All “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food Isn’t Right For Every Pet

When a bag, can, or other container of pet food says complete and balanced, what does that mean?

It simply means that the mix of ingredients in he pet food has enough of the nutrients needed in the diet to prevent most diseases due to deficiencies of proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Diets are tested to ensure they won’t make your pets sick.

Most dogs and cats seem to thrive on commercial pet food. However, individual dogs and cats may need a different type of diet to stay healthy, prevent disease, or treat medical issues. Dry food is the most common food purchased for pets, but not all pets can tolerate dry food and some need to eat a different type of diet. Some dogs or cats may need more oils for a dry coat, less carbohydrates to lose weight, a different meat or gluten-free diet for allergies (skin, ear, or bowel issues), more moisture (canned, homemade or raw) for the prevention or treatment of urinary crystals or stones, or holistic, homemade, or raw pet food for severe allergies, bowel issues or seizures. Most commercial dry food is geared for the average pet without health issues. These mixes of ingredients may not be healthy for a pet with allergies to wheat, obese pets, or those with urinary problems. Even raw food aficionados forget that not all dogs do well on a raw diet if they are fed a raw diet with beef or chicken, and they are allergic to a certain meat. The type of meat, the presence of grain or glutens, the amount of oils, and the percentage of moisture all can affect the health of your pet.

Where do you turn for advice? Can you ask your vet? Most veterinarians are trained to advise a different prescription diet for each medical issue. These diets may work, but may not be readily eaten by some pets. Some of the dry medical diets aren’t really much better for the pet’s health than most commercial foods. One urinary diet may help with crystals, but has wheat in it, that may cause skin problems. Prescription diets may be too expensive for some people and the pet suffers because they are offered no alternatives.

What are you supposed to do? Can you ask your vet about other types of diets that may work? How about homemade or a raw diet? Feeding canned food versus a kibble diet for weight loss? Feeding raw, meaty, bones to keep teeth clean? Most vets won’t know practical nutritional advice, because most were not trained to give it. Millions of pets are thriving on different diets, but most veterinarians are only trained to give advice on commercially “complete and balanced” diets and their prescription diets. Don’t blame your vet for not giving you alternatives like a homemade or raw diet or even simply supplementing your pet’s diet with healthy “human food”. We just weren’t trained to do that.

10 years ago, I started questioning the way we feed our pets. I had to reeducate myself and learn nutritional principles. I read books on the diet of the wolf and 100’s of labels on commercial food and raw food. I read books on feeding raw food and home cooking, as well as many books on human nutrition. As a result, I started advising my clients to feed different ingredients depending on their pets needs. For example, many purebred dogs and some cats need to avoid wheat-filled treats and food. Avoiding glutens in sensitive pets may cure ear problems, skin problems, bowel issues, and even seizures. With the success of nutritional counseling, I saw that different types of ingredients and moister food (canned, homemade, or raw), helped with weight problems or helped control medical problems like preventing urinary crystals from forming in both dogs and cats. I came to realize that our pets are individuals, and that each may need more than the common commercial kibble for optimum health. Some pets may need different ingredients in the dry food. Other pets may need to eat moister canned food, raw food, or home cooked food to be healthier, leaner, or to help with medical problems.

After my research and success, I wrote “Dog Dish Diet: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog’s Health” in 2009. I updated a couple sections and published the second edition in 2011. Many clients wanted more slow cooking recipes that were in the book, so I published an eBook. “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” with slow cooking recipes and nutritional advice for both dogs and cats. There isn’t a day that goes by when a client or reader tells or emails me that they changed the type of food or the ingredients in the diet to help with a medical problem. I am so happy to know that I have truly helped pet owners become part of the health care team to treat or prevent chronic medical problems. I’m convinced that the right mix of ingredients may often prevent those problems or the need for medication.

If you want to treat or prevent medical problems in your pet, check out my blogs, you tube videos (http://youtube.com/drgregdvm), and my books, Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet .

Here’s a you tube video on “ingredients” in pet food.

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Waiting Room / Tick Tock Performance

Check out these Tick images:

The Waiting Room / Tick Tock Performance
Tick

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Performance | Tick Tock
Friday | January 13 | 6 PM & 7:30 PM
Saturday | January 14 | 11:30 AM
Marvin Auditorium 101 ABC

This one-act play follows a group of women and men in a medical waiting room that begin feeling isolated, bored and anxious but eventually come together in exuberant song and dance. Marcia Cebulska (playwright) is best known to Kansans for her play Now Let Me Fly, commissioned for the national celebration of the Brown v. Board 50th anniversary and Through Martha’s Eyes, a film broadcast on national public television. Darren Canady (director) is a Topeka High alum who currently teaches playwriting at University of Kansas and has had his own work produced nationally. Eleanor Goudie-Averill (choreographer) grew up in Topeka, teaches at Temple University, and dances and choreographs in New York City and Philadelphia.

