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Making Sure Your Pet Guinea Pig is Properly Groomed

 

The site of a guinea pig nosing around in a pile of fresh shavings is an image that brings a smile to both parent’s and children alike.

 

A large population of adults have fond memories of the guinea pig they raised as a child. It doesn’t take a lot of encouragement before they are describing the way it looked and recounting the adventures they shared. Most parents who had guinea pigs during their childhood are normally quick to make sure that their children have a pet guinea pig to call their own.

 

Parents like the idea of guinea pigs as a child’s first gift for a variety of reasons. Compared to cats and dogs, guinea pigs are a cheap pet. Even rescuing a kitten from an animal shelter can cost more then fifty dollars, a young, well cared for guinea pig can be purchased for fifteen dollars. The average guinea pig doesn’t need as much veterinary care as a dog or cat. A guinea pig can be kept in the child’s bedroom, it doesn’t run around the house, disrupting the entire household. In short a guinea pig is a smart choice to teach a child about the responsibility needed to care for a pet.

 

One of the skills that children will develop when they are raising a guinea pig is pet grooming. Despite their diminutive size, guinea pigs, like dogs and cats, need to be groomed on a regular basis.

 

Parents who are concerned that their child will be lax about grooming their pet guinea pig should make sure that they purchase a short haired breed of guinea pig. The short hair will not tangle and mat like their long haired counterparts. Brushes that have soft bristles are the best for brushing guinea pigs, the soft bristles wont hurt the guinea pig’s skin.

 

When you guinea pig comes home, teach your child how to examine its eyes and ears and nose, to make sure that they are clean and free of debris. Show them how to use a warm slightly wet washcloth to gently wipe any mucus that might be accumulating in the corners of their eyes.

 

Guinea pigs don’t require a great deal of of brushing, and they shouldn’t be bathed. They do need to have their nails clipped. This is an activity that the parent needs to supervise. Explain to your child that they are not suppose to remove the guinea pigs entire nail, that the only thing that is going to be removed with the nail clippers is the sharp tip of the nail. On a guinea pig that has white nails you should be able to see the tiny blood vessels that run through the nails, explain to your child that the blood vessels represent a living part of the nail, that the goal is to trim the nail with hurting the tiny blood vessels. If your pet guinea pig has dark nails your probably wont be able to see the blood vessels, on dark nailed guinea pigs the rule of thumb is to trim approximately 1/4 of an inch of the guinea pigs nail.

 

The biggest problem with guinea pigs is that they stink.  The scent of an unclean guinea pig cage can quickly drive the entire family from the house. It is important to make sure that your child understand that it is extremely important to clean the guinea pigs cage every day. Explain that the health of their guinea pig as well as the family harmony depends on them keeping the cage clean and the bedding fresh.

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Home Pet Grooming Tips

 

Pet grooming can be performed by the owner or from a professional who has gone to school to learn the craft. If you are a do-it-your-self type person there are several safety tips you might want to keep in mind. The animal you are grooming is special to you and you will want to keep the animal safe and calm during the pet grooming experience. Any undue pain or injury caused by unsafe practices can cause emotional stress to your animal and damage to the trust level the pet may have with you. The following tips will ensure a safe and pleasurable pet grooming experience.

 

Most pets do not like this, but the excess hair that forms in the ears must be clipped. Excess hair can build moisture that will trap bacteria and cause ear infections or be a breeding ground for ear mites. These types of afflictions can cause your pet a great deal of discomfort. Infections cause the animal to scratch and shake their head. Mites can actually cause the animal to do damage to their inner canal as they stick their nails inside trying to scratch. Large eared dogs already have a predisposition for ear problems and the shaking of their ears back in forth can rupture blood vessels. Professional pet groomers have specialized equipment to remove ear hair, but the novice may use nose hair trimmers to get the same effect. The noise of the clippers may scare the pet, so stroke him with the other hand and offer soothing words to calm them.

