organoleptic properties. They include colorants, flavors, stabilizers and emulsifiers, all that focus on the palatability and suitability of the foods to the pets.

Final Scope

The labeling of pet foods as super or premium may not necessarily reflect on the nutritional benefits. It is important to check the percentage composition of natural ingredients in the food, to enjoy maximum benefits.