If your dog uses his time alone in the house to bark endlessly, pee on the carpet, or tear up the sofa—and those behaviors are accompanied by depression or stress—your pooch may be suffering from separation anxiety, a very common doggy behavior problem. Overcoming disorders like separation anxiety takes time, patience and consistency, but it can be done! Just take the following steps, and you’re already on your way. Make sure the problem is separation anxiety. The first step in tackling behavior issues is to rule out any underlying medical problems that might be causing your pet’s misbehavior. Next, rule out other behavior problems. For example, consider whether your dog’s inappropriate elimination is due to incomplete housetraining. Take action. So you’re sure the problem is separation anxiety? Try these strategies to address the issue: Keep all greetings relaxed. When leaving, give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed. Give your dog a workout. Giving your dog lots of mental and physical stimulation goes a long way toward quelling behavior problems—especially those involving anxiety. Exercise can enrich your dog’s life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal behavior. And once she’s all tuckered out, your pal won’t have much energy left to get into trouble. Reward your pooch! Teach your dog to associate your departure with a reward, like a delicious stuffed Kong or other food-dispensing toy. This positive association can help resolve the problem, as well as distract your dog for the first few minutes you’re gone! Source: ASPCA For those of you whose pets may need a little extra help, and you refuse to put your beloved baby on medications, great success has been reported by many pet parents who use PetZone Calm, a drug-free alternative to medications. Calm is a small patch that adheres to a pet’s ID tag or collar for 24/7 emotional balancing. If you have a nervous pet, please don’t let them suffer another moment and get them on Calm right away! Petzone Calm Bio App for pets is a drug-free alternative to combat: Travel Anxiety; Thunderstorm, Fireworks and other Loud Noise Anxiety; Separation Anxiety; Eating Disorders; Emotional Disorders; Fears and Phobias; Re-homing; and more Proudly Made in the U.S.A. Learn more about PetZone Calm >>
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Posted: March 8, 2014, 11:47 am
Yup, it’s that time of the year again when most of us in the U.S. “spring forward” out of daylight savings and lose that extra precious hour of sleep! Even our pets can be affected, especially around meal time. You can make their mealtime transition a little easier for them by feeding them 15 minutes later today, then another 15 minutes later tomorrow and then another 15 minutes later on Sunday…so that come Monday, they should be back on their old meal time hour! Then you can spend the rest of the week working on getting your own biological clock to adjust, which is not easy for many of us! lol But look at the bright side, once we’ve finally adjusted, we’ll have plenty of daylight at the end of the day to begin enjoying longer walks with our pets and even romping in the yard as the warmth of Spring gets closer and closer with each passing day! Please let us know in the comments below what methods you’ve used over the years to ease this transition for yourself and your pets…I’m sure others could use a little extra help!!! PS – Great time to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well.
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Posted: March 6, 2014, 7:06 pm
Bringing home a new puppy, ushers in a wave of joy and excitement in the old and young alike. The innocent eyes and cute antics of this new member of the family immediately starts attracting a lot of love and affection from all quarters. You harbor great hopes for this little creature and eagerly wait for the day when she can make you proud by doing your bidding. Even her chewing up some of your favorite things is ignored in the hope that she will eventually grow out of it. But, hold on, even before you dream of making your puppy as obedient as a circus dog, there are things to teach and they require effort. Housebreaking your puppy Remember, neither the pedigree nor the age of your puppy will make her housebroken and trained on her own. Your puppy is not a human being and has no idea of what emotional value you attach to your kitchen, garden, your carpet or your husband’s favorite sneakers. All these things can be objects of play for your canine friend. Likewise, she also doesn’t know that sitting patiently will get her that morsel sooner, than snatching it out of your hands. It is therefore important that in addition to puppy proofing your house, you teach that overactive canine soul to respect your sentiments about things material by learning to obey your commands. Every pup, without exception, needs to be socialized and trained. And socialization and training begins from day one, rather the moment the puppy enters your home cradled in your arms. Never forget to establish the initial socialization norms for her and then adhere to them religiously. Such norms inculcate good manners in them, so that the puppy doesn’t grow to become an embarrassment to us, and a nuisance for others. Teaching early home routines, from the first day itself, sets the tone for her future behavior and habits. However, her proficiency in learning will directly depend upon your interest and commitment in training her. Teaching your puppy the norms of ‘community living’ and to obey commands should go hand in hand. You generally know what all commands to teach her, but mostly remain clueless on how to go about it. Therefore, it is important that before you unleash your homegrown ideas on your puppy, you acquire the correct method of training. You will be much better off by starting her training as early as possible. And remember that you need to be patient and understanding while teaching your pup. She is your loving companion who is trying her level best to understand, learn and respond to you. So keep your temper firmly in check at all times. ‘Sit’ – the first basic command The first step in instilling some discipline in your puppy is to make her sit on command. The verbal command ‘sit’ is very simple and can be taught to a pup of any breed within four to six weeks. Of course, much depends upon your persistence and patience. Why ‘sit’ command is one of the easiest commands to teach is because of the natural construction of a dog’s neck and spine that makes it physically impossible for them to look upwards. In order for a dog to look up at something high it must assume the sitting position. This fact is made use of while training a puppy to sit. Training your puppy to sit Let us follow the simple steps in training a puppy to respond to the ‘sit’ command: Stand in front of your puppy, holding a treat above her nose but beyond her reach. This is important. If you hold it too high, she will tend to jump and reach for it and if you hold it too low, well, you’ll find yourself without a treat! Now, move the treat from above her nose towards her head and continue to trace this path towards her tail. All this while, keep calling your puppy’s name followed by ‘sit’ in a clear and firm tone. For example, “Rover, sit!” Use hand signals too, like moving your hand down for sitting. This helps the puppy in understanding the command better. Most often than not, you will find that your puppy, in trying to maintain eye contact with the treat, is forced to sit down on her own. In case she keeps backing up, train her near a wall, which will prevent her from going in reverse indefinitely. When she ultimately sits, pat her and praise her by calling out ‘good’ or ‘good puppy’, even animals enjoy being praised! Offer her a treat but never let her grab it out of your hand. If she does, say a firm ‘no’. In case your puppy just refuses to give in and does everything but sit, hold the treat at the nose level and apply a slight pressure on her rear portion, pushing her gently down into sitting position. At the same time, give a slight pull at her collar. This will help her get the message of getting into a sitting position. In all these attempts, if your puppy manages to acquire a posture that even vaguely resembles a sitting position, praise her abundantly and give her a treat. This will motivate her to do better the next time. Don’t let your puppy remain sitting forever. Without your release command she will not know when to get up. And in the absence of such a command, she may get confused. So, give her a command like ‘release’ or ‘okay’ or ‘thank you’, to let her know that it is time to get up. Gradually, increase the duration of ‘sit’ commands and reduce the frequency of treats. Once your puppy begins to sit on your command for fifteen to thirty minutes, at a stretch, without a treat, she has mastered the ‘sit’ command. Training your dog to obey commands requires patience, motivation and encouragement, not to mention a ready supply of treats! The training sessions should be short but...
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Posted: March 2, 2014, 4:04 pm
With so many dogs sensitive and allergic to wheat, here’s a real yummy wheat-free treat you can make right in your own kitchen with some really simple ingredients and lots of love! I got this recipe from the fabulous people at Doggy Dessert Chef.Com. If you haven’t visited their site, it’s a must do! They are the best. Ingredients. . . 1 C grated Swiss Cheese1/4 C sugar-free apple sauce1 cup shredded chicken1 egg1 1/2 cup white rice flour Directions. . .1. Preheat oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients – adding one at a time and kneading well after each addition.3. Work dough into ball and roll onto a rice-floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie or biscuit cutter. (try the dog treat cutters! CUTE!) 4. Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. Makes 7 to 8 dozen small-ish circles or cookie cutter shapes REMEMBER to either refrigerate or freeze all natural treats to avoid spoilage and insect infestation.
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Posted: February 28, 2014, 4:04 pm
© by Bree Weasner, PreciousPets.org LLC So often, we are asked by concerned pet parents how to go about finding someone they can trust, to come into their homes while they go on vacation, to care for their precious pets. I’ve recently been asked, “We are going on vacation in mid-August and are apprehensive about leaving our two dogs, one cat, two gold fish and our old parakeet. Can you help us decide what to do?” My response? “I can see how traveling with this small menagerie would be difficult.” If you’re not fortunate enough to know of someone personally, a friend or colleague, then you’re faced with the daunting task of trying to find the best suitable individual that won’t allow your pets to turn your house upside down while you’re away. Naturally, this person must also stick to your rules when it comes to feeding, exercising, and even the most important, TLC. First, you can call the two pet sitting associations NAPPS and PSI for a list of their members near you. These professionals are trained to care for pets in the home and know what to do in the event of an emergency. They will even water the plants and take in the mail. They are bonded and insured and have references available. Boarding is also an option. Actually, there are very nice boarding facilities available. Make sure the facility is a member of the American Boarding Kennel Association and ask if you can peruse the establishment at any time other than the morning clean up. Some have rooms for special guests like your senior bird. Gold fish may be a new type of boarder for them but chances are they can take care of them as well. You can also ask them for references, including veterinarians in the area. Last, boarding at your family veterinarian is a good option. Ask the office staff to show you their facilities and go from there. Have a happy vacation. © by Bree Weasner, PreciousPets.org LLC
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Posted: February 25, 2014, 7:05 pm
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of dogs develop gum disease by the age of three years. Common signs of poor oral health include bad breath, excessive drooling, loss of appetite due to oral discomfort, and teeth discolored by tarter build-up. Bad breath is often the most obvious sign, and products with natural breath-freshening ingredients, such as anise and chlorophyll, can improve that condition. However pet parents can help their beloved companions enjoy optimal dental health by focusing on the cause of Fido’s offensive smells, in addition to relieving the more noticeable symptoms. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean from plaque build-up plays an important role optimal dental health. Chewing is a natural form of tooth cleaning and most dental health products available for dogs are based solely on the abrasive action of chewing something. Having dogs chew a product that holds together well enough to clean the entire tooth can help prevent dental problems. Newer, chewier formats are beginning to emerge to do this, as well as allow active ingredients to adhere to the teeth and go to work. In addition to chewing, more complete dental products add active ingredients to go to work on what causes poor oral health in dogs. One such natural ingredient is green tea. Research from the past decade has demonstrated that a number of substances in green tea can support tarter reduction in multiple ways. Green tea has been shown to kill the bacteria that cause dental caries, inhibit the activity of the bacteria that live below the gumline, and block the attachment of germs to the teeth. Polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties, so they reduce gum disease, also known as gingivitis. Finally, green tea helps fight off the erosion of tooth enamel. Keeping your dog’s breath fresher starts on the inside. Poor digestion can often be a factor leading to bad breath. A natural ingredient pet parents will find in more complete dental products is the digestive aid FOS (fructooligosaccharide). FOS is a prebiotic that feeds the naturally-occurring bacteria of the dog’s digestive tract, helping to relieve bad breath. FOS is found in some digestive aids for pets. Pet parents have a number of tools to help their companions maintain good oral health as he or she ages. Breath freshening, chewing, tarter-control, and digestive support will all contribute to healthier teeth and gums. In addition, kisses from your pet will smell much better! Article Courtesy of Only Natural Pet Store, Rebecca Rose, president of In Clover, Inc. For other natural and holistic dental health tips and products for your dog, click here! Also be sure to watch the video to your top right on How to Brush your Dog’s Teeth!
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Posted: February 20, 2014, 6:56 pm
A Proper Introduction For Dogs Out For A Walk By Doggy Dan, Expert dog trainer and canine behaviorist from Auckland, New Zealand. So often, greeting another dog on a lead becomes a total disaster, with both owners apologizing for their dog’s behaviour and neither dog enjoying the experience. Neither owner is sure what the correct meet and greet procedure is, or the what the right thing to say is, and we become too involved in what should be a purely dog affair. So I have put this simply post and video together so that you have a few key pointers up your sleeve for next time. The video to your right is a ‘must watch’ – “How to introduce dogs on a walk correctly.” In the video you’ll see everything I discuss below, in action. Meet and Greet Tips Here are my 5 tips when meeting another dog on a leash, helping everyone (including the dogs) to stay safe and ensure a relaxed and natural encounter. 1. Play safe Every situation is different so it’s worth firstly checking out the dog coming towards you. No matter how many dogs your dog has met there are always some that you should stay clear of. Sometimes the simple question “Is your dog friendly?” before you introduce them can save you a lot of hassle. Other times you can make your own decision from a distance. Usually we are wise to go off our gut instinct and intuition. If you feel unsure or uneasy simply take a small detour around the person and their dog and carry on your way. 2. Loose leash Once you decide to let your dog sniff the other dog, make sure that their leash is loose. If you are unsure about doing so then maybe you should not be letting the dogs meet. Clearly if your dog gets over excited and you need to pull them away or restrain them, then the leash will not be loose. However if they are behaving nicely give them the respect they deserve and a nice loose leash. Imagine trying to meet somebody for the first time with somebody tugging you back by your neck! If your dog is pulling so hard you can’t loosen the lead, then you more than likely have an issue with your dog believing they’re in control of the walk. And this stems from their built-in pack mentality. A dog is either a leader or a follower, and if you’re not the Pack Leader, then your dog will naturally assume the role. This leads to 95% of the dog behavioral problems I work with everyday – from pulling on the lead, jumping up and barking to biting and separation anxiety. So make sure you are the Pack Leader. 3. Give space Once your dogs are sniffing each other give them a little space. You don’t have to walk a long way away, but simply giving them a yard of space will allow them to breathe easier and give them the feeling that you are not concerned. Standing over them and crowding them because you are getting ready to pounce gives off all the wrong messages. 4. Two’s company, three’s a crowd When you are really trying to understand what somebody you have just met is trying to say and a third person starts talking over the top of you, it really doesn’t help. It’s the same for your dog. When they’re getting to know each other and sniffing, stay out of it and give them the time they deserve. The best way to do this is to avoid any pats, words of encouragement or affection. Of course you can talk to the other person, especially if you keep the conversation light and jolly, but allow the dogs to check each other out in peace. 5. Change the energy Sometimes if things look like they’re a bit stuck or frozen you can get it all moving again by simply walking away. In the video I walk 2 yards away with Jezebel when things look a little strained and she immediately relaxes. Sometimes that is all that is needed to break the ice. Doggy Dan is an expert dog trainer and canine behaviorist from Auckland, New Zealand. His online dog training course has helped hundreds of dogs and their owners resolve behavior issues and improve the bond between dog and owner. To try Doggy Dan’s online training course for only $1, go to www.barfworld.com/doggydan.