 

Another novice mistake is to shave the animal all the way. Pet grooming experts will do this at the request of the owner, but it is ill advised if the animal is an outside pet. The coat protects the animal from the cold and also from the sun. Both elements can cause serious skin damage to your pet which could lead to expensive veterinarian bills. The lack of hair on the body can cause rashes. The hair in some breeds secrete essential oils that protect and lubricate the skin, while others such as Labradors have two coats that serve different functions for the animals safety. Try to shave mats as close as possible until you are able to work them out with a brush. Even shaving mat patches to the skin will leave your pet in danger of the sun and wind.

 

If you use a clipper, brush the hair backwards against the grain and then move your clippers with the grain. Pet grooming experts may use a variety of length of clipper combs that can be used in variance with the length and thickness of the coat. The novice pet groomer may use home hair clipper systems, but they should experiment first in one unnoticeable area before continuing the entire job. When shaving the underbelly, beware the nipples.

 

Even on a male pet this can a painful experience if they are cut or cut off. Home pet grooming is an inexpensive way to keep your pet healthy and happy, but it is also a way for your pet to be injured or messed up so bad that only  professional pet grooming can fix the owners mistake.

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Grooming Your Pet Rabbit

 

Like cats rabbits pride themselves on cleanliness, that is why it is so easy to teach them to use the litter box. They spend several hours a day keeping grooming themselves, maintaining the quality of their skin and coat. Just because your pet rabbit spends a large amount of its day grooming itself that you are absolved from pet grooming. Rabbits, like all pets rely on their owners to set a grooming plan and then stick with it.

 

One of the most important things to do is to brush your rabbit at least once a day. The time you spend brushing your pet bunny will go along way in establishing a lifelong bond. The health benefits of brushing your pet rabbit include the removal of any dead hairs that your rabbit might other wise swallow. Once swallowed these hairs could form a hairball that can compromise your rabbit’s digestive system. If a hairball creates a blockage, your pet rabbit will have to go to the veterinarian where the resulting surgery could cost several hundred dollars. When you are brushing your rabbit bear in mind that the average rabbit sheds its old coat approximately every three months, during this period of time increase the frequency of your brushing, and prepare to vacuum your house twice as often, you’ll be amazed at how much hair comes off the tiny body. Rabbits have very delicate skin so look for a brush that has soft bristles and wont tear your pet bunnies skin. Some rabbit owners prefer a plastic wide toothed comb for their grooming.

 

When properly groomed and cared for long haired rabbits, like Angora’s, are gorgeous. The problem is keeping all that hair combed, clean, and free of mats is quite a chore. If a rabbit owner isn’t showing their long haired rabbit, they typically trim the hair so that it is only one inch long. This help keep the rabbit’s coat clean and free of mats but also keeps the rabbit more comfortable during the hot summer months. If you have never trimmed a rabbit’s long hair before, you might want to take your rabbit to a professional pet groomer and watch how it’s done before you try it yourself. When using the clippers or scissors, be very careful that you don’t damage the rabbits skin.

 

If you find a spot where the rabbit’s hair has become so tangled that it has turned into a mat, refrain from using a pair of scissors to remove the mat. It is better if you use a comb and patiently work the mat loose, a few hairs at a time. If you find that this is to trying on your patience, you might want to take your pet rabbit to a professional pet groomer and have them remove the mats with a pair of electric clippers.

 

Every few weeks, check and make sure that your rabbit’s nails haven’t gotten to long. If you think they are looking long, or notice that they are starting to catch on your carpeting it is time to trim them. If you have never done this before take your rabbit to a pet groomer or veterinarian and watch how it is done first. If you are comfortable on your own be careful that you don’t trim the nails so short that they bleed and your rabbit is to uncomfortable to move around.

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Grooming Your Pet-It Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

 

Their are pet owners who will not groom their pets because whenever they try the experience turns into a bad experience that leaves both the pet and the owner with strained nerves and shaken confidence. Some of these pet owners, knowing that their pet is in desperate need of a good grooming, bring their pets to a professional pet groomer, hoping that the groomer knows some magic trick that will make their unruly pet behave. Most of these pet owners are devastated when they return to the groomers to pick up their pet and find out that the best the groomer was able to do was a partial job, they send the pet home half clipped and uncombed, telling the owner that the pet is their responsibility.