The Waiting Room / Tick Tock Performance
Tick

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Performance | Tick Tock
Friday | January 13 | 6 PM & 7:30 PM
Saturday | January 14 | 11:30 AM
Marvin Auditorium 101 ABC

This one-act play follows a group of women and men in a medical waiting room that begin feeling isolated, bored and anxious but eventually come together in exuberant song and dance. Marcia Cebulska (playwright) is best known to Kansans for her play Now Let Me Fly, commissioned for the national celebration of the Brown v. Board 50th anniversary and Through Martha’s Eyes, a film broadcast on national public television. Darren Canady (director) is a Topeka High alum who currently teaches playwriting at University of Kansas and has had his own work produced nationally. Eleanor Goudie-Averill (choreographer) grew up in Topeka, teaches at Temple University, and dances and choreographs in New York City and Philadelphia.

The Waiting Room / Tick Tock Performance
Tick

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Performance | Tick Tock
Friday | January 13 | 6 PM & 7:30 PM
Saturday | January 14 | 11:30 AM
Marvin Auditorium 101 ABC

This one-act play follows a group of women and men in a medical waiting room that begin feeling isolated, bored and anxious but eventually come together in exuberant song and dance. Marcia Cebulska (playwright) is best known to Kansans for her play Now Let Me Fly, commissioned for the national celebration of the Brown v. Board 50th anniversary and Through Martha’s Eyes, a film broadcast on national public television. Darren Canady (director) is a Topeka High alum who currently teaches playwriting at University of Kansas and has had his own work produced nationally. Eleanor Goudie-Averill (choreographer) grew up in Topeka, teaches at Temple University, and dances and choreographs in New York City and Philadelphia.

Posted in Flea Protection Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rock: Chapter 2 Final Installment

The term ‘Miracle’ can have many meanings especially when you’re talking about a puppy; the first pee on newspaper, the first poop outside or when it’s a Pyrenees, the first paw. 
But for me and Malcolm it meant blankets.
I’ve had chronic back pain most of my adult life due to an injury sustained on a job and then a subsequent car crash in Corpus Christi when, on my way to a deep sea fishing expedition,  a Dodge Ram driving 50 MPH slammed into my rear end rupturing a disc. 
For as long as I can recall, beds made it worse but couches made it tolerable. 
Back in Castroville, I slept on the living room sofa while Malcolm was asleep all Superman style on the cold corridor tile, and even though we were close in proximity we still seemed worlds apart. 
——–
Then one morning, after what must’ve been a fitful night, I awoke and found Malcolm sleeping not in the tiled hallway but right next to my couch.  

“Why hasn’t he done that before”, I wondered?  And then I realized that at some point my blanket had partially slipped off me onto the floor upon which he lay.
I tested that hypothesis the very next night.  
After I retired to the couch, I deliberately took half my blanket and draped over me and the other onto the floor and closed my eyes pretend like. 
Moments later, sure enough, Malcolm plopped himself down onto the blankets and fell soundly asleep. 
It wasn’t my notion of ‘snuggling’ or even what I wanted or expected out of a puppy but that night I realized something I’d never ever thought possible from a dog.  He was trying to communicate with me. 
But about what?  Are cold tiles giving you piles?  Is Timmy stuck in the town well?  

Hell, I didn’t know.  And at the time, he didn’t even have a name.    
——–
You’d think a creative type wordsmith like me would have no problem at all naming a dog but even after months together nothing came to mind.  And it wasn’t due to lack of diligence.  I researched mythologies from around the world and the only name I came close to was Loki, the Norse God or mischief, which seemed fitting.  . 
Still, I remained uncommitted until my brother, Mark, came into the living room one night and spoke the name ‘Malcolm’. 
“That’s it”, I said without any hesitation and up until now, I never understood why I pulled the trigger so hastily. 
To the extent of my recollection, I’ve never known anyone or anything named Malcolm and couldn’t find any personal, historical, emotional, or grand significance to it either. 
And maybe that’s the reason. 
I didn’t want this dog and maybe giving it a name that I had no attachment to meant I could get rid of it cleanly and easily.  

