Wednesday, June 30, 2010

we're out!

I just wanted to briefly post and let any readers know that I will not be posting any longer on this blog.

I think I've sort of exhausted the food topic and have explored a great deal (along with pics!) on this blog.
It will still be here, with all topics covered in the bubble on the right - feel free to dive in and share.

Think of it as a launch pad for you - the conscious dog owner. Go out, discover... and watch how marvelously your dog will be thriving.

Thank you for reading, and happy feeding :)
Jen

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

recall | pro-pet adult daily vitamin

United Pet Group, Cincinnati, Ohio is voluntarily recalling all unexpired lots of its PRO-PET ADULT DAILY VITAMIN Supplement tablets for Dogs due to possible Salmonella contamination.  The Food and Drug Administration is aware of this recall.



The product was sold nationally at various retailers.  The product comes in 100-count white plastic bottles with a light blue label, and UPC code 26851-01800.  These products are being removed from retail stores and consumers should immediately stop feeding these supplements to their pets.  The affected products are those with expiration dates on or before "06/13". The expiration date can be found imprinted vertically on the right side of the product label.
Laboratory testing has revealed that one Lot of this vitamin product was contaminated with Salmonella.  The company is recalling all unexpired Lots of the product out of an abundance of caution.
Consumers who have purchased the product are urged to contact United Pet Group or the place of purchase for further direction. Consumers may contact United Pet Group at 1-800-645-5154 ext. 3, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

good deal | merrick's hungry dog

Our former foster dog was a seriously aggressive chewer.... he could get through most bones within an hour.


So, I thought I'd try Merrick's Hungry Dog grab bag to see if it would last us longer than investing in a handful of bully sticks/rawhides/chews.

It is considered a "grab bag" so you'll never get the same mix twice. Our bag was a pretty good mix of one snoozle, tons of texas toothpicks, one small flossie, two corporal caps, and what looked to be ears  :


It wasn't a great deal, but it was a good deal at $9 via heartypet. Bestbullysticks also has them at $10.

Monday, June 21, 2010

fun find | ethnic markets

Ethnic markets can sometimes be a conscious pet feeder's best friend (especially if you feed raw!)

A mere 6 blocks from my door is an Asian market that sells a plethora of fantastically fun items that I like to eat, and some that I can feed my dogs. No where else can I find CHEAP fresh, frozen prawns, frozen anchovies and frozen duck necks!

I've started to utilize everything I've learned about my dogs and their nutritional needs - and I'm finding things that maybe a few years ago I would have never fed that I do now.

For example : Dried, lightly salted fish snacks


It's actually a fairly large bag and would last a while as a once in a while snack (due to salt content)


And they don't smell that bad, but just enough to entice the dogs


(p.s. this is the last pic you will see of Vander the pibble sampling my food discoveries. He got adopted!) 

Friday, June 18, 2010

raw feeding - not just a fad, pt 2

The Dick Van Dyke show (of all things!)

Minute 10:20 - listen to the "houseguest" dog's menu:
Chunk horse meat... lamb's liver... tripe!

Recall | Natural Balance Chicken & Sweet Potato



From Natural Balance:

Our 5 lb. and 28 lb. Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog food, manufactured on December 17, 2009 with a “Best By” date of June 17, 2011 is being voluntarily recalled. A random sampling of this product tested positive for Salmonella by the FDA. In my mind, I asked, “How can this happen? I spent over $900,000 putting in our laboratory to test our products before we release them.” We tested samples from the production run when it was manufactured six months ago, and the results came back negative.
Upon hearing from the FDA, I immediately went to our Director of Customer Service, a licensed Registered Veterinary Technician, to check call logs for any complaints with this product. Our Customer Service department closely tracks and monitors complaints for any potential issues; and I heard no reports in our weekly meetings, so I was not surprised when I found we did not have a single complaint about this product. Next, I immediately pulled the retention samples for this product to be sent to an independent third party laboratory. The samples were sent to Zoologix, a laboratory that does real-time PCR testing, the most sensitive type of testing for Salmonella. Those test results also came back negative (CLICK HERE to see results). I reported our test results and call logs to the FDA, but due to the positive result they had found, they recommended a recall.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vander's new food

Vander seemed to be having a tough time adjusting to Wellness Super5 Mix Lamb/Barley (which he was transitioned to from EVO Herring).


