Category Archives: pet blogger

Guest Blog: 5 Reasons You Need Your Pet More

Pet parents know that having a pet brings an incredible amount of happiness into their life. But caring for your doggo can also have an invaluable impact on your health and well-being. While properly caring for your pet is a big responsibility, you will also enjoy improvements in your physical health, emotional health, and even your social life! It may make you feel like you need your pet more than they need you!

Good for Your Heart and Overall Health

According to a study by Sweden’s Uppsala University, adopting a dog can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people who live alone. Owning a pet has even shown to increase life expectancy. Whether you’re taking your pup on a daily walk around the block, taking him on a hike or to the dog beach, you are also taking care of your heart and increasing your physical activity. And hey, pets are great for your “emotional heart” as well!

Reduces Stress

Stress can have significant effects on your mental health and sense of well-being. It can make everything seem much more dire than it really is and leave you at an increased risk for things like depression and anxiety. Stress is often hard to get rid of, but it turns out that pets can help! According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a study showed that owning a pet can actually help diminish symptoms of stress on a long-term basis.

Better Sleep

Sleep is important to both physical and mental health, and it can be particularly difficult to achieve quality sleep when you’re not in the right headspace. Did you know that sleeping with your pet could help? Many people find that they feel more comforted and secure with their pet in the room than they do without them. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider sharing some space with your pet to see if it helps. While it doesn’t prove effective for everyone, especially if you have a rambunctious pup, you may be surprised at how much your pet’s presence can help.

 

Improved Social Life

Looking to jump-start your social life? Get a dog. Walking your dog can help you connect with neighbors and meet new people. Many conversations – and friendships – begin at the dog park. While this, at first glance, may not seem crucial to your health, it is believed that people with more social connections often live longer. You can actually help reinforce your physical health as well as your social circle simply by taking good care of your furry friend and meeting people along the way.

 

Unconditional Love

A price cannot be put on the unconditional love your pet gives you. We all have to cope with stress and the unexpected twists and turns of life. However, the one thing you can always rely on is the love of a pet. Your dog will always be there waiting for you at the front door with an open heart and a wagging tail. That’s a great way to end the day.

Our pets need us to help take care of their physical health, but it turns out that they might give us more than we could ever hope to give them. Having a pet is great for your mental and physical health!

 

Sources: The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pet and aha Journals.

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Stephanie James is a dog-walker by day and freelance writer by night, who covers a variety of topics, including holistic health for both pets and owners. To read more work by Stephanie, connect with her on Twitter @sjaywrites13.


 

Is it Safe to Handle Your Pet’s Raw Food?

As the debate rages on about whether a raw diet* is good or not for our pets, below is an interesting study about the potential risk of humans getting sick or infected from handling their pet’s raw food. The study included over 16K pet households in 81 countries. The research is published in the BMJ journal Veterinary Record.

(*Raw food includes any meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage fed uncooked to pets.)

(Did you know that more than 60% of pet owners in the Netherlands feed raw?)

 


It’s safe to feed raw food to pets, finds new study.


 

Guest Blog: Shave Your Dog! Truth or Myth?

 

When a man decides not to shave his face – it’s usually for an admirable reason, like No-Shave November (designed to raise cancer awareness throughout the month). Sometimes it’s just an excuse to get out of shaving, but – more often than not – there’s a purpose behind that decision!

But, when a groomer decides not to shave a dog’s coat, it’s rarely “just because.” It’s in the dog’s best interest for multiple reasons.

 

A Dog’s Coat is Suited for Heat or Cold

Often, pet parents mistakenly assign human conditions to their pets. For example, thinking their Husky, Chow or Samoyed gets too hot and should be shaved. The truth is their coats serve as natural heating and cooling mechanisms.

 

“These breeds have a double-layered coat that protects the

from the snow and cold, and prevents sunburn in hot months,”

says Humberto Z., who has been a groomer since 2008.

 

Shaving double-coated dogs can also cause unwanted medical conditions, like alopecia, which prevents the coat from growing back properly. Sam, an experienced pet stylist, explains, “I try to educate pet parents who request a shave on a double-coated dog on why it is harmful to do so.”

 

Does Shaving Stop K9 Shedding?

People tend to also believe that shaving will stop shedding – fake news! Fur returns, and with it comes inevitable furballs rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds. “Double-coated dogs shed a lot during hotter months because they’re letting their undercoat out <blowing coat>,” further advises Humberto. “When you do a de-shedding brush out it’s fine because you’re taking only the undercoat out and leaving what is called the guard coat – a layer to prevent sunburn.”

