Pros & Cons of Raised Feeding Dishes For Dogs

Raised feeding dishes for dogs (and cats) seem to be all the rage these days and they’re also being called “feeding or food stations” (with both food and water). They are both more aesthetically pleasing to the owner’s eye and can also cut down on neck, back and shoulder pain from pets scrunching down to floor level in order to enjoy their meal.

Some veterinarians recommend them for larger breed dogs claiming that they’re better for their unique digestive systems. It’s believed that eating from a raised platform can cut reduce the risk of an animal developing bloat (or gastric dilation and volvulus).


CONS – Bad News First

But some critics disagree and the veterinary world seems to be torn on the subject. Since the exact cause(s) of bloat are unknown, it’s difficult to say if raised feeding dishes will either help or harm the situation when it comes to developing this often deadly condition. However, many experts agree that certain factors like a genetic or anatomical (found more in larger breed dogs) predisposition could be to blame.

Luckily, there isn’t much more bad news to share when it comes to this raised feeding option and another turn-off when it comes to these stations is their higher cost compared to regular bowls and dishes. But there’s many affordable and DIY options to choose from to dispel this claim.

PROS – Now For Some Good News

Contrary to some critics of raised feeding options for animals, there’s a veritable laundry list of benefits for using food stations for our pets instead of traditional choices.

  • Many veterinarians recommend them for older animals who could have arthritic conditions and they could help to relieve some of this pain.
  • Again, they’re said to be better for larger breed dogs like German Shepherds who are predisposed for hip and shoulder dysplasia.
  • With less stress on their neck, shoulders, back and legs, it’s also said they could help to promote better pet posture.
  • They give the animal better access to their food which should facilitate the food to travel through their mouth, make digestion more efficient and many believe it helps to stop dogs from gulping down their food, cause more gastric distress.
  • Other negative behaviors they can reduce is a dog’s ability to splash about in their water bowls and empty the food contents on the floor. In this raised and stationary setting, this can limit or eliminate this unpleasant animal actions.
  • Again, this stationary setting helps to avoid the actions of dogs who like to scoot their bowls across the floor and could reduce accidents from tripping over these dishes when they’re unseen in unexpected locations.
  • These stations are also cleaner and much easier for humans to access as well since masters don’t have to reach all the way down to the floor for either refilling or cleaning the dishes and the immediate area.

So now that you’ve seen both sides of the raised feeding platform discussion, you can decide for yourself and your dog, which option is better for you.

Labrador Retriever

It’s no wonder why Labrador Retrievers are the number one most popular breed in America! These guys are among the most intelligent breeds in the world, easily trainable, great family dogs, and a lot of fun to play with! Labs are great with retrieving games, and tend to love playing in the water.

1 Behind the Labrador Retriever: History

Settled by English fishermen back in the late 1500’s/ early 1600’s, Newfoundland is the birthplace of the Labrador Retriever, although it went by a different name then. History largely agrees this ‘St. John’s Water Dog’ (also known as the Lesser Newfoundland then) evolved along with the areas early fishing occupation.

As Newfoundland’s fishing community grew and prospered, so did the St’ John’s Water Dog. Bred to withstand the frigid temperatures off the coast of Newfoundland (right of Canada), with an unstoppable endurance to match, these early dogs would often work past their physical limits to assist fellow fisherman. You would be hard pressed to find a Lab that doesn’t absolutely love the water!

Though the breed existed long before, it wasn’t officially recognized as the Labrador Retriever by the American or European Kennel clubs until the early 1900’s. Labrador Retriever dog breed information with picture


You would be hard-pressed to find a friendlier dog breed anywhere! Loyal and lovable to all he meets, it isn’t hard to figure out why Labrador Retrievers are the number one most popular dog breed in America today. Extremely intelligent and highly trainable, the American Kennel Club gives the Labrador a whopping 99% trainability ranking! On top of that, the breed received a 98% ranking with children, and 97% with other pets.


Many readers here have children, and are probably looking for a great companion for their kids. The Labrador Retriever is going to be among the best options you can go with!