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Posted: February 18, 2014, 3:47 pm
It’s February, which means it’s once again National Pet Dental Health Month. Current estimates show that approximately 75% of cats and dogs over the age of three suffer from poor dental health. Oral disease represents the most commonly diagnosed health problem for companion animals. While considered an inconvenience by many pet parents, proper dental care is a necessary component for overall health, as oral disease can lead to internal organ damage. Pet parents need to be on the lookout for several dental disease warning signs, including … * Tartar build up * Receding, bleeding or swollen gums * Discolored or fractured teeth * Foul breath * Changes in eating habits * Excessive drooling * Sores on the lips or gums If you note any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you schedule an appointment with your vet to discuss possible courses of action. The best way to prevent onset of oral disease and infection is through brushing teeth with a pet-approved toothpaste. Don’t, under any circumstances, use human toothpaste, as dogs and cats swallow toothpaste, and they cannot process the chemicals in our over-the-counter brands. While committing to brushing your companion’s teeth regularly will go a long way to prevent dental disease, you should also … * Encourage play with toys that will help to abrade debris from teeth and gums * Provide dental chews to reduce the build up of plaque and tartar * Schedule regular dental exams with your veterinarian * Feed food that promotes a healthy digestive system Did you know that certain breeds of dogs and cats are genetically predisposed to dental illnesses? According to recent data, the Maltese ranks highest among purebred dogs with persistent tooth and gum problems. In the cat world, the Siamese and the Abyssinian, charming as they are, both have serious tooth problems and often teeth pulled during their youth. The quality of your pet’s food can also contribute to the onset of periodontal disease. Low quality foods can cause gastrointestinal problems, which can lead to bad breath. Easily digestible foods like Life’s Abundance not only provide high-quality nourishment, but also work to promote intestinal health. At Life’s Abundance, we take dental health seriously. As pet parents ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to establish a consistent oral care routine. That’s why we’ve developed several products to address these critical issues, before they become major problems. With Life’s Abundance Dental Wipes and Foam Breath Freshener, you can maintain a healthy routine without your companion animals even noticing! These formulas are the ultimate breath enhancer and dental health promoter, perfect for dogs. And you can have peace of mind using them because they’re completely free from harsh ingredients like parabens and polysorbates, as well as artificial colors and flavors. As veterinarians will tell you, almost as important as brushing is friction from chewing something tough but malleable (actual bones are not generally recommended). The majority of chewable “bones” for dogs on the market today are made from rawhide, which is difficult to digest and can cause severe intestinal problems. But there are healthier options! Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks are excellent alternatives to rawhide as they are nutritious and highly digestible. Every now and again, we like to reward our beloved pups with a special indulgence. But you may have noticed that many of the popular treats on the market are laden with refined sugars, chemical preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Once again, Life’s Abundance has got your pet dental needs covered! Our Gourmet Dental Treats are made with a special blend of harvest grains, creamy peanut butter and natural honey. This unique recipe includes hefty helpings of calcium and phosphorus to support healthy teeth and bones. We’ve also added parsley to sweeten the breath. With Gourmet Dental Treats, you’ll be helping to support dental health and treating your dog to scrumptious oven-baked goodness! As you can see, just by taking a few simple steps, you can help your companion animal enjoy a lifetime of dental health.
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Posted: February 15, 2014, 1:35 pm
Prevent Deadly Canine Bloat in your Dog© by Bree Weasner, PreciousPets.org LLC When humans become gassy or bloated from eating too much, it can be annoying, but it isn’t a serious issue. However, in dogs, bloat (AKA gastric dilation) is quite serious and can cause death. Bloat happens when gasses build up in the abdomen, making it very swollen. Some gassiness will dissipate by itself, but when bloat hits all of a sudden, the stomach can swell dramatically, twisting the stomach cavity, which can lead to a possible cutting off of blood supply. Cats rarely experience bloat; it occurs most often in big, deep-chested dogs such as German Shepherds, Labradors, Rottweiler, Akitas, Bloodhounds, Boxers and others. Bloat occurs in all large breeds. Newfoundlands, Dobermans, Weimaraners, Gordon Setter, Borzoi, Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs are especially sensitive and susceptible to developing Gastric Dilation. What exactly is Bloat/ Gastric Dilation and what are the Signs? Canine Bloat can be fatal and can come on quite quickly. It causes coma, shock and even death can occur within hours. Your vet can diagnose Canine Bloat with an x-ray. The diagnosis is given when stomach enlargement due to excessive gas and/or dilation is present. Following dilation, volvulus (torsion) may occur. This is especially dangerous as it closes the esophagus and pylorus, which prevents the dog from getting rid of gas by belching. It also stops food from advancing into the intestines and stops the dog from vomiting. Torsion also stops a major vein that carries blood to the heart, which can lead to a shock and/or death. Signs: • Swollen Abdomen• Heavy drooling• White or grey colored gums• Stomach makes gurgling noises• Dog tries to vomit and nothing comes up• Refusal to eat with one of the listed signs above Bloat is very serious, but bloat prevention is quite simple to achieve. Here are some veterinarian recommendations: Feed Yogurt Yogurt is as good for dogs as it is for humans! Dog’s digestive tracts contain good bacteria that help them to digest food properly. When your dog is lacking these good bacteria, gas and air accumulates and leads to bloat. To improve your dog’s digestion and prevent gas from accumulating, give him plain yogurt (no artificial sweeteners). Give dogs over 15 pounds 1 teaspoon of yogurt a day and one-quarter to one-half teaspoon for small dogs. Digestive Enzymes Another way to improve digestion is to give him or her digestive enzymes on a daily basis. MSE Daily Boost works wonderfully, and MSE Microbial Paste should also be included in your doggie arsenal, especially if you have a large breed! You can read more about the importance of digestive enzymes/probiotics here. Split up Meals Some dogs scarf down their food quite quickly, while others take their time. Dogs that eat very quickly are more likely to develop bloat. Try feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day. Space Give your dog his own space to eat without being disturbed by other animals. This will help him to eat slower and decrease the chances of developing gas, which can lead to bloat. Switch to All Natural Food Holistic Vets recommend dogs be fed all natural food that does not contain fillers, and for good reason. These foods do not contain ingredients that cause the stomach to well and cause bloat. We recommend Life’s Abundance, which is an all-natural, high quality pet food created by holistic vet, Dr. Jane Bicks. Life’s Abundance does not contain toxic preservatives, wheat, corn, dairy or fillers. It is safe for all dogs, puppies to seniors. Cook at Home Yes, cooking for your dog is acceptable. Some research states that dogs given homemade food are not as likely to develop canine bloat. You can find information on the Web to learn more about homemade diets. Give your Dog Chamomile Used in humans with digestive problems, chamomile will also calm your dog’s tummy. Prepare chamomile tea like normal, and let it cool until it reaches room temperature. Give dogs less than fifteen pounds one half teaspoon a day, and larger dogs 1 tablespoon per day. Mix the tea in with their food or administer with a syringe before meals. Soothe your dog with Slippery Elm Incessant intestinal issues can be helped with Digestive Support. This helps to keep the digestive system moving smoothly and helps dogs that refuse to eat. Digestive Support soothes gastric systems, maintains healthy energy levels, improves absorption of nutrients and improves overall wellness. Exercise Food can ferment in slow intestinal tracts, which can cause gas to accumulate. Walking your dog before he eats may help to get his digestive system moving. Be sure you wait 2 hours after eating for a brisk walk, as strenuous exercise after eating can cause bloat. Nux Nux is a homeopathic remedy that helps reverse gas build up right away. Follow instructions to give the proper amount of pellets to your dog. You should always have some Nux on hand as it reverses gas immediately! When should I call the Vet? Since bloat can happen very fast, it is important that you know the signs and act quickly. Dogs that develop sudden bloat will have a firm, bulgy tummy and they will also arch their backs in an uncomfortable position, lick their lips, drool or try swallowing. If these symptoms occur, your dog needs to go to the vet or emergency clinic right away. What happens next? If your dog develops any symptoms of bloat, you need to take him for emergency services immediately. Surgery will be performed if gastric dilation (torsion) occurs, along with treatments to stabilize your dog and relieve gas pressure. Surgery will prevent bloating from happening in the future. Unfortunately, 29%-33% of dogs with bloat die. Being aware of the symptoms of bloat is imperative to the health of your dog. Practicing good eating habits, proper exercise, giving your dog probiotics and feeding them an all-natural diet will decrease the chance of him developing canine bloat. Bloat is ALWAYS an emergency, however, so...
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Posted: February 13, 2014, 10:28 am
Here are some tips from Lake County Health Department to help keep your pets safe in wintry weather. Not only can winter weather be a time of illness and injury if people fail to take appropriate health and safety precautions, but harsh conditions can be tough on pets as well. Following are some tips from the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center on how to help keep your pet safe and healthy this winter. * Do not leave dogs outdoors when it becomes uncomfortably cold. Most dogs and cats are safer indoors except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs, and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks. If your pet is shivering, it’s time to bring it inside. * No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life. If your dog is an outdoor dog, he or she should be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in his or her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof covering or heavy plastic. * Pets that spend a lot of time outside during the winter need more food because keeping warm depletes energy. Make sure to routinely check your pet’s water dish to make sure water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls because when the temperature is low, the pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to the metal. * Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his or her mouth. * Antifreeze is a deadly poison that has a sweet taste, which may attract animals. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach. If possible, use antifreeze coolant made with propylene glycol. If this is swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets. * Do not allow your dog to run freely on open ice. It can be difficult to judge the safety of the ice, and your dog could be at risk of falling through. * During the winter, it is best to keep your pets inside with the family. The happiest dogs are those that are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but are kept inside the rest of the time. For more information on pet safety, please call your Health Department’s Animal Care and Control facility. Information provided by Lake County Government.
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Posted: February 10, 2014, 1:54 pm
Successful Cancer Treatments for Dogs and Cats Adapted from Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Dog Care, by Randy Kidd (Storey Books, 2000). With incidences of pet cancers on the rise, many of us are dealing with this frightening illness in our own beloved pets. Simple Solution: These five simple steps, as part of a program of holistic health, can be helpful in your pet’s recovery from cancer. 1. Develop a positive belief system. Create and maintain a positive attitude. Prayer, whatever your religious affiliation, has been proved to help in the healing process. Don’t underestimate the power of this step. 2. Eliminate potential causes of cancer. Go through your pet’s entire environment. Modify it so that she or he avoids contact with pesticides, herbicides, airborne pollutants, and toxic household chemicals found in the carpets, in the furniture, under the sink, and in the garage. Give your pet filtered water, and serve water and food in non-plastic (ceramic or glass) dishes. Eliminate ALL grains and carbohydrates from your pet’s diet too! 3. Add nutritional and supplemental support. Perhaps the most effective component of good health or healing is to put your pet on a good diet. Home-cooked organic foods are best. There are other health foods commercially available that do not contain preservatives, and they are made from mostly organic (or hormone, antibiotic, pesticide, and herbicide-free) high-quality foods. Supplements are an excellent addition to a quality diet. Use therapeutic levels of antioxidants–vitamins A and C and the culinary herbs–and add extra levels of zinc, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). (Check with your vet to determine the proper dosages of any supplement, based on your pet’s weight.) 4. Use classical homeopathy. I have not found any medicine as powerful as classical homeopathy. . .when it works. With classical homeopathy you need to find the one remedy that best connects with the patient’s totality of symptoms, and finding this one remedy can be a challenge. Consult a holistic vet for the proper treatments. Homeopathic kits available here. 5. Incorporate herbs to enhance organ function. When the organ systems are balanced, the body is better able to fight cancer. The major herbs I use are those that enhance organ-system function, aiding the organs that are under attack by the cancer cells. Consult a holistic vet for recommendations, or see the suggestions in Dr. Kidd‘s book.
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Posted: February 8, 2014, 1:47 pm
Pro-Pet LLC Recalls a Limited Number of Dry Dog and Cat Foods Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination Source: FDA Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 5, 2014 – Pro-Pet LLC, St. Marys, Ohio, has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited number of Dry Dog and Cat Foods for possible Salmonella contamination. A single field test indicated products manufactured during a two day period, on a single production line may have the potential for Salmonella contamination. Pro-Pet LLC is voluntarily recalling the potentially impacted products made during this timeframe. There have been no reports of illness related to this product to date. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Product Best By Lot Code UPC Number 40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033878 40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 1219033878 18 lb Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 1219033873 40 lb Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 1219033875 15 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407721 40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 1A 7065407713 40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food 05 06 14 096 13 SM L2 2A 7065407713 20 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 2A 2351780103 40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 2A 2351780104 40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food 05 07 14 097 13 SM L2 1A 2351780104 These products were distributed through select retailers, distributors and on-line consumer purchases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia No other products/lot numbers are affected by this recall. Customers should immediately discontinue use of any impacted product and contact Pro-Pet at 1-888-765-4190 for disposition. For more information on the recall, customers can contact the customer service line for Pro-Pet at 1-888-765-4190. Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm CT.
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Posted: February 5, 2014, 6:44 pm
Cushing’s disease is the common name for a disease called hyperadrenocorticism that most commonly affects dogs. It’s caused by a hyperactive adrenal gland that pumps too many steroids and other hormones into the bloodstream. It can also be caused by a growth (tumor) in the adrenal gland or the pituitary gland. Most dogs with Cushing’s disease are at least six years old, but the disease can also occur in younger dogs. Symptoms The adrenal gland produces a wide range of hormones and Cushing’s disease can cause the overproduction of any one or more of them. Because of this, the symptoms of the disease can vary widely, and they can be extremely subtle. In dogs, Cushing’s disease will often cause the overproduction of hormones called glucocorticoids, which are steroids. This will cause some of a dog’s muscle to break down, giving him a thin-legged, potbellied look. It can also hurt a dog’s ability to concentrate urine, making him drink and urinate a lot. The steroids can suppress the immune system, as well, so dogs can sometimes get secondary infections. And the pancreas can be affected, causing vomiting and often diarrhea. Other symptoms include hair loss, calcified lumps under the skin, increased appetite, panting and high blood pressure. Diagnosis Unfortunately, Cushing’s disease is difficult to diagnose. There is no one test to identify it. Veterinarians will generally perform several blood and urine tests and compare the results to normal levels. Follow-up x-rays and/or ultrasonography can help reveal the presence or absence of a tumor. Treatment Cushing’s can be treated both medically and surgically, depending on how severe the symptoms are and the general health of the animal. Two options are removing the growth that stimulates the hormone and prescribing medications that slow down production in the adrenal gland. The majority of dogs are treated medically. Surgical treatment of Cushing’s carries significant risks and should be reserved for cases where medical treatment has proved ineffective. Cushex Drops for Pet Adrenal Health SupportWe invite you to learn more about Cushex Drops for your dog or cat! Cushex Drops Support pet adrenal health and treat symptoms of Cushing’s Disease naturally Learn more about Cushex Drops, Ingredients, Dosage, Testimonials and Current Specials Prognosis Cushing’s disease in itself is rarely life threatening. By weakening the immune system, it can make animals more vulnerable to other diseases, and it can cause fatigue and exercise intolerance. Sometimes it doesn’t cause any symptoms at all. The main issue with the disease is whether it’s damaging your pet’s quality of life. If so, then consult with your veterinarian about the best way to help your pet return to a healthy, comfortable life. NOTE: Read and learn how Transfer Factor has been used by Dr. Steven Slagle, DVM and by equine owners successfully in many areas of supporting animal health (from allergic skin reactions, bacterial diseases, cushing’s syndrome to stress situations, surgery, tumors, viral diseases and soft tissue wounds), with several case histories. Click here to learn more. Article Courtesy of American Animal Hospital Association
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Posted: February 4, 2014, 12:21 am
How to Introduce Your Pet to Natural Foods Properly© by Bree Weasner, PreciousPets.org LLC All Natural and Holistic Pet Foods such as Life’s Abundance, Flint River Ranch and other high quality pet foods are not only incredibly nutritious and appealing to your dog or cat, they are highly concentrated, promote better digestion and feeding will decrease 20-40%. Your pet’s breath will improve, you’ll have less waste to clean up and litter box odors will decrease. Life’s Abundance is the leading Natural and Holistic Pet Food and after four to six weeks, your pet will have a sleeker coat, sparkling eyes, fresher breath and increased energy. As Life’s Abundance pet food is different from your typical market food, knowing how to introduce it to your dog or cat is important. You should introduce it to your pet slowly, this is especially important for cats. Directions for Introducing Life’s Abundance or Flint River Ranch to your Dog or Cat: 1. Over a 7-10 day period add a small amount of Life’s Abundance or Flint River Ranch to your pet’s regular food. 2. Each day, increase the amount of Life’s Abundance or Flint River Ranch and decrease the amount of other food until you’ve totally switched.3. Be sure to start with less Life’s Abundance than your regular food so that your pet can get used to the change and develop bowel tolerance (firm stools begin to loosen). Your pet may experience loose or runny stools upon the switch to Life’s Abundance or Flint River Ranch. This is completely normal and you should not be alarmed. Since Life’s Abundance and Flint River Ranch is highly concentrated and highly digestible, you should be feeding your pet less. In addition, one or two tablespoons of canned (pure) pumpkin administered to your pet will loosen hard stools and harden loose stools. After you’ve made the switch and bowel tolerance is back to normal, give your pet fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats as snacks between meals. Life’s Abundance foods are formulated to help your pet’s body heal itself, it starts to self cleanse. Vitamins, chelated materials and nutrients and digested first in then stomach, and then absorbed into the blood through intestinal walls. This is one of the main reasons that the food should be introduced slowly into your pet’s diet because the cleansing process should take place slowly and this will help to prevent an upset stomach or diarrhea in your pet. Lastly, be sure to add digestive enzymes/probiotics to your pet’s diet during the diet transition. Probiotics and enzymes provide your pet with good bacteria that promotes proper digestion and overall wellness. At Precious Pets, we recommend Natur’s Way MSE Pet Probiotics. Probiotics should part of your pet’s daily routine, regardless of a diet change.