Or maybe even then I had absolutely no idea what I was up against and it was still so foreign to me.  
——–
Over the coming months Malcolm would accrue many nick names.  
One of the rules I had set forth on our first day together was I absolutely refused to ‘cutesy-tootsy baby talk’ him like girls do.  Southern men just don’t do that   
But Malcolm had a way of breaking down my preconceptions and down and outright bigotry towards dogs. 
One morning in our first winter together, I was taking a long soak and he nosed the door open to the bathroom and I started singing the ‘Rubber Ducky’ song to him but instead substituted the name ‘Chubby Bubby’. 
Other names followed; Smiley Britches and then later on, Snow Monkey.   

And I loved singing to Malcolm as he listened to me with rapt attention, whether I sang Queensryche, Emmy Lou Harris, or Luciano Pavarotti. 
From nicknames to sing songs to finding any and every excuse to picking up a new chew toy on my way home from school, the little feller was growing on me. 
Malcolm rarely left my side and I his.  With one exception.  Church.
——–
One Saturday morning I was headed out to worship at the Alsatian Golf Club, the only church I knew at the time.  As I suited up and strapped my bag on my shoulder, Malcolm got all excited as though he was coming with. 
“Oh, no”, I said patting his head.  “This is a man’s sport and no dog’s allowed.”
Unconvinced, he sidled up to me with a sweet expectant look.  Whether I was spent from the constant battle between us or resigned to the inevitability, I said to the little wedge shaped head dog, “Fine.  But I’m driving the cart.” 
“And don’t bark in my backswing.”
Malcolm didn’t.  He turned out to be an exceptional caddy, riding shotgun in the golf cart, spotting my errant balls, and chasing the geese and gophers from the fairways.  And although he couldn’t keep score so good, his card always erred on my side. 
——–
I think then and there on the fairways of the old Alsatian course, I was entering into a new chapter of my life.  Malcolm had become my mate.  

——–

But my naive misconception of the true nature of our relationship almost cost Malcolm his life several times over and I had a whole helluva lot to learn.  

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dr.’s Visit

I took Coulee to a vet that specializes in rehab medicine and pain management.  I had seen her once before to see if she had some options for Coulee’s feet but what motivated me to visit her this time was Coulee pulling up lame 3 times in the past month.  It kept happening out of the blue in different circumstances and would fix itself in less than 20 minutes.  But it was still weird and obviously painful at the time for her.

Turns out she thinks it was a problem with her neck not her foot or ankle like I had thought.  She gave her some chiropractic adjustments in her neck so she thinks we’ll have no problems in the future and gave us some super easy strength and stretching exercises to work on.  I like the super easy and fast part.  I’m not that good with homework.  :)

She also had some ideas to try when Coulee’s feet start to go bad.  So we’ll see how that goes as well.  I’m not a big “natural medicine” person – I like things to be scientifically proven – but at this point, there is no harm in trying.

She did suggest doing laser therapy on her feet for pain management but said that it would have to be done daily (which obviously isn’t practical, even if she was in Lethbridge and not Calgary) so I might try and figure out if there is a way I can do it myself.  I’ve researched it a bit online though and it doesn’t sound very scientifically proven, which if you know me at all, drives me nuts.  :)
Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Latest Dog News

Dog treats recall spans several brands
Dog treat manufacturer Kasel Associated Industries has issued a recall of several popular brands over fears of salmonella contamination that can sicken dogs and humans. The Denver-based company is voluntarily recalling all of its products that were
Read more on CBS News

Naughty Dog Launches Free-to-Play Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Version
Game maker Naughty Dog today released a free-to-play multiplayer version of its popular PlayStation 3 third-person shooter Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. A downloadable PlayStation Network client will give players the same experience as those who own
Read more on PC Magazine

15 Dog-Related Words
During the dog days I started taking long walks in the woods where it was cooler and where I could pretend I was working out issues of plot and character, and usually ended up thinking about neglected chores or my bad investments, but one day started
Read more on Huffington Post (blog)

Posted in Flea Protection Media | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“TO MY AMAZEMENT, HE ATE ALL HIS FOOD”

We would like to share this letter we received from Karen who has a 10 year old Maltese.

Dear Halo:

I rarely contact companies, good or bad, but I had to make an exception. My 10 year old Maltese (Casper) has been a terrible eater his entire life. I have researched and tried dozens of dog foods over the years.

He would eat, I guess out of necessity, every 3rd or 4th day. I was considering making homemade dog food at home to try to get him to eat more often, although he is healthy.

I just happened to stumble on Spots Stew after reading the labels (which I always do) at Petco. To my amazement, he ate all his food that night and every night since. I am on my third bag. I still can’t believe it.

Thanks again,
Karen & Casper

Thank you Karen for sharing your story with us and we are so happy to hear Casper is doing well.