Brittany Z, who has been grooming professionally since 2005, offers alternatives to shave requests. “I would first offer a really good bath with de-shedding shampoo, blow out and a de-shedding brush out with the best tool for that dog’s coat. Then to reduce shedding, I recommend a good brush out every 2 weeks and a bath every 4 weeks.”

 

Fur-Bearing vs Hair-Bearing Canines

Fur-bearing dogs have different needs than hair-bearing dogs; talk with your groomer about what’s best for your pup. Hair-bearing dogs like Poodles, Shih Tzus and Yorkies, need haircuts regularly and can typically be shaved if needed. But fur-bearing, double-coated dogs, such as Alaskan Malamutes, Labs and Golden Retrievers have fur that grows to a particular length and should NOT be shaved.*  You can find a complete list of breeds and coat types at www.akc.org.

Sometimes, when a dog has gone too long without proper grooming and develops tightly packed matted fur against their skin, a shave is necessary. These mats are painful – their skin is being pulled by the tightening fur, and skin diseases can develop if left untreated. Most of these shaves should be performed with the dog under sedation with vet supervision, followed by a skin/coat care regimen to protect the pup while their fur grows back, and a regular grooming schedule to prevent a reoccurrence.

With a bit of coat education, you can keep your pup’s coat and skin healthy, while the groomer makes them look grrrr-eat!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Renee Ventrice is the VP of Marketing for Woofie’s LLC, proud mom of Beemer, a 13-year-old Parsons Russell Terrier and human mom to her 20-year-old son Gino.

Woofie’s was established in 2004 and is an award-winning pet care company offering pet sitting, dog walking and mobile pet spa services as well as franchising opportunities. Learn more about Woofie’s at www.woofies.com.

 


 

* Source: http://www.GroomersGallery.com

Photo Credits: Ellen Zangla Photography

RECALL: Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food

 

The USDA (US Food and Drug Administration) issues a recall alert on August 14th regarding 35 frozen lots of Texas Tripe Raw Pet Food (manufactured by Texas Tripe Inc).

The recall was issued after samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes. Testing was done by the Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC). Of the 23 samples tested,  16 were positive.

The recalled products were sold frozen in 20- and 40-pound cases containing multiple plastic pouches in 23 product varieties. NOTE: There are no unique identifications numbers on the individual chubs (plastic pouches) to identify them as the recalled products. Lot codes are only printed on the outside of the cases.

Here is the list of all the recalled products and lot numbers:

(Courtesy: The Dog Advisor)

The States Included in the Recall

The recalled products were sold directly to consumers (online and over the phone) in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

 

ALSO … A Special Note

The products below were also tested and showed positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes but have NOT been recalled.

  • Texas Tripe Chicken Blend: Lot 19196-6
  • Texas Tripe Pork Blend: Lot 19190-09
  • Texas Tripe Beef Blend: Lot 19191-05

Pet treats and food contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes pose a public health concern because they can affect both the health of animals and humans. Refrigeration or even freezing does not kill the bacteria.

 

What You Should Know About Salmonella

Salmonella poses a risk to animals ingesting the affected product (including dogs and cats) and humans. Pets infected with salmonella may display symptoms including:

  • Fever;
  • Lethargy and shock;
  • Diarrhea (which may last up to 3-4 weeks or longer);
  • Vomiting;
  • Weight Loss;
  • Dehydration; and
  • Mucus and/or blood in the stool.

People infected with salmonella can also have:

  • Diarrhea;
  • Fever; and
  • Abdominal cramps.

For some people, their diarrhea may be severe enough to require hospitalization.

 

What You Should Know About Listeria Monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes poses a risk to both animals ingesting the affected product and humans (if they do not thoroughly wash their hands after coming into contact with a contaminated product). Pets infected with listeria may display symptoms including:

  • Mild to severe diarrhea;
  • Anorexia;
  • Fever;
  • Nervous, muscular and respiratory system issues;
  • Abortion;
  • Depression; and
  • Shock and even death.

Infected animals can also serve as sources of infection to other household animals and humans.

 

What to do Next

Consumers should immediately stop feeding any of the recalled products and discard them in a secure container where stray animals or wildlife cannot access them.

Consumers should also:

  • Clean their refrigerator/freezers where the product was stored.
  • Thoroughly wash their hands after handling any recalled products.
  • Clean and disinfect any:
    • Utensils;
    • Bowls;
    • Surfaces including floors; and
    • Pet bedding and toys.