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Posted: February 1, 2014, 3:55 pm
Treatments to Help Relieve Chronic Ear Infections in Cats and DogsArticle Courtesy of PetAlive What are Ear Infections? Dogs and cats are often prone to ear infections. We all know that dogs and cats have an amazing sense of hearing, and when they have an ear infection extreme discomfort and pain is experienced. Because the ears are shaped intricately, earwax, debris and parasites can easily become trapped and as a result lead to an ear infection. The most common ear infections that are seen in pets include otitis externa (infection of the external ear canal) and otitis media (infection of the middle ear). Ear infections tend to affect certain dog breeds more than others. Dog breeds such as Basset hounds, Cocker spaniels, Schnauzers and Miniature poodles develop ear infections frequently while in cats, Persian breeds are also more susceptible to these infections. Infections in the ear can lead to more serious problems such as loss of hearing and neurological difficulties. However, with the proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, ear infections can be treated successfully. The common symptoms and signs of an ear infection include: Shaking the head or holding it one side Scratching or pawing at the ears Pain in the ear Rubbing ears against furniture or carpet Yellow, brown or black discharge in the ears Ears are red, inflamed or tender Foul odor from the ears In addition, if a middle ear infection develops, symptoms of facial paralysis may occur. Your pet’s eyelids may droop with facial muscles and third eyelid moving up and covering the eye, difficulty swallowing as well as loss of balance. What Causes Ear Infections? Most ear infections are caused by bacterial or yeast infections. Other factors that may also contribute to ear infections include the accumulation of wax, debris, thick, matted hair trapped in the ear canal or other foreign bodies. Allergies, ear mites, ulceration, tumors, improper cleaning of the ear or impaired drainage of the ear can also cause ear infection. Diagnosing Ear Infections The diagnosis of a middle or inner ear infection is based on the symptoms as well as a thorough examination of the ear. Your veterinarian will perform an otoscopic exam to view the ear canal and determine whether the eardrum is intact. If the eardrum is ruptured or filled with fluid, this is usually a sign of a middle and inner ear infection. Anesthesia or sedation may also be used if the pet finds the otoscopy too painful. X-rays as well as a sample of the material in the ear canal is taken and examined under a microscope to determine the cause of the infection. Help for Ear Infections The treatment for ear infections depends on the underlying cause and severity of the infection. Very often underlying conditions such as allergies, tumors or polyps may bring about ear infections, but if treated immediately can greatly reduce the infection. Medications to treat the symptoms of ear infection include antibiotics or antifungal drugs. Cleaning your pet’s ears daily for the next week will also be recommended, and your vet will demonstrate how to do this properly without hurting your furry friend. In more severe cases, surgical procedures which involve an incision of the eardrum, the removal of the ear canal or bony covering of the ear may be required. Natural remedies Natural remedies such as herbal remedies are also beneficial for maintaining ear health in dogs and cats. Containing natural ingredients, these herbal remedies are safe and gentle enough to use on your pet without any harmful side effects. Herbs such as Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil), Rosmarinus officinale (Rosemary), Calendula officinalis (Marigold) and Verbascum thapsus keep ear canals clear and free of blockages, soothe itching and maintain the normal balance of flora in the ears. More Information on Natural Prevention and Treatment of Ear Infections
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Posted: January 30, 2014, 7:04 pm
Refusal to Eat – Helping the Finicky Eater “My dog loves his food one day and refuses to eat it the next day.” “My cat gives new meaning to the term ‘finicky eaters.’” The food refusal these pet owners are describing is usually the result of feeding habits owners have helped their pets establish. If you have a problem eater in your house, chances are you might be the cause of the problem. Remember one thing, a healthy dog will not go hungry. Cats, on the other hand, need to eat as health issues can quickly arise if they don’t. Before discussing how problem eaters are created, a word of caution. Sometimes refusal to eat is a sign of illness. If your pet is normally not picky about his/her food, and if you have avoided creating “problem eater” habits, a trip to your veterinarian may be in order. Know your pet. Know what is normal for it in terms of eating habits, behavior and appearance. Any deviation from its normal habits may be a sign of illness. Perhaps one of the most common reasons pets refuse to eat results from the misconception that pets need as much variety in their diets as humans do. Some pet owners forget that humans require a variety of foods to ensure the consumption of nutritionally balanced meals. A quality pet food has the proper balance of all the nutrients a pet requires together with a high level of palatability. Offering variety in pet foods encourages a pet to become a “holdout” to see what it will be offered next. When you find a nutritionally complete and balanced diet your pet enjoys, stay with it. An indulgent family member rather than the pet may be the problem. By feeding human treats and food from the table, your pet’s hunger is satisfied with all this “good stuff” and it either refuses to eat or nibbles only a few bites of the food it should be eating. Free-feeding, meaning the pet’s food is left out all day and/or all night, is one of the most common ways a picky eater (and even over-weight) is created. The pet owner has turned over the control of feeding right over to their pet. By doing so causes several problems. First, the pet has just shown it’s owner that he/she is in charge, NOT the owner. Second, if a pet has access to food all day long, how can one expect the pet to be hungry at any given time? Third, leaving food out all day, especially all natural food, is an invitation for insects and spoilage…NOT good for the health of the pet! The basic guideline is to put your pet’s food down for him/her. What is not eaten in 10 to 15 minutes should be taken away until the next scheduled meal. A healthy pet will NOT starve. A healthy pet WILL eat when hungry! Some dogs are eager to eat a particular pet food for several days. Suddenly this eagerness vanishes and they eat reluctantly or refuse to eat for a few days. This refusal can be the dog’s own attempt to control calorie intake When a dog learns that eating pleases its owner, it soon eats to please. Sometimes words of praise and affection when the food is offered will reinforce this eat-to-please behavior. Overeating can cause a dog, like a human, to experience an uncomfortable feeling. It attempts to relieve its discomfort by not eating or eating very little of its food. Many pet owners comment that their dogs eat less during hot weather. This is not unusual. Studies show that, as a general rule, dogs need about 7.5 percent fewer calories with each 10 degree rise in temperature. A cat’s eating habits should not be confused with food refusal. Most cats tend to be occasional eaters. They nibble at their food, walk away and return periodically for more nibbles. Seldom do they eat voraciously. Their occasional eating is sometimes interpreted as not liking a certain diet. Some pets indulge in what the veterinary community describes as “dietary indiscretion.” Regardless of how well-fed these pets are, they raid garbage cans. If the raids are successful, they lose interest in their regular diet. The habit of eating garbage may also be a dangerous practice which may result in vomiting or diarrhea or the pet’s consuming contaminated food or toxic chemicals. To prevent this indiscretion, be sure your pet doesn’t have easy access to garbage in the house, basement or garage. Check out the garbage cans in your yard. Be certain they have tight-fitting lids. For their own protection, and in order to be a good pet neighbor, pets should not be allowed to roam in neighbors’ yards. If, for health or other reasons, you must change your pet’s diet, do it gradually over a seven to ten day period. Add a small amount of the new diet to the food currently being fed. Each day increase the quantity of the new diet and decrease the amount of the old. This gradual diet change helps avoid digestive upsets. The following page describes in detail, the hows and whys behind changing a pet’s diet, gradually. Read How to Properly Introduce Your Pet to New Food.
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Posted: January 28, 2014, 5:21 pm
Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease in your Dog or Cat - Also Known as IBD or IBS© by Bree Weasner, PreciousPets.org LLC Your dog or cat has probably eaten something that they shouldn’t have on more than one occasion, which is why it is pretty commonplace for pets to vomit or have diarrhea. But pet owner beware, if your dog or cat is vomiting or has diarrhea for weeks or months at a time, they could have inflammatory bowel disease, a serious digestive problem that requires immediate attention. The root cause of inflammatory bowel disease (sometimes referred to as IBD) in pets isn’t exactly known, but veterinarians believe it occurs when the immune system erroneously attacks tissues in the digestive tract. Problems with the pancreas, food allergies and even hairballs may contribute to IBD. Traditional treatments for inflammatory bowel disease in pets includes medication like steroids and antibiotics, which can do more harm than good both in the short and long term. Holistic veterinarians choose to take a more natural approach; treating the disease by strengthening the immune system and the body’s digestive and regulatory organs such as the liver and pancreas. What are the signs of Inflammatory Bowel Disease? • Your cat is vomiting a great deal, more than “normal”• Chronic diarrhea• Blood in your pet’s stools• Pet has weight loss and any of the other symptoms above What can you do? It is believed that IBD occurs because the pancreas is working harder than it should, so giving your dog or cat a supplement or probiotic such as MSE Natural Defense is a great way to help your pet’s pancreas work more smoothly and efficiently. What is MSE Natural Defense? MSE Natural Defense is a digestive enzyme aid (probiotic) that is given to pets that experience stress on a daily basis, as well as to control litter box odors like ammonia. MSE Natural defense is purified and formulated to be palatable to your pet, can be mixed into food and given to animals with allergies. It works to control diarrhea and loose stools, which can be a symptom of EPI (Exocrine Pandreatic Insufficiency) or IBS. In addition to helping digestive issues, MSE Natural Defense controls symptoms of upper respiratory diseases, controlling the illness and preventing it from traveling to healthy pets in the home. Change of Diet Many pets are sensitive to the low quality ingredients in commercial pet food, and so the best thing to do is to switch to a high-quality, natural food. Foods like Life’s Abundance work wonderfully to improve your pets IBD symptoms and overall wellness. Yogurt- Yes, Yogurt! Controlling bacteria with yogurt is an easy and inexpensive way to restore acidic balance in the digestive system. Give your dog or cat 1-3 teaspoons of live-culture yogurt once a day to replenish the body with good bacteria. In addition to giving yogurt, you can give your pet Lactobacillus Acidophilus, a supplement that contains the same organisms as yogurt. For pets less than 20 pounds, use ¼ of the human dosage, pets 21-50 pounds, use ½ the human dose, pets over 50 pounds, use the full, recommended human dose. Live-culture yogurt is beneficial to your pet, but should be used in addition to probiotics to receive the full benefits. Water Tap water contains chlorine, which kills beneficial bacteria in the intestines. Giving your pet filtered spring water will help to combat intestinal issues. Milk Thistle The liver is an important part of digestive regulation as it produces large amount of metabolic enzymes. Help your pet’s liver work better by giving him/her milk thistle once a day, as it may help the liver to generate new, healthy cells. Glutamine Supplements Supplements containing glutamine help to regenerate the intestinal wall, which can become damaged due to inflammatory bowel disease. 500 milligrams of L-Glutamine twice a day will help the symptoms of IBD. Toxin Absorption You may be able to help your pet stop vomiting and experiencing diarrhea by giving them absorption clay like betonite. Betonite can absorb up to 2000 times their weight in toxins! Scour-aid also works to control diarrhea in pets regardless if it is viral, bacterial or protozoan. It should be used with MSE Natural Defense for best results, as this will address the root of the problem, which often is stress-based. Homeopathy Homeopathy works, and remedies like Nux Vomica and Arsenicum work to stop diarrhea and vomiting. Using spring water, follow the instruction on the package to treat your pet. If you notice that your pet is still having issues, see your vet. Herb-Boosting Remedies Herbs like Echinacea strengthen the immune system, and goldenseal (a natural antibiotic) controls harmful bacteria in the gut. We recommend TF Pets and Transfer Factor Plus Tri-Factor for best results. Slippery Elm Digestive Support Products like Slippery Elm work to help long-term intestinal problems. These benefits include healthy digestive functioning, soothing gastric membranes, improved energy levels, and overall wellness along with healthy routine absorption of nutrition. Look for our Buy 2, Get 1 Free Special.
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Posted: January 26, 2014, 4:11 pm
by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM Heart Health Awareness Month is right around the corner, beginning February 1st. While technically concerned with human heart health, I think it’s vital that we expand the scope of the conversation to address canine and feline heart health, too. Most people have a basic understanding of the risks of heart disease in humans, but when it comes to the heart health of our pet kids, that area remains a mystery to many. In the following seven frequently-asked questions, we’ll consider the parallels between all three species (humans, canines and felines), to better understand heart disease. How Widespread is Heart Disease? Humans: In America, heart disease is the #1 cause of death. Annually, about 600,000 people die of heart disease, one in every four deaths. Dogs and Cats: Although reliable statistics are not readily available for adult felines or canines, heart disease is not the pressing problem that it is for humans. That being said, heart problems are still common, with one in ten dogs developing valvular heart disease. As with many health issues, the risk for heart disease increases with age, especially for dogs over the age of nine (the age varies from breed to breed). When it comes to cats, tracking heart disease proves extremely challenging, as felines present virtually no physical symptoms from this condition. What’s the Most Common Form of Heart Disease? Humans: In adults, coronary artery disease is the most prevalent kind of heart disease. The main type involves plaque build-up in the arteries, which affects their ability to deliver blood to the heart. As the layers of plaque thicken and harden, blood flow to the heart is further restricted. Dogs and Cats: The biggest difference here is that pet kids are not at-risk for coronary artery disease. While that’s good news, there are other medical conditions that dogs and cats face. Dogs can suffer from mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Mitral valve disease describes a condition where a valve on the left side of the heart fails to close properly. The problem with this is that blood pools into the left atrium, rather than exiting the left ventricle. Older, small-breed dogs are more likely to develop mitral valve disease, and the condition is only worsened by periodontal disease. DCM weakens the heart muscle so that it pumps less vigorously and regularly, a condition more common in large breeds. Cats, on the other hand, are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Here, the walls of the heart thicken and the muscle becomes less flexible. The unfortunate result is that the heart pumps less blood. HCM is a genetic disease that is found in both pure and mixed breed cats. What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease? Humans: Symptoms vary depending on the disease, but patients with coronary artery disease often have chest pain, arm pain and shallow breathing. And, of course, there’s the big wake-up call of a heart attack. Dogs and Cats: Dogs typically exhibit signs such as low energy, trouble getting comfortable, labored breathing and a low-pitched, chronic cough. On occasion, they might actually collapse or faint. Cats may also become lethargic, as well as sleeping or hiding more than is typical. Often, cats will also lose their appetite. If a blood clot is swept from the heart and travels down through the aorta, felines can suffer a painful, sudden paralysis in their hind legs. Important note: If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately. And, if your companion animal experiences any of these symptoms, seek veterinary assistance immediately. How Do You Test for Heart Disease? Humans: Doctors can choose from a variety of diagnostic testing, including blood exams, treadmill tests, electrocardiograms and imaging analyses. Dogs and Cats: For veterinarians, a stethoscope is the most effective way to identify heart disease. That being said, it is difficult to detect an issue absent a murmur. Sometimes an x-ray, ECG or echocardiogram may shed light on an undiagnosed problem. What Medications are used for Treatment? Humans: If you were to be diagnosed with heart disease, doctors might prescribe a blood-pressure medication, a blood thinner or a cholesterol-lowering drug (among other things). Patients often use medications to make the heart beat more slowly and to relax blood vessels. Dogs and Cats: Many of the drugs we use are also used by dogs and cats. Treatments vary according to the animal and kind of heart disease. The important thing to note is that there are treatments available, and new research is presenting new avenues for improvement. Can Diet Help to Prevent Heart Disease? Humans: Diet has a big influence on heart health. Eating foods heavy with saturated and trans-fats can raise cholesterol levels and contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries. Conversely, a diet rich in omega fatty acids, whole grains and fiber can help to lower bad cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease. Dogs and Cats: A healthy diet has not been proven to significantly alter the rates of canine and feline heart disease … however much more research has been done on humans in this regard. It’s hard to overstate the importance of quality food and your companion animal’s quality of life. What About Exercise? Humans: Yes, definitely! Exercise lowers the risk of heart attack and reduces stress, another risk factor for heart disease. Dogs and Cats: The kinds of heart disease commonly found in cats and dogs can’t be avoided through exercise. But, as with people, regular exercise will improve overall health and help prevent obesity in pets. And don’t forget what researchers, healing experts and therapy animals have been demonstrating for decades … that by taking care of a dog or a cat, you’ll also be taking care of your heart. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
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Posted: January 23, 2014, 4:05 pm
by Dr. Sarah, DVW, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian It’s not just a typical winter when ‘polar vortex’ is the most popular weather phrase of the year. Even as we publish this post, the nation is on the brink of another bitter cold snap. While the thought of trekking around outside in frigid temps might instill a sense of dread for most people, your pup will likely be even more eager to explore the wintery landscape. Sleet. Snow. Ice. These things make most folks want to huddle indoors cozied up by the fire. But dogs are not most people. Often, the chill in the air sparks their anticipation for fun romps through the wintery mix. But, there are dangers lurking under that blanket of white. Thankfully, Dr. Sarah is ready to reveal handy tips in the latest episode of Pet Talk, to keep your pet kids fully protected during outdoor playtime. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah offers several useful tips to ensure that ‘outdoor fun time’ remains safe throughout the harsh winter season. A bit of precaution and planning makes all the difference, so break out the hot cocoa and watch the latest webisode of Pet Talk now. SPOILER ALERT: WINTERY FUN AHEAD!
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Posted: January 21, 2014, 1:07 am
YOUR BODY CALLS THEM MEMORIES (The battle with breaking habits.) by Tiffany Rowan Do some of you find yourself off your New Year’s resolutions and back to your old ways and old habits? Did some of you find it a real battle to quit your bad habits? Did you give up, calling yourself weak, and just decide that it was easier to keep the bad habit even though you knew it is bad for you? Well, let me assure you that you are not weak. There is a scientific explanation of why you find it a real battle to quit a bad habit. There really is a battle taking place within you on a cellular level. Once you understand how your body works on a cellular level, you can take this knowledge and apply it literally to everything you will ever do. Your nervous system creates a memory of everything you do. The recall of this memory is called a neurosignature. Today we will isolate the bad habit of soda drinking to demonstrate this. A neurosignature for the bad habit of drinking sodas is created by the nerves in your fingers, hand, arm, mouth, amygdala (emotion center of your brain), throat, stomach, pancreas and other body parts that you use when you drink a can of soda. Every nerve in your fingers and hand required to lift the can, bottle, or glass of soda creates a memory of the cylinder it lifts, the feel of the condensation on the can, the weight of its contents, and the direction it takes to get the can to your mouth. Every nerve in your arm records a memory of how to support the hand muscles so they can clasp around the can, and the angle needed to lift the soda to your mouth. Every nerve in your mouth records a memory of your lips closing around the can, the temperature of the soda on your tongue, and the “ahhh” feeling you get when the fizz hits your throat. Every nerve in your throat records which muscles are used for swallowing. Every nerve in your stomach remembers the awful sting of this acidic drink upsetting its membranes. The nerves in your pancreas remember to pump more insulin to save your blood from the excess sugar you have injested at a rate the body can’t keep up with. Your amygdala remembers the false sense of satisfaction you get when the cortisol levels rise in your body . If your nerves didn’t recall these neurosignature memories, your eyes wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a can of Dr. Pepper or a can of Coca Cola. Your fingers, hands and arms wouldn’t remember how to lift that can of soda to your lips. Your lips wouldn’t remember how to close around the can so that you don’t pour soda on your chin and down your chest. Your tongue wouldn’t remember how to press into the roof of your mouth for each swallow. Your throat wouldn’t remember to flex certain muscles and relax others for you to swallow. And your pancreas would just sit back and let you die from all the sugar and carbon dioxide you poison your cells with if it didn’t remember to secrete insulin. We would all be 20, 30, 40, 50, 60+ old babies lying on the floor flopping our limbs around if our nerves didn’t recall a neurosignature for literally everything we do. As babies we reached for what interested us. Let’s use our mother’s face as an example. Each time we flopped our arm toward her face, our nerves recorded a memory for every step that took place. They not only recorded what body parts we used, but also interpreted this information and communicated it to other cells. Our nerves actually created more dentrite endings to record how that flop did not reach her face. With every lift of our arm, our cells recorded what was wanted and what was still needed to reach her face. Our cells are nothing but pure intelligence. With more practice, we were able to control the specific muscles, bones, and nerves needed to finally touch her face as she nuzzled us close and looked deep into our eyes. For your body to act as proficiently as it does, it has to recall the memories recorded in each body part in order to perform that task flawlessly again. For your arm to reach forward and grab a can of soda without dropping it, it has to call upon the nerve cells to bring up their files on “can lifting” so that you actually aim correctly for the can, clasp it, rotate your wrist at the correct angle, and close your hand and fingers around the can. This is intelligence! With every soda you drink, with every cigarette you smoke, with every cup of coffee you injest, with every snack you indulge in, with every pill you take to keep you awake and give you energy, your nerve cells create more dentrite endings to make that memory stronger and interpret the information so that you will get more proficient at the task you wish your body to perform. Not only that, but when your nerve cells split, they give these neurosignature memories to their daughter cells. As long as you keep requiring your body to use its parts for your bad habit, your nerve cells will continue to grow dentrites to remember how to efficiently do so. WOW! This is why psychologists tell you that you can’t just quit a habit, you have to replace it. You can’t just quit drinking soda or coffee; you can’t just quit smoking; you can’t just quit the energy pills, and so on. You have to replace your bad habit with a good one. Let me explain how it is impossible to quit a bad habit otherwise. Your body actually records that you like to start your day with a soda or coffee at such-and-such time. Your cells...
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Posted: January 16, 2014, 3:28 pm
We all packed on those extra pounds during the holidays and now it’s time to shed that extra baggage the way German Shepherds shed their coats in the summertime. We all know that America is suffering from an obesity epidemic. Somehow this epidemic—along with all of its accompanying health risks—is affecting our pet population as well. In the mid 90′s, studies showed that 15% of pets were overweight. Now it’s a whopping 40%! This does not bode well. As we know from television, radio, newspapers and magazines, those extra pounds are not ideal … not for us and not for our pets. Our pets’ growing waistlines can contribute to numerous health issues. Let’s face it, a trim pet is more likely to live a longer, healthier and happier life !!! So let’s explore this. Does this increase in pet obesity have to do with some spiritual connection between pets and humanity? Or is it something more tangible? This much is true: animals are awesome copy cats (excuse the pun!). According to a study published in Journal of Nutrition, dogs of overweight owners are nearly three times more likely to be overweight themselves. The same is probably true for cats as well. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. Simply place your hands on your pet’s rib cage with your palms facing down. If the ribs are easily felt, your pet is considered to be normal weight. If you can feel more than approximately one inch of skin and fat between the ribs or if the ribs are difficult to feel, your pet is certainly overweight. If you cannot feel the ribs at all, then your pet is probably obese. Dr. Jane recommends that you do this little test monthly since, like us, pets’ metabolisms change. Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs to the Rescue Thankfully for our chubby dogs, Life’s Abundance has just a solution! Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs has 28% less fat and 31% fewer calories per cup than Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Dogs. There are higher protein levels and L-Carnitine to support your pet’s metabolism and healthy weight management. And what’s a Dr. Jane’s product without omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a luxurious coat as well as an all around healthy body? Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs is made with whole foods such as premium chicken meal, catfish meal, eggs, whole ground flax seed, oatmeal, stabilized rice bran containing more than 72 antioxidants, B vitamins, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fresh veggies loaded with phytonutrients and bioflavonoids and much more. These dynamic ingredients support strong muscles, a healthy heart, healthy organs, an active immune system, a healthy digestive system and overall wellness. According to our tests, Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs resulted in successful weight loss, increased vitality, less hunger and healthy skin and shiny coat. This exceptional food has also been said to put that sparkle back into pets’ eyes. After a dog loses weight on the Weight Loss Formula, there’s no need to change back to regular food. Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula is a great food for dogs and breeds that have a tendency to gain weight such as labs, goldens and Cocker Spaniels. You can always count on Life’s Abundance to never use any chemical preservatives. We never have and never will. Instead, we use a blend of antioxidants to help our formulas stay fresh, also supporting your dog’s healthy immune system. Unlike many other companies, we don’t use any flavor enhancers or coloring to replace what is lost during high-temp cooking. We cook at low temperatures and for less than 15 seconds to lock the nutrients inside the food. You can’t beat that! The flavor and the wholesome goodness comes from the inside out. Every bite is nutritious and delicious. If your dog’s weight is becoming a growing concern, you may want to toss those other foods you bought at the supermarket and invest in your dog’s health. Baggage Claim: How Guilty are You? So you’ve just confirmed with your vet that your pet is in fact obese. Time to fess up. As owners, we are more responsible for our pets’ weight problems than we think. Take a look at our fat checklist and take note of the statements that apply to you and your pet. It’s time for us to claim our pets’ baggage! * Your cat or dog is an indoor pet that eats, sleeps and snacks all day. * You take your dog out on super quick walks for potty and rush him back into the house. You seldom take him around the block for a good workout or to the park for a hearty game of Frisbee. * You give your dog treats whenever those irresistible eyes look your way— without considering the ingredients or the amount of calories. * Your pet is spayed or altered (slows down metabolism). * You feed your pet liberally, refilling the dish after it is emptied, never thinking about the amount you’re feeding. You pour, he eats! * You have a multi-cat household and some cats end up eating more than others. * You live in a small apartment that doesn’t have much room for your cat or dog to run about. * You feed your cats and dogs food just because, even when they’re not necessarily hungry. * You never play with your cat and she has no other kitties in the household to play with, so she just plays freeze tag alone—right on the windowsill! * You give your pets plenty of treats out of guilt to compensate for all those long hours at the job. If your cat is on the pudgy side of life, then it’s time for you to act now. Up to 40% of this nation’s cats are overweight. Obesity is the number one nutritional disorder in cats and leads to many...