I suspect, though haven't tested the theory, that he may be sensitive to the grains in the formula.
Wellness Super5 Mix Lamb/Barley Ingredients:
Lamb, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Rye Flour, Tomato Pomace, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Salmon Meal, Rice Bran, Tomatoes, Ground Millet, Natural Lamb Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Choline Chloride, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products.



Vander is now switched (cold turkey) to Taste of the Wild High Prairie
Ingredients:
Bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

We switched him from EVO for three reasons - 
2. TOTW is more cost efficient for a dog his size, and easier to obtain should he be adopted. 
3. I think he needed a red meat based food (zinc!) because he already gets fish oil supplements
And bonus, it's still grain free. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Recall | Iams Cat Food, canned

I'm so relieved that Proctor & Gamble bought out Natura/Evo.

They are recalling some cat food for deficiencies :

The following Iams canned cat foods are included:
Iams ProActive Health canned Cat and Kitten Food – all varieties of 3 oz, 5.5 oz cans
Date stamped 09/2011 to 06/2012
This recall is limited to only Iams canned cat food distributed in North America.  No other Iams pet food is involved.  
Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include loss of appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss.  In advanced cases, signs may include ventroflexion (downward curving) of the neck, wobbly gait, falling, circling and seizures.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these signs.  If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.
Consumers who have purchased canned cat food with these codes should discard it.  For further information or a product refund, call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8826 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST).

Pet Food Institute to NYTimes : kibble is awesome

Don't take my word for it (it being be aware of what you feed, and why) - take Duane's word for it that pet food  on the grocery store shelves is just awesome and wonderful.

What does Duane advocate? Here's his website. He's the voice of the pet food industry. And he wants you to remember, always, that grocery store pet food is prem-o!

Friday, June 4, 2010

treats | instinct grain free

very cool!

my local feed store just introduced Nature's Variety Instinct Grain Free (guilt free) biscuits!

We grabbed two boxes, duck and rabbit. Many are alarmed that the rabbit source in Nature's Variety comes from China, which they are up front about, so feed only what you are comfortable with.





Duck Ingredients:
duck meal, tapioca, garbanzo bean flour, sweet potatoes, pork fat, pumpkinseeds, montmorillonite clay, natural vegetable flavor, dried egg whites, cinnamon, guar gum, inulin, mixed tocopherols with citric acid (a natural preservative), rosemary extract, direct-fed microorganisms (dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product)

supplement | colostrum

Since my foster dog took a turn for the worst in his fight against demodex mange (and staph infection) I've been researching for immunity boosters non-stop.

A universally recommended one seems to be Colostrum : the "liquid gold" that comes in before breast milk.
Why 'liquid gold'? Before the development of antibiotics, colostrum was the main source of immunoglobulins used to fight infections, such as polio.

So - for our foster dog we're currently looking to
a. reduce stress
and
b. boost his immunity

For now we've settled on Pet Natural's Calming Formula treats.
Active Ingredients Per 1/4 Teaspoon (1.25 ml):
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) . . . . . . .31.25 mg
L-Theanine (Suntheanine® brand) . .10.56 mg
Colostrum Calming Complex . . . . . 5.28 mg


A bit more about colostrum:

What is Colostrum? 
Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from the mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours after birth. It provides life-supporting immune and growth factors that insure the health and vitality of the newborn. 


Does Colostrum Help With Cuts And Burns? After Surgery Or Accidents?
Colostrum's immune factors are highly effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents to help reduce and eliminate infections in external injuries (cuts, burns, abrasions and surgical wounds). Colostrum also contains epithelial (skin) growth hormone that stimulates accelerated healing and powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can eliminate swelling and pain. Open the capsule and mix with sterile water or a saline solution to form a paste. This can be applied directly to the affected area. Bandage if needed. Reapply two to three times daily until healing is complete.