Halo

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Useful Tips for Winter Puppy Care

The holidays are fast approaching and, amid the hustle and bustle, many people choose to adopt a new puppy into their homes during the holiday season. If you are the proud pet parent of a brand new puppy, here are some great tips on how to best take care of your new bundle of joy during the cold-weather months.

Most puppies do fine in cold weather – many of the long haired large breeds love to chase snowflakes and romp through winter landscapes. If you are considering adopting a short haired breed or small puppy, never leave them outside unattended. Although it is important to watch them vigilantly to make sure they stay warm, most dogs can still enjoy short stints outside. Remember, puppies need a lot of attention and care, and for potty training purposes, they need to be able to relieve themselves every few hours. You can start potty training your puppy as young as eight weeks of age, and it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

If you have opened your home to a puppy this winter and are wondering about how best to care for your new family member, then watch this video. In it, Dr. Sarah talks about special considerations for puppies during the cold months and tips and tricks on how to beat old man winter.

The Perfect Pet Food Blog

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2010 DoD Pest Management Workshop February 2010 (92)

Check out these Pest images:

2010 DoD Pest Management Workshop February 2010 (92)
Pest

Image by Armed Forces Pest Management Board
Picture from the DoD Pest Management Workshop held in Jacksonville, FL.

2010 DoD Pest Management Workshop February 2010 (75)
Pest

Image by Armed Forces Pest Management Board
Picture from the DoD Pest Management Workshop held in Jacksonville, FL.

2010 DoD Pest Management Workshop February 2010 (45)
Pest

Image by Armed Forces Pest Management Board
Picture from the DoD Pest Management Workshop held in Jacksonville, FL.

Posted in Flea Protection Media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Muscle Memory

Scientists have long been fascinated with the concept of “muscle memory”, that subconscious part of our brain that controls movement without us having to think about it. It’s what allows us to do complicated tasks such as riding a bike or typing “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” without having to stop and say, OK, I need to contract my left hamstring while extending my right quadricep and all those tricky things that go into motion. It’s what allows me to tie a knot during surgery without the laborious thought process that takes place during learning “around the forceps from the front? or the back?” After a while, it just happens.

It’s funny how it pops up in the most unexpected places. For the past 3 years, Kekoa has been my footrest. I literally could not sit in the house without her wedging herself beneath my feet. Now, my feet head toward the floor, expecting a mass to bring them to a halt about 12 inches off the ground. I don’t think about it or calibrate their momentum, they just go with the intent that they will hit fur. Without her there, they crash repeatedly into the floor, each time a jarring reminder of what is no longer there.

It’s odd to me how strong those tangible physical reminders can be. For some reason, I can’t remember the exact timbre of my individual dogs’ barks- and I know they were all quite distinctive- but to a one I can tell you how their heads felt in my hands. Taffy, light as a feather, ready to nip at the slightest provocation. Nuke, needle-nosed and gently, resting into your palm. Emmett, like a solid football, sturdy and reassuring. Mulan, like a brick, wide and solid.

Kekoa’s head was disproportionately small compared to the rest of her body. She looked somewhat like an engorged tick, but in a nice way. She would lumber over and plop on your feet, her manticore tail smacking into the wall with such force you’d think someone was cracking a whip on the drywall. She never seemed to notice. Such was her excitement that she would hover over you, massive, looming, and then with the gentlest motion ease her tiny head into your hands and cover them with kisses. You’d try to push her head away when you had enough but then she’d kiss that hand too, so eventually you’d just give up. Her tail wouldn’t stop wagging the whole time.

She had a terrible wail. A piercing bark so heartbreaking and eardrum-wrenching that she lost two homes because of it. We used our baby monitor to listen in while we were away, and eventually I had to stop because it was too much to listen to.

That sound I can’t bring up. Already, I’ve forgotten it. But the sound of her tail hitting the cabinet, and the feel of her head in my hand- those will be with me forever.

Are there any strangely strong memories you carry with your pets who have moved on?

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , | Leave a comment

WHOLE FOODS MARKET ASSOCIATE: HALO “BRINGS OUT THE SMILEYS”

Back in 1986, Halo started in natural food stores, because these pioneers were among the first to recognize that they wanted the same real-food ingredients for their pets as they demanded for themselves.

Now, over a quarter century later, we’re honored to be recommended by Whole Foods Market Team Members from around the country.

Here’s what Laura from the Tustin Whole Food Market has to say:

“OK, so Riley likes treats – any treats, total treataholic, but the Halo Chicken ones really bring out the smileys!”

Thanks Laura and we’re glad Riley is doing well!

Halo

Posted in Pet Care And Pest Control Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment