Category Archives: Hochzeit

23 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat, From Apples to Zucchinis

Dogs are loyal companions, so it’s only natural that we want to treat them like part of the family and share some of our favorite human foods with them. Although not all human foods are safe for dogs, a surprising number are A-OK for dogs to eat and even beneficial for your pup.

We spoke with vet experts about 23 human foods dogs can eat—and the nutritional benefits they offer. Plus, we share how to safely feed human foods to your pet.

Before introducing any new food into your dog’s diet, always check with your veterinarian.


Crunchy, sweet and brimming with nutrients, apples are a dog-friendly fruit that many pups enjoy.

  • They’re low-calorie and rich in prebiotic fiber, which can help support a dog’s gastrointestinal health.
  • Apples may also freshen your pup’s breath by helping to keep their teeth free of odor-causing plaque and tartar (although apple munching certainly can’t replace daily brushing!).

Do not feed your dog the core or the seeds, though. The core is a choking hazard, and the seeds are toxic.

Learn more about apples for dogs.


Bananas are one of several dog-safe fruits your pup can enjoy.

  • They’re rich in magnesium, potassium and fiber, all of which are essential to your dog’s health.
  • Potassium, for example, is important for your dog’s heart, kidneys, muscles and digestion.

Don’t give your pup an entire banana, though; start with small slice and give no more than half a banana to a large dog per day.

Learn more about bananas for dogs.


Naturally sweet and slightly tart, blackberries are a tasty and easy way to add fiber to your dog’s diet.

  • They’re high in water content for helpful hydration.
  • They’re also low in calories, which is helpful for dogs on a weight loss or weight management plan.

Learn more about blackberries for dogs.


Another dog-safe fruit, blueberries are:

  • Low in calories
  • High in fiber
  • High in antioxidants and vitamins C and K, which support your pup’s immune system.

Learn more about blueberries for dogs.

dog pawing at a bowl of blueberries

Photo: Chewy Studios


In small quantities, broccoli is not only safe for dogs, but it’s also a nutrient-rich superfood with many health benefits.

  • This cruciferous veggie boasts several minerals, including potassium, magnesium and sodium, all of which are all vital for your dog’s hormone health and metabolism.
  • It’s also packed with vitamins K and C, which helps keep your dog’s bones strong and boosts their immune system.

Learn more about broccoli for dogs.


As a good source of carbohydrates and insoluble fiber, corn can be a nutritious addition to your dog’s balanced diet.

Only feed your dog plain corn (that means no butter, salt or pepper!), and don’t let your dog have the corn cob, as it can pose a choking hazard.

Learn more about corn for dogs.


Cranberries are a dog-safe food packed with antioxidants and quercetin, a plant pigment that can help boost your pup’s immune system.

Feed your canine companion fresh cranberries only, as dried and canned cranberries are usually loaded with sugar.

Learn more about cranberries for dogs.


Composed of 95 percent water, cucumbers are a hydrating, dog-safe food that provides vitamins and minerals essential to a dog’s balanced diet. These include magnesium, potassium and vitamins C, B and K.

While not harmful, vets recommend removing the skin and seeds, as these may cause an upset tummy if your dog has a sensitive digestive system.

Learn more about cucumbers for dogs.


Eggs are a nutrient-dense food that works well as a dog treat or as a portion of your pup’s regular daily diet.

They’re a great source of highly digestible protein, fatty acids and vitamin A.

Only feed plain cooked eggs to dogs (with the yolk)—that means no oil, butter, salt or other additives. Don’t exceed one egg a week.

Learn more about eggs for dogs.

Lettuce (and other greens)

While lettuce (such as romaine) is safe for dogs to eat and will provide your dog with some vitamins and fiber, there are better options if you want to introduce something healthy into your dog’s diet.

Options with a bigger nutritional punch include:

Learn more about lettuce for dogs.


    Sweet and juicy, mango is high in fiber, proteins, antioxidants and minerals that benefit your dog’s health.

    Small amounts of mango may also help alleviate an upset tummy, diarrhea and constipation.

    Learn more about mango for dogs.


        While oranges might not be your dog’s first choice for a treat, this citrus fruit is safe and healthy for most dogs to eat in small amounts.

        Oranges contain nutrients, like vitamin C and potassium, that positively affect a dog’s immune system.

        Learn more about oranges for dogs.

              Peanut Butter

              This creamy spread is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats.

              It’s also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin—vital nutrients that support your dog’s enzyme and nervous system function, among other benefits.

              When buying peanut butter, always read the ingredients list carefully and avoid any peanut butter containing the sugar substitute xylitol, as this ingredient can be highly toxic to dogs.

              Learn more about peanut butter for dogs.


                      Peas are a common ingredient in dog food—and for good reason.

                      • They’re packed with vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s vision, skin, digestion, immune system, heart, nerves and more.
                      • They’re also low in calories and high in fiber.

                      It’s important to note that dogs with kidney problems should avoid peas.

                      Learn more about peas for dogs.


                              Pineapple is chock full of water, antioxidants and fiber, making it a healthy, dog-safe snack in moderation.

                              It’s also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and other beneficial vitamins and minerals that support your dog’s coat, skin, eyesight, ligaments and tissues.

                              Never feed your dog the core or spiny skin of a pineapple—just raw, peeled pineapple flesh.

                              Learn more about pineapple for dogs.


                                      Treating your dog to a few pieces of plain, air-popped popcorn is a safe treat high in fiber.

                                      Avoid feeding your pup butter-flavored microwave popcorn, as it contains an artificial butter flavoring called diacetyl that may be harmful to dogs.

                                      Learn more about popcorn for dogs.


                                              Potatoes can be a healthy treat for dogs, as long as they’re peeled, well cooked, served plain and not green—sorry, pups, no fries or loaded potatoes for you!

                                              Spuds are high in vitamins A, B6 and C, which help support your dog’s immune and nervous systems, among other benefits. They’re also rich in beneficial iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

                                              Learn more about potatoes for dogs.

                                              Sweet Potato

                                              Due to their stellar nutritional profile, sweet potato is a common ingredient in dog food, like American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, and dog treats, like Hill’s Grain-Free Soft-Baked Naturals with Beef & Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats.

                                              • Most notably, this starchy, sweet root vegetable is high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that supports your dog’s immune system, vision and skin.
                                              • Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of digestion-boosting fiber.

                                              Only serve your dog plain, well-cooked sweet potato.

                                              Learn more about sweet potatoes for dogs.

                                                      dog licking pumpkin puree

                                                      Photo: Chewy Studios


                                                      Pumpkin is a dog-safe, antioxidant-rich food containing many health-promoting nutrients that can help with everything from a shinier coat to better eyesight to improved digestion.

                                                      As such, it’s no surprise that it’s a common ingredient in dog treats and dog food.

                                                      Learn more about pumpkin for dogs.

                                                      Pumpkin Seeds

                                                      While eating a few fresh pumpkin seeds won’t hurt your pup, dogs’ guts aren’t set up to digest seeds and they aren’t a part of their natural diet.

                                                      This means dogs can’t reap any of the nutritional benefits derived from pumpkin seeds the way humans can.

                                                      Learn more about pumpkin seeds for dogs.

                                                              Salmon (and other seafood and fish)

                                                              Salmon is safe for your dog to eat, as long as it’s deboned and properly cooked. The same goes for other types of seafood and fish, like lobster and trout.

                                                              Seafood and fish are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit your pup’s skin, digestion and immune system.

                                                              Learn more about salmon (and other types of fish and seafood) for dogs.


                                                                      Unsweetened fresh or frozen strawberries offer dogs many nutritional benefits.

                                                                      • They’re high in immune-boosting vitamins B1, B6, C and K.
                                                                      • They’re also loaded with fiber to aid in digestion and contain omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health.

                                                                      Learn more about strawberries for dogs.


                                                                              Red tomatoes (raw or cooked) that are ripe and plain make a nutritious and delicious snack for your pup.

                                                                              They’re loaded with potassium, antioxidants and vitamins A, C and K, which benefit your dog’s eyesight, skin, immune system, cardiovascular health, muscles and more.

                                                                              Learn more about tomatoes for dogs.


                                                                                      Plain, unflavored, non- or low-fat yogurt can be a healthy treat for your pup, as long as they don’t have issues digesting lactose.

                                                                                      Learn more about yogurt for dogs.


                                                                                              High in antioxidants and fiber, zucchini makes a healthy, low-calorie treat for your pup.

                                                                                              It’s abundant in vitamins A, B6, C and K, which are essential for your dog’s vision, skin, coat, metabolism, proper blood clotting and bone and cartilage growth.

                                                                                              Raw zucchini can be difficult for your dog to digest, so it’s best to serve it cooked.

                                                                                              Learn more about zucchini for dogs and other veggies dogs can eat.

                                                                                                      How to Feed Dogs Human Foods

                                                                                                      dog sniffing a plate of strawberries

                                                                                                      Photo: Chewy Studios
                                                                                                      It’s fun to watch your dog’s tail wag with delight when you give them a piece of human food, but it’s important to be mindful of the amount you give. Treats—even healthy ones—add calories that can cause your dog to gain weight if given in excess.
                                                                                                      When giving dogs treats, remember the 10 percent rule: Treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet (and if your dog is overweight, it should be even less than that). For example, if your dog needs 500 calories per day, they should have no more than 50 calories from treats. Feeding too many treats can lead to nutrient deficiencies, so always give treats in moderation and in small amounts.

                                                                                                      If your dog appears to be gaining weight due to human food treats, reduce the number of treats you’re feeding them. And if you notice any digestion issues due to a new food, scale back the amount of that food next time. If tummy troubles or other adverse effects continue, avoid giving your dog that food in the future.  

                                                                                                      And remember, before introducing any new food into your dog’s diet, always check with your veterinarian.

                                                                                                      Once you’ve given them a nibble of your favorite safe fruit or veggie, brush up on the human foods dogs can’t eat. We’re talking grapes and raisins, chocolate, garlic, onions and more.
                                                                                                      Expert input provided by Dr. Kathy Gross, MS, PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAN, worldwide director of clinical nutrition for Hill’s Pet Nutrition in Topeka, Kansas; Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer with the American Kennel Club; Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, owner and medical director of Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California; Dr. Brittany Caramico, Associate Veterinarian at Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch; Dr. Stephanie Liff, DVM and partner at Brooklyn Cares Veterinary Hospital in New York; Dr. Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, a veterinarian at Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital in Greeley, Colorado; Dr. Deborah Bayazit, co-owner and Medical Director of Brilliant Veterinary Care; and Dr. Katrin Ventocilla, DVM, owner of PACK Animal Care in Lorton, Virginia.

                                                                                                      The post 23 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat, From Apples to Zucchinis appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      Dog Poop Color Chart: What’s Your Dog’s Poo Telling You?

                                                                                                      You might just think of it as waste, but the color of your dog’s stool tells a story. Normal dog poop is chocolate brown, and a bit squishy (although it comes out in solid, log-like pieces). If you’re seeing any other colors, it may be time to pay closer attention to what your dog’s bowel movements are trying to tell you.

                                                                                                      To help clue you in to your pooch’s overall health, we’ve rounded up some of the most common colors you may see in your dog’s feces, and what they mean. We also put together a handy dog poop color chart that you can quickly reference whenever you’re asking yourself the question, “Why is my dog’s poop [insert color here]?”