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Posted: January 14, 2014, 6:57 pm
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) Feline Leukemia (FeLV), a retrovirus, is the most important infectious disease agent producing fatal illness in domestic cats today. The feline leukemia virus is excreted in saliva and tears and possibly the urine and feces of infected cats. Prolonged, extensive cat-to-cat contact is required for efficient spread, because the virus is rapidly inactivated by warmth and drying. A cat with FeLV disease may live for several weeks to several months, depending on how advanced the disease is at the time of diagnosis. However, it is impossible to tell how long any particular cat will survive. A significant percentage of adult cats that are exposed to the virus develop immunity and do not become persistently viremic (i.e., will not carry the virus indefinitely in the blood and bone marrow). Usually those cats live out a normal life span. However, in some the virus may remain sequestered for a variable period of time somewhere in the body. It is thus conceivable that FeLV might break out and cause disease at a later date, after the cats have been stressed, or perhaps medicated with drugs that suppress the immune system. Although the possibility that FeLV can be transmitted to human beings and cause disease cannot be ruled out completely, there certainly is no evidence to date that transmission does occur, despite decades of extensive research. Also, there is no known association of FeLV with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in human beings. It is true that FeLV can be grown in human cells in culture; the same is true of other infectious disease agents that nevertheless do not produce disease in human beings. Similarly there is no evidence that FeLV is carried by, or causes any illness, in dogs. Common clinical signs produced by FeLV include anemia, jaundice, depression, weight loss, decreased appetite, diarrhea or constipation, blood in the stool, enlarged lymph nodes, respiratory distress, decreased stamina, excessive drinking and urination, fetal resorption, abortion, infertility, birth of “fading” kittens, and a syndrome resembling panleukopenia (“cat distemper”). FeLV also interferes with the cat’s natural ability to ward off infectious disease agents, so that almost any severe, chronic illness may lead your veterinarian to suspect FeLV. Cancer occurs in some FeLV-infected cats. In those cats the tumor masses may cause such problems as respiratory distress; intestinal inflammation with diarrhea, vomiting or constipation; liver or kidney disease; cloudy eyes; and neurologic abnormalities. Even if two or more successive tests reveal your cat to be truly positive, it will not necessarily die. An FeLV-positive healthy cat may live for months or years; the life expectancy is impossible to predict. Your cat is probably shedding virus that could infect other cats, however, and you should take precautions to reduce the chance of spreading the disease. In addition, the body’s reaction to the virus may protect it from the primary FeLV disease problems but not from the immune-system suppression that the virus also can cause. Your cat thus may be much more susceptible to other infectious diseases and will require careful monitoring and immediate treatment should illness become apparent. To date there is no cure for FeLV infection or disease. A variety of chemotherapeutic regimens have been developed, and in certain cases those regimens can produce a temporary remission, depending on the physical condition of the cat and the type of disease that is present. Those drug therapies may allow the cat to continue in a reasonably healthy state for a period of several weeks to several months. However, it must be understood that those are only remissions and not permanent cures. Chemotherapeutic drugs are very potent, and their effects must be monitored carefully, to avoid overdosing the patient. Various antiviral compounds including interferon may also be used to treat cats with FeLV infection. Those compounds, while still experimental, are generally safer to use than chemotherapeutic agents, and may reduce the amount of virus present in the blood of the cat, and may extend the period of remission of clinical disease. As yet, antiviral compounds do not produce permanent cures for FeLV infection or disease. Hopefully, additional research will produce effective antiviral therapies that will cure FeLV disease. There is no scientific documentation that vitamin C cures cats of leukemia. Controlled studies of feline viral rhinotracheitis, canine distemper, and human respiratory infections have failed to show effectiveness of high doses of vitamin C. Of course, a multivitamin and mineral supplement may be helpful to any sick animal that is not eating properly; however, there is little evidence to support claims that such a supplement can cure any of those conditions. Other than providing general support to the animal’s health, vitamin and mineral supplements, in our estimation, are not effective in preventing the spread of FeLV within a cattery and certainly will not cure an individual cat of its infection. Therapy with a steroid (such as prednisolone) acts to decrease the numbers of some circulating white blood cells (lymphocytes). A cat with leukemia may have an increased number of abnormal (cancerous) lymphocytes circulating in its bloodstream; therefore steroid treatment may help to destroy them. Prednisolone may also act directly against the cells of some solid tumors (such as lymphosarcoma) that are caused by FeLV. Steroids also inhibit the cells that are normally responsible for destroying senescent red blood cells; that effect may help to combat the anemia and excessive red blood cell destruction that often accompany FeLV. It is important to remember that because steroids and FeLV both suppress the immune system, an FeLV-positive cat undergoing steroid therapy is especially vulnerable to other infections. Several vaccines are now available to aid in the protection of your cat against FeLV infection. The vaccines are produced by various methods, and either contain the inactivated (“killed”) whole virus, or a subunit protein of the virus. The principle of protection is the same for each of these vaccines. The FeLV vaccines are as safe as other commonly used feline vaccines. As with any vaccine in animals or humans, some reaction...
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Posted: January 13, 2014, 2:08 pm
Itching and Scratching the Winter Away Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM It’s that time when pets and humans are more vulnerable to each other than ever. Since this is the chilliest month of the year, animals are more likely to be cooped up in the house — and us with them! All of the windows and doors are closed to the world and the heat is blasting around the clock. These kinds of conditions can make our winter homes playgrounds for various allergens. Our pets are vulnerable to the dust in the carpet, the mold inside the walls of your old house and other pets. On the other hand, warm moist times of the year or times when the seasons are shifting are also high allergy times. Our pets are hardly ever safe from them. Allergies are the most common conditions affecting cats and according to Kansas State University, fifteen percent of dogs suffer from common allergies like pollen, mold and house dust. However, common allergies aren’t the only ones that affect our pets. Just like humans, pets can be allergic to anything from eggs to oak trees. Allergies are conditions that pets and humans share with equal intensity, so we must use our powers of empathy to make them as comfortable in their skin as possible. This month, the Life’s Abundance News will focus on pet allergies: what they are, what to look for and the different methods of GIVING RELIEF. So What Are Allergies Anyway? Essentially, an allergic reaction is the work of an overactive immune system. It’s when an animal responds abnormally to a seemingly everyday substance like grass or common food ingredients. Substances can cause an allergic reaction upon exposure by ingestion, inhalation or skin contact. Allergic animals possess antibodies that react badly to specific allergens to produce what we know as allergic reactions. Watery eyes and constant scratching are common manifestations of the immune system in overdrive, overcompensating to expel the allergen from the body. The Different Types of Allergies Contact Allergy Of the various types of allergies, contact allergies are the least common in both cats and dogs. Examples of contact allergens are flea collars, plants, grass and certain types of bedding such as wool. Because contact allergies result in a local reaction to the skin, symptoms include skin irritation and itching at the points of contact. Inhalant Allergy This is the most common allergy for cats and it is prevalent in dogs, as well. This type of allergy is caused by the hypersensitivity of the immune system to common environmental substances. Some of these allergens are with us seasonally (ragweed and grass pollens) and others, such as mold and mildew, are with us all the time. This type of allergy usually manifests in the form of severe, generalized itching. The itching may be most severe on the feet, flanks, groin and armpits. Inhalant allergies and food allergies are often the reasons for chronic ear infections in dogs. Recent studies have shown that it can also affect the cat’s urinary tract resulting in crystal formation in the urine. Flea Allergy This is the most common form of canine allergy and it’s relatively common in cats, as well. The normal dog and cat experiences only minor irritation in lieu of a flea bite with minimal itching, if any. The flea-allergic dog or cat; however, suffers from severe itching when the flea’s saliva is integrated into the skin. It’s not the flea itself, but its saliva that is the culprit. Just one single bite can make a pet itch to the point of self-mutilation: chewing itself and removing large amounts of hair. Pets tend to chew mostly on and around the tail. The constant chewing makes them more vulnerable to bacterial infections, a complication which causes even more itching. This is a vicious cycle, indeed. This particular skin problem is fondly known in veterinary circles and among other pet professionals as flea bite dermatitis or FAD. A skin allergy test can be performed by a vet to determine if a dog is allergic to flea saliva. Food Allergy This is one of the hardest allergies to detect and probably even harder to treat. Pets, for the most part, aren’t born with food allergies. More often than not they, like humans, can and do develop a hypersensitivity to food they have been eating for years, which causes us to overlook the possibility of a food allergy. Cats tend to become allergic to their most common protein like tuna, while dogs can be allergic to proteins such as chicken, beef and the proteins in corn and wheat. Food allergies manifest in a myriad of ways: itchy skin, licking of the feet (especially in dogs), shaking of the head, rubbing face on carpeting, coughing and rare digestive problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. They can also result in chronic ear infections in both dogs and cats. In list form, below is an overview of the many allergic symptoms, some already discussed. Common symptoms include: excessive licking under the tail chronic ear infections irritated skin with some hair loss licking front paws sores around the muzzle and face rubbing head shaking Rare symptoms include: asthma like symptoms behavioral change seizures Allergy Sleuths: Detecting the Problem If you detect any of the above symptoms in your pet’s behavior, make an appointment with your vet. Though itching, for instance, can be caused by a variety of different things, your vet can perform diagnostic tests to differentiate between causes of itching. For more severe and complicated cases, your vet can refer you to a board certified dermatologist. The first step in allergy treatment is pinpointing not only the type of allergy, but what your pet is allergic to. This is done several ways. Skin test: To perform a skin test, the vet shaves some parts of the animal’s body and injects specific allergens into the skin to see if the skin welts. Blood test: Just like in humans, the vet takes blood and...
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Posted: January 11, 2014, 4:48 pm
by Monica Reyes, a Raw Pet Food Specialist for BARF World Inc. Many people seeking a natural and even raw dog food diet for their dogs do so because their pet has a pre-existing condition that they want to cure. Conditions like allergies, digestive issues and diabetes are some of the reasons that many people turn to a raw food diet for their pets. Unfortunately, some pet owners have the incorrect idea that a raw diet will provide their ailing pet with a quick fix and will expect immediate, “miracle”-type results. Results Don’t Happen Overnight Although switching your pet over to raw food is definitely recommended for long-term health and nutrition, it is important to remember that severe medical conditions won’t resolve themselves overnight. Even though a raw meat diet is the best thing that you can give your dog or cat, it takes time for a nutritional improvement to show its effects. Remember: the diseased condition, which has taken years to develop, will take time to reverse itself and for the health of the animal to improve. Most of our greatest pet health success stories have occurred after the animal has been on the BARF diet for 60 days or more. It’s true that there are some great benefits to be seen within the first four weeks of switching a dog or cat to the BARF Diet – such as a noticeable difference in skin and coat, an increase in activity level due to better nutrition and even a much appreciated reduction in stool volume and odor – but for more serious problems, like fur loss, dry, itchy skin, and hot spots, it will take more time for those symptoms to clear up. User error can also greatly impact the success of switching a pet to raw food. Table scraps, junk treats, and an inconsistent dietary routine can all affect the results that a pet parent will see in their raw fed animal. Therefore, it is important to get a personalized feeding plan done by a certified raw pet food specialist to make sure that you and your pet are on the right track. BARF World is the only raw pet food company that provides this custom-tailored service. Their raw pet food specialists go through an extensive three-month training which allows them to identify various dietary and environmental aspects to address in order to maximize results. This also provides pet parents, that may be new to feeding raw, the help and support that they need to improve the overall health of their pet. The 90-Day Raw Pet Food Plan™ Allowing the diet to work in your pet and sticking to a personalized feeding plan is one of the main reasons why the co-formulator of the BARF Diet®, Robert Mueller created the 90-day Raw Pet Food Plan™. The purpose of the 90-day feeding plan is to instill in the pet owner that the BARF Diet is not a “quick fix” but the first step into creating a stronger, healthier, more vibrant pet. As Mueller often tells his clients, “If you can commit to following the feeding plan to the letter for 90-days, you will have yourself a brand new pet.” Don’t Make This Common Mistake One of the biggest mistakes that pet parents will often times make once they’ve seen that their dog or cat has improved on a raw diet, is to go back to old habits and back to feeding their pet‘s former diet – whether out of convenience, or to save a few dollars. Yet, as many of these pet parents later learn, putting a temporary Band-Aid over a condition that could come back later or develop into something even worse down the road, is not worth the risk. The BARF raw food diet for dogs is a long-term lifestyle change and a wise investment in the health and vitality of your pet.
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Posted: January 8, 2014, 9:53 pm
Want to win a Life’s Abundance Stainless Steel Odor Remover Bar for pets and people? Then head on over to our Facebook page and follow the steps! Giveaway ends next week, January 15, 2014! One of the interesting properties of stainless steel is its ability to bind to pungent odors. We’ve taken this unique science a step further by adding contoured nubs. Now, you can provide your pet kid with a relaxing massage that instantly neutralizes stubborn smells. This portable bar is dishwasher safe and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Great for removing the smell of onions, garlic and fish from hands, too. Click here for further details!
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Posted: January 6, 2014, 6:35 pm
You are out in the park with your family, playing, running, maybe even having a picnic. Perhaps your dog is with you; however, off in the distance you see adorable dog approaching with their handler and your children immediately begin to run towards this adorable dog. As the dog is getting closer, you see a yellow ribbon tied on the dog’s collar. What goes through your mind? A yellow ribbon around a dog’s collar is to help children identify that you need to proceed with caution. The dog may not be child friendly, may have fear or anxiety issues, or may be overly excited. Either way, caution should be applied when approaching. The Yellow Dog Project is a nonprofit organization that is a global effort to help raise awareness and education around dogs that require a little extra distance upon approaching. Does this mean that the dog is aggressive or mean? No, there are numerous reasons why a dog may have a yellow ribbon. It may mean the dog is new with the handler, is under medical care, or in foster care for instance. The purpose of this project is to assist with the proper techniques to approach a dog. Children have a lot of energy and often to run up and pet a dog. Not all dogs understand this and can become fearful. With proper education, all parties are put in a less stressful environment, which in turn reduces opportunities for an unforeseen accident. For more information about this wonderful cause, please visit: The Yellow Dog Facebook page. Learn how to educate family, friends, colleagues, and yourself. When there is knowledge, there is understanding. Have you ever seen a dog wearing a yellow ribbon? Did you know what it meant prior to this article? Do you have a dog that may need to wear a yellow ribbon?
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Posted: January 4, 2014, 2:19 pm
With winter gripping most of the country with snow, winds and bitter cold temperatures outdoors while we snuggle in our warm homes in front of the fireplace sipping on hot chocolate or hot toddies, let’s please not forget all the companion animals who depend on us to keep them comfy and safe too! Just like our human children depend on us to keep them safe, our fur children depend on us for the same type of compassionate care! PLEASE, bring your pets inside, PLEASE! If it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your pets, as well. If you notice a neighbor’s pet outside in the cold, give them a quick call if you have their number or a gentle knock on the door. If you don’t get anywhere by being kind, call your local police department. Leaving a pet outside, unprotected, in “dead-of-winter” weather is animal cruelty and neglect, and certainly punishable in most municipalities! Of course, do check on the pet’s owner as well, as there may be a medical or other serious reason why their beloved pet has been left outside unintentionally! Please share this important information by clicking on the ‘Share This +” below!
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Posted: January 3, 2014, 2:21 pm
A special thank you to all our loyal customers who have been with us for years, as well as all our customers new to PreciousPets.org this year! Since our inception in 2001, we have always strived to bring you the highest quality products and holistic pet information for your beloved babies so that they may live the longest, healthiest and happiest lives with you, their beloved pack leaders whom they love unconditionally! We hope that 2014 brings you and your precious pets all the warmth, love, health, compassion and good fortune you all deserve! We’re looking forward to another exciting and successful year, and it is our mission to continue to provide all of you the personal and top-notch support you’ve all been accustomed to! Happy New Year to ALL of you, from ALL of us at PreciousPets.org
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Posted: December 31, 2013, 1:15 pm
In an effort to make our homes as safe as possible for our companion animals, you should be aware of common household items that can spell big trouble for our beloved dogs. Recently, the ASPCA – Animal Poison Control Center released the top 10 poisons that can be toxic to dogs. In all of the following cases, it is highly advisable to contact a vet immediately after consumption … • Chocolate – Can cause excitability, elevated heart rate and possibly seizures. • Rat Poisons – Most rodenticides contain anticoagulants to cause fatal bleeding. These substances can have the same effect on dogs, as well as possible paralysis, seizures and kidney failure. • Ant & Roach Baits – Most of these products do not contain enough toxic substances to cause severe effects, but the plastic in which they are housed can be dangerous. • Acetaminophen – Can cause liver failure, swelling of the face and paws, and interfere with oxygen transport in the blood. • Ibuprofen – Can cause stomach and kidney problems, and possibly seizures. • Cold Medications with Pseudoephedrine – Can cause excessive panting due to increased body temperature, excitability and elevated heart rate. • Thyroid Hormones – Can cause elevated heart rate and excitability. • Bleach – In surface contact, can cause eye and skin irritation, and if inhaled can cause chemical pneumonitis. • Fertilizers & Plant Foods – Can cause vomiting and diarrhea. • Paints, Polishes & Fuel Oils – In surface contact, can cause skin irritation, and if inhaled can cause excitability, depression, pneumonia, liver and kidney damage. Exposure to any of these substances can have serious health consequences, and should be treated accordingly. When it comes to protecting your companion animals, remember to safely store away all medications or other potentially harmful items. And, just because an item does not appear on this list does not mean it can’t be harmful, so exercise not only caution, but common sense.
