Holistic Diets for Dogs : Not Just for Humans Anymore

Dogs know two things: our love and the love you can’t eat. For many dog lovers, it can sometimes be difficult to separate the two, especially when berated with a pleading look from those soulful, manipulative eyes. However, just as it is not good for humans to eat certain ingredients ourselves, it is the same  for dogs, which can have sensitive stomachs, and physical reactions to their food. (itchy skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, bladder infections, bladder stones, diarrhea, and seizures) Whether after meals your pet’s rear becomes a noxious weapon of doom, he exhibits diarrhea or vomiting, or appears to have no adverse reactions at all, one thing is certain; a healthy, balanced diet will allow your pet to live a longer, healthier  life and allow for a less toxic living space. Win-win. 

            But where do you start? Well, the phrase “holistic food” gets thrown around a lot, but what does that mean? And how can you be sure it is what you’re getting?

First, a holistic diet for dogs is simply one in which all nutrition requirements are met, in quantities which the body can absorb and utilize. Essentially, holistic foods don’t mess around with extra stuff like dies, animal by-products, or chemical preservatives.  Feeding dogs processed “people food”or allergenic ingredients is not a good choice, because it tends to have items that inflame the body or don’t break down very easily. They either wreak havoc with the digestive system (most notably the pancreas) or get stored as extra weight. Dogs, like people, need six basic nutrient types for energy, proper growth, and overall well-being (no sluggish, depressed mutant puppies for us!). These nutrient classes are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.

 Proteins

This will be the Schwarzenegger portion of your dog’s diet, sans the impressive biceps. As the basic building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, proteins are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction, repair and energy. Proteins can be obtained from a number of sources. Animal-based proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish and egg have complete amino acid profiles, meaning they contain all of the amino acids (the building blocks for proteins) that your dog needs.

Fats

The most concentrated form of food energy, fats provide your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats are essential in the structure of cells and are needed for the production of some hormones. They are also required for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E. They are also essential for healthy skin and coat. Essential fatty acids are divided into two groups—Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Ingredients like chicken fat and sunflower oil are great sources of Omega-6 fatty acids while flax seed, herring oil and salmon oil are key sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. The correct balance of fats can be found in top rated healthy dog food. Because while people come in all shapes and sizes, dogs really should stay dog-shaped, not stumpy and round.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a key source of energy for dogs. Whole grains, like whole ground brown rice, and whole ground barley and oats, are all low-fat sources of highly-digestible complex carbohydrates. Whole grains are also a rich source of dietary fiber—both soluble and insoluble—which is crucial for healthy intestinal function (limiting deadly fume emissions). Whole grains are also helpful with the common problem of constipation in dogs, which can be caused by a diet that is lacking in fiber. So basically, the perfect amount of poop.

Vitamins and Chelated Minerals

Vitamins and minerals work together, in conjunction with your pet’s natural enzymes, to help with digestion, reproduction and muscle and bone growth. They are also essential for healthy skin and coat and support immune system health, too.

 Here are some of the key vitamins your pet needs on a daily basis: vitamins A, B12, C, D, and E. A higher-quality dog food contains nutritious fruit and vegetables which provide many key vitamins. For example, peas, potatoes and carrots are great sources of Vitamin A, while blueberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Pretty much all the stuff you can’t get your kids to eat, except that they’re mixed with chicken or beef, so your dog is all about it.

Also, the better the food, the more likely it is to contain these minerals: manganese, iron, potassium, copper, and calcium and phosphorus. But, because these minerals are hard for dogs to absorb, it’s important their food be supplemented with “chelated” minerals (which sounds made up, but bear with me…).  A chelated mineral is one that is “attached” to easily absorbable amino acids, which means they will get into your pet’s bloodstream more readily.

Water (Duh)

A vital nutrient, water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet’s body weight. While food may help meet some of your pet’s water needs (dry food has up to 10 percent moisture, while canned food has up to 78 percent moisture), dogs need to have fresh clean water available to them at all times. Water is the medium for all chemical reactions in the body that produce energy. Plus, how else would they manage to pee all over your garden/house/yard?

So how do you know all this is in your dog’s food? Well, it’s a long-held secret: you read the label. Magic, I know.

Conversely, if the label lists any of these products, try and avoid them: chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy proteins (glutens), and artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. There is a lot of science as to why these items aren’t good for your dog, but the bottom line is they are non-essential and difficult to break down. And they are yucky (mmm, ground, processed chicken feet…).

So, there it is, a quick-and-dirty guide for a happier, healthier pup. Don’t forget though, that like humans, dogs can be born with digestive abnormalities, and can develop allergies. The best way to establish a nutrition plan is to run your research by your local vet.

This article comes from NerdWallet.com, a consumer-focused, data-driven website.

A reader asked me yesterday if I were anti-grain, because in my eBook, “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” and in my book, “Dog Dish Diet”, I start with meat and veggies. Many dogs seem to have sensitivities to wheat gluten and that is a known allergen. So I usually avoid wheat and barley until we are sure that they are  comfortable with meat and veggies. Another reason is that many dogs are overweight and don’t need the additional carbohydrate calories in grains.

In the article, the writer comments about “human food” not being as easily digested. Most people assume quality dog food is better for dogs. Raw food and home cooked food are whole food ingredients that are healthy for dogs. I agree with the writer, it is all about ingredients. For example, overweight dogs may not be able to handle the high percentage of carbohydrate in dry commercial foods.

That’s why I wrote Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet. I want to help you make the right choices in how to feed your pet. No marketing or hype, just common sense.

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Black Friday Coupons Offer Tremendous Savings

True American Dog

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Topical

Check out these Topical images:

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Image by adambowie
Do you think someone in W H Smith doesn’t like Ashley Cole all that much?

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Image by mild_swearwords

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Michael Vick’s Former Dogs Meet in a Touching Reunion

Michael Vick has been in the news quite recently, showing up at PetSmart to train his puppy and getting his book tour canceled by angry dog lovers. Though it remains to be seen whether anything positive comes from the anger, one group involved with Vick appears to be feeling just fine.  

His former dogs. 

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Photo by Molly Wald.

This week, six families who adopted "Vicktory dogs" (so-named after being resuced from the dog-fighting operation) met at Best Friends' Animal Society of Kanab, UT, to mark five years of freedom. 

“The Vicktory Dogs, the dogs from Michael Vick’s kennel, really helped us truly understand that all dogs are individuals,” Judah Batista, the facility’s director of animal care, told Fox 13 News. “To convict the dogs based on their owners is an incredibly unfair thing to do.”

The dogs arrived from Vick's Bad Newz Kennels battered and bruised in 2008, and as they regained their health they were slowly adopted out. The families kept in touch throughout the years, but never met -- until now. 

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Photo by Molly Wald.

"It feels like as much of a growing and healing occasion for the people as much as it does the dogs," Richard Hunter, who owns a Vicktory dog named Mel, told ABC News.

Paul, who owns Cherry Garcia, said, "It's been amazing. We're all staying in the same place -- so we have six ex-fighting Pit Bulls staying in the same place -- and you'd never know that these dogs were born, bred, and trained to fight; the furthest thing on their mind is fighting."

The families spent the weekend together at the sanctuary, and the dogs -- Cherry, Handsome Dan, Halle, Little Red, Mel, and Oscar -- got along great.

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Photo by Molly Wald.

"They have just had such a great time together. The families have had such a great time meeting in person," said Paul. "Really, to come together as one big family has been a magical moment."

On Monday, the group invited the public to visit the dogs, and more than 150 people showed up. One by one, the families took the stage and related stories about how their dogs came out of their shells, changing from the shy and shutdown animals they were. 

“We want to show the world that they can become adoptable; we want to show the world that they can become normal dogs and be positive influences in their community,” Paul said.