                                                                                                      Dog Poop Color Chart

                                                                                                      This quick reference sheet can help you figure out what your dog’s stool means. Keep scrolling for deeper dives on what each color may mean and what to do if you spot certain hues in your dog’s poo.
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: infographic

                                                                                                      Dog Poop Color Meanings

                                                                                                      Instead of scooping your dog’s poop and throwing it away, take a quick peek to check on the color and consistency each time your pup goes. Here’s what the most common poop colors can tell you.

                                                                                                      Click on a color to learn more:

                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: brown poop
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: black poop
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: red poop
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: green poop
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: orange and yellow poop
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: gray poop
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: specks
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: purple poop



                                                                                                      “Healthy dog poop should generally have a moist and firm texture (enough for you to pick it up easily), a chocolate brown color, and be proportional to your dog’s body size,” says Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, a dog trainer based in California and veterinary consultant at WeLoveDoodles.


                                                                                                      Black dog poop often means there’s digested blood coming from the GI tract—aka some type of internal bleeding, according to Dr. Alejandro Caos, DVM, a veterinarian with The Vets in Denver. In this case, the stool will also look tarry and sticky.

                                                                                                      Some common causes of internal bleeding are:

                                                                                                      • Ulcers
                                                                                                      • Bleeding or clotting disorders
                                                                                                      • Foreign bodies or objects stuck in the digestive tract
                                                                                                      • Acute trauma (being hit by a car, for example)

                                                                                                      Black stools can also be a side effect of certain medications, like steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      Dr. Caos recommends seeking immediate veterinary attention if you see black/tarry-looking stool, as it could be a serious condition requiring prompt diagnosis and treatment.


                                                                                                      Bright red dog poop or red streaks typically indicate bleeding in the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract, like the large intestine or anus.

                                                                                                      According to Dr. Caos, some of the most common health issues associated with red stool are:

                                                                                                      • Inflammatory bowel disease
                                                                                                      • Colitis (inflammation of the colon)
                                                                                                      • Parasites, such as hookworms or whipworms
                                                                                                      • Inflammatory bowel disease
                                                                                                      • Infections or impactions in the anal glands
                                                                                                      • Ulcers
                                                                                                      • Acute trauma
                                                                                                      • Ingestion of foreign objects

                                                                                                      In some cases, red stool can point to more serious health problems, like viral and bacterial infections; parvovirus; colorectal or anal cancer; and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE).

                                                                                                      Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is a sudden onset of diarrhea that can affect all dog breeds and have various causes. Some of these causes include:

                                                                                                      • An allergic reaction
                                                                                                      • A sudden change in your dog’s diet
                                                                                                      • Eating extra-fatty food
                                                                                                      • Stomach or intestinal ulcers
                                                                                                      • Blockage or foreign body in the digestive tract
                                                                                                      • Tumors
                                                                                                      • Intestinal parasites or bacteria
                                                                                                      • Blood-clotting disorders
                                                                                                      • Acute trauma
                                                                                                      • Eating something toxic or poisonous

                                                                                                      Red poop can also just mean your dog ate something that temporarily dyed their stool, like beets.

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      When a dog poops blood, bring them to the vet immediately. While blood doesn’t always indicate a serious health issue, it’s better to have your vet rule out anything potentially harmful.


                                                                                                      Green dog poop can mean several things:

                                                                                                      • It’s grass: Your dog may have eaten too much grass.
                                                                                                      • Upset stomach: Your dog may have an upset stomach from overdoing it on his favorite Greenies treat. 
                                                                                                      • Underlying health condition: “It could be a sign of serious underlying health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, parasites, gastroenteritis, etc.” says Dr. Kong.
                                                                                                      • It’s due to rodenticide: Your dog may have gotten into rodenticide. In this case, the poop will usually be bright green instead of dark green. This is a medical emergency.

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      “If the green color persists for more than a day or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult a veterinarian for further evaluation,” Dr. Caos says. If the poop is bright green and you suspect rodenticide ingestion, get to an emergency vet clinic immediately.

                                                                                                      Orange or Yellow

                                                                                                      Orange or yellow dog poop usually signals something is awry in your dog’s digestive tract.

                                                                                                      • Yellow poop in dogs often indicates a food intolerance, Dr. Kong says, “which is why we frequently see it after changing our dog’s diet.” However, it could also indicate health issues such as digestive problems or liver disease, she adds.
                                                                                                      • Orange dog poop, on the other hand, can be a sign of pancreatic issues; gallbladder or liver issues; and bacterial and viral infections, according to Dr. Kong.

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      “If you notice consistent or persistent orange or yellow stool, consult a veterinarian to assess your dog’s liver and gastrointestinal health,” Dr. Caos says.


                                                                                                      Gray poop also points to digestive health.

                                                                                                      • Your pup may have trouble breaking down fats: This could mean there’s too much fat in the diet or there’s a problem with the pancreas, like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)—which is the inability to produce sufficient amounts of pancreatic enzymes that are essential for proper digestion.
                                                                                                      • There may be problems with the biliary ducts—the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. Bile breaks down fats and fatty acids, so if this system isn’t running smoothly, it can lead to malabsorption issues.

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      Because gray stool may be related to liver or biliary system problems, consult a veterinarian to investigate the underlying cause and determine appropriate treatment, Dr. Caos says.

                                                                                                      White Specks

                                                                                                      White specks in dog poop look like tiny grains of rice. 

                                                                                                      • If the white spots are moving, your dog may have intestinal worms, like tapeworm, roundworm or hookworm. Your dog needs to go to the vet for a deworming.
                                                                                                      • If the spots aren’t moving, it could be undigested food, too much calcium and/or bone bits (especially if your dog eats a raw diet).

                                                                                                      “White dog poop can [also] indicate a problem with the liver or bile duct, and a parasitic infection,” says Dr. Kong.

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      Because white poop can have several underlying causes, veterinary attention is necessary to get to the bottom of it and provide appropriate care, Dr. Caos says.


                                                                                                      Like red poop, purple stool may be a sign of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), especially if it has a jam-like consistency.

                                                                                                      It can also point to hormone issues, like Addison’s disease, which is a deficiency in the hormones made by the adrenal glands.

                                                                                                      What Should You Do?

                                                                                                      If you see purple poop, especially if it’s accompanied by severe vomiting, lethargy and fever, seek veterinary care immediately.

                                                                                                      Dog Poop Consistency: What’s Healthy?

                                                                                                      While color is an important indicator of your dog’s health, so is the consistency of your dog’s poop.
                                                                                                      dog poop color chart: poop consistencies infographic

                                                                                                      • Healthy dog poop is moist and segmented. It should have a log-like shape and hold its form.
                                                                                                      • Hard, lumpy stool may be a sign of constipation.
                                                                                                      • Diarrhea can indicate digestive issues and other health problems.

                                                                                                       In some cases, probiotics like the Vibeful Probiotic Gastrointestinal Support, may help. This supplement features prebiotic fibers to help support healthy digestion and the immune system. More specifically, each packet packs 200 million CFU/g (colony-forming units) probiotics to promote good bacteria.

                                                                                                      In others, you may need to work with your vet to correct an underlying condition that’s causing the consistency issues.

                                                                                                      FAQs About Dog Poop


                                                                                                      What should I do when my dog poops blood?

                                                                                                      A:If your dog is pooping blood, bring them to the vet immediately. Blood isn’t always a sign of a serious health problem, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


                                                                                                      What color dog poop is concerning?

                                                                                                      A:Any poop color other than brown should give you pause, but an ‘off’ color every once in a while likely isn’t a big deal. “If you frequently come across watery stool (diarrhea), bloody stool, greasy stool and black/white/green stool, this is a clear sign that your dog’s facing a health problem and should look for veterinary help immediately,” says Dr. Kong.


                                                                                                      What color is parvo poop?

                                                                                                      A:Parvo poop typically starts out brown but may develop red streaks and then get redder as the dog’s diarrhea progresses. In addition to bloody diarrhea, other signs of parvo include loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever; low body temperature; lethargy; and vomiting. If your dog has any of these symptoms, seek vet help ASAP. Learn more about parvovirus in dogs.

                                                                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                                                                      It’s normal to be concerned when you see a different color in your dog’s poop, but a changing hue doesn’t always mean there’s something serious going on.

                                                                                                      Instead of panicking, grab a sample of your dog’s stool and make an appointment to bring it to the veterinarian. Your vet will run diagnostic tests on both the stool and your dog to help figure out next steps.

                                                                                                      In the meantime, get to know everything you can about your dog’s poop, so you can identify when something just doesn’t seem quite right.

                                                                                                      Expert input provided by Dr. Leslie Gillette, DVM, Chewy Pet Health Representative; Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, a dog trainer based in California and veterinary consultant at WeLoveDoodles; and Dr. Alejandro Caos, DVM, a veterinarian with The Vets in Denver.

                                                                                                      The post Dog Poop Color Chart: What’s Your Dog’s Poo Telling You? appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      Why Do I Love My Dog So Much?

                                                                                                      You’ve seen the T-shirts (or own one yourself) that say “I’d rather be with my dog,” and it’s funny because, well, it’s true. The bond we share with our dogs is special. It’s unlike even our closest human-to-human connections—to the point where you may find yourself asking, “Why do I love my dog so much?” And, “Is it normal to love my dog so much?”

                                                                                                      The short answer is yes, and for lots of reasons. They don’t call dogs (wo)man’s best friend for nothing. Here, both people and dog behavior experts share more about why we love our dogs.

                                                                                                      Reasons Why We Love Dogs So Much

                                                                                                      The list of reasons why we love our dogs is seemingly endless, and while you might not need a concrete explanation for why you’re just a teeny bit obsessed with your pup, science, experts and even evolution can point us to what make our bonds so strong.


                                                                                                      why do i love my dog so much - protection


                                                                                                      Thousands of years ago, dogs—or their earliest ancestors, wolves—helped protect human beings by guarding an area and alerting people to incoming threats. Consequently, these dogs would often be allowed to feed on scraps from leftover hunts or be offered shelter, says Clive D. L. Wynne, Ph.D., a professor in the department of psychology and director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University.

                                                                                                      This symbiotic relationship may have started out of necessity for both sides, but the idea that a dog offers protection—whether subliminally or through specific tasks—has stuck around. Dogs offer protection from intruders entering your home, even if they’re more bark than bite. Working dogs and service dogs can also provide an array of protection, such as through weapons detection or alerting their humans to an impending medical episode.


                                                                                                      why do I love my dog so much - companionship


                                                                                                      If your dog is your BFF, you’re not alone. “As humans, healthy connections are vital for our well-being,” says therapist Jennifer Covarruvias, AMFT, APCC, clinical director of outpatient services for the Mental Health Center of San Diego. Being with your dog reduces stress, and allows you to shift your mood and lower your guard, even if it happens subconsciously, she says. “It’s amazing to see a guarded person literally have a transformation in their mood when getting to play with a dog.”

                                                                                                      Dogs also help combat loneliness, adds Dr. Wynne. If you’re feeling isolated, dogs step in to hang out with you and provide that companionship.


                                                                                                      why do i love my dog so much - happiness

                                                                                             Creative Studio

                                                                                                      To be clear, “You’re allowed to simply trust your experiences, so if it feels good to be with your dog, then it is good to be with your dog,” says Dr. Wynne. That said, research has found some tangible physiological outcomes from the strong bonds humans and dogs share.