 

The hard truth is that some pets really don’t like to be groomed. Dogs, who are perfectly happy to splash in mud puddles and swim in rivers, develop an unreasonable fear of water when their owner starts to unroll a hose. Cats who are happy to spend the entire day being stroked by their human, turn into shrieking banshees when that same owner picks up a brush.

 

The first thing a pet owner has to understand is that if they brush or bath their pet at home, there is absolutely no way a pet groomer is going to be able to. Professional groomers are people who know how to make a pet look good, they aren’t animal trainers. Pet owners shouldn’t expect them to turn into trainers when they drop their pet off at the pet groomers.

 

The easiest way to teach your pet that grooming is a pleasurable experience is to start grooming them when they are very young. Sure puppies and kittens squirm around a lot, and grooming them will be difficult, but they are still small. They are a lot easier to hold onto know then they will be a year or two down the road. And remember, part of the reason they are squirming and wiggling around is because they are so happy to be with you. If you start brushing their coats and washing their eats now, they will start to associate those activities with one on one time.

 

Make sure that you spend some time handling and cleaning your pets ears. The more their ears get handled at a young age the easier it will be for your veterinarian to inspect and treat any ear infections your pet might develop later in life.

 

Dog and cat owners all know that trimming their pets nails can be a monstrous engagement. Although you shouldn’t have to trim the nails of your new puppy or kitten, you can make play with their feet and start getting them accustomed to the feel of your fingers against their paws. This will make your life easier down the road.

 

When your grooming process is complete reward your young pet with treats and play time. It won’t be very long before they learn that sitting still through the grooming process means that they will get to the fun stuff faster.

 

If you are having a bad day, avoid grooming your pet. They will pick up on your negative energy and be uncomfortable being trapped on your lap. Instead of grooming, spend the time playing a game with your puppy or kitten. They won’t feel trapped and will still have your undivided attention which will make them happy, and you will find that watching them play will have a therapeutic effect on your mental health.

 

Make each and every grooming session a positive experience for both you and your new pet.

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Grooming Your House Cat-The Items You’ll Need

 

Cats are fascinating creatures. They share a history with humans that rivals dogs. Some cultures have history’s that portray cat’s as good warm hearted creatures, while other cultures have folktales that tell tales about cats being the root of all that is evil. On one hand cat’s are warm creatures that look forward to cuddling and loving their humans, on the other hand the same cat can go for weeks without ever looking at its human.

 

One of the most intriguing things about cats is their cleanliness. Cats practically house train themselves, just show them where the litter box and they are ready to use it, if you keep the litter box clean you cat will reward you by never making a mess in your house, (although some do prefer potted plants to the litter box). Most cats are happy to spend hours cleaning themselves, using their tongues to remove the dust from their bodies and to straighten their hair. Watching a cat bathe itself can be a hypnotic experience for its owners.

 

We are so accustomed to our house cats taking care of their own hygienic needs that we sometimes forget that they, just like dogs, need us to help with their grooming. It is the cat owners responsibility to make sure that the cat’s nails are trimmed, that any particularly nasty mats and knots are removed from their coats, and that their teeth are kept clean and free of tarter and decay. In order to make sure that your cat is properly groomed you need a very basic set of equipment, your toolbox of cat grooming supplies.

 

The fist item you need in your cat grooming toolbox is a brush. This brush have bristles that are strong enough to remove mats and debris from your cats coat, but still soft enough that they won’t pull and tear at your cat’s delicate skin. If you have a cat that seems to be particularly susceptible to getting massive knots in its coat you will want to invest in a specially designed mat spreader.

 

Unless you have had your house cat declawed your cat will need to have its nail clipped. In the wild cats need their sharp claws to defend themselves and to help them capture and kill prey, Feral cats keep their nail from becoming overly long by walking around on hard surfaces that wear down the nail, keeping it sharp. The only real use house cats have for their claws is scratching furniture and occasionally swiping at their human caretakers. It is the caretakers responsibility to make sure the cat’s nail get trimmed whenever they get long. If you have never trimmed  a cat’s nails watch a professional pet groomer or your cat’s veterinarian trim your cat’s nail first.

 

Dental care is an important part of your cat’s overall health. It is important to make sure that your cat’s teeth are clean and free of signs of decay. Consult your veterinarian will be able to help you select products designed for optimal feline health.

