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Embark Dog DNA Test – Learning More About Your Dog

Dog DNA Test is a term that is somewhat controversial among veterinary professionals.

Mostly because the early dog DNA tests didn’t provide a lot of information, and lacked accuracy. Similar to pet insurance however, dog DNA testing has evolved in recent years and in a very positive way. One such company that is helping Dog DNA Testing to evolve is Embark.

Embark Dog DNA Test - Learning More About Your Dog

How is Embark different than existing Dog DNA tests?

Embark really sets themselves apart by using a Dog DNA test to provide pet parents with more information than just breed. An Embark dog DNA test provides you with information on Breed, Health, Traits, and Ancestry based on the 200,000+ genetic markers and 160+ genetic diseases they have identified. Each piece of information helps pet parents not only better understand their pet, but also helps them make better decisions regarding their pet’s health.

Embark Goes Above & Beyond

Embark was founded by Ryan and Adam Boyko, two scientists and researchers who spent many years discovering the genetic basis for many dog traits and diseases. Ryan and Adam created a research partnership with Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and Spencer Wells, a well-known figure in consumer genetics, to create Embark.

Embark is clearly a company that is invested in the well-being of pets and their future. How do I know? They are interested in collecting data that will allow Animal Scientists and Veterinarians to improve dog wellness. As research partners of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark has a fantastic platform to conduct research. They also work with breeders so that the health of dogs in the future can be improved and preserved.

Embark Dog DNA Test - Learning More About Your Dog

So Who Did We Test?

While Rooney’s DNA test would have provided me with excellent information regarding his overall health, I was interested in learning more about what their test could offer someone who had already paid for a DNA test in the past, but was looking for something more. So, I turned to my friend Megan and her Hound Mix, Harrison Ford.

The Results

After receiving Harrison Ford’s DNA results, Megan was delighted to learn that Harrison Ford carried no genetic markers for known diseases, and she was provided with a percentage breakdown of HF’s breed profile.

In addition to Breed and Family Profile, Embark also provides information for every Breed Family identified in your dog’s DNA.

For an Animal Science major, the next offer from Embark was one of my favorites! They used Harrison Ford’s mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome to identify where his maternal and paternal ancestors were from and how they got there.

Now, if you are interested in learning more about the science behind your dog’s DNA, this is only scratching the surface. Embark provides you with a full advanced analysis and profile of your dog’s DNA as well.

So why is all this information important?

While Embark cleared Harrison Ford for 24 common conditions in his breed mix, Megan can research any extra health conditions associated with Harrison Ford’s breed mix so she can know what to look out for. Meaning, Megan has an opportunity to research diseases and conditions that are typical for Australian Cattle dogs, among other breeds, so that she can keep her eye out for early symptoms and signs.

Not to mention, they have both now contributed to protecting the health and wellness of future generations of pets.

Now, it’s your turn. Do you want to know more about your dog and their genetic health? If so, visit Embark to get your dog DNA test.

How Will Your Pet Benefit From These Pet Industry Trends?

Many pet parents might be unfamiliar with the Global Pet Expo. Each year, pet experts, industry influencers, and pet professionals get together to identify the newest trends in the Pet Industry. Some of you may be thinking, does the Pet Industry grow enough to justify a conference each year? The answer is YES!

In 2001, the Pet Industry Market size was $28.5 Billion dollars. Current 2017 statistics predict that this years market size will be around $69.36 Billion. That’s just under 2.5 times the size of the market in 2001! (American Pet Products Association) Of course, this trend makes a lot of sense. Each year pets become a greater part of the family, and it’s no wonder we are spending more in the pet industry.

Petcurean attended the Global Pet Expo this year, and they were nice enough to share with us some trends they identified!