What About Pets? 
Bovine Colostrum is not species specific and works wonderfully with cats and dogs and other mammals. Open capsules and sprinkle in pet dish...most pets love the taste of Colostrum. Encourage them to drink water along with it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Chews as Nylabone Alternatives

Terrabone

From bestbullysticks : 

Terrabone is the world's healthiest and safest edible dental chew bone for fresh breath. The #1 ingredient in a Terrabone is USDA certified organic brown rice. Unlike other edible chew bones, Terrabone contains no animal by-products like gelatin or animal glycerin. 
Ingredients:



Sam's Yams "Veggie Rawhide"

Ingredients are simply:



They look, smell, and I suspect taste just like the sweet potatoes I bake for the dogs:

Shop at Petsmart?

I was on a mission last week to find decent treats and/or chews at Petsmart.

I don't know why the disconnect - but of the chain stores, it seems that Petco has embraced more of the natural/grain free way of feeding dogs and cats when compared to Petsmart.
(where natural means less corn, wheat, soy, salt, corn syrup, etc)

I find, however, you'll always win at a local specialty dog boutique. But, if all you can find is a Petsmart - here are two suggestions.

1. Treat - So Natural Bison. Made in the USA
Ingredients: Bison Recipe: Barley, bison, oat flour, peas, rye, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), cranberry, carrots, apples, tomato pomace, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress.



2. Chew - Health Smart Dog
They were almost identical to Health Bones/Berry, but smaller. Here's a link to the ingredients - our dogs enjoyed both the super berry & the pumpkin/carrot.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

8 ways to get a finicky eater to eat

From Dogster:
First, you want to rule any health issues out first when a dog makes any behavioral change but if your vet gives your pup the thumbs up, there are several ways to get him to eat without disrupting his stomach.



1. Tone Down the Treats - A finicky eater is more likely to eat if he's not comparing his dog food to a liver treat.
2. Feed Often - Try feeding smaller amounts of his regular food three or four times a day.
3. Exercise - It's good for so many things and it increases a dog's hunger. Try always exercising your pup before a meal.
4. Spay or Neuter - If you haven't already, fix your pup. Besides the many health and behavioral benefits, it can help prevent a finicky eater.
5. Make it Positive - Always make feeding time a positive experience. If your pup associates it with irritability or punishment from you, he will be less likely to want to eat.
6. Keep It Quiet - Feed your dog in a quiet area without children or other dogs mulling around.
7. Try Different Times - Some dogs eat better in the afternoon, others eat better an hour after you're home. Test it and see what time and situation work best for yours.
8. Resist Temptations - Try the other tips before giving into the urge to tempt your finicky pup to eat with people food. You'll find that a few pieces of cooked chicken will perhaps tempt him for a time but he'll soon grow bored of that, too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Treats | Milkbone Alternatives



cheap. $2.50 each at big lots.

easy. open box and hand to dog.

just like a milkbone, but better.

Ingredient comparison:
Milkbones Crunchy TreatWheat flour, beef meal and beef bone meal, corn flour, sugar, dried digest of poultry by-products, cooked bone marrow preserved with BHA, BHT and citric acid, beef fat preserved with tocopherols, salt, brewers dried yeast, artificial color (includes red 40), iron oxide, sodium metabisulfite (dough conditioner), natural flavor.

Cloud Star Muttos (duck/sweet potato) - Whole Wheat Flour, Ground Oats, Duck, Chicken Fat, Sweet Potato, Caramel Color (natural coloring agent), Salt, mixed tocopherols (natural preservative). 
- - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Milkbones BiscuitsWheat flour, wheat bran, beef meal and beef bone meal, beef fat preserved with tocopherols, wheat germ, poultry by-product meal, dried vegetable pomace, salt, lamb meal, chicken meal, turkey meal, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, iron oxide, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide (source of iodine)), artificial color (includes yellow 5, red 40, blue 1), brewers dried yeast, malted barley flour, vitamins (choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, d-activated animal sterol (source of vitamin D3)), sodium metabisulfite (dough conditioner), whey casein (a milk protein).


Cloud Star Trail Hound (peanut butter) - Whole Wheat Flour, Ground Whole Oats, Peanut Butter, Rolled Oats, Amaranth, Sunflower Hearts, Apples, Carrots, Flax Seed, Kelp, Beta-Carotene, Green Tea Extract, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dr. Khuly (of Fully Vetted) talks Science Diet

Check out this post..

Great. I'm glad to see that people in the veterinary profession can objectively comment on what they push in their offices.

The logic though... I don't ask my general practitioner about dietary issues, I seek out a nutritionist or holistic specialist. These options also exist for your canine companion.

I think it is best to just say - don't just take the vet's word for it. Do your own research.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comparison | Acana Pacifica & EVO Herring

Due to the recent sale of Natura to Proctor & Gamble,

I have begun to transition my foster dog to Acana Pacifica.
Here is a side by side comparison (taken directly from each bag label) to show you why I chose this food:

Animal Protein Ingredients:
ACANA PACIFICA, 60%                EVO HERRING/SALMON, 76%
Boneless salmon                                Herring
Salmon meal                                     Salmon meal
Herring meal                                     Herring meal
Whitefish meal                                  Salmon
Salmon oil                                        Eggs
Boneless Herring                              Herring Oil
Boneless Flounder                            Cottage Cheese

Fruit/Vegetable/Carbohydrate/Botanical Ingredients:
ACANA PACIFICA, 40%            EVO HERRING/SALMON, 23%
Russet Potato                                Peas
Peas                                              Pea Fiber
Sweet Potato                                Sunflower Oil
Sun-Cured Alfalfa                         Apples
Pumpkin                                       Carrots
Turnip Greens                               Dried Chicory Root
Spinach  
Tomatoes
Carrots
Apples
Organic Kelp
Cranberries
Blueberries
Juniper Berries
Black Currants
Chicory Root
Licorice Root
Angelica Root
Fenugreek
Marigold Flowers
Sweet Fennel
Peppermint Leaf
Chamomile Flowers
Lavender Flowers 
Summer Savory
Rosemary                                                                                                                                         


Vitamin/Mineral/Probiotic Ingredients:
ACANA PACIFICA                               EVO HERRING/SALMON
Vitamins A, D3, E, B5, B6, B12             Vitamins E, A, B12
Niacin                                                     Niacin
Zinc Proteinate                                        Glucosamine Hydrochloride
Thiamine Mononitrate                              Chondroitin Sulfate
Riboflavin                                                Zinc Proteinate
Iron Proteinate                                        Iron Proteinate
Manganese Proteinate                            Copper Proteinate
Copper Proteinate                                 Manganese Proteinate
Folic Acid                                             Calcium Iodate
Biotin                                                    Betaine Hydrocholoride 
Selenium                                               Thiamine Mononitrate 
Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus            Calcium Pantothenate
Dried Enterococcus Faecium                Biotin
                                                            Riboflavin
                                                           Beta Carotene
                                                          Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
                                                          Phylloquinone
                                                          Folic Acid
                                                         Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus 
                                                         Dried Lactobacillus casei 
                                                        Dried Enterococcus faecium

Select Analysis:
ACANA PACIFICA                        EVO HERRING/SALMON
Protein 33%                                    Protein 42%
Fat 18%                                          Fat 18%
Moisture 10%                                 Moisture 10%
Calcium 1.4% min, 1.6% max         Calcium not listed
Phosphorus 1.1% min, 1.3% max   Phosphorus not listed



Enjoy your new ownership, Natura.... 

