LUV My dogs: food

LUV My dogs

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Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2017

How To Stop Dog Diarrhea

How To Stop Dog Diarrhea
  Diarrhea is a common canine affliction and it varies in frequency, duration, and intensity from dog to dog.
  Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs, often because they will put almost anything in their mouth. But it can also be caused by more serious health problems, some of which require close attention, especially if the diarrhea is severe or occurs frequently.
  For the most part, diarrhea and vomiting are nature’s way of allowing the body to cleanse and remove a toxin. A small amount of blood or mucus can sometimes be seen in the stool when the intestinal bacteria are out of balance but this isn’t necessarily cause for alarm.
  A great many cases are mild and, with your vet’s advice, may be treated without a trip to the office.But if your dog is an otherwise healthy adult and, it is reasonable to try some home treatment.

An Important First Step
  The most important thing to remember when it comes to treating the diarrhea is that your primary goal should be to let the body do what it must while preventing any further damage.
Most animals will fast themselves when they have digestive disease and it’s a good idea to stop feeding your dog if he doesn’t fast himself. You can start with 6 to 12 hours of no food or water with most dogs. If your dog is very small and prone to hypoglycemia, you should give him tiny licks of honey or karo syrup each hour, or as needed, if he appears weak and trembly.
  After the fast, if there is no further vomiting and the diarrhea has stopped or slowed, offer small sips of water  every few hours.After six hours of water only, you may start some broth or small amounts of food. Gradually increase the amounts of food over the next four to five days.
  Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so make sure to give your dog access to water at all times. 

Prevent The Recurrence Of Dog Diarrhea
  After a fast, food is usually introduced slowly and many people start with binders, which can normalize stool consistency. Once your dog is reintroduced to food, a bland diet will help prevent a recurrence of diarrhea. Starting with soup is a gentle way to smooth your dog’s transition back to his regular diet.

  Other bland diets include:
  • White rice
  • Rice water: Boil high-quality rice in a lot of water, remove the grains, and offer the dog the creamy white soup that’s left. A splash of broth or a bit baby food will make it more palatable.
  • Herbs, such as fennel, have gut-soothing properties
  • Canned pumpkin has the odd distinction of being effective for diarrhea and constipation.
  • Plain protein sources such as egg (prepared with no butter or oil) or chicken (without skin)
  • Probiotics, live bacteria that aid digestion- these are also found in yogurt
  • Yogurt, which has beneficial bacteria, can help in dogs who can tolerate milk and milk products.
  • Cottage cheese
  • Boiled potatoes, without skin
  • Specially-formulated dog foods: Some manufacturers offer foods that can sooth stomach problems. You may need to obtain these from your vet.
  • Over-the-counter medications for humans may also be effective for doggie diarrhea, but should be given with caution and you should talk to your vet before using them.
  If the diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours or your dog’s condition worsens at any time, call your vet immediately.
  If your dog’s digestive disease is severe or persistent, your veterinarian’s suggestions may include: fecal exams to rule out parasites; blood work to rule out liver, kidney, endocrine or other problems; x-rays or abdominal ultrasound to rule out foreign objects, obstructions, and cancer; and endoscopy to visualize the stomach and intestinal mucosa.
Prevention of Dog Diarrhea
  The best thing that you can do to prevent diarrhea in your dog is to treat it as you would a human. Keep your dog away from stray dogs as much as possible and administer vaccines as scheduled. Be sure to take your dog to the vet for a wellness visit to stave off any issues as soon as possible.
  And be sure to stay with food your dog and stick with it. Change brands if your pet develops allergies, but try to stick with a quality dog food and do not feed your dog table scraps.
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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn Safety Tips

Autumn Safety Tips
  Many of us love this time of year — the changing color of the leaves, brisk fall breezes, and finally a respite from the hot weather of Summer. For your dog, however, fall may be more work than fun.