Global Pet Expo Trends 2017

  • Limited Ingredient Diets: With the incidence of food sensitivities on the rise amongst dogs and cats, pet owners are looking for limited ingredient diets which can greatly reduce the chance of food sensitivity. GO! by Petcurean, is a complete, nutrient-packed food with zero added growth hormones, by-products, or artificial preservatives, offering a single source of meat protein with as few ingredients as possible to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats. GO! is available in 3 solutions-based categories for dogs and cats with issues: Grain Free recipes, Limited Ingredient Diet recipes, and Preventative Care recipes. 
    • To me, this trend comes as no surprise. There have been several food-related trends in recent years, which have encouraged people to learn more about their own food. That being said, I am excited to see more high-quality diets produced for pets. Have you tried any Limited Ingredient Diets? If so, which types of diets have worked best for your pets?
  • Pet Tech: If you aren’t familiar with the term “pet tech,” expect that to change. This year at Global Pet Expo there were a growing number of pet products that integrate technology in a variety of ways including activity trackers, video monitors, and interactive toys. From the Flitter cat toy, which has an automatic teaser toy with two plastic dragonflies that fly around and around, enticing cats to catch them, to iFetch, an automatic ball launcher that provides endless fun for your pooch – interactive toys are a great option for pet owners on the go or with extra active pets.
    • In Silicon Valley, there are a lot of Pet Tech companies emerging and growing. Not to mention the increase in pet tech startup funding. Once again, this is a trend that very much so mimics the trends we see in our own lives. As we become more and more dependent on technology, we are looking for solutions that include our pets as well. What Pet Tech products have you tried?

How Will Your Pet Benefit From These Pet Industry Trends?

  • Transparency & Clean labels: As Millennials increasingly expect sustainability, transparency and organic ingredients in their food, more consumers seek to feed their pets with the same standards of quality and excellence that they choose for themselves. Expect to see an increase in products with fewer ingredients, less preservatives, and certifications in the years to come. Petcurean’s GATHER pet food line is crafted from certified, organic, non-GMO and sustainably produced ingredients. Each recipe is free from rendered or genetically engineered ingredients and features a single source, fresh and dehydrated primary protein.
    • I have certainly become more label conscious in recent years. I am always looking for fewer, more recognizable ingredients on all of my purchases. What do you look for on labels?
  • Pet Cooling Products: Now your pet can beat the heat! There were several pet cooling mats, apparel, and bedding products showcased this year, all designed to keep your pet cool during the hot summer months. Scruffs Cool Dog Mat is filled with a non-toxic gel that keeps the self-cooling mat typically 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature. Gen7Pets Cool-Air Cot pet bed combines portable convenience, outdoor durability, and pet-friendly comfort perfect for camping or the backyard!
    • This is the trend I am most excited about! Heat exhaustion has affected too many pets in past years. And I am really excited to see companies creating solutions! Have you used any cooling products? If so, do you feel they helped your dog?

How Will Your Pet Benefit From These Pet Industry Trends?

I am giving away 1 bag of Petcurean Spike treats from Chewy.com. All you have to do is answer the questions in bold (above) in the comments below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am a Petcurean blogger and a Chewy.com influencer. I was provided with food and compensation so that Rooney and I could provide our honest opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only shares reviews we believe benefit our readers. Additionally, Petcurean is the food we feed Rooney every day. 

Why You Should Adopt & Foster – Petcurean

Opening your home to a dog, whether through adoption or foster, is an amazing and rewarding life experience. Not only are you rewarded with unconditional love, but you are also saving a life.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that my husband and I adopted Rooney back in 2012 from a local Corgi rescue, and Rooney has brought us so much joy since then! Today, Petcurean has asked me to discuss why pet adoption and fostering are so awesome!