Friday, May 14, 2010

chews | nylabone alternatives

I'm always looking for alternatives to edible chews like nylabone.
Sample Ingredients (Roast Beef flavor):
Wheat starch, glycerin, Powdered Cellulose, lecithin, potato starch, chicken powder, roast beef flavor, natural bacon flavor, natural flavor, oat fiber, calcium carbonate, soy flour and rosemary oil. Vitamins: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Biotin, Choline, Inositol and PABA. Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Ferrous Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Copper Oxide, Manganese Oxide and Sodium Molybdate. 

Two of my (aka my foster dog's) favorites:
Zukes Z Ridge

We've tried two varieties, Original Fresh Breath and Cranberry Fresh Breath
Ingredients (original):
Potato Starch, Vegetable Glycerin, Cellulose Fiber, Alfalfa Concentrate (a source of Chlorophyll), Natural Flavor, Lecithin, Whey, Vanilla Extract, Clove Powder, Parsley Powder, Nutmeg Powder and Fennel Seed Powder.
It takes about 10 minutes for pibble Vander to get through a medium Z Ridge


Health Bone Mixed Berry

I actually found these at Petco and was delighted by how great a product this is!
Vander tried the Mixed Berry... ingredients:
Quinoa flour, rice, rice protein concentrate, mixed berries (blueberry, cranberry, cherry), ground flax seed, calcium carbonate, natural flavor, canola oil, mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract, green tea extract.

It took Vander over 45 minutes to get through this bone!!

Response from Natura/P&G

I wrote an email to Natura explaining how much I depended on them for my foster who is combating demodex mange. I told them how saddened I was by their big corporate buy out. I told them I will no longer buy or recommend any of their products.

We've since switched our foster to Acana Pacifica.

I received an email back from them (or P&G rep?) which seems to be the standard response many are getting if they contact Natura/P&G - how disappointing:

----- Original Message -----
From: Customer Service
To:
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 4:12 PM
Subject: RE: Innova & Evo

Dear Jen,

Thank you for confiding in us and sharing your opinion.

Our dedication to quality and our philosophy has not changed. Natura's Founders; John & Ann Rademakers and Peter Atkins, started their business with the purpose to provide the healthiest pet foods in the world. In building their business they have maintained animal health and wellness as a priority. They have strongly supported their independent retail partners.

Let's take a moment to reflect on that and think about the fact that they would not entrust their legacy to a new owner if they were not convinced that P &G would carry out their product philosophies and quality. P&G is committed to growing the Natura brands and they recognize the critical nature of growing the entire portfolio through the independent pet specialty stores.

We will continue to celebrate and advance Natura's legacy and nutritional philosophy and maintain Natura's current high standards for product and ingredient quality, food safety and manufacturing excellence. We will continue to support the development of a thriving independent pet specialty channel.

I'll leave you with a parting thought…

Did you know P&G is working with the FDA and respected animal welfare groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, to work on reforming regulations and validating alternative methods to support this?

To learn more about these efforts and other facts, please visit…

http://www.pg. com/animalaltern atives/

www.IamsTruth. com

www.aspca.org/ iams Viewpoint of an independent animal welfare organization

http://www.biorap. org Biological Research for Animals & People

http://altweb. jhsph.edu/ Alternatives to Animal testing site

http://www.hsus. org Humane Society of the United States

http://www.ampef. org/ Americans for Medical Progress Educational Foundation


Thank you once again for confiding in us. We sincerely appreciate your history of support and hope that you will continue to trust our brands and our people. We especially thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Your Friend,

Ember, Veterinary Technician

Natura Pet Products
 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

depressing... NATURA sells to PROCTOR & GAMBLE

That means Innova, EVO, Karma, California Naturals.. they are all family with Iams now. Ugh. That's all I can say...

Story here.

I'm probably going to email them and let them know why I can't in good conscious buy their products anymore. If you feel you need to do the same: custserv@naturapet.com

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

sweet potato chews


There are a few companies (like this one, and this one) that make sweet potato chews for your dog.
Or you can buy a bag of um fresh, get a really nice slicer cheap on ebay, bake in your oven, and make your own sweet potato chews!