Although not quite as high- strung as breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier or quite energetic as the Border Collie, your Labrador Retrievers aren’t going to be completely happy unless they receive plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. This isn’t intended to be a ‘couch potato’ breed.


Play games with them. Try hiding an object, and rewarding them when they find it! Teach them tricks- they are certainly smart enough, will love the activity time with you, and this will impress onlookers!

Do you have a fenced in yard for them to safely lounge around in? Are you able to take them for regular walks? How about a lake or pond nearby for them to swim in? Remember- these guys were originally bred to work alongside a water environment, and absolutely love few things more than being in the water!

Health Concerns

The most important thing you can do to keep your Labrador Retriever healthy is- feed them a correct diet, and watch their weight. Already hereditary at risk for things like Hip Dysplasia, and diabetes always being a risk in overweight animals, this is simple yet crucial.

Imagine having arthritic, painful hip joints- OK, now put on a 50 pound backpack and try going for a hike. Easy, right? Well, what if you couldn’t take off that backpack; you had to wear it day in and day out, for the rest of your life. This is something like what an overweight Labrador Retriever with Hip Dysplasia feels daily.

The avg. weight for an adult Labrador Retriever is 55-70 lbs. Of course- this is just the avg; if you are worried, check with your veterinarian.

What Should You Feed Your Labrador retriever?

Don’t simply settle for the cheapest dog foods because they claim to be the best on the container. There is no law against this, and- trust me- some of the cheapest dog food brands do this almost every time. In America, they are legally obligated to provide a correct list of ingredients on the back of the package, as well as nutritional information; they can’t lie here. The problem is- few people care to check this.

One of the simplest indicators of the quality of your dog food- check the top three ingredients; you often don’t have to go past the first. If ‘corn’ anything is listed among the top ingredients, let along the number one, it is a safe bet you are purchasing a low quality brand. Corn has very little nutritional value, but is very cheap to produce; dog food manufacturers use it as a ‘filler’ to reduce the cost of their products.

A few of Americas’ most popular dog food brands rely on the use of corn heavily; these brands do so well because they are able to sell their products cheaply.

What You Should Know Before Buying Pet Insurance

Pet insurance providersoffer slightly different covers to be more competitive and also give you more choices. Take a look at some of the suggestions to consider before buying pet insurance.

  • Which Deductible To Choose

If you choose a high deductible, it decreases your monthly plan price, and that means when your pet needs veterinary care your pocket costs will be higher. When you choose a lower deductible, it raises your monthly price, and your pocket costs will reduce.

  • What Are The Coverage Levels

The increasing costs of veterinary medicine can at times make low coverage limits out of reach. Choose a policy that covers true costs of unexpected accidents and illness.

  • What Does The Plan Cover 

You should look for a plan that covers, hereditary,congenital andillnesses conditions, accidents and possible routine care.

  • How Is Your Reimbursement Calculated

Usually, reimbursements are calculated as a straightforward and fair percentage of your veterinarian’s bill. It can also be calculated as a percentage of a gain schedule which restricts the amount the insurance company is willing to pay.

  • If You Can Choose Your Veterinarian

Look for a plan that lets you visit aspecialist, emergency clinics even after hours and also any licensed veterinarian.

  • Who Decides Your Pet’s Treatment

You and your veterinarian must decide the best course of treatment for your pet. Choose a policy that does not restrict your choices.

  • What Is Excluded

You should make sure the insurance provider you select is transparent and clearly list what is not covered. Most pet insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions even if the conditions were previously detected or treated.

  • Check If The Policy Provide Lifetime Coverage

In the occurrence of a chronic problem such as cancer or diabetes, it is vital to know your policy will continue to cover the issue after it renews. Else, illnesses may be regarded as pre-existing when it is time to renew your policy.



  • Who Does Your Veterinarian Recommend

Your veterinarian knows the good and bad about pet insurance providers from policyholders. Ask which insurance providers your veterinarian recommends.

  • What Type Of Experience To Expect

Choose an insurance company with fast claims processing, fast reimbursement, and high customer satisfaction scores. If you have a query or need help with a claim, a pet insurance company that employ pet lovers who understand can make all the difference. You can find such information from since there are reviews of various providers.