3 Reasons to Adopt from Your Local Rescue or Shelter 

  • You will be saving a life. And providing a safe, secure loving environment to a dog or cat who really needs it.
    • I remember having an epiphany when my parents had adopted several dogs from the local no-kill shelter, that if they had been taken to a different shelter, there was a possibility they wouldn’t have made it. I remember looking into their faces and feeling overwhelming sadness at the thought that their lives were at risk at one point, but then also feeling relief that my parents had chosen to adopt them, and made room for other pets at the local no-kill shelter. Anyone who has adopted an animal has directly contributed to saving the life of not only that pet, but other pets as well.
  • Very often rescue or re-homed dogs are already house-trained and have some basic behavioral training as well. 
    • This was completely true for us! When we adopted Rooney he was already crate-trained and potty-trained. So his adjustment into our lives was quick and easy. Rooney also knew his basic manors, however, as a herding breed, he has thrived from further training.
  • Shelters and rescue groups often include vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying or neutering in the adoption fee.
    • Also true for us! When we adopted Rooney he was vaccinated, microchipped, and had recently been neutered.

Check out more reasons to adopt a pet on Petcurean’s website here.

Consider Adopting a Senior pet!

  • There are no surprises with a senior pet. Their personality traits are established already and they are normally very accepting of whatever life throws at them. The puppyhood or kittenhood headaches of housetraining are well behind them, and their more mellow demeanor is a comfort to live with.
    • Having a pet in their Golden Years is an amazing blessing. They ask very little of their people, yet give their people so much. I highly recommend senior pet adoption!
  • Senior pets are also usually less destructive. The urge to chew and scratch is much less likely to cause problems. Dogs are often content with a sedate walk in the neighborhood or a gentle game of fetch as a form of exercise, as opposed to the more energy draining needs of a younger dog who needs more activity. Many senior cats will also still enjoy chasing that little red dot of the laser pointer, but perhaps for not quite as long as their kitten counterparts.
    • While at working the veterinary hospital, my senior patients were some of my very favorites. They were so calm and loving, and their personalities and demeanor made it an easy choice to go the extra mile to make them happy. Two senior patients that I remember very fondly were Mabel the elderly Basset Hound who preferred her toenails trimmed outside on the grass in the sunshine, and Tank, the elderly cat who preferred to be held while in the hospital.

Why You Should Adopt & Foster - Petcurean

Check out the many benefits, as well as things to consider before adopting a senior pet here.

3 Reasons to Foster for Your Local Rescue or Shelter 

  1. You are helping a rescue help the community! Rescues and shelters need foster homes for pets so that they can take in more animals. Often, local rescues don’t have a formal facility and all of their pets are with local foster parents.
  2. Short-term commitment. Not all people have the lifestyle to be pet parents. However, you might have a few months to dedicate to a local shelter or rescue. In the past, I have recommended fostering to families who are thinking about getting a pet, but want to see if their kids will step up to the responsibility. Fostering is also a great option for people who love pets, but like to travel. If you know that you won’t travel for the next 4 months, that might be a great time to open your home to a needy pet in your local community.
  3. Costs are covered. According to FosterFurKids.com, most rescues or shelters cover the costs and supplies associated with fostering a pet.

Rescue groups supply pet food, bedding, leash & collar, bowls, litter, and cover veterinary care, so you don’t incur any financial expense. If you are interested in caring for a pet but are not in a financial place to be able to afford one, fostering is a great option.

Don’t feel like you can adopt or foster right now?

Check out a list of ways you can help local rescues and shelters that won’t break the bank here, many of which you can do as a family!

This post was inspired by Petcurean and Eastwood Ranch Foundation!

Eastwood Ranch Foundation, a non-profit animal rescue organization founded by actress/director Alison Eastwood, has launched FosterFurkids.com a website that connects rescue groups and animal shelters with a nationwide network of pet fosters and transporters. To support the launch of FosterFurkids.com, the first 100 people that sign up to be a foster pet parent will receive a Petcurean care package!

Tell us about your foster or rescue experience in the comments below!

3 Ways to Bond with Your Dog – Petcurean

To close out the month of February, I thought we could discuss ways you can build a stronger bond with your dog. Providing us with some helpful information today is Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean. Michele provided us with some themes to share with our readers. For each of these themes, I will share with you Michele’s thoughts as well as my own.