Watch a video of the event: 

Via ABC

Read more about Michael Vick and BSL:


The Scoop | The Scoop

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Thanks for the tip Crowdfundamentals. We'll ch…

Thanks for the tip Crowdfundamentals. We'll check those links out. To the mighty pits!
BAD RAP Blog

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Cool Tick images

Some cool Tick images:

The Waiting Room / Tick Tock Play
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 Play
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.

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Pet Food Recall: Premium Edge, Diamond Naturals and 4health Dry Cat Food

Premium Edge, Diamond Naturals and 4health Dry Cat Food Formulas Voluntarily Recalled Due to Possibility of Low Levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

This is the second pet food recall reported today.  However, this recall is not related to salmonella.  You can find the official FDA report here.  The list of products being recalled is below:

Product Size Production Codes Best By States
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula 18 lb. bags NGF0703 10-Jul-2013 Massachusetts
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula 6 lb. bags NGF0802 15-Aug-2013,
16-Aug-2013
Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula 6 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGS0101 03-Jan-2014,
04-Jan-2014
Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma
Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula 6 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGS0702 10-Jul-2013 Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Premium Edge Kitten Formula 6 oz. samples,
6 lb. and 18 lb. bags
MKT0901 26-Sept-2013
29-Sept-2013
30-Sept-2013
02-Oct-2013
Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula 6 oz. samples and 6 lb. bags MKT0901 30-Sept-2013 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
4health All Life Stages Cat Formula 5 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGF0802 14-Aug-2013,
18-Aug-2013
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

 


PetsitUSA Blog

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Mitch Seavey is the oldest winner of the Iditarod

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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One Shot – Lice Meduze

One Shot – Kao Lice Meduze Nemojte kačiti video na svoje kanale. Sva prava zadržava Bassivity Digital. Produced by Coby Video by Nenad Grujičić download – ht…

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Dogs & Open Car Windows

Dogs & Open Car Windows

 

dog car windowExperts estimate that dogs can catch a whiff of something that’s one million times less concentrated than what humans can detect. With so much sniff power, it’s hardly surprising that they stick their heads out car windows. They could care less about the scenery. What they’re after are smells. If you’re driving through town at 30 miles an hour and your dog has his nose out the window, he knows where the bakery is, where the butcher shop is, which street leads to the local McDonald’s, and maybe even what the mayor had for breakfast.

 

Dogs assume a characteristic expression when they put their faces into the wind: Their upper

lips curl, their noses wrinkle, their eyes partly close, and their ears fold back. It looks as though they’re experiencing a moment of ecstasy (which they probably are) but mainly they’re concentrating. It’s as though they’re closing down all the rest of their senses to focus on this one.

 

There’s a world of fascinating scents outside the car. This dog loves to hang her head out the window and sample every one of them. All dogs, from huge Great Danes to tiny terriers, have extraordinarily acute senses of smell. Their scenting ability is enhanced when they are moving quickly, which is one reason that they take advantage of open car windows.

 

Smells are so important to dogs that they have two separate systems for detecting them. One is the nose system. It consists of a huge amount of tissue called olfactory epithelium, which is loaded with scent receptors. This area takes up about 1/2 square inch in humans, but up to 20 square inches in some dog breeds. As air moves over the tissue, odor molecules settle in millions of scent receptors. The more air flow there is, the more scents dogs detect. A Dog’s sense of smell is enhanced when they’re moving quickly. In the evolutionary scheme of things, this probably made them better hunters because they could load up on scents while chasing prey.

 

Dogs have a second smelling system that’s headquartered in their mouths. Near the upper

incisors is a tiny duct that leads to a specialized gland called Jacobson’s organ. It’s designed to capture and interpret the most primitive types of smells. Dogs depend on it to identify other

dogs, choose a mate, and smell prey. When dogs scrunch up their faces in the wind, it looks like they’re catching flies, but what they’re really doing is catching scents.

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