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Posted: December 29, 2013, 2:20 pm
The best time to use a blacklight to find the cat urine odor spots in your home is when the room is relatively dark. This can be before sunrise, after sunset, or on a dark, cloudy day. Finding multiple cat urine odor spots throughout your home? Mark each spot with a coin, a small piece of paper, or some other type of marker. Then, you can collect your cleaning supplies and clean up each spot. NOTE: These same principles and the U.V. Urine Detector can be used for puppy/dog urine stains too! Cat urine odor control is tough under the best of circumstances. Half the time, you don’t know where to find it, but your sniffer is saying, “It’s around here somewhere…” There’s an easier way to detect cat urine stains, other than with your nose. It’s the U.V. blacklight. Yes, that purple light that is associated with growing certain herbs that makes you forget about your cares…the blacklight. Cat urine is composed of really interesting ingredients, and a black light is the perfect tool to help you with cat urine odor control! Cat urine odor control is more difficult because kitty can often get into the darndest places, do her business, and waltz away. Sometimes it can take you days to find the source. You see, cat urine glows brightly under a blacklight. A black light detects cat urine spots anywhere in your home that cannot easily be seen by your eyes alone, so it finds the spots that you can’t see, but can smell! They’re easy to use – just flick one on, and look for bright fluorescent spots on your floor, walls, baseboards, or furniture. This black light is perfect for cat urine odor control, because it’s small, and stores easily away when not in use – just put it in a drawer for the next time. Here’s how a black light urine detector worked for my neighbor… The guy down the street borrowed my blacklight to pinpoint the source of his cat urine odor. He’d been searching for a week. He knew the general area, but he couldn’t see a stain or spot. In five minutes he found the spot with the blacklight detector. Turns out kitty was backing up to a crack in the drywall, and was letting loose! He had to replace the wall section. If he hadn’t borrowed the blacklight, who knows if he would have ever found the source… You can smell it…you know it’s there somewhere, but WHERE? I used to get down on my hands and knees, crawling around, feeling and looking for the telltale spots. If it was still wet, no problem, I see you. Or I’d put my hand into it. On the other hand…let that stuff dry, and you swear you’re imagining the smell, because you’ve had to deal with it for so long! You feel here, you feel there…sometimes you get really lucky, and spot the irregular pattern on your floor. Cat urine odor control is easy if you use the black light and find urine spots quickly. You’ll decrease the damage to your floors, carpeting, bedding, and furniture. Eliminate professional carpet and rug cleaning costs because you found the spot in time to clean with an enzyme cleaner. We recommend Life’s Abundance’s BioDeodorizer, which actually digests the sources of household and pet odors. BioDeodorizer does NOT mask odors…it contains microbes which eliminate odors! I’ve successfully house trained many Boxer pups over the years in a much shorter time with this BioDeodorizer…I wouldn’t want to be without it! We also recommend the Simple Solution Spotter – U.V. Urine Detector and see how you can start cat urine odor control in your home now. These same principles and the U.V. Urine Detector can be used for puppy/dog urine stains too! Cat urine odor control tips: You’ll have no problem finding cat urine if it’s at night– click the black light on, turn the room lights off, and happy hunting!!! If you’re an insomniac, this can keep you occupied. The cat urine will show up as a bright fluorescent greenish color. Soon, you’ll be cleaning cat urine in spots you would otherwise have missed! During the day…draw the curtains, the blinds, pray for a dark, nasty thundercloud, or wait until it gets dark! You can still see the stains, faintly, but you’re going to have to get down real close to see it. This is an essential tool for cat urine odor control. If your home has been bombarded by kitty deposits for awhile, here’s a nifty little procedure to find all the spots: Arm yourself with your blacklight. Have your favorite odor eliminator for cleaning cat urine waiting nearby, with towels and rags. Enter the darkened room, and turn the blacklight on. Walk through the entire room, concentrating on the lower half of the walls, baseboards and corners. However, do sweep across the width and length of the room, because I have found spots smack dab in the middle. Inspect furniture – the legs, the lower portions, and sides. Check out the bottom row of bookcases, and the books. And so on… If you find multiple spots, there are a number of ways you can mark them. One, clean as you go. Find a spot, clean it…find a spot, clean it. Or, you could take any really small object – coins, marbles, golf ball markers – and put them on the spot. Once you’ve thoroughly canvassed the room, haul in your cleaning supplies, and start cleaning cat urine. Repeat for each room you know (or suspect) kitty has blessed. Want to know a foolproof way to find those spots? Got another cat? Or a dog? Enlist their help for cat urine control! Just pay attention to her, as she wanders around the house. When she stops and really investigates a spot, get out your blacklight. Chances are you’ve hit the jackpot. Give kitty/doggy a treat for detecting the spot! You didn’t know cat urine odor control...
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Posted: December 27, 2013, 5:50 pm
Winter Pet Care Tips Housing: It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter months, but if this is not possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet, and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated. Water sources may be heated to permit constant access to unfrozen water; thermal units designed specifically for this purpose are readily available. Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm. Feed your pet according to its needs when the temperature drops. In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside. Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor. Roaming cats: Roaming cats, as well as house pets and wildlife, may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside. Frostbite and snow removal salt: Snow and salt should be removed from your pets paws immediately. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care. Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably. Toxic plants and holiday/winter products: Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets. What follows is a general guide. Please consult your veterinarian, animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet! Low toxicity — poinsettia leaves/stems; balsam/pine/cedar/fir; angel hair (spun glass); Christmas tree preservatives; snow sprays/snow flock; tree ornaments; super glue; styrofoam; icicles (tinsel); and crayons/paints. Moderate toxicity — fireplace colors/salts; plastic model cement Moderate to high toxicity holly berries and leaves; bubbling lights (methylene chloride); snow scenes (may contain salmonella); aftershaves/perfumes/alcoholic beverages; and chocolate (dark is more toxic than milk). Highly toxic — mistletoe (especially berries); expoxy adhesives; and antifreeze. Please note that some items have special problems. For example, whereas angel hair is usually considered to be of low toxicity, it can irritate eyes, skin, and the gastrointestinal tract; the content of Christmas tree preservatives varies and often effects depend upon the amount ingested; styrofoam, small parts from Christmas tree ornaments and toys, as well as tinsel, can cause mechanical obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract; snow flock can cause problems if sprayed into the mouth and inhaled; and chocolate, of any type, should never be given to a pet. Antifreeze deserves special mention because even a very small amount can be rapidly fatal to pets. Other holiday concerns: If you plan to take your pet with you during holiday visits, make sure that your pet is welcome first (with all the activity, it may be better to board your pet or hire a pet sitter). Holiday treats, such as rich, fatty food scraps, bones from fish, pork, and poultry, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate, can be harmful or toxic to pets. Do not allow friends and relatives to give your pet special treats it could ruin everyone’s holiday (including your veterinarian’s). Do not allow pets to play with ribbons, yarn, or six-pack beverage holders and don’t put ribbons or yarn around your pet’s neck. If you want to decorate your pet, invest in a holiday collar. These last for many years, are more attractive, and are a lot safer! Cover or tack down electrical cords. Tips Courtesy of Paws for Pets, AVMA
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Posted: December 24, 2013, 8:49 pm
Courtesy of Dr. Sarah, Life’s Veterinarian at Life’s Abundance It’s hard to recognize our own habits. Unfortunately, habitual behavior can have repercussions not only for you, but for your pet kids, too. For instance, the practice of free-feeding could be contributing to the epidemic of canine and feline weight problems. Would you be surprised to learn that 50% of the dogs and cats in America are overweight? Worse, these percentages, not to mention waist-sizes, are only going up. The good news is that this serious health epidemic has more than one solution, and they are all easy to adopt. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah shares her veterinary weight-loss tips, including one which utilizes a simple tool in virtually every kitchen. Be sure to share this episode of Pet Talk with other pet parents. Sending a video link could be the first step in the process toward a better life for overweight pet kids. In fact, by employing a couple of Dr. Sarah’s easy-to-master tips, 2014 could be the healthiest year ever for dogs and cats!
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Posted: December 21, 2013, 1:06 pm
Mary Wulff-Tilford is a professional member of the American Herbalist’s Guild who devotes her time and expertise to the holistic care of animals. She is founder of Animals’ Apawthecary, a company that produces glycerin-based herb extracts for dogs and cats. She is respected, as a leading holistic pet care consultant and teacher, by holistic veterinarians and pet owners worldwide. Gregory L. Tilford is co-owner and formulating herbalist of Animals’ Apawthecary. He is a contributing editor and herb advisor for Natural Pet magazine (Fancy Publications), and is the founding president of the Natural Pets Products Association. Greg is author of two books on wild medicinal plants: The EcoHerbalist’s Fieldbook (Mountain Weed Publishing, 1993), and Edible & Medicinal Plants of the West (Mountain Press Publishing, 1997). And of course his newest book All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets. Animals’ Apawthecary Herbal Tinctures Animals’ Apawthecary pet remedies are natural herbal extracts that offer a safe and effective way to treat dogs and cats for many of their common ailments. These low alcohol, glycerin-based extracts are formulated specifically for use in dogs and cats, with a sweet flavor that appeals to their palates.Animals are herbalists too, but domestication prohibits them from instinctively seeking the botanical diversity their bodies require. All of these sweet and palatable glycerites are easily accepted by your animal friends because of their great taste, and they are all crafted form the finest certified organic or ethically wild harvested ingredients. The concentrated tincture/extract method is the most effective method of taking and assimilating herbs. Herbal extract enter the blood stream rapidly and are easier to use than herbs in other forms by simply placing a drop or two under the tongue or adding to water or juice. Live-concentrated tincture/extracts have none of the disadvantages of fresh or encapsulated herbs or of herbs taken in teas as heat destroys valuable enzymes. Detox & Allergy Blend — An array of time-proven tonic herbs in a combination to gently stimulate and assist your dog or cat’s natural ability to eliminate excesses from the body, in a manner that will not strain already overworked organs. Contains Burdock, Dandelion, Milk Thistle, Red Clover, Alfalfa and Licorice in a balanced tonic formula which can be used over an extended period of time to assist metabolic functions of the body during acute or chronic cases of allergy or other systemic imbalances related to liver dysfunction or excess toxicity. Originally formulated for animals with chronic skin disorders. OL-Immune Formula — This formula combines the broad-spectrum antiviral and anti-bacterial properties of olive leaf with the time-proven immunotonic qualities of Echinacea leaf, flower, and root), and the reliable adaptogenic/immune-supporting qualities of Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis). Designed to provide direct intervention against microbes while boosting the body’s natural resistance at both physical and energetic levels. useful as an alternative to Echinacea/Goldenseal blends, especially in instances where viral infection is suspected. Buy Animal Apawthecary Here Tranquility Blend — Holistic veterinarians have been using this formula in situations where nervousness or nerve dysfunction plays a negative factor in the well-being of the animal. Intended as a general calming agent; for cases of acute anxiety, such as trips to the groomer, thunder storms, or the dreaded car trip, excess barking, trips to the vets, nervous disorders, fear of noises and thunder, epilepsy. Tranquility Blend is thought to reduce physical tension and bring about a more relaxed state without impairing motor function or mental alertness. A balanced combination of four calming nerve tonics for acute anxiety disorders: Valerian, Skullcap, Hops, and Oatstraw. Phytomucil — Phytomucil is designed specifically for management of inflammatory bowel disease and other chronic or acute irritations of the digestive tract. Intended to serve as a safe anti-inflammatory agent, provide restorative support throughout the digestive tract, while offering symptomatic relief. Mucilage-rich extracts of Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis), Slippery elm inner bark (Ulmus fulva), Plantain (Plantago major) land Licorice l(Glycyrrhiza glabra) are combined to provide a nutritive, soothing lubricating, protective barrier for inflamed mucous membranes. Tinkle Tonic — An antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, soothing, and tonifying combination of wildcrafted Couchgrass, certified organic Echinacea purpurea root, Dandelion, Marshmallow, and Horsetail. Intended to soothe, lubricate, strengthen and protect urinart tract tissues of dogs and cats. Used by veterinarians as an herbal remedy in the treatment of various forms of urinary tract inflammations. Designed to disinfect, soothe, and protect the urinary tract without irritating the kidneys. Especially useful for cats! Buy Animal Apawthecary Here Senior Blend — A whole body, mind, and spirit tonic for older dogs and cats. Benefits include: anti-arthritic properties, a liver tonic to help eliminate systemic excess and aid digestion, a vascular/brain tonic, heart and arterie aid, nervous system support, a blood purifier, and elements to soothe and protect the digestive tract. Alfalfa as a nutrient and anti-arthritic, Dandelion as a liver tonic to help eliminate systemic excess and aid digestion, Milk Thistle for liver support, Ginkgo as a vascular/brain tonic, Hawthorn for the heart and arteries, Oatstraw for nervous system support, Garlic as a blood purifier and nutritive aid, and Marshmallow to soothe and protect the digestive tract. Alfalfa/Yucca Blend — A combination of five time honored herbs for chronic rheumatic conditions…Alfalfa, Yucca Root, Burdock, Licorice, and Shepherd’s Purse. Designed to help the body cope with the pain, swelling, and stiffness of arthritis and rheumatism while tonifying the liver and kidneys to help eliminate excess waste materials and water from the joints. Fido Derm Spray — 4oz. Distilled water, pure organic aloe Vera juice, organic calendula extract and essential oils of tea tree, lavender & carrot see. Useful for flea & insect bites, hot spots, sunburn, abrasions, & fungal infections. Constitutional Blend — Yellow Dock, Burdock, Dandelion, Slippery Elm, and Turkey Rhubarb in a safe, balanced formulation for metabolic and digestive disorders which maybe associated with chronic constipation. To soothe, lubricate, and protect the digestive tract while stimulating digestion. This is Animals’ Apawthecary’s version of the herbal formula used for decades in the treatment of cancer and heavy metal...