Bonding. Live in the Moment.

“Pets are the kings and queens of living in the moment, and the best bonding experience we can have, is to meet them at that level. Share calmly in being joyous, playful, and relaxed, whatever positivity your pet is giving you in the moment. In times of stress, be your pets rock, and let them know that everything will be ok. If it’s quiet time, simply spend time doing what your pet responds to positively. For some, that may mean just sitting with them, and doing nothing else.

It’s important to remember that pets aren’t people, and their language and emotional needs are different. The best gift you can give your pet is to be truly present, by focusing all of your attention on them whenever you choose to interact. Now is the time to stop thinking about work, your schedule, your troubles, or tomorrow, and enjoy them at their level. If you’re stressed, your pet will often reflect your stress. Learn what they like and don’t like by paying attention to the small things. And respect that like people, they are all different. Some love closeness, some are more independent.” – Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean

On a daily basis, I know this means putting my phone down and spending some time sitting on the floor with Rooney. As part of our morning routine, I sit on the floor with Rooney and pet him for a few minutes before the craziness of the day begins. I also spend some quality time petting him as soon as I get home from work, often followed by a walk. When Rooney is scared or stressed (typically only when there are fireworks or if the smoke detector runs out of batteries), either my husband or myself sit with him and let him know that everything is going to be okay.

I feel like this topic is pretty intuitive for most pet parents, particularly if you read this blog. But, I think the important thing to remember, is that we want to connect and bond with our dogs on their terms. What do they prefer? What do they want to do when you get home from work? Here are some examples of ways my friends and family bond with their dogs:

  • Give them independence: Take them to a place where they can run off leash (legally and safely, of course) and feel the wind in their fur! This is particularly important for dogs who are naturally independent.
  • Make quality time the first thing on your list: For many pet parents quality time is best spent first thing in the morning. I know many pet parents who take their dogs for a sunrise walk, run or hike most mornings. Not only are they able to spend time with their pet relatively uninterrupted, but they are also spending time with them before work or other obligations get in the way.
  • Wind down with your pet: Conversely, some pet parents prefer to wind down with their pet right after work. I am a huge proponent of “winding down” after work. For me, this means exercise. If I can take Rooney for a run, walk, or hike right after work (which includes a lengthy commute), I am able to shake off the work day and reconnect with my family.
  • Train: Give you dog a job and provide them with the mental stimulation they need. Training is particularly important for working breeds and is an excellent way to bond with your dog.
  • Take them to work: For some pets, being with their people all day is the ultimate way to bond and connect. I know that this isn’t an option for every one, but I will have a follow-up post soon about how to create a pet-friendly workplace.

Bothering. Body Language 101.

“Learn to read body language, so your pet can clearly communicate with you, and respect what they are telling you in that moment. Remember your pet is fully present. Avoid giving affection when your pet is giving you a negative response. You do have the opportunity to change the experience to a positive one. So either change your approach to your pet, or back off.

Signs of annoyance include: Turning their head away in avoidance, lick lipping, lip curling, yawning when not tired, sudden sniffing of the ground, or a paw being raised. With cats, they often flick their tails, put their ears back, or get up and leave.” – Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean

When I originally read Michele’s input on this topic, I couldn’t really think of a time when Rooney seems irritated. However, upon further thinking, I realized that Rooney exhibits these behaviors primarily when he has FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or needs exercise. An example of FOMO would be when I put on my workout clothes and shoes, and Rooney thinks we are going for a walk, but really I am going for a long run first. During these times Rooney becomes vocal and doesn’t want to calm down initially. Additionally, if Rooney has yet to be taken for a walk that day (or to the dog park or hiking), he tends to be more tense at home. Therefore, I would add to Michele’s suggestions to read your dog’s body language for signs that they need exercise. Do they seem tense? How much happier would they be if you took them for a walk right now?

3 Ways to Bond with Your Dog - Petcurean

Kisses and Quality Time.