Mushroom Season


  With the change of the season come certain changes in the environment. Fall and spring are mushroom seasons, which mean potential life-threatening problems to pets. Owners should watch out for umbrella-shaped mushrooms and brown mushrooms and call for help immediately when a pet ingests one. Symptoms of illness can range from vomiting to severe digestive problems to complete liver failure.

  Even with the darker mornings and nights and the worsening weather, your dog still needs regular exercise. Your dog is unlikely to get the same level of exercise and access to the outdoors that he had during the summer, but it can lead to behavioural problems if your dog does not have enough activity and mental stimulation. If your dog is getting less exercise during the week, his fitness levels will not be as high as in the summer, so don’t go crazy with his exercise at the weekends as he could experience health problems.

  The use of rodenticides increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets—if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets. 



  Another turn of the season threat is snakes. As temperatures go down, snakes go into hibernation mode, which means they will be extra grumpy when disturbed. Pet owners who live in areas with snake-friendly conditions, such as woods, should take extra care. Fall is also hunting season, which makes the woods an extra unsafe place for taking pets out walking.

  The threat posed by the cold is a no-brainer: animals cannot withstand extreme temperatures. Pets should have warmth and shelter during the last few, cold months of the year. In addition, pets that spend a lot of time outdoors should be given more food during the cold season to help them produce energy and body heat. When ice begins to form outdoors, owners should take extra care in walking their dogs. Sharp ice edges can cut soft paws and ice sheets can cause slips and falls. The salt used to melt ice can also be tempting to lick for a dog, but some chemical deicers are toxic. Table salt or other pet-safe product can be used if driveways need to be de-iced.

  Many people choose fall as the time to change their car's engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren't completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.


Holidays usually mean lots of yummy food, but make sure you don't leave any food out on the counter within reach of your dog. Watch out for foods like chocolate, grapes, and raisins. If you have a counter-surfer, now is a good time to work on that behavior.

  Keep your dog indoors on Halloween night. It may be a fun holiday for the kids, but it can end up being one traumatic evening for a dog.


  Put your kids' Halloween candy where your dog can't find it. That much chocolate could be seriously harmful to him if ingested.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Artificial Coloring in Dog Food

Artificial Coloring in Dog Food
  The pet food industry discovered long ago that consumers are instantly attracted… like flies to honey… to any product labeled “natural”.  They know that just adding the word “natural” to a product’s name can significantly boost sales.
And that makes unwary shoppers easy targets for profit-hungry dog food companies.
  Dog owners want to make sure that their dogs get the best food possible. Artificial colorings are used in many dog foods, and understanding more about them can help you make decisions on your dog's nutrition and health.
  Of course you want the best for your four-legged friend, but it can be hard to tell the good food from the bad. Generally speaking, dog food with artificial coloring is low quality. Most high-quality dog food manufacturer's don't feel the need to try and trick you with colorful gimmicks.




History of Color in Food Products
  According to a Forbes magazine article, adding color to food for humans and animals has been done for centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century, concern regarding the presence of toxic mercury, copper and arsenic in natural-based colorings prompted scientists to develop synthetic alternatives. By 1906, when the Pure Foods and Drug Act was passed, there were more than 80 different colorings being used in human and animal foods. The next three decades saw research into the effects of those colorings eliminating the ones deemed unsafe, thus narrowing the field to only 15 allowed colors by 1938. As of 2012 that list has been pared to only seven artificial colorings that many consumer advocates still lobby against. Forbes indicates that Yellow No. 5 - an approved yet controversial artificial coloring commonly used in dog foods - is being further tested for links to hyperactivity and cancer in human children.

Federal Veterinary Regulation of Food Color
According to the Veterinarian Newsletter produced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a series of federal agencies regulate the addition of artificial food coloring to animal foods, including products marketed for dogs. Any proposed additions of new colors must first be approved by the Labeling and Compounds Review Division housed with the Department of Agriculture. Although only seven colors are currently allowed, manufacturers regularly apply to increase that number in an effort to market different products. The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition administers the 1960 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act currently governing the use of artificial colorings in a variety of products, including dog food. Staff from this center for food safety work in conjunction with veterinarians and animal scientists with the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine to ensure the safety of animal food products and accurate labeling of ingredients contained.