Foster dog Vander likes um, even if they do only last 45 seconds!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grass

I find two (unsupported by documentation or scientific) reasons why my dogs eat grass.

1. they enjoy it (kitsu almost looks zen munching on grass!)
2. they have to barf (expel excess mucus, bile, and other impurities)



I also have heard that there are other benefits as grasses act as an internal cleanser and a sort of herbal medicine.

Dr. Patty of Dolittler/Fully Vetted gave these reasons:
 #1 The vitamin and mineral theory: As in, they’re not getting enough, therefore they consume grass.



#2 The roughage theory: Because dogs need some cellulose in small quantities to aid in bacterial digestion (sort of like a prebiotic), they sometimes consume the green stuff by way of reestablishing bacterial homeostasis.
#3 The vomiting theory: To raise a little bile when something didn’t go down just right, the nausea-inducing properties of grass are well-documented. Just eat a handful yourself if you don’t buy this logic.
#4 The angry tummy theory: If you had some excess gastric acid, maybe a little esophageal reflux and no prehensile thumbs with which to grab a bottle of Tums or a little Pepcid AC, you might just eat grass, too.
#5 The hungry dog theory: Some dogs just like it. Period. We all know a few who doubtless do.

either way I like them to have it if they need it and I planted some organic 'cat grass' for them this year because I can never guarantee that the grass in our yard is worm guts/bird poop/chemical free.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Colitis

From the Honest Kitchen Newsletter:


Colitis is essentially an inflammation of the large intestine, or colon. The term Colitis is used to cover several different conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract and can include:
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (a condition where the animal’s white blood cells invade the intestine and cause inflammation to occur). The result is that nutrient absorption is impaired and this causes weight loss and general GI disturbance
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which can be related to stress
  • Pancreatitis in which the pancreas becomes inflamed
  • Parasitic infections such as giardia, hookworms or whipworms
  • Bacterial infection such as Campylobacter or salmonella
  • Food allergies in which an animal is intolerant of certain ingredients.
Thy symptoms of colitis include diarrhea, which can sometimes alternate with constipation. Mucus or blood in the stool and excessive gassiness are also signs of Colitis. Stool volume may be reduced but there may be much straining and the frequency of defecation may increase.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

treats | fruitables


Fruitables - these things smell so good, that you can eat them (I didn't... but I'm just sayin). And they're an adorable flower shape.

I got these as a buffer for when we do longer hikes between meals.You will see they are packed with carbs -

Ingredients:
Pumpkin, Organic oatmeal, Pearled barley, Whole ground potatoes, Oat fiber, Canola Oil (with mixed tocorpherols, a natural preservative), Organic cane molasses, Blueberries, Cinnamon, Vanilla

You can now get a bag from bestbullysticks! Tell um shibaslave@gmail.com sent ya!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

treats | evanger's nothing but natural

Evanger's Nothing but Natural Buffalo with Fruits & Vegetable Treats were a big hit in our house!


Ingredients:
Natural Buffalo, Oat Flour, Potato Flour, Dried Chicory Root, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, Cultured Whey, Fruits and Vegetables (Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Peas), Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Oil of Garlic, Tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Super helpful in training 'sit-stay' by paradigm for the puppy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Avoderm

Arguably, where there is a Petsmart, there is a Petco. At least in my experience.

I prefer Pet Suppies Plus either way. They typically sell Sojos, EVO, Orijen/Acana, Wellness Core, Nature's Variety, Horizon Legacy... all exceptionally great foods.

I get a few emails here and there asking for the best food you can find at Petsmart. I try to ask if one of the other two stores are local to them as well, and if the answer is "no", then there are one of two foods that in a total bind, I might feed.

- The first is Blue Buffalo Wilderness, but seeing that each variety (original, duck & salmon) has chicken in it, I wouldn't be able to feed it to one of my dogs with a proven chicken allergy.