With the above suggestions, you should be able to make a well-informed choice in your pet insurance cover and policy.


Think You Have The Best Vet? Decide After Reading These Few Facts

You may think that you already have the best veterinarian for your dog. He is great as a person, very friendly, not at a long distance from your place, reasonable fees and all the other office staffs are also sweet with your dog. All these are seriously great qualities but not enough for choosing a vet. The first and foremost things that you should be looking inside your veterinarian are:

 His Health Care Psychology:

A sensible and wise vet will first think of holistic health care, which means “whole body care”. A vet with such psychology would always get the best remedies for your dog, they will try to look inside your pet and dig out the roots of the issues. For example, if your dog is suffering from stomach infection, your vet should not only concentrate in eradicating the infection, but should also look towards enhancing the strength of his immune system. Stronger immunity system will ensure a better future for your dog.

Treatment options:

A vet gets numerous options to choose from, he can treat a dog with medications and drugs, nutritional supplements, minerals and vitamins, acupuncture, antioxidants and enzymes, surgeries or medicinal herbs. But it totally depends upon the vet, which option he will choose. Will he opt for the easiest and the quickest option or will consider taking the safest option.

So, choose your veterinarian correctly because one mistake and misunderstanding and can make your best buddy suffer a lot. Don’t take any risk and opt for the best. Many residents of Scottsdale have this question, where to find the best “Scottsdale veterinarian for my dog”? For them, Scottsdale has got numerous renowned and well-qualified vets; just consider doing some quick research.

Harsh Reality:

You know what is good for your pet, you know all the above –mentioned facts are true and would help your pet. But you will still remain static and won’t do something that will make a difference. You will look at your benefits and your facilities, more than your pet and thus, will opt for the easiest and simplest option.

Most of the time you don’t do it purposefully, you do it because you are not aware of the much better facts. So, before taking any decision, always ensure that you have enough knowledge about the subject, such that you can make the best decision.

Side Effects:

If your dog is taking additional medication and drug, make sure that they are free from side effects. Your little friend cannot explain his pain, he cannot show his irritations and cannot provide you with a quick result, doesn’t ensure that he or she is clear. Sometimes the side effects are happening inside their body. For such understanding and knowledge about dogs, you need an experience and highly knowledgeable vet would have answered to every question like who would be the best “Scottsdale veterinarian for my dog”, what treatment would be best for him.

There are various things that you look in a vet before considering him the best for your pet. Here are some unusual facts and qualities that should always look in a vet, to ensure that he is great for your dog.

Trust A Dog Bed Provider That Takes Your Pet’s Health To Heart

For those of you with dogs, your dog’s comfort is probably a high priority for you; especially if your dog is older or has arthritis or hip dysplasia. You may have found that most run-of-the-mill dog beds tend not to provide much comfort for your beloved pooch. If that’s the case, then you might want to look into orthopedic dog beds. Your dog doesn’t need to be old or arthritic to benefit from such a bed, however. Other dogs that may benefit from an orthopedic dog bed include service dogs, dogs recovering from surgery, and even puppies, to prevent muscle and joint problems from developing, so it pays to invest in an orthopedic dog bed for your pooch regardless of age.

If you decide to look into orthopedic dog beds, you may be surprised to find that there are a wide range of choices with an even wider range of prices. Here are a few things to remember while looking for a bed best suited to your dog’s comfort. Make sure the bed is the right size for their height and weight so that they will be able to stretch out completely in it. Pick a bed with a high-quality core made of foam or another memory material, which will contour to a dog’s shape and alleviate painful pressure points. Premium beds should have a solid foam core which will enable your dog to stand up more easily with less pain, ensuring that mobility is maintained over the years, which will help stave off health conditions such as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), OsteochondrosisDessicans (OCD), and many other skeletal issues.