Function
  Artificial coloring is meant to make dog food look more appealing to the human purchasing the food. Gray, dull food looks unappetizing to humans, and the use of artificial coloring is used to make dog food appear more attractive. While natural substances like caramel coloring are harmless, they are unnecessary and generally only serve to make a food look more appealing and uniform to the human eye by hiding the gray color of poor quality rendered products, concealing visible variations in ingredients, or attempting to make a food look like it contains more meat by adding red dye.

Types
  Several dyes are commonly used in dog food. Blue 1 is a synthetic that was originally derived from coal tar, while blue 2 is derived from heating indigo paste. Red 40 is similar to Blue 1 in that it was once derived from coal tar. Yellow 5 and yellow 6 are also commonly found in dog food. TiO2 is a non toxic white powder used as an opaque pigment and dough conditioner.
Basically, there are three kinds of artificial ingredients…
  • Artificial flavoring
  • Artificial coloring
  • Artificial preservatives
The first type, artificial flavoring, is rarely used to make dog food.  So, flavoring isn’t really an issue.
The second type, artificial color, is of absolutely no interest to a dog.  Do you really think a dog cares that his food is dark red… or forest green?
No… of course not.
Artificial colors are only added to a dog food for one sinister reason… to scam us humans into believing our dogs will be stupid enough to see the colored shapes as real pieces of meat… or fresh garden vegetables.
Hey, don’t fall for that trick.  Avoid buying multicolored kibble like the one you see in the photo.
And always remember… colors and shapes are never put there to satisfy your dog.  They’re added to deceive you… to mislead you into thinking you’re buying a higher quality product.
By now, I hope you’re beginning to see why you must be especially vigilant when considering the purchase of “natural” dog food.
We’ve talked about why so many companies use the word “natural” to market their products.  And we’ve covered two of the three kinds of artificial additives… flavorings and colorings.

What Colors are Allowed
  According to the FDA, seven artificial colorings are allowed in a category known as "Foods Generally," which does include dog food. The colors are: Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, Green No. 3, Red No. 3, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6. The Dog Food Guide lists suspected health problems linked to four of these colors that scientists are still studying. Blue No. 2, for instance, may be connected with a dog experiencing increased sensitivity to various common viruses, while Yellow No. 5 could be the potential culprit for the onset of allergic reactions and Yellow No. 6 might be a contributor to increased risk of cancer in the kidneys and adrenal gland.

Safety
In humans, artificial colors have been linked to allergies, behavioral problems and even cancer. Over the years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of many different colors in human foods. Even though the most dangerous artificial colors can no longer be used, some of those still used in both human and pet food, like Red No. 40, have been linked to cancer. Others can make your dog more vulnerable to viral illness. It is not proven that feeding your dog a kibble with artificial dye will cause him problems, and these foods are generally considered safe. However, it's smart to compare the risk against the benefit, and artificial coloring offers no benefit to your dog.

Read the Labels
In an effort to inform consumers regarding the potential risks of a variety of ingredients - artificial food coloring included - that are used in the production of dog foods, the Dog Food Project maintains a lengthy online list detailing why each item on the list is potentially hazardous to your pup. It is recommended that human companions thoroughly scan the ingredients listed on their pup's food bag if they have concerns regarding its safety.

Considerations
The pet food industry is not regulated as much as the people food industry. Many things are added to dog food that would never be acceptable in human products. Labels like "natural" and "organic" are used rather loosely when it comes to dog food. Just because the package says it's natural doesn't mean that every ingredient is actually natural. When considering whether or not to give your dog a food that contains artificial coloring, consider the whole picture -- what else does the food contain? Consider the value of all the ingredients and choose the healthiest food you can afford.