- The second is Avoderm. The funny thing about this brand of food is that it garners either die-hard lovers, or adamant haters. Why the haters? The ASPCA warns us not to feed our dogs avocados, which is a major ingredient in Avoderm (if you couldn't tell...)
However, the company says:


Concern has been expressed by the ASPCA about the consumption of the leaves, fruit, bark, and stems from the avocado tree, with the exception of the avocado fruit which is used for the oil and meal; none of these parts are factors in any of the AvoDerm Natural pet products formulations. 

Dr. Art Craigmill, UC Davis, Professor and Extension Specialist in Environmental Toxicology has said that his studies and other research in the United States and Australia have shown that the problem of toxicity is in the leaves and the pit of the Guatemalan variety; the avocado meat of the fruit and oils have not been shown to be toxic. AvoDerm Natural pet products do not utilize any Guatemalan variety avocados, nor do we use any leaves or pits of any variety of avocados for our avocado meal and oil.

The avocado meal and oil used in the AvoDerm Natural pet products comes from the meat of the fruit and does not contain leaves, bark, skin or pit of the fruit.  The oil is extracted from ripened fruit in which the meat pulp has been separated from the skin and the pit. Through a mechanical separation process the oil is extracted and filtered and placed into sealed containers. The pulp of the fruit is dried, ground, and screened before being placed into its final packaging and than shipped to our facility.

So, if you believe their research, you should also believe that avocados are full of vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and essential fatty acids for excellent skin and coat condition. 

I'll admit that I was a skeptic with Avoderm, because of the toxic potential of parts of the fruit, but I decided to try one of their canned products anyway so that IF you can never, ever find any other store than Petsmart, I could safely say "try Avoderm".  
I chose the Lamb & Rice canned formula because of its exclusion of chicken and beef (nice!). 

Ingredients
Lamb, Lamb Broth, Ground Whole Rice, Lamb Liver, Dried Eggs, Flax Seed, Lecithin, Guar Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Kelp, Avocado Oil, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B Complex), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Chloride, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Biotin, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Carbonate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.

Would I feed this long term? I would have to say no, honestly. Avocados contain persin, which leeches into the fruit from the pit. At toxic levels in non-humans (which may vary), symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart and even death. So, you know, it's just not worth it when varieties of fish contain the same essential fatty acids and coat health properties without the persin.
In fact, I'm pretty sure I won't be trying any other Avoderm products again, because other safer foods exist out there with the same benefits. I'm not an adament hater, I just feel the risk doesn't exceed the benefit.

 

Spot's Stew

Is it just me or is this canned Salmon formula from Halo's line of Spot's Stew (the cat version is grain free, and nothing in it is harmful to dogs!) getting harder and harder to find?


I think the ingredients are great, and the pup loves it and doesn't have any digestive upset from it (while I get to observe any sensitivities to cooked beef/chicken/turkey, which he doesn't seem to have).. but it is getting HARDER and HARDER to find!

Luckily a local health foods store keeps a nice stock of it, which I patronize. But I guarantee that the average dog feeder wouldn't go out of their way to find it since chains like Petco seemed to stop stocking it readily.

Anyway, this is why I like it - the ingredients - which you can see in wholesome form within the mix:
Ingredients: Salmon, chicken liver, broth, turkey, water (sufficient for processing), carrots, green beans, yellow squash, celery, zucchini, green peas, mustard greens, dried kelp, calcium citrate, flax seed meal, oats, pumpkin, sweet potato, ascorbic acid

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein - 6.4% min.
Crude Fat - 1.8% min.
Crude Fiber - 4.3% max.
Moisture - 84.0% max.



(as a kibble topper for the pup - you can see the whole vegetation)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teething Help | Nylabone Edibles

Normally... I wouldn't give these bones as a treat.
Normally... I wouldn't be dealing with a wirey coated alligator.
However, I am.

There isn't a huge appeal to me about these edible bones that Nylabone makes, there is even less appeal to the non-edibles that just look like huge (phallic!) choking hazards. I guess its nice that a company is giving awareness of the need for dental health in our canine friends.