                                                                                                      Several studies, including one published in the journal Anthrozoös in 2012, have shown that interactions between humans and their dogs increased oxytocin levels, aka the feel-good hormone, in both people and their pets. Another earlier study saw this same reaction when dogs and humans made direct eye contact. What’s more, 2017 research has shown that cortisol levels—an indicator of stress—were reduced in humans as a result of interacting with their dog.

                                                                                                      TL;DR Spending time with your dog makes you both happier.

                                                                                                      Unconditional Love

                                                                                                      why do i love my dog so much - unconditional love


                                                                                                      Dogs are fantastic listeners, and that’s not just because they can’t talk back. In this way, the relationship we have with our dogs is different from human relationships that often come with scrutiny and opinions.

                                                                                                      “Dogs provide us with the purest form of love,” says therapist Covarruvias. “They are present, forgiving and loyal. Dogs are sincere with their intentions. A dog does not care about your social economic status; how you fit or don’t fit in society; what car you drive; or what you look like.”


                                                                                                      why do i love my dog so much - healing


                                                                                                      While there are dogs who have been certified as emotional support animals or therapy dogs, the everyday pet also has immense healing capabilities.

                                                                                                      “The interactions we have with our dogs can provide corrective relationship experiences and can most definitely help improve the relationships we build with other humans,” says Covarruvias, who specializes in working with individuals who have experienced trauma. “For example, a person with a trauma background who has difficulty with trust or affection” can relearn these behaviors through their relationship with a dog or pet.

                                                                                                      Does My Dog Know I Love Him?

                                                                                                      Your dog definitely knows how much you love them, says Jocelyn Walls, CTC, CPDT-KA, CSAT, UW-AAB, a certified dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of Muttineer Dog Training in Los Angeles. “Dogs are social, emotional and intelligent animals,” says Walls. “They bond with the people in their lives. They learn to trust us, and look to us for guidance when we demonstrate that we are safe and care for their needs.”

                                                                                                      Just as you’ve learned to understand your dog’s mannerisms, such as when their tail wagging indicates excitement and joy versus nervousness or anxiety, they too can learn to understand our emotions, says Dr. Wynne. “This is all part of people and dogs finding ways to love each other and to understand each other’s expressions,” he says.

                                                                                                      Your dog’s body language can tell you a lot about what they’re feeling and what they are sensing from you, says Walls. “Does your dog have a relaxed body, soft wagging tail and doe eyes? Perhaps with dogs, the measure of what we might call love is something closer to safety and trust in our dogs. Does your dog believe and know that you are a safe person? Their body language will give you the answer.”

                                                                                                      How to Show Dogs You Love Them

                                                                                                      So, how can you make sure your fur baby knows just how much they mean to you if they can’t understand when you say ‘I love you?’ “The best way to show your dog that you love them is to think in terms of what is meaningful to the dog,” says Walls. This means thinking beyond stuffed toys and snuggles, she says—though playtime and gentle touch are both great habits, too. Some examples include:

                                                                                                      Of course, what your dog will like best will depend on their personal preferences. “Dogs, just like people, are individuals, so each one of us needs to learn our own dog’s love language,” says Dr. Wynne.

                                                                                                      Can You Love Your Dog Too Much?

                                                                                                      Unless there’s an extreme situation indicating an unhealthy dependency on your dog, such as if you’re repeatedly canceling plans with your human friends and family to spend more time with your pet, it’s not possible to love your dog too much. However, “it’s certainly possible to harm one’s dog out of misguided love, or a misguided understanding of what a dog’s needs are,” says Dr. Wynne. Some examples include:

                                                                                                      • Overfeeding your pet with too many treats and dog food
                                                                                                      • Providing an unhealthy diet of high-calorie human food
                                                                                                      • Showing them too much physical attention—not all dogs want to cuddle as much as we’d hope

                                                                                                      However, for the most part, dog owners shouldn’t be worried about loving their dog too much. Just enjoy them! “Everyone has a different way to demonstrate love, and this can be confused with loving too much, but to love and be loved can be considered a need,” says Covarruvias. “So in my opinion, it’s not possible to love a dog too much, or anything for that matter.”

                                                                                                      Do Dogs Feel Love for Their Owners?

                                                                                                      You could argue that dogs love us because they need us to provide basic necessities such as food, water and shelter—but there’s so much more to our relationships with one another, says Dr. Wynne, author of “Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.”

                                                                                                      “Yes, our dogs experience our love for them and their love for us,” he says.

                                                                                                      Science backs that up: A 2016 study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that the area of a dog’s brain responsible for intrinsic reward value or motivation was more active in the majority of doggy participants when researchers signaled that their human was nearby, versus when receiving a signal that they would get food.

                                                                                                      “The point is well-established that our dogs do care about us tremendously and that we’re very important to them,” Dr. Wynne says. “What’s remarkable about dogs is that their social bonds stretch beyond their own species. That’s what’s so exceptional about dogs: They want to be friends with us.”

                                                                                                      Whether you’re already thick as thieves with your dog, or looking to build a stronger relationship with a first dog or new pet, there are lots of ways you can nurture your bond with a dog or cat, according to pros. Trusting the process—and each other—will help you both feel more comfortable, safe and loved.

                                                                                                      The post Why Do I Love My Dog So Much? appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      6 Pet Health Accessories That Can Help Improve Your Pet’s Well-Being

                                                                                                      As pet parents, we do everything in our power to keep our fur children healthy, happy and comfortable. And with the advances in product development and technology, a wide range of pet health accessories is now available to help us do just that.

                                                                                                      From smart dog collars that track various metrics to kitty litter that changes color if it detects something wrong with your cat’s urine (yes, really!), these products can make a real difference in monitoring, maintaining and elevating your pet’s health.

                                                                                                      What Are Pet Health Accessories?

                                                                                                      Simply put, they’re products designed to support the health and well-being of cats, dogs and other pets.

                                                                                                      And seeing that, as a recent Chewy survey found, 71 percent of pet parents said they regularly put their pet’s needs before their own, demand for such products continues to grow.

                                                                                                      The trend of pet health accessories is not only good news for you and your pets, but it’s also a positive development for the pet industry as a whole. As more pet parents invest in these products, it drives innovation and encourages companies to continue developing new and improved accessories to meet the market’s demands.

                                                                                                      Pet Health Accessories To Know About

                                                                                                      Wondering what pet health accessories are out there and how they can benefit your beloved companion? Let’s explore some of our favorite options.

                                                                                                      1Pet Anxiety Beds


                                                                                                      Photo: Chewy Studios

                                                                                                      Just like humans, dogs and cats can experience anxiety.

                                                                                                      • In dogs, anxiety can manifest as drooling, panting, urinating or defecating in the house, destructive behavior, excessive barking, depression, pacing or compulsive behaviors.
                                                                                                      • In cats, anxiety might look like hiding, pacing, mood changes, aggressive behavior, appetite changes or excessive meowing. Pet anxiety beds, or calming beds, can help.

                                                                                                      The benefits of pet anxiety beds include:

                                                                                                      • Providing a sense of security for pets with anxiety: “Pet anxiety beds are designed to provide a sense of security and comfort to pets that experience anxiety or stress,” says Dr. Patrik Holmboe, DVM, and head veterinarian for Cooper Pet Care in Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands.
                                                                                                      • Providing a retreat, a safe space for pets with phobias and fears: “These beds can be especially helpful for pets with separation anxiety or noise phobias, and can provide a safe and comfortable space for them to retreat to during times of stress,” says Dr. Holmboe.

                                                                                                      How pet anxiety beds work: Most pet anxiety beds share a similar design, including a soft faux-fur exterior, plush filling and a donut shape with bolstered sides. These features are meant to appeal to an animals senses, providing them with comfort and security:

                                                                                                      • The soft faux-fur texture is reminiscent of their mother and littermates.
                                                                                                      • The plush filling offers the perfect place to burrow and snuggle.
                                                                                                      • The round donut shape hugs your dog or cat as they curl up for a nap.
                                                                                                      • The bolstered sides offer a sense of protection from the outside world.

                                                                                                      Try these pet anxiety beds:

                                                                                                      2Slow Feeder Bowls


                                                                                                      Photo: Chewy Studios

                                                                                                      Many cats and dogs have a tendency to gobble down their food as if it’s their last meal. This can lead to various health problems such as choking, vomiting, bloating and digestive issues.

                                                                                                      Slow feeder bowls are an easy solution to this problem, as they help slow down your pet’s eating. How?

                                                                                                      “Slow feeder bowls usually have small pegs or spokes at the bottom of the bowl to prevent pets from taking large mouthfuls of food at a time,” explains Dr. Kim DiMaio, VMD, owner and founder of in southeastern Pennsylvania.

                                                                                                      The other benefits of slow feeder bowls include:

                                                                                                      • Providing enrichment: For high-energy pets, eating quickly at mealtime can also be a missed opportunity for enrichment. The challenge of getting the food out of the nooks and crannies adds an element of interest to the feeding process. “Pets who get enough environmental enrichment often exhibit less destructive or anxious behaviors, which is great not only for their physical but also their mental health,” says Dr. DiMaio.
                                                                                                      • Helping reduce the risk of obesity: Pets who eat too fast will often look for more food immediately, leading many pet parents to overfeed their pets, adds Dr. DiMaio.

                                                                                                      Try one of these slow feeder bowls:

                                                                                                      3Elevated Bowls


                                                                                                      Photo: IRIS

                                                                                                      Elevated pet bowls are feeding bowls that are raised off the ground, typically on a stand or platform.

                                                                                                      Elevated bowls can help improve the comfort and posture of pets while they’re eating or drinking. This can…

                                                                                                      • Reduce strain on the neck and back
                                                                                                      • Relieve joint pain
                                                                                                      • Promote better digestion

                                                                                                      By providing a more accessible feeding solution, elevated pet bowls can also…

                                                                                                      • Help improve your pet’s quality of life
                                                                                                      • Make mealtime a more enjoyable experience

                                                                                                      Who benefits: Elevated pet bowls are particularly useful for pets who struggle with bending down to reach their bowls, including senior pets and those with mobility issues.

                                                                                                      If you think elevated bowls might benefit your fur baby, try one of these:

                                                                                                      4Smart Collars


                                                                                                      Photo: Fi

                                                                                                      Smart collars are wearable devices that use technology to track various metrics and provide pet parents with valuable information about their dog or cat’s health and behavior.

                                                                                                      These collars, like the Fi Series 2 Smart Dog Collar, use sensors to monitor things such as health, activity levels and location and then transmit the data to a companion app that pet parents can access from anywhere. Think FitBit or Oura Ring, but for pets!

                                                                                                      The other benefits of smart collars include:

                                                                                                      • They monitor track behavioral changes: Some models, like the Whistle Switch Smart Waterproof Dog & Cat Collar Kit, even track behavioral changes, such as excessive licking and scratching.
                                                                                                      • They can detect potential health issues: “[Pet parents] can use the data provided by smart collars to monitor their dog’s health, set goals for exercise and activity, and even detect potential health issues before they become serious,” says Dr. Holmboe.

                                                                                                      Try one of these smart collars:

                                                                                                      5Smart Cat Litter


                                                                                                      Photo: PrettyLitter

                                                                                                      One of the biggest challenges of pet parenthood is the inability of animals to tell us when they’re feeling unwell. Cats, in particular, tend to hide their pain and discomfort, a behavior that stems from their evolutionary past as wild animals, where signs of illness or injury would make them vulnerable to attack from predators.

                                                                                                      This is where smart cat litter such as PrettyLitter comes in: It’s a cat litter that offers a unique solution to help monitor your feline’s health.

