How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your New Puppy

Posted on 09/02/201808/26/2018Leave a commentPosted in Pets

Getting a puppy can be super exciting! But as you try to be a good puppy parent, how can you tell which dog food is right? With so many options, how do you choose which food is going to be right for your pup and which won’t be healthy for it? Don’t worry; choosing a dog food isn’t as overwhelming as it may seem. There are four important things to keep in mind as you research your dog foods: brand, size, calories, and ingredients.

Brand

You may not think brand matters as much as ingredients, but it’s very important! It’s so important because of the AAFCO feeding trials. Some dog food companies come up with a dog food recipe, make the food, and sell it to the pet stores, all without ever feeding it to actual dogs. These brands are untested and may contain nutrient deficiencies for your puppy.

The best brands use the AAFCO feeding trials and do scientific research to make sure they are selling healthy food. They also consult with veterinary nutritionists, providing a balanced food in nutrients. However, since AAFCO is a private company, they can only do so much and most of their requirements are just the minimums. It’s also important to look at the other three factors.

Size

There are two size factors that are important: breed size and kibble size. Breed size for your puppy matters as each breed grows at a different rate. You will want to make sure the nutrients in your puppy food matches what your puppy needs. For example, a larger breed, such as a Labrador, will need more calcium and phosphorus for proper bone growth than a small breed, like a chihuahua. Researching what specific nutrients your puppy breed needs to grow will help you find the best dog food.

Kibble size also matters. Smaller breeds and puppies may not be able to eat big kibble chunks or even big chunks in wet dog food. Keeping the dog food the right size will keep your dog safe from choking hazards or not being able to eat. You may look for dog foods made specifically for your breed’s size, such as a toy breed or small breed puppy formula.

Calories

Everyone knows how energetic puppies are! They grow up fast and need a lot of calories to keep up. Puppies need about a third more calories than adult dogs. While you could give your puppy more food, it is more advisable to pick a higher calorie dog food, especially one specifically made with the dietary needs of puppies in mind. As your pup grows, make sure to increase the calorie intake as well.

Ingredients

One of the most important things to check before choosing the best dog food for your puppy is ingredients. For any dog, the number one ingredient on the list should be a type of meat, not a meat meal or grain like corn. While people are fairly controversial about which grains a dog can and can’t eat, the consensus is that any grain should not be the first ingredient. You should also avoid ingredients like artificial sweeteners like fructose or dextrose, chemical preservatives like BHT and BHA, animal byproducts, and fillers, especially cellulose, which is essentially sawdust.

Puppies need a few important nutrients for their bodies to grow properly. They need more calories and more protein than adult dogs. They also need more fat, but be careful what type of fat is listed. Puppies need the omega fatty acid DHA for their developing brains and diets higher in this fatty acid have shown increased memory and trainability in puppies. Puppies also should consume their daily vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E and selenium. These focus on building the puppy’s immune system. As talked about before, each puppy breed needs a certain ratio of calcium to phosphorus so it’s important to research what your pup needs.

Finding the best dog food for your puppy doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you keep these four things in mind. With so many options, you will choose the healthiest one for your new pup in no time and then you can focus on more enjoyable things, such as playing with your puppy! With love and the right nutritious food, your puppy is sure to grow into a great, happy dog.

Tips for an Unforgettable Dinner Party

Posted on 08/15/201808/03/2018Leave a commentPosted in Social

A dinner party can be many things. It can be formal and sophisticated. It can be inventive and almost playful. The one thing your dinner party should never be is boring. You want any party that you throw to be memorable for everyone. You may even want your party to be the talk of the town. There are a number of ways to make sure that that happens.

The Right Guests

Are you the kind of person that has a number of friend circles that you kind of wander in and out of? Maybe it is time to introduce a few of the friends from one circle to a few of the friends from another and see how they mesh. Don’t purposely choose opposites especially people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. That would be too potentially tense, maybe even explosive. Instead, find friends that may have something that might be complementary to one another.

Since people may not know each other, have place cards and try to pair people that you think will have interesting conversations with one another. Don’t get hung up on trying to create “love” connections and forget the rule that everyone should be seated in a certain way. Do what will work with the people that you have invited.

Choose a Theme

Even if you stick to straightforward food and drink and pleasant conversation without any frills or fancy decor, you will want to have a theme to unify and hold the whole party together. For instance, you might choose to do foods of a certain region making sure that each of the dishes flow well together. Of course, you will also want the drinks that you serve to match the type of food that you are serving.

If you would like a more involved theme, you can tie in the decor, serving ware and even dress according to what you have selected. It will be a great way to get your guests excited for what is to come and will give them something to talk about afterwards.

It takes a lot more work but you could do a murder mystery dinner party. It takes some careful planning and you will need the help of a few of your guests but it would be a party that would get rave reviews and everyone would be begging you to help them plan a similar party in their own home.

Set the Mood With Lights and Music

An elegant dinner party should be softly lit by dimmed overhead lights and candles so that the dining area seems to be enveloped in a glowing aura. Soft music playing in the background also helps to set the tone but should be something that will not take away from the conversations at the table. Keep in mind that music could help spur conversation though so don’t forego it completely.

The Host to the Rescue!

Always be prepared for food, drink and guest emergencies. If you see conversation lagging, tell an interesting story or a brief joke. Ask someone a question, especially if you already know the answer and let them have the floor. Make sure that drink glasses are never empty and that everyone has enough of the foods they enjoy.

At the End of the Evening

While you should serve dessert at the table a special treat would be to send each guest home with an individually boxed cupcake from a local bakery. If you are an avid baker and don’t mind the added work, bake them yourself and decorate according to your theme. Wish each guest a good evening, safe travels and give them their treat as they go.