I would prefer my puppy eat raw meaty bones but with the uncertainty of which teeth are active for chewing, which are falling out, and what kind of pain he's in, I'm hesitant to give him anything raw that needs to be chewed in total before digestion. 

So - in the interest of [some] safety, sanity and moments of peace that only a chew bone allows from a teething dog, I bought Healthy* Edibles Lamb & Apple for Puppies. I watch and listen while he eats this.

picking the correct size (per weight) for potential choking hazard bones should be a priority! 

*In their defense, they do now claim they are gluten free formulas. Below are the ingredients.

Ingredients

Wheat Starch, Glycerin, Soy Meal, Cellulose, Lecithin, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Natural Flavor, Lamb Meal, Apple, Oat Fiber, Calcium Carbonate, Soy Flour, and Rosemary Oil Vitamins: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Biotin, Choline, Inositol and PABA Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Ferrous Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Copper Oxide, Manganese Oxide and Sodium Molybdate. 

Analysis

Min. crude protein: 5.0%, Min. crude fat: .5%, Max. crude fiber: 8%, Max. moisture: 13% Calories per gram: 3.47

Friday, March 12, 2010

puppy meatloaf version 2.0



We had a major score recently and got some local buffalo meat! The shibas got it raw, but the puppy got some mixed into a super baked meatloaf. This was a meal, not just a kibble topper.

Ingredients:
Buffalo (ground)
Turkey (ground)
Whole eggs
Spinach
Carrots
Peas
Kelp
Parsley

Served with:
Cottage cheese
Sweet potato (steamed)

Treat | for adult dogs only!

I say for adult's only because these come out thick and hard, and require adult teeth to chew them down.

Chicken Gizzards are a great muscle meat when served raw. Check out nutritiondata.com for the nutrient breakdown.


I thought it would be a great treat for the puppy (who is teething) but he couldn't get through the raw form. It is really elastic and chewy, and he had a tough time. 

So, I sliced them in half, put them on a tin covered baking tray on broil and let them sizzle for about 45 minutes.
They came out looking a bit like chewy beef jerky:


My adult dogs LOVE them, but still the puppy had a tough time with them! He did manage to "num" it down a bit, just chewing it and chewing it. I think it did the trick and he ended up eating two in one sitting.


In retrospect, I think sticking with the raw version would have been easier on us all!

Monday, March 8, 2010

floormat commentary

Weight

 Taken from a post by K9 Solutions Dog Training (thanks!) called Killing them with Kindness

..This chart which might make it more helpful for people to understand how a little bit of weight can be more of a problem than they realize.

In toy breeds 1 pound of extra weight = 31 pounds on a human body
+2 lbs = 63
+3lbs = 94

In small breeds 2 lbs of extra weight = 13 lbs on a human body
+4 lbs = 26 lbs
+6 lbs = 40 lbs

In medium breeds 4 lbs of extra weight = 17 lbs on a human body
+6 lbs = 25 lbs
+ 8 lbs = 33 lbs

In large breeds 6 lbs of extra weight = 11 lbs on a human body
+8 = 14
+10 = 18 lbs

In giant breeds we are equal 10lbs = 10 lbs and so on.
 *          *               *               *             *             *           *            *
Here is a chart that lets you see how to assess your dogs body condition:

http://www.placervillevet.com/canine%20body%20condition.htm

Friday, March 5, 2010

ASPCA Report | Three Dogs Die from Meatball Poisoning

Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), an ASPCA community partner, has launched an investigation into the recent deaths of three dogs at two different locations in the South Hill neighborhood of Spokane, WA.

On February 19, a woman reported to SCRAPS that she let her dogs outside at approximately 6:00 A.M., and when she went to feed her horses, saw one of the dogs eating something off the ground. She called her dog away from what was later identified as meatballs. Approximately 30 minutes later, the dog started having convulsions and was taken to an emergency clinic, where he died. Two other dogs were reported dead by another pet parent in the South Hill neighborhood on the same day... click for the whole story