                                                                                                      Dubbed “the world’s smartest cat litter,” PrettyLitter’s silica gel crystals change color based on the pH level of your cat’s urine, providing cat parents with an early warning sign of potential health problems.

                                                                                                      • Normal pH urine will turn the crystals yellow or olive green.
                                                                                                      • A high pH will turn the crystals blue and may indicate a urinary tract infection (UTI).
                                                                                                      • A low pH will turn the crystals dark orange and may indicate metabolic acidosis or kidney tubular acidosis, which can lead to kidney stones.
                                                                                                      • If there is blood in the urine, the crystals will turn red, which could indicate bladder inflammation, bladder stones or a UTI.

                                                                                                      6Electronic Toys


                                                                                                      Photo: iFetch

                                                                                                      Electronic toys for cats and dogs are interactive toys that use technology to provide stimulation and entertainment for pets. These toys come in a variety of forms, including automatic ball launchers, interactive treat dispensers and motorized wand toys.

                                                                                                      The other benefits of electronic toys for pets include:

                                                                                                      • Providing mental stimulation and reduce boredom, especially for pets who don’t typically get enough playtime during the day.
                                                                                                      • Reducing anxiety and preventing destructive behaviors, like chewing and scratching, by providing a positive outlet for energy and play.
                                                                                                      • Improving physical activity levels, as many electronic toys encourage pets to chase, pounce or jump. This can help promote healthy weight, increase muscle tone and improve overall health.

                                                                                                      To ensure your pet’s safety, they should be supervised while playing with electronic toys, says Dr. Holmboe, but this doesn’t mean you have to hover over them. You can switch on an electronic toy while you’re working from home, doing chores or watching TV—as long as your fur child is in sight.

                                                                                                      Some of our favorite e-toys include:

                                                                                                      These pet health accessories are just a sampling of the innovative products on the market. To discover other wellness-supporting accessories, check out our favorite pet tech products and these boredom-busting puzzle toys for pets.

                                                                                                      Whether you opt for a smart collar, an anxiety bed, a slow feeder bowl or all of them, you’re sure to see a tail-wagging, purr-inducing difference in no time!

                                                                                                      The post 6 Pet Health Accessories That Can Help Improve Your Pet’s Well-Being appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      Keep Calm & Pet Parent On: The Ultimate Guide to Calming Your Stressed Pet

                                                                                                      When you see your pet scared and shaking, your instinct as a pet parent is to soothe and calm them. But when your hugs and cuddles aren’t doing the trick, what’s the next best solution? And how do you know what is the source of the stress and anxiety, so you can help prevent it in the future? That’s where this calming guide comes in handy. 

                                                                                                      Ahead, we’ll break down the various common causes of stress and anxiety—from separation anxiety to fears and phobias, like loud fireworks and spooky storms—and offer vet-recommended solutions to help calm your stressed pet.

                                                                                                      Remember to consult with your veterinarian before trying any calming aid—they can help you rule out any medical causes for stress and anxiety before you pursue behavioral therapies. 

                                                                                                      What Does Stress Look Like in Pets?

                                                                                                      Stress in dogs may look different than stress in cats. Here are the signs to look for in your pet.

                                                                                                      In dogs…

                                                                                                      Is your dog stressed?

                                                                                                      Illustration: Tiffany Egbert

                                                                                                      In cats…

                                                                                                      Is your cat stressed?

                                                                                                      Illustration: Tiffany Egbert

                                                                                                      Keep in mind that the signs of stress in pets can be easily confused with other illnesses, so schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms. 

                                                                                                      What’s Causing the Stress? And How Can I Help?

                                                                                                      Fear, separation anxiety and age-related changes are some of the most common causes of stress and anxiety in pets.

                                                                                                      Click to jump to each section:


                                                                                                      Fireworks and storms are loud, unexpected and feel like a threat to dogs and cats. But these noise phobias are not the only cause of fear and anxiety in pets. Trips to environments they’re not used to (or straight-up don’t like), like the vet or groomer, or traveling in the car, plane or train can also cause fear-related anxiety. Here are some ways to help.

                                                                                                      How to Help

                                                                                                      Click on the links to read about these solutions.

                                                                                                      Separation Anxiety

                                                                                                      In addition to being separated from their pet parent or family (due to changes in work schedules, for example), separation anxiety can also be triggered by limited enrichment at home (think playtime, exercise and bonding with the pet parent) and changes in your pet’s routine. Here’s how to help your pet manage separation anxiety-related stress. 

                                                                                                      How to Help

                                                                                                      Click on the links to read about these solutions.


                                                                                                      As pets age, they can suffer from cognitive decline. In dogs, this is referred to as cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), and in cats, feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD). This is similar to dementia in humans.

                                                                                                      In pets with CDS or FCD, they may experience an increase in anxiety, irritability, stress and fear due to sensory, memory and awareness decline. Here’s how you can help. 

                                                                                                      How to Help

                                                                                                      Click on the links to read about these solutions.

                                                                                                      Have more questions about your pet’s behavior? Get expert advice through Chewy’s Connect With a Vet service, available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

                                                                                                      Try These Other Solutions at Home

                                                                                                      From pet-friendly cocktails infused with a stress relief pet supplement to playing soothing, calming music in your home, here are some other ways to help alleviate stress and anxiety in your pet—and help them find their zen.

                                                                                                      Click on the links to read about these solutions.

                                                                                                      With zen spaces…

                                                                                                      Alt text here

                                                                                                      Photo: Chewy Studios

                                                                                                      Create a Zen Space for Your Dog to Alleviate Anxiety

                                                                                                      With toys…

                                                                                                      Alt text here

                                                                                                      Photo: Chewy Studios

                                                                                                      5 Toys to Help Ease Separation Anxiety in Dogs

                                                                                                      With pheromones…

                                                                                                      Alt text here

                                                                                                      Photo: Feliway

                                                                                                      How to Calm a Cat Using Pheromones

                                                                                                      With other calming aids…

                                                                                                      Alt text here

                                                                                                      Photo: Best Friends by Sheri

                                                                                                      The Best Dog Calming Aids to Ease Stressful Situations

                                                                                                      With music…

                                                                                                      Alt text here


                                                                                                      De-Stress Your Pets With Relaxing Music for Cats and Dogs

                                                                                                      Calming Products to Shop

                                                                                                      Shop best-selling, top-reviewed, vet-recommended calming products for dogs and cats.
                                                                                                      Here’s to ensuring our fur babies are the happiest, healthiest version of themselves. And now that you’ve helped carve out a safe, calm space for them to thrive in, why not treat them to a special pet-friendly, vet-approved, homemade snack? 
                                                                                                      Expert input provided by Dr. Jennifer Fryer, DVM, veterinary consultant for Chewy.

                                                                                                      The post Keep Calm & Pet Parent On: The Ultimate Guide to Calming Your Stressed Pet appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      The Ultimate Guide to Cat Cuddles

                                                                                                      Soft? Check. Fluffy? Check. Adorable? Check and check. With cozy-up qualifications like this, it’s no wonder we love snuggling our feline friends.

                                                                                                      If you’re tempted to stop scrolling immediately and go find your cat, we understand. But before you do, consider reading on for a master class in Kitty Snuggles. From risks to rewards, breeds to body language, we asked the experts everything you need to know about cat cuddles.

                                                                                                      Do Cats Like to Cuddle?

                                                                                                      We like to cuddle cats. But what about our cats—do they enjoy a snuggle sesh?

                                                                                                      Like all things cat-related, it depends. Some cats like to cuddle, some cats don’t, and many change their minds throughout the day. Regardless of whether you have a natural lap cat, don’t take it personally, advises Stephen Quandt, a certified cat behaviorist based in New York City.

                                                                                                      “It depends on the cat and the context,” says Quandt. “A cat who cuddles with you clearly enjoys your company, but a cat who doesn’t cuddle with you doesn’t mean they don’t like you—they just don’t need to do this with you right now.”

                                                                                                      Some cat breeds are known to be more cuddly than others, says Dr. ​​Nicole Savageau, VMD, a Texas-based veterinarian. These affectionate breeds include:

                                                                                                      “It’s important to remember that while these breeds may be known for being more affectionate, every cat is an individual, and may have different preferences for attention and cuddling,” adds Dr. Savageau.

                                                                                                      Is it Good to Cuddle With Your Cat?

                                                                                                      If you have a snuggly, cute cat, we have even more good news for you: Cuddling has well-being benefits for both you and your beloved pet!

                                                                                                      Benefits for cats:

                                                                                                      • Stress reduction: “Cuddling can help your cat feel more secure and loved, which can reduce stress and anxiety,” says Dr. Savageau.
                                                                                                      • Bond strengthening: “It can also strengthen the bond between you and your cat, and provide a sense of comfort and companionship for both of you,” she adds.
                                                                                                      • Physical benefits: “It can help regulate their body temperature, especially if they’re feeling cold,” she says. “It can also provide a soothing massage for their muscles and joints, which can help relieve any tension or soreness.”

                                                                                                      Benefits for people: 

                                                                                                      • Improved relaxation: A study by scientists at Washington State University found that petting cats and dogs significantly reduced stress levels in college students.
                                                                                                      • Better heart health: Cat ownership is associated with decreased risk of death related to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, found a study by the National Institutes of Health.
                                                                                                      • Stronger immune system: Stanford University researchers found that regular exposure to a cat or a dog could reduce a person’s chances of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, possibly due to an altered immune system.

                                                                                                      How Often Should You Cuddle With Your Cat?

                                                                                                      So, how much time should you block out on your calendar for cat cuddling? There’s no magic amount, experts say. What’s important is that you let your furry friend set the snuggle schedule.

                                                                                                      “It would be best to let the cat approach you first, as some cats really have to be in the mood to cuddle,” says Dr. Dwight Alleyne, DVM, a Georgia-based veterinarian.

                                                                                                      If you’re unsure about your cat’s agenda, Dr. Alleyne says to look for cuddling clues and cues:

                                                                                                      • Rubbing against you
                                                                                                      • Purring
                                                                                                      • Jumping in your lap

                                                                                                      What Are the Risks of Cuddling With a Cat?

                                                                                                      Forced cuddling can lead to injuries for both cat owners and cats.

                                                                                                      “It’s important to remember that not all cats enjoy being cuddled,” Dr. Savageau says. “Cats are naturally independent animals, and may feel trapped or threatened if they’re held too tightly. This can cause them to become fearful, anxious or stressed, and they may try to scratch or bite to escape.”

                                                                                                      Learning body language is an important part of pet care. Signs your cat is not interested in snuggling include the following:

                                                                                                      • Tail twitching or lashing
                                                                                                      • Ears flattened back
                                                                                                      • Struggling or trying to escape
                                                                                                      • Growling, hissing or swatting
                                                                                                      • Meowing or yowling

                                                                                                      “If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to respect your cat’s boundaries and stop cuddling them,” says Dr. Savageau. “Instead, try to provide them with affection in ways that they enjoy, such as gentle petting or offering treats.”

                                                                                                      How to Cuddle Your Cat: 5 Tips for Superior Snuggles

                                                                                                      Ready for some next-level cuddle time? Consider these expert tips for snuggling success.

                                                                                                      1. Let your cat make the first move.

                                                                                                      Playing it cool is essential when it comes to cats. “There is good evidence that cats seek out people who don’t seek them out,” says Quandt. “Being overly demonstrative to your cat might be a turn-off—but let them come to you, and they are yours.”

