We discuss topical items related to the industry, anti-insect solutions, cosmetics, behaviour and training.
Many pet parents and guardians have been convinced that the "healthy", "natural", "premium" and "recommended by" labels on pet feed MUST mean that the stuff inside the bag is good for your fur kids. Alongside these words, we often find claims of 100% "complete and balanced" that leave us to assume we are providing the best food for our dogs and cats;- feeding the same dry cereal based diets day in and day out. Yet, most pet parents and guardians do not fully appreciate what goes into these feeds, even their own food. BigPetFood place images of fresh cut chicken breast, fresh fruits and vegetables and wholesome grains on their packages, but, this is rarely what is actually inside the bag.
A new trend in kibble is "natural", or "real" or "fresh" ingredients. Kibble is still kibble, and still based on a dry matter base. In keeping with labelling requirements, these ingredients are listed by weight, but "real" chicken contains water! And when it becomes dry, it no longer represent the "chicken" in the feed, as the rest of the non-animal proteins are now the primary ingredients. We discuss this trend in greater details.
A bad hair day can spoil many good moments, and create much discomfort! Choosing the correct shampoo for your pack is therefore extremely important. We discuss this topic in more detail.
Often, pet parents will spend gobs of money trying to get their pups to behave in the fashion that they desire only to find out that they really should have sought the assistance of a professional canine behaviourist! There is a difference between Trainers and Behaviourists, not all problems require retraining your pet. Before contracting with any animal professional you should understand exactly what each one does to help fur kids.
The amount of trust given to veterinarians compared to the amount given to the family doctor is truly amazing. It is virtually unheard of not to seek a second opinion when given a worrisome diagnosis by the family doctor. A healthy dose of "skepticism" is precisely what launched such successful websites as WebMD and online referral services for doctors. We discuss current trends in the "traditional" veterinary industry as it applies to our fur kids' nutrition.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials permits a pet food manufacturer to claim that its product is “100% complete” provided that the manufacturer has complied with AAFCO’s feeding trial protocols or nutrient profiles. If you think about it, this is quite an incredible statement. Claiming that anything is 100% is like claiming perfection, total knowledge, and absolute truth. We discuss this topic in greater detail in the article.
Understanding the label of a commercial pet food is crucial to you as the pet parent and / or guardian, as it is a legally binding contract between you and the pet food manufacturer. Even nutritionists have problems decoding pet food labels. There are thousands of things to consider, from maximums and minimums of fiber content to ingredient sourcing to how the food was actually tested so you don’t inadvertently turn your pets into test animals. In this article, we help you understand the basics, through a simple method, to decode the pet food label and to make the most of the information you’re given.
Why feed raw? Fur kids have been fed kibbled foods for the past fifty or so years with what seems to be great results. Dogs are not dying outright from starvation or malnutrition, and seem to be happy and fairly healthy. You certainly can get dogs with glossy coats and healthy bodies that live well into their teens while being fed kibbled foods. Yet the veterinary community has been seeing increases in things like cancer, obesity, diabetes, unilateral hip dysplasia, dermatitises, food allergies, kidney problems, pancreas problems, and liver problems (and their medical techniques and methods have evolved tremendously to deal with these; many veterinarians are very capable people who mean well and can be quite good at treating illness and disease). Just about every system in the dog has been affected in some way, shape, or form by some disease or problem that did not "exist" prior to the advent of kibbled foods or was not recognized as a big issue in a similar manner as us pet parents are starting to awaking to nutrition ourselves. Part of this increase is due to the fact that more people own pets today and that illnesses are more quickly diagnosed nowadays, but many of these diseases have been shown to have strong links to diet - particularly in human research (like adult onset diabetes and obesity and cancer, for example). Many of our pets' body processes parallel our own, so who is to say that processed food will not affect them similarly?
There are many public versions of this story, so here is ours. Commercial pet food, specifically, kibble and canned foods, has not been around that long. In the late 1850s, a young electrician from Cincinnati, named James Spratt went to London to sell lightning rods. When his ship arrived in London, crew members threw the leftover "ship's biscuits" onto the dock, where they were devoured by hordes of scavenging dogs. That gave Spratt an idea. "Ship's biscuits", or hard tack, were the standard fare for sailors in those days. Made from flour, water, and salt, mixed into a stiff dough, baked, and left to harden and dry, the biscuits were easily stored and had an extremely long shelf life. The long shelf life was rather important in the days before refrigeration. It is said that they looked a lot like today's dog biscuits.