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Getting the Stink out of Your Dog

 

Dog owners who live near a forest, beside a river, or on a farm will be quick to tell you that there is something about stinky, decaying, items that appeals to dogs. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is black swamp water, dead fish, or a pile of slimy manure, if it stinks and can be rolled in, the dog is happy. While smelling like a walking barking sewer system is a dogs idea of heaven on earth, its owners are normally less then enthusiastic. The odor emitting from their pet means that they have to take time out of their busy day to either take their pet to the pet groomer and have it bathed, or they have to bath their dog themselves. Even then there is no way that they can be sure that the offensive odor will wash out of the dog’s coat.

 

Dog experts believe that dogs roll in things like dead fish, road kill, and manure in an attempt to disguise themselves. What nobody know is why they feel the need to camouflage their scent. It could be a throwback to the days when they hunted their dinner, if the prey couldn’t smell them, they stood a better chance of capturing something to eat. Another reason dogs might feel the need to hide their scent is protections. They might be trying to hide from potential predators or other packs of once feral dogs. Maybe stinking like a landfill made it easier to be accepted into another pack. On the other hand its possible that dogs roll in the stinkiest object they can find just because it feels good. Nobody really knows for sure why dogs feel the need to smell.

 

The quickest, most efficient way to remove odor from your dog’s coat is to wash your dog. Try to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoos can strip the dogs coat of its natural oils, leaving the skin unprotected and open to rashes and infections. Dog shampoos are made to clean the dog’s coat, without stripping it of the natural oils. If the dogs stink is especially strong, like the scent of a skunk, bathing the dog in tomato juice is one of the quickest ways to remove the smell.

 

If you have dog that consistently rolls in stinky, smelly items, you may want to consider taking him to a professional pet groomer and having his coat clipped. The shorter coat will be more comfortable for the dog during the hot summer months and while the shorter hair wont prevent your dog from rolling in the smelly items, the shorter coat will be easier for you to wash, and will dry faster.

 

If you have bathed you dog and still notice a strong odor whenever it is in your presence the source of the smell might not be the dog’s coat but a more serious health problem. When they have dental issues they have breath the smells so foul that you can smell it throughout your entire house. Strong breath odor can also indicate more serious diseases such as kidney failure and diabetes. Dog’s are also prone to having anal sacs that become impacted and infected, and therefore extremely stinky. If washing your dog does not seem to take care of the odor you will want to take your dog to your veterinarian and have the stinky problem officially diagnosed so that treatments can begin.

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Flea Baths-An Important Part of Your Cat’s Grooming Regime

 

There is very little worse for a family then living in a house with a cat that is suffering from a flea infestation. It’s bad enough that your cat is always scratching and clawing at itself, even ripping large hunks of hair and flesh from its body in an attempt to rid itself of the biting insects. But unfortunately there is nothing to prevent the fleas from staying on the cat. If the problem is left untreated, you could quickly find that your entire house is full of fleas, and that you are being bitten nearly as often as your pet house cat.

 

It is important to stop the fleas before they start to take over your home.

 

Preventive medicine is the best way to make sure that your pet and house stay flea free. There are several topical medications available on today’s market that are designed to prevent fleas from feasting on your cat. Most of the products are quite successful provided the cat owner follow the directions and use them properly.

 

Flea collars are a traditional favorite of pet owners in the war against fleas. Strapping a flea collar around you cat’s neck will help prevent fleas from sipping your pet’s blood provided your cat is not adept at slipping the collar from around its neck. If flea collars are your preferred method of flea control make sure that the collar is not so tight that your cat has difficulty breathing and eating but not so loose that your cat is in danger of getting caught on objects while it plays.

 

If your cat already has fleas, the fastest way to get rid of them is to give it a flea bath. Try to find a flea shampoo that is mild enough that it won’t hurt your cat or kitten. If you are unable to find a mild flea shampoo that you are confident wont irritate your cat’s skin or strip its hair of its natural oils, try using a shampoo that is designed for infants. Kitchen sinks are a wonderful place to give your cat a flea bath, because you can stand straight up while you are holding your cat in the water. Kitchen sinks are typically deeper then sinks located in other parts of the house.