                                                                                                      2. Provide safe, comfortable support.

                                                                                                      Your cat is placing trust in you when jumping into your lap or arms, so be sure to provide a safe, sturdy resting place. “If your cat enjoys being held, it’s best to support their body weight and avoid squeezing them too tightly,” says Savageau. “You can also try wrapping them in a soft blanket or towel to help them feel more secure.”

                                                                                                      3. No squeezing.

                                                                                                      Louder for the cat parents in the back: No squeezing! “It is not recommended that you hold a cat tightly, as it may be perceived as a threat by a cat,” Dr. Alleyne says.

                                                                                                      4. Pay attention to body language.

                                                                                                      Whenever holding or snuggling a cat, pay close attention to their body language; they can’t technically ask to be put down, but they have plenty of ways of telling you. While hissing, struggling and flattened ears are classic cues, every cat is an individual. “Learn body language, and specifically, your cat’s body language,” recommends Quandt.

                                                                                                      Learn how to decode cat body language.

                                                                                                      5. Monitor interactions with children.

                                                                                                      In general, kids are not great cat cuddlers. If you have young children in your home, ensure your pet is safe and comfortable. “It’s important to teach children to be gentle and respectful when handling cats,” says Dr. Savageau. “Young children should always be supervised when interacting with cats, and they should be taught to approach them calmly, and avoid rough play or grabbing.”

                                                                                                      More Purrs Ahead!

                                                                                                      As cat lovers know, there’s nothing like cuddling up with a sleepy tabby and hitting the “next episode” button. But as curious creatures with wild ancestors, cats need plenty of active enrichment to live their best (nine) lives. For ideas on how to punch up playtime, check out these fun, interactive ideas!

                                                                                                      The post The Ultimate Guide to Cat Cuddles appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

                                                                                                      Apple cider vinegar has long been used as an ingredient in recipes, but did you know apple cider vinegar may offer benefits to boost a dog’s health as well?

                                                                                                      If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs and how to use it, we’re here to help. We spoke with a vet expert about the ins and outs of offering their dog apple cider vinegar.  

                                                                                                      Apple Cider Vinegar Is Safe for Dogs—in Moderation

                                                                                                      Before we get into the benefits, it’s important to note that, yes, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is considered safe for dogs—as long as it’s used in moderation.

                                                                                                      While it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients, too much apple cider vinegar can irritate your dog’s stomach, says Dr. Dwight Alleyne, DVM, a practicing veterinarian in Georgia.

                                                                                                      The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

                                                                                                      ACV for Ear Infections

                                                                                                      To keep ear infections at bay, it’s important to ensure our dogs’ ears are clean. For pet parents who love holistic care, using apple cider vinegar for dog’s ears is an option. That’s because ACV‘s properties may help slow growth of bacteria and yeast in the ears, says Dr. Alleyne.

                                                                                                      “It just needs to be used in moderation to avoid additional irritation in the ears,” he adds.

                                                                                                      Again, ACV is not an ear infection home remedy and should be used as a preventative only.

                                                                                                      Here are tips to using ACV as an ear infection preventative:

                                                                                                      • Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water, and wipe down your dogs ears.
                                                                                                      • If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, however, promptly schedule a vet appointment to have the infection treated professionally before starting a preventive regime.

                                                                                                      ACV as a Dog Shampoo

                                                                                                      Bathing a dog with ACV may help with certain skin irritations such as hot spots, according to Dr. Alleyne. And according to a 2018 study published in Scientific Reports, apple cider vinegar does have many antibacterial properties.

                                                                                                      However, ACV is not meant to treat serious skin conditions, and you should take your dog to the vet if you have concerns.

                                                                                                      Here are tips to using ACV as a dog shampoo:

                                                                                                      • ACV should be diluted with water. Mix equal parts ACV with water (1:1). This helps prevent skin irritations.
                                                                                                      • Before application, check your dog’s skin for open wounds of notable size. If you see any, do not apply ACV and call your vet.

                                                                                                      ACV as a Flea Repellant

                                                                                                      ACV is not an effective flea treatment. It can, however, be used as a flea repellant. Because apple cider vinegar has such a strong smell, it does have the ability to repel fleas.

                                                                                                      That being said, it may be more trouble than it’s worth. The problem is that the longevity of effectiveness after application is very short,” Dr. Alleyne explains. “Therefore, frequent applications may be required, which may not be practical.” 

                                                                                                      Here are some tips to using apple cider vinegar as a flea repellant:

                                                                                                      • Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
                                                                                                      • For dogs with sensitive skin, test a small area first to make sure there isn’t a reaction.
                                                                                                      • Avoid spraying your dog’s face.

                                                                                                      ACV as a Dog Supplement

                                                                                                      As to whether ACV is an effective supplement, while there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence from pet owners that ACV can improve certain health conditions, there hasn’t been much definitive scientific evidence to support this,” Dr. Alleyne says.

                                                                                                      Still, because it’s generally not harmful when used in moderation, many pet parents believe adding apple cider vinegar to their dogs water or food as a natural remedy or as a preventative provides health benefits.

                                                                                                      As far as how much ACV to offer your pup, that depends on their size. Here are Dr. Alleyne’s guidelines:

                                                                                                      • Small to medium dogs: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily
                                                                                                      • Larger dogs: 1/2 to 1 tablespoon daily

                                                                                                      What Kind of ACV Should I Give My Dog?

                                                                                                      Use organic and unfiltered ACV. That’s the best kind of ACV product to use, per Dr. Alleyne.

                                                                                                      “The product needs to be all natural to minimize side effects,he says.

                                                                                                      Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar seems to be popular among pet parents.

                                                                                                      The most common way to give your pup apple cider vinegar is to add the recommended amount to your dog’s water.

                                                                                                      While it’s not going to cure any serious ailments, there are still benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs and it may be worth a try. If you’re big on natural options for Fido, you might want to consider these vet-recommended natural dog foods.

                                                                                                      The post The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      4 Ways to Give a Dog a Pill (So That They’ll Actually Swallow It)

                                                                                                      So, your veterinarian has prescribed pills for you to give to your dog at home. “Sure,” you’re thinking, “but how do I get my pup to actually take the darn things?” It can sometimes be a challenge, especially if the medication tastes funny (or if your dog has a stubborn personality). So, how do you give a dog a pill—and make sure they swallow it?

                                                                                                      There’s no one correct answer. Different strategies work for different pups, so we’re explaining four different ways to give your dog a pill. Work your way through them until you find the most successful option for your unique dog, and they’ll be feeling better in no time!

                                                                                                      Before You Begin

                                                                                                      It’s easy to get medications confused, especially if your dog is prescribed multiple different types. So, before you try any of the strategies below, take a moment to double check the following:

                                                                                                      • Is this the correct medication? Check your pill bottle’s label, as many pills and pill containers look similar.
                                                                                                      • Am I giving the correct dose? Read the prescription label to confirm that you’re giving the right amount of the medication.
                                                                                                      • Is it time to give the medication? The prescription label should also explain how often your dog needs to take it.
                                                                                                      • Does my dog need to take it with food? If so, have food at the ready. (You can even use it to hide your dog’s pill—more on that below.) Alternatively, some meds should be taken on an empty stomach, which may prevent you from trying some of the food-based methods below. If you’re unsure about how much food your dog can take with a certain medication, talk to your veterinarian.
                                                                                                      • Does the medicine need to be refrigerated? If so, make sure that it’s properly stored both before and after giving it to your dog. Talk to your vet if your medication is accidentally left out of the fridge.
                                                                                                      • Do I need to plan for side effects? If a medication may cause your dog to be drowsy and disoriented, for example, make sure you’ve prepared a safe area for them where they’ll be unlikely to fall and injure themselves.

                                                                                                      If you have questions about anything related to your dog’s medication, call your vet’s office and ask.

                                                                                                      One last important note: If your dog growls, tries to bite or becomes fearful during any of the below steps, stop trying to give the pill and call your vet for advice. Giving medication is never worth a bite wound to yourself, and there are several ways to get the medication into your dog without risk to yourself or to your relationship with your dog.

                                                                                                      4 Ways to Give a Dog a Pill

                                                                                                      A woman mixing a pill into a bowl of wet dog foodA woman mixing a pill into a bowl of wet dog food

                                                                                                      1Hide the pill in food or treats.

                                                                                                      If your dog’s medication can be given with food, this is the easiest and least stressful way to administer it. Dogs will be more likely to accept medication if it is hidden in a dish of food or a tasty dog treat that they already love. In fact, they might just hoover it up without even noticing the pill was there!

                                                                                                      Follow these tips to increase your chances of success:

                                                                                                      Start with a hungry dog.

                                                                                                      Give pills hidden in food or treats on an empty stomach when possible—making sure that it’s appropriate for your dog’s condition and medication, of course. Then, feed your dog their regular meal afterwards. This will build a positive association to taking pills in your dog’s mind, thanks to the food element, which can motivate them to take their pill even more happily in the future.

                                                                                                      Choose an exciting food or treat.

                                                                                                      If your dog’s more of a kibble and dry treats kind of pup, it’ll be harder (if not impossible) to hide their pill in their usual diet. And even if your dog typically eats wet or fresh food that makes hiding pills easier, this is still a great time to introduce an exciting new food, which can make giving a pill even more of a happy occasion for you both. Depending on your dog’s favorite flavors, and what’s appropriate for them to eat with their current condition, you could hide the pill in:

                                                                                                      • A meatball
                                                                                                      • A piece of cheese
                                                                                                      • A piece of hot dog
                                                                                                      • Canned dog food
                                                                                                      • Cream cheese
                                                                                                      • Xylitol-free peanut butter
                                                                                                      • Asmall amount of butter
                                                                                                      • Deli meats (turkey, liverwurst, ham, salami, etc.)
                                                                                                      • A small scoop of vanilla ice cream
                                                                                                      • A small portion of plain yogurt

                                                                                                      These are just some of the many foods you could try. Honestly, any human food that is safe for dogs is worth a shot—again, as long as it’s safe for your unique dog, considering their health condition. If you are unsure of what is OK for your dog, ask your DVM.

                                                                                                      Hide it well.

                                                                                                      The process of actually hiding the pill will vary depending on what food or treat you use. In general, however, follow these tips:

                                                                                                      • Make sure the food surrounds the pill so it’s completely hidden. You may have to use your hands to mold the food around it.
                                                                                                      • Use only a small amount of food so that it doesn’t require chewing. A dog who bites into a bitter-tasting pill may react by spitting it out.

                                                                                                      Some dogs are really hard to fool, and may spit out the pill even if you’ve sneaked it into a treat. If this happens to you, wait 30 minutes and then try again, using a different type of treat.

                                                                                                      Still no luck? Try giving a couple of “blank” treats first (aka treats that don’t contain the pill), and then give a treat that has a pill hidden in it, all in rapid succession. This just might build enough excitement in your dog that they don’t notice when the pill-filled treat is offered.

                                                                                                      If your pup is just too smart to let you sneak medicine by them this way, though, try the next option.

                                                                                                      A woman putting a dog pill into a pill pocket.A woman putting a dog pill into a pill pocket.

                                                                                                      2Use a pill pocket.

                                                                                                      Pill pockets are soft, moldable dog treats that are designed to cover up the smell and taste of pills and liquid medications. You can hide your dog’s pills inside one of these in much the same way you would with other foods, keeping in mind that the pocket should fully surround the pill.