Colors Perceived by Dogs
Dyes are an unnecessary ingredient in dog food, according to The Dog Food Project, since dogs do not care about the color of their food. While dogs are not truly colorblind, according to Dog Time, the spectrum of colors dogs see is limited, compared with that perceived by humans. Reds, greens, and oranges are not distinguishable to dogs.

Effects
While one of the most-tested and widely used food dyes, the key mouse tests on FD&C Red No. 40, were inconclusive.However, according to an FDA review committee, evidence of harm was not consistent or substantial.
The second most widely used coloring, FD&C Yellow No. 5, can cause mild allergic reactions.
FD&C Yellow No. 6, the third most widely used dye, causes tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney. In addition, small amounts of several carcinogens contaminate Yellow 6. Yellow 6 may also cause occasional allergic reactions.
The largest study suggested, but did not prove, that FD&C Blue No. 2 caused brain tumors in male mice. The FDA concluded that there is "reasonable certainty of no harm."

Alternatives
  Making your own dog food with lean cuts of meat and fresh vegetables is one way to avoid artificial coloring. But it's time-consuming and expensive. Many manufacturers of high-quality dog food don't add artificial dyes because of the risks they carry. The best dog food will usually be a natural brown or gray color, without anything added to appeal to the human eye. The focus instead is on nutrition. Many of these dog foods contain real meat and no byproducts or fillers. They are very healthy for your dog, but also expensive. There are also a number of manufacturers who have realized that consumers no longer want fake colors added to their dog's food. You can't always trust the advertising on the front of the bag, so check the ingredient list to find a food that doesn't contain artificial coloring.

Read: What Is The Best Dog Food?


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What to Feed a Sick Dog

What to Feed a Sick Dog
  Everyone gets sick at one time or another and having someone to look after you, look after you, and guide you in the correct direction in this time of need can make all the difference in getting you back to your normal health and strength. Dogs are no exception to this rule and looking after and caring for your dog can make all the difference to their recovery.
  When your dog's tummy is upset, he can't tell us what's wrong. When lethargy and "accidents" tell us there's an upset, there are general rules to follow when feeding a sick dog. Just like children, they have systems that are smaller than those of adult humans, tend to recover quickly and need to start eating again to replace lost water and nutrients. However, if the upsets are violent or last more than a few days, it's time to take your friend to the doctor.
  But what happens if your dog has lost their appetite and you know they need some sort of food inside them before they run into more illness? Well this is a very common situation to be in with an ill dog so there are a few ideas that you might want to try and they might shorten your dogs suffering and help keep it bearable for the time being. 

Let your dog eat grass
  Let them eat cake! And by cake, we mean grass! Grass is one of those instinctual remedies dogs may go for when they’re feeling unwell. Grass may cause a dog to vomit.  Let your dog’s instincts lead you both. If they want to eat grass when they’re not feeling well, if they want to vomit a bit, that may be just what they need to do to feel better. Just make sure to keep them well hydrated. If they vomit more than twice, or persistently eat grass and vomit every time they take a trip outside, call a vet.



  Give your dog bland food (food with little or no strong flavours, smells, and tastes) to start with, bland food will help them keep their food down with not too much in it to upset the stomach and cause more illness. Anything that makes it easier for your dog to eat without too much strain is best; if they have to put a lot of effort into eating when ill they will probably not bother in fear of causing more illness and sick feeling, try blending food up finely so they can lick it up instead of chewing and swallowing, as this often works well for a lot of pets.


Simple foods
Your dog’s kibble may be a bit too rich for them when they have an upset stomach. Try some simple boiled shredded chicken with a bit of white rice, or try some mashed pumpkin. Offer small amounts at a time, rather than a full meal. If they appear eager for more, it’s a good sign. Their tummy might be on the mend. If they’re still dubious, consider a no-salt chicken broth to entice them to eat a bit. Add water to whatever you offer them, as dehydration is the real danger of your average run of the mill upset tummy.