Veterinarians recommend a bed that has “a minimum of two inches of foam or very soft material that has give to it to accommodate the pressure points on the dog’s body…namely hips and elbows.”Orthopedic dog beds of this kind have an easily removable orthopedic pillow or foam insert for easy washing, and many online retailers such as Mammoth Outlet offer high quality and competitive prices you just won’t find at your local pet store chain. Covers made with canvas, micro-fibers and Cordura can be easily removed thanks to Velcro strips or zippers, which will make cleaning a breeze. You may be glad to know that most dog bed covers are water-resistant, too, keeping the foam clean and dry even if your senior doggy has a problem with incontinence.

An orthopedic bed for your pooch will prove to be the most sound investment you make in their overall health and well-bring. Hop online, browse the customer testimonials and selection of dog beds at to see what everyone else is already talking about. If you need more convincing, consider how often and how long your dog sleeps. A dog bed provides a sense of security and is ideal for keeping your dog comfortable, providing cushioning and insulation in lieu of a cold, hard floor. A bed is also best for training a dog to stay off the couch and will help keep fur, dirt, and pet dander off your own bed or furniture. Why not invest in your dog’s health today?dd

How Do You Find The Best Pet Insurance Coverage?


Pet health insurance coverage is one thing that every dog owner must think to go for. The increasing cost of medical treatment coupled with the fact that procedures and tools used in human treatment are now available to animals; you’ll find your medical expenses to be considerably more than before. There are plenty of pet insurance coverage companies, how do you know what’s the best pet insurance coverage for your pet. Here is a take a look at what you need to take a look at:

Determine your budget. Take a look at how much you desire to invest in pet insurance before you take up any policy.

Create a list of insurance for your pet companies. The best insurance for your pet companies are the ones that have been around for a considerable number of years. It’s vital that you pick a insurance for your pet company that is actually economically strong.

Get to know all policy details. When you find a particular policy from the specific pet insurance coverage company, are looking for out everything the policy cover and more importantly what it really doesn’t cover,. Look for insurance coverage on schedule evaluations, vaccinations, surgical procedures, genetic health conditions, and older pet payments.

Compare rates between pet insurance coverage companies. This really is vital since you may have a better offer through another company, instead of the one which you are thinking about. You can do this through online coverage.

You need to browse the deductible a mount and also the co pay a mount. This ought to be something that is both inexpensive and cost effective for that policy offered.
Certain pet insurance coverage companies insist that individuals going for a policy from them must go to the veterinarian who is on their network. This might be undesirable for you, particularly when you have been taking care of your pet via a particular vet because it was small. Check on this factor before choosing coverage.

You may be getting services from the pet medical health insurance company online, nevertheless, you have to note if the online service is applicable in your state.

It’s worth noting that there’s an insurance coverage commissioner for every State in America. Should the insurance provider have certain problems, it is vital that people in a state or Province learn about it, so it’s needed that you seek advice from them before buying.

Look into these suggests find the best pet insurance company for the insurance for your pet requirements. Compare rates and features to be able to find one that’s ideal for you.


Golden-winged Warbler – The diminishing bird species that is set to make a turn around

Since 1966 Sixty six percent reduction in population has been experienced by the Golden-winged Warbler, the amazingly hyperactive humming bird that dares to migrate miles across from north eastern America, the breeding ground, to the cold and wintry areas of South and Central America. The alarming rate of population decline has drawn the attention of bird conservationists who have given utmost priority in restoring the number of the species that have suffered heavily due to loss of habitat.

There are other reasons too that have contributed to the decline of the species – the hybridization with its compatriot the Blue winged Warbler. The parasitic behavior of cowbirds that lay its eggs in the nest of the endangered species has further worsened the survival possibilities. All these issues are being addressed by bird conservationists and there are reasons to become optimistic about significant improvement in the population within the next fifty years.

Golden-winged Warbler - The diminishing bird species that is set to make a turn around

Identifying the species

The slim frame of the Golden-winged Warbler is easy to be identified by its silvery grey color with golden streaks on the wings and head . The color pattern distinguishes it from its peer the Blue winged Warbler with whom it produces the offspring of a new hybrid species that comes in golden or grey hues. The short tail is just right for the slim body that supports a small head with yellow crown and a thin, black and a pointed bill that is sharp. Had it not been for its distinct color, there was every possibility of confusing it with a chickadee.