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Posted: December 20, 2013, 3:12 pm
The duration of lifelong immunity for Rabies vaccine, Canine distemper vaccine, Canine Parvovirus vaccine, Feline Panleukopenia vaccine, Feline Rhinotracheitis, feline Calicivirus, have all been demonstrated to be a minimum of 7 years by serology for rabies and challenge studies for all others. In the Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and What We Don’t Know, Proceedings – Canine Infectious Diseases: From Clinics to Molecular Pathogenesis, Ithaca, NY, 1999, Dr. Ronald Schultz, a veterinary immunologist at the forefront of vaccine research and chair of the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Pathobiological Sciences, outlines the DOI for the following vaccines: Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines: Distemper- 7 years by challenge/15 years by serologyParvovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 7 years by serologyAdenovirus – 7 years by challenge/ 9 years by serologyCanine rabies – 3 years by challenge/ 7 years by serology Dr. Schultz concludes: “Vaccines for diseases like distemper and canine parvovirus, once administered to adult animals, provide lifetime immunity.” “Are we vaccinating too much?” JAVMA, No. 4, August 15, 1995, pg. 421. Yet vets continue to vaccinate annually. Dog owners feel that their vets are doing their dogs a great service by vaccinating every three years instead of annually – why do we allow it when these studies were done over thirty years ago and have been replicated time and again by other researchers? continue reading
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Posted: December 18, 2013, 5:11 pm
Our companion animals give us love all year long, and the holidays are a wonderful time for us to give back. Life’s Abundance Holiday Baskets are the perfect gifts for your pets and your pet friends. They are also a great way to create good will! Gift Baskets are on Sale NOW! Holiday Gift Basket for Dogs Dogs will go nuts when they see and smell what we’ve added to our holiday gift baskets this year. In addition to an assortment of treats, a bag of Tasty Rewards and a plush, squeak toy, we’ve also included a can of our Turkey & Shrimp Breakfast and our Chicken & Crab Dinner. Everything is neatly-bundled in a decorative, reusable basket.* Limited quantity … they go fast, so order now! ONLY $19.95 – RETAIL VALUE $32.00 Holiday Gift Basket for Cats Cats tend to crave more independence than their canine buddies, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need affection, too! With an assortment of toys, Gourmet Cat Treats, a can of Instinctive Choice and a bottle of our Wellness Food Supplements, these baskets are a wonderful way to show just how much you care. All of these goodies are packed in a festive, reusable basket.* Limited quantity … they go fast, so order now! ONLY $14.95 – RETAIL VALUE $21.00 For holiday shows or street fairs, you can use the gift baskets as lovely raffle prizes. Say “thanks” to good customers for their year-long patronage with gift baskets. If you are a pet professional with your own retail establishment, you can order several gift baskets and display them for impulse purchases. Or, you can promote the products with your own holiday raffle, providing baskets to a handful of winners. This will create great holiday excitement among your clients, and it’s a fun way to reward them for their patronage. For brand new pet parents, these gift baskets are a wonderful way to welcome a new addition to the family. Please order here now. Quantities are limited and the Holiday Gift Baskets go very fast! *Basket pattern and toys may vary Happy Holidays!
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Posted: December 16, 2013, 9:10 pm
Courtesy of The Dog, who is always looking for ways to get even with the cat, here’s a fool-proof way to give your cat a bath without anyone getting hurt, as long as the instructions provided by The Dog are followed exactly. Cat owners are always looking for creative ways to wash cat, so why not try this method? There’s only one way to find out if this will be your new cat-bathing routine! Let us know how this works out for you, if you dare… 1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl. 2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom. 3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid. 4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this. 5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a “power-wash and rinse”. 6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door. 7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids. 8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off. 9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean. Your Sincerely,The Dog
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Posted: December 15, 2013, 1:45 pm
As the temperature drops, pet owners should think about the needs of their furry friends. Pet owners should go over the following checklist to make sure their pets stay happy and healthy this winter: • Is there adequate shelter for our pet? • Is the doghouse free from drafts and is it waterproof against melting snow? The dog will be warmer if the doghouse is elevated an inch or two off the frozen ground by placing it on a wooden pallet. Bedding (such as straw or a blanket) inside will also help ward off chills. Make certain the bedding stays dry. • Does the opening of the shelter face away from the wind? Covering the opening with a flap of cloth or stronger material will also keep your pet warmer. • Is the shelter the proper size for the animal? If it is too small, the animal will be uncomfortable in it. This can also lead to arthritis as the pet gets older. If it is too large, the shelter will not retain the animal’s body heat adequately to efficiently ward off the cold. A dog house should be large enough for the animal to stand up and easily turn around in – no larger and no smaller. • Is there always a source of clean, unfrozen water available? Water freezes at 32 degrees. There are small heaters which may be purchased to place in your pet’s water dish to prevent freezing. Eating snow or ice will not provide sufficient moisture to prevent dehydration in your pet. • If your pet is an outdoor pet, it will require a larger portion of food each day in winter months to build up a fat reserve to help keep it warm. Slowly reduce the daily intact in spring to prevent obesity and gradually begin increasing it again late in fall. • Owners continually need to groom our animals. A matted coat on a dog will not provide the proper insulation against the cold. It is similar to your coat having a large hole in it. • If your pet is an indoor animal, it may not spend enough time outdoors to naturally shed its indoor coat and develop a thicker fur coat. These types of animals may require a sweater before being sent outside to relieve themselves or to exercise. • Pets can get frostbite as easily as a human. Particularly susceptible are the pads on feet, ears and your pet’s nose. Frostbitten areas may appear red, gray or white. Thaw those areas out slowly with a warm, damp cloth. Do not rub the frozen areas. Take your pet your veterinarian as soon as possible. • On those unpredictable warm winter days, is there adequate protection from the sun? Remember, the tree your pet used for shade in the summer may be without leaves in the winter. • When running or exercising a pet dog, it is important to frequently check the animal’s foot pads to ensure there is no frozen snow or ice in the pads to cut it and cause considerable pain (not to mention the possibility of getting infected). Also, salt or chemicals used to melt snow may make your pet ill (or be fatal) if ingested when your pet licks its paws. • Antifreeze is deadly for pets and kids! The sweet taste makes it a poisonous treat for animals and unsupervised children. Look for “safe” non-toxic antifreeze and sure all spills are cleaned up quickly and thoroughly. Contact the poison control center or a medical professional if you suspect any anti-freeze has been ingested. • Cats often escape the cold by crawling into vehicle engines, where they can be killed or seriously injured when the car or truck is started. Before entering your vehicle, bang on the hood to startle any animal sleeping there. • If you are aware of a neglected animal in your neighborhood, call your local Animal Control Bureau! An officer will investigate the situation. Article courtesy of 9news.com
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Posted: December 14, 2013, 10:02 pm
Holiday Safety Tips Video by Dr. Sarah, Life’s Abundance Staff Veterinarian The holidays are a time to celebrate and indulge in some extra special treats. Sadly, treats which are sweet for good boys and girls may not be good for your animal companions. In this edition of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah is here to enlighten you on some of the holiday trimmings that could cause harm to your pets. From festive, seasonal plants to the sparkly decorations you use to adorn your tree, potentially harmful situations don’t take a vacation just because it’s the holidays. Make sure to stay on Santa’s “nice list” and follow these tips to ensure you and your four-legged friends can have a happy, healthy season!
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Posted: December 13, 2013, 4:43 pm
The following are tips to ensure your pets have a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year. 1. Pets can become overexcited, confused, stressed and frightened by the constant flow of holiday visitors. Offer your pet a safe, quiet retreat spot away from guests, especially young children. Let folks know the designated space is off-limits to ensure your pet is not surprised or bothered by someone unknown. 2. Chocolate, coffee and tea all contain dangerous components called xanthines, which can cause nervous or urinary system damage and heart muscle stimulation. Chocolate with theobromine is especially problematic because many dogs love the taste. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst culprits, but all chocolate, fudge and other candy should be put out of your pet’s reach. 3. Don’t place alcoholic drinks in reach of pets. If ingested, alcohol can cause your pet to become ill and possibly go into a coma. Every year hundreds of pets die after consuming alcohol. 4. Cats and kittens are especially attracted to stringy, shiny tinsel, but if they eat it, the strands can easily get caught and tear their intestines. Ribbons, yarn and string can cause intestinal obstruction and bunching of the intestine. These conditions require surgery and can be fatal. Ribbons around your pet’s neck may look cute, but can be dangerous. 5. Many of the plants we have in our homes during the holidays can be poisonous to pets. If ingested, holly (leaves and berries) causes stomach upset and can be potentially fatal to both dogs and cats. Mistletoe upsets stomachs and can cause heart collapse, while hibiscus may cause diarrhea. Poinsettias have an irritating sap that can cause blistering in the mouth and as well as an upset stomach. Place plants well out of your pet’s reach or use imitation holiday plants. Visit www.aspca.org for details. 6. Fatty foods such as traditional holiday foods including turkey, ham, gravy and drippings can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis in some pets. Bones from meat and poultry can also cause problems if swallowed. Even a small cooked bone can splinter and cause tearing throughout the intestinal tract. 7. Additional potentially toxic foods include onions, grapes and raisins and macadamia nuts. Onions can cause anemia, grapes and raisins can lead to renal failure and macadamia nuts can cause muscle tremors and hyperthermia. 8. Dogs with wagging tails and cats who like to climb can easily knock over your Christmas tree. Place trees in a stable stand and attach the tree securely to a window or wall with something like fish line. 9. Chewing on electrical cords, including cords of lights can cause problems ranging from burned mouths, to electrical shock to death by electrocution. Some larger lights can become quite hot and could also cause burns. Unplug decorative lights when you are not home and use pet-proof extension cords if possible. 10. Both dogs and cats will often play with glass ornaments as if they were toy balls and serious oral lacerations can result. Sharp ornament hooks can also become imbedded in your pet’s mouth or esophagus. Place ornaments that are shiny or could be swallowed or broken high up on your tree. 11. Always ensure your pet is wearing current, visible identification. With the more frequent comings-and-goings, it’s easy for your pet to slip out of the house when opening the door for holiday visitors or bringing in gifts from a shopping excursion. 12. Giving pets as Christmas gifts is an unwise idea. Pets are for life, not just for Christmas and many of them end up unwanted or neglected. If someone is thinking about getting a new pet, give the prospective adopter a variety of toys, treats, food, books, bowls and/or pet supply certificate. That way, the family can choose their own pet in their own time and make an educated, well-researched decision.
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Posted: December 11, 2013, 2:31 pm
If your pet food has any corn ingredient in it, there is a serious concern for you to take note of. A recent harvest analysis of 2013 corn and corn silage samples in the U.S. found 100% contamination with deadly mycotoxins. Alltech – an international animal health company – surveyed 329 samples of corn from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2012, and results showed only one percent of the samples analyzed were free of mycotoxins. The company has repeated this testing in 2013 and analysis “has shown similar results but with interesting new findings: the numbers of mycotoxins present are still increasing.” The FDA allows mycotoxins to be at 20 ppb (parts per billion) in pet foods, however science shows that even small amounts of mycotoxins can be dangerous to pets. From the International Journal of Food Microbiology, Drs. Herman J. Boermans and Maxwell C.K. Leung published the report “Mycotoxins and the pet food industry: Toxicological evidence and risk assessment” in 2007. One of the biggest issues of concern discussed, is that existing studies of mycotoxin contamination in pet food overlook the day to day consumption of small amounts of mycotoxins; resulting in “chronic diseases such as liver and kidney fibrosis, infections resulting from immonosuppression and cancer.” Please pay close attention to your pet food/treat ingredients. Corn ingredients are of special concern due to the two year mycotoxin analysis mentioned above. Source: TruthaboutPetFood.com
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Posted: December 10, 2013, 11:03 am
Why is Cancer Killing Our Pets? Courtesy of ‘New Living’ Newspaper March 2001 VACCINES Over the past decade or so, many veterinarians have become increasingly convinced that a number of vaccines are doing more harm than good for our animal companions. Some remain necessary, even mandated by law, such as rabies. But not all the annual boosters that have been traditionally given now appear to be necessary and they may be leading to several diseases. Among the conditions associated with vaccines are skin allergies, bladder infections and cancer. The U. S. veterinary community is currently reviewing most vaccines protocols. When it is time to revaccinate your animal, your veterinarian should consider the pet’s age, his/her lifestyle (indoor or outdoor), his/her general state of health, the prevalence of the disease in question in the geographic area where you live, whether your animal is pregnant, whether or not you board her/him and other factors. Each case is individual and should be considered as such. One of the more no-holds-barred statements about vaccines is Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s warning: “Giving a vaccine to an animal with cancer is like pouring gasoline on a fire.” He also advises not vaccinating pets who have breast tumors or any other growths or tumors. His overall recommendations regarding vaccines are these: Try to get your veterinarian to give single or simple vaccines rather than complex vaccines. Young animals can tolerate a reduced vaccination schedule, but vaccinating is not advised before sixteen weeks of age. Annual boosters should be avoided even though they have been popular. Pitcairn goes so far as to say avoid “any further vaccinations after the initial series as they are not necessary.” He adds that the latest official medical opinion is that annual boosters are neither required nor effective, although not all veterinarians will agree with or even know this fact. THE PET FOOD INDUSTRY Perhaps the most shocking and informative book about the pet food industry is Ann Martin’s “Food Pet’s Die For”, published in 1997. As Dr. Michael W. Fox, vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, says, “Ann Martin is to the pet food industry what Rachel Caron was to the petrochemical-pesticide industry.” Martin spent seven years investigating the commercial pet food industry and what she uncovered isn’t pretty. There are several reasons you really do not want to feed your dog or cat commercial foods. Perhaps the most compelling moral reason is that there are rendered, euthanized pets in much of this food. These pets have been mixed with other materials, including some condemned for human consumption: “rotten meat from supermarket shelves, restaurant grease..’4-D’ (dead, diseased, dying and disabled) animals and roadkill.” The Minister of Agriculture of Quebec told Martin that dead animals are often cooked with viscera, bones, fat and fur. In both the United States and Quebec, this rendering of pets is not illegal. Martin points to an article originally published in the San Francisco Chronicle in which an employee and ex-employee of a rendering plant admitted that their company rendered approximately 250,000 to 500,000 pounds of animals, scraps and more, including “somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 pounds of dogs and cats a day.” That’s enough to make most of us sick, isn’t it? Martin, a Canadian writer who lives with several animal companions, went a bit further in her investigations and discovered that some pets are euthanized with sodium pentobarbital and then rendered. This poison does not break down and goes into commercial pet food and feed for cows, pigs and horses. For the detailed report by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine on popular commercial pet foods containing pentobarbital, click here. When you read the report, please know that AD (animal digest) is animal waste (to be polite)! Two thirds of the pet food manufactured in the United States contains added preservatives, according to the Animal Protection Institute. There are also coloring agents, emulsifiers, lubricants, flavoring agents, pH control agents, synergists and solvents. “Of the more than 8,600 recognized food additives today, no toxicity information is available for 46% of them,” the institute says. EQ (ethoxyquin) is the most common antioxidant preservative in pet foods. It has been found in some dogs’ livers and tissues months after the animal stopped ingesting it. Ethoxyquin is manufactured by Monsanto Chemical, the largest manufacturer of bioengineered foods. EQ is listed as a hazardous chemical by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is considered a pesticide by the USDA. It is used in most US dog food, but is banned in Europe. The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine requested that pet food manufacturers voluntarily reduce the maximum level for ethoxyquin by half to 75 parts per million. PreciousPets.org is pleased to announce that none of the products offered contain any of the above ingredients!
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Posted: December 9, 2013, 7:03 pm
Christmas trees are beautiful, but require extra attention when you have a pet. When decorating the tree, hang breakable and small ornaments or tinsel out of your dog or cat’s reach. Do not place a food gift under the tree or popcorn garland on the tree, because your curious pet may claim it. Do not allow your parrot near the tree. They have been known to bite into tree light cords and electrocute themselves! Also, do not put chemicals in the tree water — they can be harmful. By covering your tree stand tightly with skirting, your pet cannot drink the tree water, which may contain dirt or loose bark. Be sure your dog or cat has access to plenty of fresh, clean water in its normal water bowl.