Gradual Feeding
  After fasting for 24 hours, your pup could probably down an entire bowl of food within a few minutes. Feeding him a small amount at first and then increasing that amount each day prevents him from stuffing himself to the brim and vomiting again. Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine suggests feeding your dog his bland diet three to six times a day. The amount of food you should give your dog depends mostly on his size. Feeding an adult German shepherd 2 cups of bland food on the first day will be fine, but feeding that same amount to a Yorkshire terrier is too much. After about two days, begin mixing in your dog’s regular food with the bland food diet until he’s off the bland meals completely.

Check for dehydration
  Lift your dog’s lips and look at their gums. Gums should be pink and slick. That is, wet in appearance instead of dry. If you’re not sure, press on your dog’s gums until you see the color change. Remove your finger, and note how long it takes for color to come back. Color should come back immediately. If it takes a couple of moments, your dog could be dehydrated. 
  You can also pull at the scruff of their neck, the way a mother animal may lift their young. If the skin snaps back, they should be fine. If it takes a long time for the skin to retract, they could be dehydrated.

How to prevent and treat dehydration
  If your dog is showing the above signs of dehydration, it’s time to take their condition seriously. Many people offer their dehydrated dogs unflavored Pedialyte, which is a child’s electrolyte drink. Even if your dog is drinking water, it sometimes isn’t enough, and Pedialyte will help replace electrolytes they may have lost from vomiting. Other dog-friendly products like Rebound may also help.
  If they won’t drink it on their own, you may wish to use a feeding syringe (needle-less) to feed them the Pedialyte. Put the syringe into the side of the mouth, between the cheek and gums, and go slowly to prevent your dog from choking or breathing in the liquid. Be careful, take it slowly, and keep them calm. Really sick dogs sometimes don't have the greatest gag reflex, and aspiraton of these liquids can be dangerous.
  How much should you give? A dose to help a dog maintain hydration should be at least 15 mL per pound of body weight per day. This can turn out to be quite a bit of fluid to deliver with a syringe, so you may want to divide the dose into 4 a day.

You can also simply take your dog to the vet, where they'll be able to treat dehydrated dogs by delivering fluids under the skin.

 If this works then you should build the tastes up slowly from bland food to normal stronger tasting foods but always keeping to what your dog is comfortable with, if you do too much too soon then your dog will become ill again so take it slowly.


If this doesn't work then try to feed them sufficient amounts of water if nothing else. When a dog is unwell they may have other symptoms like diarrhea which will cause them to become dehydrated easily and set them up for more misery so try to maintain good hydration levels, which in turn will maintain your dog's happiness.


If all else fails and nothing seems to be working then you should contact your vet and seek advice there, if you do not then you risk your dogs health and bodyweight deteriorating and there may be other difficulties to overcome before your dog will start to become better.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

What Is The Best Dog Food?

What Is The Best Dog Food?
  Every day veterinarians are asked that question by dog owners. It's a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Good health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or convenience of acquisition.
  Deciding on the type of dog food you provide is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your puppy or older dog. Dog food nutrition directly influences every aspect of your dog's life. Things like how puppies grow, their behavior habits, health, overall well-being and appearance are all closely connected to the nutrition we provide - it's a big responsibility.
  With all the recent publicity and concern with the dog food recall of 2008 the spotlight has been aimed fairly and squarely at the big commercial dog food companies. Us dog lovers are finally becoming more aware and educated about providing wholesome, nutritionally balanced meals for our dogs. So where do we start in our search to find the best dog food? What are our options, and who can we trust or even believe?
  Choosing the best dog food can be an overwhelming decision - but why does it have to be so hard? I know from personal experience it can be difficult to see through all of the conflicting views, hype, marketing tactics and secrecy surrounding the dog food industry. After years of experimenting with different dog foods and lots of research I have reached an unfortunate conclusion. I feel that the vast majority of the big commercial dog food companies are far more focussed on extracting the money from our pockets rather than the health and wellbeing of our precious dogs.
  So when I set out to determine the best dog food available my main focus was always the health, vitality and longevity of my dogs - I want my dogs to thrive. I hope this article will help you to determine the very best puppy food for your dogs and make your feeding decision clearer.
  A wholesome well balanced dog food diet promotes: Healthy skin and coat, strong well developed bones, bright clear eyes, firmer stools (and less of them), well defined muscle tone, quality of life and longevity, healthy teeth and gums, fewer trips to your Vet, no bad odor, fewer digestive problems, energy, vitality, fewer behavior problems and over-all health.

