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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Be Aware Pet Food



Grains can be a long-term source of energy and energy storage for dogs, but they can also be used as a cheap filler in order to boost the food's protein percentage. Watch out! Any grain you feed your dog should be used in whole form so that it supplies more fiber, vitamins and minerals. The best grains for dogs (when used in the proper percentages) are rolled oats, barley, quinoa, millet, and brown rice.


Often, low quality dog foods will list a meat ingredient first, which will be followed by several by-products and fillers. In this case, although meat is listed first, there are actually MORE fillers, which changes the ratio noted above.

A well-planned vegetarian diet can work for dogs, although dogs are carnivores by nature. Dogs need animal protein. Would a dog naturally be vegetarian? No. Most veterinarians and holistic practitioners agree that although a dog can survive on a vegetarian diet, they may not thrive on it.

Be aware that while preservatives may be necessary to keep the food edible, preservatives do not have to be artificial chemicals that might be cancer-causing agents. Avoid pet foods that use chemical preservatives BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin. Vitamin E & vitamin C are great preservatives that are much better for your dog.
Choose Premium Brand dog foods instead of Economy Brand dog foods. The cheapest ingredients are rarely the healthiest ones.

Go holistic. Holistic foods are 100% natural and 100% nutritious. They contain human-grade ingredients. One holistic pet food manufacturer provides anFREE online video "The Truth About Pet Food" you can watch here. (Actually, the term "human-grade" is a marketing technique. As is "holistic". To be able to MARKET a food as "human-grade" the food has to be run through a series of trials and tests that AAFCO officiates. If the food does not pass ALL of these tests and trials it is actually illegal to put the term "human-grade" on the bag.)





Some may consider this rule of thumb: If you wouldn't eat it, your dog probably shouldn't eat it either. (Think animal fat and added salt or sugar.) But there are some things you would eat (such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, white flour and onions) that are NOT good for your dog. Don't make the mistake of thinking all human food is appropriate for your canine. Canine and human nutritional needs and likes differ, such that what is appropriate and appealing for your dog may not be something you care to eat. In addition, some ingredients considered undesirable by US consumers (eg, bi-products) are enjoyed by humans in other cultures.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boerboel



The development of the Boerboel can rightfully be described as a true South African success story and is today a beacon for those who have made a contribution to improve the breed. The refining of the breed is still on the developing stage. Much has already been written on the descent of the Boerboel but nobody can state with certainty that it is bred from one, two or more breeds of dogs. What is confirmed by investigation is that Jan van Riebeeck brought with him a "bullenbijter" on his arrival to the Cape. This dog was a large strong breed which reminded one of the Mastiff type of dog. Those who followed Van Riebeeck to the Cape had also brought with them only the largest and strongest dogs and over a period of decades only the strongest survived in the now desolate country. With the arrival of the British Settlers in 1820 they brought amongst others the Bulldog and Mastiff type of dog. (In 1938 the real Bull Mastiff was imported to South Africa by De Beers to guard the diamond mines.) It is also known that they imported a champion obtained from the Hottentots, who played a role in the development of the Boerboel. The "Boerdogs" (as they are known) were scattered by the Voortrekkers during the Great Trek and they continued to breed with them. According to tradition, after the Anglo Boer War in 1902, these dogs were cross-bred with the English long-legged Bulldog and also with the Bull Mastiff in the late and early 1950s. The history is especially known among the farmers of the North-Eastern FREE State, Northern Natal and in parts of Transvaal.



The Boerboel is a big, strong and intelligent working dog. It is well balanced with good muscle development and buoyant in movement. The dog should be impressive and imposing. Male dogs appear noticeably masculine and females feminine. All parts of the body should be in proportion with each other. The head is the most important feature of the Boerboel, as it represents its total character. It is short, broad, deep, square and muscular with well filled cheeks. The part between the eyes must be well filled. The top of the head is broad and flat, with prominent muscle development. The face should blend symmetrically with the head, and can be with or without a black mask. The stop should be visible, but not prominent. The muzzle is black with large nostrils which are widely spaced. The nasal bone is straight and parallel to the topline of the head which is deep, broad and tapers slightly to the front. The nasal bone should be 8-10 cm long. The loose, fleshy upper lip should cover the lower lip, but should not hang lower than the lower jaw. The jaws (mandibles) are strong, deep and broad, and narrow slightly to the front. The teeth should be white, well developed, correctly spaced, with a complete set of 42 teeth and a scissors bite. The broad, horizontally set eyes are any shade of brown, but darker then the pelt, with firm, well-pigmented eyelids. The ears should be of medium size, V-shaped and should be in proportion to the head. They are set fairly high and wide against the head. When the dog is alert, the ears should form a straight line with the top of the head. The neck shows a noticeable muscle curve, and is attached high at the shoulder. The strong, muscular neck is of medium length and in proportion to the rest of the dog. The skin of the neck is loose under the throat and becomes taut between the front legs. The body narrows slightly toward the loin. 


The topline should be straight. The back is straight, broad and in proportion, with prominent back muscles and a short loin. The rump is broad and strong, with good muscle development. The chest is muscular, broad and strong. The straight, short tail is attached high to the body. The front legs should be perfectly vertical. The hind paws are slightly smaller than the front paws. The big, well-padded paws are rounded with dark curved toenails. The paws should point straight forward. Dewclaws should be removed. The skin is thick, loose, well pigmented with moderate wrinkles on the forehead when the dog is alert. The short, dense, sleek coat comes in cream white, pale tawny, reddish brown, brown and all shades of brindle.



The Boerboel is reliable, obedient and intelligent, with strong watch and guard-dog instincts. It is self-assured and fearless. The Boerboel is very playful and affectionate toward its owner. Its favorite pastime would be to play a game of fetch loving every minute it spends with its master. Its jaws are strong and they will most often pop the ball it it playing with. Not to fret, it will just play with the popped ball! They are very gentle and good with children they know; allowing them to ride on their backs like a horse, loving every minute of the attention they are getting. Boerboels will do okay with other dogs, cats and other non-canine pets, letting birds come down and snatch from their food bowl! They will guard their family, friends and property with their life. When their owners are not home they will not allow anyone to enter the home, unless they know them very well. When welcomed visitors arrive they will accept them after being properly introduced. This breed requires a dominant owner. The authority the owner projects over the dog should be so strong that the dog will not bolt out the front door when it is opened. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader; lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success. If one does not understand this concept 100% and have confidence that they can handle such a large guard type breed then this is not the dog for them. With the right owners the Boerboel can make a wonderful pet.

The Boerboel is not recommended for apartment life. It should, at least, have a large, fenced-in yard to run and play. The Boerboel can live outdoors. This breed should not be left to run on its own for it is very protective and sometimes does not take too well to strangers.


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