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Posted: December 7, 2013, 1:02 pm
If the thought of petting a cat makes you a little nervous or uncomfortable, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Some people just have a knack for attracting the affections of cats. Others, not so much. An excellent tutorial for those interested in learning the proper way to pet a cat. Great for children or anyone with limited experience with felines. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah shows you all of the sweet spots where cats love affection and offers helpful tips on how to safely approach an apprehensive kitty. Source: Life’s Abundance
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Posted: December 2, 2013, 4:05 pm
Looking for a last-minute “instant” gift for that special pet or pet parent? Now you can give the gift of health any time of the year with Life’s Abundance Gift Certificates (which can be purchased in any amount from $5.00 up to $500.00)! It is so easy to order a Gift Certificate. Just click on this link and simply select from three attractive designs, choose the amount of your gift and enter the recipient’s email address. You can even include a personalized message. The recipient will receive an email with a unique gift certificate code, along with a printable version of the gift certificate. With no hidden fees and no expiration dates, recipients can redeem these gift certificates for any Life’s Abundance products on the web sites or by phone order. Order your Gift Certificates Here »
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Posted: November 30, 2013, 12:47 pm
What you can do to minimize confusion for your dog during the holiday season. By Sarah Hodgson Trees, candles, company, travel. Can you guess what month we’re in? December represents a spectrum of human emotions and activities. From decorating and entertaining to travel and vacation time, it is a month to enjoy the pleasure of traditions, family and friends. For dogs and other pets, holidays are exciting but a bit confusing. Trees—normally perfectly good places to pee near—are brought indoors. Soft, colorful ornaments dangle temptingly. Visitors come and go, kids are wound up and the daily routines get shaken up like a snow globe. It’s enough to make even the most laid back dog wonder what all the fuss is about. What to do? Take a moment to extend some holiday compassion your pet’s way. Let’s look at how the holiday chaos looks from a dog’s perspective. Dogs don’t experience a lot of flux in their life: many don’t get out much if at all. Your dog’s life centers around your daily schedule which follows a relatively consistent pattern. When we plan events like parties or other social gatherings, there is not only the event itself but the build up: stressful organizing that preoccupies your time and attention. The pre-party planning does not go unnoticed by anyone, least of all the family dog who often ends up at the bottom of the attention chain. I believe the two hardest things for a dog to understand when a “big day” arrives are the enticing aromas of cooking food and the exciting influx of visitors. Your home may be your castle, but it’s your dog’s sanctuary too. A parade of noisy strangers (to your dog at least) grabbing all the best food is very unsettling. Even the best-behaved dogs may suddenly see an opportunity to steal food, beg or jump. While you may want to blame the dog and punish her naughty behavior, try not to. Put yourself in her paws for a moment and take steps to avoid confrontations like this. Offer your dog plenty of her own snacks and a few favorite chews to help her pass the time. Keep an eye on well-meaning guests who may want to share the canapés with your dog. And most importantly, try to work a nice long walk in prior to your guests’ arrival. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’ll say it again: a tired dog makes for a happy family! I invite all you to post your tips during this season: I’ll lead off with my top three: Presents for your pets: Don’t wait until crowds have ceased to give your pet their gifts this season. Choose their favorite toy (rope bone, squeak toy or ball for example) and a choice chewy (bully stick, compressed rawhide or nylon bone, for example) and buy multiples of them all wrapped up with a bow before the season. I call these obsession toys: think of them as specials to offer your dog/puppy when you’re too busy to train or play or interact with them. A hollowed out toy stuffed with peanut butter can be a true favorite-one that you perhaps only share when visitors arrive. Drag lead: The demands of December often derail even the steadiest people, and dog’s are often so tied to the rhythm of the household they often misbehave to offset their own agitation. Using a drag lead (an e-book on it’s use can be found on my website: WhenDogsTalk.com) will allow calm interference and redirection. Pre-party planning: Dare I say that most dogs, not all, but most, would prefer to be left out of your party’s roster. If your guest list will exceed 10, consider an alternative activity for your pet. Perhaps a well-respected day care in your area, or family friend would host them for the afternoon or evening. I remember my terrier Hope was quite the curmudgeon in her twilight years and preferred an upstairs bedroom with a bone and Seinfeld reruns playing to drown the unfamiliar noises. If your dog is a social bug who basks in the attention, then I do agree she would glow in the arrival of friends, family and even strangers. In this case make sure she gets a good romp. A long walk will help both of you work off that holiday stress, or if you’ll be too pre-occupied, hire a dog walker to help you out! Now is the time to add your images, thoughts and tips on how make December a month to get your pets will look forward too! About this column: When dogs talk, bestselling author, dog-trainer and columnist Sarah Hodgson listens. Using a unique combination of dog behavior expertise and eyes-in-the-back-of-her-head mom insights, Sarah cheerfully reaches across the species divide to help dogs, kids and families discover the common ground of understanding.
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Posted: November 28, 2013, 2:12 pm
By Dr. Jean Hofve, Staff Veterinarian Only Natural Pet The holiday season, while a happy time for most people, can be a stressful and even dangerous time for pets. Their routines are upset, visitors abound, and extra-tempting smells are coming from the kitchen! Sharing is one of the most beloved aspects of the holidays, and it’s fine to share some turkey and other goodies with your pets. However, the caution about feeding “scraps” remains in effect – do not give your cat or dog any dinner discards, like turkey or ham bones, or fatty items like turkey skin. These can cause serious tummy upset; in dogs especially, too much fat can trigger life-threatening pancreatitis. Ask dinner guests to refrain from feeding “under the table” – or better still, keep pets safely confined during the festivities. Chocolate, of course, is toxic to both dogs and cats – they’re safer with treats than sweets! After dinner, be sure the garbage is secure from any sneaky paws that may come prowling after the rest of the family is asleep! The holiday season can be very stressful for our pets. Natural remedies, like flower essences for anxiety, herbs for stress, and homeopathy for stress, can help cope with the increased hustle and bustle. Help your pet handle the visitors and excitement of the holidays with SpiritEssence Holiday Stress Stopper, HomeoPet Anxiety remedy, Only Natural Pet Just Relax Flower Essences, or Only Natural Pet Relaxi-Herb Herbal Formula. A Christmas tree may be irresistibly tempting to explore or even climb, so if you have one, make sure it’s in a sturdy stand, and if necessary, secure it with twine or wire to keep it from falling. Do keep your pets away from the water in the stand, which can contain toxic tree sap and other chemicals. Use a “tree skirt,” or wrap a towel, sheet, or other barrier around the base of the tree and stand and tape it securely, or otherwise make the area inaccessible to your furry friends. continue reading >>
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Posted: November 24, 2013, 12:30 pm
by Robert Mueller , BARF World “Is it normal for my dog to be constipation when on a raw diet?” This is a question that we get asked every day from pet owners that are new to the concept of raw food for dogs and cats. They expect normal bowel movements when feeding dogs raw meat so when either diarrhea or constipation occur, they become alarmed that their dog might be having a major problem. Let me first clear up a common misconception, and that is, that it is not normal for your pet to have a consistently well-formed stool every single day of a their life. It sounds strange to say, but there is a reason why your pet’s stool cannot be uniformly predictable. Your dog and your cat will receive a variety of food, treats, bones, and perhaps table scraps each and every day, which means that each meal will have a slight variation of ingredients. There are other factors that may affect your pet’s digestion process, such as stress, medications, exercise, and illness. Each of these factors affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract which can result in either diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. And yes, it’s true that a dog that is fed exactly the same food every day of her life, that has never been fed off the table, is never given treats of any kind, never allowed to scrounge around outside and snack on things she shouldn’t, and is so healthy that she is never given medication, can be the perfect specimen for having a healthy, well-formed stool every day. But as we pet owners all know, having a dog this perfect is not as easy to come by as we would like. BARF World’s philosophy of how to properly feed a dog is based on Mother Nature’s most appropriate food for the species. A dog’s natural diet is made up of bones and raw food (BARF), which are found in the prey they catch or in the dead carcasses they may stumble upon. It’s true that a dog that consumes an adequate portion of bone in the diet will have a tendency to have a consistently white, chalky stool, and at times, may experience some slight constipation. In these cases, constipation is normal and will resolve itself on its own. However, if the symptom continues, there are some simple tricks that can help to relieve the problem: • First, if giving your pet raw meaty bones as a yummy chew, reduce the amount of bones to once week. • Another quick and easy solution is to add some extra fruit to your pet’s meal. This is a well accepted way to temporarily regulate the bowels. • Canned unsweetened pumpkin can also help to ease straining. • Finally, if that doesn’t resolve the issue, try Nux Vom, a homeopathic remedy great for pets and people that helps relieve symptoms of nausea andindigestion, vomiting, and (of course) constipation. It is interesting to observe and compare the difference in stool volume, color, and odor of dogs fed raw food as compared to those fed dry dog food (kibble) or canned pet food. The difference in the animal’s utilization of nutrients in each diet is obvious when you immediately notice that the dog fed raw food has 25 to 30% less stool volume than the dog fed processed pet food. This indicates a more efficient utilization of ingredients from a raw dog food diet. The raw diet produces a chalky white stool that is consistently smaller in volume and has almost no odor. These improvements are welcomed advantages for dog and cat owners, especially those with large and giant breed dogs.
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Posted: November 20, 2013, 3:45 pm
Essential Fatty Acids for Optimum Health in your Pet© by Bree Weasner, PreciousPets.org LLC Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are as important to animals as they are to humans. EFAs are what promote and maintain a healthy coat & skin for dogs, cats and horses. Animal skin, fur and hair contain essential fatty acids and animals utilize EFAs to produce eicosanoids, which are important to various body functions. EFAs are absorbed only through food intake, so the health of our pets is dependent on the types of food that we give them. EFA deficiencies can occur in animals, and this is due to pancreas and liver issues, diet or other health conditions/diseases. Some pets have an EFA deficiency because of metabolic differences, and cats are a good example of this deficiency. Cats have difficulty absorbing EFAs, and so they may suffer from coat, skin and fur problems. Symptoms of EFA deficiency are greasy, dry or dull coat, dry skin, dandruff, hair loss, slowed healing, weight loss and sores to name a few. Other conditions relative to EFA issues include dermatitis, eczema and pruritus. Animals often develop allergies due to lack of EFAs and this leads to skin problems; this is often referred to as fat-responsive dermatosis. Benefits of EFA Supplements Give your pet the proper amount of essential fatty acids with an EFA supplement to reduce inflammation and help with itchy skin, coat and various other health conditions. EFAs also reduce inflammation in the joints and it has been shown in recent research that EFAs help both animals and humans with health problems like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular illnesses and aging. Providing your pets with the proper amount of EFAs is easy, as many high quality pet foods incorporate the proper amount of EFAs into their food. These foods typically contain additional beneficial oils like borage, flax and fish oil. These oils supply GLA, ALA, EPA and DHA to your pet. As a pet owner, you also have the choice to mix beneficial oils (such as fish oil) into your pet’s food via capsule or liquid. Skin and coat issues are one of the main reasons pet owners seek veterinarian care. Life’s Abundance Skin & Coat Formula provides additional essential fatty acids that your cat and dog need in order to promote and maintain a healthy coat and skin. Life’s Abundance Skin & Coat Supplement Benefits: • Soothes irritated skin that is dry, flaky or oily• Promotes healthy skin, coat to minimize shedding• Great for animals with extreme itching/scratching Skin & Coat Formula Features: • Formula is made with natural ingredients and healthy nutrients like fish oil and vitamin E • Certified to be free of contaminates• Palatable roast beef flavor• Product is microencapsulated for greater absorption• Manufactured in a facility that manufactures for-human products Dosage instructions: 15 pounds or less: one-half tablet15-29 pounds: one tablet30-49 pounds one-and-a-half tablet50-99 pounds: two tablets100 pounds and up: three tablets Begin with half the recommended dose and gradually increase to full dose within one week. Read more info about the Skin and Coat Formula here References Bond R, Lloyd DH. Double-blind Comparison of an Evening Primrose Oil and Fish Oil Combination in the Management of Canine Atophy. Veterinary Dermatology. Vol. 4, pp 185-189,1993. Lloyd D, Thomsett LR. Essential Fatty Acid Supplementation in the Treatment of Canine Atopy: A Preliminary Study. Veterinary Dermatology. Vol. 1, pp 41-44, 1989. Scott DW, Miller WH, Reinhart GA, Mohammed HO, Bagladi MS. Effect of an Omega-3/Omega-6 Fatty Acid-Containing Commercial Lamb and Rice Diet on Pruritus in Atopic Dogs: Results of a Single-Blinded Study. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. Vol. 61, pp 145-153, 1997. Watson TDG. Diet and skin disease in dogs and cats. Journal of Nutrition. Vol. 128 (Supplement), pp 2783-2789, 1998.
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Posted: November 17, 2013, 9:17 pm
Learning How to Read Pet Food Nutrition Labels – Ethoxyquin, BHA & BHT? All commercial pet foods must be preserved so they stay fresh and appealing to our animal companions. Canning is a preserving process itself, so canned foods contain less preservatives than dry foods. Some preservatives are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer. Because manufacturers need to ensure that dry foods have a long shelf life to remain edible after shipping and prolonged storage, fats used in pet foods are preserved with either synthetic or natural preservatives. Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin was found to: pronounce kidney carcinogenesis; significantly increase the incidence of stomach tumors; enhance bladder carcinogenesis; and significantly increase number of colon tumors. The Department of Agriculture lists ethoxyquin as a pesticide. BHA was found to: cause squamous-cell carcinomas in stomachs of rates and hamsters. (Cancers of this type are among the most lethal and fastest acting, the swiftest effects being seen among animals with light colored fur. (Many white cats die within months after getting squamous cell black tumor on their skin.); and enhance stomach and urinary bladder carcinogenesis. BHT was found to: promote urinary bladder carcinogenesis; and could be a promoter of thyroid carcinogenesis. A recent study done by the Department of Pathology, Nagoya City University Medical School, Japan, noted that BHA and other such antioxidants, particularly propyl gallate and ethoxyquin, showed addictive in inducing stomach hyperplasia and cytotoxicity. Take a dog food preserved with ethoxyquin and feed the average dog (44 lbs) by the label instructions and that dog will consume 26 lbs of ethoxyquin in 1 years time. Is that what you want for your pet?! Does consuming 26 lbs of ethoxyquin (poison) sound like a “good” idea to you? NOTE: The addition of Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT in most popular commercial pet foods is standard and approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). We are pleased to announce that all Life’s Abundance and Flint River Ranch dog and cat food formulas, including treats and other products, do NOT contain any of these toxic chemical preservatives.
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Posted: November 16, 2013, 1:49 pm
(CNN) — Every dog has its day, and scientists are trying to figure out when that first day happened. At some point in ancient history humans developed close relationships with four-legged creatures that would have otherwise been wild, fierce wolves. A new study in the journal Science argues that the domestication of dogs happened between 18,800 and 32,100 years ago in Europe. They say European hunter-gatherer cultures were responsible for turning lupine foes into best friends, long before humans developed agriculture. It’s a conclusion that barks up a controversial tree. The study goes against the idea wolves were domesticated when they wandered over to human agricultural settlements, lured by food. The study also contradicts previous research suggesting that dog domestication may have first happened in the Middle East or East Asia. “There were many aspects in this study that we didn’t expect,” said Olaf Thalmann, researcher at Finland’s University of Turku, who led the study. Chief among the surprises: the European origin of dog domestication. continue reading >>
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Posted: November 14, 2013, 9:08 pm