“Kisses are one way, but to a dog especially, showing love is often more about their loyalty and respect for you. Cats show love by wanting to spend time in your lap, or by interacting (such as giving head bonks). Ever see your cat give you a “slow blink”? That’s also a sign of pure love and is often referred to as “kitty kisses”. Next time you see it, try giving a slow blink in return.” – Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean

The point here is to really think about what quality time means to your pet. A few months ago, we wrote about PAW5’s challenge to give your pet a more enriched life. PAW5, outlined 6 different categories for enrichment for your pet; sensory, feeding, toys & puzzles, environmental, social interaction, and training. Each of these categories can improve the way you spend time with your pet, and your bond as a result. For example, instead of spending time petting Rooney when I get home, I should implement 10-15 minutes of training and playing with toys & puzzles. Pet parents with herding or other working breeds should definitely consider enrichment as a critical part of quality time with their pets.

Now it’s your turn! How do you spend quality time bonding with your dog?

Disclaimer: I am a Petcurean blogger. I was provided with food and compensation so that Rooney and I could provide our honest opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only shares reviews we believe benefit our readers. Additionally, Petcurean is the food we feed Rooney every day. 

Wayfair Heritage Meals: DIY Dog Treat Recipes

Wayfair Heritage Meals: DIY Dog Treat Recipes

The great folks at Wayfair have sponsored this post, which is all about Heritage Meals! This series of posts sponsored by Wayfair was created to celebrate the culinary diversity of our nation! Since the focus of my blog is pets, I wanted to highlight one of California’s greatest culinary assets in the form of DIY Dog Treats!

Wayfair Heritage Meals: DIY Dog Treat Recipes

As a native Californian, I can’t tell you how proud I am of the high-quality produce we grow in this state. Especially, our California strawberries! Therefore, today I would like to share with you two DIY Dog Treat Recipes featuring California strawberries!

What You Need for Your Recipes!

For these recipes, you will need the following:

  • A blender (below I have selected two blenders for two types of budgets)
  • A baking sheet
  • A serving dish for your dog
  • An ice cube tray

Bakeware Nonstick Baking Sheets (Set of 2)

Bakeware Nonstick Baking Sheets (Set of 2)
Circulon

 

Carved Paws Double Bowl Elevated Feeder

Carved Paws Double Bowl Elevated Feeder
Woodland Imports

 

Silicone Ice Cube Trays (Set of 4)

Silicone Ice Cube Trays (Set of 4)
Casabella

 

Professional Blender with Single Serve Attachment

Professional Blender with Single Serve Attachment
Ninja

 

Blender with Personal Jar

Blender with Personal Jar
Hamilton Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I will be honest, creating new recipes is not a talent of mine. Therefore, I looked to the very best dog cook book and dog blog that I know; Cooking for Sugar from Sugar the Golden Retriever.

Why do I LOVE Sugar’s recipes?

Not only do they incorporate my favorite fruit — the California strawberry. But they also are quick and easy to make! Not to mention, these healthy homemade recipes are an easy way to spoil your dog!

Banana Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Ripe Bananas
  • Strawberries

Directions:

Cut the bananas into small chunks and cut the strawberry sin help. Freeze for 3 hours or 24 hours (recommended). Using a blender or food processor, blend the frozen bananas and strawberries. Mixture will be crumbly at first, then will have a creamy consistency.” – Cooking for Sugar

Strawberry Chips

Ingredients:

  • 5 Large Strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Honey

Directions:

In a blender, blend all the ingredients. Spread the liquid thinly on a baking mat. Bake it at 250 degrees for 1-1.5 hours.” – Cooking for Sugar

For more amazing DIY Dog Treat recipes, go download Cooking for Sugar here. Your dog will love you for it!

Disclaimer: I am a Wayfair Homemaker blogger, I am compensated for sharing my opinion and participating in themed blog posts. However, the opinions of this blog post are 100% my own. Additionally, My Kid Has Paws only shares information we believe our readers will enjoy. 

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