Behavior and living

Insects like spiders, moths, caterpillars are the staple food of these birds that forage among shrubs and bushes, often dangling from the edges and hopping along the branches while inspecting closely for food. During the first 3 to 4 weeks of the breeding season the male golden wings get highly vocal and bold and get engaged in bouts of loud singing to express their exuberance. During courtship, males chase the females and flick their tails and raise their crowns when approaching a prospective mate. They make their intentions clear by performing flight displays at a casual pace with slow flapping of wings. Monogamy is prevalent among the males of this species.

Setting up a nest

The female Golden-winged Warbler is responsible for setting up the nest and selecting the site for it. The edge of a field that is shaded and located near a forest border is the preferred site for setting up the nest or it can also be on the ground that is open and grassy. The nest is usually completed within 1 to 3 days.

Early successional or young forests are the ideal places for breeding of the golden wings while the most preferred foraging areas are the matured forests. Minnesota can be considered to be the place where there is heavy concentration of population of this bird species. Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the other places where these birds can be found.

For spotting these birds, May and June are the best months.

How to Manage the Weight of Your Dog

Dogs can become companions that you treasure in your heart. One of your major responsibilities as a pet owner is to maintain the correct weight for your dog so that they remain healthy and active for many years. Being overweight will put stress on their body, increase their chances of getting diabetes, and elevate the risk for joint pain and liver problems. If your dog is eating more food than the amount that is burnt off with exercise, they may become obese; if your dog is old or a member of a certain breed, they may be more susceptible to gaining weight, so watching their diet is important. How can you manage the weight of your dog? Look at some of the ways listed below that can help your dog shed extra weight and be trim and fit throughout their life.


  • The experts at recommend that you work with your veterinarian to determine the number of calories that your dog needs to be healthy. There are suitable food choices on the market that are designed for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs that require a diet that is easier on their digestive tract. Your dog’s diet must contain fibre and fat so that their skin and coat will remain shiny and healthy.
  • Next, increase the amount of exercise that your dog gets each day. With regular exercise, more calories will be burned, their appetite will be reduced, and your dog’s metabolic rate will be increased. This is also a good method for you to get exercise yourself as you stroll through the park or walk around the garden at your home.
  • Another step that you can take to help manage your dog’s weight more effectively is to modify your own behaviour. If you are giving them an excessive amount of treats or feeding from your table, you are contributing to their weight problems. It’s essential that you make a commitment to helping your dog control their weight by removing your dog from your dining area. You can also give them several smaller meals during the day instead of a large one in the evening. Decrease the number of snacks and treats that you give your dog during the day; and remember to put food in their bowl only.
  • Finally, you should try to find a food for your dog that is lower in caloric content so that they can still feel full but have fewer calories in their meals. Read the labels and consult your vet if you have questions about which food will be best for your dog. You should buy only a small bag at first to make sure that your dog will eat the food; this is also a good idea because the food will remain fresh and tasty for your dog. Buying large bags presents the risk that the food will become stale and your dog will then refuse to eat it.

With the right kind of food, plenty of exercise, and some changes in your family’s behaviour, your dog will be well on their way to controlling their weight.

Taking your Dog for a Walk During the Autumn

One of the foremost duties of any dog owner is taking the dog for regular walks.This means at least once a day, for long enough that the dog is visibly tired and, if possible, longer walks at weekends, too.But walking the dog during autumn and winter is not quite as straightforward as it is during the summer – there are a few challenges to contend with and solving those challenges sometimes requires a little bit of guile, or a little bit of technology.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways in which you can make your dog-walking life just that little bit easier in the months ahead.

Dealing with darkness

One of the most glaring problems faced by those walking their dog during the latter portion of the year is that the daylight hours are growing increasingly slimmer.If you’ve nine-to-five job, then you might find yourself arriving back at the house under cover of darkness, which means that you’ll have to contend with night-time walking.

Fortunately, there exist a raft of technological solutions to minimise the risk that this poses to you and your dog.If you’re out in the country, then you’ll certainly have to equip yourself with a decent torch if you’re to go walking away from streetlights.The tiny torch on your phone is just not up to the task, so invest instead in more substantial portable lighting.It’s worth keeping a spare set of batteries in your coat pocket, too.