 

Sources: The Dog Food Advisor and the FDA.

 

© 2019. Cold Noses News. All Rights Reserved. Content may be shared with proper credit and link back to Cold Noses News.


 

YOU Can Make a Difference on Clear the Shelters Day!

 

Now in its fifth year, Clear the Shelters is fast-approaching this Saturday, August 17th! Since the campaign started in 2015, more than a quarter of a million homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and even birds have found their “fur-ever” homes!

 

Want to adopt your new best friend this year?

Find a Clear the Shelters participating

partner (by zip code) by clicking here.

 

 

Have a shelter or rescue organization and want to participate in this year’s Clear the Shelters campaign?

Click here to register now!

 

For questions or more ways you can help the 2019 Clear the Shelters event, contact your local participating shelter or rescue using this map!

Pitbull image by Beverly Lussier from Pixabay.

 

 

Guest Blog: Should You Feed Your Dog a Raw Diet?

With the recent flurry of recalls and news stories about potential links of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to grain-free pet foods, more pet owners are taking another look at feeding their pets a raw meat diet. Our guest blogger, Jade Bossenbroek, Founder of 4 Raw Pets Raw Feeding, dissects this important subject below.


Why Feed Raw?

Some people might argue that our domestic cats and dogs with all the years of domesticating, breeding and being fed processed foods like kibble, they have adapted to live, survive and thrive on a more – or even complete – plant-based diet. But is this really true?

 

Carnivores vs Herbivores

Carnivore” literally means “meat-eater” in Latin. “True” carnivores (called obligate carnivores), are meat-eaters whose survival depends and thrives on nutrients found in animal flesh because they lack the necessary physiology required to digest a large amount of plant material.  In other words, true carnivores must eat meat to survive. Cats, dogs and even ferrets are obligate carnivores. Their bodies are anatomically adapted to eating meat in the following ways:

  • Their teeth are sharp and pointy, meant for holding, tearing and crushing, all of which are needed for a meat-based diet.
  • Carnivores have a very short digestive tract, so food passes through fast and as such the food has got to be easily absorbed to be useful.
  • They do not have the enzymes to break down carbohydrates found in plant-based products.
  • They produce enzymes specifically for breaking down meat in their stomach.
  • The saliva found in their mouths is better suited to prevent cavities, there are no digestive enzymes present in their saliva, it is purely designed to get the food down into the stomach where the digestive process can start.

For the carnivore, meat protein is necessary for healthy muscles and organs. Meat also contains important vitamins, minerals and amino acids that help the body function in every way; including metabolism, brain function and healing. In contrast, feeding high carbohydrate diets (like kibble and other processed foods) can lead to many health issues for the carnivore such as allergies, gum disease, tooth decay and much more.

It is said that all the amino acids needed to function can be found in meat in the right levels; one of which is taurine, an ingredient only found in muscle and organ meat (large amounts of taurine can be found in the brain, retina and heart). This amino acid cannot be found in – or replaced by – plant-based protein. Cats and also foxes need a higher concentration of taurine compared to dogs. Without it, they can suffer from:

  • Blindness;
  • Heart problems; and
  • Even death.

Meat also provides saturated fatty acids in usable forms (unlike many plant-based oils). Fatty acids are important for proper:

  • Hormone production
  • Energy
  • Cell membrane formation
  • Protection of vital organs

Saturated fatty acids in animal-based proteins range around 80-90%, whereas plant-based proteins only contain around 10-20%.

 

(To learn more, read Dogs: The Omnivore-Carnivore Question by Dr. Jeannie Thomason & Dr. Kim Bloomer)

 

On the other hand, an herbivore is an animal who is well-adapted to primarily beating plant material (anatomically and physiologically). In contrast to the carnivore, herbivores:

  • Have teeth that are flat with a jaw that moves from side to side to breakdown plant material.
  • Produce enzymes (starting in their mouths) to break down plant-based products; and
  • Have a longer digestive tract so plant-based material has time to pass through and be adequately absorbed.

 

The DNA Link

Whether you have Chihuahua or a German Shepard, domestic dogs and wolves share roughly 99.9% of their DNA and because of this, wolves and dogs also share a lot in common anatomically. No matter how domesticated your dog may be, it still has the same short digestive tract, sharp teeth and the same enzymes for breaking down meat as his ancestors over 10,000 years ago.