 

When you are giving your pet cat a flea bath have plenty of towel at hand, both to dry your freshly washed pet, and to sop any excess water that gets inadvertently splashed on the counters and kitchen floor. If your cat is prone to bite and scratch when it’s placed in a sink full of water, you may want to invest in a pair of thick, tall falcon gloves that will protect your hands and arms. If you do get bitten by your cat while giving it a flea bath you will want to get to your doctors office right away, even cats that are kept inside, have dirty mouths and cat bites can get infected very quickly.

 

After your cat is clean and free of fleas, send some time cuddling it and brushing its freshly washed hair. Let it know that you really didn’t mean to torture it and that you still love it. Eventually your feline friend will forgive you.

 

Bathing your cat will be easier if it is something that you do to it on a regular basis. If you start bathing your kitten when you first get it, the cat will learn that baths are just a routine part of life and are nothing to stress over.

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Dogs that Itch

 

It makes dog owners crazy, the dog that has skin that is so itchy and uncomfortable that the dog is constantly scratching at itself, using paws and teeth to worry at the area until the dog has removed all the hair from the area and the remaining flesh is raw and bleeding. This bald area, a spot that most dog owners call a hot spot, is an eyesore and causes some dog owners such acute embarrassment that they are unable to take their dogs out in public. Other dog owners are steadily driven mad by the sound of their dog constantly ripping and tearing at its flesh, the sound of the scratching is frequently accompanied by the dog whining and crying as they rip at their flesh.

 

It doesn’t take very long before the dog owner is desperate for some means of treating their dog’s itchy skin.

 

There are several chemical treatments that can be used to help your dog with its itchy problem. Although most of these chemical treatments work, some dogs have severe and sometimes fatal, allergies to the chemicals. Dog owners would be wise to turn to grooming as their first defense against their dogs persistent itching.

 

The best policy for an itchy dog is to brush it on a daily basis. Most canine itching problems are caused by pollens, dirt, mats, and dander that stay on the dogs coat. If left on the dogs hair long enough the pollens, dirt, and dander start irritating the dogs skin and dog start chewing and biting at the offending spot. Brushing your dog’s hair just once a day will help prevent the build-up of items that can lead to itching problems. Not only will you be preventing a bout of itching your dog will love the time spent with its owner.

 

Bathing your dog is an excellent way to prevent your dog from developing an itching problem. But don’t plan on bathing your dog on a daily basis. To much water and shampoo will completely strip your dog of the oils that are naturally found on the dog’s skin. When these natural oils are stripped away the dog’s skin dries out and becomes more prone to infections. Dry skin in dogs is just as painful and scratchy to a dog as it is to a human that suffers from a similar condition, and dogs can rub lotion into themselves to correct the problem.

 

When you are grooming your dog make sure you pay attention to their ears. Dogs can get small biting insects called ear mites in their ears. When the ear mites start to bite the dogs start scratching at their ears, and excessive amount of clawing and pulling at the ear can lead to some potentially ear health issues. If you notice that their is peculiar odor emanating from your dog’s ears and that the dog no longer wants you to touch his ears he is probably developing an ear infection. Contact your local veterinarian for information about how to take care of your dog’s problematic ears.

 

If, despite your best efforts, your dog does develop a hot spot that he chews until it is raw and oozing blood, consult your veterinarian about what topical antibiotic cream you can rub into the hot spot that will prevent infection. If your dog has particularly nasty habit of clawing at the hot spot with their teeth, your veterinarian might recommend that they were a large cone shaped collar that will prevent them from scratching at the spot until it has had time to heal.

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Common Mistakes in Home Pet Grooming

 

When dog owners attempt pet grooming at home, there are several common mistakes that are made. Pet grooming is a skill, but with the right equipment and patience it can become a household duty that will save both time and money. You have to be careful. A slip of the clippers can cause injury to your animal. This is not only physical injury, but emotional. Trust is loss once pain is inflicted and your pet may not treat you the same afterward.