You might also consider smaller touches – reflective clothing and arm-bands can be a hugely effective safety feature if you’re walking at night time.You can also buy reflective collars for your dog, too, ensuring that neither of you will take an oncoming vehicle by surprise.The declining price of LED technology has brought about new types of hi-vis collars and clothing, ensuring that you and your dog can be spotted from afar even without the aid of another light-source.

Dealing with dirt

If cold and darkness are the most obvious problems for dog walkers at this time of year, then dirt is surely a close third – particularly for those that live in the countryside.The arrival of autumn means more rainfall and less sunlight, which in turn means a muddier walking surface, which in turn means more dirt on your dog’s paws and fur.This means that you’ll have to get into the habit of wiping their feet before you come back into the house.Another alternative is to buy a specially designed mat to solve the problem.

If you’re taking your dog further afield, then you may decide to bundle them into the back of the car.During autumn and winter time, this presents a problem – after all, you don’t want the boot of your nice new hatchback to be covered in muddy paw prints and loose fur.This is where installing a boot protector becomes advisable.This is a sheet of material which sits inside your boot, thereby shielding it from your dog.It can be removed and laundered easily and is therefore far preferable to having to conduct regular valets!

Car boot liners come in many different forms.The cheaper sort consist of little more than a sheet of fabric – the protection they provide is minimal.It’s often better to invest long-term in a specially fitted, substantial one.These are specially designed to fit snugly into the boot of a given car.Ford, Subaru and Range Rover boot liners are all available, along with hundreds of others.

Environmental hazards

Autumn is a good time to begin thinking about the potential hazards that the cold weather might bring about.Perhaps the most egregious of these is antifreeze, which is sweet-tasting to dogs and highly poisonous and can collect beneath leaky cars.It’s actually a variety of alcohol, which means that dogs find it delicious – and so if you’re walking near parked cars, make sure that you prevent your dog from going sniffing about beneath them.Poisonous varieties of wildflower might also pose a threat, so make sure that your dog does not eat them, either.Piles of leaves and rotten wood can be a home for a variety of harmful microbes and so it’s also worth ensuring that your dog avoids them.

Finally, it’s worth also considering the decline in temperatures.If your dog is of a short-haired variety, they might feel the cold more than most.It’s therefore worth considering buying them a little jacket, in order to ensure that they’re as comfortable as can be while out and about.

Looking after your pets in the summer

Just as the warm weather presents risks for humans, it also presents risks for our animals so it is vital that you follow some simple rules to keep your animals safe during spells of hot weather.

In July 2015 the BBC reported that Britain had experienced the hottest July day on record, when temperatures reached 36.7C or 98F. Although many people enjoy the hot weather it is not without risks for some, and animals are no exception. There are several pieces of advice that should be followed with regard to caring for animals in high temperatures.

Looking after your pets in the summer

General pet advice for hot weather

It is important during hot weather that animals who live in hutches or cages, including birds, are kept in the shade and they should have access to plenty of water. The Met office has issued some guidance via the PDSA detailing how to look after animals during periods of high temperatures. Advice includes checking rabbits for maggot (flystrike) infestations which can prove fatal, as well as knowing how to spot the signs of heatstroke in animals.

Looking after dogs in hot weather

There are risks for all animals in hot weather but for dogs there are some very serious risks; the main one being caused by leaving them in cars during hot weather. Doing this, even with the windows open and just for a few minutes, puts your pet at risk of heatstroke which could be fatal. Always ensure that you walk your dog first thing in the morning or later in the day and make sure that they have access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water. It is also important during hot weather to make sure your dog’s hair is kept short in order to prevent them from overheating. You can do this by ensuring your dog is groomed regularly to keep their hair short. Pet groomers are available in most regions. For example, people in the west of the UK can arrange dog grooming in Cheltenham from a company such as blossoms who offer dog grooming in Cheltenham and beyond.

It is also worth buying your dog a wet wrap or sun reflective dog tabard for particularly hot