What Are The Choices - What Should We Feed Our Dogs?
1. Commercial Dog Food: This includes the packaged foods you find at your local supermarket, pet store or veterinarian. Commercial dog food is available in dry, semi dry and wet (canned).
  • Royal Canin offers dry foods formulated for specific dog breeds. This can be helpful if your breed has unique health problems. For boxers, Royal Canin includes ingredients to protect heart function. 
  • Eukanuba offers a meals with added nutrients, such as glucosamine and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, to protect larger dogs' joints. 
  • Avoderm Natural- This oven-baked food is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 
  • Pinnacle Holistic- This dry food is made with trout and sweet potatoes, eliminating common allergens such as corn, wheat and soy. 
  • Innova- With ingredients such as herring oil, pumpkin and carrots, Innova embraces the concept of holistic food for pets.
  • Solid Gold has been manufacturing holistic pet food for more than 30 years. Bison and salmon are the main ingredients in this food for large-breed puppies. 
  • Wellness - This dry food is made with ingredients fit for human consumption and additives to help avoid common health problems among dogs. Probiotics also are added to aid in digestion. 
  • Blue Buffalo - This premium food for dogs includes Omega 6 fatty acids and glucosamine for joint health. 
  • Science Diet offers dogs meals with real meat instead of relying on byproducts as its main ingredient. This food is available in chicken and brown rice and lamb and brown rice. 
  • Canidae includes human-grade meats and reduces fillers to help your dog shed unnecessary pounds. 
2. Raw Dog Food
  The raw dog food diet is the growth sector within the dog food marketplace. This category includes the raw food you source and prepare yourself or the pre-made and packaged products.


  Raw dog food is a fairly broad term as there are many variations on this feeding method. The common thread with raw food enthusiasts is that they believe feeding raw is the most natural way to feed a dog. Raw foodies believe that this is the way dogs have successfully evolved and that eating a raw diet is the way nature intended dogs to get their nutrition. The raw food diet is said to replicate how a dog would eat in the wild. 

  Some raw food proponents love to give big meaty bones and others won't. The same applies with fruit and vegetables - some people say that vegetable matter is a natural part of a wild dogs diet, gathered from the stomach of their prey.
   Another benefit of feeding raw is healthy teeth and gums and well developed jaws, neck and shoulder muscles (from all the chewing).
  On the other hand detractors of feeding raw focus on the danger of foodborne illness through the threat of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Some also say that it is difficult to feed a nutritionally balanced meal the raw way.

3. Homemade Dog Food
  With all the recent news about the dog food recall and associated concerns with commercial dog foods, the homemade dog food option has really come to the fore.
 Preparing your dog's meals from scratch has many benefits, including the complete control of all meals served. You know exactly what goes into every meal (and where it was sourced) and you also know that it has been prepared in a clean environment.
  The homemade dog food option also comes with the added responsibility of formulating nutritionally balanced meals (proteins, vitamins etc.) and meeting the calorie requirements for your individual dog. If you arm yourself with some good dog food recipes and get into a routine this process is not all that difficult to maintain.
  Typical homemade dog meals include big meaty stews, healthy soups, pies, vegetables and maybe some raw bones every now and then.

In conclusion...  look at the ingredient list and a meat such as chicken should be listed as the first ingredient. Look at the guaranteed analysis to see that the protein level is at 30 percent or more. The fat content should be at 18 percent or more. And if there is a rather wide spectrum of ingredients such as omega fatty acids and vitamin E, that's good, too. There should be NO FOOD COLORING!



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