                                                                                                      Important note: Most pill pockets are fairly healthy and safe for most dogs, but it is always best to check with your vet before giving one to your dog. Some brands are high in sodium and may not be a good choice for dogs with heart disease or kidney disease.

                                                                                                      A woman giving a dog a pill using a pet pillerA woman giving a dog a pill using a pet piller

                                                                                                      3Use a pet piller.

                                                                                                      A pet piller, also known as a pill gun or “pill popper,” is a syringe-type tool designed to help you deliver the pill far back in your dog’s mouth, where it will be harder for them to spit out. This also allows you to avoid your dog’s teeth, if you’re nervous about trying to give them a pill by hand. (More on that in the next step.)

                                                                                                      Important note: Do not try giving a pill by pill popper or by hand to a dog with a painful neck, back, or mouth, as your dog may bite you to avoid increased pain.

                                                                                                      To use a pet piller, follow these steps:

                                                                                                      1. Start with your dog in an area that’s comfortable for you both, and where they cannot escape.
                                                                                                      2. Load the pill into the soft end of the device opposite the plunger.
                                                                                                      3. Gently but firmly grasp your dog’s muzzle from above with your non-dominant hand, placing your thumb and fingers right behind the big canine teeth on either side of the upper jaw.
                                                                                                      4. Tilt your dog’s head up to the ceiling. This will usually cause the lower jaw to drop open slightly, at which point you can use the middle finger of your dominant hand to open the jaw further.
                                                                                                      5. Insert the pill popper into your pet’s mouth far enough so you can depress the plunger and deposit the pill onto the back of your dog’s tongue. Be sure to not go too far back into the mouth or you can poke the back of your dog’s throat!
                                                                                                      6. Press the plunger to deposit the pill.
                                                                                                      7. Close your dog’s mouth and bring their head back to a normal position.
                                                                                                      8. Massage their throat to encourage swallowing. You may also try lightly blowing on their nose. You will notice your dog swallowing and often licking their lips after they have swallowed a pill.

                                                                                                      Follow this procedure with a treat and praise for a job well done! It’s also a good idea to offer your dog water, or use a plastic syringe to squirt some into the corner of their mouth if necessary, to help the pill travel down the esophagus.

                                                                                                      A woman giving a dog a pill by handA woman giving a dog a pill by hand

                                                                                                      4Give the pill by hand.

                                                                                                      Sometimes, you have to take matters into your own hands—literally, in this case. But remember: Do not try giving a pill by hand to a dog with a painful neck, back, or mouth, as this could result in a dog bite.

                                                                                                      To give your dog a pill by hand, follow these steps:

                                                                                                      1. Start by rolling the pill in a small amount of dog food gravy or butter (as long as it’s OK’d by your vet). This will help the pill slide down easily.
                                                                                                      2. Start in a comfortable area for you and your dog. Avoid letting your dog see the pill.
                                                                                                      3. Hold the pill between your index finger and the thumb of your dominant hand.
                                                                                                      4. Gently but firmly grasp your dog’s muzzle from above with your non-dominant hand, placing your thumb and fingers right behind the big canine teeth on either side of the upper jaw.
                                                                                                      5. Tilt your dog’s head up to the ceiling. This should cause the lower jaw to drop open slightly, at which point you can use the middle finger of your dominant hand to open the jaw further.
                                                                                                      6. Once the mouth is open, quickly drop the pill on the back of the tongue, as close to the back of the mouth as possible.
                                                                                                      7. Once you have dropped the pill in, close your dog’s mouth and bring your dog’s head back to a normal position.
                                                                                                      8. Gently massage your dog’s throat and/or lightly blow on their nose to encourage swallowing.

                                                                                                      Remember to follow with a treat and praise, plus water to help wash the pill down.

                                                                                                      Pro tip: Ask your veterinary staff to administer your dog’s first first pill at the veterinary clinic with you in the room, so they can demonstrate to you how it’s done.

                                                                                                      What if My Dog Still Won’t Take a Pill?

                                                                                                      Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you still can’t get your dog to take a pill. Don’t worry—this is a common situation. Here is what to do if that happens to you:

                                                                                                      • Ask if you can get their medication in a different form. Most medications can be formulated (aka compounded) into tasty liquids that you can squirt into your dog’s mouth. Some medications can even come in the form of transdermal lotions that can be rubbed into your dog’ ear flap, avoiding oral administration altogether.
                                                                                                      • Ask about injectables. Some meds are available as a one-time injectable medication that your vet can administer. This may cost a little more, but for many people, it is worth it.
                                                                                                      • Hire help. Some professional dog walkers or pet sitters offer to administer medication as part of their services. You can also take your dog to their veterinary clinic daily to have vet staff give the pills. That might be an inconvenience, but hey, when it comes to your dog’s health, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do!

                                                                                                      Whether you can trick your dog with tasty treats, coax them into swallowing a pill by hand, or try a new form of medicine that’s easier for you both, administering your dog’s medication doesn’t have to be a source of stress. But those vet bills, on the other hand? Woof. Find out how pet insurance can help.

                                                                                                      The post 4 Ways to Give a Dog a Pill (So That They’ll Actually Swallow It) appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      The 13 Best Pet Birds: Parakeets, Cockatiels and More

                                                                                                      From small finches to large Amazon parrots with even larger personalities, birds can make wonderful pets. But before getting a new feathered friend, you need to do a little research first. That’s because some birds, like parakeets and canaries, are great for beginners, while others, like cockatoos and macaws, are better suited for experienced bird owners.

                                                                                                      We spoke to two bona fide bird experts Dr. Laurie Hess, DVM, DABVP (Avian Practice), owner of Veterinary Center for Birds & Exotics in Bedford Hills, New York, and Long Island Parrot Society’s former president Susan Chamberlain, to identify the best pet birds and learn a little about each one so you can find the right fit for your flock.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: parakeet



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      First-time pet bird parents with time to teach these fun birds a few tricks. Chatty but not screechy, they’re appropriate for most apartment- and townhouse-dwellers.

                                                                                                      Outside of the U.S., “parakeet” refers to several species of small and medium birds in the parrot family. One of the most popular? The budgerigar, or budgie. Silly and sweet birds with big personalities, budgerigars are a fantastic, low-maintenance choice for beginners. They make less noise than their larger relatives, chirruping pleasantly. With patience, you can even teach them to repeat some human words. Another popular type is the Lineolated parakeet (also known as linnies, barred parakeets, or Catherine parakeets). They are similarly easygoing and able to learn tricks.

                                                                                                      All About Parakeets, Budgies and Linnies

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 6 to 8 inches, 1 ounce
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 6 to 8 years, but if you take care of them properly (regular vet visits, nutritious food) they can live much longer
                                                                                                      • Sociability: Properly tamed and cared for, can be very friendly and affectionate
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: Very chatty! You can train parakeets to pick up human voices and learn words and phrases.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Includes bacterial infections, viruses or parasites, and fatty liver disease

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Must be wide and tall enough for easy movement and exercise. The 53-inch tall Prevue Pet Products Wrought Iron Flight Cage gives small and medium birds plenty of space.

                                                                                                      Toys: Should be no bigger than your parakeet; ones with paper or hay to shred or bells to ring are good at keeping your bird entertained. This Super Bird Creations crinkle toy has both.

                                                                                                      Food: Provide fresh water daily and several small bowls of food in the cage so they can fly from one to another. Feed them pellets like Lafeber’s Gourmet Pellets mixed with a few seeds and fresh veggies, like carrot strips or broccoli florets. Avoid too many empty calories (like seeds and grains).

                                                                                                      Learn more about keeping a pair of budgies/parakeets.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: cockatiel



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Cockatiels are a popular pet bird for new pet owners. They’re just big and smart enough to be fun, interactive, and social, but they’re small enough to be manageable. Prepare to give them at least an hour or two of out-of-cage time a day, and as much quality attention as you can. The more attentive you are, the stronger and better your bond will be.

                                                                                                      Affectionate, spirited, and curious, these pint-size parrots are members of the cockatoo family (also known as miniature cockatoos, weiros, and quarrions), and good introductory birds, especially if you have kids. If these birds are handled young, trained, and socialized, their sunny, easygoing personalities shine. Expect whistles (they can be pretty vocal) and kisses.

                                                                                                      All About Cockatiels

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 12 inches, 3 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: Cockatiels do fine as an only pet but need to interact with you
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: Very talkative! Can be trained to mimic sounds and sing, whistle and make all sorts of noises
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Includes bacterial infections, viruses or parasites, obesity and fatty liver disease

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Cockatiels require roomy cages with perches of varying materials. Pair a rope perch like the JW Pet Medium Comfy Bird Perch with Prevue Pet Products’ Wood Corner Shelf. Cockatiels like to bathe in their water bowls—get a big enough bowl, such as JW Pet InSight Clean Cup and change the water twice a day.

                                                                                                      Toys: Cockatiels need plenty to do, so provide toys that can entertain these intelligent birds when unattended. These could include foraging and shredding toys, such as this Bonka Bird Toys foraging toy—and be sure to change up their toys every week.

                                                                                                      Food: Provide fresh water daily and several small food bowls they can fly between. Cockatiels can gain weight quickly, so give them more pellets and vegetables than seeds and treats and ensure plenty of room in their cage to flap, fly, and move.

                                                                                                      Discover 5 ways to play with your pet cockatiel.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: canary



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Crazy-busy first-time pet bird parents who aren’t looking for a talking bird but are happy to listen to their canary sing as they do other things. Smaller in size and relatively quiet; suitable for apartment-dwellers.

                                                                                                      Beautiful, good-natured songsters, canaries require low-key TLC; they’re for looking at and listening to. They typically don’t like to be handled, but they’ll appreciate living in the same room where you spend time. Canaries are curious and will investigate anything new in their environment, but they won’t hang out with you. Males sing operatically while females have a gentle chirp.

                                                                                                      Learn tips for letting your canary fly outside their cage.

                                                                                                      All About Canaries

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 3 to 4 inches, 1 ounce
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 10 to 15 years, often longer
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They like to hang out in the same room as you, but are not the most snuggly of birds.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They don’t “speak,” but expect plenty of song from males. Females tend to mostly chirp.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Respiratory illness and obesity. Canaries have very sensitive respiratory systems, which can be easily compromised.

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: It’s all about bar spacing. You want a cage that has no more than a quarter of an inch between the bars so they don’t get their heads stuck. Canaries can be quite comfortable in a cage like the Vision II Model M02 bird cage, with perches set at different heights. If you let your canary out to fly around in the room, cover windows and mirrors so they don’t crash.

                                                                                                      Toys: Canaries love bird-safe bells, things that make sounds, and anything soft. Consider the top-rated JW Pet InSight Cuttlebone Holder bird toy or JW Pet Activitoy bell toy.

                                                                                                      Food: Pellets, supplemented with vegetables like kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Avoid too many sugary fruits (like bananas or grapes) and provide fresh water daily.

                                                                                                      Take a closer look at canaries.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: conures



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      You don’t need prior bird experience to own a conure, but it helps to know what you’re in for: a very vocal companion. They can screech, so they’re better for homes without close neighbors. Conures need plenty of quality time, enriching toys, and one-on-one attention.

                                                                                                      Intelligent, playful conures come in various sizes, types, and colors, from the smaller green-cheeked conure to the larger sun and blue-crowned conures. They’re handleable and clownish. They play games. They can be sassy and destructive if startled, scared, or not appropriately socialized.

                                                                                                      Discover 5 ways to play with your pet conure.

                                                                                                      All About Conures

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight:  10 to 15 inches, 3 to 9 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 20+ years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: As long as they’ve been socialized properly, they respond to their owners well. They love to be in the center of the household action.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: In general, conures aren’t known for their ability to talk. Of course, yours may surprise you.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Avian bornavirus, obesity

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Conures love roomy cages! Their tails must not touch the bottom; they need ample space for unrestricted movements and several perches.

                                                                                                      Toys: Enrichment items, foraging toys like Super Bird Creations Foraging Basket, and different things to rip up and chew. Conures can screech if they get bored or don’t get enough attention. And remember: the larger the bird the more time they need out of the cage.

                                                                                                      Food: Pellets, vegetables, and some fruits. ZuPreem VeggieBlend was formulated with birds like conures in mind and includes flavors like carrots, green beans, and beets. Provide fresh water daily.

                                                                                                      Find out more about conures’ talking abilities.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: African grey


                                                                                                      5African Greys

                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Experienced pet bird parents who are comfortable with spending time and energy keeping these super-smart parrots stimulated—and are patient enough to put up with a pet who loves to mimic any sound at top volume.

                                                                                                      The African grey is considered the best talker of all the talking birds. This medium-sized parrot is super intelligent, charming, and friendly. Because they’re so bright, African greys need plenty of mental stimulation; a bored African grey can be trouble. As young pets, they’re fun and generally love everyone in the family. When they sexually mature at 5-7 years of age however, they may bond with one person and become overprotective.

                                                                                                      Discover 4 ways to play with your pet African grey.

                                                                                                      All About African Greys

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight:  13 to 15 inches, 14 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 30+ years. They can live to 50 years old if you feed them an appropriate amount of fresh vegetables and a pelleted diet low in seeds, and take them to the vet regularly for check ups.
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They love to hang with you but can get bored easily, which can sometimes lead to aggression.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: Not all talk, but all imitate and repeat sounds all day.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Fungal infections, parasites, mites, allergies

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Purchase the largest cage that you can fit into your space; they should be able to fully extend their wings and flap them without touching cage walls.

                                                                                                      Toys: Because African greys are foragers and solution-seekers by nature, toys like Super Bird Creations PVC Forager Bird Toy, or just something puzzle-like such as undoing knotted rope, will keep them entertained.

                                                                                                      Food: Pellets, vegetables, and some low-in-sugar and high-in-phytonutrient fruits (such as papayas, berries, and kiwis). High-quality, fresh-grade walnuts in the shell provide omega-3s. Provide fresh water daily.

                                                                                                      Learn more about what you should feed your African grey parrot.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: Amazon


                                                                                                      6Amazon Parrots

                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      The parrot-savvy and young; you don’t want your bird to outlive you. You should love routine and have plenty of time each day to care for and play with these easily bored birds.

                                                                                                      Be ready to be in it for the long haul—Amazon parrots can easily reach 40 years old. They’re intelligent, social creatures and need constant interaction and attention. They can be quite a handful, with dominant, opinionated personalities. They come in different colorways that correspond to slight personality differences. Yellow-naped and double yellow headed Amazons, for instance, are extra talkative; southern mealy Amazons are the most docile; and blue-fronted Amazons love to clown around.

                                                                                                      Note: Many older Amazon parrots were wild-trapped, which is now illegal in this species and many others. Seek out reputable captive-bred birds from breeders who actively support conservation efforts.

                                                                                                      All About Amazon Parrots

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 10 to 17 inches, 10 to 27 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 40 to 50 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: Like all parrots, they need a lot of attention. Babies are especially friendly.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: Amazons are great talkers. They readily pick up words and phrases.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Obesity and heart disease, respiratory illnesses

                                                                                                      Try these 10 tips to teach your parrot to talk.

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Purchase the largest cage that you can fit into your space; they should be able to fully extend and flap their wings without touching the cage walls.

                                                                                                      Toys: Provide lots of social interaction and mentally stimulating, weekly rotating toys (foraging, shredding, puzzles). Try JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Bird Toy and Super Bird Creations Bottoms Up Bird Toy, which presents a challenge with see-through canisters that you fill with treats.

                                                                                                      Food: A typical diet consists of pellets, plenty of vegetables, and low-sugar fruits. Provide fresh water daily.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: parrotlets



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Newbie pet bird parents with young families. Parrotlets are a fantastic addition to a family with elementary-aged children. Their small size and moderate noise level mean you can keep them in apartments and townhouses.

                                                                                                      Charming parrotlets, affectionately known as “pocket parrots,” are fantastic entry-level parrots. They may be tiny, but they have big, charismatic personalities, and you can train them to do all sorts of things, from stepping onto your finger to turning around and waving. They’re lovable and easy to maintain, though sometimes territorial.

                                                                                                      All About Parrotlets

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 4 to 5 inches, 1 ounce
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 15 to 20 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They thrive on attention—place cage in the family room or near the kitchen so they can see what’s going on.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They can be taught to say words and are not as noisy as other types of parrots.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Yeast infections

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: The larger the cage, the happier they’ll be. They should be able to fully extend their wings without getting wing and tail feathers caught on the sides or bottom.

                                                                                                      Toys: Give them plenty of things to do, such as climbing a rope ladder (Prevue Pet Products Naturals Rope Ladder), foraging for treats (Bonka Bird Toys foraging toy), and ringing a bell (Super Bird Creations Daisy Ring).

                                                                                                      Food: Supplement food pellets with vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli florets) and fruits that are low in sugar; they are more inclined to eat fresh foods if minced small. Provide fresh water daily.

                                                                                                      Learn more about parrotlets, pint-size parrots.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: blue-headed pionus


                                                                                                      8Pionus Parrots

                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      First-time pet bird parents looking for a gentle, less-noisy parrot—but who have at least a couple of hours to play daily. They can be chatty, so they’re not ideal to own if you live in an apartment or townhouse.

                                                                                                      Pionus parrots are medium-sized; they’re smaller than Amazons and African greys. They are such fun to live with! They love swinging, flying, hanging out, and watching whatever you are doing. They’re not as noisy and are more easygoing with a sweet disposition, making them excellent parrots for first-time bird parents who have the time to interact daily. They are easy to care for, very loving and playful, and have a mellow temper.

                                                                                                      All About Pionus Parrots

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 10 to 12 inches, 8 to 11 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 20 to 40 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They thrive on their own if they have plenty to do and at least two to four hours of time with you a day.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They can learn to speak, but are not overly vocal.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Fungal infections; try to keep all pet birds in a well-ventilated room.

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Little acrobats, they enjoy roomy playtop bird cages which allow for plenty of exercise both inside and outside your pet’s home. Check out MidWest Avian Adventures Playtop Bird Cage.

                                                                                                      Toys: Polly’s Pet Products Fun Roll Bird Toy gives birds an outlet for chewing and shredding instincts with a replaceable calculator paper roll.

                                                                                                      Food: Formulated diets containing mostly pellets and more vegetables—like leafy greens, which have a high nutrient count—than fruits.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: finches



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      First-time pet bird parents who don’t have time to devote to training but love the chatter and energy pet birds bring to life. Their size is perfect for smaller spaces such as apartments or townhouses.

                                                                                                      Super social finches should always live in groups of two or more. Finches are fun to listen to and watch. They come in various stunning colors and make quiet “beep, beep, beep” noises that many find pleasant. The three most common types of finches are society, Gouldian, and zebra. You can’t hold them; they’re meant for looking at.

                                                                                                      All About Finches

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 4-10 inches, 0.3 to 1.3 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 4-10 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They don’t need human interaction, but you can train some to perch on your finger; generally, they’re not into human contact.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They don’t talk, but they’re very vocal!
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Respiratory illness, mite infections (Learn more about pet bird mites.)

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Finches can entertain themselves if you give them a wide cage to fly around in, such as the Prevue Pet Products Small Bird Flight Cage, and put it in a room where you hang out, like the family or living room.

                                                                                                      Toys: Foraging toys and materials for making nests (shredded paper works fine). The Super Bird Creations Paper Party Bird Toy has bright, rolled paper sticks for birds to shred.

                                                                                                      Food: Pellet-based with some seeds mixed in, as well as greens like spinach, watercress and lettuce. And two bowls of water—one for bathing, one for drinking, both of which you should change daily.

                                                                                                      Learn more about finches.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: ring-necked dove


                                                                                                      10Ring-Necked Doves

                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      First-time pet bird parents who are looking for a quiet, devoted companion who can learn a trick or two, but who will mainly just hang out with them. Cooing is nice, with an almost ASMR effect.

                                                                                                      Pretty, docile, and easygoing ring-necked and diamond doves are two of the most widely kept species of doves (some species aren’t well-suited as pets). They’re perfect for people who want to keep birds as pets but don’t want to (or can’t) invest the time necessary to care for a parrot. They’re not the most affectionate or intelligent (they’ll never learn to talk) birds of the bunch. But they might let you hold them, and they can learn to fly where you want them to with food incentives.

                                                                                                      All About Ring-Necked Doves

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight:  11 to 13 inches, 5 to 8 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 10+ years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They’re fine on their own, but some love being petted and playing with their toys and you.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They won’t speak human words but love cooing.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Calcium deficiency, parasites

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: They need a wide cage with several perches, bells, and swings. JW Pet Swing N’ Perch provides birds like doves with a comfortable place to swing and perch.

                                                                                                      Toys: Provide foraging toys and materials for making nests (shredded paper works fine). The Super Bird Creations Paper Party Bird Toy has bright, rolled paper sticks for birds to shred.

                                                                                                      Food: Choose a commercial-prepared diet of pellets that is especially formulated for doves.

                                                                                                      Learn more about keeping doves as pets.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: ring-necked dove



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Newbie bird owners, but it doesn’t hurt to have prior bird experience. These little buddies are noisy, so you must tolerate that. And if you want a fun-loving, playful little friend, you’ll need to spend time handling and talking to them.

                                                                                                      Beautiful, colorful lovebirds are adorable little birds with cheerful personalities. Because they tend to mate for life, you might think you need two, but that’s untrue; two will bond with each other rather than with you. They love to nest. The male will strip newspaper into little strips that look like they came out of a shredder and stick them in his tail to bring to the nest area.

                                                                                                      All About Lovebirds

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 5 to 7 inches, 1-2 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 10-15 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: They’re highly social birds, thriving on interaction with you or other lovebirds. They create strong bonds and can become aggressive if they feel threatened or neglected.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They can mimic words and sounds, chirp and whistle, but are not known for their talking ability.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Respiratory infections, feather picking, vitamin A deficiency

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Lovebirds need a spacious cage—like the Yaheetech 54-in Rolling Metal cage—to move around freely and spread their wings. The cage should have perches and a nesting box.

                                                                                                      Toys: They like small bird toys that are sparkly or a little jingly. Try Bonka Bird Toys’ Bellpull Bird Toy. (Opt for cowbell-style bells; lovebirds can get their toes caught in jingle bells.)

                                                                                                      Food: Lovebirds require a varied diet. In addition to their pellet diet, provide lots of fresh produce for vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark green leafy vegetables. Clip the produce to the cage bars rather than chop it up and put it in a dish; they’re less likely to ignore it. Clean water should always be available.

                                                                                                      Here are 5 things you go to know about lovebirds.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: ring-necked dove



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Experienced bird owners who are home all the time and have a lot of love to give. Cockatoos don’t like to be left alone and need a lot of attention or else they might scream and pick at themselves. 

                                                                                                      Cockatoos are the mushiest, sweetest birds in the whole world. They want their heads scratched 24 hours a day and love cuddling. Goffin’s cockatoos are particularly great pets; they’re quieter and smaller than Moluccan and umbrella cockatoos. But they’re needy—and they’re not for everyone. All varieties are prone to behavioral issues if they don’t get enough attention and socializing. The rule is to never let them think they can get more attention than they’re already getting.

                                                                                                      All About Cockatoos

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 12 to 27 inches, 10 to 30 ounces
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 25 to 45 years
                                                                                                      • Sociability: Cockatoos are super friendly birds. They can become quite attached to their humans and stressed or anxious when left alone.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: Cockatoos can mimic human speech but are less chatty than other parrot species.
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Feather plucking, respiratory infections

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Cockatoos require a sturdy cage with space to move around and exercise. They also need plenty of movement and enrichment outside of the cage.

                                                                                                      Toys: Cockatoos enjoy shredding toys, such as paper or cardboard, which can help satisfy their natural urge to chew. Regularly rotate safe, durable wood, rope, and leather toys to keep them interesting. See Chewy customer faves here.

                                                                                                      Food: A pellet diet that’s formulated specifically for cockatoos is ideal. Fresh fruits and vegetables should make up a portion of their diet. Seeds can be an occasional treat.

                                                                                                      Best pet birds: ring-necked doves



                                                                                                      BEST FOR: 

                                                                                                      Executive-level bird owners willing to devote a lot of time, energy and space. Due to their noise levels and size, they’re not the best apartment pets.

                                                                                                      These birds, which include scarlet, blue-and-yellow and hyacinth macaws, are not for everybody. They need a huge amount of space and attention, and they live 50 years, making them  significant long-term commitments. (Consider setting up a pet trust because with a life span that long, they may outlive you.) Depending on how they were raised, they can be gentle giants, or they can be like temperamental 3-year-olds. They can be funny and puppyish, but they can also be destructive and loud.

                                                                                                      All About Macaws

                                                                                                      • Average size and weight: 30-42 inches, 2-4 pounds
                                                                                                      • Average lifespan: 30-50 years, although some can live up to 80 years (yes, 80!)
                                                                                                      • Sociability: Macaws can mimic and be chatty, but they’re not on the same level as African greys.
                                                                                                      • Talking ability: They don’t talk, but they’re very vocal!
                                                                                                      • Medical concerns: Parrot fever, feather picking, respiratory infections

                                                                                                      How to Keep Them Happy

                                                                                                      Housing: Macaws need A LOT of space. The larger the cage, the better. Supplement their environment with play stands and perches outside of the cage.

                                                                                                      Toys: Large blocks, swings, ladders, and puzzles that require the bird to work for a reward are all good toy options.

                                                                                                      Food: High-quality pellet, such as Zupreme Smart Selects (which is a brand our experts recommend for all birds) or seed mix supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables. Their powerful beaks can easily crack nuts and seeds.

                                                                                                      Getting a pet bird is a big decision, and as you can tell based on their lifespans, a life-long commitment. But the rewards are totally worth it—as long as you do your research ahead of time. Talk to an avian veterinarian, a breeder, or someone educated in a particular bird species before choosing the right bird for you. And don’t forget to take your new feathered friend to the vet as soon as possible for a health check. (If you need help finding a vet near you, use this link.)

                                                                                                      Need a name for your new pet bird? Check out our list of top bird names.

                                                                                                      Linda Rodgers contributed to this article.

                                                                                                      The post The 13 Best Pet Birds: Parakeets, Cockatiels and More appeared first on BeChewy.

                                                                                                      Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Everything You Need to Know

                                                                                                      We know just how stealthy cats can be in all aspects of their everyday lives. That said, if you happen to catch your cat eating dog food, there’s no need to worry. While dog food isn’t intended for our feline friends to eat, it doesn’t pose any immediate risks if they sneak in a nibble on occasion.

                                                                                                      We spoke to two veterinarians who explain why cats shouldn’t eat dog food, foods they can—and should—eat, and ways to prevent them from eating from your dog’s bowl. 

                                                                                                      What Happens If Cats Eat Dog Food?

                                                                                                      Because dog food isn’t toxic to cats, there are no real concerns in the short term if a cat eats dog food.
                                                                                                      can cats eat dog food: cat eating from food bowl


                                                                                                      While its generally safe for a cat to eat dog food in small amounts, some cats may experience the following symptoms, according to Dr. Paula Simons, DVM, an Emergency and Critical Care resident veterinarian at Cornell University Veterinary Specialists (CUVS) and veterinary consultant at K9 of Mine:

                                                                                                      • Vomiting
                                                                                                      • Diarrhea
                                                                                                      • Constipation
                                                                                                      • Pancreatitis (although, rare)

                                                                                                      Eating dog food wont hurt a cat if its not a common occurrence. However, its best that they dont eat too much too often to avoid any unpleasant reactions.

                                                                                                      If your cat has been eating dry dog food on a daily basis for months or years, though, this will likely lead to prolonged malnourishment with serious health consequences,” Dr. Simons says. This is due to the different amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates that cats need than dogs.

                                                                                                      Long-term effects of cats eating dog food may lead to:

                                                                                                      • Protein malnutrition
                                                                                                      • Heart disease
                                                                                                      • Eye disease
                                                                                                      • Organ damage
                                                                                                      • Weakened immune system

                                                                                                      Why Shouldn’t Cats Eat Dog Food?

                                                                                                      Cats are obligate carnivores. Dogs are omnivores.
                                                                                                      can cats eat dog food: dog and cat eating in home


                                                                                                      Dog food doesn’t contain any ingredients that are toxic to cats, making it technically OK to eat. However, just because they can doesn’t mean they should, as they have different nutritional needs from dogs, says Dr. Dan Su, MS, DVM, DACVIM-Nutrition at BSM Partners.

                                                                                                      This is because cats are obligate carnivores, whereas dogs are omnivores. Obligate carnivores thrive on eating meat—and only meat—whereas omnivores can eat both meat and plants.

                                                                                                      “Cats need diets with higher protein and need to obtain certain nutrients, like taurine, from the diet instead of making their own,” Dr. Su says.

                                                                                                      If cats eat dog food long-term, they won’t get the proper nutrition needed to maintain their overall health, resulting in possible malnutrition and health issues.

                                                                                                      What Do Cats Need to Eat?

                                                                                                      Cats require a feline food specially formulated based on their life stage, size, activity level, reproductive status and health status.
                                                                                                      can cats eat dog food: cat food in pink bowl


                                                                                                      These factors will determine:

                                                                                                      Taking these into consideration will help ensure you have a happy and healthy cat.

                                                                                                      What’s the Difference Between Cat Food and Dog Food?

                                                                                                      Pet food may look similar to us humans, but they couldn’t be more different!
                                                                                                      pet nutrition


                                                                                                      The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and National Research Council (NRC) have nutrient requirements for dogs and cats, as well as diets formulated based on those requirements, says Dr. Su.

                                                                                                      Cats can tolerate higher levels of certain nutrients than dogs and vice versa, leading to certain nutrients being included at different levels,” he says.Ingredients used in cat food differ from dog food because cats (carnivores) cant utilize certain nutrients like dogs (omnivores) can.”

                                                                                                      For example, cats cant get their vitamin A from beta-carotene, an antioxidant found in carrots and sweet potatoes. Instead, they need preformed vitamin A either from supplements or animal livers.

                                                                                                      Cat food is packed with more protein and nutrients, like essential amino acids, compared to dog food. (Again, based on their dietary needs.) 

                                                                                                      Cat food is:

                                                                                                      • Higher in calories
                                                                                                      • Higher in fat
                                                                                                      • Made with Vitamin A
                                                                                                      • Made with Vitamin B (i.e. niacin)
                                                                                                      • Made with taurine
                                                                                                      • Made with fatty acids (e.g. arachidonic acid)

                                                                                                      Can Cats Eat Dog Food in an Emergency?

                                                                                                      Yes, its OK for cats to eat dog food in an emergency situation.

                                                                                                      “Dog food can be mixed with cat food or be the sole source of nutrients if there is no cat food available,” Dr. Su adds.

                                                                                                      What Can I Feed My Cat If I Run Out of Cat Food?

                                                                                                      Did kitty finish their food faster than expected? That’s OK! There are, fortunately, dozens of options you can feed that may already be in your fridge.

                                                                                                      If you’re in search of food to hold your cat over while you run out to grab more cat food, the following human foods safe to feed cats:

                                                                                                      • Salmon
                                                                                                      • Peas
                                                                                                      • Cheese (e.g. cheddar, Swiss and gouda)
                                                                                                      • Turkey (cooked)
                                                                                                      • Oatmeal
                                                                                                      • Berries (e.g. blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries)
                                                                                                      • Spinach
                                                                                                      • Yogurt (plain, whole milk)
                                                                                                      • Eggs (cooked)
                                                                                                      • Bananas
                                                                                                      • Chicken (cooked)
                                                                                                      • Pumpkin (plain, cooked)

                                                                                                      There are plenty of other human foods that are safe for cats to eat. Of course, treating your cat to foods other than their usual cat food should be done sparingly. 

                                                                                                      As with any human food, pet parents looking to incorporate new foods in their cat’s diet should consult with their veterinarian beforehand.

                                                                                                      Treats should only constitute a small percentage of your cat’s daily food. Treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your cat’s diet (and if your pet is overweight, it should be even less than that). For example, if your cat needs 200 calories per day, they should have no more than 20 calories from treats. Feeding too many treats can lead to nutrient deficiencies. If your cat has health issues (including sensitivities to fats) or if you have any concerns, consult your cat’s veterinarian before offering any new treats.

                                                                                                      Why Does My Cat Want to Eat Dog Food?

                                                                                                      While most cats are creatures of habit, some will want to try everything due to their novelty or if the food has an appealing aroma or texture, Dr. Su says.
                                                                                                      can cats eat dog food: cat eating food next to dog


                                                                                                      Not all cats will want dog food, but a few will show interest in the dogs food and maybe even the humans food!” he adds.

                                                                                                      If your feline friend seems more interested in what others are having than their own food, Dr. Su recommends to first make sure there are no underlying illnesses causing this behavior.

                                                                                                      As tempting as it may be to let them chow down on some kibble, it’s best to stick with cat food and keep their taste buds happy with some catnip or a special treat made just for them!” he says.

                                                                                                      I Have a Cat and a Dog.
                                                                                                      How Do I Feed My Multi-Pet Household?

                                                                                                      Mealtime can be a little tricky with a household of curious cats and inquisitive canines wanting to try the other’s food.
                                                                                                      can cats eat dog food: cat eating from orange bowl next to window

                                                                                                      Photo: Demidiuk

                                                                                                      A few ways you can ensure your pets are eating their own food include:

                                                                                                      • Feeding them in their own designated area
                                                                                                      • Establishing different feeding times (and avoiding free feeding)
                                                                                                      • Using an elevated dog food bowl or automatic feeder
                                                                                                      While eating small amounts of dog food from time to time is OK for your cat, it’s important that they’re getting the essential nutrients through their own food on a daily basis to stay healthy. Check out our guide on how to pick the best high-quality cat food to learn more about the different options available. If your cat continues eating dog food, consult a vet to find out why.

                                                                                                      The post Can Cats Eat Dog Food? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.