 

The first common mistake is getting to close to the skin while shaving. The clippers can leave a nasty razor burn that can open its way to later infections. If you accidentally give your pet a burn while grooming, stop and apply first aid. Put on some anti-bacteria salve and if possible clean the wound. Hug you pet and let it know that you are sorry and it was an accident. Though they might not understand the words, your pet will understand the tone and will react accordingly. The emotional pain is just as bad as the physical. Watch the wound carefully and if it becomes red or issues puss, contact your veterinarian immediately. If the animal licks or otherwise irritates the wound, you might want to get a protective plastic collar to stop the behavior.

 

Another mistake in novice pet grooming is getting shampoo or other chemicals in your pet’s eye. Either from your mistake or from the animal’s head movement soap can splash. This unintentional act will sting your pet’s eyes and lead to an unpleasant pet grooming experience. Wash the soap out with water or saline solution and dab the corners of the eye with a sterile cloth. Sooth you animal and try to take the focus off their eyes and maybe gain their attention by showing them a favorite toy or ball. Hold the toy up so the pet can see it. Move the toy back and forth. As your pet tracks the toy, look into their eyes for signs of irritation.

 

A possible fatal mistake in pet grooming is leaving your animal unrestrained or loose during grooming. Some animals, especially cats hate baths and will run at any opportunity. Your dog and cat can put themselves in dangerous situations by trying to escape the pet grooming activity. They may run out in the street and be hit by a care or be attacked by a stray animal. Make sure your dog is at least on a leash. You may even want to put a muzzle on your pet to protect both you and them. If you wash your dog outside, wash it in a fenced yard so that the temptation to run will be short lived and safe.

 

Pet grooming is best left to a professional. The temptation to do it yourself may lead to a successful experience that will be cheaper. The bonding time with the animal is another perk to grooming your pet yourself. It can be rewarding for both parities involved if the proper safety tips are followed and you as the owner fill comfortable in the enterprise.

 

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Top Natural Dry Dog Foods

 

Your dog will remain healthy and strong if the dog is fed with proper food. Carelessness in giving the right food may lead to a disaster. A variety of natural dry dog foods are available that can maintain the health of your dog. If you want to give your dog a real good meal then natural dry dog foods are the best choice.

 

Natural dry dog foods do not contain any meat by products, artificial flavors and colors or chemical preservatives. Ingredients used are of superior quality. At present there are more than 75 brands of  natural dry dog foods.

 

Here are the top 5 natural dry dog foods that are available in the market;

 

Advanced Dog rice and chicken formula is commonly preferred by many as it is a mixture of vitamins, wholegrains, minerals and proteins that maximize palatability, nutrient assimilation and digestibility. If you feed your dog with this high quality food then good health is guaranteed. It is prepared from human grade natural chicken. This nutritious food contains peas, carrots and brown rice.

 

The food is free of chemical additives, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. It is naturally preserved with the help of vitamin E. Artificial colors are not used. It provides complete and a balanced nutrition. This product is high in protein content which supports specific life stages. It contains antioxidants which help to maintain a healthy immune system.

 

Another type of food that is well known uses peak protein formula: This product is rich in protein. It will enhance the performance of your dog as it provides high energy levels. In this food chicken is a major source of protein. Other ingredients include tomato pomace, oats, potatoes and salmon which provide you the necessary vitamins, amino acids and minerals. This product is also low in carbohydrates and is generally given to adults.

 

Adult dogs maintenance formula is one of the top 5 natural dry dog foods. Protein in this product is highly digestible which increases the longevity of your dog. Brown rice and whole grains will enhance the condition and performance of your dog. It also provides vegetables that are required in maintaining a healthy skin. Ingredients used are all natural. By products are not used. Chemical preservatives as well as artificial flavors are not used.

 

The daily nutrition and health for adult which is a very famous dog food is uniquely prepared with the right balance of nutrients that provide active adult years for your dog.

The nutrition maintains the immune system of your dog. A healthy skin is guaranteed when your dog is given this product. In general it promotes overall wellness.

 

Fat reducing formula for less active or overweight dogs is another type of food that is very popular. It contains tri meat proteins which provide maximum health to your dogs. A high standard of quality is maintained while making this food and is sure to satisfy your dog’s needs.

 

These top 5 natural dry dog foods are very beneficial for your dogs. Depending on your age you should provide one of the top 5 natural dry dog foods.

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