3 Tasks for the Dog Days

Yellow brandywines and assorted heirloom tomatoes.

The “Dog Days of Summer” are here. The phrase comes from the constellation in the sky now, Canis Major, which contains Sirius, the dog star. Sirius is the biggest and brightest star in the night sky, and is one you can see even in the city. Sirius comes from the Greek word sireios, meaning ‘sparkling’, or ‘scorching’. I think the latter word is the more apt for our hot, dry August weather. Have you ever watched The Dog Whisperer and thought, ‘Wow, that guy is amazing! What a great way to train a dog!” I know I have many times. Cesar Milan teaches one basic principle about dogs – a dog is a pack animal by instinct. According to Cesar, your job is to become the pack leader, a dominant Alpha male/female with ‘balance’. I guess by ‘balance’ he means you should treat the animal fairly, as they would expect to be treated in a wild pack. He gets very good and fast results with this method. I won’t say it’s a bad method, but it’s not the way I choose to train my dogs and here’s why. All things in life need to grow and develop. This applies to our relationships as well. This also applies to our relationships with our dogs. Whether you just got your furry best friend and want to plant the seeds of a harmonious long-term friendship, or you have been living together for a while, and want to take your relationship to the next level, we all need guidance sometimes. And just like you would go to a specialist if you wanted more out of your relationship with your partner, you would go to a… dog training school if you needed to work on your relationship with your dog. You can check from Immune-D supplement.

If you are thinking of switching your dog’s diet to include raw food, you are probably doing your research. Why? Many animal nutritionists claim that feeding dogs raw food is very dangerous to their health. Should you take the risks associated with feeding your pet raw food or should you stick to a regular diet? The following information includes facts that you need to know about raw dog food before you make your decision.

· There is a risk for bacteria that can be harmful to both you and your pet. Safe handling of raw dog feeding for beginners is important. Many dogs and their owners become ill because the food is not properly handled. Dogs become sick by eating raw food that has grown bacteria that have developed due to high temperature. Owners become sick my not properly washing their hands after handling the raw products. The risks for a sickness caused by bacteria are real and should be taken seriously. E. Coli and Salmonella are two examples of bacteria that have been found in popular raw food products. Massive recalls were put into effect in 2008 because of bacteria. Sadly, raw dog food has been frowned upon every since this time.

· Feeding your dog raw food will be very expensive. If you have always fed your dog inexpensive dry dog food and choose to switch to raw food, you may find yourself in sticker shock. Raw dog food included quality meats such as beef and venison. The products do not come cheap for humans. The same can be said with pets.

· Choosing raw dog food will take up more of your time. Raw dog food takes more time and energy to prepare than any other type of dog food. You will have to allow time for the food to unthaw. Then, you will be required to get the food into the dog’s plate before the temperature of the food gets too low. If not, your dog will be at risk of getting sick from the food. Because of these reasons, additional time must be set aside for you to feed your dog. It is totally different from feeding your dog dry food that is often pour and go!

· More difficult to find. Raw food is rather uncommon. It is not the food of choice for most pet owners. It may be more difficult for you to find in your local market. You may be forced to turn to online options if you choose to feed your dog raw food.

Raw dog food has both advantages and disadvantages. Be sure that you are fully aware of the responsibility that comes with choosing a raw dog food diet for your pet. Do you have the time and money to devote to this type of diet? Are you willing to take the risks that are associated with it? Arm yourself with information so that you can make the best decision for you and your pet.

Here’s three things to do in the August garden.

1. Water judiciously. You don’t have to run a sprinkler on the whole garden, but spot watering is a good practice, especially for perennials planted this year, or any annuals that look droopy. Simply water soil around the plant itself. Trees and shrubs are especially threatened by the August drought, so make sure you add an inch of water each week to newly planted specimens.

2. Mulch like crazy! Bags of shredded bark, pine or cedar are insurance against losing a plant. Mulch holds water in, keep weeds down, and keeps soil cooler. It also encourages beneficial micro-organism activity on the soil surface, and benefits the worms below. You might even get a few more toads in your garden.

Another great benefit of mulch is stopping water run-off, whether from rain or a hose. The word mulch comes from the French, meaning “to soften”—the water’s impact is softened and slowed down when it hits the mulch. Avoid any hideous bright orange mulch and go for a natural variety.

To preserve mulch add a layer of newspaper before you put down the mulch as an additonal barrier. Moisten the newspaper first. You can also use your own clippings from cedar hedges, grass or other vegetation—like rhubarb leaves—as a green mulch. Just keep anything with weed seeds out.

3. Harvest! Pluck those tomatoes, pull off those zucchini before they turn into potential murder weapons, and start grilling or making those once a year fresh tomato sandwiches. It’s a great time to have a vegetable garden.

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