Wolves are strict meat-eaters, but they will sometimes supplement their diet with greens and berries. This mostly occurs when there’s a food shortage or when they feel under the weather or lacking something. Think of your dog eating grass and then throwing up. But some occasional plant materials does not automatically make them an omnivore as some suggest.

 

Is Your Pet REALLY Fine on a Kibble Diet?

Ok, you might be able to survive on McDonald’s every day, but would you really be healthy?

Sadly, it’s all too common for our pets to die from cancer or kidney failure today. These illnesses that weren’t all that common just 30 years ago are now claiming pet lives at an alarming rate. Just like with us humans, nutrition plays a critical part in the overall health and well-being of our pets.

Yes, of course not everything can be blamed on diet alone. Genetics, the environment, stress levels and more all play an important role. But there’s unrefutable proof there’s a strong connection between health and overall nutrition.

Today’s commercial kibble contains a high ratio of carbohydrates. In order to maximize their profits, the pet food industry has been adding carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables and grains into their products instead of meat. Both vets and/or the pet food industry do not want to potentially discredit their own industry, but basic common sense and research really can unearth the deceitful marketing tactics and indiscretion of the industry.

Humans (who are omnivores – beings who can eat and survive on both plants and meat) identify fruits, vegetables and grains as “whole foods” with valuable vitamins and minerals. But for our carnivorous pets, they can’t digest these “whole food” carbohydrates fast enough to utilise most of the nutrients.

Many carbohydrates we consider healthy such as peas, carrots and rice (which all turn into sugars) are actually pretty high on the glycemic index (the measurement of sugar in the blood) for dogs, cats and ferrets. Some of these same carbohydrates are linked to serious heart conditions and even cancers in our pets. Besides running the risk of developing diabetes, high sugar content also affects hyperactivity and is often converted into fat leading to obesity, a current epidemic among household pets. A weight management diet isn’t going to help, whilst these formulas may drop the fat content, the content of fibre and grain is increased more, which can worsen the condition.

 

Kibble: The Additives

Since the nutritional value of the raw ingredients has been depleted during the intense manufacturing (cooking) process, the pet food industry then adds artificial vitamins and minerals to mimic a balanced diet. Unfortunately, the ratio of vitamins and minerals added to kibble – and other commercially produced pet foods – is generalised so it covers a wide range of pets. The numbers posted in the analysis section only indicate maximum and minimum numbers and are not exact (think of a recent Hills Science Food recall, where high levels of vitamin D were found).

Since these added vitamins and minerals are not customized to your individual pet (some pets may absorb more nutrients than others), for some animals, there can be too much (for instance) calcium or magnesium which can result in painful crystals.

Then last but not least, in addition to the above, artificial food colouring and flavouring is often added to make it more appealing and palatable to the consumer (for marketing purposes). Sadly, many of these artificial colour and flavour additives have the potential for undesirable and high-risk health issues for our pets as well.

 

Kibble: The Lack of Moisture

Another hidden problem in kibble is the lack of necessary moisture which begins to tax our pet’s kidneys and can result in eventual kidney failure. Dry kibble typically contains only 7%-10% moisture (whereas meat contains 70% and more) in moisture. Vets already recognise that hydration is important, so why are they recommending dry kibble diets when they contain so little moisture?

The lack of critical moisture eventually results in many common illnesses such as urinary tract infections and chronic kidney failure, especially in cats.

 

The Proof is in the Poo

Meat protein sources are highly bioavailable at 90-95% (an ingredient’s potential to be absorbed); whereas plant-based proteins are only around 70% bioavailable. This is why when comparing pets on a raw meat diet with those on a kibble diet, those on kibble have large, smelly poos because they are not completely digesting what they are eating and therefore producing more (smelly) waste.

 

The Final Word

In short, despite human views and lifestyle choices, obligate carnivores like dogs, cats and ferrets cannot thrive on diets of grains and vegetables. As a human, you might choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, but those lifestyles should not be imposed on your carnivorous companion.


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Jade Bossenbroek, Founder of 4 Raw Pets Raw Feeding, turned to raw feeding after struggling to find a commercial dog food that would work for all four of her dogs. Each of the dogs was struggling with some kind of issue including flaky, smelly skin, hot spots, food-related allergies, strong dog smells and bouts of vomiting and explosive diarrhea. (She also lost a few cats at a young age form kidney failure.)  After doing research on raw feeding, Jade finally took the plunge and her dogs have been transformed for the better because of it. To help other dog guardians, Jade started the 4 Raw Pets website as a free resource to share her extensive research and information on species-appropriate, raw meat diets.


 

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